Sweet Sleepy Baby Boy: Fort McMurray Newborn Photographer

The impact of Family Photography on quality of life

Photos are the perfect mothers day gift for all ages, here a newborn baby boy is photographed professionally with his mom for the first time
The first professional image of a woman after she becomes a mother always comes with a bit of hesitation. Your body has been through the most incredible ordeal it will ever experience, you’re surviving on less sleep than you ever have before, and you are slightly concerned there may be bodily fluid of some sort in your hair. However, you’ll look back in a year and think about how thankful you are that you pushed past the discomfort of getting in front of the camera around 1 week postpartum and capture this image with this tiny baby you now revolve around. This tiny baby that no longer fits in your right hand, or your left elbow, but instead has legs that dangle to your knees.

Professional heirloom image of a new mom, her own mom, her newborn son, and her sister
Everyone warns you that it happens quickly, and of course they’re right. My first baby will be eight years old this summer and having a baby in the house again has made me really recognize how much my oldest is not a baby anymore, or even a little kid. So when this new grandma looked over at me and expressed sadness that she will miss so much when she has to of back home, because she knows he’ll grow so fast, I could see in her eyes she wasn’t talking about 6 day old baby J. She held back the tears in her watery eyes looking at her baby girl now holding a baby of her own, staring proudly and I could see that she was brought back to the moment it was her holding her baby girl.

Posed newborn photography session in YMM
Photographs are can be taken on phones or cameras at home and any photograph is better than no photograph. However, a professional photography session is an experience. It is when you can slow down and reflect on your life, feel those moments you haven’t let come through for a while, and get everyone important in the frame. It’s when you’re forced to get close with loved ones even if you didn’t know you needed that hug but OH it feels so good! It’s slowing down to breathe, to notice details, to be aware of your senses.  And in the end, it’s the opportunity to decorate your home so you can bring a piece of the peace to your everyday. It’s the opportunity to make a book that you can go through as a tradition on special occasions or on tough days to pick you back up.
YMM Photographer for safe and professionally polished newborn heirloom photos best gift ever
YMM professional photographer qualified through APNPI and safety certified captured perfect six day old newborn with bonnet in studio
apnpi qualified newborn photographer poses baby boy in Huck Finn pose with romper in Fort McMurray
It

There is not getting these first days back, so take a few hours out, and invest in someone you trust with a portfolio you love.

 

Crystal Mercredi – Life and Portraits

Award Winning Photographer with:

The National Association of Professional Child Photographer

Qualified Photographer and Safety Certified through:

The Association of Professional Newborn Photographers Internationale

 

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Reflecting on the first year through quotes and photos

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”- Andy Warhol

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“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.”  – Nathaniel Hawthorne

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“A photograph is the pause button of life” – Ty Holland

Fort McMurray photographer takes image of baby sleeping for family heirloom
“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone” – Katie Thurmes

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“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

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“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Mark Twain

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“All the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”- J.R.R. Tolkien

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“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr Seuss

Fort McMurray photographer celebrates a child
“Time is the devourer of everything.” – Ovid

YMM Photographer captures big personality in small children , life and portraits

 

I love you so much my sweet baby, and promise to never let the time pass without capturing who you are to savour forever. Happy birthday.

xoxo – momma

and in this goodbye my baby, and hello my toddler (Super cute hat from Colour Me Pretty)

Fort McMurray Photographer takes pictures of baby learning to walk to celebrate her birthday

 

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Cold days are made for cuddling in Fort McMurray

Family Photography in Fort McMurray

Come along with this family of 4 on a chilly fall day for a little lesson on how to stay warm on a cold day…

Little girls go for a walk with their parents in wood buffalo o explore the outdoors and have heirloom quality family photos created
Wear deliciously perfect sweaters like these to die for knits by Miou Kids, if you’ve never seen them in person you are missing one of life great treats! They are like wearing a warm hug, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also get a nice warm hug from your sister!
Siblings deserve luxurious photographs to commemorate their relationship as they grow and change to remind them of the love they
  
Sweet little girls cuddling to stay warm in the frigid temperatures of Fort McMurray
Let your little one wrap their arms around you nice and tight. One day it will be the last time you lift your little one in your arms, and you won’t even know it at the time. It sneaks up on you, and then suddenly you realize it’s been a while and they’re too big for it. Take advantage of the years when they happily jump up into your arms and squeeze them just a little bit tighter for a little bit longer.
loving daddy and his little girl cuddling and creating memories through photographs
 
She won
Mommy kisses are a great way to keep warm too!
Fort McMurray mother and daughter displaying affection and comfort with each other for the camera.
   Last but not least, never miss the opportunity to capture a great photo with the love of your life. So often (like always) our children become the all-encompassing focus of our lives, but taking a second to get in close and cuddle with the person who gets you most is surefire magic.  
Fort MMurray photographer captures genuine emotion for husband and wife

Short and Sweet Fine Art Sessions are the perfect opportunity to catch just a taste of your family’s love on a chilly day without being outside in the cold too long. Before you book a photo session consider carefully what you plan to do with the photos. This session resulted in prints throughout the family’s home to enjoy daily and cherish forever. Photographs have the ability to enrich your life by immortalizing the relationships within your family before they inevitably grow and change. Time is the one thing we can never regain, so do the closest thing and get some amazing images of this time in your life.

