Monthly Archives: April 2012

Photo Mug Office Contest

Hello readers!

Today, I’d like to entertain you with a story about one of our fun follies here at Photo by Walgreens.

We fancy our products. The photo mug is one of our faves. And we love coffee. But, mornings are tough – even if we do like where we go to work every day. So, I had a magnificent idea: We should have a contest to see who could design the finest photo mug!

First step: Choose the mug you most desire, from the classic to magic, café to latte and more.

Step two: Find the most adorable, exciting or vibrant picture/pictures to put on your mug! Obviously, I am featuring my delightful beasts: Clancy and Papoo.

Next up: Create your mug on Photo By Walgreens.

Snap Snap: Take a picture with your mug!


After looking at every team member’s creation, we voted and believe the above three mugs to be the swankiest.

Congratulations Nick, Erika and Aisha! You win the prize! (Of being the best.)

Can you create a mug as sweet as these? Maybe you can have a Photo Mug Contest in your office and increase engagement, morale and creativity amongst your coworkers?

  • For example, we’ve got the Latte Mug, for the hardcore coffee lover.
  • We also have a Frosted Stein for cold beverages on those hot summer days.
  • Collage Mugs are also a great way to feature a selection of photos while you sip down that morning cup o’joe.

Feel free to post your pic and share with us! Have a fabulous day, and thanks for reading.

-Marina, designer at Walgreens

DIY Letter Scavenger Hunt!

Happy Monday!

My friends, today I present a challenge. (How bold of you Marina!) I’ve recently seen quite a few crafty people on Pinterest create their own DIY letters out of random objects and turn them into photographs telling a story. Basically, the idea is that they come up with a word, and then hunt for objects around town that spell the word out photographically. For example, check out the really cool way the word “CHICAGO” and “DISNEY” are spelled out up above.

Each letter is spelled using a different object, which also gives all of the letters their own stylistic flair. It’s a little taste of the town. Pretty cool right? So why not go on your own photo scavenger hunt and pick a word and find objects and scenes to spell it out! After your expedition is complete, get prints made of all of your fun finds and frame them together to form the word or name!

One other suggestion I’d have for your DIY letter photos would be to turn them into 8×10 enlargements. If you have a new baby or redecorating a kid’s room, find photos of objects spelling out their name and then hang them on their bedroom wall. Check out the example of “MAX” below.


Let us know what words you chose for your scavenger hunt and how you spelled them out!

-Marina, designer at Walgreens

To all the moms…THANK YOU!

As I’m sure you know, Mother’s Day is upon us. Well, it might be a little far out… but my mom lives in Zimbabwe and I have to get started ASAP to make sure she gets her gift by May 13th! Mother’s Day gives us a chance to show all of our moms how much we appreciate all of their unconditional love and support. For example, my mom withstood my purple hair phase. Thanks Mom! Now, flowers are great, but they die in a week or two. (If you didn’t know this before, take note) So why not take the opportunity to create something that she’ll love after the roses have turned into potpourri.

Photo by Walgreens features dozens of photo gifts that are fully customizable with a picture of your choosing. Many of them even allow you to add text – a delightful way to craft a message to your momma that shows how much they’ve meant to you.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Photo Book

Canvas Print

Glass Print

For other gift suggestions, hop on over to our Mother’s Day page and check out other exciting, personalized photo items we’re featuring this spring. If the mom you’re shopping for also coincidentally lives in Zimbabwe (or, if you just really need a last-minute gift), be sure to consider our Same Day Pickup photo products. You can create a gift for mom and pick it up – all in the same day!

Happy early Mother’s Day!

-Marina, designer at Walgreens

Marina on Marina on Food – Part 1


Welcome to the first edition of Marina on Marina on Food!

Today’s interview is the first in a series of posts exploring one of my absolute favorite trends- food photography. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures on Facebook, through email, other blogs…taking photos of your food is HUGE right now. To dive a little bit deeper, I’m going to be conducting an interview with someone I consider an expert on the subject…myself!

Why do I photograph food?
For lots of reasons. First and foremost, it’s to show off what you’re eating. You know the quote “Show me what you eat, and I’ll tell you what you are?”

I love that quote!
Me too! The reason I love it so much is that what we eat in many ways shows who we are. When I photograph food, my first thoughts are- “Check out this amazing dish I ordered!” Or, “Look what I just made! I can’t believe it turned out so well!” Both of these statements are really personal in the sense that, the dishes that are photographed tell a lot about the photographer. Are they adventurous? Close to home? Do they like sharing, being social, or smaller plates that are meant for one? Are they a dessert eater, someone that enjoys the sweeter things in life? Make a note of how the food is plated as well – is there an architecture to it? Is it patterned, or expressive? Presented with soft curves or harsher angles?

What’s your favorite food to photograph?
Something very dynamic. Lots of textures, lots of colors. Food with really interesting shapes and sizes. Eggs and sandwiches are great, but finely crafted pasta dishes and sushi rolls make for much more interesting subjects. Someone (it could be the chef, it could be you!) took quite a bit of time to prepare what you’re photographing and make it beautiful, so shouldn’t it be remembered in the same way?

I think so!
That’s because you’re clever. Like me.

Ummm…back to the interview. Any tips for beginners photographing food?
Ditch the flash.

