Introducing Your Cambridge Children’s Photographer…

“ME”

I am a Mother of three.

I love my children, my husband, my wiener dogs and my Canon.

I find the smell of wet sand nostalgic, I don’t drink enough water and I occasionally enjoy a good big mac.

I love life – and I love seeing life through my lens.

 

Nicola Toon is an award winning photographer based in Cambridge Ontario.  Nicola services the Kitchener / Waterloo area and beyond with her lifestyle photography, family photography and newborn portraiture.  

Nicola has gained international attention for her lifestyle and family imagery.  Her work has been featured in Professional Photographer magazine, The Fort Magazine and Chic Magazine

For as long as I can remember I have felt more complete with a camera in my hand.  Even at a young age I remember always trying to get “the shot”.  The one that would be worthy of my little desktop frame.  Today my little desktop frame has been replaced with a more grandeur version of it’s former self.  My home is adorned with art.  My art.  Our art.  The art that my family has created in our memories.  My little frame has graduated to wall displays, canvases and photo books.  Each the perfect package for the moments in time that they preserve.

As your photographer it is my job to capture YOUR new moments that you are creating with your family.  To take those moments and turn them into art.  Your art.  To get all of those incredible memories off of your computer and into their rightful spot – into your grown up version of your own little desktop frame – to be presented to the world and loved and enjoyed as they should be.

Contact me at info@hulahoopphotography.com to book your own photo session and create your own family heirlooms.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,

Nicola


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Laurie - My cell is 2892597309 and I am interested in getting pictures takes of my materiny I am currently 26 weeks pregnant. Please contact me. Thanks!!

ella - HI I WOULD LIKE TO COLLABORATE ON A MATERNITY SHOOT WITH YOU. PLEASE EMAIL ME IF INTERESTED SO I CAN GIVE YOU MORE DETAILS. THANKS

Jen - Hello,
The email above wouldn’t work so I’m post if here! Sorry!

I am searching for a photographer who travels to Sauble Beach that would be able to take some family photographers as a present to my mother in law for her 60th birthday.

It would be 7 adults (3 couples and my mother in law) and 3 children (ages 1, 1.5 and 4 years old – all walking)

Just wondering if I could get an idea of pricing and if you’re available any time between the 20th and the 24th

Thank you so much for your time! Your images are breathtaking :)

Jen

Sent from my iPhone

A year in their life. Month Two. – Ontario Lifestyle Photographer

I have had SO much great feedback about my “Year in the Life” series.

This project is really very personal for me.  It’s something that I have wanted to do for a long while and I’m so happy that it’s finally come to fruition.  I have had clients, fellow business owners, friends and virtual strangers approach me and say how much they love the idea of photographing a family for a year.  No frills, no fuss – just those everyday moments that we all too soon forget, and find ourselves pining for once they are gone.

During our first month together I spent a little bit of time getting to know Brigitte and Dimitrije (Dimi).  This month I met the rest of the crew.  Brydie who is the most amazing helper / big sister.   I *might* have wanted to steal her away to my own house – I could use a little Brydie in my life;) and Nikola (yep – pronounced just like mine).

Nik came home to a house that smelled of home made lasagna and also a photographer that he had never met.  He was a great sport about it though and they carried on while I tried to be as invisible as possible….

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Proud Mary – A mother’s day post for World Ovarian Cancer Day

Two weeks ago I got the chance to meet Mary and her amazing family.

Mary and her family came to see me in the studio for a very emotional family portrait session.  I received the following email request from her daughter just a week before…..

“My mother was just diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. I’d like to get some pre treatment pictures of her with the people who love her the most to help motivate her and remind her of how much she is loved in the coming days.”

This year World Ovarian Cancer Day and Mother’s  Day share May 8th on the calendar – and unfortunately there are far, FAR too many of us out there who’ve had to share our Mother’s with this b*tch called cancer.

Mary’s daughter told me that Mary wanted to help create some awareness about ovarian cancer.  She herself had virtually no symptoms at all and was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

Here are a few facts about Ovarian Cancer

- All women are at risk for ovarian cancer

- Ovarian cancer is often times diagnosed at a late stage of progression

- Pap tests will NOT detect ovarian cancer

- symptoms include, abdominal bloating, difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, abdominal or pelvic pain

- Early detection of this disease can save your life

 

Today I wanted to share the images from this beautiful family session.     In honour of Mary  - a mother, a grandmother and now a fighter.