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Growing Families – Fort McMurray

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This month I was delighted to become a member of APNPI (Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International). The organization provides safe handling techniques and testing to ensure parents their photographer has a certain level of expertise when handling their most precious little gifts. In addition to the safety aspect the organization also requires members submit an extensive portfolio of newborn, maternity and baby images to show a competence with technical skill and artistic expression. Be careful of other similar organizations which will accredit photographers if they pay a fee, and require no training, testing, or portfolio reviews. For example, when photographing young siblings like baby J and her big brother here, the standard laying on the floor photo was not a safe option. I could have tried to get a photo of big brother next to a prop, and then taken a photo of baby J in the prop, and photoshopped the 2 images together, but I would not have baby held by her big brother without an adult. Instead we used biggest brothers arms to hold her safely at a height where he could reach her, but also where she could easily be whisked away if he decided it was time to jump around or practice some karate. 
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Though I myself have been primarily on maternity leave this year, I have made a point to shoot a newborn each season so I can keep the skills I have developed though the years and several hundred hours of training sharp. Photography is certainly a skill that can fade if not used regularly in my experience, so while I photograph daily for my own family newborn posing is something know I need to always be doing. This next pose is one I just learned last winter and practiced on my own little one in February to perfect. I vary the pose using different colours, and textures, like this felt wool used as a wrap here and this gorgeous hat by Mag Mugs.

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Sweet baby J was 2 weeks only for her session, right at the end of the recommended age for photographing newborn babies in the sweet cuddly poses you typically see. My sweet spot tends to be around days 6-9 days, however every baby is different and this little doll was content as can be as long as she was wrapped up in some way. The pose above is easily transitioned into a prop to get a completely different look, relatively quickly, and without bothering baby at all. The yellow floor drop here is actually a one of a kind hand painted canvas I made! I may have a new obsession! Also, she’s the sweetest thing ever right? This is a photo that should be printed and hung on a wall to enjoy EVERY day. That’s my goal for all of my photos, daily enjoyment <3

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This family may look familiar, as I shot mom and dad’s wedding when I first started out, and shot big brother’s newborn photos a couple of years ago. I love watching families grow and helping preserve memories.
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Sweet Baby M – Fort McMurray Newborn

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If you are pregnant in Fort McMurray you either know this sweet momma, or you should! Jessica runs Blossoming Bellies and Bosoms, which is an amazing store full of quality maternity and nursing clothing (as well as a few super cute baby items). Jessica kept me from wearing PJ’s all winter, instead dressing me in luxurious hoodies and wrap sweaters made in Canada! Then about half way through my pregnancy she became pregnant with her second child! We’ve had some chatty shopping sessions and photo sessions and she is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet, so definitely check out her shop for a little sunshine in your day.

Jessica asked pretty early on if I would photograph her new baby, and of course I knew I would be honoured to. Her former family photographer had unfortunately lost her home in the fire and moved out of Fort McMurray, however Jessica and her husband really value beautiful photography, displaying it in their home and gorgeous albums, so I was honoured to be chosen to add to their life art.

Shortly before baby her boy was expected to arrive Jessica and her daughter came by to capture a few photos. One of the most impactful moments of my life was seeing my oldest daughter for the first time after delivering my son, so I absolutely love capturing moments in those treasured final days before a new baby joins the family. 

Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;

Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;

Once sweet baby M arrived everyone was in love! He has such incredible and unique features, and I fawned over him the entire time I photographed him. Being my first newborn after having my own baby, he seemed so tiny and my own little one sure didn’t seem so little once I held her again afterwards! They grow too fast, so I’m so glad I was able to capture his teeny-tiny-ness before it starts to fade away <3 Enjoy!

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YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate; family
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate; YMM
And after the family had a chance to cuddle him for photos it was my turn! This sweet boy was a posing pro and showed off his cute pouty lip, gorgeous eyes, and spitfire tongue <3 
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YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
YMM; Pregnant; Fort McMurray; maternity; expecting; newborn; baby; child; family; photography; pictures; dresses; rentals; beauty; celebrate;
Thank you for choosing me to capture this incredible time in your life and the beginning of baby M’s <3 

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about customized, luxury photography experiences contact me!

