Author Archives: Kevin

engagement photo tips

9 Tips for Taking Engagement Photos You’ll Treasure for Life

Every year in the U.S., there is an average of 2.4 million weddings performed. And, with spring right around the corner, we’re quickly approaching the most popular months for brides and grooms to tie the knot.

If you’re among the lucky couples heading down the aisle this year, you’re in for one of the most exciting days of your life. But, with the excitement, comes a lot of planning.

Today’s couples are making the most of their pre-wedded bliss by arranging an engagement photo session. These sessions capture the first moments of the rest of your lives together. They will be a cherished treasure for years to come.

Make sure that your engagement photo session is unforgettable.

We’re sharing nine tips to help you create the perfect engagement photos that’ll last a lifetime!

9 Tips to Nail the Perfect Engagement Photo Session

Your engagement is your opportunity to announce your new-found commitment to the world. You want your photos to capture the love you feel. And, we’ve got the advice to help you do it here.

fun idea engagement photo
Photo credit: @jtylernix via unsplash.com

1. Get Comfortable

It’s important that you wear an outfit that looks great, of course. But it’s equally important that you feel comfortable in your attire.

If you are tugging or pulling on your hem all day, the day will linger on and on. 

Make sure that you try on your outfit picks in plenty of time before the day of the shoot. And, check to make sure that your spouse-to-be has their clothing ready to go, as well.

2. Location, Location, Location

The perfect location is essential to snap those just-right engagement shots.

If the weather allows, the outdoors can provide a naturally beautiful backdrop for your photos. Simple scenery, such as fields and farms are a popular pick for modern brides and grooms. Beaches and historical landmarks make great options as well.

Choosing unfussy surroundings allows you to be the star of the pic. But, it doesn’t hurt to have a pop of color injected in the shot, whether it be green trees or blue skies.

3. Relax!

Your photos will reveal the very best version of you and your soon-to-be spouse if you relax.

It’s easy to feel nervous when you are in the middle of a photo shoot, but try to resist pre-wedding jitters.

Instead, sit back and have fun. Be yourself and try to remember the reason for being there in the first place.

4. Arrive With An Open Mind

If you aren’t willing to have an open mind on the day of your engagement shoot, you might miss out the best possible picture or pose.

This can be especially true if you balk at the professional photographer’s suggestions. Trust your photographer. After all, they do this sort of thing for a living.

Sure, the picture might sound silly to you. But, it just might turn out to be your favorite. And, it’ll probably only take a minute or two if you just go with the flow.

5. Consider Professional Hair & Makeup

You want to put your best face forward for your engagement photo session. 

Some women are totally comfortable doing their own hair and makeup. While others, not so much.

If you think it will boost your confidence and make you feel special, go ahead and splurge on professional hair and makeup services. You deserve to look and feel your best for this.

6. Get Inspired

Photo credit: @benwhitephotography via unsplash.com

Check out other engagement sessions for inspiration prior to your photo shoot. Then, you will have some ideas to suggest to the photographer. 

If you have a certain pic in mind that you really want, make sure that you let your photographer know. Remember, photographers can’t read your mind.

There are tons of beautiful ideas in magazines and online to choose from. Start with photos you can view here to get some ideas.

On the day of the shoot, bring the pics that you love best to try out with your fiance. This will at least give your photographer some ideas of your preferences. And, ensure that you get the photos you really want.

7. Kiss the Bride (Or Groom!)

Looking for a great no-fail shot?

When in doubt, you got to kiss the girl (or boy).

A kiss is always a good pose to fall back to. And, it’s likely to loosen you both up and help you to focus on the real reason for being there.

8. Go Pro

Unless you have a professional photographer that’s a close friend or family, you might want to go pro for these pics.

Professional photography is the sure way to get the shots you’ll love and remember. And, if you don’t hire a professional, you risk having to repeat the session again.

Most brides will agree that a professional photographer is an expense that’s worth it for both your engagement and your wedding ceremony.

9. Smile!

Photo credit: @carlyrae via unsplash.com

Don’t forget to smile for the camera.

Of course, many brides have a wide range of poses and facial expressions for their photography sessions. But, you definitely want to be sure that you get some fun-loving shots that capture the happiness you feel for the future.

