Full disclosure: Thank you to Elephoto.ca for inviting me to try their product and share my opinions, in addition to a discount code for all Canadian readers, on my blog. Discount and prize draw details below. [Updated December 21, 2011: a winner has been selected. Thanks to all who entered.]
Last week I found myself combing through our photo archives in search of family photos and do you know how many family photos we have sat for in the past six years? Come on now, guess. If you guessed 10 then I would guess that you don’t really know me because double digits sounds absolutely dreamy. In reality we have something like 6 photos of the three of us together and in at least 4 of those photos one or more of the subjects has closed eyes, is in a hysterical state, has another person in a head lock — that was the one from a big box store portrait gallery –, or is sporting my extra special fashion statement: a nursing bra worn as a shirt.
When I complained about this sad state of photo album affairs, the husband pointed out the main reason is my unofficial role as staff photographer leaves me behind the camera 95% of the time and this is very true. Though I’d like to state for the record that these days my daughter treats me like more like a vicious paparazzi than a respected visual historian of our family tree. So listen up moms and dads, if your child still loves to mug for the camera, please hug your child extra long as a thank you after you read this post. My girl hasn’t willingly let her image be captured in ages and I miss the spontaneous snaps.
Anyway. My failed mission to find a group of family pictures wasn’t motivated by self-torture, there was a reason I was scouring the image gallery for happy moments in recent history. Elephoto.ca invited me to try out their online personalized photo products and that’s what sparked my inspiration to put together a hard copy photo album of my favorite people (in case it isn’t obvious: it’s the guy I sleep with and the little lady who calls me ‘Mom’.)
So what did I do since a family album wasn’t an option? I put together a purely selfish and totally indulgent leather bound portrait book of favorite pictures of my daughter and me through the years and it’s JUST. FOR. ME. That’s right. It’s not for some far flung relative who never gets to see our angelic faces or even for my husband who is also responsible for her beautiful existence and the smile on my face, it’s MY book and it’s filled with images of ME and MY sidekick.
And what did I think of elephoto.ca? Very straight-forward and for the most part easy to use. They offer a variety of products (albums, cards, calendars, and posters) to personalize with my own images. All I needed to do was upload the photos (or in my case, connect with Flickr — Facebook and Photo Bucket are also options –), select a template, arrange the photos to my liking and place the order. And because this 100% Canadian owned business has 70 locations across Canada, the product is sent out within 3 days of placing the order. Mine arrived in 2. Impressive.
The only hiccup I encountered during the entire process was in the template selection: I originally selected full page images in an 8×8 photo book but when I got to the stage to arrange photos, all the pages were montage templates of three or more images. It took some digging around in the Themes and Categories tab to ‘restore’ my original selection of a single image per page that I had set during the ‘choose a theme’ stage. Once I figured that out that small annoyance, it was very easy to create the photo book. The system warned me when photo resolutions were too low quality and the review/ordering process was super fast.
My self-indulgent leather bound photo book turned out exactly like as expected and I am impressed with the quality. I also created some cards for the family which means there is really no excuse for not sending something pretty to those far flung relatives I snubbed in the first place.
Anyway. I really liked my Elephoto.ca experience, would totally use their service again, and really love the fact they are 100% Canadian owned. So for Canadian readers I am offering a special 15% discount code for everyone to use (only once per customer!) between now and January 31, 2012 and for one lucky commenter, there will be a random draw for a prize code worth $50 CAD (shipping not included).
For all Canadian readers, here is the 15% discount code which is entered at checkout: BUMPER15
To win the $50 prize code please leave a comment STATING WHICH PRODUCT YOU WOULD ORDER to enter the draw for the $50 prize code (shipping not included).
STODGY RULES THAT ARE NECESSARY TO AVOID MAYHEM AND CHAOS:
- OPEN TO CANADIAN ADDRESSES ONLY PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
- CONTEST CLOSES ON DECEMBER 21, 2011 AT MIDNIGHT EST.
- ONE ENTRY PER DAY / PER EMAIL ADDRESS.
- MANDATORY: comment must include which product you would order (photo books, calendars, greeting cards, or posters) if you won. No product mention in comment, no entry.