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Some really exciting family news!

Many of my readers may already know that my family has been in the process of adopting from China for most of 2010 (you can read my original personal blog post HERE). Christmas was really, REALLY special for us this year – we got to see the face of our new daughter, Sunshine!! A few days before Christmas, we accepted a referral for a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl with cleft lip/cleft palate. Although she wasn’t technically *with* us to celebrate our excitement, she was definitely with us in spirit! She is already very loved and very much a part of our family! If you’re interested, you can read the whole story HERE on my personal blog … it’s my attempt at explaining our family’s perspective on the adoption 🙂
My husband and I will be traveling to China in April or May to adopt Sunshine and bring her home! We will be gone for 2-3 weeks and are not sure of the exact travel dates yet. We are thrilled to be adding to our family this way … but because we don’t have specific travel details yet, I will be taking a small hiatus from work in April, May and June to allow for our travel time and then several weeks at home to adjust to being a new family of 5.
I will know our travel dates a few weeks beforehand and depending on when they are, I would like to work in as many sessions as possible before I leave. (Or, if we travel earlier in April, I may have availability in June instead). I have started a small wait list for last minute sessions before I leave – if you’d like a Spring session (April or June), please get in contact with me as soon as possible. I have already added my Sweet Beginnings Collection families to this list, but get in touch with me anyway if you fall in that category just so I can be sure I have everyone accounted for!
I have already received so much support from my family, friends and CLIENTS during such a special time … THANK YOU for your continued support, it really means more that I can express in words. I am so excited (and a teeny weeny bit nervous) to meet Sunshine and make her a part of our family.
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Be Inspired! {a guide to wall art}

I am a HUGE believer of displaying portraits on the walls of your home. And not just a small 5×7 or 8×10 here and there – I just love to see large portraits or a grouping of portraits as decor. Although there is a time and place for smaller desk portraits, I truly believe that bigger is better when it comes to wall art!







It can sometimes be difficult to visualize session portraits on your walls – hopefully this post will inspire you. These wall art galleries are perfect for telling the “story” of your family – rarely does one image do that by itself. That’s why purchasing digital files from your session is ideal – your portraits are meant to go together! You are free to change your mind about which portraits you’d like to display on your walls at any time. If you’d like help deciding which portraits to display, please ask – I am happy to assist!
Also keep in mind that you are not limited by framed prints. If you’ve been to my home, you know that I ADORE Gallery Wraps. They offer a great “wow” factor and although the initial cost might be more than a print, you don’t need a frame! Another lower-cost alternative is the Standout – somewhat similar to a gallery wrap but is produced on a lightweight gatorfoam, not a canvas. And again, no frame required. The possibilities are limitless!
A special thank you to the amazing Amy Lingenfelder for these awesome templates! I added my own touches but credit goes to her for creating them.
UPDATE on 12.2.10 – I have added several new templates below from my {wall art ideas II} post.







Why I do what I do




One of my recent clients made this card for me … isn’t this just awesome? She is a Stampin’ Up! representative and I can clearly see why! Seriously this made my day (maybe even my week!). THANK YOU!

Curious about Cropping?

Have you ever wondered what cropping images does to your portraits? I put together this Cropping Guide to make it easier to understand. There are tons of other print sizes available but these are the most popular. I automatically size all digital files to 4×6 unless otherwise specified – that’s what the image above is also. (If you are having trouble seeing all of the crops, click on the image and it will open larger in another window.)
You’ll see the only crop that will give you the whole image is 16×24. A 5×7 crop is a close second. This is why I try to crop a bit wider when creating files for clients – so that not too much of the image is lost when making enlargements. Saving files this way gives clients a bit more freedom when making prints.
When ordering from Mpix, you have the ability to move the crop as well, this is great news! Let’s say you wanted a little less head room at the top and more on the bottom – you can adjust which part of the image is cropped. For example, in the portrait above … if I were going to print a 10×13, I’d move the crop to include her whole foot at the bottom, like this:

You can see that this one differs from the original 10×13 crop because it now includes her entire foot – easy peasy to do with Mpix.
Have I mentioned how great Mpix is?! It’s my preferred lab for all consumer printing – I send ALL of my clients there. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, do it! It takes a bit longer than going to Walmart, CVS, Walgreen, Target, etc. and the cost is *slightly* higher, but the minor expense and wait are absolutely worth it. After investing in custom portraits, doesn’t it make sense to have them printed on professionally calibrated machines that use quality professional papers? YES!