Save the Date!

Once you’ve chosen your faves from your engagement photo session, you can use them to create a perfect save the date invite for guests.

Save the date photo postcards are a great way to announce your upcoming celebrations. And, they share the essence of a couple in love perfectly.

Want to learn more?

Check out this post for great save the date engagement and wedding invite ideas now!

dubai city pool

Heading to Dubai? 8 Great Family Activities in Dubai

Dubai is a popular place.

Indeed, a couple of years ago, in 2017, it welcomed 15.8 million tourists to its shores. The ‘City of Gold’, as it is sometimes known, is prime vacation territory.

What was once a mere patch of sand, Dubai has become a land of luxury, modernity and all round indulgence. But did you know it’s also a prime location for your next family vacation?

You might be surprised. After all, how much can there be for kids to enjoy in the desert?

It turns out there’s actually quite a lot! The multitude of opportunities for family fun might just persuade you to head there on your next holiday. Intrigued?

Keep reading to discover 8 of the best family activities in Dubai.

8 Fun Family Activities in Dubai

Dubai is a place full of amazing opportunities for you and your family. It is packed with stuff to do. Here are 8 of the greatest family activities to do next time you’re there.


1. Head into the Desert

dubai desert car

The desert is essentially one big playground for your kids.

And Dubai is an ideal place from which to experience it. Not so long ago there was nothing but the desert to enjoy here!

Take the opportunity to head out into the stunning golden sands around the city. You can watch and ride camels, camp out under the stars, and experience the wonder of being surrounded by a sea of sand, as far as the eye can see.

2. Shop ‘Til You Drop

Shopping doesn’t get much better than Dubai.

You could spend your entire trip inside the malls and high streets of the city. Why not take the kids around with you? The RIPE Market that happens on a Friday may be of particular interest.

This is a super cool combination of attractions, with a chilled out festival vibe. You can shop ‘til you drop in the stalls while enjoying awesome food in a setting full of playgrounds and open spaces. There’s a petting zoo too!

Likewise, wandering around the city is a treat in itself. Around every corner, you’ll find something new and exciting to occupy your kids.

3. Visit IMG Worlds of Adventure

dubai world adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure is Dubai’s answer to Disney Land.

You’ve got 28 football fields worth of fun-filled thrills to explore and enjoy. This is a brand new theme park that’s been built to bring excitement and joy to the family. Cartoon characters and film stars walk the streets, welcoming the children and adults alike.

This is the world’s largest indoor theme park that offers a unique experience to its visitors.

4. Do a Family Photoshoot

A family photoshoot offers the perfect way to mark and remember your vacation.

This is likely to be a unique experience, filled with new and exciting adventures. Not quite able to take your own pro photos yet? What better way to remember your trip than by getting a professional photo shoot?

You’ll be able to look back on the photos of you and the family in some of the world’s most impressive places. Zoom in Photography offers some creative ideas for how to do it.

5. Wear Off Energy at Kite Beach

Kite Beach is the perfect place to take your kids.

There’s an abundance of fun for everyone though. The stunningly calm, azure blue waters offer unparalleled water sports opportunities. Why not go kayaking or paddle boarding along the waterfront? Then enjoy watching the kite surfers do their thing.

The beach itself is fun of incredible activities too. Alongside all the usual beach fun and games available, the kids will have a whale of a time on the outdoor trampolines, in the skate park and the adventure gym that’s there.

The views of the Burj Al Arab aren’t bad either!

6. Take the Dubai Creek Park Cable Car

There’s nothing better than seeing Dubai from above.

That’s one reason why you should definitely ride the Cable Car at Dubai Creek Park. It’ll be an unforgettable experience for the entire family.

The cable car runs for 2.3kms and flies you 30 meters above the ground. The kids will go nuts for the excitement of being suspended so high up, while the adults can enjoy the city sightseeing!

7. Splash Around at Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure is a must-do activity for any family looking to escape the heat.

Head to Atlantis, The Palm, for some fun-filled water-based excitement! Thrill rides, giant water slides, and shark-filled lagoons mean there’s plenty of adrenaline to go around. There are smaller kid’s areas too though, as well as private beaches and calmer spaces for those looking for a quieter time.

