Happy Holidays 2012 | San Diego Senior and Family Photographer

I know Halloween hasn’t even passed yet, but I also know that many of you have already started your holiday shopping! (I sort of have….) Every year, I like to create a feature post for you featuring some great gift ideas.  This year, I think you’ll really enjoy what I have selected, as well as the little giveaway at the end!! So be sure to check out all of these great locally-owned businesses/independent representatives. I try to support as many small businesses and military-spouse-owned businesses as I can, because I know how important the support of the community has been to me!

Of course, I would be remiss if I left out the gift of holiday portraiture. Whether giving photos of your own family to loved ones, or gifting a session to your spouse or family or friends, family portraits are so important. I could share a hundred stories from my clients and what their portraits meant to them, but I will leave it at this: you only get to live in this moment once. Why not capture it?  Powell Woulfe Photography offers gift certificates for packages and sessions, as well as a wide range of albums, prints, canvases, metal prints, and everyone’s favorite: Organic Bloom frames.  There is no gift as unique as YOUR family portraits.  (And I might just have thrown a family portrait session and OB frame into the giveaway below…there’s only one way to find out…enter!)

Still wondering what to get for a teacher, neighbor, best friend or co-worker?  If you haven’t heard of Scentsy, you need to get on the ball! I am in love with all of their products, and my amazing representative, Sara Seemayer, always keeps me well-stocked. I have about 10 warmers and nearly as many plug-ins throughout my house, and gift these several times a year. The Scentsy line of products literally has something for everyone, and I personally love it because there is no flame – just wonderfully scented wax that warms gently and smells delicious!!  If you want to learn more, visit Sara’s Facebook Page or enter to win the amazing giveaway below! Sara has graciously contributed the Bluster plug-in (so cute for the holidays!!) and two bars to get the winner started: Peppermint Dreams & Mandarin Moon!

Isn’t he adorable?


One of my other new favorite things is Kelly’s Kids. Extremely high-quality, unique children’s clothing that is affordable and durable! I purchased my daughter’s holiday portrait wardrobe from Kelly’s Kids by Kallie Pitcock. Kelly’s Kids is a family owned Mississippi based children’s clothing company. Kallie is a company representative and hosts in home trunk show parties for the fall and spring lines. They offer high-quality classic children’s clothing that is created to mix, match, and coordinate the family. For more information on Kelly’s Kids by Kallie, you can follow her blog at www.kalliefrances.com. Kallie has contributed one of their large hairbows to the giveaway, and I am eagerly awaiting their spring line. LOVE their stuff!!

Recently, my hubby and I have been chatting about what the future holds for us. I know this is a bit of a heavy topic, but really, the timing couldn’t be better.  With the economy so uncertain right now, and knowing how life can just “happen”, it is something that weighs on our minds a lot. Luckily, I have the honor of knowing exactly who we’re looking forward to working with: Wealth Preservation. (They also happen to be some of my most cherished and sweet clients!) I strongly believe that your family’s legacy and estate planning should be left to the experts, so I asked Stacy to give me some information (as this is clearly not my area of expertise!) Here is some more from Wealth Preservation:

Life Insurance is the Gift of Love

We buy life insurance to protect the ones we love – even after we’re gone. There are many other reasons why people find life insurance as an invaluable component to their financial plan, many of which are often overlooked:

1.Chances are your family relies on your income to pay the bills. Mortgage payments, college education, business and basic living expenses… consider how your family would make ends meet. Who would pay these bills for them if you are gone, how do they survive, on welfare with food stamps?  Think about it, for pennies a day, you can make sure they are provided for, at least to have an opportunity in life.
2.Create liquidity to pay taxes due, when we die, there is always some amount of  taxes payable, estate, capital gains, income taxes.  Do you really want your family to  be forced to sell  your house and/or your business in order to cover the tax burden. Life insurance can provide the funds necessary to cover the estate tax bill without your family having to liquidate your assets.

