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by Sandi Gentry
I have oodles and oodles of images that pull at my heart strings.
But they are just sitting on my computer. Sitting there, not being properly adored like they should be.
I have been determined this year to get them off of the hard drives and out into view of our daily lives. One of my many projects was creating a Christmas Wreath full of photos that I love. I decided with this one, I would make it a 2012 theme. The wreath would be filled with photos of fun memories we did as a family is 2012.
Next, punch out a backing for your image. I use thin cardboard. Where do I find this? I round up all of my kids old spiral notebooks. The back of that notebook is the perfect thickness for this project. So rip it right off that spiral notebook and use it for something new.
Then gather your sponge brush and Mod Podge. I used a matte finish for this, however, I have used the glossy before and it worked great. There is even an antique finish that could be interesting. What you are going to do next is use brush to apply Mod Podge to the back of the picture to secure it to the cardboard backing. After you do that, brush a layer of Mod Podge over the front of the picture. I know this seems scary, but trust me, it dries clear.
I chose to do this wreath with all black and white images. Once dry, you will apply the glitter paint to create a frame. You don’t need to do this, I just think it is a nice finishing touch. Once all of the images are dry, you will assemble your wreath. I wanted this wreath to be full of images. I hot glued some around the front and then hole punched other and added string and pinned them on the side of the wreath. I added ribbon for a bow and to help hang the wreath. It might be a nice idea to write on the back of the images what was happening when the photo was taken or the date it was taken. Other ideas for wreaths could be photos with Santa. You could add on to it every year. Or perhaps you could do a wreath filled with images of grandkids for a special grandma in your life. Here is another shot of my wreath a bit closer.
The options are endless people. Start creating and get those images off your computer and into your lives!
Sandi is a photographer living with the loves of her life in Orange County, California. She is a mother of six awesome kids who fill her life with JOY! With her love of family life and photography she decided to launch a magazine for families. One year ago, The Sandbucket Magazine was born. With the magazine, she gathers and shares lovely ideas for lovely families. She is proud to say the magazine has many talented women contributing and sharing their talents from around the world.
Gentry Family photo by Lindsay Silsby of Pied Piper Photography
We love Lindsay Silsby’s Walls! Check them out:
(P.S. Sign up to get a critique with Lindsay of Piep Piper Photography in December before the price goes up in 2013! )
Living in England is spectacular but the homes are a tinge smaller than your average American house! All the small wall space makes decor a little harder! We moved into our current home just over a year ago and because this house is temporary I really didn’t feel like making much of an effort to decorate with my photos. I also didn’t really have a clear goal or vision for what I wanted SO I waited and waited and waited some more because I didn’t have everything I wanted for my walls! Is anyone else like me….feeling like if you don’t have it all together just right than you don’t want to put it up and make it happen?!? That was me. They sat barren for FAR too long that I finally got my act together a couple of months ago…………”
The lounge (or living room for you Yankees!) took me awhile because the walling is less than lovely and I wasn’t sure which photos would be right. So I went with some wraps…..I LOVE gallery wrap canvases! They come ready to hang and you don’t have to worry about the faf of finding the right frame! I don’t normally advocate smaller images up on walls because I LOVE the big big BIG! So much easier to see instantly versus having to get close to a wall to view. However, I am a fan of the mix here….bit of BIG and a few littles. I think it is a good mesh! The smaller frames are an inexpensive buy from Ikea…easy peasy lemon squeezy right?! And who doesn’t love a trip to Ikea?! Bit of Swedish shopping and some meatballs for lunch!
(Don’t you love the enthusiasm on my baby’s face?!)
This is the shelving on my office desk….it was so bland on top! Again another usage of Ikea Ribba frames. They are easy to hang and also capable of standing on their own.
I always do the BIG family photos and never hang them. I just did some funky sized canvases and threw them on the wall. My kids love that they can see all of their cousins and grandparents and I love that they remember everyone this way!
My country kitchen. I had been collecting pieces here and there for quite sometime. Before I knew it I had a crapload of stuff! My kitchen is probably the lightest room in my house so I also wanted family photos in here but without taking up too much wall space for all of my other knick-knacks! Thus the magnet boards and chicken wire frame….great way to throw in some of my other fave shots!
Can you tell that I am a fan of Newgate clocks?!
TK Maxx (of TJ Max for you Yanks!) fab place for some great decor finds,
The magnet framed boards from Orange Blossom Shop are some of the cutest I’ve seen!
With smaller photos, lots of these are 4×6 and 3×5, I put borders around them.
It gives a little bit of an old vintage feel to it and adds a pop that smaller images need.
We call this the wonky wall…there is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to how all of this hangs. Nothing hung just perfectly!
