how to take beautiful maternity photos while on a budget

Your body while it’s carrying your baby to be can make for some amazing photos. If you’re an up and coming mother, you should consider taking a few portraits that capture the emotions you’re holding while you wait for your baby’s birth.

With that said, professional photos can be expensive. A skilled photographer has to have compensation, and rightfully so. It’s their job. If you’re budgeting for your parenthood, you may not want to spend too much on photos. Luckily, there are ways you can take some beautiful photos on a budget. Here’s how.

Negotiate

Have you found a great photographer whose style matches what you’re looking for, but their prices are too high? You may feel tempted to back down and try someone else. However, before you do that, talk to them. They may be willing to cut you a deal, a payment plan (more on that later,) or recommend a cheaper photographer. It doesn’t hurt to inquire about the services. Just remember that some photographer’s prices are firm. You can check out FamilyHype.com for more information on this as well.

Seek an Amateur Photographer

Photography is a profession that has a low barrier of entry because of how cheap cameras are nowadays. Chances are, you can find an aspiring photographer in your area with a DSLR and a passion for shooting. Ask around. You may find someone with some skills, but perhaps not all the equipment a professional has.

With that said, the photographer should have somewhat of a portfolio. Even an amateur has probably shot a few people in their day.

Also, pay your photographers. Even if they are willing to do it for free to build up their portfolio, a tip can show them that you care about their work and can appreciate what they do.

Be Simple

When you’re taking photos, you may feel the temptation to be a little extra. Props, extravagant locations, a huge set like you’re shooting in a movie. These can be fun, but let’s face it, you’re on a budget. Sometimes, it’s okay to be simple. Shooting at a creek, a backyard, a field, or any other location that’s easy to access may be for the better. It’s more affordable, and simplicity is the best solution at times.

Edit Later

When it comes to photos, digital retouching and editing can be an extra cost that breaks the bank. It’s possible to ask for retouching later on the road. You can edit them anytime, but your pregnancy only lasts for so long.

Ask for a Payment Plan

If you do want to hire a more expensive photographer, perhaps you can offer a payment plan. It may be easier to pay off your photos over time than it is to pay all at once. Some photographers may be more empathetic towards expectant parents, as long as you can make your payments on time.

Try a Phone

This may sound a little too low budget, but honestly, you can get some beautiful photos out of phones nowadays. Newer phones like the Galaxy S9 have some DSLR options, and there are filters to correct any blemishes and make them look beautiful. You can make your photos rich in color, make them beautiful black and white, and much more. While they are not a complete substitute for a professional camera, it’s a worthier replacement as time marches on. We say that it may be worth a shot if your budget is extremely tight.

Look for Discounts

Finally, there is always a chance a photographer is having a discount or a deal. For example, they may offer so much off if you recommend them to someone else, or they may have coupons. Some photographers may charge less if you sign up for an email newsletter. Discounts and deals are one of the biggest ways a business can reel in new clients, and one near you may be offering. Try it and see what you can find.

Striking that balance between a beautiful maternity photo and a photographer that doesn’t charge much can be a challenge. However, if you play it smart, you may a photographer that’s suitable for what you need. Talk to a few and see what you can find.

** This was a contributed post.

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the benefits of an inflatable hot tub

homax2person-1024x404Inflatable hot tubs are a great investment, and there are a number of benefits of ownership. These are some of the benefits of an inflatable hot tub homeowners will realize, upon investing in one.

intexpurespaThey are large and movable –
Sure, you can have one installed. But, this limits where it can be used, the number of people, and when it can be used; plus they are far pricier than inflatable tubs. With inflatable hot tubs, you choose where to put them, they come in varying sizes which can seat many people, offer extreme levels of comfort, and you can enjoy them year round. You have more control, you choose where they go, and you can truly utilise the full outdoor area of the home with them.

hottubrunningcostsMany features and design –
More and more manufacturers are developing these inflatable tubs. So, you can find many shapes, sizes, design options, features (bubbles, jets, speeds, pillows, etc.) from which to choose. They come in so many varieties, that any homeowner is bound to find what works for their family and friends, when investing in these tubs.

hottubstepsThey are durable –
You may think they aren’t durable, but they are. The great quality exterior and interior finishes are not only capable of handling heavy weight amounts, but can take punctures, varying pressure levels, and are developed to withstand various forms of use and abuse. So, if you are weary of quality, do some research (to find top, well known brands) but you can be rest assured the right tub is built to last. One other major benefit is the cost; they are far cheaper than built in tubs for a homeowner, although there are still running costs of hot tubs that should be considered. With the right inflatable tubs, you can enjoy your outdoor space year round and truly take in the relaxing benefits of owning a hot tub for your personal enjoyment at home.