This is actually the largest water park in the Middle East and is great fun for the entire family.

8. Get Artistic at The Jam Jar

jam jar painting

After all the excitement of theme rides and water parks, you may be looking for something more cultured to do as a family!

The Jam Jar offers the perfect opportunity.

This incredible space is a unique chance for you and your kids to get artistic in the City of Gold. Based in Al Quoz, this venue is designed to support budding young artists and develop the art scene in the city. Everything you need to get going is there waiting for you in their studios.

Just turn up and get painting! You can go ahead and organize parties for special occasions too. 

Time to Get Travelling

There you have it: 8 incredible family activities in Dubai for you to enjoy.

Dubai has become an immensely popular place to take a vacation. However, it might not be the first place that comes to mind to travel to with your family. In reality, there are masses of activities to keep your family entertained there.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of some of the best ones!

You can get out into the desert, shop until you drop, visit the IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park, do a family photo shoot, and soak up the rays at the super cool Kite Beach. Cool down at the Aquaventure Park, see the city from above in the Cable Car, and get creative at The Jam Jar.

There’s something for every family. Enjoy the trip!

Looking for more awesome places around the world? Check out this piece here.

photography sunrise

Photography Nomad? The Ultimate Guide to Taking Pictures Like a Pro

Every 60 seconds, Facebook users upload over 100,000 photos. Some of those images aren’t the best because not everyone is a skilled photographer. 

You don’t want to be the photography nomad with the bad pictures. You want to be the one everyone follows on Facebook and Instagram because of your beautiful shots. Continue reading this article to learn everything about taking pictures like a pro.

Taking Pictures Like a Pro

When you’re traveling, you won’t always have a big camera with you to catch epic photos. You need to learn how to take good pictures using your phone.

The good news is that modern smartphones have cameras that are far beyond many of the top cameras available years ago. 

1. Use Natural Light

When you take photos at night, it’s easy to flip on the phone’s flash. Flash doesn’t do justice to people or things at night. If you must use flash, do it during the day to play with shadows.

Natural light is almost always the best option when you’re taking photos on the go. Imagine taking photos from a moving bus and getting the light streaks from the street lights. You don’t need your flash to catch amazing photos.

Always keep in mind that midday lighting is not your friend. You want to shoot when the sun is coming up or going down. This light is most flattering, and you get the most beautiful shots if you use the light properly.

2. Leave Your Grid Lines On

If you’re tired of crooked photos and going through the straightening process when you’re editing, say hello to your grid lines.

In your phone, under your settings, you can turn grid lines on. The settings are different from phone to phone, but when you turn your grid lines on, it will allow you to pay more attention to where the subject is in your photo.

3. Look for Patterns

When you’re out on your next walk, look around and see what photo patterns you notice. Maybe there are fire hydrants a certain distance from each other or a storefront that was designed in a pattern.

Our eyes love patterns in photos as they make the pictures enjoyable to look at. 

4. Pay Attention to Where You Position Your Subject

The grid lines are very helpful when you’re trying to be conscious of where your subject is positioned. Play around with different amounts of negative space and different types of subjects.

When you’re traveling, you’re likely to see many things that you aren’t used to seeing. You will have a fresh perspective on the subject, so try a few positions on your photo and see which one speaks to you the most.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Editing

Editing your photo to make it look beautiful is an extra step you should take. Not everyone may like your editing job, but what’s most important is that you love it. 

People are often afraid to get the editor out because they might mess up their photo. If you’re concerned about it, just save another copy and use it if there are any problems with the final version. 

6. Use Tripods

Tripods are your friend and will allow you to get the most amazing group shots without trying to break your arm doing a selfie. Even selfie sticks aren’t the best when you want a high-quality photo.

There are different sizes of tripods you can use depending on what kind of photos you want to take. If you don’t plan on getting huge group shots, then you probably don’t need a tall tripod.

For travel nomads, a short tripod is often enough to get by with — and it isn’t hard to carry one with you.

7. Plan Your Shot for Success

If you want to get an amazing shot, you need to plan for success. Think of a few photos you would like to get on your trip and plan out how you see them in your mind. Next, see if there are other similar photos online. 

Use other photos to inspire you, but your pictures will get the most attention if they are unique. 

