My Journey vs My Job

Last year, I wrote a blog called “My journey to the bump” and shared our story about the issues I have been going through to try and have a baby.

Fast forward to this year, the update is we are still trying. It turns out I didn’t need surgery on my uterus as everything was completely normal after my MRI. We are starting fertility medication in April in hopes to make baby Peake a reality.

I’ve had so many people ask me lately if it bothers me to photograph newborns. My answer is no. I love my job, I love working with expecting parents and new parents.  I’ve always photographed newborns but the last year I have really put my all into learning everything I can about photographing newborns, the safety, posing, wrapping, everything.

This last year, I have shifted my focus in my photography. My passion is photography Maternity, Newborn, Children, and Family Portraits. I stepped back on photographing weddings. I feel I have grown so much in my job this past 2 years.

You know, when you go through situations in life that help you see “clearly”. I went through 2 terrible losses in 2017 within 32 days of each other, I lost my stepdad and my Nan. It made me realize just how short life can be and how happy I am that I took photos all the time of my family because now, that is all I have of them.

That was the year I decided to put my everything into my business and switched into a full time photographer and started a in-home studio. It was the best decision of my life. I have been taking online courses in Newborn Photography, Studio Photography, Toddler & Sitter Sessions etc.  The best part of it all is all the baby snuggles.

Since sharing my story, I have met some new friends that shared their journey with me. It gives me hope and encouragement. By me sharing my story, I hope to bring encouragement to others!

Below is some samples of when I first started Newborn Photography.

Below is recent Newborn Photography I have done. I have grown and can’t wait to keep learning.

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SURPRISE wedding!

We often comment our information on posts on Facebook from brides looking for wedding photographers.  I saw Krista’s post looking for wedding photographers and was super excited she chose to contact us.

Krista wanted two photographers for their super duper small wedding. She said the best part is that it is a surprise wedding! I was so excited. We chatted back & forth before they officially booked us for September 29th.

They were getting married at Vines Pasta & Grill in Dartmouth, everyone invited thought it was an engagement celebration.  We started the day by meeting Krista, Eric and her two kids for their formal photos at Fisherman’s Cove.

I personally love Fisherman’s Cove, it is a perfect spot for photos. It is right on the water, with colourful buildings along a boardwalk and fishing boats.

We captured some amazing shots before heading off to Vines Pasta & Grill to get ready for the guests to arrive. The room was beautifully decorated and ready for the small, intimate surprise wedding.

As the guests arrived, we captured their expressions as they saw Krista in her wedding dress and Eric in his suit. The ceremony was beautiful, they wrote their own vows which touched your heart.

We are so happy that we got to be a part of Krista & Eric’s day! It was absolutely beautiful and fun!


Surprise, We are your wedding photographers!

On August 22nd, I got a message on our photography page from Amber. She was inquiring about our availbility for Friday August 24th. Amber said her best friend was going to get married on Friday evening at 7 pm at Peggy’s Cove.

Danielle and Mitch were on vacation from Ontario and decided to get married at Peggy’s Cove. Danielle’s best friend Amber hired us to surprise her and Mitch as their wedding photographers.

Amber was creative, she had me right a message on a chalk board and show up to Peggy’s Cove with it to surprise them. When I arrived I saw Mitch standing on the rocks to the right of the lighthouse, I walked down chalk board in hand and said “are you Mitch”. He said “yes” with a bit of a confused look on his face…. I said “We are your wedding photographers”. He was so excited and surprised, he called Danielle right away to tell her.

It was a perfect evening at Peggy’s Cove, busy as usual during that time of year. It was the day the sky was hazy because of the wildfires but couldn’t have asked for a better evening for photos.

They were married on the cliff beside the lighthouse in a perfect little ceremony, just JOP Mary Hewitt, her two friends as their witnesses and us. After the ceremony was over, we started their portraits. They absolutely loved Peggy’s Cove and were excited to have their photos done there.

I am so happy that we had the chance to meet Danielle and Mitch. It was a wedding we will always remember.

We wish you many many years of love & happiness.


SURPRISE….Baby Smith is arriving in April 2019

My best friend Martina contacted me a few weeks ago inquiring about the cost to a pregnancy announcement type session… first thought is… do you have something to tell me? She wouldn’t tell me who it was for,  she just said I’ll let you know.

I was super excited and was hoping to get booked for this because those type of sessions are so much fun, I love them! Finally after going back and forth she told me it was for her brother Morgan and his girlfriend Maggie! I’ve known Martina & Morgan’s family for a very long time… I was so excited for them!


We planned the session for Sunday, October 7th in their beautiful yard. It was cloudy, threatened rain and the photos are so incredible you would never know the weather wasn’t perfect. They wanted fall family photos with their beautiful dog Harlow, along with a few announcement shots & gender reveal.


