Carrie Duncan Photography's day-to-day blog


Celebrating our achievements, big and small

This week is World Breastfeeding Week, and just the fact that I am sitting here blogging about that, is worth celebrating.

That people all around the world are, this week, talking about breastfeeding, that they are hosting events that shine the spotlight on the first and most important food your child will ever have, well that is pretty awesome.

I started out breastfeeding my son, hoping to reach the 6-month mark. I had no idea what I was getting into, but read all I could about it and even took a class to make sure that things went smoothly. Thirteen months later, we’re still going strong. There are days when I would prefer my son didn’t need to feed so often, and there are certainly days where I wish he would give up that 5 a.m. feeding. Still, as I watch him grow and thrive, it’s hard not to burst with pride that I had a very personal hand in making that happen.

Any amount of breastfeeding, whether you do it for two days or two years, is amazing. I hope all you mamas celebrate the great gift you have given your children.

Like everything else in childhood, our nurslings only stay in this stage so long. Remember that special time forever with a Skin2Skin portrait.

I’m celebrating by giving away a limited number of mini-sessions this week. Send me an email if you’re interested!


This is what they meant…

… when they said “that pregnancy glow”.

Although I make it my personal mission to make every mama-to-be look and feel their best during our shoot, some need very little help in that department. See more of this shoot on my FB page.

Hope you’re having a sunshiny Saturday, just like I am!

Snappy mamas!

Being a mom, for many women, myself included, usually means reaching out to other moms who will share the journey with us, moms whose kids are close in age to ours, moms who live nearby and moms who we generally get along with.

I was lucky enough to find that combination in a large number of moms through a Meetup group called Lakeshore Babies. All the moms seem down to earth, willing to share the load when it comes to playdates and primarily are focused on their little ones’ social development.

Sometimes they even take a break from being a mom and meet for a book club, which I wish I could attend but my live-in personal trainer (a.k.a. my husband) is working such long hours these days that I don’t get the chance.

Anyway, I offered to host a baby and photography workshop for the Lakeshore Babies moms because I really like them, and because photography is a passion that is best shared. I always feel I learn something when I share my knowledge with other people.

With some munchies and some homemade ice tea spread out and ready to go, the moms and I sat and chatted about photography. We went through a tip sheet on how to get the best family shots you can, and then we did some one-on-one coaching where I showed them how to use their individual cameras and learn to experiment with aperture using the aperture priority (A or AV) setting on their cameras. We talked about some photography basics like aperture and shutter speed and ISO in ways that they could move beyond the Automatic setting.

I was surprised to see how many moms had invested in DSLRs. The advent of digital photography has made it so that many, many people are walking around with DSLRs. What wasn’t surprising was that most were using the Automatic settings. I spent two semesters in college learning about photography, and even when I upgraded from an SLR to a DSLR there was a pretty steep learning curve.

At the end of the workshop, I think it’s pretty safe to say most of the moms felt a little more confident about their photo taking ability and keen to read (or re-read) the manuals of their cameras so they could put to use some of the advice they had garnered. I was so proud to see them all pleased with their new skills and holding their cameras confidently, instead of the tentative way they had held them when they arrived, unsure if they should take them out and use them.

Let’s face it, professional photography is an investment that is worthwhile and should be a part of every family’s memory album, but being able to snag those everyday snapshots right, that’s priceless.

I took these two of some of the little guys who were here. We had 7 boys and one girl.

Both these photos were taken at f/2 and a shutter speed of 1/640 s since they were in the same light.

Ben taking a break from the firetruck.

Gavin is cute and knows it!

This next one is not ideal as the eyes are not as sharp as I would like them, but it was taken while my own son was being a little terror and I hardly had time to focus. Still, I loved his expression and the colour in the shot, so I thought I’d share it anyway.

Weekend recharge

Using a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of his hands. This one was shot at f/8 1/50s

Like I mentioned in a previous post, my husband works hard. Really hard. He’s often gone before I get up in the morning and he’s lucky if he’s home before our son goes to bed at night. He even goes to work on Saturdays.