3.Legacy Planning: How do you want your family to live and how do you want to be remembered after you’re gone? What about retirement income planning for your surviving spouse? Are you aware that most spouses, have no retirement plan? As we live longer  than ever before those retirement incomes are being exhausted and many of us are now outliving our monies,  what happens to your wife/husband/partner?  It is very common today for the female to outlive the male, the one question I always hear from a windowed spouse is, Where is my  income coming from?  “Life insurance can secure your family and your legacy”.

“Remember people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan” Don’t let that be you…Contact Wealth Preservation today at (800)313-PLAN (7526) or visit us at www.wealthpreservationllc.com we are a family owned business and family is our business.

Wealth Preservation has very graciously contributed to our holiday giveaway as well… Get Financially Fit! Living life fabulously—and frugally—isn’t always easy. That’s where Wealth Preservation LLC comes in with a drawing for a free financial bootcamp meeting tailored to your life. Sign up to be entered to win a meeting worth $1,500 of expert financial planning.

(I don’t know about you, but that is definitely something I could use!!)

Those are just a few things on my holiday shopping list this year. And without further ado, here’s what you’ve been waiting for! The special prize package with goodies from our friends! (Please be sure to go and check out their websites as well!) There is one caveat, besides the official mumbo-jumbo: you must live in San Diego County to win.

One winner will receive:

  • A family portrait session from Powell Woulfe Photography

  • One ticket to a DSLR Owners of Photoshop for Beginners Workshop by Powell Woulfe Photography

  • Choice of one 8×10 single frame or three ornament frames by Organic Bloom, from Powell Woulfe Photography

  • A Scentsy plug-in warmer and two bars from Sara Seemayer, Independent Scentsy Consultant

  • One large hairbow, from Kelly’s Kids by Kallie

  • Get Financially Fit! bootcamp from Wealth Preservation, LLC

Enter below! It’s easy and only takes a few minutes. Be sure to share! Entries may be made until 10/27/2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Andrea Swanson - I love Valentines Day!

  • Amanda - My favorite holiday is Christmas.

  • Sara - This is a really great giveaway. I am in love with all the cute scentsy warmers, but just have not made the switch over to scentsy. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  • Melissa Crownover - I love Christmas! We celebrate Jesus Birth! I love giving and getting presents.

  • Michelle Nevels-Stacks - Great ideas that will make the holidays stress free fabulous! The financially fit part is my favorite!

  • cherieweurding@yahoo.com - What a fabulous giveaway – thanks so much for putting all these prizes together! 🙂

  • cherieweurding@yahoo.com - Oh – My favorite holiday is Halloween and Christmas! It’s a close tie…

  • leslie keene - I love Christmas! I love the reason we celebrate but also the family time. Warms my heart!

It’s Time to Get a Little Personal | San Diego Photographer

I’ve been making lots of changes in my personal and professional lives lately. One of the decisions I recently made was to get more personal here, to help everyone get to know me. Yes, I’ve posted personal things here and there, but I’m talking about a deeper glimpse into who I am, what makes me tick, and the other things I am “into”. This is my first post to kick off this new direction. You can still expect to see the sneak peeks and helpful info I’ve always shared, but now you’ll see a little more behind the lens.

As my first personal post, it is also a bit profession-related. (Hmmm, is that a phrase?) As many of you know, I strongly believe in giving back to my community. I’ve been involved with many volunteer groups over the past few years. Everything from lab rescue (in honor of my furry love) to suicide prevention to cancer research to supporting our military community. I strongly believe in ALL of these causes and missions, as I have been touched by each one. But I found myself stretched very thin on time and resources. I had to sit down and evaluate my time commitments and personal investment in each effort, as well as how much I was affecting myself and the community with my participation. In the end, I had to come down to one volunteer effort to support, and that is my work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org). So, how does this affect me professionally? Well, I have resigned from my work with Operation Love Reunited. I joined the organization years ago, and I still passionately believe in their mission to support military members facing a deployment. I know that OpLove will carry on the fabulous work they are doing as long as there is a need in our military community. I will miss giving back to our military families. I know how they feel when facing or enduring a deployment. It’s rough. There are so many times when you just want to hold your deployed family member, or have them hold you. A photograph can help during these times. I cannot thank the photographer who took our pre-deployment portraits enough for the support she gave us in those images.

