{Giveaway}: Little Shutterbugs


Summer break is around the corner.

Can you feel it sneaking up on you like I do? 

Are you clicking on 1,000,000,000 ideas to keep your kids busy posts on Pinterest?

Yeah, me too.

The biggest challenge we face every year is entertaining differing interests and ages. 

So while we are great about planning family-friendly outings and camping trips to fill up the summer months, it's harder to find day-to-day activities we can all enjoy.

Luckily, there is one trait all four of my kids share, and it's creativity. Our dining room table turns into a summer art studio, and we seek out classes and options in our community that allow them to express themselves artistically.

They are already signed up for some great cartooning and art camps and this summer we're going to try something new with my older kids.

Canadian photo printing company, Posterjack, is on the hunt for a new Summer Kidtographer. They are looking for junior shutterbugs between the ages of eight and 12 to show off their summer experience through the lens of a camera. 

Four kids will be chosen from entries and provided with their own Canon PowerShot SX520 HS, along with a memory card to save all their photos. Three lucky shutterbugs are chosen by the team at Posterjack and one is chosen by fans on Facebook based on the photo entries.

From July 1 - August 24th, the Kidtographers will be snapping daily photos to be featured on the Posterjack blog and other social media channels. On September 1st, each Kidtograhper will be awarded a $150.00 Posterjack gift certificate to turn their favourite photos into lasting art. 

This weekend, have your kids grab their iPads or smartphones or lend them your fancy camera and tell them to start snapping. Applications will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, June 14th (that's an entire weekend to capture their best photo).

Your tiny photog can submit that photo along with this information to kidtographer@posterjack.ca:

  • name
  • proof of age
  • city
  • a recent photo taken by the child
  • a brief explanation (250 words or less) on why they should be Posterjack's next Summer Kidtographer (parents/guardians can help write it) 

Good luck and have fun!

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And just for reading along, Posterjack is giving one of my lucky readers a $50.00 gift certificate (with free shipping anywhere in Canada) to be used for any product on their site (digital photos can be turned into vibrant artwork on canvas, peel & sticks, metal and acrylic prints).

Just enter below: 

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: OOKPIX Giveaway

Our oldest daughter took a big leap of faith this year and started over at a new school.

Grade seven is not an easy year to be starting anything over. 

And leaving good friends was the hardest part. She is not the kind of kid who favours big groups of friends. She has always preferred to find her tribe and remain loyal to them. Over the years, she has surrounded herself with a beautiful and diverse group of girls that lift her up (we've always told her it's the most important trait in a friend) and make her happy. 

We reassured her that out of sight does not mean out of mind. And that as long as she keeps putting her heart into those relationships, they will continue to grow. 

And so far, so good.


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Every year I put photos and prints on my list of gifts to give, and last year I started ordering them from a Canadian company, Ookpix.

This year, I knew my daughter would be one of the recipients.

Shortly after starting at her new school, she took some professional photos with one of her oldest friends. It was such a fun morning, and the photographer captured them perfectly.

This was one of my favourite shots, because they look like a reflection of one another. This friendship is so special, because they always see the best in one another. It's a picture worth a thousand words, that can also be described with one: friend.


{Photo by Katherine McIntosh of Natural Attraction Photography}

I decided to try something different this time, because of the beautiful and bright colours in this photo. I chose an acrylic finish with rounded corners, and I was not disappointed. It looks stunning and will be the perfect addition to her room. The finish was flawless, and it's much lighter weight than I was expecting.


I loved it so much that I'm already hard at work on my next project for our family photo.

If you love gifting photos at the holidays, my friends at Ookpix are generously helping me give away a 20x30 canvas (because, yes, I did ask for you guys!). AMAZING!!!

Because Ookpix is 100% Canadian, shipping is completely free. And if you are shopping for the holidays, they are offering an "under the tree guarantee", as long as you order by Dec 12th. 

Psssst, there's also a great deal on the site right now for first time visitors. 

So hurry, hurry. Go take a peek. They offer photo canvas and photo acrylic in a range of sizes, as well as freestanding acrylic photo blocks, calendars, and photo books.

And don't fret if you don't win...Ookie the owl is giving ALL my readers 55% off any order with the code: LATENIGHTPLAYS (valid until Dec 3rd). 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but Ookie did gift me the beautiful acrylic print. 

You can find Ookie on Facebook and Twitter, too.


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We went camping over the weekend. It's always exactly what we need and is always over too quickly.

It's a chance to step away from routines, deadlines, clocks. 

The only electronic device we bring is my iPhone, because it's also my camera. 

Having such a small and easy-to-carry photo taker (and those tiny cameras just get better and better) helps me capture the quiet moments—they work quickly and without a lot of distraction.


Since receiving an iPhone 5 for my birthday last year, I've been treating it more like a point-and-shoot camera with the added perk of being able to fiddle with elements like colour and saturation before I post, save or share my photos. 

And as the cameras continue to improve on smartphones, so do the photography apps. The list is endless, and it's easy to get overwhelmed with the options. One of the best ways for me to discover new apps, is to find photos that please my eye (and we all have preferences) and then familiarize myself with the apps those photographers are using. I primarily use Instagram to find inspiration, but it's everywhere. 

Last week, my gallery on How To Take Great Photos of Your Family was featured on Today's Parent, and one of the apps I mentioned was very recently launched. 


I stumbled onto the Fat Mum Slim Photo-A-Day challenge while poking around on Instagram, and I loved it. Chantelle takes bright, simple, clean photos that really appeal to me, and she is a big supporter of sharing photos and building a supportive community. Her new photo editing and sharing app, Little Moments, is so fun and easy to use (and includes an awesome photo prompt function). Chantelle is generously giving one of my readers the new app for free (told you she likes to share).

Just enter below to win. Happy snapping!


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{GIVEAWAY}: Instagram Moments

There's something about spring that makes me want to get organized. 

It's like the hibernation is over, and I'm compelled to get the cave in tip-top shape before the next slumber comes. 

One of the projects that always sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear has to do with the vault of digital photos waiting for my attention. In fact, they do more than whisper—they haunt me.

I long to see them in an album or framed on my walls—because I take great photos. I don't mean they are professional-grade, but they do tell a beautiful story. It makes me crazy knowing those moments are locked in places seen by my eyes only.




This past Christmas, I received the most phenomenal gift.

One of the best I've ever received. 

My brother-in-law called everyone into the room to watch me open it. 

I braced myself for a wave of emotion, because I could see by its shape that it was a photo frame. 

When I saw what he had done, there were tears.

When I look at it now, all these months later, there are still tears.

By using my Instagram feed, he captured and chronicled a year of priceless photos in one frame. 

Not only did his gift acknowledge the value I place on my photos, it showed me how much he admired the commitment JB and I have made to reconnecting—and it meant the world to me.




If you use Instagram as much as I do, you'll love my newest giveaway.

I've partnered with the fabulous Sticky9 to give TWO lucky readers a 9x9 sheet of Instagram magnets ($15.99 value). 

Just follow me on Instagram (@louisegleeson) and let me know in the comments below.

I share photos of kid-friendly activities and meals and I micro-blog about life in a family with four kids. 

If you already follow me (thank you), just let me know in the comments. 

Good luck, my friends!



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