When we first started dating, the time he spent at work was a source of contention in our relationship. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just take a break. Getting him to take vacation was near impossible and back in those days he worked on Sundays too. He was a man who gave all that he had to his work. Once you get to know my husband though, you understand why.  He loves his job. As a personal trainer, he loves nothing more than to help people reach their goals and to get them to a place where they are more fit, mobile and strong than before. Even after he comes home, he’ll often talk about the various programs that he runs his clients through and talks about the challenges and successes he’s had with them. He just can’t get enough of it.

He’s also one of the most compassionate people I know, and people see that in him and are just as grateful for it as I am.

Although it’s been a long road to where we are now, I feel like I understand my husband better than ever. I’m doing something I truly love, and now it’s my turn to spend my evenings poring over my work, and nitpicking every finite detail. After years of working a job where I put in the hours and left the office at the office, I finally get it.

Thankfully I’m married to a man who encourages and nurtures what I do. He even tries to understand it, and I sometimes hear him use words like “f-stop” or “fill-lighting”.giving me the sense that not only is he paying attention, but he’s trying to be a part of my creative world too.

And sometimes between our hectic worklives we get to go out and enjoy ourselves like we did this weekend at the Salsa on St. Clair festival. Going out together with our son is not something we do often, but it was well worth the trip.

We indulged in one of our favourite activities (Salsa dancing) and even had a bit of decadent latino goodness (churros). By the end of our trip, our son was grooving to the music but my husband says that next year we’re going to drop the little one off with Grandma so we can really kick back and have fun.

Hanging on to my skirt.

Like anything else sometimes you gotta wait for the right shot.

mmmm.... churros!

I should be sleeping…

But instead I’m awake. My husband is in bed, my one-year-old is snoozing and here I am writing a blog post.

Do you know what’s really great? Summertime! It means barbecues, and sandboxes and water sprayed from garden hoses. It means getting together with friends just so you have a reason to hang out outside. It means patios, and family getaways and spending time with the ones who mean the most to you.

Excuse as my train of thought was interrupted. Apparently it also means that raccoons will come right up to your back porch, as I just had to go scare one off. I guess, putting the garbage can adjacent to the step, while convenient for me, was a little too convenient for the raccoons as well.

Anyway, summer is full of moments that make meaningful memories. So have your cameras ready! You never know when you’ll get the chance to nab photos like these.



Everything happens for a reason

Recently I’ve been running into some difficulty trying to get one of my sessions booked thanks to the weather. This was supposed to be an outdoor shoot, as was mama-to-be Paula’s preference. With the rain, and the cold days we’ve had in May, I couldn’t justify taking her and her daughter out into the nasty weather for photos.

Then, by some small miracle, this past Saturday’s forecast was sun all day. I couldn’t believe my luck! Although I had a booking in the afternoon, I decided to try to get this session done in the morning, and I’m so glad I did. You see, if I had done the session during the week, I wouldn’t have gotten her husband Chris in the photos, and I would have missed out on photos like this one.

Thankfully, Paula brought some spray-on sunscreen, because I’ve had some terrible streaky incidents with the ones you rub on (a post for another day). And she brought coffee, which puts her in the running to be my new BFF. We strolled and snapped stopping under beautiful weeping willows and down by the boardwalk on the waterfront. By some twist of fate, the boardwalk which I had chosen to take them to while I was out checking out the park earlier in the week, was right by the condo tower that Paula used to live in. Isn’t it nice when things just have a way of working themselves out?

Time after time

One of the best compliments a client can pay me is to return to their home a few months after their original shoot to do some more images of their little one.

When babies are this young, every parent wants to capture their precious moments on a regular basis. This shoot is a three-month-old girl, who I also captured as a newborn.

For more information on milestone moments, see my pricing page.  You can save by investing in a longterm package that will see you through your little one’s first year.