This was a sponsored post. I’m thankful for the brands and websites that I can partner with! (Especially ones that are right in time for the summer months!)

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kinfolk : a coffee menu

Kinfolk_Vol15_CaffeinealaCarte-2Words by Liz Clayton. Top Photograph by Gentl & Hyers. Bottom Photograph by Emory Ann Kurysh. Food Styling by Camille Becerra.

Everything in your life can be coffee if you really want it to be. It just makes sense. Coffee, and its ability to somehow soothe and vivify at the same time, provides a through-line in so many of our lives. From unconsciousness into morning, it sparks creativity at work and later revitalizes us for the playtime that comes after. So why limit its gifts to those of imbibement? Coffee, whether it’s in your body, on your body or simply near it, can surround you with its comfort in so very many ways.

Beyond merely drinking this magical elixir, there are myriad ways to consume it. In fact, coffee was originally eaten rather than brewed. According to ancient legend, there was a goatherd named Kaldi whose dancing, leaping charges revealed that the source of their jubilation was grazing on the fruits of the wild coffee bushes of Ethiopia. In modern times, we’ve figured out a more bingeable, chocolate-enrobed version of this stimulant, and infusing food with coffee has only become more elegant as chefs learn more about the subtlety and variation of roasts and origins. It’s a natural fit in beer: The sweet deep tones of a sultry roasted coffee can be perfectly suited to the palates of porters or chocolatey stouts. Ground espresso has found its way into spice mixes for delectable meat rubs, combining beautifully with ingredients such as cocoa, Tellicherry pepper and sumac. Coffee and cheese also make surprisingly friendly bedfellows (you’ll find it in aromatic rinds and other mysterious places), and let’s not forget the supreme expression of coffee in any proximity to ice cream.

Coffee can be all around you in the home too. You can put it on your furniture—on purpose, even—as a gentle-tinted wood stain, or apply it with a small brush or swab as a scratch cover. Spent coffee grounds can clean and scrub your pots and pans, and what’s more, they can do the same for your skin: Moistened coffee grounds either used on their own as a skin exfoliant or incorporated into lotions as part of a stimulating coffee massage therapy treatment are credited with stimulating circulation and transmitting their anti-oxidant benefits to the skin. It also has heaps of beneficial uses in the garden from general-purpose composting to intentionally rebalancing your soil’s acidity. Want to change the color of your hydrangeas? Coffee grounds are here to help you go from white to blue.

And if coffee has awakened your artistic side after all that cooking, gardening and spa therapy, anything leftover in the pot makes a lovely watercolor-like paint. It’s a classic aid in creating an antique effect on paper—just remember, would-be historic-document forgers, that your papers will smell revealingly, deliciously like what you’ve been brewing all along.

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top tips for buying wedding rings (randor jewellery)

pic-2Top tips for buying wedding rings

The engagement ring is one of the most thought-about pieces of jewellery one will ever buy. It has to be perfect, right? But what about the wedding ring? It’s just as important! After all, it will spend forever on your beloved’s finger, snuggled right up against that engagement ring you took weeks to pick out. So, how do you find the perfect wedding ring? Here are some top tips to make buying that important piece of jewellery as effortless and fun as possible.

Know your budget

Once you get inside that jewellery store it’s very easy to be tempted to spend more than you can necessarily afford. Because of that, it’s important to go into shopping for your wedding ring with a clear idea of what you can afford. As a general guideline, consider allotting about 3-4 percent of your total wedding budget to your rings. The more you can afford to spend on your wedding, the more you can afford to spend on your rings, and vice versa. Having a budget before you step foot in the store will help you to stay focused. Don’t look at rings you can’t afford! Remember, there are beautiful choices at every price point.

pic-3Be metal savvy

There was a time when most weddings came in a choice of either gold or, well, gold. Nowadays, there are so many choices in terms of metals it can be daunting to make a decision. However, familiarizing yourself with the options can help narrow down your choices. Gold is still the most popular choice for wedding bands, but these days gold isn’t just gold. There is rose gold, white gold and traditional yellow gold to choose from. Then there is platinum (a more pricey choice) and titanium, which offers a more budget-friendly choice. Budget isn’t the only consideration when choosing metals, however. Certain metals look more complementary on certain skin tones. In addition, some people’s skin is more sensitive to certain metals than others, so you should take that into consideration as well. Finally, personal preference should always guide the choice as well.

