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

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Out of the Nest October 1, 2013

Time is changing for this family of six, as their oldest son, Mark is leaving the family nest. Mark is off to Zambia, Africa to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mom, contacted me as she knew the importance of capturing a family portrait during this milestone. Family dynamics may never be the same again. Her two older sons, may not see each other for several years. As it won’t be too long before the 2nd child will leave, then the third, and luckily for them, they will have a few more years to spend with their youngest!
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I have never had a request before for an awkward family portrait! Did I really want my name attached to something that could make me look like I don’t know what I’m doing?! First thing that comes to my mind, is someone that might have wet their pants, dressed up in matching orange and brown plaid polyester outfits, or really Big Hair.

Sean, was the one that had this idea of an awkward family photo, but he couldn’t think of anything that didn’t involved not being modest. He thought of someone not wearing pants, but he had no volunteers! Quiet Dad, had an idea at the last moment when he pulled out his glasses, and had executed the idea into a reality, with my name attached! I’m up to doing this for any family, who wants to have a lot of fun!
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The family dog, was included, as well as near the end of the session, each child, was given the opportunity to have a few portraits taken of them, with an item that represented their individuality!

Dad and Daughter, spend a little time together, and while I was editing the kiss to her father, I couldn’t help but have tears roll down my cheeks! I don’t do this very often, but I could feel the emotion of their bond, and I had a cry for dad’s sake. As dad was showing me his connection…as it won’t be too much longer, before he may have to step aside to let another love into her life.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your evening, and preserving time for generations to come!

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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

 

Aspirations? January 30, 2013

Love's first kiss? When you were much younger, what did you long for? Did you think you would have to wait years, for your true love to come around? Or did you have to wait to kiss a lot of frogs to find your true prince! I had an interesting adventure today. Back as a very young child, I remember thinking, that there were only a few occupations that we could be. 1. an Engineer (that drove a train) 2, a Teacher, 3. Nurse, 4. Doctor 6. Dentist 7. A pilot. That was about it, I really hadn’t looked into all the possiblities that were just waiting for me. Earlier today, at an ortho appt, and speaking to the office manager, I reflected on my earlier aspirations…Early Childhood Educator, a student nurse, the never ending career as a mother, and a jewelry designer, and now a photographer.

One of my children, is job hunting for a permanent part-time job. As, he is picky in his job searching, I see the priviledge all around, of where he could gain some experience. He knows it’s not what he wants to do long term…but he realizes it’s a stepping stone. I wish he was a more willing to go after the easier hiring jobs, such as fast food. We had the discussion that you never know, you might enjoy this retail job so much, that you will actually want to own the company…not according to him, though. While I was waiting in the car, as he was dropping off resumes, I was observing around me, I took note of all the many modern day technologies, that we seem to take advantage of. There was a truck infront of me, using a hydraulic lift…does one aspire to be a hyrdaulic creator? The automatic sliding doors that take you into the retail store. Does one dream, that they are going to own the company, and try to supply the rest of the world with all the doors possible. They break, and therefore they do need to be repaired, so someone else needs to be available to know how to correct them. Who grows up and says, I want to work in the sewer? Thank you, for those that do!

Then tonight, at basketball practise, another mom, and myself are professional photographers, and we got talking about how it’s something that on our highschool aptitude testing, where it might of suggested that we be an artist, or hair stylist, and little did we realize at the time, how we would actually grow up to become photographers, and fall in love with a capturing every day moments! My challenge for you, look around at all the opportunities that we have, and how blessed we are to experience them all, that someone has the aspiration to add beauty and make less work for all of us. We are so priviledged! What longing will aspire you tomorrow! I’ll start with a thankful heart to my family! Checkout my facebook page, for a complimentary photography session: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Parker-Photography/359992540679244?ref=hl: Christina

 

Do you believe that some times paths are meant to be crossed? January 28, 2013

Little do we know, that some people are meant to cross our paths, without our realization. I feel this was the case for Marie. Marie was wanting some professional photography portraits, but felt that she couldn’t quite afford them, and so was seeking an amateur. I am not an amateur, but I had never taken any maternity portraits, and therefore answered her ad. She drove through a freaky foggy snowny day, to my home studio from far away. We were able to capture a birthday smash session, too. Little would we have known that about 11 days after the session, things took an unexpected turn, and we are so grateful for these moments that were captured. I believe the Lord’s hands were in our lives that day! Much Love, Christina Marie’s Session>Cowgirl with her cowboy booties

 

Another new like, so I added another giveaway! January 1, 2013

Filed under: Christina Parker Photography,Give Aways,GiveAways,Photography — precioussadies @ 10:49 pm

GIVEAWAY #2
sand dollar Scentsy PlugThe prize to be won, is a Scentsy Sand Dollar plug in!

GIVEAWAY #1
Here is a hint of another prize that can be won… a box of yummy lindt milk chocolates, that fit perfectly in their boxes!Box of chocolate

GRAND GIVEAWAY
I am offering a COMPLIMENTARY “It’s HIP to Be SQUARED” 30-45 min photography portrait session to Alberta residents (must come to the home studio in Calgary) No travel expenses are included. With this grand prize, you will also be receiving a 8×8 storyboard, that will come in a black 12″ parisian frame, as shown below. Valued at 500+. Additional prints may be purchased

RULES:
One entry allowed per day, and must be over 18 to enter either Canadian or USA citizen or permanent resident. I may not be able to grant you the photo session, if you aren’t from Alberta, but I will send some chocolates or jewelry you way!

https://www.promosimple.com/giveaways/1262/2651-it-s-hip-to-be-squared-grand-giveaway

Choose ANY of the following, do all will gain you more entries:
#1. POST a Picture of YOUR FAVOURITE Gift or POST something that is squared or came in a box on my facebook page or in the comments on the blog, do this every day, will gain you a entry every day!!
#2. LIKED MY FACEBOOK PAGE (already liked it, you’re automatically entered!)
#3. TELL A FRIEND, post who you told or Tweet @cparkerphoto
#4. Friend, post a picture, likes the page, repeat cycle!
#5. Nominatee someone for the Olivia Act (refer to previous post).
#6. A past client? Please, leave a testimonial with your willingness for Christina to publish it online, through her contact page, or email.

YOU CAN POST a picture every day!! Just once though. GRAND GIVEAWAY & GIVEAWAYS ENDS SUNDAY Night Jan 13, 11:59 pm. Winners will be announced Jan 14! You may book a Special Promotion Pricing for “It’s Hip to Be Squared” session through http://www.christinaparkerphotography.com Thank you, Christina