Have you checked out The Park at OWA in Foley, AL yet? You really should!
Just a little over 10 miles north of the sugar sand beaches of Gulf Shores, AL and Orange Beach, AL you'll find OWA located on the Beach Express in Foley. Downtown OWA is located just outside of The Park at OWA's gates, so there's no admission charge to enjoy the 7 (and growing) restaurants, various shops, arcade, etc. Looking for more thrills than just a yummy meal? Through the gates of The Park at OWA you'll find 21 family-friendly rides, a selection of traditional Midway games, plus an interactive splash pad.
At the beginning of summer, our family decided to spring for season passes for the kiddos. This grants us a year's worth of Park access, discounts on single-day passes (if we want to bring a friend or family member), early-access to new rides and events, priority access to special events, as well as discounts in the Park. MY favorite part is that non-riders are FREE! This means, my husband and I can take the kids and let them ride as long as their hearts desire, and it doesn't cost a cent for he and I to be in the park with them; we just can't ride the rides (which this fraidy-cat is totally fine with.
We headed over to The Park at OWA yesterday after an early dinner, because as season-pass holders, the kids were able to ride the newest ride, Mystic Mansion, the day before it officially opens to the public (today).
"Mystic Mansion features four-person ride cars, interactive game-play, and family-friendly (maybe a little spoooooky!) characters. As you travel through the Mansion, riders are prompted to “blast” the intruding ghouls with a ghost-blaster, and compete for this highest score."
All three of our kids, ages 14, 12, and 5, enjoyed the ride and blasting some ghosts! Our 5-year-old said it was a little scary, but he soldiered on and shot every ghost he saw.
My husband and I tend to "divide and conquer" when we take our kids to places like this. With a 7 and 9 year gap between kiddos, they're not exactly interested in the same amusement park experience so we split up and one of us takes our youngest and the other goes with the older 2. Luckily, OWA really does have something for everyone! Our 5-year-old who is NOT a fan of heights or speed is very happy enjoying the Kid Rides, and his big sisters still get to have some heart-pounding thrills.
And sometimes, as 2 of the pictures above show, his sisters take one for the team and ride along with him.
OWA is open from 11 am - 9 pm (weather permitting) which provides a great opportunity for evening family-fun that avoids the mid-day heat! We got to the park around 6:45 yesterday evening and the kids were able to ride every ride with time to spare before the park closed.
Another fun reason to go in the evenings is to see Downtown OWA light up the night with GLOWA. 100% FREE, 6 nights a week (weather permitting) from 8 pm - 9 pm, DJs create a block party bash behind the fountain in Downtown. There are hit songs, fun lights, a colored fountain show, and last night there were even acrobatic dancers!
I'll leave you with a few more pictures from yesterday's visit and an assurance that you should go - you won't regret it! The crowds are non-existent, the lines are short, and the thrills are great.
All photographs are © 2019 Finding Beauty in the Ordinaty Photography
Contact Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography at email@example.com for print or licensing information.
Did you know that I offer professional business headshots?
I can bring everything to your office for a simple, clean background, or we can meet somewhere around town for a headshot portrait that really shows off your personality!
If you're interested in a headshot just for you, I'm available for that as well. You can even come to my house to make it quick and easy!
Interested in updating your headshots? Email me for pricing.
I've been wanting to revamp my current Portrait Referral Program for quite some time, but I wasn't sure exactly what to offer. I wanted a new program that really reflects what my clients are looking for and would appreciate. Let's be honest, if the referral credit isn't worth it, you're not going to remember to make sure your friend lets me know YOU sent them my way.
The two most important things I want the updated referral program to do are
1. benefit clients no matter what type of session they booked including birth photography and Watch Me Grow Baby Plans
2. benefit my local Pensacola, Orange Beach, etc clients as well as my awesome vacation booking clients
I think this system will benefit everyone!
So, without further ado, my new and improved Client Referral Program:
3 credits = 1 free 30 minute Mini Session with your choice of 5 digital images and print release (session must take place in Perdido Key or Southwest Pensacola)
5 credits = 1 free full Family, Newborn, or Maternity session of your choice (all normal session perks included)
The fine print:
*Your referral must be a new client of Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography and they must let me know that YOU referred them.
**Credits can accumulate over multiple years.
***You can choose to turn in your 5 credits into a gift card that you can give to someone. (Not available for 3 credit mini sessions.)