Seriously. It flattens your food. Makes it look much less interesting. Also, you should develop a style. And angles that you like shooting from. The goal is that someone should be able to tell that it’s your picture immediately. Come up with a routine so that it doesn’t take forever every time…do you really want your food to get cold? Finally, use apps that are perfect for photographing food, like Snapdish, Camera+, Instagram – that’s the biggest one. Also – I always like to take three pictures. One showing the people eating at the table, to give the food context. Two, I like to show just the food on the plate and a bit of the table around it. Three, I take a close up of some feature of the food that I find interesting. It might be how a fork sits delicately on the edge of the plate, or grill marks on a piece of asparagus. Just something that gives the food detail and character.

When you’re finished photographing your delicious confections, why not turn your photos into canvases, calendars, or photo books? Stay tuned for the next edition of Marina on Marina on Food!


10¢ Easter Prints!

How was your Easter? Did you snap a ton of pics of the kids in their Easter Egg Hunt glory? Was she adorable in her Easter dress and bunny ears? Of course she was. So now you have all of these enchanting Easter photographs on your camera…what shall you do with them? Print, print, print them!

When you order 75 or more 4×6 prints, they are only 10¢ apiece! Take advantage of this vibrant deal through Wednesday, April 11th with code:

I hope this helps bring to life all of the fun from your Easter celebration!

-Marina, designer at Walgreens


*Coupon code SPRINGPIC valid for up to 5 uses per account thru April 11, 2012. Online orders must include 75 or more 4×6 or 4×5.3 prints at time of checkout to qualify. All print orders containing 75 4×6 or 4×5.3 prints will be priced as $.10 per print. Offer excludes 4×6 collage prints. Code must be entered at time of checkout to apply discount. Discount does not apply to previous purchases, taxes or shipping charges. Orders must be placed by logged-in customer by April 11, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to qualify. Timing will be determined by Walgreens server clock. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Multiple coupon codes may or may not be used based on cart contents. Offer valid online only.

And the Jelly Bean contest winner is…


Great job! Shelly was the first person to guess 1313, and the correct number of jelly beans in the jar was 1314. Only one teensy tiny bean away! Not too shabby, Shelly!

Not only does Shelly get to revel in the sweet satisfaction and bragging rights of guessing closest out of over 1,300 people, she gets to take home these two vibrant Canvas Prints.


Is there a better way to celebrate April? Exactly.

-Marina, designer at Walgreens

Parents – it’s graduation time! (That means senior portraits!)


Walgreens has reached out to a professional photographer, Chris Padgett, who is going to give you a few tips and tricks just in case you feel like taking your own senior portraits. Chris is an award-winning professional photographer who is a part-owner of First Blush Photos, a photo service that specializes in senior photos and wedding photography.


What themes do you focus on?

Usually when we talk to the seniors, we have to find out what they’re excited about. We like to know what sports they’re playing; what their hobbies and interests are; even what genre of music they listen to. We like to get a feel for them as people and we go off of that.


How does music inspire the process?

Let’s say they like country or bluegrass music … we might want to have a more rustic or natural of a setting, with antique chairs, things like that. You always need a good chair or a couch, as that adds an element so the photo almost looks like a CD cover. If they have musical instruments they play in band, we try to capture that as well. If they like hip hop, we may want to take them to a more urban setting.


Overall, what should the parent/photographer focus on?

  • What their hobbies may be.
  • Try to represent them for who they are in high school.
  • It can even be them with a couple of their best friends!
  • Take a more traditional safe close-up shot with them being beautiful or handsome and smiling.

When is the best time to take photos?

When you’re taking the photos, it would be better to take them in the evening. In the evening the light is very even. We call it ‘The Magic Hour’ right when the sun is setting in the evening because the light is so even and it’s very flattering, it can cast a golden warm color on the subject.


Are there different poses they should try?

Usually we try to strike a balance between interesting ideas that we want to try out and more basic shots to try to get our subject to feel comfortable. We try to get a variety of poses between scene shots that are further away and close-ups of their faces.

When you’re done taking your senior portraits, why not take your photos one step further and turn them into a calendar, canvas, glass print, or a poster? Click here to upload them to your Photo by Walgreens profile!


Good luck!


-Marina, designer at Walgreens

Goosie Cards for Autism Awareness Month


As some of you may know, April is National Autism Awareness Month. It’s a chance to raise concern and share knowledge about the daily challenges within the autism community. Today, I’d like to show you a set of learning aids Photo by Walgreens features that are geared toward giving children with autism and other disabilities a chance to learn in a very interactive and fun way.

They’re called Goosie Cards.


Goosie Cards are customized flashcards adorned with up to five lines of text and a photo of your choice. They’re large, laminated to survive wear and tear and the text and pictures are extra bright in order to aid in your child’s learning. Parents and teachers using them as educational tools can teach a child with special needs to communicate and associate visually. Younger children will also benefit from learning with personalized pictures and cards they can relate to.

Specifically, they can help your child learn and become more comfortable with:

  • Bridging the connection between language and objects
  • Emotional memory joggers
  • Sequence events
  • Moods, thoughts, and emotions

Goosie Cards have also been tested and certified as “Exceptional” for autism and special needs therapy by AblePlay™ evaluators. You can create your own Goosie Cards here.

Thank you!

-Marina, designer at Walgreens