Christina Parker Photography

"Preserving Time for Generations to Come"

The Extended Family Session March 23, 2015

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!


Have you noticed my bigger smile? -365 photo Calendar Project February 6, 2014


I am definitely a little happier with this 100 calorie pack, look how many chocolate pretzels, one has in this pack!! It took me a little long to savor this package!

IS0 100, 50mm, f/8.0, 1/30


What needs to be assembled in the winter time, and is easy to make? Day 13 365 Photo Calendar Project January 13, 2014

Another one of those crazy days of the weather here! Nice and mild, and then before you know it the wind picks up, and huge chunks of snow are flying through the air.  The weather here usually goes, if you don’t like it …wait 5 minutes, and it will change.    The snow in my backyard, is now piled up to the bench, of the park bench, and only rabbit foot prints have graced my yard….and guess what..I’ve heard it’s supposed to be 16C on Saturday…what a mess it might be!  You can either learn to hate it, or embrace it…one of these days, I will be out there assembling those snowflakes!

Camera: 1so 100, 50 mm, 5. 6, 1/125     used with 1 strobe light,



What happens when? March 6, 2013

A smile is your own facial signature with each one being unique and is often the first thing another will focus on when looking at your face.  What happens when your smile is not like others?   For thousands of children and adults their smile is affected by a cleft.  Matthew was one of those babies born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and this is his story.



Matthew came into the world on a warm afternoon in August 2009 with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. 

His cleft was on the severe side and it quickly became apparent that the simple things that most take for granted would be a challenge.  Feeding Matthew was a challenge as he didn’t have the oral structure needed to suck from the breast or bottle.  He met with a team of specialists who from the day he was born created a treatment plan.  This plan included weekly hospital visits, weekly dental visits, an oral appliance (NAM-nasoalveolar molding device), and hearing tests which all led up to his first surgery, his lip repair in December 2009. During the 4.5 hour surgery his plastic surgeon fused the muscles in his lip, joined the three segments of his cleft together, lifted and shaped his flattened nose.  For the first time in his life, Matthew no longer had a cleft lip.  His wide smile was no longer and his new smile would be one that people wouldn’t stare at negatively or with pity.  Matthew started puréed foods at 6 months old like other babies his age.  With Matthew’s cleft palate he would often choke and aspirate the food that had entered his nasal cavity.  We stayed away from hard cereals or other typical teething food as pieces could and sometimes would get lodged along the side of his nasal passage.  Matthew did continue to have speech therapy and frequent dental care until his palate repair in September 2010 where the same plastic surgeon closed the gaping hole in his palate.

Matthew still has years of treatment which include bone grafting, orthodontic, and other facial surgeries but until then he is a thriving three year old who loves reading books, playing with his siblings, and most of all playing with his trains.  Matthew’s determination, will, and spirit continue to inspire those who work with him. ~post written by Amanda L. Matthew’s Mom!

With your donation of $24, 100% will go towards operation smile, to help repair other children across the world! You will receive 1, desk size print or a headshot image.   Can I count on your support April 4-April 6, 2013?  Please book your session time at




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: Christina


December Journey December 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — precioussadies @ 12:09 am
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Do you remember, anxiously waiting for the first of December? Each of my children, anxiously plea for their own special advent calendars before the 1st of the month. Cheap chocolate that can be found in skinny boxes, that have pictures of Santa and his elves, with numbers scattered all across the box.  It was a challenge just to find the right number, and then you would open one up each day of the week, to reveal the hidden goodie, of usually a chocolate in shape of a wreath, bell, or a stocking!   Advent calendars have gotten deluxe over the years, now you can buy them to reveal lego pieces, that will build a scene!  This month, I am going to be doing a photography journey through the month of December of anything that might catch my eye, that day.  You may even be able to recite, my made up verse,  that relates to December, or Christmas, with on the 1st day of Christmas, by true love send to me.

On the 1st Day of December,   a client shared with me, her little man, who I dressed in green”…..and I totally forgot, that grandma is Irish, and of course, loves the colour of this one!

Come see the days you may have missed at:



What colour will be the new trend? October 23, 2012

I woke up this morning to 10 cm of fresh white snow, and it’s only 1 week before Halloween.  The joy of living in Canada, near the mountains, where one needs to have your Halloween costume fit over your snow suit!   Already hoping that winter is over, when it hasn’t already even hit, has made me look forward to the Spring 2013 colours!

In 2012, the colour of the year was Tangerine, in 2011 it was honeysuckle.   Who’s the trend setter of colour?

Have you heard of Pantone?  Pantone is a subsidiary of X-Rite, which is the global leader in colour science, and technology.   Pantone is the source for colour, over 2,100 new colours have been created, which determines what colours will be in fashion for clothing, home decor to even paint!  I often would look to Pantone, when I was designing jewelry, so I would know what were the new fashion colours, to match with the semi precious stones I would use in creating.  Now, I look to Pantone, to see what colours are going to affect my photography props, and to recommend different colour palates for what to wear, accessorize, accent colours.

The predicament is that the “Monaco Blue” will be 2013 new colour trend…or perhaps “Poppy Red”…  We still have grey tones, which will look stunning with these two colours.    See the new colours for women for Spring 2013  and for Men for Spring 2013

Here is a great example for a  Monaco Blue and Poppy Red wedding

Scroll down in this link, to view colour palettes that go well together!  I can’t wait to see the new colours, that will be out soon in our fashion, home decor, and paint!  Christina