On New Year's Eve last year, Ben and I made a future-friendly and space saving purchase. We bought three boxes worth of photo scanning from ScanMyPhotos.com. We took advantage of a great sale and got one box free, but it was still a good chunk of change at $368.00. Merry Christmas to us! However, when you consider that fact that we crammed 2,255 original photos spanning about 34 years of memories into just one box, and now they're all preserved digitally and backed up in several places -- I think we got a steal!
What We Ordered:
We bought the "Prepaid Photo Scanning Box" at 300dpi. We could have upgraded to 600dpi if we thought we'd do much enlarging or printing, but mainly, we just wanted to have digitally viewable copies of the pictures for browsing on our computers, tablets, phones, etc., adding them to blog posts, emailing, and so on. So, 300dpi seemed like a sufficient choice. Plus, we can still reprint them at their original size with no problem, and even the 3.5" x 5" photos can be enlarged to 5" x7".
Buying a pre-paid box means that you get to cram as many photos as you want into a flat rate box. That's a LOT of photos. Like I said...we fit 2,255 pictures (mostly 3.5" x 5", 4" x 6", and 5" x 7") into our first box. And we still have two empty boxes to fill!
We did not add any additional upgrades (like photo restoration). We can do that on our end if necessary with PhotoShop or on a photo-by-photo basis.
Preparing Your Photos:
It's not an easy feat to get photos ready to scan. Well, that's not true. It's easy, just time consuming.
Paxton's closet is full of about 20 photo boxes and large plastic bins full of pictures, many of them ours, most of them my mom's, but that includes my childhood, so I claim most of those boxes!
For this first ScanMyPhotos box, we focused on including photos from each of our childhood's through our married life (pre-digital camera).
We'll probably fill one of the other boxes with photos from Ben's parent's house to get more of his and his brothers' childhood and family ancestry, and I'll probably fill the third box with more photos from my mom's photo boxes that include more pictures of Jake's childhood and Mom's activities (since I skipped over those for my first round that was -- All.About.Me.)
We took about 2 weeks and spent the evenings in front of the tv (actally, one of those weeks was when I was doing a No Media fast, which gave me lots of free time to work on it!) to go through photos.
We tossed duplicates, blurry photos, and totally irrelevant pictures. That was hard. I can throw away just about anything, but throwing away pictures was hard. We did it though! And narrowed it down to 2,255 pictures.
My photos came mostly from my mom's photo boxes. It was kind of painful to pull them all out of the nice and neat and organized boxes that had been so carefully labeled with dates, locations and names. We had to sort them by photo size, not content when we got them ready to pack into the box. So they ended up all mixed up. Ouch. That was hard. Will I put them back where they came from? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I know we've reduced the number of photo boxes in that closet by about half, just by throwing away duplicate prints.
The good news is, most people don't have that nice and neat and organized system - so it's just a matter of collecting photos from all over and putting them into like-sizes, and then packing them into the box - like this:
Then you ship them away -- another completely stressful element of the process. You pack your entire history away into a box, tape it up as best you can and then just pray and hope that they arrive at their destination safely. All this stress and work is in the name of preserving the memories, but if something happened to this box...they'd be gone forever...
I literally almost threw up when I dropped the box into the post office package drop.
I recommend getting insurance and tracking on your package. I forgot to and had a near panic attack when I realized it. Thankfully, the online chat support at ScanMyPhotos was able to confirm that they did in fact receive my package (their confirmation email sent that same day was caught by my spam filter), and my photos were safe and ready to be processed.
Whew. My nervous breakdown was avoided.
Then you wait. It takes about 4-6 weeks for them to scan all the photos and ship them back to you.
The Finished Product:
Several weeks later, I received an email letting me know when they shipped the box back to me via USPS Priority Mail (with a tracking number). It wasn't nearly as stressful to have it shipped back to me, because I know that they keep a backup of all the digital files for a while. So if the box disappeared...at least the digital files could be recovered at this point.
