News and Fall Special! (Winnipeg Photographers)

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Newsletter; Aug. 2018

 

John and I are Married!

The question of whether or not to change your name is always one that brides ask themselves. After giving this some thought I have decided that I will change mine, so I will be Christina Kaye in the near future and I might change the name of my website.  I’m looking at ckphotos or chriskayephotography or some variation of that. I will let you know when this happens. It won’t be in the next couple of months.

We are also looking to buy a place just North of the city that will hold my studio and also have a workshop for John. I don’t want to lose you, my clients, so we won’t be going too far. We both have work to do on our houses before that happens, so in the meantime, my studio will remain at 86 Taunus Dr.

Here are a few images from our wedding.



Fall Family Photo Special!

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over! July has been a whirlwind for John and I. We spent a lot of time getting the cabin ready for our wedding and planning our special day. Right after that, we spent 11 amazing days in Newfoundland and then I spent a week in Calgary with my grandson.
Now here we are, at the end of August, with fall coming along very soon.

Fall is the perfect time to update your family portrait. The days are cooler and the colours of the trees make an amazing backdrop. The best time of day for doing your family picture is at the end of the day about an hour or 2 before sunset. Sunset is around 6:30 or 7:00 pm in Oct, therefore the best time for your family session is around 5:00. Mornings around 9:30 or 10:00 is also an option but mornings tend to be quite cool in Oct.

We can, of course do sessions at other times if your schedule won’t accommodate those times.

I am usually at Victoria Beach on the weekends, which is so beautiful in the fall. I would be happy to do your session there. Let me know if that is an option for you.

I will stay in the city for the weekend of Sept. 22nd, so let me know if that weekend works for you.

I am going to waive the session fee for the first 4 families that book a family session in the fall. So don’t delay booking your session. I will need a $50 deposit to secure your session. You can use that deposit towards your purchase of prints after the session. Regular session fees are $80, so it is quite a savings!



The Best Camera?



People often ask me which camera to buy. There is no easy answer to that question  because there are a lot of factors to consider; like what you plan on using it for, what your budget is and how much knowledge you have about photography.  The short answer is that the best camera to use is the one you have with you. I would look at a site such as this one https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369450,00.asp to see what the experts think. I have a couple of Canon SLRs but I also have the Canon G5X, which is a point and shoot camera that also shoots in RAW. I use my iPhone for a lot of pictures and it really is amazing. I don't think smart phones will ever replace SLRs or mirrorless cameras but they have improved dramatically in recent years. These are images that I took with my iPhone 6Plus. 
I took this first one at Victoria Beach. I had my SLR with me but I had a dead battery and I also had my G5X with me but no cards, so I used my iPhone to capture this amazing scene. I edited the image with Snapseed and only used Photoshop to change the DPI to 300. I blew this up to 24x36 and it looks amazing! 


I took this one while walking on a trail in Newfoundland. Again, it was the only camera I had with me and again I only used Photoshop to change the DPI to 300. 


So take a lot of pictures, using whatever you have with you, use editing software and print the ones you like best. My favourite software for my phone is Snapseed. It does pretty much anything! Have fun and let me know if you need any help.


I recently came across this poem by Spike Milligan and wanted to share it with you today.

Yours in Photography,

Christina

2013 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Here are some of the stats in the report:

138 posts in 2013

728 posts in total

743 photographs uploaded!

Click on the link above to see the full report!

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!
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Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by.

2013 was a fantastic year for ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography. I did an amazing 128 sessions this past year, plus a number of events like We Day. The slowest months were January and February and the busiest month was November, with an unbelievable total of 26 sessions!

I’m looking forward to meeting new clients and reconnecting with former ones in 2014, as well as creating new challenges for myself, both in life and in photography.



My Year in Review

Here are a few of the highlights of my year:

  • Going to Havana, Cuba in February.

  • Spending time with my family in Mexico in April.

  • Starting swimming lessons in June! 

  • Having my grandson stay with me for 3 weeks last summer! 

