Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Several years ago I made my mom a "gratitude" journal of sorts. I remember catching an episode of the Oprah show where they talked about them --- journals thanking someone for the positive impact they made on their lives. I decided to create one for my mom (and my dad, too!). Because no matter what happens in our lives, or how far apart we are, I have received so many gifts from my mom. And I wanted her to know.

My (gorgeous if I do say so myself) mom was just 25 when I was born. My mom, dad, and brother were living in Ann Arbor Michigan at the time, while my dad was working on his Master's Degree at the University of Michigan. Money was tight, and they budgeted for every penny so they could give us what we needed to be safe and warm.

So today I thank you, mom, for loving me. For the hugs and kisses that surely number in the gazillions. Thank you for showing me that tomatoes come from the earth, and don't grow in cans. Thank you for working so hard for us. Thank you for teaching me how to take care of a house. For the secret to the World's Best Spaghetti Sauce. For sewing, canning, knitting, dinner you were such the domestic goddess! I definitely learned from the best (and it's no reflection of you if my vacuum has become a living room sculpture). Thank you for your laughter. Your "getting" my jokes. For your bravery in proudly displaying the vase of silver plastic flowers I proudly presented to you as a Mother's Day gift way back when. Thank you for allowing me to try everything in the world: gymnastics, track, tennis, ballet, piano, clarinet, art lessons, skiing, horseback riding... this freedom to explore taught me how big life can be.

I love what you have added to my life, and the knowledge and skills you have passed on. I am a better person for it. And the most important things are those intangibles. Like empathy, sweetness, and how to be a friend. Thank you, mom, for your immeasurable gifts. I love you.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

making photos better

Improving photographs is a great passion of mine, and it truly sets me apart from any other announcement website on the internet.

Consider this: When you hire a professional photographer, they use special lights and equipment to get the excellent results you require when you hire a photographer. Plus they touch-up the photos you purchase. When you take your own photos, however, images can look a bit flat or dull. This is no fault of your own; we just don't carry around lighting umbrellas! And your camera certainly can't enhance a photo itself; this must be done by hand by a skilled artist. That is where I come in!

Every birth announcement, adoption announcement, and other announcement order I complete includes professional enhancement. Even on the most beautiful photo, there are things I do to take it to the next level. Maybe it's simply color-correction, and lightening under-eye shadows and removing a little blemish. But it can also be toning down red or yellow skin, making bumpy skin smooth, or adding more hair. This example shown here shows cute Nate. The original photo is adorable of course. But it can still be improved! Now you can see Nate's gorgeous blue eyes. And his skin is brighter, more luminous. And this is my passion! A frequent customer comment is "you made my baby look like an angel!". Which to me, is success. To make gorgeous babies even more gorgeous.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Russia Adoption Announcement for Jacqueline

This photo adoption announcement was designed for little Jacqueline and her family. The colors in the photo were beautiful, so the design remained in color. I brighted up the original photos, and enhanced the colors, then cropped the photos for the best look. I love that Jacqueline seems to be looking at the inset photo of her and her brother. And the message "welcome home" is apropos. Welcome Home Jacqueline!

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