Here it is:
And here's what all that work resulted in...a DVD full of ALL those photos! I immediately put the images onto our external hard drive (which is backed up nightly via Carbonite), and now I can rest easy, knowing that all those images are safe and accessible!
One of these days I'll probably sort through the images and put them into chronological order in labeled folders on my computer, so they'll be easy to find.
Cool, huh? Wanna see some of the photos?
I mean...this stuff should not be forgotten. It's good stuff. And now it can live on forever!
Bite the bullet. Do it. Have your photos scanned. I'm going to spend this weekend putting together another box full of 'em. It's so worth it!
It's been my job for the past several years to take our extended family portraits anytime our family is all together (and conveniently dressed nicely - usually on our way to church, at a holiday or on a beach vacation). It's a job I love, and so far we've almost always had good results. But it's not easy, and I've learned a few tips & tricks along the way that can help get a shot that everyone will love.
Let's start with photographing a nuclear family. Since I'm usually dealing with families with small kids, and I'm not PAID to take portraits (I'm a hobbyist, not professional) - I stick to the basics. My main goal is to get one good shot of everyone in-focus and looking at the camera - a smile on each face is a great bonus!
We usually take these portraits outside, so I look for a shaded, evenly-lit area with an uncluttered background, under a tree, in a field, in front of a row of trees, or if I'm really lucky - on the beach. :)
Since I deal often with people of varying heights, ages and attention spans, I like to have the adults hold the kids if they're small enough. The kids are usually happiest and most-focused this way anyhow - and then I can line everyone's faces up across the frame. All that "hugging" and "holding" helps everyone stay close together (and often makes them smile) and it lets me get a tight shot of all their faces. Sometimes, as in the case of my brother & sister in law on the right (below), I'll arrange them on a hill or ask Josh to crouch down a little bit to meet the rest of his family - a large height difference can be very tricky!
I shoot on AV priority with a Canon 40D SLR camera, setting my aperture to about 5.0 in an effort to get all my subjects in focus, while keeping a blurry background. I most often use my Canon 50mm 1.8 fixed lens and just take a few steps back so that I'm far enough away to get everyone in the shot.
If I'm not going to be *IN* the photos, then I do not use a tripod for these portraits, which allows me to move around and adjust my angles to get everyone lined up well in the frame. If I am included in the portrait, then I love to use a tripod to set up the shot and frame the picture, leaving space for myself. Then I set the self timer, press the shutter and book-it fast to get in the shot before it snaps the photo! My son thinks this is hilarious and truly, it's often the only way we can get him to smile.
*The beach photo of my family on the right was actually a fabulous shot taken by my sister-in-law. She's my protege...trying to
steal help me with my job as family photographer. :)
Repeat after me - you only need ONE great photo. Especially with small kids, don't irritate everyone and wear down your welcome by trying every pose under the sun. That said...take a TON of pictures. Digital images are free - take advantage of it. It's not uncommon for me to take 20-30 pictures of the same pose, waiting for everyone to be looking & smiling, hair-not-blowing, eyes not closed, and parents-not-talking. That's where the insane speed of an SLR camera is VERY helpful.
If we have a cooperative bunch, then next I'll ask them to sit down and make themselves comfortable. Sitting helps the adults and teens relax a little and then they also have their laps free to hold heavy toddlers or preschoolers in place. The main thing here is to make sure everyone is comfortable - and LOOKS comfortable. If they aren't...they won't look it!
