Frequently Asked Questions

What is storytelling or documentary-style photography?

Storytelling photography is a powerful thing – the goal for me is to document people in their favourite places and provide a glimpse of real life. Every aspect of life is extraordinarily beautiful (yes, even the boring stuff, and day-to-day routines). As a documentary-style photographer (also known as a visual storyteller or family photojournalist), I do very little posing or directing people. That means my sessions are quite unique compared to traditional portrait sessions because they are relaxed and tons of fun. My approach is to get to know a bit about the people I am photographing first and then watch and record the interactions and magical moments as they unfold.

What is the cost for custom photography?

It is important to have streamlined options that make it easy to book a the ideal session for your needs and then have user-friendly access to the polished final images. My photography rates are based on all-inclusive Collections; pricing starts at $350. Clients can upgrade their Collection according to their own budget and photography needs. More information is outlined on the Sessions page, or send me a note for full details. Please contact for complete Wedding Photography rates.

What types of services do you offer?

Gem Photography is available for family sessions, newborn in-home sessions, couple sessions and small celebrations (eg. birthday parties). Gemma also lends the same creative approach to complete wedding coverage and special events. If you have a special project in mind, do not hesitate to contact me for photography services.

Are digital files included in the Collections?

Yes! Each Collection features the complete set of low-resolution digital files (available by direct download in your custom online gallery). These are perfect for sharing online (posting to social media and email). A specified number of high-resolution digital files is also included in each Collection, allowing you to make an unlimited number of enlargements at your convenience from a recommended list of print labs. You have the option of pre-purchasing the full gallery of high-resolution digital image files or upgrading once your gallery is delivered.

We would like to include the grandparents and extended family in our session – is that possible?

Yes! Aunts, uncles, cousins and friends are all part of your story. All Collections are based on immediate family, but you can easily add on my extended family fee.

What should I wear?

This can certainly become the most stressful aspect of your photo session – but rest assured, I want you to look your best for the shoot too and it is always best to keep your outfits simple and wear clothes that make you feel happy and comfortable! You are also offered clothing advice during our pre-consultation to help prepare for the session.

 Where do the sessions take place?

Sessions take place on location and primarily utilize natural light. I urge my clients to be photographed in and around their home, where I can best capture your story, or at another favourite place you like to visit. Being in a familiar environment helps everyone relax and creates much more meaningful images!

*Travel is included for sessions held within 75 km of Burnstown, Ontario. Please ask about travel fees.

What else can I expect during my shoot?

Be prepared to share some laughs and enjoy the entire experience! You can expect you session to be unhurried and focused on delivering the types of images discussed during the pre-consultation process. My goal is always to provide fully-customized, friendly, professional service and produce a complete series of meaningful high-quality images which you can treasure for a lifetime.

What does it mean to post-process my images?

Post-processing is a fancy word for digital editing. After the session, I sort through the entire set of images and carefully select the very best to be polished before presenting them in your final gallery. Each photo is retouched using slight, tasteful enhancements with professional-grade editing software. Basic adjustments are made such as colour correction, contrast or saturation, as needed.

When can I see my finished photos?

You will be e-mailed a link to a password-protected online viewing gallery with the final image proofs within 4-6 weeks after your session. You are welcome to share this unique link with family and friends. You will also have an opportunity to easily order the highest-quality mounted prints and specialty products from my professional photo finishing lab. For your convenience, digital files can be instantly downloaded from the proofing software to your home computer.

Can I have some photos converted to black and white?

When I begin the editing process, I assess each photo closely to determine what type of photo finishing treatment best suits the image. I adore rich colours that grab my eye; however, from an artistic perspective, sometimes stripping away the colour produces a much stronger photograph. Therefore, my clients’ typically will see the majority of images in colour, with a selection of striking black and white image proofs in their final gallery.

How many photos can I expect in my gallery?

I tend to be generous with each session because I want you to have the whole story that I have carefully shot and edited for you. To give you a better idea, each family session produces a minimum of 50 polished images.

 Do you have any special photography training?

My formal background and training is in Journalism. Storytelling is in my blood and translates well in my photographic work. I am primarily a self-taught photographer and have taken many photography workshops and courses to train my eye and use advanced settings on my camera. I instruct comprehensive beginner- to advanced-level photography courses thorough Clicks Gone Wild. You can also find me as a contributor at Sham of the Perfect, a collective of storytelling photographers from around the world dedicated to sharing glimpses of our lives and homes as they actually are; full of flaws and beauty simultaneously.

What kind of camera do you use?

I own all professional-grade Canon equipment. My main body is a 5D MarkIII and I pair it with a selection of prime and L-series lenses.

I want to book a session with you.  What should I do first?

Woohoo! I’m beyond thrilled that you have connected with my work and wish to have your family’s story documented. I’ve made it easy to get in touch by clicking on any of the buttons or links labelled CONTACT found on this site.  You will just need to fill out the information requested to send me a booking inquiry.  We will then discuss suitable dates and begin planning your photo session!!