Senior Sessions, Workshops and Giveaways {Oh My!}

Hey guys and gals! Are you back from world-changing adventures because you now believe you can change the world? I hope so! I’ve got a few updates for you that might not change the world but they may at least change your day. Maywhobiddyhaps. But for starters, let me mention that I made a Smokin’ Sausage Quinoa for dinner this evening and I took pictures, as I was thinking of sharing the recipe with you later. Would you like the recipe? Lemme know.

{This post is the start of a few giveaways that will be coming your way over the next several days… so let me just mention that now so that you check back this week and next to see what else you can win!}

{I already showed you this picture in this post about the shoot with the last Giveaway Winners the other day…but man, I just love it!}

Up next on the docket, I want to mention that Quiver Tree Photography is launching our Senior Sessions Package. It is totally awesome and has lots of bells and whistles. (Where does that expression come from?) Basically for $300, the fantabulous seniors in question will get:

  • A 2 hour photo session (with the Hero Hubs, of course)
  • Multiple Outfit Changes and at least two locations
  • A disc of images with printing rights with a minimum of 80 awesome edited photos from the shoot
  • AND. A 20 page custom hardcover photo book with images from their session OR a 16 x 20 gallery wrapped canvas print.

Seniors also have the choice of going with an a la carte option — I’ll have those details up on the Quiver Tree site soon, but the basics include choosing from:

  • 2 hr photo session @ $150
  • Images on Disc with printing rights @ $150
  • Custom Hardcover Photo Book @ $100
  • 16 x 20 Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Print @ $100
  • Prints and Canvases a la carte, as priced at Quiver Tree. (i.e., 4 x 6 print @ $4.00…)

Sounds good, right? We just have one little problem. That fantastic senior session package described above needs a fantastic name. And this is where you come in. I know I’m usually pretty good with words, but this pregnancy gig and all our hard work starting this business are taking a toll on my sleep patterns. My brain function, she is a tad bit low. So.

Let me first pause to mention in case any of you folks from outside of the USA are wondering what I’m talking about — it’s common around these parts for young folks to have a series of professional photographs taken to commemorate this special moment in their lives, their last (Senior) year of high school. So, not Senior Citizens…although they’re welcome, too. Now that that’s clear…

I’d like to ask you fantastically clever people to put on your thinking caps and come up with a name for Quiver Tree’s new Senior Session Package. 

We’ll give you until Saturday night, August 11th at 12:00 midnight to work your wordsmith magic. If you come up with more than one name that you think is a winner, feel free to leave more than one comment. If more than one commenter comes up with the same name, we’ll have to award the prize to the winner who left the comment first. Y’all play nice.

All my ideas so far have words like “Epic” and “Gladiator” in them. But they’re just not… the one.

The person whose name is chosen as THE name for Quiver Tree’s Senior Session Package will have a choice (don’t you love it when you win something and you get a choice about what you won?) between an 8 x 10 canvas print of any image from Quiver Tree’s Fine Art Collection {which basically includes just about every pretty picture you’ve ever seen on this website, or on the Hubs’ site} OR you can attend Quiver Tree’s first Photography Workshop (details below) for just $35! That’s half price…how cool is that?

We’re looking for a name that will appeal to rising seniors (and their parents??)… something fresh and edgy. So leave a comment when you come up with the magic!

Okay. There are two more details to cover in what is becoming a rather lengthy post! I need cookies and milk and sleep!

Quiver Tree Photography Workshop :: Introduction to Digital Photography

Our first Introduction to Digital Photography workshop will be starting here in wee Washington at the beginning of September! These are the details:

The course will introduce the fundamentals of exposure and composition, and you’ll learn practical tips and techniques that will improve the outcome every time you pick up your camera. Topics covered will include:
+ camera controls & settings
+ basic composition techniques for taking better pictures
+ understanding aperture
+ shutter speed & ISO
+ metering basics & exposure

There will be time for Q & A at every session, and the cost for the course is $70. (You will get $10 off the price of the course if you invite a friend who also signs up for this workshop!)

Our first workshop will run for two hours per session on two consecutive Tuesday evenings in September – the 4th and the 11th. There will also be a full-on four hour session which will cover the same material on Saturday, September the 8th from 8:30 pm to 12:30 pm. And y’all know I’ll bake something tasty for the attendees.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back in touch with you! Now the last detail to cover is…

Quiver Tree Photography’s {Awesometastic} Referral Program

I cannot for the life of me remember whether I’ve mentioned this to you guys before, but we are very keen to get the word out about our photography business. And I believe in the power of word-of-mouth more than just about anything. You know what I mean. So, we consistently want to say thank you to the people who are helping spread the word — in a tangible way. Here’s how we do it:

  • If you refer someone who books a regular photo session with us (family, children, maternity or newborn) you’ll get $10 in Quiver Tree booty. {description below}
  • If you refer someone who books a Senior Session {awesome name to be announced} with Quiver Tree, you’ll earn yourself $20 in Quiver Tree booty.
  • If you refer someone who books a wedding package with Quiver Tree, you will have just pillaged and plundered your way to $100 buckaroos of Quiver Tree booty. 