I'm also a fan of having everyone crouching down together, especially next to standing kids. I often ask my subjects to put their arms around each other, lean on each other a little bit, and even have kids sit on their knees to show the relationships and give the whole family look more connected to each other. Plus, then I can get a shot of them from up above, simplifying the background of the photo, as in the photo below on the left, where I included more of the leaves on the ground as the background instead of the trees behind them. And...in case you weren't aware...everyone looks skinnier looking up at the camera, so that's always a bonus. :)
Extended Family Portraits
When you add in several families or a larger group of people, it gets a little tricker to pose everyone. Depending on the number of people, I'll either line everyone up again or put them into rows or sub-groups, taking into consideration their relationships & height. For instance, I'll have couples stand together, arrange everyone in boy-girl-boy-girl pattern or move really tall people to the center while the more vertically challenged move to the outside or front row.
The beach photo on the left (below) could have been arranged better by having my husband and I scoot over to the right just a smidge to fill in the hole above my petite sister-in-law's head. Oh, and had the 1-year old-twins been willing, they would have looked awfully cute sitting in front of their parents in the sand -- but c'mon folks, the shot we got was nearly a miracle with all those kids and me sprinting in the sand to get into the center of the photo!
The photo on the left (below) was an impromptu photo of three families of friends. We set the camera on a table, lined up on the benches with our kids in our laps, and smiled for the timer. I love the casual and happy together-ness it exudes.
In the photo on the right (below), we asked the kids to stand/kneel/sit in the front row, dads to kneel in the middle row, and the moms stood in back. By having the tallest people (the dads) kneel in front of the women and behind the kids, we were able to create three levels of faces, that were all fairly close together, letting us get a tighter shot of the whole group, and creating a pyramid-like grouping.
Spontaneously Photographing Very Large Groups
When I'm at family events, holding my camera, I'm often asked to get a picture of the whole group. Since it's not a planned portrait setting time...we do this VERY quickly - like in about 5 minutes. It happens kind of like this:
Me (shouting): Okay everyone to the backyard! Stand right here. Families together! Get close. I can't see Uncle Josh. If you can't see me, I can't see you. Everyone look this way! Grandpa, get a little closer to Grandma. Mom, hold the baby on your other side. Okay, I can see everyone. I'm going to stand on the end next to Ben. Everyone ready? *press shutter* - RUN - RUN - *smile* - SNAP. Okay stay right there!!! RUN - RUN - *check image*. Let's do another one!
I'm usually only allowed about three of these before the babies start wiggling and crying and smiles begin to fade as everyone looks longingly at the cake inside waiting to be eaten. Perhaps a wireless remote would be helpful here so I could take several shots at once!
When you're taking a wide shot of a large group of people, I recommend going wide enough to get everyone in the frame from head-to-toe. There's nothing worse than having half of the group cut off at the ankle or elbows. If you aren't aiming for a head-and-shoulders-only shot of everyone, then go ahead and include everyone's entire bodies and leave a border of the background around the whole group.
Photographing Groups of Kids
Next let's talk about portraits of a large group of kids, and not-so-many adults. I'm still working on the logistics of mastering this, because kids are tricky...but I've had a few successes (or at least not utter failures).
Primarily, I've worked with grandparents & their grandkids and I simply surround the grandparents with the kids, letting them hold babies, younger kids' hands or placing a hand on an older child's shoulders. It helps keep everyone in place and creates a circular or triangular trail of vision around the photo.
In the photo on the right (above), we used the arms and back of a couch to surround "Noni" with the older grandkids while the babies sat (held securely) in front of her as Noni lay sideways on the couch.
In the photo below, a park bench made a perfect spot for Grandma & her grandkids to squeeze together, creating a triangle of faces.
Older kids can also be very helpful in holding the toddlers and babies still - so use them if you're lucky enough to have a range of ages in your kid-filled portrait.
Our Steed cousins portrait attempt this spring was a little rough because the youngest two cousins weren't quite old enough to cooperate and the oldest two weren't quite old enough to keep the babies in check. My friend Molly Bridges (a local Birmingham, AL area photographer) took on the impossible task of photographing the 6 Steed grandchildren - all under age 7. With a crying baby girl, a stoic and serious toddler, and a big-boy with a just-broken arm, it just wasn't gonna happen in our quick little mini shoot. I think we'll keep the Steed parents in the photographs for another year or two before we can give this cousins-shot another try!