My crazy boy’s room! I loved that photo of him so much that I made it a VERY big canvas and grabbed a sign from William Dohman (LOVE his stuff!) that worked so perfect for the shot! We like to hang his artwork from school with a burlap string and clothespins as well. I love it and he LOVES it! He thinks it’s so great that mom and dad want to hang his pictures! It’s also a great idea for photos if you really can’t be bothered with framing or canvases!
His other wall is my current work in progress. I wanted to get things up but his room was so undecided! I just went for a couple of things that I knew I wanted and then threw up a couple of other bits to help me figure out the rest! Sometimes those faux ideas help you figure out what you want and sometimes you end up keeping it!
I am waiting for my frames to ship to me (that darn pond makes my shipping times longer!). Those frames which will be from The Organic Bloom, are going to replace the small green, light blue and dark blue frames that are currently hanging. A standout mount is also replacing the checker block framed print. This wall has some holes all around because trying to find the right idea with his shots was killer! I used the Ikea Nyttja frames to help me get some ideas…they are super cheap! The other canvas is a Halloween costume shot, I LOVE it of him….it’s SO him! After I put it up he said, “I look awesome huh mom?!” Totally dude…totally!
My girls room turned into a foof of pink! I love her face and wanted it all over her walls so we went for it with a few different frames and canvases.
I always get asked about her curtains, they are from Paula & Erika on Etsy.
So cute right?!
Organic Bloom has a number of options in so many ways, it’s like walking into Willie Wonka’s factory! I also LOVE that your print is the front of the frame…no glass or plexi. It really creates a super rich feel to the frame and photo. LOVE THAT about them!!
In all honesty, I won that Wild Sorbet frame and it is fabulous. Their frames are very sturdy and heavy with various options and colors!
Lastly is the master bedroom. I have been waiting for weeks for my 40×40 canvas of a beautiful shot from our wedding, it has still not arrived (don’t worry the call has been put in!). I also have another frame to the matching one below that will be on either side of the canvas. The other shot is a cutoff image as well with me and the hubs again. It’s not an image you would think to frame but it is SO us and I know they will look amazing up on our wall.
It has been amazing to have our images up. It makes our home feel like a home!
by True Atelier, Teaching Tuesday Contributor
Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like you are just ONE photographer among thousands. This is true in some geographic areas more than most, and if it is true for you, that discouragement is something you have to guard against… not only for your sanity but for the longevity and success of your business. As we have worked to establish True Atelier’s brand and our business in our area, there are 5 tried and true things we have done to stand out! Give them a try, or if you are like us, find one or two of these areas that need improvement and perhaps set a New Year’s resolution for your business regarding its improvement.
5 ways to stand out:
1) Find your own unique style:
To define your style, focus on the things that are unique to you. Study what you gravitate towards. What do you pin on Pinterest? What magazines do you read? What type of art do you prefer? What type of literature do you read? What type of movies do you love? How do you dress? Your color preference can be easily discerned from your closet! Also, look at how you decorate your home. Make a list of the characteristics you find in these areas and you are bound to see some similarities. If you find that you love muted tones, and you gravitate towards things that are classic and modern, then that is a great style definition that you can use to incorporate into some of the next steps we will mention. Then, once your style is clearly defined, really try to stick to it where you business is concerned. Your client sessions may not always reflect your style… often times the images from a client session reflects their style instead… but strive to post and display images that go along with your style, and eventually that is something you will be known for, and clients with a similar style will be drawn to you.
(a little style/ decorating inspiration from our homes/ offices)
2) Branding! Branding! Branding!
Your brand is a reflection of who YOU are as a photographer and what your business encompasses. It is how the public perceives your business. Your brand is represented through things like your logo, your website and other on-line platforms, your product packaging and/ or client gifts, and all other aspects related to your business. If you have determined that you have a vintage style, would it be cohesive to package your products in bright, colorful, and modern packaging? Definitely not! It causes confusion and creates a disconnect between you and those viewing or receiving your work. Make others remember you by being cohesive! Choose a color scheme for your business, stick to the style and colors throughout all your online and printed materials and soon enough you will be recognized for it!
It is ten times easier to stand out from the crowd if you specialize in a certain area of photography. That way you can become known for something! The same way you recognize the name of a local dentist, surgeon, or pediatrician, you can be known for offering exceptional art in a certain genre. Throughout our photography journey many of us find that we enjoy one type of client more than others. Perhaps you love shooting newborns, or perhaps you shy away from it. Do what you love by SHOOTING what you love! Not only will YOU be happier in the long run, but you will have happy clients. You always do your best work when it is something you enjoy! For instance, at True Atelier we love shooting adult individuals, primarily females. So, we specialize in modeling portfolios, head-shots, high school seniors, and brides. Now, specializing in photography does not mean you CANNOT shoot any other types of sessions, but it does mean that it should be your goal to fill your books with these types of sessions, and those should be the sessions you post for the world to see. You should be advertising to this type of client rather than those you DO NOT specialize in serving, and if the need arises, feel comfortable enough to refer inquiries for sessions that you don’t specialize in, to other local photographers whose work you admire.
