Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheap Canon Rebel XS Digital Camera at No More Rack

You need to hurry over to No More Rack to sign up for an account today. No More Rack releases nine new daily deals each day. You'll find great products for high percentages off of the retail value. Plus, they normally offer one free item each day. For every item you purchase, you only have to pay $2 for shipping for each item. That's a SUPER DEAL in most cases.


No More Rack is offering Insanity Deals for items like the Canon Rebel XS DSLR camera.

As you can see you can get a Canon Rebel XS DSLR camera for only $19.77 a savings of 95%! This would be amazing if you could catch the camera Insanity Deal when it pops up. Insanity Deals pop-up unannounced throughout the day and can be a wide variety of products. No More Rack only offers a few of each item per appearance so you have to be quick to place you order before they are sold out. MAKE SURE YOU ARE SIGNED IN TO YOUR NEW ACCOUNT PRIOR TO TRYING TO MAKE THE PURCHASE.

Here's some things straight from No More Rack that you need to know about their Insanity Deals:

* 1,000 deals going live at different times throughout the month
* Products you're crazy for at completely absurd prices
* Discounts always 80-95% off the regular retail price
* Limited quantities that get snapped up faster than a crocodile's dinner

Insanity Deals show up in place of regular deals in a purple box and disappear when they're sold out. Check back regularly to see if you can bag yourself a mind-boggling bargain.

You can't only get the Canon Rebel XS for an amazing price. No More Rack offers other amazing products for pennies compared to the retail price.

- Apple iPad - $43.20
- Apple iPhone 4S - $51.12
- Kindle Fire - $17.91
- Sony Bravia 52" HDTV - $59.96
- Playstation 3 - $26.54
- Samsung Galaxy Tablet - $17.82
- Nikon Coolpix Digital Camera - $6.82

*These items are subject to change once supplies are sold out.

I highly suggest that you don't hesitate to make your new account with No More Rack right now and take advantage of the daily deals and the chance to purchase one of the Insanity Deals.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Free Photo Cards from SeeHere

So far, this has been the best deal on photo cards that I've seen leading up to the coming holidays. SeeHere, FujiFilm's printing site, is offering NEW MEMBERS a great deal:


All you have to do is create your new member account, and then create your custom 4X8 photo cards. At checkout, use promo code: 25cards to redeem your free cards.

Here's the trick to get the best deal on photo cards this season:

1. Create your new SeeHere account
2. Add 20 custom 4X8 photo cards to your cart
3. Checkout using promo code 25cards
4. Pay only $1.49 for standard shipping (7 days)

If you create the entire 25 free photo cards, you will have to pay more for shipping ($3.19). That's more than double the cost for just 20 cards and you're only getting five more cards.

I highly suggest you make your free 20 custom cards + shipping with SeeHere this season.

Plus, you don't have to purchase holiday cards. SeeHere has photo cards for all occasions that you can purchase with this offer. Go ahead and pre-order some special announcement photo cards, invitations, or your milestone cards today!

This offer ends: 01/31/12

Here's the fine print:

*Shipping and taxes are not included. Offer expires 01/31/12. Valid for new registrants only. Promo code "25cards" must be used at time of on-line checkout with one, valid transaction, for up to 25 4" X 8" sized photo cards only. Not available on store pick-up orders. One promo code per person, per household and per purchase "Ship-To" addresses with the U.S.A. only. No cash value. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time. Void where prohibited.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Canon Camera at Target for $79.99 + Free $10 Giftcard - 11/27-12/3

If you're looking for a cheap camera with great options, I suggest you run to your nearest Target and pick up this deal:


You are looking at a GREAT PRICE for this point and shoot Canon camera. The A2200 has 14 megapixels with 4X optical zoom. Batteries for this model are rechargeable and come with a battery charger. Color choices are silver, red, black, and blue. You can check out this deal online or in your local Target.

This deal can be even sweeter. Not only can you buy the camera this week for $79.99 and receive a $10 giftcard. You print and use (in store) Target's new Friends and Family promotion coupon to receive $10 off a $50 purchase at Target. You'll get TWO $10 GIFT CARDS FOR FREE!


I am so tempted to grab this deal myself because you can always use a small, point and shoot camera to carry around with you for some quick snapshots. I used a similar Canon point and shoot in the past, and I LOVED IT!