But smiling or not...Molly did a great job of positioning the kids so that we could clearly see their faces, staggering and layering them to add an interesting dimension. Plus, the foreground blur of the grassy field turned out so beautiful!
Getting Everyone's Attention
Now...getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time - let's talk about that.
My best recommendation is to have no more than 1 person stand directly behind you to make silly faces and catch the attention of all the subjects. EVERYONE else would ideally be completely out of sight.
This doesn't actually happen much for me. Usually I have a crowd of family members jumping and dancing behind me. But, my self-timer pictures with no one but the camera to look at proves my theory on this. In my experience, the less there is to look at, the more likely everyone will look at the camera. The more moms, dads, cousins, grandparents, etc. there are that try to make everyone laugh and look, ends up making the whole experience more chaotic, stressful, louder, and less-successful. Plus, I've been known to step right on top of my "helpers" toes as I move around to get the shot. I make no apologies for that. :)
And I'm TOTALLY making myself one of these Elmo-like camera buddies to stick into my camera bag to help me out the next time I attempt that Steed cousins photo!
No Fail Artistry
When all else fails...turn everyone around! No one will know what they were looking at, if they were smiling, and you'll get a sweet shot like this:
I hope this helps give you a few tips and tricks to try the next time you're asked to take (or choose to attempt) a large family portrait. Happy shooting!
I'm often asked what kind of camera I recommend -- I guess because I'm always taking photos and I walk around with a big ol' honkin' huge camera, people think I have some authority and expertise.
Well, I don't know about all of that, but if you ask me what *I* think, as an amateur, hobbyist, not-for-hire, mom photographer - here's what I'll tell you:
Unfortunately, I don't have a recommendation for a point-and-shoot camera. I rarely use them, and when I do, they don't compare well to my SLR, so I just don't know much about the different point-and-shoot models and options, etc. Sorry!
I've always used Canon SLR cameras, so that's what I will recommend. That said, I'll bet the Nikon and other brands are fabulous too. I just haven't used them, so I couldn't say from experience.
My current camera is the Canon 40D. I love it. I use mostly manual settings on it because I don't always love the auto-setting results it gives me. So I've learned the manual settings and techniques while using this camera.
Most of what I do is trial and error, but I typically shoot on AV priority and change the aperture based on the lighting and number of subjects in the photo. Low number (2.0) for less light, less subjects, and a higher number (5.0) for more subjects.
I also adjust the ISO - using a low number (200ish) for lots of light situations and a higher number for low-light situations (up to 1600, which is grainy, but still helfpul especially when a flash won't reach your subject as in a really large room).
I bought the 40D almost 2 years ago (instead of another Rebel) because I wanted the high ISO ability - up to 1600 (great in low light) - a super-fast recovery speed, and wasn't as interested in the video features that are available on many digital SLRs now (though now I might be more swayed toward that option). Also, since I bought a refurbished model, it was in my price range. So far, I've been very pleased.
My old camera was the original Canon Rebel. They have released several newer models since mine was introduced, all of which are a great deal and a great camera, especially for someone just getting started with an SLR camera. When I had that camera, I almost always shot with automatic settings, but with no flash. I wasn't brave enough to try the manual stuff then! I would definitely recommend the EOS Rebel series though.
PS: Don't be lured by oodles of megapixels. They're nice, they're great, but you can get a great 8" x 10" or 11" x 14" print with a 6MP image. You don't *need* 14MP for every photo. Most of the time I shoot on 6MP. Thousands of 14MP image files will fill up your hard drive fast! I only use the 10MP setting (the highest on my camera) for special occasions or portraits that might be cropped or super-enlarged for printing.
