Thursday, December 22, 2016

Digital Christmas Cards!

I don't know about you but I am terrible at sending Christmas cards. Every year I think I am going to do it and every year, about this time of the year, I realize that it's just not going to happen. This year  maybe I'll get around to sending out some holiday cards after all now that I know about with Greenvelope, an online design store that is changing the way families everywhere send holiday invitations, greeting cards and notes.

Each design is customizable to fit your personality. Once you’re finished, send your holiday greetings or party invite with one click, instantly delivering your season’s greetings. Also, because it is all online it is a more frugal option and better for the environment. But who am I kidding, I just like this because it's perfect for procrastinators!

One of the things I was impressed with about Greenvelope are the gorgeous professional designs. As a photographer there is nothing more annoying to me than to see beautiful family photos in a poorly designed card. No worries with this site. All of the designs are terrific.

Here are just a few of my favorite card designs.

Can’t settle on just one holiday photo? (I never can.) The Very Merry grid design template is perfect for you. Feature up to 4 pictures with this photo collage design.

If you’re hosting a holiday party, Greenvelope has many design templates for you to choose from. The Ugly Sweater Party Invitation is especially cute.

And in case you want to cover all of your bases here is the  Happy Everything design - perfect for families that celebrate or don't celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or another holiday. There are also greeting cards that would be perfect for sending to business contacts.

One of the things you might be wondering about is price - you can send cards to up to 10 people for free in Trial Mode if you want to send more just purchase a monthly or yearly subscription based on how many invitations, announcements and digital greeting cards you think you'll be sending. Packages start at about $20.

HOLIDAY BONUS! Set up an online photo gallery that recaps the meaningful moments that made up your year to be included with your greeting at no additional cost.

Start designing your seasonal cards here, or browse all holiday designs here.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fall Family sessions: Maxwells

When your best friend asks you to take pictures of her family - there is just nothing better. These beautiful people feel practically like family. This was a new location for me to do a "real" session and I am in love with this spot! It is so beautiful. We also took some shots at a nearby church - because a beautiful brick wall is worth the drive!  

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Mini-Session: November

This month I have learned something about myself, or maybe re-learned something I had forgotten - I love photography. Especially family sessions. This session was especially fun. Their sweet baby was at the perfect age to make a session a little tricky but we got a few smiles! This beautiful family was super easy and made me remember how much I love doing these sessions.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Book Review: Celebrations - with Against All Grain

Danielle Walker's Against All Grain 
a year of gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo recipes for every occasion.

If your family has food allergies like my family does, or you have adopted a special diet for the sake of your health like Danielle Walker, well then you know how difficult it can be around this time of year - Thanksgiving & Christmas are the hardest time of year for any family who has chosen a special diet or is dealing with food allergies.

Around the holidays it often feels like there are only two options, either you have to cheat on your diet (and face the consequences) or you have to deprive yourself. If I'm honest I've done both. I've sat in the corner with a cup of coffee and my resolve to not cheat, and I've also said "whatever, it's just one day." and tried the foods I shouldn't eat, only to wish I hadn't.

There is a third option though, if you are willing to do the extra work, you can modify your recipes to accommodate your dietary restrictions. However if you have ever tried alternative baking you know it can be hit or miss. We have all learned the hard way - not every recipe on Pinterest actually works. Celebrations is the cookbook I've needed all along - so I can enjoy my holidays and good health.

If I could sum up this cookbook in one word it would be satisfying. Every recipe is beautifully photographed. There are a variety of recipes from easy, no-brainer recipes like sun butter buckeyes, and chicken wings to more complicated dishes like spiralized butternut squash noodles, from-scratch marshmallows, grain-free gingerbread houses and absolutely everything in between.

This cookbook is organized with menus for special occasions throughout the year, from New Year's & Valentines Day to Thanksgiving and Christmas and everything in between including a menu for a backyard barbecue and one for a baby or bridal shower. But just because the recipes are organized into menus for special occasions doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of recipes I'd make just for our family on an ordinary weeknight.

Best of all - all of the recipes are made with an eye to food allergies and dietary restrictions of pretty much every kind. There is even a chart at the back of the book that shows which recipes are compliant with which food allergies. So in this cookbook there is absolutely no wheat, oats, corn, soy, yeast or potato, not in a single recipe.  Also all of the recipes are dairy-free (but have substitutions if that's not an issue), most of the recipes are refined sugar-free, egg free, nut free, and nightshade free, comply with the SPD/GAPS diets and all of the recipes are compliant with the Paleo diet. So if you, your family, or someone you love falls into one of those categories then I highly recommend you get this cookbook, either for yourself - to cook for your nephew, granddaughter, best friend or whoever it is who happens to need some extra care when it comes to food or to give to them so that they can enjoy the holidays both happily and healthfully.

When I was trying to pick which recipes to try for this review it was almost impossible to narrow it down to just a few - there is beautiful asparagus soup (which I will for sure be trying out in the spring when fresh asparagus is in season) and chicken verde soup. There are a bunch of cakes (which can be tricky when you are baking grain-free), cinnamon rolls and sticky buns. She has kid-friendly dishes, and adult beverages. There are traditional family recipes re-worked and classic favorites. I ended up making the curried pumpkin soup which she said was a traditional family favorite that they enjoyed on Halloween and I ended up making our soup on Halloween too. Which was super cool. My whole family was pretty not-sure about the whole pumpkin as soup thing and if I'm honest not all of my kids were a fan but I loved it and I especially loved that there were leftovers for lunch the next day! Next recipe I plan to try is her gingerbread cake. It looks amazing.

So however ready (or not) you might be for this upcoming holiday season do yourself a favor and pick up this beautiful cookbook and get ready to try some amazing seasonal recipes! Let me know which ones you try first.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithrphotog) on

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fall Family mini-sessions

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Every session is different. Some kids are more or less easy to work with. These kids and this sweet sweet mama were a photographer's dream. These cuties were silly and giggly and chatty and made my job easy-peasy. Then they gave me my favorite group shot of the season so far. I love this job! There are a lot of beautiful places to do a family session around Augusta. One of my favorites is the Savannah Rapids where I shot this session. It's a very popular spot for photographers!

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I'm shooting mini-sessions this Saturday (the 29th) 
and I still have a couple of spots open for the 19th of November. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

mini sessions part 2

This was seriously the cutest, sweetest family I have had the privilege to photograph in awhile. All of the kids were just off the charts photogenic and well behaved. Yes, the group shots took a bit of photoshop but it was so worth it.

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I will be doing min-shoots again on October 29 & November 19 at this location so please let me know if you'd like to reserve a spot!

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