Christina Parker Photography

"Preserving Time for Generations to Come"

Do I or do I not.. September 17, 2014

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As a administrator of a facebook group for Calgary Photographers & area, I oversee this site that many sell to each other, of their unwanted prop items, mostly geared to baby photographers. On Sept 9, a photographer put it out there, that there was a need for a professional photographer for a charity event, that was happening on Sept 15. Hmmm…I waited for a bit, to see if there were others wanting to bite at this opportunity. It was a no go, ..I followed the link, and read about their cause.

It was a golf charity presented by Bowen, called the 14th annual Scott Smed Invitational! Whoa…that sounded pretty important! How did it get started?! Well, the parents of Scott, are Shannon Bowen-Smed and Peter Smed. Due to unfortunate circumstances in May of 2001, when Shannon was 7 months pregnant, she found herself sharing a room, and having to deliver their son, Scott that would not live. The hospital did not have the facilities to provide the kind of private and personal care, that they needed during this difficult time. Their experience made them want to reach out and change things to help parents who would also have to go through a similar experience, by creating private rooms and therefore the Scott Smed Foundation was created in September, 2001. Why golf? They had a golf tournament the year before, when they were married, and made a committed to carry on the tournament in the name of charity. It’s not only just about Scott anymore, but for every family, and every child that is lost, and in making a grandeur difference in the city of Calgary.

I am a child photographer and one that participates in small charities, that I have sought out or have created. I was the 1st of only two Canadian Professional Photographers, that participated in Operation Smile with the PP of America in 2013. I had Monday, Sept 15, entirely free…a rarity! I sent my email to Melissa. She was thrilled! My heart was sealed to this cause that helps children and families.

Monday, Sept 15, 2014, marked the 14th annual Scott Smed Invitational, that would raise money to support three great causes that make a vital difference in the city of Calgary community!
1) Community Kitchen Program of Calgary
2) KidsSport Calgary
3) Pregnancy and Infant Loss Programs.

This event was held on the most gorgeous day that we have had this summer (I’m sure Scott Smed had a huge part in this) at the Cottonwood Golf and Country Club. The mist from the Bow river quickly burned off, no wind, and the sun was shining!

The blue bears were welcoming all the fabulous sponsors that were ready to take a ride!  The golfers registered,  bought their mulligans and prize draws, caught breakfast at the clubhouse, and warmed up their skills on the driving range! A warm inviting welcome from Shannon and Peter, had the 36 teams of golfers of to start a Texas Scramble.

Since, I have never been in a golf cart, nor on a 18 hole golf course (only mini golf) I opt for Elacy to drive me around.  Good thing, she did or I would of never had tasted the Brisket Slider from Big T’s! Or that happy donut, from down at the Farmer’s Market! Best donut ever…move over Tim Horton’s!!  All golfers were smiling, even those that didn’t see me photographing them, as they searched for their balls in bunkers and ponds!

JaguarCalgary had dropped by a red Ferrari for golfers to be distracted by!  With a chance to win a  weekend rental, depending how close you got to a hole!   Organizational sponsors, food sponsors were only some of the things we had in store for the day!   I felt official, minus the press release tag, that I might have had to be on the sidelines with a big 70-200mm zoom lense without touching the greens!

It was high noon sun, a dreadful condition most photographers would scream at and run under shade.  I took it in full stride.  Most golfers were wearing sunglasses and hats, so I didn’t worry about them having to squint looking directly into the sun.  My camera was the canon mark5D iii, with 85mm 1.2L lense.  I moved my shutter into silent mode, so it was barely a soft click, to not disturb them.  It did slow my frames per second down to have it on that setting, but I got great images, without feeling the need to rush!