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography offers Family Photography in northwest Florida that captures your family’s connections, emotions, and moments in a fun, natural way. Located in Pensacola and also offering maternity, newborn, and birth photography, service areas include but are not limited to Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Pace, Milton, and Cantonment in Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, and Daphne in south Alabama. Family portrait sessions tend to book up to one month in advance, while maternity, birth, and newborn sessions should be booked early in the second trimester to ensure availability at the time of delivery. Amanda offers a full service experience including a pre-session consultation, exclusive access to her Maternity and Newborn wardrobe, an online proofing gallery to share and download your included high-resolution digital images, and an array of professional print, canvas, and album options. I can’t wait to hear from you and help create your own beautiful heirloom memories!
Pensacola Photographer | Pensacola Family Photographer | Northwest Florida Photographer | Pensacola Newborn Photographer| Gulf Shores Newborn Photographer |Pensacola Maternity Photographer | Pensacola Newborn Photography | Gulf Shores Maternity Photographer| Pensacola Birth Photographer | Pensacola Birth Photography| Orange Beach Family Photographer
Let me prove it!
Though digital images are what my Pensacola family photography and newborn portrait clients most request, I also make a point to let my clients know about the professional print and canvas products I offer! I do this for 2 reasons:
They say "a picture is worth a thousand words", right?
So, I decided to put my money where my mouth is.
I chose the 2 portraits that had gotten the most love on my Facebook and Instagram accounts from last summer’s Orange Beach family beach photography sessions and had 5×7 size prints made by my Professional Lab of choice (Millers), as well as 4 of the most common stores the average consumer uses for prints – Walmart, Target, CVS, and Shutterfly.
The 2 images below are the ones I chose.
Are you ready to start the comparisons? We’ll start with the portrait of the little girl with the sailboat in the background.
I’ll sit here a minute while the shock wears off.
I have to admit I even I was surprised at the extreme difference in some of these pictures. I knew they would be off, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad!
Let’s break it down –
Here’s a close up of the images laid one on top of the other on a white piece of card stock. This let’s you get a really good look at the color differences in the sky!
Ok, on to the second image.
The differences in these prints is MOST noticeable in the skin tone and sky color.
OOO look at all the pretty blues and greens. (There really should be a sarcasm font.)
Ok, obviously, these labs will do if you want snap shots or need 1 hour pictures printed for a school project or something where the quality isn’t that important to you. I’m not saying they don’t have their place in the market. But, if you’ve paid a professional photographer hundreds of dollars to take portraits of your family, why would you then trust a "budget" printing company over a professional printer. The professional labs that I use print on archival quality paper that is made to stand the test of time.
**Disclaimer** Obviously, lab results will vary based on location, machine used, person operating the machine, etc. This post was not made to condemn any discount labs, but to educate clients and other professionals. If you do choose to order from one of these discount printers, please do not select the “color correct” box, your photographer already handled that!
Over the next few months, I'll be stepping away from my typical photography blog posts at times in order to highlight some of my favorite local, small businesses and their owners. As a small business owner myself, I feel it's very important to support other Pensacola area business owners.
First up is Amber Roman with Belly to Cradle, LLC.
Amber is a certified doula, childbirth educator, and placenta arts specialist, providing comprehensive birth care and support for families in Pensacola and the surrounding areas. Belly to Cradle, LLC was established in 2011 with the desire to support families through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum. Since then, Amber has provided birth support at more than 120 births, and has walked with dozens more families through their pregnancy, breastfeeding, and early parenting journeys.
Amber describes herself as a pretty introverted person, but feels becoming a doula has allowed her to really break out of that shell allowing her to meet and bond with people that she never would have under any other circumstance. She says that she, "loves watching and helping new clients develop the bond between themselves and their new baby, as well as their community. Helping them reach out and find the 'village' that will be there for them in the timeframe after baby arrives is so important."
On an even more exciting note, this past week, Belly to Cradle expanded into a Collaborative/Agency-style doula practice with not one but FOUR doulas providing structured, collaborative care under the Belly to Cradle brand! With this addition, clients are now able to match themselves with a doula who is perfect for them based on their experience and fee - something completely new and unique in the Pensacola area!
Check out the Belly to Cradle, LLC Facebook page to read spotlights on Lauren, Lydia, and Christina.