Here are the multiple ways you can cash in on Quiver Tree booty:

  1. Use it toward the price of a photo session of any kind.
  2. Use it to purchase something from the Quiver Tree Gallery located at 158 W. Main Street in Washington, NC.
  3. Use it toward a Quiver Tree Photography workshop.
  4. Use it toward the purchase of a print or a gallery-wrapped canvas print — your photo or ours!

So that’s how our referral program works! Just make sure the person who’s booking lets us know that YOU referred them to us. We are so thankful for you — many of you have encouraged us every step of the way as we’ve launched into this new adventure. You already know I’d give you all a heap of freebies if I could do it and we’d still be able to pay the bills! Love you!

There’s more to come on this subject, and some giveaways around the corner… but for now, let the Senior Session naming begin!



Birthday Boy & the Winner Is…

We watched videos this morning from those precious moments one year ago when our nine-pound Tiger was born in nine minutes. They weren’t actual videos of the birth, however. In case you were wondering. I was pretty much in tears — watching the videos, not during the birth — and not just at the tiny new baby, but also at how the Bear has changed in the past year.

The Birthday boy’s been having an okay day. He got to talk to Goo-Goo & Gammy on Skype and hang out with G-pa a little. But more little toofers are breaking through so he’s been kind of bummed about that. Today’s theme was “It’s my birthday and I’ll nap if I want to.” He didn’t want to. Our wee Breakfast Brunch Birthday Bash for Blakey will be happening tomorrow morning because we thought our stuff would be arriving from SA yesterday or today. They’ve now said Monday.

And we sure are hoping.

Another important part of celebrating the festivities today was choosing a winner for the Quiver Tree Photo Giveaway, which launched on the Tank’s due date! Since Tiger Tank was in no mood to choose a winner, we decided to let Gpa click the number generator thingy to randomly select the winner. Just so no one would be concerned it was the Hubs or yours truly behind the wheel, choosing a favourite.

You’re all my favourite!!


And this is what Gpa’s click chose:


And number 47 was….

Megan Boltes

who said:

We would [love] to have pics of both of our boys now that our youngest is home : )

So congrats, Megan! Since you entered through Facebook, I’ll contact you on FB so we can plan your photo session!

But hang tight before you get totally bummed and say “I never win anything” and go eat a few cookies with ice cream to make yourself feel better. {Or is that just me?} Once the Hubs and I saw all you sweet people entering, we started to get kind of bummed because we could only choose one winner, so we came up with a plan.

For all of you delightful folks who entered the giveaway but came in “close second”, we’re going to take a third off of the cost of a photo session {$75 – $25 = $50!} and give you 10% off any prints or photo products you order after your session, if you book a session/order in the next three months!

We will email or Facebook you to confirm those details, but if you don’t receive an email, just comment here or contact us on Facebook so we can send through the coupon codes and contact details and whoseywhatnots.

Thanks so much for entering and sharing the word. We really would love to get to hang with each and everyone of you.

One more lovely parting gift for all of you this evening: we managed to grab some 12 months shots of our precious little Tiger this afternoon. It was kind of yucky and rainy, and they are presently unedited, but here’s our smiling birthday boy!

A quick stroll down memory lane…

We’ve gone from here…


to here…

In what feels like 90 minutes.

Can you believe it?

Well b’deep b-b-deep, that’s all folks! Thanks again!


Almost a Birthday, and a Photo Session Giveaway!!

Almost a Birthday, and a Photo Session Giveaway!!

It’s hard to believe a year ago today we were expecting our little Tiger Tank to make his first appearance on the outside. Today — February 18th — was the due date, and if he’d decided to come along, he would’ve been born two years and six months to the day after his big brother Bear.


As you may or may not remember, however, the Tank (and the Lord) had other plans. In God’s Perfect Timing our precious second son arrived in a ninety-minute perfect-for-TV drama that culminated in an expedient trip to the hospital, with Mr. Potato Head reaching speeds exceeding 100 mph. And the magical nine minute delivery ensued.