Once the golfers came back in, tallies were recorded, cocktails were served, and a live band, Sandy D’acey and friends played along to entertained, silent bids could be offered.  Mc’s Bille Jo from Kiss radio 95.9 and Christina Rowsell radio host, got the sponsors donating to help feed the hungry.  I was glad that I was sitting at the volunteer table, even though I did get a lot of food throughout the day, we could eat first.   Steak, with roasted potatoes & beans, and 4 types of salads.   Our mc’s had some guests giving cash donations, to help them jump the line for their turn for their dinner plate! It was all for a very good cause!  $25 can go a long way in feeding much needed meals for the Community Kitchen.   A great memorable thank you’s from Shannon & Peter, a silent auctions, as well as a chocolate bar.   The chocolate bar, consisted of 4 chocolates in box from Jacek chocolates.  The ticket price for a box was $100!!!  with a chance to win a west jet ticket to anywhere they fly too, …but the catch…there is only 1 Box that has 4 silver “coins” or “Wrappers” and no one can open their boxes, until all that want to buy would buy.   At the last minute, West Jet, threw in tickets to Hawaii (as that is coming available to fly soon).   When they started opening the boxes…over to the one table…where Joey Klassen, Senior Executive of Joey’s Restaurants…had already was eating his silver wrapped chocolates…and he won! His first comment was…he will probably use it to fly to Kelowna, but he better ask his wife.    There were other highlights of the night, but you just had to be there!

The hard working Bowen volunteers never seemed to stop working for long.  It was a great day, for 3 great causes! I am so glad, that I had the day available, that the weather was perfect, and that I was able to participate and photograph this event.

Save the date for Sept 14, 2015, for the 15th year, and the last annual Scott Smed Invitational, as they move forward into a different direction, in the years to come!

So, glad I took the opportunity to say, I DO  have time on Sept 15, to volunteer my services.  This was a wonderful opportunity for me to participate in, to rub shoulders with some giants in the corporate world, and to make new friends.  I found it interesting to see how these big corporation charity events function. Although, I would really have to be behind the scenes to see it all come together and to see how they come together.  In my small efforts, i do enjoy being a charitable photographer, with the heart beats group at Children’s hospital each Valentine’s Day, to SOS Ukraine, to Operation Smile…and another one will be launching soon! One day, I too..hope that I can make a BIGGER difference through being a philanthropy photographer.

Thank you, Christina


Collaborating Together March 23, 2015

Filed under: Calgary Children Photographer,Calgary Small Business Photographer — precioussadies @ 11:03 pm

This past February, I took the opportunity to collaborate with several individuals to create my promotional video.  I had the special opportunity to have Cameryn in town for just 1 saturday only, from Camben Films, came to video me in action.

This was a long day affair, we were both exhausted 7 hours later! I literally couldn’t get out of bed for 2 days!

I belong to a Calgary Mom Entrenpeur Now, a local resource of women who are striving to thrive in their own business.  I met Wendy McDougall just in January.  Wendy sells Arbonne make up, and she help provide some makeup for the girls that were participating at my session. Thanks Wendy, I’m sure the girls appreciated their free samples!

Headbands were provided from owner Nicole Kim, with her company Kim Couture.  I’ve know Nicole for years! She is a talented mom, and has a great nack of creativity, and generousity! Pastry chef by trade, her creativity flows from one project to the next. She makes outstanding elegance headbands.  Prefect for those that may have a wedding, dance or participating in a special event,

Aprons provided from “Evil Needle Sew Fun”.  I meet the creator, Gayle, back in the fall, she was selling her aprons and Christmas stockings at a market.  She works throughout the year, creating sewing projects for Theatre, and for the Young Canadians.

Can’t display aprons without some type of food! I reached out to the Purple Pastry Chef, I have done some product photography of her cupcakes in the past year.

Miranda owner of Joined at the Hip Babywear, provided her 3 beautiful daughters, to help model some dresses.  She is also adventuring into another online store, to sell this types of dresses.

Working together, we did it!  Even sometimes pulling from the sidelines, to encourage the bystanders, to join in on the fun!

A session couldn’t be complete without a visual for the “Be Your Own Hero” campagain a postive impacted against bullying! Come join me on April 4, at the Shawnessy Barn, to take in your own session and help support, Familiesy Impacted by Bullying (FIBB)

This is my favourite thing to do, is working with other small business owners to see their products shine through my photography! I’m thankful for the talents I have been given to help others!

and in case you missed it! Just push play! Christina


The Extended Family Session

Filed under: Uncategorized — precioussadies @ 10:59 pm

Just before Christmas I was asked to do an Extended Family Session of 27 people! This is like asking someone to do a wedding! Even though I don’t do weddings (well…I do, but only for my close family or friends), the same principles apply for doing an extended family session.  So, I’m glad that I have had a few weddings under my belt to understand how to prep for such a hugh crowd!