I wish you luck on your upcoming treatments, Mary.  You have eight people who are rooting for you – and I am too

Love,

Nicola

xoxoxox

 

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Shirley Otterman - My amazing cousin, Mary! Thanks for these pictures.

A year in their life – Ontario Lifestyle photographer

I recently took on a project that is very personal to me.   I have always been drawn to photojournalistic style photography and would love to be able to bring that style of photography to my clients.  There is nothing quite like photographing a family in their home, documentary style.  The problem is that it’s hard to convince clients to invest in the mundane moments.  The hum drum routine of every day life can feel very unglamorous indeed and at times absolutely exhausting.  BUT, but – I can guarantee that in 20 years from now it will be those insignificant moments that you will yearn for.   The chaos, the mess, the noise the absolute devotion and adoration from your little ones because this – this will not last forever.   Sure – the non stop questions and requests for just “one more hug” at bed time can be annoying – especially when you want to just head downstairs and grab a chunk of the couch for some peace and quiet, finally.  But in time the questions will become less, the hugs too.  And you will find yourself making excuses to be allowed into their room at night – or maybe sneak in to steal a snuggle and kiss once they are asleep and can’t protest.

I offered to photograph a family for a year.  Once a month for a year I will go into their home and photograph them.  No fancy outfits, no forced smiles, no clean and pristine homes.  Real life.   Real you.  Real emotion.

I had over 50 responses to my call out for a family.  I loved reading everyone’s stories and it was so very hard to pick the family that I would work with.  In the end I feel like I picked the perfect match for me and what I was looking for, which was ultimately someone who would let me feed my creative need and had a home with pockets of perfectly delicious light.

I would like you to meet my family -

Brigitte, Nik, Brydie and Dimi (plus one on the way)

I so look forward to photographing this family over the next year and hopefully I will even be present during their home birth in July.

Our first meeting was so lovely and low key.  We had some tea.  Nik was at work and Brydie was at a play date so it was just Dimi, Brigitte and myself.  I will let you take a look and see how our visit unfolded for yourself…..

Presenting the story of Brigitte, Nik, Brydie & Dimi (plus one) from April 2016 – April 2017.

Month one…..

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Diane Koehn - That seriously had me welling up with tears and I don’t even know these people. I think your mission and rationale is awesome. This will truly preserve the little details of everyday life we will yearn to have back some day when we actually have time to sit down to drink tea. Coupled with gorgeous photography, this project is already well in the road to amazing.

hulahoop - Thank you so much, Diane. I am really, really looking forward to seeing this project through with this family. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and I do hope you will follow us as we go :)

Kim Patry - Why did his make me cry? You captured something that I already know. Something to see through another’s perspective put together so beautifully. It took me back to being that baby. Not just a Mother who has to clean up the milk. This will be so wonderful to watch this year. Thank you for your art. And thank you to his lovely family.

Let’s get Real – Lifestyle Photography in Ontario

I am looking for a family to help me fulfill a need, to provide me with a personal challenge and commit to taking a year long photographic journey with me.

In my house I have an album.  It is full to the brim with the stuff of our lives.  The tantrums, the fevers, the mess, the chaos, groceries, laundry, pillow forts, movie nights, arcade games, sickness and health, laughter and tears.

This album is cherished.  My children PORE over every detail.  They love to see the documentation of their little lives.  Their REAL lives.  The unedited, unabridged version of what a typical day in our household looks like.

I now want to take this to the next level.  I want to provide one family with a similar experience.  I want to challenge myself to see another family in the same bare bones way that I see my own.  I want to be a fly on the wall for a year of your lives.  To give your children the gift that my children love so very much.  To have a piece of their childhood immortalized.

I ask that you give me the gift of your family and your home in it’s purest form and in return I will gift you a year.

This is a very personal project for me.  It’s something I have thought about doing for quite some time.  For that reason I need to find the perfect family to take this on with me so here goes.