Hurry! Go grab this amazing deal at Target before it ends on 12/3. Once the new weekly ad comes out on Sunday, the deal will be gone.

Free Photo Shoot and Wall Portrait at Sears

With the holidays coming up, I suggest you hurry over to Sears and print out your coupon for a:


Sears Portrait Studio is offering this limited time offer until December 31, 2011. You will get a free photo shoot valued at $14.99 and a free 10"x"13 wall portrait valued at $29.98! That's a $44.97 savings!

I highly suggest this for anyone with small children, who want some Christmas portraits made at a fraction of the price and indoors out of the cold. You can't go wrong with spending a little money at Sears over the holidays are some great photo memories that will last a lifetime.

Print out your coupon, then make your appointment (by phone or online) today!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free Custom Holiday Gifts at Vistaprint

I've posted some deals from Vistaprint before, but these are perfect for the upcoming holidays.


You can get these holiday items for FREE:

140 Address Labels

1 Photo Wall Calendar

1 Holiday Photo Desk Calendar

10 Holiday Cards

100 Holiday Postcards

All you have to do to get these amazing items for FREE is pay shipping and handling. You are looking at a range of $4-$10+ for shipping costs. Someone else reported purchasing the 140 address labels, 2 calendars (wall & desk), and the 100 Holiday postcards with $10.07 for shipping! That sounds like a great deal to me!

Here's a trick to get multiple FREE items into your cart:

1. Access the website for a list of FREE DEALS

2. Customize the product
3. Add the product to you cart
4. Close the window and access the FREE DEALS link again.
5. Choose your product
6. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have added all desired items to your cart
7. Check-out

At the estimated shipping charges listed above, you are looking at a 21 day shipping period. However, I have order from them previous and it did not take that long. It wasn't lightening fast, but I received the items before the 21 days were even close.

So, order your products today so that you can send out your holiday cards!

Monday, November 28, 2011

20 Holiday Cards for $7 at Vistaprint

If you're looking for a great deal on customized holiday cards then look no further than Vistaprint.


Keep in mind that this deal only works for 4x8 holiday cards and any other sizes do not apply to this offer. Plus, the included shipping is 7 DAY SHIPPING! So, you're looking at plenty of time for these cards to arrive before the holidays. Additional items order will add additional shipping charges.

Hurry and upload your photographs to make your custom cards with custom greeting messages today!


So, I'm assuming 11/28-12/4

Learn More About Photography for Free

Photography is something that often starts out as a hobby for many individuals. I know that it did for me. As I took more photos, my passion for the technique and art of photography grew, so I knew that I needed to buckle down and learn more. For me, I was lucky enough to be able to take a course at my college in Digital Photography. However, classroom options are not ideal for everyone because of tuition costs and schedules. After my class was over, I looked into additional courses at area colleges, but quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to afford to enroll in additional classes.

Lucky for me, I discovered a place that offer education in photography for FREE. I follow many local photographers on Facebook. One day one of these photographers posted information for a free webinar that he was hosting later in the week. Interested to hear the nationally known photographer speak, I quickly accessed the link and signed up for the webinar.

The link took me to a website called Photography Schoolhouse. You can join the site for free and participate in free webinars and join the online community. Photographers all over the United States take part in this website whether it be as members or guest speakers. You get to hear a multitude of topics and be exposed to different techniques and approaches to photography.

My free webinar was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. The photographer hosting the webinar has a studio less than five minutes from my house, and it felt good to hear how someone so close to me reached success in a small town. I was able to hear tips on camera use, camera equipment choices, props, backgrounds, and even business choices. The best part was that I was able to get all of this information from the comfort of my own home.

Once you sign-up for Photography Schoolhouse, you will have access to everything that Photography Schoolhouse has to offer. You can sign-up to secure your spot in a scheduled, free webinar or surf the message boards. Plus, once you've signed up you will get emails on free webinars that you can attend.

Here's what Photography Schoolhouse has to say about it's services:

"Thousands of photographers have joined Photography Schoolhouse and advanced their personal or professional photography skills by:

Watching our videos
Joining our FREE Webinars
Joining our Live Workshops and Seminars
Downloading our Free Actions
Posting their work for Critique
Interacting with professional photographers around the world"

I recommend this site to anyone that is looking to further their education in photography. It has helped me become a better photographer and take better charge of my photography business. If you don't have a strong background in business, you can find webinars that will give you a better understanding of how to run your studio and using work flow with your clients. I have been using the website, and I want to encourage readers to check it out too! You can't go wrong when the education is free and on your time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Take Graduation Portraits

Graduation whether it be from kindergarten, high school, or college is an important day in a student's life. It's the closing of an old chapter and the beginning of a new. It's reflection for accomplishments and memories with friends. It's a time for families to get together and support the new grad, so be sure you take plenty of photos.