Morgan and Maggie were perfect to work with, you can see how much they love each other, they are going to be amazing parents and Harlow will be a great “big sis”.


Oliver’s 1st Year through our lens


 Oliver entered the world on June 11th, 2017 and stole out heart.  Back it up a couple months to when I created our Rainbow Baby Package. I created this package because of all the people in my life that have suffered loss and had their Rainbow baby.  Within hours of posting it, Lindsay contacted me about booking that package. 

We met Lindsay and Jason for the first time (after much chatting online) at the Halifax Public Gardens for their maternity session. We hit it off right away, they were the nicest couple that after many years of longing for a baby and suffering loss were finally having their Rainbow Baby.


After he was born, Lindsay messaged me to announce his arrival and arrange his Fresh 48 Session. I couldn’t wait to meet Oliver, he was absolutely perfect. Seeing the love and bonding moments between mommy, daddy and Oliver just melted my heart. When you long for a baby for so long and fight so hard to have one that it gives you deeper appreciation when the Doctor places your baby in your arms for the very first time.  

Once Oliver was born, that’s when it started. We started to capture him throughout his first year. We did Newborn, Family, Christmas, Easter, Sitter Session then his first birthday. We got to capture so much of his first year, watch him grow, learn new things, and of course played & snuggled with him any chance we had. We ended up becoming great friends with Lindsay and Jason. Lindsay has been there for me as I am on the journey to try and become a mother. I couldn’t have a better person to be brutally honest on how tests are really going to be, but cheering me on because in the end…. you have a baby. My husband James and I love Oliver and love how we get to capture him as he grows up to be such a great little boy! 

Here is a look through our lens at Oliver’s first year:


Eli’s First Year

Eli Patrick Scott Connolly arrived on May 31st, 2017 at 6:30 pm to Adam & Lauren. Not having met him yet, we had no idea this little guy was going to steal our heart and grow before our lens.

In June of last year, we decided to hold super mini sessions at Halifax Public Gardens. Adam contacted me to do their photos, that was the first time I met Eli, he wasn’t quite a month old.

Since that day, we have come to know them well. We have watched Eli grow over the past year, we did family photos with his whole family, Fall, Christmas, Easter, Mommy & Me and most recently we captured his first birthday cake smash session.

One of the most rewarding parts of our profession is getting to watch our clients lives unfold. Sometimes we meet them when they first get engaged, then married and then children or sometimes we meet them when they have their baby! We get to be apart of those exciting moments.

We met Eli at just 1 month old and got to capture his first Christmas, first Easter, first Mother’s Day and first Birthday. All those moments are so important and before you know it, his first year is over and he’s going into his second. Babies grow so fast!

We love being apart of capturing all these moments in life. We look forward to seeing what’s next for Eli and his family.


Welcome to the world Dallas

On May 12 at 7:09 am Dallas Martin O’Rourke entered the world and stole his mommy and daddy’s heart. Dallas was just 7 days old when Macy and Ryan drove 4 hours to our studio for his newborn photo session.

Now, you would think driving 4 hours in a car, sleeping the whole way that his newborn session would be challenging. I have to admit, I was a bit worried we wouldn’t have sleepy poses but I was wrong. They arrived at 3 pm, we started right away. My husband James took his sleeper off to wrap him for the first pose.

After the cutest dreamy smile, he started to fuss. He was hungry, after a brief 10 minute break to fill him we got back to the shoot. We decided to start with the “bottoms up” pose. Dallas stayed pretty much asleep the entire time, towards the end, we got a couple shots with his beautiful eyes open.

Macy and Ryan were great to work with, they let us just do our thing, posing and wrapping Dallas. They had only a couple requests and one was to have a photo of their little cowboy with his boots and hat on. I couldn’t believe how well he did as we posed him for this shot, he laid there all relaxed and gave us the most perfect photo.


Babies grow way too fast, if you are expecting or know someone that is, I highly recommend booking a newborn session, they are moments you will cherish forever of your baby. We have some pretty amazing deals on until June 10th and would love to chat about your newborn session.

My Journey to the bump….

I think it’s time to share more about me, my journey and my photography.

Most of you don’t know me personally, I’m just a photographer that you found or referred to by a friend. I want you to know me and understand how my journey to the bump effects my photography.

10 years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, I never tried for kids because of the situation I was in until now. My husband and I were married December 31, 2016, we talked about trying for children right away because I didn’t know how long it would take with my issues.

Fast forward to April 17th, 2018 after numerous tests with my new doctor, Dr. Ripley I found out I do NOT have PCOS. I honestly can’t remember the name of what I do have but I know that it explains my irregular cycle and will be fixed with simple day surgery after my MRI. Dr. Ripley is confident that he will be able to help us make Baby Peake a reality.

