It starts on Valentine's Day!
4 weeks, 12 cool strategies for telling stories on scrapbook layouts, 34 layout examples, 6 videos, and more!
If you register now using the links below, you can save $5 off your purchase! Click here to register and enter code GRAMMAR5 at checkout. Offer expires February 14, 2013. Cannot be combined with any other coupon or special offer.
I know, I know. It's been a while since you've heard from me.
But I'm still here, masterminding our eBook schedule, editing away (you're going to LOVE our January eBook, by the way! Stay tuned!), and also helping shape and deliver amazing workshops over at Big Picture Classes, our new parent company.
Oh, yeah, and I'm also teaching my very first workshop, Grammar-Free Journaling.
That's right, no punctuation required. No sentence structure. No verb-object agreement.* I'm going to show you a dozen different ways to tell super cool stories with absolutely no paragraphs required.
It may sound a bit odd for a word nerd and professional editor like myself to be eschewing grammar in this way. But I firmly believe that long, paragraph-style journaling is only one way to approach a story. I've been employing grammar-free journaling on my scrapbooking layouts for years, and I'd love to show you just how freeing it can be to write in lists, quizzes, charts, graphs, single sentences, single words, and even a teeny tiny bit of poetry.
Are you ready to set yourself free? Join me starting February 14th! It's where everyone who's anyone will be spending their Valentine's Day. ;)
And if you register before January 15th, you'll save $8 off the registration price!
*That was a lie. All of my verbs and objects will be in complete harmony with one another. I cannot help it. But you, on the other hand, are free to write journaling with highly disagreeable verbs, and I will not say a thing!
They've been in the works for quite some time. And we're quite sure you'll love them!
Purchase Real.Life.Photography and the Simple Fixes Action Set in the same purchase and save 20% with code PHOTOFIX. And since both are currently only $9.99 each (introductory price! regularly $12.99 each), that means you'll save a total of $9 by purchasing them together now!
Here's a little sneak peek of the cover.
This may not end up being the final cover, or the final title, but it is the final author and topic! (And the content is amazing! And it's 52 pages long, including Rebecca's top photo games and seasonal photo-taking checklists!)
So, quick poll: do you like the title as it now stands?
Stay tuned for the official release, coming later this month!
NEW eBOOK ALERT! I've been hard at work editing Ella's July eBook, which is by our top-selling author, Rebecca Cooper. It is fan.tas.tic!
Her newest eBook is packed with Rebecca's tips, tricks, techniques, and photo games (plus bonus checklists) that help her get great, authentic photos of her kids and capture genuine smiles and photos that really capture WHO they are. I can't wait for you to see more of it!
Let me tell you, this book is SO inspiring! With her fabulous tips in mind, I'm already taking better photos. Check out this series that shows a few things I learned from Rebecca.
From Rebecca, I learned about where to find great light in my house (just inside the front doorway, for example), and tips about setting my ISO to let in the right amount of light!
And then I realized that in the previous set, I didn't have Keira facing the light source, so her face was unevenly lit. So, I turned her and tried again, using more of Rebecca's tips and tricks for getting my little one to look at me.
So much improvement so quickly. Are you as excited for this new eBook as I am?
p.s. Winner's from last Thursday's drawing are:
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be a guest blogger at Ella today! I've been a professional photographer for a few years now and I can't even tell you how much I love doing it. I'm so incredibly lucky that I get to do what I do. I've been married to my husband, Matt, for 7 years and we have three beautiful boys.
Today I'm going to give you a few tricks on photographing babies. I mean, how hard can photographing babies be, right? They just lay/sit there, coo and smile, and you just snap away with your camera. Uhhh….dream on.
When I photograph newborns I plan on at least 2 hours for the session. Usually we don't need quite that much time, but occasionally we need even a bit more than that. It turns out babies are very unhappy when they're unwrapped from their blanket, undressed completely, and then expected to be a contortionist so they can be photographed in the cutest pose possible. But here are five tips to make the process as smooth and quick as possible:
1. Keep the room really warm. Babies like to be warm. If you're sweating a little bit then the room is at the right temperature.
2. Don't invest in fancy backdrops. All you need is a simple, neutral blanket. Place the baby on the blanket (with a cushion or pillow underneath her) and then have someone hold up the back of the blanket to create a "backdrop."