8. Try Out New Settings

Your camera likely has settings you’ve never explored before. See what the camera settings do so you can get the most amazing photos for the style of photography you choose. 

If you don’t play around with the settings, you may miss some of the most amazing shots in your future. You don’t have to waste a beautiful travel day trying out settings. You can bring another camera for the real shots that you’re used to getting and change up the settings on another camera.

9. Floaty Backdoor

Your GoPro doesn’t float. You don’t want to lose it. You want the floaty backdoor. 

When you use the floaty backdoor, even if your GoPro falls off in the ocean, you can easily retrieve it. Your camera wouldn’t be an easily replaceable piece of equipment, especially if you recorded some awesome footage you haven’t taken off the SD card yet.

10. Get Those Photos

You don’t want all of your photos on the web, do you? You can order your photos online through Walgreen’s or other companies. Walgreen’s photo shipping is reliable and doesn’t take too long, so check it out.

Do You Love All Things Photography?

Photography isn’t a hobby but a passion. Taking pictures allows you to express yourself and show your unique version of the world to other people.

We also love all things photography and know there’s got to be a special photo you can’t stand not seeing on canvas. Check out our easy canvas prints reviews to see if this might be the solution for you.

facebook cover photo

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Facebook Cover Photos

Social media is a lot of things, but most importantly, it’s a big part of your online digital footprint. Are you representing yourself the way you want to be seen?

If you’re on social media, there’s a good chance Facebook is front and center. With over two billion active users worldwide, it’s no surprise it’s the most popular social media network.

Facebook covers a lot of bases. You can keep in touch with friends around the world, like posts from your favorite blogs and brands, and share pictures.

Speaking of pictures, how’s your main page looking? Could your cover photo use an update?

Don’t stress — we’re going to give you seven tips to upgrade your Facebook cover photos!

1) Make It the Right Size

First, make sure your cover photo is the correct size. You can’t put up any photo and expect it to fit.

Your Facebook cover photo needs to be 851 by 315 pixels for desktop computers. For mobile devices, you’ll need a pic that’s 640 by 360 pixels.

2) Make It Mobile

It’s important to keep mobile measurements in mind. The majority of Facebook traffic now comes from devices like smartphones.

If you have text or a part of the image you want to focus on, double check it both on desktop PCs and your phone. Make sure it looks right on both devices.

3) Pick a Focal Point

Another way to make your Facebook cover photos pop is to focus on one main point. There are several creative ways to do this.

You can pick one color and saturate your cover pic. You can play with alignment, centering the image or putting it to one side.

Get creative. Try different ideas until you find one you like.

4) Keep It Simple

Don’t waste your time overthinking your design. Since most people will only see it on their phone, it will probably be small.

Keep it simple. Don’t overload your image with tons of details or text.

5) Blend Your Facebook Cover Photos and Profile Pic

Want to really stand out? Make your profile and cover pics blend together to create one seamless image.

It seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use a tool like a Facebook cover photo maker to achieve this look.

6) Be Yourself

While you can find plenty of interesting pics online, being you in yourself cover photos is your best bet.

Did you travel somewhere cool? Is there an achievement or hobby you’re proud of?

Show it off on your cover pic! Your profile is all about you, so use it as your time to shine.

7) Go beyond Cover Photos

Do you feel like you’ve mastered photos? Want to try another trick?

Get experimental — add a video or slideshow to your profile! There are lots of fun ways to play around with your cover picture.

Feeling Inspired?

Trying out these Facebook cover photos tips and tricks is fun yet educational. You might just discover a new hobby or even a new career.

Feeling inspired? Check out our guide to social media and professional photography!

easy canvas prints reviews

Easy Canvas Prints Reviews: Shipping Info + See My Canvas Print!

logo easy canvs printsMy Review of Easy Canvas Prints: EasyCanvasPrints.com is one of the up and coming names in the crowded, and hugely-competitive canvas-printing space. In case you didn’t notice, there are dozens of companies trying to print your photos better and cheaper on canvas, and the stiff competition is forcing these printing sites to excel or die.

So, how does Easy Canvas Prints stack up? First, here’s what customer reviews and ratings say, and then my own review.