Amber also owns Pensacola Placentas, an affiliate of Belly to Cradle, which offers options such as: placenta encapsulation, an umbilical cord keepsake, placenta tincture, and a placenta print.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to show off some the awesome photography products that we carry. Plus, since I’ve added a few more goodies, what better way to introduce them than to show them off!
Since it is the Christmas season, I am going to start off with these super cute, and affordable, custom Christmas ornaments. On the left is a bamboo ornament that comes in your choice of 13 sizes & shapes (the one show is 4″x2.5″). They’re ~1/4″ thick and show the beautiful, natural grain of the bamboo through the image. On the right is a sweet metal ornament that can be ordered in the design shown or a snowflake.
These ornaments not only look lovely on your own tree, they make a fantastic gift for grandparents!
Next up is an item I’ve been proudly using for 2 months now: a custom cell phone case.
What a great way to show off your babies – without having to even unlock your phone screen.
Cases are black rubber grip with interchangeable photo inserts. These aren’t sold as “protective cases” like Otterbox, Lifeproof, etc – BUT, my toddler has dropped and thrown my phone multiple times on quite a few different surfaces, and so far, no damage has occurred to my Samsung S6.
Cases are available for the Samsung Galaxy S6, iPad Mini, and iPhones 4, 5, 6, & 6 Plus.
The base order includes 1 case and 1 insert – additional inserts can be added to your order or ordered at a later date.
The gorgeous picture above is my 2nd favorite new product: the 3″x3″ accordion mini album. This beautiful, sturdy mini album comes with your choice of up to 10 customizable panels and your choice of cover: fabric, leathers, suede, or (my personal fave) custom photo. Accordion Mini albums come in sets of 3 boxed up in a little manilla colored box – PERFECT for grandparent gifts (can you not just picture grandma whipping this out of her purse to show off to everyone) or as a display in mom or dad’s office!
Next up, you can NEVER go wrong with a custom, 1 1/2″ gallery wrap canvas! It’s classic, it’s sturdy, and you don’t even need a frame.
Each gallery wrap canvas is finished with saw-tooth hangers and corner bumpers.
I’ll wrap up with something many of us are knee deep in this time of year – Christmas cards.
I am proud to offer, high quality, customized Press-Printed & Foil Pressed greeting cards in a variety of sizes.
Custom designed cards are perfect for new baby announcements, Birthday invitations, Graduation announcements, Christmas cards, etc.
So, now you’ve seen the beautiful, high quality, and affordable products we carry for our clients. But, just because you don’t see it here doesn’t mean we can’t get it. So, if there’s ever something special that you have in mind, just ask!
Part I - Where are your pictures?
In this three part series, we'll discuss what to do after your portrait session is over! Part One will talk about what you're doing with your digital files. How are you safe keeping them? Part Two will discuss how where you have your pictures printed matters. And Part Three will give you ideas about how to best display your portraits after you print them.
Did you know that over time, CDs and USBs can become corrupt and unreadable? What would you do if your hard drive crashed? Yes, you'd most likely lose important documents, but you'd also risk losing all of your family's pictures. Did you know that most professional photographers only keep client's images for a couple years? We just don't have the storage space - plus, when we save files it's on at least 3 different devices.
We hear it and read it all the time. "Do I get the digital files?"
In many cases, the answer is yes.
My question to you though, is this - What are you doing with those digital files?
Are you ordering professional quality prints and albums from your photographer? Or are you trusting the nearest big box store or corner drug store with your printing needs?
If you actually order prints, what are you doing with them? Are you displaying them on the walls of your home? Are you adding the prints to baby books or photo albums? Or, are they just getting dumped in a photo box?
I would like to bet that if I stopped 10 random people and asked them what they do with their digital files, more than half of them with answer me with, "They're still on the CD/USB the photographer gave me," or, "I shared them on Facebook," or if they downloaded the files, "They're in a folder on my hard drive."
Say you get the digital files from your photographer. Did you read your contract and/or print release? If you have a professional photographer, at least one of those documents will have instructions on how to safe guard your images. My personal Print Release card contains the following statement: "All digital media can become corrupt over time. I highly recommend that you download the images off the CD/USB onto at least one computer to ensure the safe keeping of your images." My Portrait Contract has the following clause: "FBO Photography is responsible for providing storage of their images for one year only. After one year, images may be deleted or removed. Client releases FBO Photography from liability of photo storage after one year."