  • And having my son here for a week. Here they are strawberry picking. 

  • We Day 2013, getting to know Craig Kielburger while following him around for 2 days and getting my picture taken with Martin Sheen!

  • Certainly not a highlight; more of a lowlight actually, but my car accident was a significant happening in 2013. I am very fortunate that I came out of it all right except for some whiplash. And the highlight of it will be the new car I buy, as mine is being written off! 

So 2013 has not ended on a high note, but it really does depend on how you look at it. My glass is definitely 3/4 full! I have so many things to be grateful for in this past year: friends and family and my dog are at the top of my list, with my business coming shortly behind. Not to mention, having good health and a warm house!



As for living in Winnipeg; the poster below should say, “learning to dance in a blizzard and in frigid temperatures.”



Coupon Code

I am offering a special price on prints for the first couple of weeks in January. Please note that this coupon is only valid for prints on my website and not for prints ordered through me. Just use the “add to cart” feature on my website and then when you checkout, use the codejansale.  The discount will be applied to your order.

If you would like additional editing done to your images before you order it, please send me an email with the file name and what you would like done to it. I’ll do the editing asap and reload your image into your gallery.

If your gallery is unlisted, just send me an email and I can relist it for you.



And finally

I am keeping this newsletter short. I found this quote on Facebook and love the message.

Yours in Photography,
Christina

November Newsletter! (Winnipeg Photographers)

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Winter is Here!
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Whining about winter!

I try to be a positive person but winter is not my season. I don’t like the dark, the cold, the isolation, the icy roads, the blustery winds and a host of other stuff. I walk outside in the winter and I don’t mind that. I dress for it. But I really hate driving in the winter and I really hate how early it gets dark. But anyone who wants to live  in Winnipeg has to put up with winter and so I do. I like living here and I plan to move. I’m thinking of going somewhere hot but not sure where.  Let’s see: Hawaii, Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, ………………………………….

How about the rest of you? How do you cope with winter? I could use a pep talk on why I should like winter.

This is Kilcona Park. Yes, hoar-frost is beautiful and is one good reason to like winter.

I haven’t done a newsletter for a long time because I’ve been so busy shooting and editing and working on orders. It’s all good. Even in the winter! But I am taking a break from all the other things that I need to do to write to you about what is new here at ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography.



New Package

I like to try out new price categories and this one has been very popular lately.

10 digital images plus 5×7 prints of the images for $185

One of the reasons that I introduced this category is because of my belief that images should be printed and displayed. It’s great to have digital copies of your files but I feel it’s also important to display prints of your favourite images in your home and office and  I often wonder how many clients who buy digital files will have prints made.

The other reason is because, if I include the print, I know how it will look and can assured of its quality. I have my prints done at Don’s Photo on Main and I recommend them to clients. I urge you to avoid Walmart or drug store kiosks for printing. The quality is not good and will not reflect the work that I put into your images. I want you to have the best quality for a reasonable price.



Christmas cards

I’ve had some people ask if I design Christmas cards and the answer is that yes, I do. I can do a custom design for you or you can make up your own card on my website. Yes, you can design your card right on my website, using your images and make any changes to it that you would like. Just start by clicking on the “add to my cart” button on any image and follow the links.

And just in time for Christmas, I am offering a coupon code for 20% off all cards. This offer is good until Dec. 7th, so don’t delay! You’ll need to hurry on this offer as my website provider always states that shipping takes 3 weeks. I’ve had orders come in a week or 10 days but I guess they say 3 weeks to be on the safe side.

The code is “xmascardspecial.” Just type in the code when you place your order and you will save 20%!

This is a screen shot of one card that I made up in 5 minutes!



 

Groupon

Thank you to all the people who bought my latest Groupon. Don’t forget that this one expires in 6 months and not a year. And please remember that if you bought a Groupon before and are interested in another session, that I will do your session for the Groupon price. Why give Groupon 45% of the money?

So for $55, I will do your session and include prints of one image!