Let's talk lenses. Lenses make ALL the difference in the final image. My Rebel came with a kit lens - the 18-55mm zoom lens. It's kind of "eh" if you ask me. But..it's the only lens I used for years, so I can't bad-talk it too much. And it's still my only wide-angle lens, so I do pull it out occasionally when I need a wider angle shot.
Eventually I bought a Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. I use it mostly for outdoor events when I'll be farther away from the action - the zoo, sporting events, beach, etc. It's a great lens, and takes fabulous shots, but it's heavy to carry around and my kids are usually too close to me to take photos of them with it. Someday it'll be great for sporting events. For now, I like to use it to get up close and personal to this beautiful beast (taken through glass at the zoo):
Then, I bought my favorite lens - the Canon 50mm fixed 1.8 lens. Some call it the "thrifty fifty" because it costs right around $100 and takes great portrait photos with low aperture (lots of great blur behind the subject of the photo). That also means it does well in low light situations without a flash, which is nice when you take pictures indoors, but don't like using an on camera flash (solution for that later). I highly recommend this lens for anyone with little kids. Even though it doesn't have any zoom, it's usually at just the right distance for great portraits of the little guys and girls. Occasionally I wish it was a wider angle (like when Paxton is crawling into my lap or running towards me while I try to take photos), but most of the time, this is the lens you'll see on my camera. In fact, I've bought it twice, because I dropped the first one and it broke. At only $100 it was worth immediately replacing.
Now...on my WISHLIST is the all-inclusive ultra zoom lens - theTameron AF 18-270mm. If I could sell my 75-300mm & 18-55mm to buy this lens, I would. But, I'd still be short about $500, so I better sell a few more signs first. :) It appears to be a great all-purpose lightweight lens that would be especially wonderful for traveling. I would LOVE to try it out one day.
Don't use the on-camera flash unless you have absolutely no choice. Blech. Those pictures usually look terrible - washed out, flat and boring.
A bounce-flash is nice, I used to have a Canon Speedlite flash that I liked. It could bounce light off of walls, cielings, etc. However, it was bulky, ate batteries, and was an expensive piece of equipment. I sold it a few years ago when I needed to replace my Rebel with a new camera since it had sat unused for several years and I haven't really missed it.
Recently, I discovered this fabulous jewel - the LightScoop. At only $30 it does what I loved about the Speedlite, for MUCH less, and it doesn't require any batteries and is extremely lightweight. SCORE. It uses a mirror to bounce light off of a light-colored ceiling or wall and softens the photo perfectly. It's best in rooms with low to mid-height ceilings, and might not be a good choice if you have really tall or dark painted ceilings (like it wouldn't work in your car). But if you're like me and have white 9ft ceilings in your house -- it's perefect! Check it out:
Cool, huh? My indoor photography style has been changed forever. Love this new toy.
And of course, there are a few extras you'll want to have when you make a jump to an SLR camera.
A good memory card (or 3). I use a Kingston Elite Pro 8 GB 133x CompactFlash Memory Card, and since I dump my pictures to my hard drive daily, I NEVER fill up my memoy card -- but it's a big one, so I shouldn't! It is definitely worth having at least one backup though.
Speaking of backups - a backup battery is a VERY good idea. I've been left with no battery power at the beginning of a big event more times than I care to admit. Though I will say, I'm very impressed with how long the battery lasts. Often a week or more, depending on how often I use the camera.
A lens-cap keeper for each lens. It's annoying to hold them, keep track of them, and even more annoying to lose them and not have anything to protect your lens. These little rubberband-like straps keep the lens cap attached to the lens -- definitely more helpful there than squashed in your back pocket.
A UV Protection Filter for each lens. These are a very good scratch insurance policy. It's so much easier to replace a $12 filter rather than your $300 lens. Going to the beach? You better have one of these on each lens!
