Move over Paint Night – Portrait photographer in cambridge


Move over paint night – there’s a new kid in town!

So what exactly is a “portrait party”?

It’s a super fun and fabulous new way to host a girls night out (or in).

It’s an opportunity to put on your big girl panties and DITCH THAT SELFIE!

It’s a way to bring your girlfriends together for a hilarious evening of wine, nibbles and self love.

It’s a means to put your best face forward in this age of social media where we are flooded with imagery

It’s a chance to have a beautiful professional portrait to use for personal branding, network marketing, corporate head shots or simply for use on your social media platforms.

It’s a great way to increase your self esteem.

It’s entertainment to see how your friend’s images change after a few glasses of vino.

But most of all.  It’s an a$$ kickin’ good time;)

Parties may be hosted either in the Hulahoop Studio or in your own home (travel fees will apply).

email for details on how to book.


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Lauren - What would something like this typically cost?

hulahoop - I have sent you a message, Lauren

Sandra Avery - Hi, I am going to be planning a ladies event later this year for my neighbourhood. One of my neighbours suggested a portrait party. Can you tell me approximately how the pricing works for this type of an event?

hulahoop - Hi Sandra – I will email you with the information :)

Lack of Light – Toronto Lifestyle photographer

About an hour before this in home photography session was about to start I received a message from my client.

“It’s pretty dark in the house today.  I just don’t want you to drive all the way out here if there’s not enough light”.

The truth is – it’s been a very dreary winter here in Southern Ontario.  I can’t recall the last time I saw the sunshine, but it’s been weeks and weeks.  It’s true that most often I do my in home portrait sessions in homes that are filled with light, but with these nagging grey skies even the brightest homes can be lacking in light.

I’ve had to get creative with my photography and how I use the available light to photograph my subjects and to be honest.  I’m kind of in love with the results and the dramatic light.

So instead of rescheduling my January Year in the life session for a brighter day I decided to embrace the dark.  Use it to create the moody imagery that I’ve been so drawn to for so long.     Not every house is abundant with light.  Not every home’s decor is awash with light colours and a pallet where the light bounces off of every surface…..and that’s okay!

In this blog post I’ve included a pull back to show the room that we were working in.  For this session we used a very small space by the window.  The entire series of photographs was done in this space, which was about 15 square feet.

This kind of portraiture is wonderful for children that have small children who create their own sense of spontaneity.   On that note – just a reminder that February is only a week away and for the month of February I am waiving the $250 session fee  for in home portrait sessions.    If you’re interested in having beautiful portraits like these of your own children then it’s a great time to take advantage.

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Why you’re going to LOVE February – Family Photographer in Cambridge


For me there’s truly nothing better than walking into a space and instantly feeling inspired.   When speaking with clients about their family portrait sessions the subject of location is often one of the first to come up.

I have always loved the idea of taking photographs in a client’s home.  Somewhere that truly means something to them.  I love finding little nuggets of goodness in your family’s favourite place.  Maybe it’s your daughter’s ballerina themed bedroom, or your master bathroom with soaring windows and oodles of light.  Perhaps the best place for photographs is in your rustic kitchen where the light plays and dances just so and gives us moody images with rich tones.  The thing is – it can be unconventional and it can be exciting.

Maybe you have an eye for design?  Moved into a new home that you’ve just built or renovated and you’d like to capture an image of your child or family in a place that has been the focus of your blood sweat and tears for the last year.

We could give the dog a bath, give the baby a bath in your kitchen sink, have a pillow fight in the bedroom, photograph the children while they are napping.  So many opportunities abound in that place that you call home.

And now for the MOST exciting part – I will be offering these sessions with NO sessions fees for the month of February**.  Whether we photograph the family or just the children these in home photography sessions can be some of my all time favourite.  So let’s get together and play:) is where you can find me.


**fees for prints and digital files still apply.  Travel fee may apply for sessions outside of the Tri-Cities area.


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Dijana Bogicevic - Would love to participate!

hulahoop - Hi Dijana – feel free to send me an email at and we can talk.

The one that got away – Cambridge Photographer


I received an email this week from my husband’s cousin.  It was like so many I have received before.

“Hey – I just saw this come up on my Facebook feed on a mommy group I’m part of.  I thought this was your picture.  I thought this was Oliver”.

And it was.

I felt like I needed to write this blog post to bring some awareness to image theft and just how far reaching this issue can become.