Easy Canvas Prints: Customer Reviews

The reviews for EasyCanvasPrints.com are overwhelmingly positive online. How good? Here’s a chart from Google Customer Reviews to illustrate what I’m talking about:

easy canvas prints ratings google

Wow, 95% positive reviews for Easy Canvas Prints!

What Customers Say:

easy canvas prints star rating

Great ratings on Google and Facebook

Good Reviews: In their reviews customers use words like, “beautiful, stunning, awesome, love, affordable, unbelievable professional, fantastic, easy, and quality.”

That’s why 95% of customers leave a good review, and probably why they have a quarter-million Facebook followers.

“Very affordable and the quality is great! already ordering for my 3rd time.  It also arrived when expected and was very well protected in the packaging. No complaints!” 

Negative Reviews: I had to scroll through a lot of reviews to find any bad ones, but the top complaint was about the “slow and expensive shipping.”

“My order was processed and shipped quickly. The shipping costs were quite high and I will probably find another vendor for future purchases that has more reasonable shipping costs.”

OK, we’re off to a pretty good start, but I want to try out Easy Canvas Prints myself. Here goes!


Now, My Review:

First, I clicked their best promotion:

The “retail” prices on their site are inflated, so you’re cray not to use a coupon. Here’s the best deal for an amazing 85% off:

easy canvas prints coupon banner

Best current promotion!

Next, I chose a photo from my phone

My son, Connor, took a brilliant photo at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (with my iPhone 7) that’s perfect for this review:

flower connor easy canvas

Make sure your photo is as high-resolution to avoid pixelation or low-quality after it’s enlarged. This means you’ll need your the original or biggest size possible. If you notice that the file size is under 2 MB, it might not be big enough for the larger canvas sizes.

OK, now it’s time to print my photo on canvas.


Designing a Canvas Is Really Easy

If asked to imagine a descriptive 3-word name for a company that provides the simple, high-quality printing of photos onto canvas it would probably be pretty close to “Easy Canvas Prints.” I mean, it’s all there in the name, but do they actually deliver?

Normally the idea of being treated like a child might be insulting, but not when it comes to technology and the internet. I like things that are simple and obvious when I order a burrito or design a canvas, and that’s what you get with EasyCanvasPrints. (minus the burrito)

easy canvas prints prices

Basically you choose a canvas size, upload your photo, get a preview. There are minimal, obvious design tools like “rotate” and “crop,” but that’s it. No filters or templates or text, just your photo.

Ok, that’s it, on to the next step.


Canvas Options:

easy canvas prints review options

Once again, this is very simple. You’ll have two canvas depth options:

  1. Standard Wrap: A thin 3/4 inch wrap that is all you’ll need if you are framing your canvas
  2. Gallery wrap: At 1.5″ it’s twice the depth of the “Standard” wrap, and looks more substantial on the wall if you are not going to frame your canvas. This is the more popular option, but it costs more

• Framing Options: By default no frame is included, but you can choose from a few “classic” (thick and plain) or modern (stepped for a floating effect), or Brazillian Barn wood which looks like reclaimed wood.

I really like the classic black frame, so I’ll choose that to make this photo pop.

• Display Options: By default there’s no cover on the back of the framed canvas, but for $5+ more you can get a more professional, clean, cover that should make your canvas last longer.

easy canvas prints mirror wrap

Easy Canvas Prints mirror wrap

• Image Border:  Important: By default the area that wraps around the sides is a mirror image of your photo. Here’s a sample of this “mirror wrap” (see photo)

This is great for some photos, but not others. Pay close attention to the preview, which you can click on and move around to see what your canvas edges will look like.

If you don’t like this “reflection” on the sides, you can choose a black, grey, or white border.

• Color Effects: Easy Canvas Prints can make your photo either Black & White or Sepia if you’d like. It’s worth previewing, but I skipped it and chose, “no thanks.”

• Hanging Options: Choose a standard wall mount (which I did) for $1.49, or a fancier wall-hanging system that can hold more weight for $4.99.


Review Order, Use a Promo Code

my canvas prints promo code

Always use a coupon or promo code!

If you clicked over to EasyCanvasPrints.com from a promotional link, you might already have a coupon applied. If not, this is your chance. Don’t ever pay their inflated “retail price,” as promo codes can save you up to 85%! (Apply this coupon)

After you’ve applied a coupon, just fill out your shipping info, choose to pay via credit card or PayPal, and you’re done!