Your Galleries

A huge “thank you”  to all my clients who have placed an order in a timely fashion.

I like to keep galleries listed for a 2 week period but I am open to keeping your gallery listed a little longer. I understand that sometimes your lives are more hectic than other times and you need more time. Having said that, I won’t keep your gallery listed indefinitely and will move it to the archives if I don’t hear from you. However, should you decide to place an order at a later date, just send me an email and I can relist it. But have no fear, I never delete your images. They are safely stored in the Smugmug Vault!



WE DAY

It was my pleasure to once be a WE DAY photographer. This year I followed Craig Kielburger, one of the founders around. I was at the gala event the evening before the main event and then followed him around the entire day of We Day. I thought that Craig was a quiet, possibly even introverted man, who is not at all like his stage persona. He was very considerate of everyone that he came in contact with and seemed to genuinely care about others. It was an honor to spend time with him.

Here are a few highlights of the 2 days, starting with me on stage!



And Finally

That’s it for today!

Yours in Photography,
Christina

 

On Gratitude!

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gratitude

gratitude (Photo credit: nathalie booth)

Gratitude is:

“Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive”

(according to wikipedia)

I sometimes wonder if it is our basic human nature to complain and have negative thoughts. I know that it’s hard not to.  Sometimes it takes more effort to remain positive, especially when life sends us lemons. There are many books on this subject and I don’t plan to get into it here, except to say that I try to live my life by the Law of Attraction(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction).  I believe that what I put out there (into the world) comes back to me. If I put out negativity, I will get negativity back. I think the things we read and watch also influence our world and so I do not watch the news or read articles about crime in the newspaper. There is no need to. And if the Apocalypse does come, someone will tell me and I will find a way to get to my friend Andrea’s house, who is prepared for it.

There is a lot of goodness in the world and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to think about the good things in our lives.  I have so many and want to share a few:

First, I found a couple of quotes that rang true for me.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

And with winter coming and with it the brutal temperatures and wind and cold and icy roads and snow. But in the meantime, we have had October and it has been glorious!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

So my main list goes something like this:

I am so very thankful for:

  • My friends and family and my dog; knowing that there is always someone who I can talk to or do stuff with.  It’s huge. Knowing that my dog is always there to cuddle with and lick my nose is a blessing.
  • Photography; having a second career that I love is a huge high for me. I love photographing children and babies and meeting all the people who I’ve met through photography.
  • Peace in my life; I remember going to a Robert Provencher workshop (http://westmountphotography.com) about 6 years ago and he said that you can’t get anywhere in a photography business until you have peace in your life. I have Peace in my life. I am so grateful for that.
  • Good health; when I see people fighting major illnesses I thank my lucky stars for my good health.

Those are the big things but there are a million other things that I am grateful for:

  • living in Canada
  • books
  • walking in the park in Oct.
  • chocolate
  • kilcona 10 13-202sm
  • Scrabble
  • iPhones
  • computers
  • Lightroom
  • red tomatos
  • lilies

backyard 7 13-260sm

  • chocolate (Oops said that already)
  • the beautiful colours of fall
  • being a teacher
  • the birds on my hot tub cover who use it as a bird bath
  • sunlight through the trees
  • Bunn’s Creek Park
  • Kilcona Park
  • seeing Paul McCartney in concert with my son
  • listening to my grandson play the saxophone over the phone
  • red wine
  • coffee

I could probably go on but you get the idea.

Be grateful. Spread the positive. Give someone a hug today or say a kind word to a stranger.

Be Positive and be Grateful.

Gratitude changes everything

Gratitude changes everything (Photo credit: symphony of love)

New Website Launch and other News! (Winnipeg Photographers)

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New Website

I’m really excited to be launching a new website today. It’s been a lot of work to get it going but I love the clean, uncluttered look of it. Smugmug was a huge help in getting this site up and running.

The site name is the same: http://www.chrismcwilliamsphotography.com but the look is different!

