Easter Family Photo Ideas

From special dresses and shiny shoes to pastel shirts and crisp khakis, Easter attire calls for your family’s Sunday best. Seize this opportunity to capture your crew’s perfectly polished appearance by snapping some family portraits. Here are a few ideas for corralling the group and getting some great shots.

Easter Photo Ideas

1. Pick a time of day when the kids are well-rested and content. If you try to snap photos during their normal nap time or before they’ve had a meal, you’re more likely to catch them in a fussy mood.

2. Choose a fun setting, and let the kids play. When they’re simply having an awesome time, you’ll take some great candids with oodles of personality.

3. Bring props! Whether it’s a cheerful stuffed animal for a tiny tot or a classic white Adirondack chair for an outdoorsy shoot, including an extra “subject” will enhance your photos.

4. Though your family will be dressed up, ensure their clothes are comfy, too. Pick out pieces that fit them – not too tight, not too baggy – and opt for soft, breathable fabrics. If everyone is comfortable, it will show in the photos!

5. Take panoramic shots for a little variety. Check out our recent blog post that’s chock full of panoramic photography tips.

6. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to take pictures of your whole brood. Though Easter is a great time to snap pictures of the kids, you’ll treasure photos that feature you and Hubby, too. If a buddy is unavailable, bring a tripod and use your camera’s timer setting.

7. When the day is done, compile your favorite Easter photos into a beautiful personalized Photo Book. This will make it super-easy to share your top shots with loved ones.

Enjoy your Easter!

Share Life’s Happy,
Marie

Five Tips for Acing Rain Photography

April showers bring May flowers, but spring’s sloshy conditions can put a damper on your photo plans. No worries: With a few smart switches, you can keep on snapping even when Mother Nature brings the rain.

Rain Photography

  1. Take an umbrella: This rainy day essential not only provides coverage from the elements, it makes a great prop. If your subject is carrying an umbrella, it immediately sets the scene. Consider including reflective puddles in your shots to really illustrate the wet weather.
  2. Be prepared to take cover: Planning ahead can make all the difference. Pack a lightweight poncho and a disposable plastic bag. The poncho will protect you while the plastic bag keeps your camera dry. Punch a small hole in the bag to give the camera lens an unobstructed view.
  3. Keep a microfiber cloth in your camera bag: Use it to wipe lenses dry without scratching them the way your clothing could.
  4. Shoot raindrops: Use a macro mode on a point-and-shoot camera to snap a close shot of tiny raindrops. They’ll look particularly perfect when photographed atop a dark or colorful object.
  5. Photograph foliage: Drizzly days aren’t the best for capturing the same bright colors you could on a sunny day. However, the change in lighting that wet weather brings can really make greenery pop. Choose a location with loads of lush plants and trees, like a nature reserve or park. If you have an advanced camera, read this Canon article to learn more about settings that can help you capture the more saturated look of rainy day foliage.

Check out this roundup of impressive rain photos. What scenery inspires you to snap wet weather shots?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

How to Create a Gallery Wall

Empty walls are like a blank canvas, just waiting to come alive with creativity. Make the most of this opportunity with a gallery wall. The chic home décor trend looks difficult to pull off, but if you follow a few straightforward instructions, you’ll have no trouble at all.

Step One: Pick a Style

Choose a layout that works for you. We’ve created a few diagrams to give you some inspiration. Decide whether you prefer a symmetrical, asymmetrical or eclectic arrangement, and use the corresponding layout as your guide. Feel free to let your imagination run wild – our layouts are simply a starting point! From the bedroom to a stairway, any wall in your house can provide the backdrop for your masterpiece.

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Step Two: Get Creative

After you’ve chosen your desired layout and location, gather your materials. Think about the vibe you wish to achieve. If you want a dramatic look, pick out black and white photos, and use complementary black frames with white mats. If you prefer a cheerful feel, select colorful photos, artwork and frames. Here’s a list of suggested materials to get you started:

  • Prints (4×6, 5×7 and/or 8×10)
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wall art
  • Frames for photo prints
  • Hanging materials: a hammer and nails
  • Brown kraft paper roll

Step Three: Position Your Pieces

Frame your chosen photos and art, and trace an outline of each item on kraft paper. Cut out the tracings, and secure each piece of paper to the wall with tape using your layout diagram as a guide. By positioning the paper first, it will be easy to move the pieces around until everything looks perfect. Then, swap the paper for the real thing, using a hammer and nails to secure your selections.