Look for a deal

Never buy in the first store you visit. Even if you end up circling back to that store to buy the ring you saw on your first trip out, it’s always a good idea to visit more than one store to look for the perfect ring at the perfect price.

pic-1Rings don’t have to match

Although it is common for brides- and grooms-to-be to purchase rings in a set, it’s not necessary to do so. Each person’s ring should reflect his or her own personality and taste, and that could mean that they don’t necessarily match. This is also true of cases where perhaps one ring is a family heirloom and the other is a new purchase. It may be impossible to truly match one ring to the other, but by choosing rings that match each person’s personality the result will be a set of rings that is truly unique to the couple.

When it comes to wedding rings Toronto stores have an abundance to offer. There’s something for everyone!

Randor Jewellery

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home: a creative australian abode (i can do that!)

Photo 5When I wrote that I wanted to feature places from around the world in this new series, I wasn’t kidding. Today, I am happy to bring you an eclectic and lovely home all the way from Australia. Tamara’s blog, I Can Do That!, is pretty much a go-to for any DIY enthusiast. Not only does she attempt to handcraft pretty much everything that you can think of, but she’s also an “optimist, a feminist, an equality-ist, a do-what-you-love-and-be-proud-of-it-ist.” If that isn’t reason enough to give her a follow, then I don’t know what is.

Emory

Photo 11. Where is your home located?

The place that I call home is Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city that is particularly famous for having amazing restaurants and unpredictable weather.

The suburb where I live was settled in the late 1880s, and has leafy streets lined with plane trees and bluestone gutters, as well as lots of parks and English gardens. It has a more British feel than other parts of Melbourne, but there are still plenty of gum trees and Australian natives around.

Photo 4Photo 22. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’? 

I’ve lived in 10 houses and three countries to date. Maybe because of that, I have struggled to really connect to the idea of any one place being ‘home’. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt a really strong bond with any particular house I have lived in (although after two years in my current home I’m starting to get very attached). Rather, I feel at home when I am with my family and my partner. I also feel a sense of belonging when I am surrounded by some of the things that are special to me – my books. I love to collect books of every genre; firsthand, secondhand, you name it. There are books in every room of our home, and just looking through their pages always makes me feel at home.

Photo 103. What kinds of things influence your design style?

Buying a house with my partner has opened up a whole range of design possibilities that I had never before considered. All of a sudden we had a space that was completely our own – a blank canvas.

Photo 11Photo 9Luckily, we agree on a lot of things, design-wise. We both love second-hand and antique pieces, and this theme permeates our style. Most of our furniture (save for our bed and couch) is second-hand, thrifted or up-cycled, and we love it. So many of the things in our home carry special memories of where we found them.

Photo 8I have always loved creative pursuits, and the majority of our artwork (if you want to call it that!) is homemade. This brings me such a sense of happiness and fulfillment, because I love the feeling of being able to express my personality, our relationship, and the sense of ‘home’ through the way we decorate. No one is ever going to confuse our home for a display home, but you know what? I am totally ok with that.

Photo 134. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

As I mentioned above, my collection of books is something that I treasure deeply and would hate to be without. Sometimes I will sit in front of my bookcase, looking through books I love, reorganizing or just admiring, and it brings me a deep sense of peace.

Photo 15I love our kitchen too. I spend a fair amount of time in there, because I truly enjoy cooking. It’s spacious and laid out really well, with plenty of bench room to spread out on. Cooking for my friends and family is one of the joys of my life. I come from a family of passionate food and wine lovers – you may have noticed some of our wine-related décor in the photos. (We also have a fair amount of cheese related things – it’s the small things in life, you know?)

Photo 17My bed is – of course – a favourite location of mine (I really enjoy sleeping). The rainforest panorama over our bed is something that we bought right after we moved in; I love the sense of depth it brings to the room.

Photo 18And what bed is complete without a resident cat? This is Lara, our birman, who is 14 years old and has also lived in three countries. She’s sitting right next to me as I write – pets really make a house into a home.

Photo 19To me, the most important aspect of our home is that it is ours. It reflects us, together and separately, and it is a haven. The three of us – Mario, cat and I – make our home into something special.

Photo 12Tamara

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If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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