I would appreciate your feedback. There shouldn’t be any glitches at this point, but you never know. Please let me know if you find any.

Next step: updating http://www.21photo.ca and my blog: http://www.chrismcwilliamsphotography.wordpress.com.



Family Vacation

I’ve had a great 3 weeks with my family here while they were visiting from Calgary. My grandson was here for 3 weeks and my son was here for 2 of them. We had a ton of fun and did a lot of stuff. Winnipeg is a great city to be in during the summer and we took in The Fringe and Folklorama. We visited the zoo, the museum, went strawberry picking to name a few.  They played a lot of golf and pool and even went bowling. As always, it’s an adjustment when they leave but work is keeping me busy now, so it’s all good.

Here are some of the images from their visit to Winnipeg:

     
   



Head shots

I’ve been asked a few times recently if I do head shots. The answer is, “yes, I enjoy doing head shots”. I always like getting to know people and people who come for head shots always have a story to tell. If you or someone you know need a head shot, please send me an email at chrismcwilliamsphotography@gmail.com or call me (204-962-3424) and we can set up an appointment for you.
Here are some head shots that I’ve done.

     

The cost of getting a head shot done is $55 plus PST. With that I will include an 8×10, 2 5x7s and 4 wallet sized prints. Headshot sessions usually take 20 to 30 minutes but we can do a longer session if you need more time to change your outfit etc.

I would love to do a head shot for you!


 

Why choose ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography?

I recently did a blog post on why you should choose ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography for all of your photography needs. I am copying it here in case you missed it.

Why Choose ChrisMcWilliams Photography?

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When thinking about writing this post I felt a bit like Meredith telling Derek to choose me, love me in the episode on March 29th, 2008.

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Telling people to “choose me” feels a bit awkward to me. In my career as an early years teacher, it was not something that was done, except in a few cases when a difficult child was coming into my grade and then it was more: “please do  not choose me!’

But I’ve gotten used to the idea of asking people to choose me and I understand the need for self promotion. I’ve done my research. I’m always googling Winnipeg photographers and looking at other photographer’s  work. There are an astounding number of family, newborn and wedding photographers in Winnipeg and a lot of them are doing great work.

So the question that comes up for me, is why should someone choose ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography out of all the others?

So I came up with these basic reasons:

You should choose ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography because:

  • I have a comfortable in-home studio with a separate room for you to feed and change your baby, or for your kids to play in.
  • I have a lot of different coloured blankets, hats, headbands and containers for your baby if you’re coming for a newborn session.
  • I give you the option of having the session in your own home.
  • I am infinitely patient and will spend as much time as is needed to get the photos of your newborn or children.
  • I love newborns and children. I love cuddling newborns and I love playing with kids and interacting with them.
  • I am experienced and have been doing portrait and wedding photography for about 6 years.
  • I will edit your images to your satisfaction and am an expert in all things Photoshop.
  • I will make your session fun and easy.
  • I have won awards for my photography.

rene 9 12- (2)

Those are all good reasons but most of those dozens of other photographers can say those very same  things.

So I had to look beyond the basic reasons for why a client should choose me, and I came up with the following “beyond the basics” reasons:

  • I don’t try to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of products. My prices are clearly stated and I will be happy to sell you a canvas wrapped 20′x30′ print of your family portrait but I won’t be trying to hard sell one to you. That is how some photographers make most of their money.
  • You will have a private viewing gallery for 2 weeks and not 2 days and I will re-list your gallery or keep it online for longer if you need more time. There is no cost involved in this and I have unlimited storage on my website, so you can take your time choosing your images without any pressure.
  • I guarantee customer satisfaction and will redo your session or offer you a refund if you are not happy with your images.
  • I have many years experience as an early years teacher and I know kids. I still substitute teach so I know what your kids are learning in different grades. I know kids and I love kids. I have 2 kids and 1 grandson so I have seen all stages of childhood.

cheryl 5 13-101

So there is it.

And Derek did choose Meredith.