And voilà: You have an amazing gallery wall! Which photos and artwork will you include?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

Easter Basket Ideas

01_EasterBasket_03From pastel French macarons to cream lilies in bloom, Easter features a pretty palette that puts winter in the rearview mirror. Celebrate the special day by loading up the kids’ Easter baskets with smile-worthy goodies. Here’s our list of the top basket must-haves:

  1. Reusable Shopping Bag: For a new take on the traditional Easter basket, opt for a Reusable Shopping Bag personalized with a favorite photo instead of using a plastic bucket or wicker basket. Plus, the bag doubles as an easy carryall for the day’s Easter egg hunt!
  2. Easter grass: No basket can be filled without starting with Easter grass. Make yours at home with a paper shredder and pastel construction paper. Feed paper through the shredder, then fold the strips into an accordion shape. Make enough to line each of the Easter baskets or bags you are filling.
  3. Collage Photo Puzzle With Gift Tin: Pick a prized picture from a past Easter, and give it the starring role in a jigsaw puzzle. Then, gather the family around the post-brunch table, and get everyone involved in putting the pieces together.
  4. Candy: Store-bought marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies are seasonal classics, but try something out of the ordinary by including homemade candy. Taste of Home magazine has easy-peasy recipes for treats like peanut butter Easter eggs and jelly bean bark.
  5. Photo Card: Complete a well-stocked Easter basket with an unforgettable cherry on top – a personalized Photo Card featuring your favorite spring snaps. Customize the card with a special message that’s sure to bring a smile to your little sweeties.

Do you have any Easter basket traditions? What are your must-haves?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

Walgreens Spring Instagram Contest!

We want to celebrate the arrival of spring (finally!) with our Instagram fans, so we’ve created 20 days worth of photo challenges starting on April 1 and running through April 20. Those who participate will have a chance to win our daily prize and will also be entered to win the grand prize!

 

Photo Contest

How to Enter

Your challenge is to post a photo using hashtag #HoppyHealthy based on the theme of the day. Check out the daily challenges below. Each is open to your own interpretation, so let’s see your creativity!

4/1 – Something: A photo of something cute
4/2 – Morning Ritual: Photo of your morning ritual
4/3 – Favorite Color: Photo of your favorite color
4/4 – Home: Photo of your home or something that reminds you of home
4/5 – Yummy: Photo of something yummy to eat
4/6 – Gratitude: Photo of something you are grateful for
4/7 – Happy: Photo of something that makes you happy
4/8 – Healthy: Photo of something you do or eat that’s healthy
4/9 – Fun: Photo of yourself having fun or something you consider fun
4/10 – Spring Colors: Photo of spring colors in nature, in fashion, or in life
4/11 – Beauty Favorite: Photo of your favorite beauty item(s) such as lipstick
4/12 – In Your Bag: Photo of what’s in your bag that you like to carry with you
4/13 – My Fitness: Photo of how you get or stay fit and active
4/14 – Crafty: Photo of craft projects you enjoy or something you have made
4/15 – Springtime: Photo of springtime festivities, flowers, or something seasonal
4/16 – Weather: Photo of the weather as you see it
4/17 – Bunny: Photo of a bunny or rabbit
4/18 – Adorable: Photo of something you feel is adorable
4/19 – Sweet: Photo of something sweet
4/20 – Easter: Photo of a something you see on or around Easter

How to Win

We’ll review all photos that are submitted using hashtag #HoppyHealthy and will choose our favorite photo each day. Winners will be notified via direct message on Instagram and will see their photo on the Walgreens Instagram page the next day.

There are two ways to win:

  1.  A daily photo winner will be announced and will receive 10 free 4×4 or 4×6 prints redeemable in the Walgreens app.
  2. At the end of the contest, three lucky winners will be chosen at random. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 Walgreens gift card and the two runners-up will each receive a $25 Walgreens gift cards. (Hint: The more challenges you participate in, the more chances you have to win the grand prize).

