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   http://www.christinaparkerphotography.com

 

What is your signature? February 22, 2013

What is the one thing that each one of us has, that shows our signature?

In every culture around the globe, we all have this to offer, in one way or another. In some countries, if you don’t have the popular signature, a bag may be placed over it, to hide it, and you are cast out, because you don’t fit in! As a professional photographer, I recently joined the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). PPA is a non-profit international association and has existed since 1869. Why did I join? I am friends in a social media site with one of the directors for ppacharities, David Grupa, who is very respectful, and gives great encouragement to new photographers, he was promoting this campagain, and encouraged many to join in a great cause. As a children photographer in Calgary, Alberta, I felt strongly to support this great cause, to help restore those that have lost their signature, their smile!!

Since 2005, PPA charities, has teamed up with Operation Smile! The goal: to raise $100,000 to help provide as many cleft lip, cleft palate, and facial deformities surgeries as possible. How much are the surgeries? $240.

How is this to be done? As Professional Photographers, that is our goal each day to capture signatures, your stories and your personalites!
We agree to: donate our time, and our costs, to provide you with a mini portrait session & a desk size print or a facebook image.
We ask you to help us, with YOUR donation of $24. You really are the ones that help us, in restoring their smiles, as we can’t do this without you!!
Our goal, then is to try to book at least 10 photography sessions, which would cover the cost of 1 surgery. 100% of your donation goes directly to the cost of the surgeries!

Can I count on your support? I am so far, the only Canadian photographer, that has taken this step to join those in the US, for this great cause of “Celebration of Smiles”. My Sessions will run on April 5 & April 6. Contact Information, can be found on my website: If you are in the US, and would like to participate please find a participating studio near you. Please watch this video by Operation Smile, and perhaps you will also feel moved to changed someone’s signature for the better! Christina

Celebration of Smiles for webpage

 

LOVE! February 21, 2013

LOVE!

Thank you for sharing your love with me during this past Valentine’s Day! Three of the children, that are shown in these portraits, are heart children. These three have had some BIG time complicated open heart surgeries. One of these children, is waiting for a heart transplant! 12 years ago, having my own heart child, that had open heart surgery at just 6 weeks of age, I can relate to these moms, and each of these children, what a great pleasure to bring out their personalities!

One of my darling friends, is post 25 years, since her heart transplant. She taught me years ago, that having a heart condition, not everyone realizes that it can take so much energy to do the daily tasks. She would sometimes encounter strangers that would mock her when she used a motorized wheelchair that was available to be used in a big store, like Costco or Wal-mart. These strangers, felt that she might be abusing the opportunity for someone else to use the device, who might of been more sicker than her. What a good reminder to me, that we shouldn’t judge, and we should look to the good in others!

“Be proud, of your scars”…it shows what these children have endured, and their strength to overcome,and these scars or in many cases known as “Zippers” to our heart children, represent so much more than the surgeries they have come through. It represents our tears, our worries, our prayers, the many doctor and specialist appointments, the many people that come and go in and out of our lives, the nurses, the echogram technologists, social workers, and of course, our hope for them to live a fulfilled life, as long as they can! In the words, of one of my favourite songs, by Mindy Gledhill, “All About Your Heart“…and was actually written for Stephanie Nielson, of the nie nie dialogues, who survived a fiery plane crash.

“Oh, I’ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
It’s not about your scars
It’s all about your heart”

Christina

 

Cancer Awareness November 13, 2012

Ladies are You supporting, your men in the month of “Movember”?  So, it may be a little hairy this month, but it’s becoming to be a wonderful awareness in that men do suffer from a type of cancer, that women can’t,  as they do not have a prostate.  That was always a trick question on the anatomy exam…to see if you really were paying attention!

Here are some facts:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). In 2012:

  • An estimated 26,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 4,000 will die of it.
  • On average, 73 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every day.
  • On average, 11 Canadian men will die of prostate cancer every day.

Probability of developing or dying from prostate cancer

One in 7 men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and one in 28 will die of it.

This fall season, the football players have adorn themselves in the colour of pink shoes, in honor of breast cancer, that mostly effects women and a few men, too!

Let us do our part, and support the cause  &  we could always not shave our legs?!!   

Christina