Avery James Photography

Avery James Photography

Monday, November 29, 2010

Would it be weird to send 20 different holiday cards to each family on our list?

...so, would it?  Because I'm having a really hard time choosing between Shutterfly's gazillion different holiday card designs!  If I could just go through and check yes/no on each one, then order all the 'yes-es' - one of each for every friend and family member, then just mail them a package of cards this year with our family photos plastered on them - that would make life that much easier.  :)  But I'm guessing that you're all saying - "Yes, Crystal...that would be weird...and a bit obsessive....and just plain creepy."  What?  You mean everyone doesn't want a wall full of cards of my family for their very own home??  OK, OK...well, what would you do?

I received this absolutely awesome opportunity to blog about Shutterfly and their 2010 Christmas and holiday cards, and in return - I get 50 free photo cards for myself this year!  Great because I was just thinking recently about how I probably wouldn't be sending any out this year...but I guess I am now!  Plus, I love Shutterfly...I use them to develop all my family snapshots for albums and stuff like that, and I have 3 of their photobooks at home that I've put together that I absolutely treasure.

So that's the good part...the hard part is trying to figure out which design I want to use for my 50 cards!  I can't even decide what picture I'm going to use yet...I think it's going to be just Caydan in the picture this year...and I'd like to use just one picture for the whole card....I'm thinking of using the sunset picture of Caydan up there in my blog header...or maybe this one here:

I typically drift towards full color pictures, but so many of Shutterfly's designs look really good with black and white pictures....but it's just not really my style....what's a girl to do?

Here's a few that caught my eye in their Christmas card designs...I like the black one cause I'm typically just a fan of the darker colors in general (couldn't you tell from my blog??)...what do you think?

I kinda really like this one too though....but I can't tell if I like it just because the picture of the little girl in it is adorable and fits so well with the design.  I would also need to make sure the words and everything are going to show through on whichever picture I use...I'll have to play around with it I guess...

And then for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, but you still send out cards for other various winter holidays or just for fun, Shutterfly has a more generic selection of "holiday" cards to choose from as well - Shutterfly Holiday Cards  :)

So after I finish designing my Christmas cards, then I'll probably mosey on over to check out Shutterflys's 2011 calendars....because if you know me, then you'll know I have a weird thing for calendars...I usually have from 3-5 different calendars all at one time...and if I can personalize them, then they're that much better!

So this is my dilemma - which design do I pick for our cards this year?...and now back to my original question - would it be weird to send 20 different holiday cards to each family on our list?  I think not....  :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Feature - Giveaway List!

NOTE: I'm constantly updating this post, so keep checking back!

Lately I've become wrapped up in this giveaway world....how could you not I guess??  For those of you unfamiliar with the blogging world, did you know that there are hundreds (if not more) of free giveaways on the internet?  You can win some pretty awesome things too....some are smaller like from people's Etsy shops, and some are major like laptops, and then there's everything in between.

Since I've been entering them left and right, I figured I'd start a list here so that I can share all these awesome giveaways with you.  I guess this lowers my odds of winning if you all enter, but in the end I hope that it increases some traffic to my blog, so I suppose I'll take the trade off. :)  Besides, I like to share exciting things that I come across!

With that said, make sure you share this blog post with your friends so they come visit too! :)

So here's a few to start off with, I'm not posting every single one because there's just too many, I'm just going to post the ones that I like.  I'll update this specific post with new ones, and then I'll note which ones are closed....every once in awhile I'll put up a new post altogether so it doesn't get too far down on my blog.

Want your giveaway featured?  I'm offering sponsored giveaway space as well - your giveaway will be listed here, but noted as a "Sponsored Giveaway", you will also be given space for a button on my sidebar through the length of your giveaway.  Currently selling the space for $5.00, get it while the price is hot!

And before the list, I wanted to share one of newer fine art prints because I just love how this turned out!  You can purchase any of my fine art prints on my Etsy site here: Blue Marbles

1. The Johns Family: Read and Share Bible for kids - ends Jan. 21
2. My Giveaway Today: Pillow Pets games - ends Jan. 24
3. Being Frugal and Making It Work: $65 CSN gift certificate - ends Feb. 2
4. Life with the Dietrick's: Month's supply of Popchips - ends Jan. 21
5. Living On Ashley's Allowance: $25 gift card to Victoria Secrets - ends Jan. 31
6. The Scent Peddler: Gold Canyon Baking Line candle - ends ??  (maybe Jan. 31?)
7. Brixton Street: $10 Amazon gift card - ends Feb. 9
8. Aubut Family: Hearthsong Spinning Seesaw - ends Jan. 26
9. Momma Told Me: Anybook Reader - ends Feb. 1
10. Black Nail Polish and Lip Gloss: Zoya Intimate Collection Nail Polish - ends Feb. 4
11. Misplaced Jersey Girl: $35 CSN gift certificate - ends Jan. 30
12. Living on Love and Giveaways: Kitchen Aid mixer - ends Feb. 28
13. 21. SweepStakesMania.com: Free $25 gift card to Walmart - ends Jan. 31
14. Just Another New Blog: $50 Babies R Us gift card - ends Jan. 24
15. Mimi Loves All 8: Face Candy Couture Eyeshadow - ends Jan. 18

Friday, November 26, 2010

Picture A Day - Nov 26 2010 - Name this picture!