This is not to say that I actually delete client's files after a year, but it does mean that I could. And I know several professional, top of their field, photographers who do.
*The pictures throughout this post are of my family. Some are professional portraits, and some are just snap shots. But all are memories that I'm not prepared to lose.*
Like many people, my love of photography was about photographing things and places long before it was about photographing people. If you were to go back through the many folders on my computer, under each year, you would find a folder titled "Scenery." Every year, I created that folder to hold the photos I took JUST for me, the pictures from the days where I just got up, picked up my camera and my car keys, and didn't come back for hours. Once you got tired of looking through folders on my computer, you could go through my old photo albums and find pictures from as far back as middle school where I did the same thing (minus the car keys).
As a teen and college student, photography was a way to express myself. As a young adult working 60-80 hours a week in the real world, it was a hobby for my days off and an inexpensive way to decorate my walls. And when I went through my divorce in 2010, going for a walk with my camera was a way to escape my head. Trust me, there's nothing like laying perfectly still, belly down, in the sand waiting out a nervous bird to clear your head of the noise of every day life. Now, as a 33 year old mom, step-mom, wife, and wahm/photographer, being able to "run away" for a couple of hours to commune with nature and take some pictures is a much needed reminder of what got me into this business in the first place.
So why am I telling you this? I want you to understand how much I love photography as an art. While uploading Halloween snapshots into my 2014 folder, I realized there was no "Scenery" folder.
It had been over a year since I'd gone out and shot just-for-me.
I teared up.
Don't judge me.
2014 was a busy year, it began with me super pregnant, then I became a new mom, and then it was just the day-to-day life of motherhood, and I have NO regrets about it! But, when my husband asked me last week what I wanted to do for my birthday, I didn't hesitate with my request.
I asked him if I could go down to the beach for a few hours around sunset and take pictures - alone. God love that man, he didn't take that the wrong way. He said of course, cleaned out his truck (he'd need my car for the 3 kids), and at 3pm the next day, sent me on my way.
It. Was. Glorious.
One of my best "finding beauty" days ever. And now there's a "Scenery" folder in 2015!
And, for nostalgia's sake, here's a few from "finding beauty" days past.
2014 was a year of changes - both in my personal life and for my business. I revamped my website, added Newborn photography to my portfolio (and instantly fell in LOVE), and developed a “Watch me Grow” Milestone package for Pensacola area parent’s to document baby’s 1st year! While I still LOVE weddings and being a Pensacola wedding photographer, I made the decision to limit the number of weddings I’ll take each year and moved the focus of my business more in the direction of Family Portrait photography. Oh yeah, and I had a baby!
So, what am I looking forward to in 2015?
For my business, I am going to make a huge push to get my Senior Ambassador Program off the ground this spring. I think the Class of 2016 in Escambia county, Santa Rosa county, and Baldwin county will be a great group to launch my awesome Senior Portrait program.
As well as marketing towards high school seniors, I’ll also be booking more Newborn and Family Portrait sessions! I’m also hoping to have the opportunity to try my hand at “Birth Story” photography before year's end. And, because I do love Wedding photography, I will still be booking weddings, just on a more limited basis.
Also, the end of 2014 brought a change to how our customers receive their digital & print images. From now on, unless otherwise agreed upon, all digital images from Portrait sessions will be delivered via digital download and brides & grooms will receive their images on a USB. Print & canvas orders will be placed directly through me and not through a 3rd party site. This both allows me to offer you the same, quality products at a lower cost AND enables me to personally make sure your portraits are perfectly, sized, scaled, and colored before they're sent to be printed.
For my personal life, I can’t wait to see my son take his first steps and celebrate his first birthday! And I’m hoping that 2015 allows me to do a little traveling again. As much as I love portrait photography, landscape and nature photography is in my soul.
A peak back at 2014...
Thank you to everyone who trusted me to capture their precious moments this past year, and a special thank you to the four new mothers who trusted me to hone my newborn photography craft on their new bundle of joy!
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, mom-bun rocking, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.
We proudly provide
Family Photography, Newborn Photography, Maternity photography, and Birth photography
in Pensacola, Cantonment, Perdido Key, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Crestview, and Pensacola Beach, Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Elberta, Fairhope, Daphne, and Spanish Fort, Alabama..