Considering, we live in a cold climate, and the sun goes down by 4:30 pm, It was best to consider doing this session indoors.  I did it indoors in a gym, to have control over my lighting, and keeping everyone safe from the cold, the wind, and a place to run around in, when it wasn’t their to turn to be photographed.

One of the first things, I needed to do was to figure out the best way to have an extended backdrop.  I called “The Camera Store” in Calgary, they practically laughed through the phone, to tell me I was out of my mind, and that I better get over to the hardware store to construct my own backdrop stand out of pvc piping.   I only had a 10 day window of when they wanted to do this session, so I was really trying to figure out quickly what I could do to bring this together.  Checked online for other stores that might have something that could extend the backdrop stand, and delivery could be a hold up.

Then I called “Strobepro” a local store, in Calgary, where they sell non brand names.   They were extremely helpful, and we worked it through, of how to combine 2 stands, into one, with additional support, of a 24″ feet crossbar and the best lighting scenario.

I then went to the Camera Store, to pick up a roll of beige “mocha” savage seamless paper, as the clients had brown tones in their home.  The plan was to use the whole roll, length wise as my backdrop, and the rest of the floor.  To be safe, I decide to set up 2 nights prior for a trial run.  Yes, it was a lot of work, to do this, but it was so worth it, as I discovered, I didn’t have enough clamps, to hold the paper, for the backdrop, and I would need to buy more.  It also helped me, realize that I needed to bring extension cords, and what other things I was missing.

My son, who I tempt to act as my assistant (as who else may inherit all my equipment some day) painstakely came along for the ride!   For the sake of experimenting only, I used a roll of white paper, I had on hand.

This indeed could work!  The only thing, I realized the day of the session, that my big roll of mocha paper, wasn’t as big as I thought, and I had to go home and get this white paper to cover the floor. This made me have to touch up more on my seams of where the backdrop hit the floor.  I did use a light meter, to have even light across, by getting it right in camera, it saves a whole lot of time, afterwards.

Just like a wedding, you start with everyone as a big group, and then you narrow it down.

It’s all about grandma and grandpa, and their children, and grandchildren, so they get placed in the middle, on my fancy couch.  Then work your way out, grouping the family together.  A whole another topic, could be on the colour and style of dress.

Not everyone cooperates as well, so its good to take multiple portraits.

You can see in my after post processing, how I have had to cover up the gym lines on the floor, and clean up the clamps, all this is done in photoshop.

In the group of 27, I had to fix just a few faces. Can you tell which ones?

The use of chairs help with some variety, in heights so all their heads are not on the same plane, and placing hands on shoulders help create interesting triangles.

Slowly break the family down into different units.  Like, all the men, (dad, sons, and son-inlaws).   Can you see the imaginary triangles that could be formed with the men?

With the ladies, add some connection, with their arms…although some take it a little too far, and may touch one another a little inappropriately!

Then focus on every family.  It really doesn’t matter what order.  I actually did the children first, and then their family, at the end.

and the children

And the child, and this was able to be accomplished all within 2 hours.   Phew!! Mission Accomplished!


I’m been delayed… February 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — precioussadies @ 10:58 pm

I have taken a lot of food pictures in the last week, although I haven’t posted them!! I have had 2 major photography events, plus a baby session, and some extra ones to fulfill, so I’m going to jump back on board soon!! Thank you for your patience!!  


Are you a morning person? Day 43 photo 365 calendar project February 13, 2014

Day 43 Arise and Shine

It’s funny how in a family, someone is usually the early riser, and willing to get them up and going!! How fun!! Oh…and that’s not me, on most days!

Camera: 1so 100, 50mm, f.8.0, /30



Day 42 – 365 photo calendar project February 11, 2014

I love these little guys, they are best friends, enjoying a tickle fight! I may have to do a series of them!! 


Day 42- Tickle Pickle

Camera: 100 Iso,  50mm, 4/8.0, 1/30




Team Effort…Day 41, photo 365 calendar project February 10, 2014

I was able to have these pickles stand up on their ends, without any effort on my part, but these pickles had to work together.  They did it! For about 10 seconds, enough time to pick up my camera, take a shot, and then they fell down!  Image

Day 41

Camera:  100 iso, 50mm, f/8.0 1/30