One of my blog readers, Warren B., recently inquired about another "Name this picture" post (like this one: http://averyjamesphotography.blogspot.com/2010/10/picture-day-oct-23-2010.html)....and I thought it was a great idea!  Especially since I couldn't figure out what to name the below image I recently took on a trip to Las Vegas.

It's currently up for sale on Etsy, along with other images, but as of now it's only called "Untitled".  Doesn't quite pull you in, does it?  :)

With that said - help me come up with a name for this image.  I'm not the best wordsmith, so naming my art pieces isn't really my area.  :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Mini-Session Photoshoot and Fine Art Print Giveaway Contest!

There's two parts to this contest - one for a photo session, and one for a fine-art print.  Even if you're not local to the L.A. area you can enter to win a free fine-art print from AJP!

First, the free photo-session:

If you're in the L.A. area, or going to be anytime in the near future, you should definitely enter my giveaway for a free mini-session photoshoot!! :) :)  This is a great opportunity to get some updated family photos!

Deadline to enter is December 7, 2010.

You must become a fan of Avery James Photography on Facebook to enter....and for every friend that you refer, you get an extra chance to win.  If your referral wins, then you win too!

You can check out all the details here (Facebook link):

Part 2 (for anyone, anywhere in U.S.)

If you blog about this giveaway (note the free photo session AND the fine art print), you will be entered to win an 8x12 fine art print from my gallery.  You can see current prints in my Etsy shop, and I plan on adding more soon - so you can wait to redeem your prize if you don't see anything you like yet. :)

Please have your blog post link back directly to this post (Link: http://averyjamesphotography.blogspot.com/2010/11/free-mini-session-photoshoot-and-fine.html).  Then post the perma-link to your blog post about this giveaway in the comments.
And don't forget to include your email address!

Deadline to enter for the fine art print is also Dec. 7, 2010.  A winner will be chosen at random  and posted here as well as contacted via email.

This is the first blog-style giveaway I've done, so I hope I did it right.  Happy to answer any questions - crystal@averyjamesphotography.com  :)

And to leave you with a picture, here is a gorgeous sunset that I photographed about a month or two ago outside my home.  The sky was just absolutely amazing that day.  This, and other fine art images, are up for sale in my Etsy shop! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Picture A Day - Nov 16, 2010

I've already posted this pic on Facebook, but I never blogged about it...so it's a repeat for some, but not others. :)

I took this pic a couple of years ago at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.  I love that place!  My favorite animal amusement park (as opposed to the zoo or Sea World, etc.)....I just love the outdoorsy feel to the whole park and the trails, and most of all the Savannah area - it's breathtaking when you see it and all the animals just roaming around.  They have this "Sleep and Snore" program there where you can camp overnight in their tents (already set up, really nice tents).  They have different programs and activities for different groups, and so far my son has been too young for all of them...but I think he's almost at the age requirement.  Super pricey, but it sounds like so much fun! :)

This picture is also available for sale in my Etsy shop, where I've just lowered the price on all my fine art prints by about 35%!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenge - Silhouettes

I just came across another photography contest over on I Heart Faces, and once again I immediately thought of the perfect picture to enter!

This week's theme is "Silhouettes" and since I just took this silhouette picture a couple weeks ago that I am absolutely in love with - I figured this was perfect timing!

So here is my entry, I'd love to see all of your entries if you participate!

Picture A Day - Nov 15, 2010

So yesterday I had a wonderful day with a friend and her husband that I haven't seen in months....maybe closer to a year actually if I really thought about it!  She moved up to the Calabasas, CA. area awhile back and as it's about an hour drive from me, I hadn't yet made it up there to visit with my crazy schedule.  But yesterday, after months in the making, I finally made the drive with my son to go visit.

We had a wonderful time...went hiking in the Santa Monica mountains...extremely hot out and dry, but a fun walk nonetheless.  We made it to the visitor center where my son got to check out all the stuffed animals (not toys, the real kind, lol.), make animal tracks in dirt, and touch skeletons and snake skin.  We all also learned that a mountain lion is also known as a "cougar", NOT a "jaguar" as I kept saying, lol.