Most soon-to-be Grads want to have some photos of them done to remember the huge accomplishment; plus, you can never have too many fancy photographs of yourself. The focus of this shoot was a college Grad named Jess. She wanted some photos taken, and I was willing to take them for free because that's just something you do for your closest friends. Plus, I wanted and needed some new shots for my portfolio.

1. You need to get creative

Jess and I traveled to Sloan Park for her shoot.

First, we decided to take some field photos to highlight her dress and get creative with the scenery. Just because your grad is dressed nice doesn't mean you can't try some adventurous shots. For example, I asked Jess to sit on a tree limb, so some climbing was involved.

Not all photographs need to be leaning on (insert your choice of railing) with your hands crossed or folded under your chin. Think about the box and get your client moving and looking for the most unique shots.

2. Take a lot of close-up shots (but not too many)

These are the shots that parents and family are looking for. Close-up shots make graduation announcements, Christmas cards, mantle collections, and can even run in the local newspaper. Plus, a close-up shot can be used for job interviews and social networking sites to promote an image separate from the usual college party photographs. Employers ARE looking at your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages before they consider hiring you, so why not look your best?

3. Take shots that fit the Grad's personality

With Jess we were looking for something different and edgy. It fit her personality very well. Talk to your client and find out what he or she likes. I would even suggest taking a look at their Facebook page for photographs of them in everyday clothes and to read their likes and dislikes. It'll complement what they tell you and open up your options for what would work. After all, these photos are suppose to be representative of the Grad.

I thought the dark distressed wood on the door frame and Jess' dress with wedges was the perfect pairing for a edgy shot. It worked well in the park where most of the shots were nature-backed.

4. Finally, get the token cap and gown shots

You have to do the traditional cap and gown shots, but what you don't have to do is make it boring. I applaud the few shots that are expected of the Grad up close or just of the cap or tassel. However, you need to get creative and remember that graduation attire doesn't have to always be taken so seriously. Remember those trash the dress wedding shots? I suggest that you get the shots that will make parents and grandparents happy, but to also let the Grad live it up in their cap and gown.

I used Adobe Photo Elements 9 to get these three shots of Jess tossing her cap in the area into one image. It was a hit with everyone that saw the photo. This touch to the cap and gown photo is definitely a reference to Tip #1 BE CREATIVE.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Free Photo Canvas at Canvas People

I have been wanting to get a canvas done for one or more of my prints for a long time. Luckily, I have come across a deal that I've seen occur on a regular basis:


You can get your FREE 8X10 canvas or you can get $55 off of the purchase of a larger, wrapped canvas. Here is the price break down reflective of the discount:

Size Price
8x10 $49.99
11x11 $65.99 = $10.99*
11x14 $66.99 = $11.99*
16x16 $80.99 = $25.99*
16x20 $90.99 = $35.99*
18x24 $101.99 = $46.99*
24x36 $134.99 = $79.99*
* Prices reflect coupon discounts.

Be sure to use photos with these minimum resolution restrictions for the best results:

Resolution Minimum:
8x10 - 576 x 720
11x11 - 792 x 792
11x14 - 792 x 1008
16x16 - 1152 x 1152
16x20 - 1152 x 1440
18x24 - 1296 x 1728
24x36 - 2700 x 3900

The only catch here is you have to pay Shipping & Handling ($14.95-$24.95 depending on size). I think that's a great price considering you would have to pay more for the canvas + shipping anyway.

Canvas People offer many artist touch and framing options for your canvas photos at an additional fee.

Choose your photograph and start making your FREE 8x10 (plus shipping) canvas today! They make the perfect gifts and look great hanging on any wall.

Why You Should Edit Photos

Before, I would take photos and print them. If the photo looked good, it got printed. Sometimes even some bad photos got printed, but that's another story. It wasn't until I fully understood how editing programs worked that I decided to start tweaking photographs before sending them to the printer.