I hope I have convinced you to choose me!

family playa 5 13-103bwsm

That’s me with Ashton, my favorite guy anywhere and also my grandson! And he choose me to visit this summer for 3 glorious fun-filled weeks! How cool is that?

And finally

Love this one. Wish I had had my “real” camera with me last night at the Paul McCartney concert. The visuals were almost as amazing as the music! As it was, I used my iPhone which also goes to prove that the best camera is the one that you have with you!

Yours in Photography,
Christina

Copyright © 2013 ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography, All rights reserved.
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Christmas Gift Ideas including a 20% off Coupon! (Winnipeg Christmas Photography Specials)

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Do you enjoy shopping in the malls at Christmas? I don’t. I am not patient waiting in lines or battling crowds of people. I won’t be one of the shoppers at the new Ikea store the week that it opens. I’m excited for Ikea coming to Winnipeg and am looking forward to my first shopping trip there, but I’ll wait a couple of weeks and then avoid the weekend crowds.

Lately, my favorite way to shop is online. Just this last weekend, with the Black Friday sales, I bought: a hoodie, a jacket and boots for my dog, boots for me, a clamp for my flash and a beautiful top online. It was so easy and quick. I know that if I want to return any of these items I can and it will be a bit of a pain to mail them back, but in the end, I think I saved time and money and it was FUN! And after I made the first purchase at one store, I got free shipping for the next purchase!!

Why am I telling you this?

I have some gift ideas to share with you that you don’t even need to leave your house to purchase. Sound good?  Well here they are:

  • Gift Certificates


Why not get that special someone the gift of a photography session? And to make the deal sweeter, I am offering anyone who purchases a gift certificate for someone else, a session for themselves at half price. In other words, you pay the regular price for the gift certificate session and then you can come for your own session and have it for half price! Or why not buy 2 gift certificates and get the second one at half price?

You can purchase a gift certificate for any amount that you like. A session fee is $125 (plus tax) and you can always add onto that to enable the receiver to also get some prints of digital images. If that amount is too much, make it for less, or go together with someone else. It’s a gift will be appreciated. If you want to make it more special, you can always buy a frame, put the gift certificate into the frame and wrap that! Then later, the frame can be used for a photo from the session.

  • Photo Merchandise

Did you know that there is a large variety of merchandise available on SmugMug, my website host? There are t-shirts, aprons, fridge magnets, photo playing cards, photo puzzles, mugs etc, etc. You can have your own image mounted right on an item and have it delivered to your door. How easy is that? Perfect stocking stuffers for that special person on your list!

Here are some of the items. Please note that these are not my images but are from the Smugmug website.

3 inch or 4 inch pin-on button       Set of 4, each 4 inches square with cork back.                                    
The Coupon

I saved the best part for last.

Did any of you watch Oprah’s Favorite Things this year? I watched it last night and it brought tears to my eyes. This year Oprah decided to honour military families and give her favorite things to the wives (and one husband) of soldiers that are deployed overseas. I can’t do what Oprah does and give things away but my favorite things are photos. Preserving our family memories is so hugely important and I love being a part of that.

So to make it easier on your pocketbook, I am offering a coupon that will save you 20% off any purchase on my website. The code is CMPHOTO. It is valid until Dec. 23rd.

It is valid on merchandise, digital downloads and prints. Don’t delay. I’m excited to offer you this special.

If you have a gallery that is no longer listed, but you would like to order something from it, just send me an email and I can relist it.
 



And Finally

Gratitude: Something that I think a lot of us forget about. I am grateful for so many things: for all the interesting people who I meet, for the way in which I smile when I am editing your photos even though nobody is around. For my dog, who is always there for hugs and cuddles, for the way in which I have managed to have a second career that I Iove. For all of my friends who are so precious to me and for my family who I can always count on. For good health (being sick in the last 2 weeks made me realize how important that is) and of course for red wine and chocolate.

I love this image. No, it isn’t mine, but it’s precious and so funny!

Yours in Photography,
Christina