The contest ends on Easter Sunday.

Rules

Click here for official rules.

 

Good luck!

Use Photo Restoration to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Photo Restoration

March is Women’s History Month, so it’s time to honor the fearless females who came before us. Maybe you look up to famous historical figures, like aviator Amelia Earhart or scientist Marie Curie. Or perhaps your role model is someone a little closer to home, like your super-supportive mom or your wacky great aunt. Lately, I’m finding myself inspired by my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family, a woman I wasn’t lucky enough to know.

My dad’s mother passed away when he was just a kid. Until recently, I only had one picture of her: a wedding photo. In it, she stands alongside my grandfather and the priest who conducted the marriage ceremony. I’m fascinated by this piece of my history, and I love staring at the snapshot as I wonder what it would have been like to know her. This beloved memento has had a stain on it for as long as I can remember – a flaw that I always meant to get corrected. In celebration of my own personal history, I used the Photo by Walgreens Photo Restoration service to finally return the picture to its original, perfect condition. Check out the before and after photos above.

As I work hard to discover more about my grandmother, now I can show off a beautifully restored photo that does justice to her memory. Tell me about your favorite female role models!

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

Spring Cleaning: Photo Refresh

So long, winter. Spring is in the air! After you pack up your trusty puffer coat and stash the bulky boots in storage, set your sights on a photo refresh. This season of new beginnings is an ideal time to get pictures organized and try fun photography projects. Read on for a photo-focused spring cleaning checklist.

Spring Cleaning!

  1. Swap frames and photos: Love the pictures you have hanging? Great! Keep them fresh with new frames and accent wall art. In the mood for new photos? Choose replacement pictures, and order Prints in various sizes for a different look.
  2. Purge memory cards: Transfer photos from camera cards to your computer. There’s nothing worse than seeing, “Card Full,” when you’re trying to snap an important picture. Clearing out your cards ensures you have a blank slate for spring’s many photo-worthy moments.
  3. Upload pictures: Lacking hard drive space? Photo storage is a problem of the past with a Photo by Walgreens online account. With unlimited storage, you’ll have a central place to keep all of your photo files. And while you’re at it, get those pictures off of your phone! Simply use the Walgreens Mobile App to order prints.
  4. Remove tags: Finally rid your online presence of the less-than-flattering photos you’ve never loved. If your Facebook Timeline is haunted by years-old pictures of college antics, or you’re sick of seeing your elbow – and only your elbow – in that snapshot from last year’s office holiday party, now’s the time to remove tags.
  5. Design a Photo Book: It’s time to organize all of those awesome digital photos you’ve snapped. From bridal showers to birthday parties, a Photo Book will get the most out of your memories.

Aah, doesn’t it feel good to refresh? What other ideas do you have?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

DIY: Inspiration Board

Let’s talk Pinterest. From fabulous fashion to mouthwatering recipes, online pinboards ensure your favorite things are just a few clicks (or taps) away. But what if inspiring images were always in sight? For something a little more tangible, try creating a real-life inspiration board.

What is an inspiration board?

Like a living scrapbook, an inspiration board can be a constantly evolving representation of your many loves. From photos of friends and family members to special souvenirs, your favorite mementos take center stage in this DIY project.

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Materials for an inspiration board:

To begin, decide if you want your board to follow a certain theme, like a color story, or if you want to keep things fluid. This decision will guide the items you choose to include. Think about the people, places and things you want represented. Then, gather the following items:

  • A corkboard and coordinating frame
  • Pushpins
  • Photo Prints
  • Photo Cards
  • Miscellaneous keepsakes: ticket stubs, magazine pages, love letters, etc.
  • A hammer and nails
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • A ruler (optional)

How to arrange your mementos:

Consider your personality. If being neat and orderly feels calming, approach your board the same way. Pin items in an organized fashion, using a ruler to space photos an equal distance apart. If random rocks your world, throw away the rules for your board. Place pieces in any order, moving things around as you see fit. Include cards you’ve received, tickets from concerts or shows, and other favorite keepsakes. From glossy magazine advertisements to pretty pendants, anything you can hang or pin fits in!