Someone told me the second one grows faster than the first. I didn’t believe them until we packed everything up and started the nomadic journey that began in June of 2011 and finally felt sort of finished in December. I feel so far removed from those days of waiting, our leisurely strolls around the neighborhood, the palm trees, the boats with ropes clanking against their masts on a sunny summer day in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.


We sold most of our stuff, we left that home, and we said goodbye to a lot of people whom we love and care for. And since the memories of those precious days seem to be fading around the edges, I am very, very thankful for the pictures we took.

We occasionally pull up a photo or two on our computers to ask the Bear if he remembers this or that. And sometimes I know having seen things again in photos is helping him to remember.

In the car on the way home from Bible study yesterday, he and another little girl were discussing birthday cakes. She talked about hers, and then he recounted his last birthday in detail — mine was at Goo and Gammy’s house. Gammy made my 3 cake!


I hope he can store so many of those moments in his mind — seeing elephants at Kruger Park, playing cars with Goo Goo around the table on the patio in Bloemfontein, jumping on the trampoline in our old neighborhood by the sea.

I’m thankful that if we forget, we still have so many photos to usher us right back into some of our favorite memories at a moment’s notice… traveling around the Isle of Skye in Scotland, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, hiking in the Helderberg region near Cape Town.

More than that, I’m thankful to be reminded of those tiny newborn fists clenched so tight, the way the Bear’s hair curled at the nape of his neck before his first haircut, the glorious shots of the grandparents and grandchildren together — ones I often treasure more than any others.

So, in honor of Tiger Tank’s ‘official’ due date, Quiver Tree Photography has decided to do a special giveaway right here, and I’m excited to share the details with you!

One lucky winner will receive a free one hour, on location photo shoot (a $75 value!) in Eastern North Carolina (within 50 miles of Washington, North Carolina*). You’ll also receive 10 4×6 prints and an 8×10 canvas of your favorite photos from the session (a $70 value!) Boo-yow!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling us who you’d like to in your pictures if you win! Make sure you sign in using the Punch Tab widget below, and read the details below to find out how to get extra entries! USE PUNCH TAB — don’t just leave a comment!!

We’ll randomly draw the name of a lucky winner on the Tank’s actual birthday, February 24th!

Visit Quiver Tree Photography between now and then to have a look around the new site!

*If you live outside of the area and would like to enter, you can pay 50 cents per mile travelled outside the 50 mile radius and we’ll come to you, or we can make a plan to meet somewhere in the middle!

The Details:

You must leave one comment on this site by 11:59 EST on February 23, 2012 in order to be entered in this giveaway. Folks who leave multiple comments will be considered cheeky and will be ineligible to win.

You can earn additional entries for doing each of the following:

  • Tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter
  • Becoming a fan of Quiver Tree Photography on Facebook
  • Liking this giveaway on Facebook
  • Sharing the link to this page on Google Plus
We look forward to hanging out with the winner soon!


And the Winners Are…

First things first. A little sad news about the giveaway. By the time I managed to get all the names into the singing cookie jar, the Bear was asleep. Meaning he didn’t do the drawing. Which was contrary to what I promised. I hope you forgive me.

We still good, right?


But Good News. Hero Hubs was really excited to do me the favor of doing the drawing instead.

Which is good because I can’t draw names because I want everyone to win.

So he did it for me. See how enthusiastic he was?

And the games began…

Winner #1: Erin G!

Winner #2: Renea!

Winner #3: Aubrey!

If I had lots of money, or this was the Oprah show, this would be the part where I’d announce that you all won a new car just for entering. Or at least a book. And a makeover? Alas. I wanted all of you to win. Especially you. Yeah, you!

But that’s the story. Hopefully we’ll do something similarly fun again soon. And everyone will get a car and live happily ever after.

Congrats, gals! I’ll email you the details of how to collect the Shutterfly Christmastastic Goodness in the morning!

{It’s bedtime.}


Giveaway! Free Christmas Cards at Shutterfly

On Thursday, I spoke a little bit about Making Your Christmas Decisions Now — and I hope that my words didn’t feel like a whole lot of talk about what you should cut out of your holiday, without much talk about what you should put into it. There was one more thing I wanted to put into words but didn’t quite have a grasp of yet.

Which is probably always the case, but ya know.

When Jesus spoke up, announcing the beginning of His ministry He said:

God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce,
“This is God’s Year to act!” (Luke 4:18-19, the Message)

There is a marked difference between the person who says they follow Jesus because of what they don’t do, and the person who says they follow Jesus because of what they do.

I am hungry for my life to speak His Name in action, for the world to see His people living in the name of Love. And when we celebrate the Father sending His Son into this world for us, I want it to be about Him!

So add that to those other thoughts if you will. And share some of your own, if you like!

Insert here, mayhaps, an unceremonious segue into a discussion of something I do very much enjoy, as a part of celebrating the Savior’s birth.

We are blessed with an incredible team of ministry partners, which you are welcome to join, by the way. They pray for us and partner with us to make our ministry possible. Some have even been supporting me since I boarded that plane in Atlanta to head for Scotland! Wowzers! That was six years ago!

And in addition to sending regular newsletters to report back to our supporters each month, we send Christmas cards at the end of the year just to say weloveyouthankyouthankyouthankyou and this time around to also say, lookwe’vegottwoboysnow,whoohoo! If only the cards would give me enough space to say everything I wanted to say with spaces.


We’ve had decent experiences with a few different companies over the years, but last year I designed our cards and my Mom’s Christmas cards with Shutterfly and they were beautiful. If I do say so myself. We also designed the cards from the first year we were married with Shutterfly with a sweet little picture from our wedding, but I don’t have that one to show you. Sowwy. Just imagine them being precious. Cuz they were.

I think I showed you a screenshot of ours from last year:

Screen Shot 2011-10-27 at 9.26.57 PM

{The Tank was still on the inside!}

And after I did that one we took some photos at Thanksgiving for my Mom’s and I designed hers with Shutterfly, too and it was a Stationery Card and the quality of the paper was lovely — it was like nice card stock instead of photo paper, if that makes sense.

I loved it!

Screen Shot 2011-10-27 at 9.29.33 PM

{That’s my nieceypoo in case you don’t know. She’s a darlingpreciousangelpumpkin and she’s presently working on potty training!}

They have some gorgeous new designs this year, and I think this one might be my favorite for showcasing my favorite photo of the year, thankyouverymuchmyHeroHubs.

Screen Shot 2011-10-27 at 9.53.32 PM

However, this one is square and requires extra postage and I don’t think I’m gonna spring for that. But look at that fresh, yet vintage little red bird! I love him!

So here’s the good news. Today we’re giving away, for you and a friend, a trip to Turks & Caicos with two first class tickets and…show ’em what else they’ve won, Vanna…

I wish.

But seriously.

I’m giving away 25 Free Holiday Cards at Shutterfly to three readers who are just lucky enough to have stumbled across this site today. Or else you’re here all the time, in which case, are we related?

I’m kidding again.

But seriously.

I have a brainbuster of a question for you to answer in order to enter to win this giveaway.

In the comments, tell me about a favorite memory from Christmas when you were a kid. Or, tell me about one of your favorite Christmas traditions. Or, tell me how you’re planning to Love More with Less this Christmas. Or, tell me whether you read this blog, and if you do, why.

You can pretty much talk about whatever you want, but don’t be cheeky.

The Bear will randomly select three winners out of the singing cookie jar that the Tank likes to play with. As soon as we can get it away from the Tank.

Just comment by Tuesday, November 1st, 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time.

Then you can head over to Shutterfly and look at their cards for this year. Hopefully in a few days you’ll score some for free!


P.S. Behave yoself and just enter once. If I discover you’ve entered more than once, your name won’t go in the singing cookie jar. I’ll email the winners their special codes to get their cards on Wednesday and announce ’em here. Amen.

P.P.S. You can have an extra entry if you like this site on Facebook. It’s the right thing to do.

P.P.P.S You can have one more entry if you subscribe to this site in a reader. It only seems fair.

Important Weekly Update

Hey Guys and Gals. I have several important things to tell you.

1. I tried this Baked Chicken with Peaches recipe this week and it was super easy and really good. The chicken breasts are so ginormous here that I only used four (and halved the rest of the recipe) and still had chicken left over for chicken pot pie two nights later, and a little chicken salad for lunch today. Score! I feel morally compelled to share this recipe with you. Not sharing it would, ethically, just be wrong.

But why are the chicken breasts so big here? I don’t know whether to be happy or concerned. Or both.


2. This season of transition is great, and hard at the same time. {Could I say grard?} I cry. On a regular basis. I laugh a lot, too. But these sweet boys of mine are a gift in the process. I shared at Signposts today about how they keep me looking up. If you’ve ever fussed at your kids and then regretted it, click over…you might be encouraged.

3. Tomorrow. October 29, 2011. Meet me back here for a giveaway. Three readers will win 25 free Christmas cards at Shutterfly! And that’s 25 cards for each reader, in case you were worried you’d win and have to figure out how to divide 25 by 3.

So don’t forget to drop by tomorrow! Entering will be easy, so don’t worry about studying up in preparation. And don’t forget to try those peaches.