A tripod. I wouldn't be able to get my self-timer full family photo shots without a decent tripod. Ours is kind of a mid-range Ambico model, with a quick-release mounting system. It works sufficiently and we also use it for our video camera. A mini-tripod that fits in your bag would also be a good investment if you do a lot of traveling, though I don't have one of those...we just drag the big tripod with us to the beach for our family portraits!
On my wish list - I still haven't bought one, I guess because I like that self-timer-running-to-get-into-the-picture-rush - is a wireless remote shutter release. Then I wouldn't *have* to do the running back and forth and could take several shots at once when you got it framed the way you wanted it.
- And, finally with all that stuff...you need something to carry it in and protect it. There are all kinds of REALLY cute camera bags and options out there, but I have a pretty basic backpack style bag, simliar to this Lowepro Slingshot 100 all-weather digital camera bag. It holds all my gear, plus my wallet, keys, phone, gum, and of course a diaper & wipes & a snack. Let's be honest, we all need a multi-purpose bag that lets your hands be free! This one does the trick. Plus you can whip it around to the front of you to get what you need without taking the whole bag off. It was a fabulous solution when we went to Disney World a few years ago.
Photo Editing Software:
Finally, I highly recommend finding a photo editing software program that you like. I started with Paint Shop Pro years ago, then switched to an old version of Adobe Photoshop 4.0 and then within the past couple of years have switched to Adobe Photoshop Elements. It's a cheaper version of Photoshop with many of the same bells and whistles. I've really enjoyed learning all about it and using it to enhance my photographs. I know there are other software programs that are cheaper and that people love as well...but if you ask for my help - this is the software I know, so I won't be much help with the others. :)
And there you have it folks. Those are my digital SLR camera & accessories recommendations. Take them for what they are - from a photo-lovin' mom of two preschoolers, scrapbooker, blogger, and artist - and NOT a professional photographer. :)
If you have other questions about the equipment I use or what I recommend, post them here and I'll try to update this post as necessary!
Here's a list of all the products I mentioned:
- Canon EOS 40D 10.1 MP Digital SLR Camera
- Canon EOS Rebel Series
- Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens
- Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
- Tameron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Lens
- Canon UV Protection Filter
- Ambico V-0554A 58-inch tripod
- Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Canon 40D
- Lens Cap Keeper
- Kingston Elite Pro 8 GB 133x CompactFlash Memory Card
- Adobe Photoshop Elements V9.0
- Lowepro SlingShot 100 All-Weather Digital Camera Backpack
Remember that Week in the Life project I did a few months ago? Well...it took me about a month to get the pictures printed & put into an album and then another month to finally "embellish" it, but I finally got it all finished up. I took the ULTRA simple route this time...nothing fancy, nothing complicated (and admittedly not as cute as the last time I did a Week in the Life project) - just pictures, handwriting, and my handy-dandy Silhouette did most of the work.
First...the pictures & the project in-progress (in case you have no clue what I'm referring to!):
Then, after all that photo-taking of the mundane intricacies of our days...it was time to put it all together.
This time, instead of creating daily collage prints, I decided to print 4 x 6 photos for each day so you could see more of the details....which after 7 days of photo-taking left me with a VERY large stack of prints that I managed to whittle down to about 180.
I used a standard 2-up photo album (like I did for our Disney Vacation Album) with tabs for each day of the week and a window in the front cover for a title. On the inside front page, I left two spots open to make a title page - which I cut completely from black cardstock on my Silhouette. Man I love that thing! Totally worthwhile purchase.
At the beginning of each day, I cut the day of the week from white cardstock and mounted it on corresponding colored patterned paper (to match the tabs for that day):
And, as you can see -- I kept the journaling VERY simple and basic and just hand-wrote captions telling what was going on in the pictures, what time it was, where we were, and who was pictured. Stuff I *think* I'd remember...but then again I forgot my grocery list at home today as I stepped into the store...so I tend to forget stuff. That's why I write it all down.