3. Expect to be peed and pooped on. Yeah. That's life.
4. If you're taking photos of your own baby, you may find it somewhat difficult. Babies have an amazing sense of smell, and if they can smell their own mom they might not cooperate very well for you. I know this from personal experience, and it's frustrating.
5. Don't forget to photograph details!
PHOTOGRAPHING OLDER BABIES
Older babies (especially those that can sit up, but can't crawl) are so FUN to photograph! They've got these cute little personalities and it's great to be able to capture those personalities. There are still a few tricks to use with older babies.
1. Get down on their level. Even if it means laying completely flat on your stomach.
2. Have plenty of toys nearby that make noise. I say have plenty because one noise may scare a baby, while another noise may make him coo and smile. If a toy with noise doesn't work, try your signing voice. Babies don't care if you've got a great singing voice or not--they just love to hear you sing.
3. Use fun props that are age-appropriate (such as vintage blocks, flowers and bows for girls, or some neutral-colored stuffed animal).
4. Again, keep backgrounds simple. You can use just a simple blanket again, or try a simple white or neutral backdrop (such as a sheet).
5. Know when enough is enough. When babies have had enough there's usually nothing you can do to get just "one more smile" out of them. I've often rescheduled photo shoots because it simply wasn't working that day. Let everyone take a break and try again later!
That last baby is my youngest, Myles.
For more photography read Picture Perfect, I am one of three authors along with Kelly Noel and Becky Novaceck.
Also I have a class starting at Big Picture Classes called Photo Finish. Leave a comment below to enter a giveaway for a free spot in my class.
Giveaway closes in 48 hours Sunday 4/17 @10:00 am MST
***Winner of seat in photo finish is Ella reader sdebevec***
Are you up for a good challenge? Here is the second challenge from Aby and I based on our eBook shown above.
Scrapbook about a tradition you have carried on since childhood.
Journaling reads, "Cutting down fresh Christmas Trees is a long standing tradition. When I was a kid, my family would get a tree the day after Thanksgiving. We drove to a farm out in the country and strapped the tree to the roof of the car. When Jay and I met, we carried on the tradition. He loves spending time in the country and he loves cutting down fresh trees. It's something we've done since our first Christmas together and we carry on the tradition with Collin and Kailea. We've cut down trees in the rain, snow, mud, warm days, and cold days. These photos were of a particularly frigid tree cutting expedition. The best part of a cold tree cutting day...hot chocolate and snuggling to keep warm.
This layout is all about the tradition of dying eggs before the Easter holiday. It is a completely fun time- no stress, no pressure, just fun and easy for everyone to enjoy and participate. I found the photo of me and my dad- pretty cool! Plus I used the new Neighborhood line from Crate Paper- so cute!!
Remember these three challenges based on the Creative Ideas for Events and Holiday blog challenges? It is time for a second set of challenges from me (Wendy) and Aby Garvey based on our eBook shown above. Are you up for a good challenge?
Scrapbook about an activity you did as a child; include your photos and/or photos of your children participating in the same activity.
Fun to create and full or bightly colored patterned paper this layout brought back happy memories of playing and watching my favorite sport, basketball. (can you tell which one is me?)
"My love of basketball runs deep,.
It is so fun to be a basketball fan again and watch Collin enjoy my favorite sport of all."
Finding these photos reminded me of how much I enjoyed participating in the Campfire Girl program. I enjoyed making this layout and keeping the focus on the photos by using small amounts of patterned paper.
Journaling reads, "I was a camp fire girl- I do not remember much about this experience other then I remembering liking the uniforms and the ceremonies. This picture is taken at one of those ceremonies- I also recall liking the weekly meetings where we would learn different skills."
I know it is February, but we all have tons of Halloween photos. Ella's newest eBook, Creative Ideas for Events and Holidays, features the dynamic team of Sara Winnick and Margaret Scarborough. In their new eBook, they tackle 12 unique scrapbooking challenges, sharing dozens of ideas for freshening up birthday layouts, Christmas pages, and Halloween designs—not to mention layouts about the first day of school, Valentine's Day, Disneyland vacations, and more! Get ready to get inspired. We asked them to make some pages exclusively for our blog. First up is a Halloween challenge.
I think since my layouts tend to be somewhat simple, I like to bulk them up a bit with a frame around the actual layout. Plus, it helps me to reinforce the color scheme a bit. The title is a die cut from Little Yellow Bicycle.
I find that I often use the same fonts when designing my pages. For this layout I decided to take advantage of some of the fun Halloweeny fonts available on the internet to make my page more interesting.