Photo by Andrea Dicks of AMD Photography.

Meet Emily Doukogiannis. She is the creative mind behind the camera in our series Moms in T.O. We met in a park while pushing our youngests on the swings. You know, as moms do. I was immediately drawn to her warm personality (she’s from the east coast) and inspired by her dedication to doing what she loves as a business (she’s a natural light portrait photographer.) Here is what she likes best about life and work in Toronto with and without kids in TOw.

You can learn more about her at Emily D Photography. And meet her in person — she’s photographing families with Santa this month.

Motherhood at the Moment:

My five-year-old daughter is a little dance machine who leaps and cartwheels during most of her waking hours and she goes to an after school dance program three days a week. I work like mad three days a week and sometimes on weekends when my three-year-old son is in daycare. On week days – and I cringe when I write this – my kids are often the first to arrive and last to be picked up. But I remind myself that our family makes decisions based on the health of our entire family – having them in care means I can do something that I am excited about as soon as I wake up. That golden nugget came from my favourite parenting book – Simplicity Parenting. On my two days ‘off,’ my little guy and I divide our time running errands, grocery shopping, visiting friends, watching Paw Patrol and going to Sprouts (which is a client and my kids’ favourite place in the hood.)

Current Kid Challenge:

My son crawls into bed with us in the middle of the night.  He is also potty training and whenever we encourage it, he giggles like we’ve just told him a super funny joke. My husband tries to bribe him like a puppy, which is one million per cent backfiring. My son is really loving and child-like, which warms my heart but makes disciplining difficult when he pinches his sister. My daughter is no longer in the f’en 4’s and is the most delightful human I know. She is just as physical as she is artistic and says things like – “hey mom, look at how amazing I am at the monkey bars. I think it’s all the practice.’ She approaches conquering tricky tasks like it’s her job and that makes me so grateful that the earnest hopes I have for my kids are coming true.

Keep Mom Sane:

I really love what I do. Like a lot a lot a lot. Connecting with people through photography is a gift I am thankful for every single day. I have never done anything in my life that brings me this much joy so consistently. If my schedule is really busy a yoga class is my go-to.

Favourite Hood:

I love Leslieville.

Best Place to Visit as a Family:

We love the farmers market. My parents grew up on farms in Greece and they were deliberate to talk about their upbringing and the quality of a good home cooked meal. I saw a poster recently that said ‘food = love’ and that’s certainly true for our family.

Perfect Day Alone in Toronto:

Having a delicious cup of coffee before heading to The Workroom in Parkdale to take a sewing class. If I wasn’t a photographer I would be a full-time class-taker there – although my husband might have an issue or two with me bankrupting my family in the pursuit of that dream. Home alone, I’m just as happy watching smutty TV and editing photos.