Not so long ago I had one of my images used without my permission.  An image of my son, shirtless – his 4 year old self on a river bank.

Someone took it upon themselves to take this image and overlay a quote onto it.  This was done without my permission.   Once this quote was added the image went viral.  I started receiving messages from friends and followers saying that they’d seen the image appearing on friends Facebook pages.  I even received an email request from a man in the US who wanted to purchase a copy of the print from me.

I did reach out to the person who added the quote.  I expressed my concern and told her at the time that what she is doing is wrong.  Adding inspirational quotes to images that are not hers.  No credit at all to the photographer.  No permission asked.  I advised her that she needed to beware of what she was doing.  I asked her to remove the image – but it was too late.  I had no idea the damage that was to be done.

Today when I do a google search on the image the result is astounding.

25, 270,000,000 results


My son who is now 9.  Who does not like to have his photograph taken and will only allow me to post on Facebook with his permission.  My son who was losing sleep about his school field trip to the park with his class because they were going to have to walk past my studio where the very same portrait is hanging in the window.  Embarrassed that his friends would see it.

How do I break this news to him.  I feel like I have betrayed him.

When I review the google results for this image it’s appearing on Mommy blog sites, boys schools, african adoption sites, children’s clothing sites among others.  Of course I reach out when I can but the truth is that this image has absolutely gotten away from me now and there’s no telling where it could be.

Let’s not also forget the monetary aspect of this image.  Because it’s so far reaching there’s no way for me to know if anyone is making money off of this image of mine.  Is it being sold as a poster?  Published in a book?  Could I have been sitting on a gold mine that has been pulled out from underneath me?  I guess now I will never know.  It’s been altered and shared and essentially is no longer mine.

Please.   Image theft is real.   Think about this when you share a quote – think about taking a photograph to use on your website.  There is a photographer out there behind that image.   And in this case , also a little boy.  That is him.  My boy.  And every time I see this image come up it truly breaks my heart.

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Anita Opper - I found that beautiful photograph on a large Facebook page when I first started writing Zen to Zany. I asked that page if I could share the photo. They said it was fine and there was no name or copyright on the photo when I shared it from that page.
I was notified shortly after that it belonged to a photographer and immediately removed it from my files. Unfortunately it had been shared by other people and it was then out of my control.
I am also a writer and an artist and I have seen thousands of my images and paintings on other pages not only without the Zen to Zany name but with my own signature as the Artist removed and other people putting their names on my work. If you google Zen to Zany there are images on thousands of pages, blogs, websites, tumbler, flickr…. so many I cannot even count them. I know the dangers and the chances we take when one of our images is posted anywhere. Once posted they are out of our control. I have had many correspondences with other Facebook pages which used hundreds of my images without sharing them or acknowledging them as mine. It was sickening. I am sorry I used that photo and I was contacted 2 years ago about it. As I said I removed it from my files and have never used it again.
There is an inherent problem on the internet with images and almost impossible to track down who first obtained what image and how. I know I cannot possibly trace my own work…but I know how it feels to have your work stolen.
Once again, I can only apologize and hope that you understand what happened with that photo. I used it ONCE on my page and that was it…it was then removed and there was no name on the photo when I used it. I was new to Facebook and ignorant of what I could use and could not use and was given express permission from the page where I first found it. It was not done intentionally to hurt, to steal or to infringe on your rights. I am sorry it upset you but I do know exactly how you feel.
Anita Opper
Zen to Zany

hulahoop - Anita. Thank you for your response. I do believe in the digital age we are in people see something on the internet and think it’s just theirs for the taking. So the prints that you are selling on your page. Do you own the rights to all of those images? I do believe that there was the watermark on the image when it was shared.

Cheek and Charm – Children’s photographer in Cambridge

One of my favourite foursomes was in the studio last week for their annual Christmas pictures.

The Love boys came and took over my space for an hour on Friday afternoon.  It was like a little tornado full of cheek and charm!  These boys are all go and ALL personality.

Leo the lover, Luca the ladies man, Milo the monkey and Finn the firecracker.

Their Mama, who also happens to be my best friend in the whole world, is going to have her hands seriously full(er) when these boys are in high school.  Look out world when the Love boys are on the loose.  I can only imagine the trouble this 4 pack is going to get up to in their teenage years.  LOL.

I love you, Carla.  You are the best Mama ever and these boys are lucky to have you – who wouldn’t be.  I count myself lucky to be one of the people closest to you.  Muah!


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