I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 to edit all of my photographs, but you can always use free software such as GIMP. All of my examples or suggestions can be found in Adobe Photoshop Elements or any full version of Photoshop. Think of this as more of a show and tell with a more in depth look of how to perform these actions in my post on How to Edit Photos.

I first wanted to show everyone an example of how easy it is to change the color of an item in a photograph. In one of my photographs, I had an adorable one-year old with pink accents to her outfit that had a gorgeous shot by some red flowers. I was able to avoid the clash by altering the red with Hue and Saturation.

ORIGINAL                                                                EDITED

From another photo shoot, I metered my camera to match the lighting for the beautiful blue sky. The shot was panned far away as a wide angle, so when I snapped the shot, there wasn't enough light to see the client in the photograph. In editing the photo, I was able to make the blue sky pop and you could clearly see the client with some increase in light for the midtones.

ORIGINAL                                                                EDITED

Finally, I want to address some editing that everyone would love to have done to their photos. I know that I would love it to be done to every one of mine. This edit is to cover up any blemishes on the face. There is no need to be haunted by acne, scars, etc. for the rest of your life.

ORIGINAL                                                                EDITED

In this photograph of Sierra, she had a scar on her forehead from an accidental scratch she had received a few months back. Because the photo is a close-up, I did not want the scar to be a focal point of the photograph. Here is how I made her face look flawless: I used the Spot Healing Brush Tool.

Most editing programs have named this feature something similar, so you should have no trouble finding it on your program. The key to using this feature is to adjust the size of the brush head to be only slightly larger than the spot you are "healing." So, with the scar on her forehead, I adjusted the brush and painted over the scar. I suggest you do it in small brush strokes at first. A single brush stroke will usually make the adjustment, but small strokes can make the edit look more natural.

Keep in mind that the Spot Healing Brush is just cloning the photo. Prior to making you first brush stroke, you will need to select an area of the photograph you wish to clone. You will place the brush head on an area of the face where the skin is unaffected. Make sure that the skin color (due to the lighting) matches the area you are going to "heal." On Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, you then hold down the ALT-key and that makes the selection for the area you wish to clone. Now you are ready to make the brush strokes on your blemishes. Take your time and do not make your strokes too long because you can distort the image. You don't want the person in the photo to have a skin-colored smudge in the middle of your face.

Editing with the Spot Healing Brush is the quick and easy way to have a flawless face in a photograph. It takes a lot of trial and error, as well as, patience to get the edit just right, so be prepared to take a while on your first photo. For Sierra, I was able to get rid of the scar and make the color of her eyes pop by increasing the saturation.

Editing a photograph even if it's just making it darker or lighter can work wonders and make it look even better than straight from the camera. I suggest that everyone at least take the time to follow my steps for editing a photograph to get all of your photos ready for printing.

Minor edits to a photo can take it from great to spectacular!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Photo Collage at Walgreens 11/23-11/25


I suggest that everyone hurry and grab this offer at your local Walgreens!


All you have to do is go to and access their photo portion of the website. Create your 8 x 10 Photo Collage and checkout using promo code RGIFT2U. Be sure to choose IN-STORE PICKUP and this deal is absolutely free!

I got one of these free over a year ago and used it to make a college of college graduation photos for my fiance. It was the perfect gift because it allow you to put many memories in one frame.

Keep in mind that this deal is only available 11/23/11-11/25/11 so create and order your FREE PHOTO COLLAGE today!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Edit Photos

For the photos that I take for clients and some personal photographs, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. I haven't been fortunate enough to afford the newest full version of Adobe Photoshop CS5, but I definitely make do with what I have. But, if you are looking for free photo editing software, you should definitely check out GIMP.

There are a few simple edits that you can make yourself without relying on the auto-corrects that you editing software uses. I suggest making the edits yourself because it allows you to see what looks good, what works for you, and you can experiment to create your own editing style.

Here are some basic edits that you can make using any version of Adobe Photoshop Elements or CS version:

1. Adobe RGB
2. Levels
3. Color Curves
4. Hue and Saturation
5. Unsharp Mask
6. Cropping

These elements are what should be done before you even think about making any creative adjustments to your photo. Keep in mind that you can make those kind of adjustments while using each of these edits, but to keep the quality of the photograph at its highest you want to adjust it to the proper exposure.


This edit is common in Adobe Photoshop software, but you may have a harder time finding it in other photo editing programs. The purpose for converting your photograph to Adobe RGB is for printing purposes. For basic printing, the basic colors of light are used: RGB (Red, Green, and Blue), but for published printing in magazines you may be looking at the basic colors of ink: CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). I highly suggest for printing your own images from home, a local photo lab, or an online printing service that you make sure your photograph is in RGB, preferably the standard Adobe RGB, so that your colors will stay true to how you are seeing them.

Just a note, however, you also need to keep in mind that the color you see on your screen, no matter if you did convert to Adobe RGB, can differ slightly on paper. Monitors need to be calibrated to the printer and ink used to make prints. This is why many photographers do not offer a disk to customers of their photos and insist that images be purchased through their studio or the printing company of their choice.

I will say that for local or amateur photographers starting out that offering a CD of photos with images in Adobe RGB will be safe for clients to use to make their own prints. Keep in mind that you do not want to saturate, intensify the color, of your photos excessively because this could still ruin the prints.

Here's how you do it (screen caps from Adobe Photoshop Elements 9):

1. Open your image
2. Go to 'Image' (beside of Edit)
3. Go down to 'Convert Color Profile'
4. Choose 'Convert to Adobe RGB Profile'


Levels is a tool in editing that allows you to lighten a darkened image or darken an image with too much light. All of this has to do with exposure, the amount of light in the photograph. Ideally, you want all of your photos to be properly exposed before you go to edit them, but that is ideally, right? We all know that it's impossible to get the perfect shot every time.

Here is how you adjust your Levels (screen caps from Adobe Photoshop Elements 9):

1. Go to 'Layer' (beside of Enhance)
2. Go down to 'New Adjustment Layer'
3. Choose 'Levels'

Now, you will see something that looks like this:

The idea for Levels is that it should look like a mountain with the highest peak in the middle - that is a properly exposed photograph. But, because not all photographs can be perfect, you will need to tweak the darkness (black arrow) or lightness (white arrow) of the photograph to get it properly exposed. The important thing to remember is even if your photograph's levels do not resemble a mountain, you may still be properly exposed. You want to keep the arrows under the "mountain" at the edge of each side of the mountain, like pictured above. Only if your arrows do not meet the bottom edges of your mountain do you need to bring them in to meet. However, if that is the case, you can adjust it to your preference up to the mountain.


Color curves adjusts your color balance. The best thing I can suggest for working with color curves is to mess around with it and get a feel to how your movements affect the photo. Here is what it looks like:

Looking at this grid to adjust color curves might look confusing, but I am going to try to explain it the best that I can. You are working with the three visible dots in the middle of the line. Highest of the three dots controls the darkness/lightness of the Highlights in the photo. Click the dot and drag it upward to highlight them even more or drag it downward to darken them. The middle dot controls the Midtone Brightness, where if you click and drag it upward the photo gets brighter or drag it downward the photo gets darker. But, it also controls the Midtone Contrast. Once you have the Brightness set how you want it move the same dot to the left or right to change you contrast. Left is less contrast and right is more contrast. Finally, there is the lowest of the three dots on the left. This dot controls Midtone Shadows, where it follows the same up and down principle as the other edits.

There is no right way to have this look. The only suggestion I can offer to have a photograph with color balance that would match a properly exposed photo would be to have your line look like an 'S':

Here is how to get to it (screen caps are from Adobe Photoshop Elements 9):

1. Make sure you have the 'Background Layer' selected
2. Go to 'Enhance'
3. Go down to 'Adjust Color'
4. Click 'Adjust Color Curves'

Now, for those using the complete version of Photoshop you won't find Color Curves there. You will need to follow the instructions on how to find 'Levels' above in the 'New Adjustment Layer' and look further down to select 'Color Curves'.


Here is where you can adjust colors to make then more or less intense or change the color of something all together. Here is where getting creative can enter your editing process full force.

All adjustments to the left make the image darker or take away color while adjustments add color or make it brighter.

Hue adjustments change the overall color cast of the image, if left on 'Master', but you can choose different colors to look at to isolate the Blues in your image and adjust them to be Reds or any color you like.

Saturation adjustments either remove all the color from you image (Black and White) or intensify the colors in your photograph. It works the same as Hue, where if you leave it on Master the entire photograph changes or you can choose a specific color or set of colors to desaturate or saturate.

Finally, you have Lightness. You can dark or lighten the photograph. Master alters the entire photo, while choosing a specific color only changes that color.

Here is where you find it (screen caps are from Adobe Photoshop Elements 9):

1. 1. Go to 'Layer' (beside of Enhance)
2. Go down to 'New Adjustment Layer'
3. Choose 'Hue/Saturation'


For every photograph, you want it to look as crisp as possible. This is where Unsharp Mask comes in because it gives you the opportunity to adjust every aspect of the sharpness in your photo.

When working with your Photoshop document, you need to Flatten all the layers.

1. Go to 'Layer'
2. Go down and choose 'Flatten Image'

This makes all the image edits into one single image for you to sharpen. You will be working with three adjustments: Amount, Radius, and Threshold.

Amount (%) is the percentage of sharpening you want done to the photo from 1%-500%. The range to stay between would be 25%-125% for a photograph that will not look too grainy.

Radius is the amount of area that will be sharpened in any one place by an invisible border. An example would be that the pupil of the eye will be sharpened automatically, but without a larger radius you may not get the whole eye or the eyebrows included. I suggest a safe range for radius to be 0.1-1.5 so that your entire image is not consumed by sharpening.

Threshold plays off of the radius by including and excluding certain areas to sharpen. Lower values here include more sharpening of areas, while higher values exclude more areas. Threshold is more or less a tonal adjustment and need to remain no greater than 5. A rule of thumb is lower threshold should be used for inanimate objects and higher threshold for more detailed photographs, like those of people.


Once you've completed the items above (sometimes you can leave Unsharp Mask until after you crop) you can crop the image to the size that you need. I highly suggest that for printing images you crop them to the size that you plan to print the image. For example, if you are wanting to print a batch of 4x6 photos, you need to crop all the photos to 4x6 ahead of time. Images that are used for the internet can be cropped at whatever size you need them to be.

The important thing to keep in mind when cropping your photos is the PPI (Pixels Per Inch) because it DOES matter. Photos being uploaded to the internet or to sites like Facebook need to be changed to 100 PPI. While photographs that are being printed need to have more pixels per inch at 300 PPI. This DOES affect the quality of the image - you want to have more pixels when you are making prints.

As you can see, I have included in the screen cap above what cropping to a 4x6 at 300 PPI would look like on Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.

Here's how you get to those options:

1. Go to 'Image' (beside of Edit)
2. Choose 'Crop'

When putting in values for your width and height be aware of the orientation of your photograph because a 4X6 and a 6x4 are completely different depending on which box you place them in.

Overall, those are the basic steps to editing a photograph in any photo editing program, but I chose to show you examples with Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Never feel overwhelmed with making adjustments to a photo because there is a golden rule when editing photography:


*Any screen caps that you may have had trouble viewing at home can be clicked on for a larger view of the photograph.

Cheap Photo Cards from Ink Garden

Here's another great photo card deal just in time for the holidays:


You can get your 20 PHOTO CARDS FOR $1 + shipping to share with friends and family this upcoming holiday season. Just use coupon code: HOLIDAYCARDS

The coupons code takes $10.99 off of your order which will actually give you the 20 Photo Cards or 10 stationary cards for $1 + shipping. Here is a breakdown of the shipping costs:

5×7 Flat Stationary Cards- $3.29
4×8 Photo Cards- $3.99

Hurry and order your holiday cards for this super deal of less than $5 for customizable cards for friends and family!

OFFER ENDS: 11/30/11

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Veteran's Park - Kannapolis, NC

If you're wanting the opportunity to use two photo venues in one shoot, using Cannon Village and Veteran's Park in Kannapolis, NC is the way to go. You can get the small town vibe from Cannon Village and use the park to get your nature background for photos.

I had never spent any time in Veteran's Park before this shoot. As a child, I would see it all the time as a kid riding through downtown Kannapolis. To me, it was always the trees with the sun dial and stage near Circle Lake by Cannon Mills. Now, this place is a lovely park with ample opportunities to grab some great shots adjacent from Cannon Village and the N.C. Research Campus. Recently, I used this location to shoot three brothers as a Mother's Day gift to their mom. I'm going to include some unedited photos to show some of the area, so beware.

Josh sitting on center bench/slash tribute monument

Another view of the bench, and no I did not make them pose that way they were clowning around

Also, there are plenty of opportunities to use the trees in creative ways and any of the other surrounding shrubbery.

Josh wantet to use the 'V' tree in his photos

The token tree shot

Also, literally right beside the park there is a church that that I highly recommend you utilize for your photographs. You can get so creative at this location.

