Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Desaturate

Copyright 2011 Monica L. 
Shulman

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow."
Imogen Cunningham  

Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman
 
I'm always pushing myself.  I always want to be better, try harder, to learn more.  Having this trait works because it makes me stronger, smarter (I think), more resilient and it helps me to deal with what I might see as a personal failure or a disappointment whether it is real or imagined.  It also helps me because in a way it forces me to take a moment for myself, to step back and appreciate things.  I tend to be my own worst enemy and biggest critic so this is an exercise that I absolutely have to practice.  When I shut off all the noise, take a minute and imagine things stripped down to their most basic details...well, this is what makes life exciting, beautiful, interesting and full of wonder, and, I think that's pretty powerful.

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Copyright 2011 Monica L. 
Shulman

Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2012 Calendars (and a GIVEAWAY)

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars
My new Pinhole Press calendar hanging in my kitchen.

I haven't had a calendar up on a wall in years.  Years!  But isn't there something so lovely and nostalgic about them?  One of my dearest friends in the world still has the calendar from the year she was born and her mother wrote "have baby" in ink on her due date -- I love that!  

So I decided to make photo calendars with my work this year and like everything else that I make with my pictures, the printing quality was super important to me.  Naturally, after making and receiving my holiday cards, I decided to go with Pinhole Press and I could not be happier or more impressed!  The designs are clean and simple and the site is so easy-peazy to use.  The quality is outrageous.  Seriously.  It was one thing to get my holiday cards and see and feel the gorgeous stock in my own hands but I was equally, if not more, impressed with the calendars.  Stunning!

I'm giving them as gifts this year and one of you will get one too!  How'd you like one of these for your wall?

Here's how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment below.
2.  Share the giveaway on Facebook and let me know about it for an extra entry.
3.  Share the giveaway on Twitter and let me know about it (I'm @ciaochessa) for an extra entry.

The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, December 6th.


Do you still buy the "old-fashioned" kind of calendars or do you keep everything online?

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars 


Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars

PS--Have you noticed I have a thing for gallery walls? There are a few others in my home...I think a how-to is in order.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Calendars



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Monday, November 28, 2011

Instagram Weekend

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Central Park and Fifth Avenue as seen with my new iPhone!

It's a rare Monday that I wake up and feel completely rested after the weekend.  When you have a toddler I think it's rare to ever feel rested at all but this weekend was the perfect mix of little adventures and quiet relax.  Is it just me or does it seem like Thanksgiving was weeks ago?  December is almost here (I can't believe I'm saying that) and it's shaping up to be an amazing month and the ultimate exclamation point on the end of what has been an incredible year. 

Here's a glimpse at our weekend via Instagram.  What about you?

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

PS--Don't forget to enter this giveaway!  And, don't forget it's Cyber Monday and I'm having a sale!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
The very first photo I took my new toy
Obsessed.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
A drive around town while Lucia slept in her carseat.  Central Park at the end of fall = my fave.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Playdate at a friend's house...the girl loves her jewelry.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
A visit to South Street Seaport on an unseasonably warm day (to say the least!) in NYC.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
We met a horse on Wall Street.

 Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Lucia's friend Dakota who became a big sister this morning (her daddy is Lucia's godfather)!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman



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Friday, November 25, 2011

EXTENDED Black Friday and Cyber Monday SALE in my ETSY SHOP

Ciao, Chessa! Etsy Shop

Are you spending the day shopping? Me too! Except I'm not leaving my house to do it. I can't face the hysteria and the crowds so I'm going to hit up the bajillion online sales going on right now.

If you're shopping online today too, then check out my Etsy shop where I'm currently having a sale of 15% off EVERYTHING in the shop with the code HOLIDAY15

And, because it is the season of giving after all, I'm offering the sale now through next Tuesday, November 29th! 




Happy shopping! And, happy weekend! And, don't forget about this GIVEAWAY!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman

Ask me what I'm thankful for this year and I don't really have to use words to answer.

Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman

 Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman

All photos taken with my Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.  My all-time favorite prime lens.

Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


PS--Tips for taking photos of babies and kids.  And, this giveaway.