You are:  Eclectic.  Easy going.  An artist.  You prefer to go barefoot.  Your bed is unmade.  You are at home during the day. You have a child.  You have two children, or three, or four.  You are a single mom.  You are married.  You have tattoos.  You have a dog named “Steven”, or “Linda”, or “Mark”.  You listen to folk music.  Your house isn’t perfect.  You have a GREAT sense of humour.  You knit.  You sew.  You sing out loud.  You have a garden.  You love to dance.  You aren’t afraid to cry.  You don’t take life to seriously.  You love deeply.  You don’t care what others think.   You are unconventional.  You can open yourself up to me.   You love yourself.  Your children dress themselves.  You live on a farm, in a church, in a century home.  This board speaks to you – could be you.  You love nature.  Your husband is kind.  You have a partner and she is kind.

If this sounds like you I want to hear from you.  I want you to take a year long photographic journey with me.  I will photograph your family in your home once a month for a year.  It could be for five minutes, it could be for an hour.  If your child is home sick I want you to call me.  Let me capture you nursing him back to health.  I want to photograph the raw and real moments of your life.

If you’re interested in taking this journey with me please email me at info@hulahoopphotography.com and tell me a bit about yourself.  Include photos of yourself, your family, your home.  I want to know the story of you.   I can’t wait to take this on with someone.

Could it be you?

Below are some of the images that I have captured for my own family.  Most taken in the span of a few minutes.  It doesn’t have to take long.  It just has be to real.

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Gillian - I think this is an incredible gift you are giving to a family. How we all wish we had either the talent to capture these moments, or the ability to sit on the outside and see into our family lives, we often don’t have the time or energy left to do so. Although I don’t have tattoos, or a dog :) after seeing your post today, I will be making a conserted effort to really focus on the everyday moments and capture them as much as possible! Thank you for reminding me (and probably more people too!) to slow down and cherish the normalcy of life.

sarah flatt - We are interested in your lifestyle photography challenge!

Cake Smash sessions (why I don’t do them) – Baby Photographer in Cambridge

I decided some time ago the type of photographer that I would like to be.

Over the past 6 year of my photography career I have dabbled as most of us do.  Trying to find my groove and what makes me tick.  Through it all there were three main types of sessions that I decided I did not want to add to my  portfolio offering.

Weddings

Posed newborn Photography

and

Cake Smash sessions

Don’t get me wrong.  I love weddings, I love some of those curly newborn images and I most certainly LOVE cake, but I just found that none of those types of sessions really felt right to me and they certainly didn’t reflect my style.

I get many, many enquiries about weddings, posed newborns and cake smash and while I *could* do those things I really try to stick to my guns and stay true to what I love and feel good about photographing.

So the answer is  - No.  I don’t do cake smash and here’s why.   Personally I find the whole concept of cake smash a little too trendy for my liking.  I’m not in love with the idea of dressing up a baby in a tutu and putting her in front of a brightly coloured cake and letting her become covered in it.  I’d much rather provide you with soft and natural images of your beautiful baby as they are.

Their adorable baby rolls, the soft fluff of their fine hair, the first poke of their new teeth.  I might use a knitted or a paper hat, maybe a single balloon.  But ultimately I want to provide you with something neutral, classic and timeless.  Something that will have a place on your wall for years to come.  Something that you will look at in ten years and feel like if you had the chance you would do it all over again.

So while I don’t do cake smash sessions.  I’d love to celebrate your baby with you and do their first year photographs In the best way I know how.  Simply.

 

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Joy - We do both in our 1 year session. We always do the pre-pictures and then the cake smash. I love the cake smash part just as much as the pre-cake smash photos.

hulahoop - That’s certainly a great way to do it :) Like I said. They are cute – just not for me :)

Sarah - Love this blog post. I agree with you 100%. I feel when people/parents, add so much extra stuff, you lose focus on the natural beauty of the child. Your simply and pure style is, in my opinion, the best way to hold on to the moment of your children being little.

Jane - Well fun with cake doesn’t equal bright colours an tutus. Just a a nice, earthy coloured cake and you get something in your style. Would you refuse to someone who had few sessions with you?