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Kiwi Crates – Personal Photos

Kids love getting mail (it’s a time before mail means bills), so when I saw a Facebook ad for a subscription based educational activity for kids in specific age ranges I figured we’d give it a try. I ordered the Koala Crate as well as the Kiwi Crate, because I have a 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter. My daughter had a friend over when the mailman dropped these off and was busy in dress-up-ville, so I took the opportunity to have some one-on-one time with my son. We both had GREAT time with his crate from the moment he got to excitedly open the mail with HIS name on it exclaiming “It’s for ME?!?”. I didn’t have the camera handy because I hadn’t realized it was going to be a photo opportunity until we were pretty far into the activity, but I did take the note that I better get it ready for my daughter’s turn!

After her friend went home and my son went to have some play time with his newly created toy I went into the living room to see my daughter had already anxiously gotten into her box so I grabbed the camera and sat down to help. I wish I had a chance to put the vacuum away, but nonetheless, this is what our house ACTUALLY looks like when I don’t get to prep the area haha.

Fort McMurray Photographer

There were excellent instructions with photos, this crate which is for 5-8 years olds still required a bit of help for my 5 year old but once we read the instructions together she was able to follow the photos herself. In addition to the craft projects below there is a colouring/activity/storybook that relates to the project.

Fort McMurray Photographer

She was constructing a wooden claw toy! There were little cardboard guide templates and stickers to help line up the holes properly, using her knowledge of colour and direction (right/left, top/bottom) in the instructions.

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I’m pretty sure this is the first time she has successfully tied a knot by herself, I showed her a couple of times and then she did it on her own. We talked about why tying it twice works a lot better than just once (because the instructions said to do it twice and she wanted to know why) and then tested it out to see how easily it fell apart if only looped once.

Fort McMurray Children

The crate came with all of the premade pieces you see, all the accessories and even the scissors, so everything needed to complete the activity. It was great practice for fine motor skills as she was required to screw on these tiny nuts, and attach elastics to them. 

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Next she needed to create little pom-pom guys to be able to pick up with her new claw contraption. More fine motor practice, with winding the thread and cutting the loops.

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Koala Crate

Then for the grand finale, her claw hand works! She then cleaned up the pieces from this activity using her claw, which took her the better part of an hour ONE PIECE AT A TIME, but hey, if it makes cleaning fun I don’t care how long it takes! Thanks Kiwi Crates, we can’t wait until next month to see what fun is to come!

Kiwi Crate

http://tinker.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=CrystalM48 Her’s the link to save $10 on the crate, and save me $10 off my next subscription at the same time!

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Fort McMurray Family Activity – Dogsledding

Personal Photos

Yes, you read that right. Today my family went dogsledding with Tar City Kennels!!! First of all, this is not just a quick touristy activity, it’s an incredible experience that everyone in Fort McMurray should try to take in.

We started off by meeting some of the newest members of the team, who haven’t quite earned their racing stripes yet, but boy could they steal a heart quickly…and a mitten!

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Puppy
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Sled Dog

After meeting the adorable puppies we made our way to the sled, where my kids and I got cuddly and cozy while our sled dog racer Moe Ladouceur and his coworker got the dog team ready to go.

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And we were off! We were cruising and the turns were a rush. The warm weather meant there was a tiny bit of slush being tossed at us, which only made the ride feel more authentic. We even got a little bit of air off of a couple of bump on the trail, which the kids quickly declared made it ‘just like Santa’s sleigh’ because we were officially flying!

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After the ride we made sure to thank our gracious host Moe, but also the wonderful dogs who did such a great job taking us on this experience.

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The day wasn’t over yet though, because Sawyer was infatuated with the sleds and when Moe noticed he didn’t hesitate in suggesting Sawyer try one out. Of course Brielle had to get in on the action too, which she comes by honestly because soon my hubby was hopping on to have his fun also.

Family Activity
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Fort McMurray What to Do

Don’t worry, that truck is just my brother-in-law arriving to take my nephew and niece out next.

All in all I highly recommend this activity! Hopefully the weather cools for a little bit longer so more of you are able to have your own awesome dogsledding experience. The kids absolutely loved it, but so did we! Truly fun for all ages, and a unique opportunity that will have the city slickers jealous of all that fun up in Fort McMurray. If you’re interested you can contact Moe at  edmond.ladouceur@hotmail.com or 1(780) 370-0202

 

Do you have other recommendations for family outings that are somewhat unique experiences available in Fort McMurray? I’d love to hear about them and document to share our adventures!

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Baby makes 5

Fort McMurray Family Photography

Photographers can be awful about taking photos of our own families. When Amie contacted me to come take photos of her family before her ‘newborn’ wasn’t a newborn anymore I knew exactly how she felt; because we are awful about getting in FRONT of the camera! I make a point to do at least 1 full session with my family each year (taken by another photographer) so I was thrilled when given the opportunity to provide these images for her. These images were shot in the comfort of the Robert’s family’s gorgeous home, where the boys felt comfortable.

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**I only offer Lifestyle in home photography for clients I’ve already worked with for safety reasons. Thank you for understanding.***

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