Where to hang your board:

Display your pinboard wherever you work or create. Hang it behind the desk in your home office, or prop it against a cubicle wall at work. If hanging, use pretty ribbon to secure the board – it’s one more opportunity to represent your personality.

As your interests evolve and grow, be sure to update your board, too. If you keep it full of your favorite things, it will be a constant comfort – and a steady source of instant inspiration. What items will you include on your board?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

Spring Break Photos: Using Forced Perspective

Flip-flops? Check. Sunblock? Check. Camera? Check. Spring break is upon us, and that means travel time. Seize this perfect opportunity to try a trendy photography technique: forced perspective. This creative approach seems tricky, but we have some tips to keep it simple. Read on, and discover how to snap share-worthy vacation photos.

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What is forced perspective photography?

Forced perspective photography uses optical illusion, making objects appear smaller, larger, closer or further away than they are in reality. The must-see monuments you visit on vacation are ideal for this technique. Think: all those photographs you’ve seen of people holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with their feet.

 

How to take forced perspective photos:

Distance is key in forced perspective photography. Position yourself in the foreground of your chosen landmark. If it’s particularly large, like a building, you’ll need to be pretty far away to seem bigger. Ask a friend to line up a shot in which you appear to interact with the landmark. Be sure to do several takes – this way you’ll have at least one perfect picture. If you have a more advanced camera, check out this Nikon article to learn how to adjust your settings for greater depth of field and sharp backgrounds.

 

What to do with forced perspective photos:

Let’s face it: Sending postcards from vacation is a nice thought, but most of us are too busy having fun to remember! No worries. Use your forced perspective photos to create Postcards after you return, and mail them to friends. They’ll love receiving your fab photos – and they’ll surely get a kick out of your creativity.

How will you try forced perspective while you’re exploring your spring break destination?

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie

Wedding Etiquette: Save the Dates & Invitations

Wedding planning is extremely exciting – and just as stressful! There are many things to do and almost as many rules to follow. Save the Dates and wedding invitations are no exception, but don’t feel overwhelmed. I’ve gathered the most important do’s and don’ts to get you hitched with less fuss.

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Rules for Save the Dates:

Do: mail them early. If guests will need to make travel arrangements to attend your wedding, they’ll appreciate extra time to plan.

Do: collect accurate guest names and addresses. If you get it all right for the Save the Dates, you likely won’t have many changes when it’s time to mail your wedding invitations and thank-you notes.

Don’t: send a Save the Date to someone you might not invite to the wedding. As you get into the thick of planning, you could be faced with venue space restrictions or budgetary woes. Erring on the side of caution saves you from disappointing would-be guests.

Don’t: be afraid to have some fun with it. While your wedding invitation will likely be formal, the Save the Date is a chance to indulge your playful side. Show off your special romance, and use outgoing photos of you and your husband-to-be.

 

Rules for Wedding Invitations:

Do: use correct wording. Phrasing depends on factors like religion, who is hosting, and simply personal preference. Martha Stewart Weddings has easy-to-follow guidelines for getting it right. If traditional isn’t your style, just be sure to include all of the pertinent information your guests will need to know.

Do: address and stamp the reply envelopes. Guests have come to expect this gesture of convenience, and it helps you in the long run. If it’s a cinch for guests to reply, you’ll be less likely to receive late responses.

Don’t: have a B-list. According to The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette organization formed by the famous manners maven Emily Post, 10 to 20 percent of invited guests send regrets. This gives you a little wiggle room when choosing invitees. If you set aside a standby list, you could end up mailing invitations late – a blunder that tends to leave people with hurt feelings.

Don’t: use address labels. Though it’s tempting for simplicity’s sake, this faux pas distracts from the formal look of your invitations. If hiring a calligrapher isn’t in the budget, write out addresses by hand with a nice pen. Delegate this task to a friend with impeccable handwriting if you’re known for your chicken scratch.

Former brides, feel free to add your advice in the comments!

Share Life’s Happy,

Marie