I have given loads of presents in my days – presents to little people, big people and everyone in between and those presents almost always elicit smiles but the only presents I have ever seen elicit smiles AND tears are photo books.  There is something about holding a book of images that is so much more than one image provides. The images and words that you have chosen – maybe it tells a story, maybe it is just a collection of special images, maybe it is something useful(like a daily planner) but with images you have carefully selected – it doesn’t really matter what form this takes people find it wonderful and special.

I have plans for at least two photo books this year and I will be using Blurb. Their online tools range from super easy, even my technology challenged mother could do it, (and she really did) to blank pages that let you design the books the way you want without getting your way.  In the past the books I created were fairly traditional –


loosely telling the story of a vacation or summer adventures with the kids but you are only limited by your imagination.


My 5 year old wrote a story last year and I had a friend and local artist illustrate, as a present I took his words and combined them into an actual book – the look on his face when he realized the book he was holding was his own words was priceless.  He has asked for another one this year.



This year I plan to make him his own comic book with photos from a story we created using his Legos.  My daughter will be getting a cookbook illustrated with scenes she created of her her little dolls cooking.   So- start thinking about ways that you can give photo books and take some time to look at Blurb– as I said their tools are excellent, their prices are always cheaper than I expect and the finished products really are quite magical.

Blurb is offering 15% off with the code FALLTHANKS Deal ends 11/21/12


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 They all had dreams. They all had family. They died for us. Arlington National Cemetery is a heavy place, I can't help but think about all the pain and suffering when presented with row upon row of a headstone representing a fallen soldier and my mind boggles that this still happens today. On this little planet hurtling through an incomprehensible ginormous space - some people think it is ok to kill each other. :( p.s. You should google Cornelius H. Charlton - his story is interesting p.p.s My grandfather is buried in Arlington- my Mom's father was instrumental in designing and implementing early radar systems for the Navy in WW2. Captured with the #Sony #a7RII and #Canon #70200L at 200mm and f/3.2
 #mondaymorningshare - I want to see your failed experiments or favorite photos from the last week. GO TO http://photorec.tv/fb to share your fav image from the past week. Here's my #failedexperiment The US Capitol at Sunset. File this under because I could - a 2 minute exposure with the use of a NISI Filters 10-stop ND. I hoped I would get some interesting wispy movement in the clouds but nothing developed. Next I tried a 6 minute exposure (swipe to see it) and while there may be a little more movement in the clouds it certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. And while I often recommend very carefully shooting building and monuments as symmetrically as possible, I purposefully shot from right of center to avoid losing Ulysses S. Grant statue in the front of the capitol. *  Sony #A7RII and #Canon 2470mm with #NiSiFilters #10StopND
 I love traveling with other photographers on #mckaylive trips. Kari, a trip participant, noticed this line of trees and shared her perspective with me. I had glanced at them but hadn't noticed how nicely they lined up when standing at a certain spot #teacherbecomesthestudent :) We had a great day leaving behind the cherry blossom crowds for a much quieter walk around #HarpersFerryWV. And a visit to #BolivarHeights a much fought over hilltop during the civil war and the site of the largest surrender of Union troops - over 12,000 men surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. *  Captured with the #Panasonic #GH4 and #1235mm lens

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