Back in 2011, when we first brought Henry the Elf home, I was very excited. I plotted and planned, and came up with some pretty neat ideas for that darned Elf. I took pictures every morning, and sat around basking in the glory of being such a creative genius.
He came on November 7th the first year. Yes, NOVEMBER 7th.
I wrote a blog post about it here.
Admittedly, by December 24th, I was happy to see him go. I was exhausted. And you know what? I dreaded his return in 2012, and this year as well. The ‘beacon’ for the elf to come is the Christmas tree being set up. So I would’ve been happy to put it off as long as possible this year, but my super awesome helpful husband surprised me last week, and put it up while I was out. Wicked.
You see, I set a precedent that first year. My kids have expected brilliance from ‘Henry’ ever sense. I wasn’t going to be one of those ‘slacker’ parents, who just moved their elf every night. Oh no. I was way too clever for that. And now I’m paying for it. Every.dreaded.night.
Today, on the inter webs, my life with my elf has been featured on two major blogs. Check them out!
SheKnows – featured 5 of my ideas in a blog post about 25 Hilarious Ways to Pose your Elf.
Babble – my Friend Buzz Bishop wrote an article about the Unofficial Elf on the Shelf Rules. In which I play the poor sucker who overdid it the first year.
So far this year, Henry has been tied up with Loom Bracelets, left Christmas jokes and word searches, hid behind a tower of Kuerig Cups, and donned a Jersey for ‘Jersey Day’. Not overly creative. The best was on the first morning, he wrote a letter, specifying that if the kids rooms weren’t tidy, or their beds weren’t made, or if Charlie didn’t stay in his own bed, that he might not come. They are putty in my hands, let me tell you! That is about as much brilliance as I have left; manipulation.
It’s time for my most popular sale of the year!
Today through Monday at midnight…
Buy any Gift Certificate for $200 or over, and I will add $100 to it, for FREE.
These Gift Certificates are good after January 1, 2014, for Calgary or Sylvan Lake.
Book & Pay for a 2014 Session and receive 2 Digital Files FREE from that session.
Purchase any digital files from past shoots from October 1, 2013 & Earlier for $25 each – that’s almost 60% off! (Regular price is $60 each).
Email me right away!
All deals must be paid for by Monday at midnight, to qualify.
Deals cannot be combined or used with Friends & Family discount, or paid for with Gift Certificates.
Follow me on Facebook to keep up with other news & promos. Also – registration for my Get Off Auto courses in Cranston opens this week. Classes are also planned for Cardel Place for Adults & Kids. See www.calgarycameraclass.com for more info.
I think it’s over! At just over 4 years old…I think the tantrums are over. Now that I said that, I might be cursing it, but he hasn’t had a fit for over 2 months. Fingers crossed. Here, is what I’m hoping is my last installment of #CharlieLoves:
-Charlie Loves the Dentist’s Office
-Charlie Loves Dinner
-Charlie Loves high quality face painting
-Charlie Loves colouring
-Charlie Loves Cheerios
And it ended abruptly with this one, which was a rough one for Mommy too!
-Charlie Loves Going back to School
The entire collection of my #CharlieLoves images can be seen here.
A few years ago, the motherboard went in my computer, and I lost everything. Everything except my pictures, which I’m pretty fanatical about when it comes to backing them up.
Yesterday, my Hard Drive failed in my PC. And it was okay. Here’s why:
- I subscribe to Carbonite. For $60 a year, Carbonite backs up your files automatically, and you don’t have to do a thing. While my PC was in the ‘Hospital’, I didn’t have to miss a beat, because I could pull up any file or image I needed to through the Carbonite Website and bring it up on my Mac*. They also have a mobile app, which works the same as DropBox, but the files are there automatically. This is a pretty slick service.
I just returned home with my PC fixed, with a new Hard Drive installed. I am currently trying to restore my files from Carbonite’s back up. It says it can take hours to days, but I was able to select the files I needed the most, so hopefully I’ll have Photoshop and my client’s images restored ASAP, so I can get to work. Thanks to Carbonite and Memory Express’s Priority Service – my total down time from editing: about 36 hours.
- External Hard Drive. About a year ago, I stopped copying all my client’s images onto Disks because I fear they will be obsolete soon, and because it was a HUGE waste of time. If I hadn’t had Carbonite, it still would have been okay, because since then, I’ve been saving everything of importance to an external Hard Drive – including client files, my family’s images and anything that I’ve spent a significant amount of time or money on (Accounting Spreadsheets, Photoshop Actions, Christmas Card Templates, Resumes, etc.)
- DropBox & Google Drive – these are my ‘catch-all’ on the internet. It’s where I save files that I share with others, and as extra EXTRA back up. Yes, all my Oprah related stuff is saved there, for extra safe keeping. As well as pictures of every single page of my kid’s baby books. Seriously. I’m afraid of losing things like external hard drives and baby books in a fire, so those are also saved on the Interwebs. Dropbox and Google Drive are a great place to
*Yes, I have an iMac, that is not much more than an Internet Machine. After 20 plus years on a Windows platform, my muscles are trained to automatically use Window’s shortcuts, etc. Not to mention the years and years of using Word and Excel. Also, I own Photoshop on my PC…not on my Mac. BUT, in the last 36hrs, I have decided to teach myself how to use the Mac, and will be signing up with Adobe’s Photoshop CC monthly subscription service. After having 2 PC’s fail on me in about 3 years, I’m about done.