4) Collaborate with Vendors:
Hook up with vendors that have a target market and client base that is similar to yours. Make a huge effort to do this locally, and also feel free to work with other online vendors that have a similar style and target market. This benefits you BOTH by putting your work and their products in front of potential clients and can exponentially increase your exposure! The more the world sees your work and your brand, through printed advertising or online exposure, the more recognizable you become. Approach a local salon or boutique about collaborating to feature their work. This can also be done with florists and hair and makeup artists.
(the shoot below featured the clothing of a local boutique, and also the work of a talented local hair and makeup team)
5) Take advantage of SOCIAL MEDIA:
In this day and age, this cannot be stressed enough. Use the social media platforms that are HOT to share your work! Blogging has long been a fabulous way to build a following, and it is so now more than ever. The last couple years has made Facebook increasing popular with photographers and it continues to be a huge benefit to our own photography business. Also, find ways to incorporate the increasingly popular platforms like Instagram and Pinterest into your social media schedule! Yes, SCHEDULE!!! It is definitely fun to use these awesome apps and websites for our own personal pleasure and inspiration, but make sure to also take it seriously! These platforms give you FREE and CRAZILY effective advertising! Consider offering a contest or a giveaway through instagram or pinterest, make yourself and your business prevalent on those platforms and make SURE that all of your accounts (personal or otherwise) represent your brand! We try to Instragram a few times a week, blog at least weekly, and have a consistent and polished facebook presence. Check our platforms out here for ideas.
Nicole Klingler and Chantri Keele are Idaho based, national wedding and portrait photographers with an affinity for all things styled and editorial. Their work has been featured on popular photography resources like SENIOROLOGIE and LEMONADE & LENSES, as well as in print in CHIC MAGAZINE. Nicole and Chantri love sharing what they have learned with other photographers in the industry through blogging and workshops. Check them out at www.trueatelier.com , through their other social media platforms found above, or visit them at their studio in the historic downtown of Idaho Falls.
The best way to really sparkle and increase confidence is to give back. Here’s how:
by Alysa Darmody, Vice President at Magic Hour Foundation
This year, I was changed by a pedicure. It’s been 10 months since I found myself at the Stanford bedside of my adopted little sister, Daphne. She was about 4’11”, snarky, a gymnast and a singer. And she was finding out that her brain tumor was not, in fact, benign, as originally thought. Now it was a glioblastoma, a word that made my father – Daphne’s physician for nearly her entire life – simply shake his head.
It was rallying time and the waiting room was crammed with relatives and mountains of food. I was just one of Daphne’s supporters, and not blood related at that. What could I do for my girl that no one had already covered? In one of the two really good conversations I got with her, we reminisced, we laughed over her words that mysteriously appeared in inappropriate places, and we simply sat silently while I rubbed her thin arms and feet. “I really wish I could paint my toenails for the 49er game,” she sighed. “ON IT!!” I nearly trampled the poor girl in my eagerness to have a job. She laughed. “Well in that case, get me some In’N’Out burger, too.”
I’m terrible at painting nails, but in this case, I do think it was the most beautiful pedicure anyone could have. And that pedicure changed my role in Daphne’s passing. It gave me something to do – silly as it was. And when it comes to relating to cancer and the beautiful people fighting it – that is all that some of us could ever need or want.
When Daphne fell asleep and my portrait photographer husband realized how few pictures were taken of her in her three year battle with that tumor, we wept. She was beautiful and fierce, even without hair. And suddenly, we had a job.
Magic Hour Foundation provides charitable portrait sessions to cancer patients and survivors across the country. The name comes from the perfect yellow light cast by the sun as it transitions at the beginning and ending of each day. It’s perfect and it only comes about through change. So it is with our cancer warriors – their lives are forever altered upon the diagnosis. Priorities change, character often changes. No matter the outcome, this battle – and this life – deserves to be documented.
Because cancer is universal, we need a vast network of workers. We need a professional in every city so that no matter where the applicant is from, we have them covered. Our goal would be to tap a photographer on the shoulder no more than 2-3 times per year, but you may not get a call at all. Being available and willing is your gift. It’s so simple, it’s almost silly. But it’s a job that YOU can do. Simply shine your little light from your corner of the country until it’s needed.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Daphne and that beautiful pedicure that just might change the world.
Photographers: find more information and sign up online at www.magichourfoundation.org