After our hike back to the car we were all famished and low on blood sugar...made it back to their house for some delicious turkey sandwiches.  Then we headed out towards the Malibu/Zuma beach area with a pit stop at the Coffee Bean....which was located in this fabulous little shopping area with a park in the middle....and this hilarious statue nestled next to the playground that I just couldn't get over the prominent "cheeks", lol.

But that's not today's photo, even though it's pretty funny...that was just a camera phone snapshot.

Today's photo is of my son while we watched the sunset at the beach...I think we were somewhere in between Malibu and Zuma.  It was hard to get a good clear shot because everytime I went to take a picture, someone else was standing right behind him taking their pictures....seriously, there's millions of miles of beach and they kept picking the spot right where I was taking a pic!  That's how my luck works typically though....

So here is the picture...I had a bunch of different ones, but I loved this one because he just looks so darn happy.  He was being a goofball when I took it, but it looks like complete joy in the final product. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thematic Photograph 123 - Black and White

I just came across a fun little blogging game that I figured I'd participate in...I'll make an attempt to do it weekly, but we all know how I am when it comes to committing to things like this, lol.

So it looks like the whole idea is that the owner of this blog (Written Inc.) will post a weekly theme.  Others then post a pic with that theme on their blog and comment on his post to show you participated.

So this week's theme is Black and White.  As soon as I saw the theme I immediately thought of the perfect picture....I absolutely LOVE how this one came out when i converted it to b/w.  It's in my Top 10 all-time favorite pics in my portfolio.

Let me know if you participate too so I can check out your pics! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A and J - March 2010

As I was attempting to organize some photos on my hard drives, I realized that I never blogged about this session!  Shame on me!  Especially considering it was done almost 8 months ago!  Geeeez I am dropping the ball.  But in my defense, this session was when I was still working a full-time job in addition to full-time photography, and full-time Mom duties.  Not sure how that all mathematically adds up to fit in a day, but that should explain how I completely bypassed this session.

So anyways...I have loved being able to watch this family grow....my first session with them was when little "J" was a wee baby, only a few weeks old I believe...which I just realized the pics don't even load properly anymore on my blog...it was that long ago that I didn't know what I was doing when I uploaded them I think...so here is one of the pics from that first session:

Since then, I did another session with them when "J" was around 6 months I believe...here's a few of those pics: http://averyjamesphotography.blogspot.com/2009/05/growing-family.html

And then the below session which would make "J" about a year and a half I believe...and of course his big sister "A" has grown as well, but the changes are always so much more obvious in a child's first couple of years.

Unfortunately this fabulous family moved away from California to another state completely ::tear:: but thankfully they still have some ties to the So Cal area and will be back in December...and yes, we'll be doing another session while they're here!

So although it's 8 months late, here are some pics from the most recent session of "A" and "J"! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Picture A Day - Nov 7, 2010 - Happy [belated] Halloween!

A little late, but I just had time to put this little pic together the other night (bottom)...was having fun playing around with this digital scrapbooking stuff. :)

So our Halloween consisted of first going to find this little Halloween carnival in Palos Verdes...which I assumed I knew where it was and went straight there...we saw tents set up and lots of people so we parked and got out, then upon walking around realized - 'duh, we're at a Farmers Market'...so we shopped around a bit while we were there and discovered this DELICIOUS flatbread dip with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and a bunch of spices and oil....so we bought one and it is YUMMMMYY....

Then I actually looked up the address to find the carnival (first step next time) and headed that way (complete opposite direction).  It was a small carnival with little crafts and games for the kids.  They also had a pumpkin race which we watched for a bit, but none of the pumpkins made it very far unfortunately.

Afterwards we ate lunch at In n Out (yummmmmm, animal fries!) and then headed to Riviera Village in Redondo Beach for some practice trick-or-treating, lol.  They have the street blocked off and all the shops give out candy...that place gets packed with tons of cute trick or treaters, and lots of dressed up dogs too.

While we waited for it to get dark, we went to Del Amo mall to walk around and found that some of the stores there were giving out candy as well. 

Then finally it was about that time, so we headed over to Candy Cane Lane (the local neighborhood that gets all decked out for Christmas....they also do it pretty big for Halloween, although not as big) for the official trick or treat.  My sister and her friend joined us as well.  This place is like an amusement park because it's so crowded!!  I love the atmosphere though....tons of decorations, most residents sit outside with their little campfire things burning, and hand out candy at the sidewalk.  There are literally lines at most houses, 15-20 people deep sometimes....it's insane.  But you can't deny the excited feeling in the air of all the little kids.  It's a great spot (that is quickly becoming overrun unfortunately).

20 blocks later we were all exhausted....so we called it a night and went home with our treasures. :)

And that's all she wrote, have a great Sunday everyone! :)

Scrapbooking images from: