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About MDWRIGGS Photography

So many people ask me what the heck is an MDWRIGGS. So, I will give you a small breakdown so you can see how it came to be. Not that it matters, not that you are asking but I need SOMETHING to write in this section and so this is it. M is for Michelle :) Simple enough right? D is for my maiden name *unimportant really* WRIGGS is just a short nickname from my married last name. Those who know me will appreciate the shortened version because its a fun tricky last name to say and spell :) Thats it, there you have it.

Archive: ‘My own’

A $2 session is what it cost ME | Ottawa Valley Childrens Photographer

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

This is my boy.  The only boy who will still let me bribe him to take his picture.  Its true.  Sad but very true.  First I had to bribe him with $2.00.

The power of a toonie.

My heart melts when I look at him.  He is a small version of me.  I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

































































































Then my other son came home from school.  And although I couldn’t get him to go anywhere to take pictures, I decided to mother paparazzi  stalk him in the living room while he was watching SPORTS CENTRE.

It is what it is, lol


My Own Growing Boys | Ottawa Valley Childrens Photographer

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Sometimes I forget why I picked up a camera in the first place.  I’ve never regretted it, I just sometimes forget.  It started with the big brown dopey eyes of a Black Lab named Sarge.  Followed up with the big droopy eyes of an English Mastiff named Ruby.  They were quickly replaced by real babies, not that dogs aren’t real babies, they are.  I took SO many pictures when I had Justin, which turned into SO many pictures of Justin and Luke.

I use to take the most useless pictures.  Them sitting, them watching tv.  The zombie stares when they got tired, the milk running down their faces … the chocolate piled around their mouth … evidence that they got into something they were not suppose to.  Stuff toys, holding stuffed toys … playing with new cars.  Wrestling, cuddling, just staring out the window.  I photographed it all.  Then somewhere about three years ago … I found other things to photograph.  Other people in their moments.   The more sessions I took on, the more I put the camera away when I wasn’t out photographing for others.  The more missed photo opportunities on my own end.  I don’t resent it at ALL.  I just wish I remembered to pull out my camera more often when I’m just kicking around the house.

Today after school, I took my boys for haircuts.  Dragged them out to my favorite spot to get a few shots of them growing up.  Made me a little sad.  And also a little more aware that I need to remember to capture their moments.  Years down the road, all you have to show others is the photographs you have taken.  Proof that those times did exist.  I can share my memories of their childhood as they get older but nothing tells a story like a picture.

So today, I made some memories of that time when they were 8 and 5.





Adding one more to this set of pictures …

My dad with Justin and Luke.  He was the worst one to control.


Ottawa Valley Photographer | Critiques her own work!!!!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

So I had such a great response from my last post about getting serious and then posting my ‘beginner’ pictures that I decided to use my own work to point out more HORRIBLE mistakes that new photographers make.  Actually, its mistakes that ALL photographers probably make at some point in their journey but the key to success (or respected success anyways) is to make these kinds of mistakes without taking money from innocent clients and making these errors PRIOR to opening up shop as a PRO PHOTOGRAPHER.

So, lets go over some of my mistakes.

Lets begin, shall we?

Whats funny to me is 1) I was going for this look completely.  100% intentional.  Loved it too.  Thought I was the cats meow.  Not only are my children out of focus, they are plastic.

Porcelain like.


I never ever wish to see them this “fake” again in my life.  Ever.  Lesson was not learned. I thought this was FAB.  Until I put my work out there for “real” professionals and let them slap me upside the head a few times to prove to me that people don’t want plastic.  And neither should I.  My children are not made of porcelain. Period.  And so this phase was short lived.

Hello Flash.  Where have you been all my life.  This was taken the same day as the other one i posted in a previous blog post.  Remember? He was white as a ghost, had no pigment and looked white?  This was the day I got my new external flash. I had no clue what I was doing.  Which is fine!  This is exactly what I should be doing!  Practicing on my own children in my own home.  Honing those skills or lack thereof.

My biggest problem with this image, aside from the overexposed child and ridiculous shadows around his head ….. are the insane wrinkles in my backdrop!  I have seen this from professionals!  And I’m not completely innocent either at times.  I do have a huge canvas backdrop that you just can’t get rid of the wrinkles.  But thats why its got a marble look.  To somewhat eliminate the eye being drawn to them.  I do my best to edit them out but white wrinkles on a white sheet, with a white kid . . . eeeek.  I think I’m horrified by the shadows around his head.  Soft shadowing can be nice and even intentional but harsh shadows that have a definite line like this . . . eww.

Most new photographers and hobbiest just starting out in photoshop feel that they have HIT GOLD when they learn how to emphasis the eyes.  I’d like to tell you that I didn’t do this to my child, but I did.  I really did.  In the picture below you will see the image without the alien eyes and you will see its MUCH more natural and more like a human child. For the record, I only did this eye edit in photoshop right now to show.  As this was one of my very favorite “first nice pictures I’ve ever taken of Luke”

I can’t critique this one because its my Lukey and its perfect.  I’ve created a bit better background, there are no harsh shadows since I used natural light and he had just woken from a nap.

I think I used flash in this picture but tried to bounce it.  I’m only basing that on his eye catchlights.  My issue with this picture is his skin tone.  I remember the first time I looked at this picture after editing it and thinking he looks almost …. kind of …. well … without sounding really morbid, he looks dead.  Skin tone is something that ever photographer struggles with at some point.  I know I did.  A lot and for a long time.  Apparently in this image, I still hadn’t figured it out.  I can’t look anymore.  Lets move on.

Ok, I love this picture.  I forget some of the pictures I take sometimes until I throw the disk in and take a peek.  Other than the fact that I’ve broken rules that I hate, I can excuse myself because I wasn’t in business (although I wanted to feel like I was so I had a logo stamp. made me feel more official)  But really?  He looks like plastic AND check out those eyes!!!!!!  Almost alien.   Very alien.  At least he doesn’t look deceased.

As you can see I was experimenting with my logo and business name still.  My images were improving though so that was a plus but this image is completely out of focus and his skin tone is very cool.  Consistency is a big deal when you’re showing a gallery.  It really is.

I will say though, that this is one of my favorite pictures I took of Petawawa when I first moved here and I will not critique it because I think it rocks my socks.  With all thats going on with the Petawawa River, I hope that this view will never change.  It would be a sin.

Hope this was helpful. Its been fun for me to go back over some of my early work.


Ottawa Valley Portrait Photographer | Making Friends

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Today I decided that I like having a blog.  I’m a chatty girl and often times, my shyness gets the better of me.  I can be quiet, removed, blend into the background because I don’t want to put myself out there.  Anyways, I met a really nice girl today.  Her name is Angie Wren.   It wasn’t long before we were back at my place drooling over camera equipment together.  It was SO incredibly nice to have someone who shares the same passion for photography as I do!  And the best part is, she is local!!!!!!

So after a nice Timmy’s coffee we brought the party back to my place where I think I have convinced her that there are a few things in her camera bag that she just can not live without any longer.   She was already leaning towards the camera and lens so I can’t possibly take responsibility for that one, but I might or might not be responsible for a few other things that she may or may not decide she would like to have :s

Anyways, I’m very excited about meeting with Angie because Angie is a Wedding photographer who has graciously offered to let me shadow her for a few weddings.  Some of you may or may not know that the main thing holding me back from booking weddings, is MYSELF

I don’t fear my knowledge or equipment will let me down …. but I worry that I haven’t seen a photographer at a wedding, in action.  I need to see it a few times to see the way things run and THEN (and only THEN because if I jumped into it without doing this first, I would be cheating myself and my clients) I will be more willing to open up wedding dates.  So my new plan of action is to be with Angie a few times this year and THEN I can/will offer 2012 weddings.  I mean, if I find my groove with weddings earlier, I will certainly let you all know :)

So today was a great day.  I’ve met a new friend.  A new fellow photographer and a new person to drag with me to HENRYS!!!!!!!!!!! in Ottawa every couple of weeks.  Hmmm, maybe her and I could do a once a month daytrip to Henrys.  Imagine?  How fun would that be!!!!

Anyways, a picture to wrap up my post because a photographer really shouldn’t post any blog entry without an image to follow it up with ….

(digging around my desktop on my computer to see what I can muster)

Ottawa Valley Portrait Photographer | mushy

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I hate that my little boy is 8 today.  Somehow, he went from 33 week premature little peanut who weighed a shocking 5 lbs / 2 oz (I mean seriously, can you imagine him at full term?)  to a real little boy.  But then, somewhere in there, he surpassed the “real little boy” phase (somewhere around age 5-7) and suddenly I look at him and he’s …. growing up.  *sniff sniff*

From his sweet copper hair, to his big brown eyes.  His little chin dimple.  He’s not “mine” anymore.  Yes yes, he’s still my son but I always thought that he was MINE.  Like a possession.   Like a purse?  A coach purse?  lol . . . you know what I mean, right?  Somewhere in the past couple months I’ve realized he isn’t a possession.  He has his own mind, his own likes and dislikes and he’s become quite vocal at letting me know when HE doesn’t like or want something.  So, slowly my little boy has his own ‘self’ in there.  I always knew he did and I always knew that as he got older I would lose little pieces of him as he tried to discover himself.  I see it every day.

Usually I just think, “its ok, Luke is only 4, I still have a few years”.  But really, I don’t.  Luke will be 5 in only eleven days.  FIVE!  I will have a 5 yr old and an 8 yr old.

This is what people always talk about.  The baby itch when your youngest gets a LOT more self sufficient.


Anyways, my baby boy.  My little 5 lb, 33 week’er.  His own mind, his own thoughts, his own happiness and his own nastiness. . . all wrapped up into a little 58 lb body.

I heart him. them.

Picture taken this morning when I realized he was 8.  And almost as tall as me.

Ottawa Valley Family Photographer | F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The absolute best part of being a photographer?  Heck thats an EASY one.

How about when your almost eight year old asks if he can have a friend over on the weekend.  Usually this involves a boy or two coming over after a Saturday morning practice.  Hours spent downstairs playing mini hockey, air hockey and of COURSE a competitive game of Nerf Gun War (instigated and supervised by my husband, lol)

Well, last weekend Justin came home from school and asked me if he could have a friend over.  I looked at our weekend hockey schedule to see when would be best.  Sunday had an afternoon opening so I said, yes Justin, Sunday we could probably arrange that.

He turned to me and with a straight face asked me if it mattered if it was a girl or a boy.

Of course not.  Friends are friends.  He smiled, I smiled and then he said, “don’t you want to know who?”

Um what the heck do you think! I’m your MOTHER boy!  DISH DISH DISH!

Only I had to keep my cool and look uninterested because that is just the way my boy rolls.  Calm, cool and collected.  Thats me (totally not me if you know me then you’re laughing)

Lauren and Justin have been friends since they were 2.5 yrs old attending Kiddie Kollege with Miss. Nancy.  I big puffy heart Lauren.  She’s sweet and polite and just adorable.  Plus, I know her family and love them too.

So Sunday came and Justin had her over and they did all the things that friends do.  They played snakes and ladders, they played air hockey and then went outside and wrestled in the snow. It was perfect :)

……and the reason I love being a photographer is because I always have my camera and equipment within reach to get shots of these times.  Times that in the blink of an eye will be a distant memory.

and more from their afternoon of fun :)

I love these :)


Ottawa Valley Photographer ~ Welcomes a new pooch!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

OMG I love my new puppy.  I just can’t squeeze and squish her enough!  We were lucky enough to have the pick of the litter and it really is so sweet because she totally picked us.  We went to the breeders house, played with all the new puppys when they were 5 weeks old and this little peanut sat at my feet.  Then I scooped her up and she fell asleep in my arms while all her little siblings climbed at each other to get on my lap.  I named her Molly that day.  *Although had changed it a few times in the weeks that followed*

What I loved most about the little puppies, was that they would all climb on each other and then fall asleep in a pile.  Anyways, we picked Molly.

In the days that followed I had a whole list of names for her, all of which were X’d by Pete, my wonderful husband.  I had Molly named Juno (my first choice, nicknames: Juney, June bug) and also Zena.  Everyone in my family crushed my suggestions and we went back to Molly. Our sweet, calm, gentle, quiet little Molly.

We got Molly home on Saturday of last week at the young age of 8 weeks old.  Within minutes I had to question if we had the right pup? She was spunky, feisty, devilish, nippy and spastic ???

I thought there was a mistake but when I looked at her collar, it said Molly.  Apparently I had the right dog.

Anyways, we love Molly.  She’s just the right kind of spunk we needed around here :)

And like everyone else in my house, you have to have an official self portrait (new rule)

Thank you for making 2010 a GREAT year | Ottawa Valley Portrait Photographer

Friday, December 31st, 2010

It is that time of year again where I can sit and look back over the 365 days that came before today.  Last January I was beginning my second year in business and I was nervous about how I was going to implement the changes that I knew needed to be changed after my first year in business.  They were minor changes really but the business end of being a photographer is completely trial and error for me.  Perhaps not so much now as I have some amazing support and a huge network of talented photographers at my fingertips.  None of what I have accomplished would be possible without each and every one of them, and they know who they are.

As a photographer, I feel like I have changed this year.  I’ve changed in my ‘comfort zone’.  My comfort zone use to to be so limiting and now it is not.  I love NOTHING more than a beautiful orange sky and a setting sun.  Where I use to run to find the shade, I now run looking for a gorgeous backlit shot.  I’ve also noticed that this year my editing style has changed a little bit.  Not in a bad way.  I’m more willing and excited to try new things and a new fresh look to my portraits.  I had a very hard time with this at first because I felt like people came to me for the vibrant portraits and when I started to notice a softness to some of my editing, I worried that people wouldn’t like it or would be disappointed.  When in reality, quite the opposite happened.  My clients loved the variety in their galleries.

As I look towards my third year in business I can only hope I am as blessed in 2011 as I have been in 2010.

I know I have received many requests for weddings and I just want to let you know that I am listening.  I will open wedding dates by the end of 2011.  (Missy Hertlein, please remind me of this by July)  haha

The biggest blessing of the past year with regard to my business, is ALL the wonderful people I have met.  I can honestly say that working with each and every one of you has been my absolute pleasure.  I know a few posts ago I had written how nervous I am at a session because of my shyness but every client I have met has helped me.  Their smiles, the way they interact with each other.  Very inspirational as a photographer and when you see the love between a family, a mother and her son, a father and his daughter (you see where I’m going, right?) all you want to do is capture it perfectly.

Cheers to all my awesome clients.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

I look forward to 2011 and doing it all over again :P


PS: I will be posting in the next day or two, my January/February and March special offers so keep an eye here or on my website news section

And one final image to post of 2010 and I’m making it of my oldest boy because he doesn’t get his pictures taken a lot because 1) he never wants to and 2) he’s usually in school or at hockey so he’s not often around when we’re kicking around the house.

OH and Happy New Year to my own family :) Justin, Luke, Pete and Layla

THE BIGGER THE BETTER…..wanna see what I mean?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

This lovely photographer has taken the time to create this post to show you just how big or small a picture can look.

I often have people tell me that they want to get a big picture for their wall and in the ordering process it comes to be that by “big” they mean an 8×10.

PLEASE PLEASE take the time to read this blog post …. it will give you some perspective.

I strongly believe that 8×10 and smaller make perfect DESK PRINTS.  But for a wall?  It will be swallowed up :(

Read ahead :)


OH!  And in keeping with my new blog…..bigger is better….here is a picture because a photographer really shouldn’t post a blog post without a picture.

Just one of my own :)


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