And there you have it. A finished album, showing off a regular-old week in our life in the Spring of 2011. If you're interested in doing a project like this, Ali Edwards is where I got my inspiration, and she's at it again, doing another round July 25th through July 31st, 2011.
You can read more about her approach and suggestions here. It's hard work, but I highly recommend it. The kids love looking at these albums. :)
Congratulations to Pita! Your comment #27 was randomly drawn to win a free 16" x 20" custom photo canvas from My Fine Art.
But just because you didn't win, doesn't mean you don't get a deal too! My Fine Art has extended a a 10% off discount* through the end of March 2011 - JUST for you guys! So, if you've always wanted a canvas display made from your favorite photos...now is the time! *To redeem the 10% off discount, just contact Julie through her Etsy shop to request a custom discounted listing.
Finding the Perfect Match:
Boy, do I have a fabulous giveaway for you today! But first, let me show you what arrived last week:
That's a 16" x 20" stretched canvas print of a photo I that took of my daughter and her friends playing "rainy day". I'm so excited about how perfect it's going to look hanging next to a 16" x 20" You Are My Sunshine canvas in my mother-in-law's office:
My mother-in-law counsels young mothers with toddlers and babies and works with families that need a lot of "sunshine" and encouragement. When she mentioned one day that she'd like to have this photo to hang in her office, I began thinking about how I could incorporate it to go with her You Are My Sunshine canvas. Then, a couple of weeks later I connected with Julie Ryan at My Fine Art...and well, the match was made. I knew exactly what photo I needed to have made into a canvas print! And I love how it turned out.
Be Inspired by Canvas Display Ideas:
Now of course, I would love to have several more and just need to free up some more wall-space! How cool would a collage of 6 of these 12" x 12" deep profile canvases look? They're only $30 each, which is a super deal. I'm visualizing a set of 6 canvases: four 12" x 12" canvas displaying a favorite photograph of each family member, one with the entire family together, plus a decorative canvas featuring a favorite quote or bible verse:
The 12 x 12 canvases shown above are actual canvases printed at My Fine Art.
Or, here's some more canvas decorating inspiration for you...I just love how clean and simple a stretched canvas looks and how the style really showcases the photographs:
The six display inspiration examples shown here are from a Google image search for
wall canvas display ideas, and are not image examples of canvas prints by My Fine Art.
Having trouble choosing which of your photos to have printed on canvas? Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
- family portraits for a den or living room, to hang over the mantle
- action shot sports photos to decorate a playroom or kid's bedroom
- favorite travel photographs (beaches, gardens, mountains, cities, buildings, etc) to display in an office, kitchen or living room
- wedding portraits or favorite "couple" candids to hang in your master bedroom
- newborn moments or "birth-day" hospital photos to hang over a crib in a nursery
- favorite baby or toddler candids of each of your grandkids
- a princess castle picture for your little princess's bedroom -- (oh, this picture I took at Disney World would make a GREAT canvas print.)
- ahh...so many ideas...so little wall space. :)
My Fine Art Giveaway & Coupon:
So, now that you're sufficiently inspired and itching to have your favorite photos turned into canvas prints, let me formally introduce you to Julie's custom canvas printing business on Etsy:
The talented Julie Ryan from the fabulous "Less-Than-Perfect-Life-of-Bliss" blog is the mastermind behind the business. She will work with you to take your digital photograph and artistic ideas and turn them into one-of-a-kind stretched canvas pieces of fine art in all different sizes from small to HUGE (30" x 40" big enough for ya?). And believe me...there's nothing cooler than seeing your photographs turned into a canvas print! See?
Julie has generously offered to give away a 16" x 20" custom printed stretched canvas to one of my readers! (shipped anywhere within the US). And...she's offering a 10% off discount* through the end of March 2011 - JUST for you guys! So, if you've always wanted a canvas display made from your favorite photos...now is the time! *To redeem the 10% off discount, just contact Julie through her Etsy shop to request a custom discounted listing.
So, go check out Julie's blog & My Fine Art Etsy shop and come back and comment here to let me know what you'd have put on your 16" x 20" custom canvas if you were to win! What are you waiting for? I'll draw a winner on Friday morning, so enter now!
Day 7. Sunday. Today was another completely abnormal, totally quiet day by myself. I even hid in our bedroom when Ben brought the kids home tonight so he could put them right to bed to avoid riling them up too much. I did however, go back to my to-do list. And did some stuff. What can I say? I like lists.
And I'm spent. Both times I've done this project, by the end of it, I'm exhausted and feeling like my life is extremely boring and mundane. Maybe next time I'll spread it out over two months and do one day a week so it's not quite so intense. Just a thought. Now I get to decide how I'm going to put it all together in an album....
- 29 photos saved to my hard drive. 22 shown here. It got a little ridiculous just taking photos of myself this weekend. Maybe when I'm 60 I'll be glad I did.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - I was by myself all day again. And I didn't go to church, even though it was Sunday.
Ahhh...hear that? No? Me either! It's been a blissfully quiet day in my house (and in my head) for a change.
Day 6. Saturday. But a completely abnormal Saturday since I spent it at home, by myself. The kids and Ben are out of town and it was my goal for the day to enjoy the quiet, do as much of nothing as I could stand, and eat plenty of junk food. I succeeded on all fronts! But it makes for a pretty boring photo collage:
More than what I did do, I enjoyed what I DIDN'T have to do today. It's amazing how easy it is to do only one thing at a time, not have to plan for the next 5 steps in my day, forget about efficiency, and not have to be aware of any people around me (or dressing, feeding and cleaning up after them). Don't get me wrong...I'd get lonely fast, but I'm telling you what...I enjoyed a quiet, mindless, do-nothing day. And I even did a few things...because I wanted to...not because I had to. :)
- 33 photos saved to my hard drive. 20 shown here. How many pictures of me sitting in front of a computer or television screen would you really need?
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - I was by myself all day and did NOT have a to-do list!
Day 5 - Friday. Busy all day long. Working, laundry, packing the kids (for a trip with Daddy - yay!), errands, more work and then freedom (from kids), but not from work. :) That's okay, I think work is fun.
- 160 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here. Many of those were product pictures though...so they don't really count.
- Ben thinks Fridays are haunted around here. The kids and I always seem to be worn out from the week, on each other's nerves, and have no patience with each other, which results in lots of crying, whining and yelling (by all of us). So I usually try to take them someplace fun instead of keeping them cooped up inside.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - Ben took the kids to Auburn for the weekend, and I got to stay home by myself! I think the last time that happened was early last summer. I was due.
- Another notable fact about today - We received our information packet about our sponsored child in Ecuador via Compassion International!
Ahh...Thursday. Day 4 of this project.
Thursdays are usually pretty good days around here. Lots of work to do, Ayla's at school, and usually Paxton goes to his friend's house for the morning. This week, he was home, but he "helped" me work and read stories, so it worked out just fine. My Week-in-the-Life exercise went a little better today (helped that it wasn't raining and I wasn't sleep-deprived from storms). I have found though that I manage to do about 10 noteworthy "tasks" before I even make it downstairs in the mornings to get my camera. Today, that included getting two kids dressed, changing Ayla's sheets, letting the cat outside, and starting a load of laundry. None of which I enjoy doing before I've eaten my bowl of cereal and checked my email...but what can you do?
- 75 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here.
- Paxton *actually* performed on the potty tonight...after three consecutive trips DURING dinner. He also appeared to be scared to death of the entire experience once he realized what was going on. We made a big deal of how great it was, and he was rewarded with chocolate chips.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - Paxton didn't go to Shelby's house this morning and was home instead, which means Ben & I didn't have our regular Thursday lunch-date. But otherwise, today was a pretty normal day!