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


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Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman


Copyright 2011 Monica L. Shulman



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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I LOVE my Holiday Cards from Pinhole Press (plus a DISCOUNT for you!)

Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press Holiday Cards

Isn't it wonderful when you find a solution to a major problem?  For me the mystery of finding the perfect holiday cards (and other amazing photo stuff) has been solved just in time for the holidays!  The solution: Pinhole Press

Ask any photographer who their favorite printer is and I'm sure they can name a few.  I definitely have my go-to place (more on that later) for professional prints for my clients and my portfolio and exhibits and stuff but until now I had not been able to find the right fit for my work for cards, calendars, notebooks and photobooks. Enter Pinhole Press. I first learned about Pinhole Press when my friend Joanna shared her creations and I have been hooked ever since. Like seriously obsessed. So you can imagine how excited I was when I actually started to make things with my own images (hello, note cards and customized photo wine labels and book labels and diaries and....).

The first thing I made are my personal holiday cards. Are they not adorable? I can't wait to send them out to my family and friends!  And if you think they look great on your screen (come on, you know you do!) you should see and feel them in person. I've been making holiday cards and cards in general for a long, long time and I have never seen any on this high-quality paper stock at this price point.  The designs are clean and modern and they really let the photos speak for themselves.  I also made these sweet address labels that you can customize to wrap around the envelope.  Best of all the site is streamlined and simple to use.  All in all, a fantastic experience.


So, starting TODAY, my friends at Pinhole Press are offering my readers a 10% discount!  Just enter the code "CiaoChessa" at checkout. 
Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - Pinhole Press

Do you make holiday cards?  I've always sent them out but last year, after I had the baby, was the first time I ever made them personal by using a family photo.

Happy shopping!

Oh and PS--next week I'll be sharing some more Pinhole Press goodies as part of my gift guide AND offering another giveaway.  Stay tuned!

Disclaimer:  While I received my cards as a gift from Pinhole Press and I am a member of their affiliate program, I only share things that I am passionate about and all opinions are my own.



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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Gallery Wall and a GIVEAWAY

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Lucia's nursery and her friends who keep her company, Bear, Raffee and Mono.  As you can see we're very clever with our stuffed animal naming.

I'm really excited about today's giveaway!  A few weeks ago the people over at Easy Canvas Prints contacted me about printing one of my photos on their canvases.  I have to admit, I never really gave into the idea of printing my photographs that way - maybe I'm too much of a purist and prefer my images on paper but after checking out their site and making a canvas myself I could not have been more wrong!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

I decided that a canvas photo print would make a lovely addition to the gallery wall that I've been steadily adding to in Lucia's nursery.  Doesn't it look wonderful (if I do say so myself)?  I'm hoping to order another canvas in color since I'm curious to see the printing but the black and white looks amazing and true to the file that I uploaded so I know the color prints will look fabulous.  I decided on an 11x14 print with a standard (.75) gallery wrap.  You can choose to have a border with color around the sides but since I decided that I wasn't going to frame the canvas, I liked the idea of having the original image wrap around.  It almost looks like the print is floating on the wall.  I'm really happy with the way it came out.

The site is super easy to use and the quality is top-notch.  I really liked all the pricing and design options.  It was especially helpful for me to have all of that information since like I said, I've always printed my professional and personal work on archival photo paper so I was completely unfamiliar with prints on canvas. They also do some retouching if you need it.  All in all, an awesome site with an amazing work product.  Wouldn't a canvas of a personal photo make an awesome gift for the holidays?  I obviously think so.


So here's the GIVEAWAY:


Easy Canvas prints is giving one Ciao, Chessa! reader a free 8x10 canvas and two readers will each win a $10.00 gift card to use on the site toward any of their products.

Here's how to enter:


1.  Leave a comment below.
2.  Share the giveaway on Facebook and let me know about it for an extra entry.
3.  Share the giveaway on Twitter and let me know about it (I'm @ciaochessa) for an extra entry.

The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, November 29th.

Oh and by the way, they have tons of discounts and free shipping on the site if you Like them on Facebook!  It's really a no-brainer.

Good luck!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Disclaimer:  I received a gift from Easy Canvas Prints in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own.





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