Shipping Info:

Shipping is an important consideration with Easy Canvas Prints for two reasons: shipping is expensive, and it can take a long time.

For my order I got a really good price on the actual canvas, but they must make their profit on the shipping fees, as my shipping cost over $16!

*If you don’t use a coupon, the shipping price seems to cost less, as shipping was listed as $10.99 before the coupon was applied. The $89 savings from the coupon more than made up for the extra $5 shipping cost though!

easy canvas prints shipping cost

Well, it’s still only $56 total for a framed canvas print including deliver, so even with the salty shipping cost it’s still a good deal if it ends up looking great.

Shipping Time: On EasyCanvasPrints.com they say that shipping can take 2-15 days but will vary based on the size of your order and what you ordered.”

My canvas took a long time in production, (because it was framed?) and after 7 business days I got an email with shipping confirmation and tracking. 4 business days later, (11 total business days for production and shipping it arrived. Let’s see if it was worth the wait.


Here’s My Canvas Print:

The big day just arrived. FedEx rang my doorbell and I got a big, sturdy box with my canvas inside!

easy canvas prints shipping

The canvas was really well packaged

easy canvas prints review

OMG, It’s beautiful!

Easy Canvas Prints: Close-up shot

My Review of Easy Canvas Prints:

OMG! My framed 12×12″ canvas print is gorgeous, and check out that detail from an iPhone 7 picture! The color is vibrant, and I love the thick “Classic” black frame. I’m glad I paid $6 extra for the cover on the back, as it really looks professional.

The framed canvas is really heavy, and feels sturdy. The frame seems to have cropped off about 1/4 inch on every side, which is to be expected. (Don’t allow important parts of your photo to get too close to the edge) 

The total price for my framed 12×12″ canvas print was $56 including shipping which is less than Shutterfly’s similar product (thinner frame) which comes in a total cost of about $70 (after using a 50% off coupon).

What can I say, I’m really happy with my framed canvas print! Looks like I’ll be one of the 95% percent of customers who write a good online review for Easy Canvas Prints.

easy canvas prints coupon banner

Have you ordered something from EasyCanvasPrints.com? Please let us know with your own review below:

snapfish shipping prices times

Snapfish Shipping Time & Costs + New Delivery Speeds

snapfish logo blue squareShipping times and cost for Snapfish: If you’re buying time-sensitive gifts or cards from snapfish.com, you’ll want to know the shipping options and prices. Even though their their “free” shipping promotion is great, can you afford to wait that long to get your order?

Snapfish shipping times:

Shipping Option:Shipping Time:
Standard: (USPS) 6-8 business days
Ground: (UPS or FedEx)4-6 business days
2-Day Shipping:3-5 business days
Overnight Shipping:2-4 business days
Canada:8-16 business days

Shipping considerations: 

  • Processing time is included in the estimates above, and takes up to 3 days. You’ll get an email when your order ships
  • “Free” Shipping is mailed at “Standard” (6-8 business day) speed, unless noted
  • Door to door tracking information is available for all shipping options except “Standard,” which only tracks as far as your local post office. Package tracking info is available in your order history
  • International Shipping times can vary significantly, and the recipient may have to pay local taxes upon receipt
  • Holiday shipping: Deliveries before popular holidays like Christmas and Mother’s Day may take longer
  • Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii takes longer
  • Standard shipping is the only method that delivers on Saturdays or to a PO Box
  • No Sunday delivery
  • Orders with multiple items: Products may ship separately, and usually arrive within 1-2 days of each other

Shipping Prices by Product

The price that you pay for shipping is determined based on the specific product that you order, and the quantity.

Generally adding a second item will increase the price of shipping one item by about 50%, but the only way to calculate exact shipping is to add an item to your cart like this:

calculate snapfish shipping cost

*View today’s top promotions for Snapfish here!new


Snapfish Australia shipping costs:

Snapfish.au has a helpful chart on-site with their delivery prices. Just click over and view shipping by product and quantity:

*Just click “shipping and handling” under any product for shipping cost as shown:

snapfish shipping costs

Related: