Mom swinging toddler

What childhood feels like | Hatley Castle and Esquimalt Lagoon Photos


Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.

Kailash Satyarthi

I recently took a course and the instructor said that she wasn’t focused on what childhood ‘looks’ like, she was interested in what it ‘feels’ like and how to photograph that. That concept immediately stood out to me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. How can I make images that FEEL like childhood. That is more interesting to me than a pretty photo of a child that the parents and I had to bribe to get.

Enter Ayden. He is the first child to step in front of my camera since this idea took hold. We did a mix of more traditional portraits, and documentary photos of Ayden just being Ayden. The traditional portraits are nice, but the set below is what I’m more interested in. Will I ever fully be able to capture childhood the way I want? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try…

What does childhood feel like to an 18 month old?

toddler getting his shoes put on

Childhood is having to grab your mom’s hair when she puts shoes onto you.

Toddler on scooter with mom pointing

To be so cool in your shades!

Family on Scooter in front of Hatley Castle

This photo is a recreation of a photo from their engagement session (see that here)

Family on Scooter

Dad in his picture CRACKS ME UP!!

Toddler and dad walking with scooter in the background

I love this picture. Childhood is having a strong hand to guide you as you find your way.

Cool toddler with shades on

Seriously, this kid is so cute.

Laughing toddler

Childhood is belly laughs.

Family laughing with teddy bears

Family portrait with teddy bears

Toddler swinging between parents

Childhood is swinging so high!

Toddler laughing holding his parent's hands

and walking so strong.

Dad throwing toddler in the air.

Childhood is learning to fly.

Toddler smiling at dad.

And trusting that dad will catch you.

Toddler being thrown in the air by dad


This has nothing to do with childhood but this peacock wanted to be part of the shoot, so I let it.

Toddler looking through gap in fence

Childhood is cautiously peaking around corners.

Mom and dad smooshing and kissing toddler

And being smooshed with love.

Portrait of a toddler

I love this portrait. No making a fool of myself to get this photo. He just looked at me and smiled. Simple and I think, very Ayden.

Toddler being hung upside down by mom

Childhood is loving the blood rushing to your head.

Toddler being swung upside down.

And hoping that you will be let down.

Mom and toddler looking at plant.

Childhood is exploring with mom.

Mom and toddler playing hide and go seek with photographer

And playing hide n go seek. I see you!

Family dancing in the aprk.

Childhood is feeling the need to dance.

Toddler with teddy bear

And loving your bear.

Toddler laughing

And finding everything funny.

Dad taking away berries from toddler

And learning that not everything should go in your mouth.

Mom swinging toddler


Toddler riding on mom's shoulders

Childhood is seeing the world from different vantage points.

Toddler drooling

This is my favourite photo of the session. Childhood is not being afraid of a little drool.

Toddler biting toy saw

Childhood is tasting your toys.

Mom taking off boy's yellow rubber boots

And needing help with boots. I love all the yellow.

Toddler looking at ocean

I couldn’t decide if this one should be in colour…

Toddler looking at ocean in black and white

or black and white. Let me know which you prefer in the comments below.

Size difference between dad and toddler

Childhood is thinking your parents are giants.

Sandy Feet

And having dirty feet.

Mom tickling toddler

Tickle time.


And thus ends my first foray into what childhood feels like. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want photos like this of your kids, shoot me an email and let’s make it happen.


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