Friday, July 25, 2008

Birthday Pictures

My friend Bonnie gave me a coupon for a free 8x10 at Kiddie Kandids a few months ago. Since it expired close to Rachel's birthday, I decided that we'd save it to get a portrait done for her first birthday. It ended up in Andrew's wallet for some reason or another. I kept remembering about it and asking him if he still had it. He always did. We just never took it out to look at it.

Finally, two days before Rachel's birthday, I asked Andrew for the coupon so that Rachel and I could walk to the mall to get her free picture.

He handed me the coupon. I looked at it. It had expired 8 days previously.

I was a little disappointed, but happily sent Andrew off on his way to work, anyway; and still determined to get some professional quality photos for dirt cheap, I busted out our camera, sat Rachel down, and started snapping pictures. To be honest, most of the pictures simply didn't turn out.

Rachel fell down the stairs at the park early last week, landed flat on her face and then flipped onto her back. She scraped up her eye and banged her nose. I had to carefully plan the shots to deaccentuate her poor beat up face. She refused to cooperate with my plans and wiggled and frowned and pulled out her hair.

We found enough nice ones to satisfy us, though and after much deliberation we chose a few to use in a collage. The top two are classic "Is this a smile?" pictures.

When Andrew came home from work, we left to visit the BYU Terraced Garden before going to Bombay house for dinner. Rachel wandered around and Andrew took a turn playing photographer. Rachel was slightly more cooperative for this photo shoot because we just turned her loose and got some candid action shots. Still, she was rather uncooperative because all she wanted to do was pick flowers, climb the stairs, and run into Mommy's arms. It was also like 100 degrees outside so she got grumpy after about a half hour and we had to stop.

All things aside, we got some nice pictures and were again able to make a beautiful collage of Rachel.

Camera-happy parents that we are, we took several more pictures of Rachel in the outfit that Great-Grandma Layton gave to Rachel for her birthday. Rachel looks really nice in that particular hue of pink, I think. I made a collage of those pictures, too, although I'm not sure yet how I feel about it...

With some practice we may never need to go to a studio ever again...not that we've ever been...


  1. I love the picture in the swing!

  2. The pictures look really cute! But just so you know, Kiddie Kandids gives you a free 8x10 for your child's birthday, with no obligation to buy anything! And you don't need a coupon - you just have to take them within 30 days of their birthday and tell them it's for her birthday pictures. They also give you 10 % off of anything else you purchase. I was determined this year not to buy anything, just get the free 8 x 10, because we'd just gone in for a family picture...but the poses were just so cute I couldn't resist... But if you are more strong-willed than me you can come away with just your free 8 x 10... ;)

  3. Crazy eavesdropper here...Your pictures are adorable. Kudos to you. I really like the collages. Any chance you can divulge your secret on those? What program/application did you use to make them?

    From a friend of the Masons from South Bend now in Georgia who kept clicking on blog links and now wants copy you! Isn't imitation the best compliment????

  4. Hi Renee!

    We used Adobe InDesign to lay out the pictures, and Adobe Photoshop to touch them up a bit. We removed the background of the black pictures so that it was solid black...and we brightened up the tones of the pictures of her in the shadows (they were pretty blue before).

    Photoshop is pretty expensive, though, but href=">Picasa is free and it lets you do some photo manipulation (B&W, sepia, color correction, red eye removal, cropping, etc).

    The GIMP is also free and it lets you do a bit more than Picasa, I think. I don't know. I've never used it. My husband has, though, and he said it was ok.

    So, those two programs might help you get a more professional-looking picture. I don't know about you, but half my pictures have red eye so I always have to do some touch ups! :)

    You could probably use Word to layout your pictures, but there are more limitations as to what you can do in Word (or Publisher if you have it) than in InDesign, but it's a whole lot cheaper!

    We got the Adobe Creative Suite for school (Andrew taught some print publishing classes), so it was worth it for us to spend the money to get it. We use it all the time...but it really was quite expensive!

    Hope that helps!

    (And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who blogstalks!)

  5. The Picasa link is broken: it's

  6. Thanks for the info! I got Adobe (not the Suite and not the hugely out of budget one...) under the tree last year for a Christmas surprise and a new camera for mother's day, but I'm still trying to learn the possibilities of both (with three boys under four--uggghh!). You're right though. Nothing beats Adobe for editing. This gives me some good ideas.

    Good luck in Egypt.