The work I did with OpLove was some of the most rewarding I have ever experienced. It’s a big responsibility, as well. So much emotion, love, and unfortunately, sadness. Saying, “See ya later.” It stinks. But welcoming our service men and women home is amazing. The work was such an emotional rollercoaster, but I don’t regret a moment of it. I thank all of my OpLove clients for welcoming me into their lives at such a difficult time. Thank you. And a huge thank you to the administrators of OpLove as well. You put in thousands of hours each year to make this organization what it is today. The way that the lives of our military families have been impacted is immeasurable. You rock!

I am sure that some of you are probably wondering if I will still provide similar services. I will, and I will post information on that to the website as soon as I can. I just didn’t feel like this was the time.  You can still find participating photographers at www.oplove.org. And a final note, please check out www.AFSP.org and support the critical work being done there. I’ll share more about them in a blog post very soon. I believe the work they do with our military community is crucial.

Lots of love,

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Make Memories, They Are Forever | North County Family Photographer

We just returned from our family vacation to Oahu, and I spent last night downloading the images from my memory cards and looking through them. I only took about 250 photos on our trip, which is not a lot, by my standards. But, in my opinion, the most important images weren’t on those cards.  Yes, they were our memories of the trip, but there is one problem: not a single image contained all three of us, one of us was always behind the camera.

There were plenty of grumbles when I woke my husband and daughter up at 4:00 a.m. on the Saturday morning during our vacation. But we had somewhere important to be. We dressed, carefully did our hair, and jumped in the car to drive an hour in the darkness.  We were having family portraits taken at sunrise on the famous North Shore. When we decided to take this trip, one of the first things I did was start looking for a photographer. As a recently reunited family following a 207 day deployment, it was very important to me to document our reunion and the special vacation we took to celebrate.  And a tripod and remote shutter release is really no substitute for professional portraiture.  Instead, we opted to have a portrait session that was relaxed and celebrated our family.

Could I have spent that money on an amazing dinner, or even a first-class upgrade on our flight? Sure. But those things are fleeting. Memories are forever. I value our time together as a family. I’m reminded all-too-often that our time together could be cut short at any time. Those portraits are going to be proudly displayed on our walls, at some rather large sizes, so I can remember this trip, this feeling of reunion, this joy and gratitude that we have all that we do.  Those portraits will stop time.  I wish there was a way I could explain to everyone just how valuable the family portrait experience is.

Last month, I had the pleasure of photographing Leslie and her two daughters.  This is a family who knows how important it is to capture these moments.  Their dad is currently overseas, serving in the military, and I know he misses every small moment like the ones we captured this day.  Even the seemingly insignificant moments are truly precious.   I thank Leslie and her girls for spending an evening at the beach with me.  They are beautiful and so full of love and life!

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Back to School Time is Here | North County Senior Photographer

Most schools are already back in session or getting ready to start this week. I cannot believe it’s almost September! This year has flown by.

I want to take a moment to thank all of my clients and fans for standing by me and supporting my business as well as my family. My husband returned last week from a seven month tour in Afghanistan. Many of you probably weren’t aware he was away serving, as I tried my best to not allow it to affect my business. It’s been hard work, being a temporarily single mom, running a growing business, caring for two homes on opposite coasts, and raising a preschooler, all while trying to encourage my own personal & professional growth. Thank you, for supporting my business.

Now he is home, we’re enjoying our time together again, and I’ll be taking a few weeks off. I plan to return to shooting sessions on September 15th, so schedule your fall session now. The fall is booking quickly for holiday and family sessions, as well as for seniors. If you haven’t scheduled your family portraits yet, you’ll want to do it as soon as you can, and take advantage of this special:


In the next few weeks, I will be rolling out the new GRADUATES site by Powell Woulfe Photography. I know everyone has been waiting for a look at the new design, so here you go…just a little preview of the colors and style coming your way!! I’m really excited to launch it, but want to make sure it is absolutely perfect. Stay tuned for lots of updates in September, and have a GREAT school year 2012-13!!

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