Dustin knelt beside the flower garden at the church

Shane by the old bell sitting beside the church

The boys in front of the church on the stairs

Veteran's Park is an open playing field for a photo shoot. Use anything and everything that is nearby. I hope to soon be able to go back to this park and then move into the N.C. Research Campus for some additional shots that I'll post with an update on the new venue.

You never know when you can turn a park bench into a mother's favorite photograph:

According to the City of Kannapolis' website Veteran's Park will be undergoing some reconstruction sometime in the future, and the site provides some photos of what this reconstruction may look like. So, enjoy the park as it is now because you never know when it may be given a new look. Well at least with a new look you can go back and shoot there and it's a like a fresh new venue.

Veteran's Park
North Main & East First Street
Kannapolis, NC

Black Friday 2011 Best Camera Deals

Not only am I into taking photographs, but I am a serious Black Friday shopper. I track advertisements months in advance and let out an embarrassing girl squeal when the first Black Friday ad leaks on the the internet. Please don't judge me.

Last year, I was able to purchase my Canon Rebel XS DSLR camera for a decent price last year at Best Buy for approximately $500. Lucky for me, I was able to put this deal on my Best Buy credit card to get 18 months same as cash, so getting a SLR camera is do-able. Just know that I am not telling anyone that they should go out and open a line of credit somewhere just to get one because everyone's situation is different.

This year for Black Friday 2011, I wanted to share with you the best camera deals from a few of the big retailers.

Best Buy

As far as purchasing a DSLR, you should go with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3 that comes with a 8GB memory card, 58mm UV Filter, and a camera bag. You'll have all the benefits of having a higher end camera without the hefty price tag. Plus, with Best Buy offering the bundle this is the:


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If you're looking for a point and shoot camera, I would suggest purchasing the Canon Powershot SX150 Bundle that includes: Mini Tripod, 8GB memory card, and a camera case at $169.96. I've been lucky enough to work with this camera and find it to be the best alternative to getting more of the options of a DSLR without the worry of changing lens and the higher price tag.


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KMart also has the Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3 DSLR for $479.99, but they do not include any bundle items with the camera. As you can see the photo below, the only other offer with this camera that might sweeten the deal is the 75mm-300mm Canon lens for $99.99 - a great price if you're looking for an additional lens. I purchased the same lens online for $120.00 almost a year ago and thought I was getting a deal, guess not.

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KMart's best point and shoot deal would have to be on the Nikon Coolpix S4100 digital camera. It comes in a variety of colors: Black, Plum, Silver, and Red and will be offered at $119.99. I have not had the opportunity to shoot with a Nikon camera, but I will be the first to say that Nikon is a strong competitor with Canon and makes great cameras. You are looking at, in most cases, more crisp colors with a Nikon - but it's not something you can't reach with a little editing on a Canon.

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Again, Target is offering the Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera for the magic price for this shopping season of $479.99, but this deal also includes a free Canon Deluxe Bag. I must say Target did a spectacular job on their ad photo of the product at making it look more enticing to customers.

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Target offers customers another Nikon point and shoot with the Nikon L105 at $99.99. You're saving $100 on a point and shoot camera that looks like a DSLR in style. So, you can have that high end camera look without having to worry about operating it as such.

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Of course, Walmart is also offering the Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR bundled with a gadget bag, 4GB memory card, and 8" x 10" photo album for $479.00 - a whole $0.99 cheaper than the other stores.

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The point and shoot is a brand we haven't seen make the list and that is the Sony Cyber-shot H70 at $129.00 that includes a bonus 100 prints from Walmart. It was a tight battle between the Fujifilm FinePix S3280, because I own a similar Fujifilm, but I had to choose the Sony because it had more megapixels at 16. Plus, is showing that the Sony comes in Black, Blue, Red/Pink, and Silver, so you get more of a variety.

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Overall, I will sum up the entire article with the top pick for the DSLR and the point and shoot. The Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR at Best Buy for $479.99 is the best deal because of the bundle. The best deal on a point and shoot is the Canon Powershot SX150 bundle at $169.96 - the bundle is worth it.

You will need to make it to these stores early to wait in line for these awesome deals. Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are opening at 12:00am Friday, November 25, while KMart is opening at 5:00am Black Friday.

Starting planning your shopping lists and pick up your new digital camera this Black Friday!