‘Tis the Season!
Time for studio Christmas Mini-Sessions!
How does this work?
Because these sessions are scheduled back to back, they are done at a reduced rate, and a $50 deposit is required. You can pay that below.
Your gallery will be posted within a week after your session. You can decide what package you want after you see your images.
In addition to (or instead of) the packages, you can purchase anything else you want right from your secure, online gallery. Canvasses, books, prints, cards and files.
BUT – only digital files, photocards and prints 11×14 and smaller are guaranteed before Christmas. Only digital files are guaranteed for any order received after Dec 13, 2013.
What Should we Wear?
Christmas Pajamas! How fun would that be? How about scarves & mittens? How about your Christmas best? How about jeans and barefeet? It’s totally up to you! I do suggest staying away from logos, but other than that…I’m not picky! And remember, the more stressed you are, the more anxious the kids are. Keep it fun & casual.
Who Can Come?
Up to 5 family members are included in the mini price. This can include pets (please let me know beforehand…hubby’s allergic to cats – I’ll get rid of him!)
More than 5? Please contact me.
Why do Mini-Sessions?
I provide Mini’s at different times throughout the year, to provide everyone the opportunity to get professional portraits done. I provide shorter sessions, and schedule them back to back – to fit in as many families as I can. I usually offer deals as well, and at Christmas the focus is on getting at least one awesome shot to be sent out in your Christmas Cards.
I’d Like to Order Christmas Cards!
Christmas cards can be ordered from me in two different formats: PHOTOCARDS – which are flat, one sided cards printed on photo paper by my professional lab, or FOLDED CARDS – which are printed on Cardstock, with a blank inside for you to write in. For examples of some of my card designs available, see this post from last year. Custom cards can also be done if time permits. (It can take up to10 days for PhotoCards to be printed, longer for folded).
Pay the Deposit here:
This was my busiest fall ever. Thanks to all my awesome regulars and tons of new clients!
All but one of my fall sessions were down by the Ranche in Fish Creek this year. As much as I try to get to some new places, I just keep going back there. It has some of the best backgrounds I’ve ever seen. The biggest problem with this, is that when I go to blog, all the sessions look so similar! Well, and fighting for spots with other photographers!
But alas, here they are!
The ‘Best Dressed’ award goes to this family. I just love how coordinated they were. The plum colour looks great with the fall background!
This was the most meaningful shoot for me this fall – probably all year. It’s coincidentally the only session not done at the Ranche! This little guy has Autism and it was a tough shoot. I was seriously cheering when I uploaded them to my computer and saw the good ones. Trust me, the ones where he’s looking at the camera were TOUGH to get. I’m super pleased with what I was able to capture.
This family deserves a shout-out. I was late for their session. Well, it was worse than that. I actually forgot about their session. By the time they called me, and I got there, I was 48 minutes late. Thankfully, they were awesome about it, and I ended up with better light than I would have had if we had started on time. Everything happens for a reason. Or because you forget to put it in your calendar.
And talk about sweet light! This was an incredible night for light:
Last year, Mike and I left the kids for a week when we went to Mexico for our tenth anniversary trip. We had travelled a lot in the year and a half before, but all of the trips without them had only been for 3 or 4 ‘sleeps’, not seven.
Naturally, my kids hated this idea. So, I came up with some things to make it easier.
I made a bag of snacks for every day that we were away. They had to share what was inside, but it was things like chocolate, candy, and other treats they don’t normally get. They opened the bags every morning, and on school days, the girls would usually take some in their lunch.
I attached a letter to each bag, explaining what was going on that day for all of us. For instance, if Abby had gymnastics, I’d remind her of who was driving her. I’d also tell them what we would be doing in Mexico that day. Then I’d tell them how many days were left, and to have a great day, etc.
The morning we left, I displayed them on the kitchen counter, with a Sock Money for each of them, so they had a nice surprise when they got up.
We’re going to Vegas next week, and my kids requested the gift bags again. Clearly that makes it just a little bit better for them.
This was really great for Charlie, who was only 3 at the time. He could count the chains and see how many more sleeps we were going to be gone for. The kids would rip on chain off very morning.
But, living in the world of Apple Products, the kids were never more than a text or Facetime call away. It was ridiculous actually, and we’ll be putting more rules in place this time. The most absurd moment is when Abby texted me one morning to tell me my alarm clock was going off. I was in MEXICO!
Fall shoots are underway! I have 8 sessions this week! If you are considering booking this month, I only have a few sessions available, so let me know.
Here are some of my favourites from my last few sessions. None of which are actually fall shoots…I`m pretty far behind (what else is new?!?!) Make sure you follow my Facebook Page to see sneak peeks of my fall shoots as I edit them, since it could be spring before I manage to blog them!