I have always loved children. I taught Sunday School, Youth Group, I grew up surrounded by cousins. I couldn’t wait to have my own. Tough times and wrong paths in life brought me to where I am today. I have an amazing husband, a successful business now to add in a baby would make everything perfect. I know it won’t be easy, I’ve gone through a lot and still have more to come but I know that one day I could very well be taking photos of my own baby.

How does this journey effect my photography? I do get asked if it’s hard to photograph newborns or expectant mothers… my answer is simple… No. In fact they are two of my favorite sessions. I love photographing expectant parents, the glow, the joy as they are waiting for their baby then to get to hold that baby and photographing the baby… it is honestly an incredible feeling.

I created a “Rainbow Baby Package” around this time last year. The inspiration behind it was family and friends that have suffered miscarriages then had their Rainbow Baby! I didn’t have that package on our website  for a full day and booked my first session. It’s how I met Lindsay and Jason. They were expecting their rainbow baby after years of heartache and battles. We photographed their maternity session and every moment since. We are photographing Oliver’s Cake Smash in June.

Lindsay  has been an amazing support system for me since I began my journey over a year ago. She’s been through everything I am going through and much more. A good friend of mine and client Mallori interviewed me on her mommy blog about my journey. Here is the link :

This is just the beginning of our journey…. stay tuned for the next chapter. I will be writing about it when it happens. #journeytobabypeake




How you see it VS How I see it.

Hey Everyone, I have some fun images to show you today! The last few months, I have been snapping some photos on my iPhone of the locations we are shooting to show y’all the difference on how you see the location and how we see it.

Below was iPhone photos of the location we shot as well as me in action with Lux. We all piled into a side by side and took off in the woods in New Harbour to this location.


Here are a few of the shots we capture in the woods. First look at the location you see, trees, overgrown bushes, a lot of rocks. This is what we got out of it. Ian built a fire, they roasted marshmallows, drank hot chocolate and Lux had a blast. She is full of adventure!



Martina and I ventured out the other day for a mini shoot. This location is on the side of the road, close to her place. I had her climbing down in the dead trees in heels and climbing rocks.



These are the photos we accomplished in just a short time from a little spot on the side of the road. The lighting was great and I love everything about these photos.



I love how you can take any location that you may think “this is ugly, she is crazy” and I can turn it into “wow, these are incredible, best photos yet”. Whether we pile in a side by side and go do what your family loves to do on weekends or we find a place on the side of the road that I see potential in. We can give you incredible images. We are going to continue to show you before and after photos on our Facebook Page: Tailgate Photography

Another reason to choose Tailgate Photography. We love adventure, we love to take your ideas and make them reality. Oh and we go above and beyond to make our clients happy! I’ve had clients say…. “well, I seen ideas on Pinterest can I send them to you”, heck yes, if you have ideas or have seen ideas you want to recreate, we will but we will change it up a bit so we aren’t “copying” another photographer.

Contact us if you would like to do a photo session like this or any kind. Weather is warmer… nights are longer…

Why choose Tailgate Photography?

Have you heard of Tailgate Photography? Do you know who we are? Have you heard of our AMAZING referral program?

Tailgate Photography has been around for 10+ years. 3 years ago, I relocated to Halifax and have been working hard to get our name out and build our client base in HRM.

My husband James and I are Tailgate Photography. I am a full time photographer that has an in-home studio with lots of wraps, accessories and props! Our studio hours are Monday-Sunday from 9 am-5 pm but are flexible to book after hours as well.

I am a self taught photographer that is constantly learning. If I look back to my first session 11 years ago and now, the change is unreal. Over the winter months, we have taken 2 online Newborn photography courses along with a Toddler and Sitter Session course.

The Newborn courses we have taken, taught us everything from posing, wrapping, safety and more. We have the full newborn set up at our studio and we also have a portable set up that we can come to the comfort of your home for a newborn session or lifestyle session.

What makes me different?  I’m not a salesperson, I don’t up sell, I can’t limit the number of photos on my packages. I’ve tried to and have yet to stick with it. My goal is to give you incredible images, I don’t set a limit. I have high respect for the photographer’s that do, it just isn’t me. If I love the images, I want to share them. Maybe in the future that will change, but right now in this moment, that’s how it is.

Lastly, our referral program. If you refer 4 friends to us that book a session, you receive a FREE session of your choice (value of $125). You can use it towards a newborn session, just pay the balance, but it excludes weddings.

So, when you are looking for a photographer for whatever your occasion, please consider us. We are fun, creative, love hearing your ideas. We are great with children, have all the patience in the world and you will be happy with the service we provide.

Photography to me isn’t just another job, it is my career, my passion. I love meeting new people, creating lasting friendships and capturing moments that you will forever have as memories.