lenses of love :: hearts for haiti

lenses_of_love_logo_web I'm sure that most of you have been following news stories about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and and some of you might even have personal connections. I have been following a personal story on facebook posted by some friends of mine, about a little Haitian girl named Gracie. My friends' cousin has been trying for over two years to adopt Gracie from Haiti. After a long and difficult process, and an incredibly stressful few weeks, Gracie landed in Florida on Saturday, and was united with her new mom early Monday morning. They are now getting to know each other as a new family in their home in Columbus, Ohio. You can read more about Gracie's story here. I know there are stories like this all over the country about people trying to adopt, and so many of them do not have such happy endings. There are still many children stuck in Haiti who desperately need help.

Since the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, I have been thinking about ways I could help, beyond making an individual monetary donation. About a week ago, my friend and fellow photographer Sally Clark contacted me about taking part in a program she had just created to help raise money for the orphans in Haiti.

It's called Lenses of Love: Hearts for Haiti, and I am honored to announce my participation. It's a nationwide effort by photographers dedicated to helping the people of Haiti.

Book your Limited Edition Lenses of Love session by February 14th (you have until April 30th to complete your session) and I will donate 100% of the sitting fee to Kentucky Adoption Services, a nonprofit organization that is helping orphans in Port-au-Prince.

I am offering a special sitting fee for this fundraiser of $150 (normally $200). Limited number of sessions available. Call 612-747-0372 or email today to book a session.

All Lenses of Love sessions include:

- A pre-session phone consultation to answer questions and discuss location and wardrobe

- A full 1-2 hour photo session at a location of your choice

- An online slideshow featuring 20-35 fully-edited images from your session

- A personalized ordering meeting to choose your prints and products

The session fee is for Gwen's time and talent only. Wall galleries, albums and other products are available at standard pricing. May not be combined with any other offers. Minimum order of $300 applies.

A great big shout-out to Sally Clark for creating this program, and putting all of the hard work in to make it a success.

Please share this link with your friends, family, and help get the word out. If you are not in the Twin Cities area, please visit the Lenses of Love website and click on "Find a Photographer" to locate a photographer in your area.

612-747-0372 gwen@gwendolynwaite.com

giving is awesome :: minneapolis children's photographer

UPDATE: I have chosen a winner, and have sent them an email. As soon as I hear back from them, I will post a few details! Last year, Kristen Kalp of Essential Imagery started a grassroots movement. She put a challenge out to the photography community to give the gift of photography to deserving families who wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford custom portraits. Last year I joined the movement, and was able to give an amazing single mom and her four kids some portraits of her beautiful family. This mom was so inspired that she used the same idea to give a deserving family the gift of her midwife services. I love how the spirit of giving is so contagious.

This year I am so excited to be participating again.

And here's where you come in...

You know someone who can’t afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who’s experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family’s spirit, love, and beauty.

You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography – $1500 worth, to be exact. Whether it’s a canvas or an album, prints for Grandma, or a slideshow to watch over and over, it’s in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season. The winner will receive a complementary session along with a $1500 print credit to use however they wish.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner also receives a free session ($200 value) and $500 in print credits. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be?

The rules:

* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

* The nominee must reside in the Twin Cities area (that would be in Minnesota, for all you non-Midwesterners). Tell me who you know, what they’re experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

* You must e-mail me the full story : gwen@gwendolynwaite.com by midnight December 23rd.

The winner will be announced here on my blog on Christmas Eve.

Get nominating! I can’t wait to read all of your entries.

Open your heart to someone this holiday season — and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

Giving *is* awesome.

Something else that is awesome? My three kids. Here they are.

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win a free session :: twin cities children's photographer

Have you all heard about Mother's Day? Not the holiday, the studio. Made for moms. They're located in Chanhassen, MN, and they have onsite child care, all kinds of fantastic groups, classes and activities for moms, and even a deal with an adjoining salon where you can drop off your kids and go get your hair done. Or a manicure. Or a massage. Sound like bliss? Here is a description from their website: Mother's Day is a special place for moms, where women can get together for classes and workshops, groups, and special events with child care available if needed.  The playroom, with themed activities and specialized care for children 3 months to 7 years, is open weekday mornings and for after-work workouts and Saturdays, too.

For moms looking to reconnect with school-age kids, we offer after-school yoga and crafts for families to enjoy together.  And for grand-moms we offer a new gentle yoga class.  Mothers at all stages are welcome at all activities.

In partnership with adjoining salons – Salon Essence and Nail Gallery - we also provide child care in conjunction with salon services, so your children are taken care of while you take care of you.

They will be holding an open house tomorrow, and at the open house you can register to win a free full session from gwendolyn waite photography! There's a free Pilates class, tours and refreshments, and kids can show up in costume!

Take a look at their website, and go check out their open house, Monday Oct. 26 9:30 - 11:30!

at the slopes :: minneapolis senior photographer

What an awesome location for a senior session. I mean, how many seniors get their photos taken in front of snow-making-machines? This senior eats and breathes skiing (and I hear he's pretty good at it too!), so naturally, the local ski slopes were the place to be. I love it when families choose meaningful locations for their sessions. Happy Sunday! 091017_savage_004

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holiday cards :: twin cities family photographer

Here is a sneak peek of a couple of the many holiday cards I am offering this year. These fun, modern cards can be customized with photos from your session, and are printed on beautiful linen, pearl, or watercolor paper. I only have one remaining full session date available before the holidays, so if you're interested in booking a session for your holiday cards or family gifts, give me a call right away! There are also a couple spots left for the mini sessions on Oct. 18 - let me know if you would like one of them! style_4_front_back

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