Journal Entry No. 49| Harry Potter Night | Klutch Photography| Vancouver family Photograper

I swear I was only in Indigo Chapters so Amara could pick up the book she’s been hunting down for months! I was almost home free too, till she spotted the Harry Potter dressed associates. They were busy putting up HP decorations on the walls of the Grandview Corners location in Surrey BC.

Being Amara is a beautiful thing, she has no fear when it comes to asking strangers questions, or meeting people, or just making new friends (What a gift BTW!). She walked right over and started her Harry Potter investigation. The lovely associates let her know that indeed it was a special event, they were hosting an HP evening that started at 7pm. Full of crafts, slime …STOP did you say SLIME! She didn’t hear anything else after the slime comment, she was sold!

*We don’t make slime at home for good reasons. I think almost every parent who has made slime in their home will completely understand why. If you don’t get it, have a group of 10 year olds make it in your home, then you’ll get it. Better yet, look at the images below.*

It was 5pm, so we returned at 7pm on a school night. Crazy right, BUT this kid loves Harry Potter, and how long before these type of kid events would mean nothing to her. She’s 10…this might be my last one, so of course, I would take her. I also kind of felt it was serendipitous to be at that location, on that day to find out they were having this event that evening. Follow the universe people, I always say, or maybe just follow their Facebook page to be more formally updated on these events, lol!

It was wonderful. The staff were dressed up, with smiles on, and they were so lovely to all the children. They had crafts, a photo prop station, a scavenger hunt, and of course the slime table! The guy hosting the slime table, God bless him…it’s what nightmares are made of!

Amara loved it, and to top off the evening, Starbucks was serving “Butterbeer” ! Nothing like a cupful of sugar, right before bed, lol! But you know what, she will remember this evening! The laughs, the new friends she made, and the fact that we went together on a school night. That for me is pure gold.

Thanks, Indigo Grandview Corners!

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Journal Entry No. 48 | Clip N' Climb | Klutch Photography | Vancouver family photographer

Anyone who owns a 13 year old teenage GIRL will totally understand me when I say “WTF has happened to my sweet kid”! They literally creatures from another planet, and that planet is called “Parents are idiots, and we know EVERYTHING”. They start residing on the planet once they enter high school (give or take a few months maybe even a year). Everything is blah, or NO, or eww, and don’t get me started on the body language that accompanies these words.

So finding something, an activity (away from the phone, tv or computer) that works for both kids of different ages to do “together” is nearly impossible. #thestruggleisreal -painful!

This past weekend princess “Blahnoeww”, as she will be named for this post wanted to grace us with her presence! Being her doting disciples, we grinned with eagerness, and with bated breath as to what we would do together!

“PB” suggested we attend Clip N’ Climb, it was located right beside TSS. Which worked out great as my youngest most normal child (I swear I would never have thought in a million years that my dramatic child would end up being the “normal” one, yet here we are) goes there on Saturday mornings. “PB” even wanted to see her little cousins as well, so plans were made, fast. We all know how teenagers like something one minute and literally dislike it within the next 60 seconds!

Clip N’ Climb located in Richmond was amazing! The way they’ve set it up with scheduled times that leaves you about an hour to climb up all these creatively done walls. Totally safe, from my safety police credentials. Our whole crew was a big fan, ages 5 through 13, even the adults were a little jelly they didn’t sign up (insert hand up over here). The cost about $14-20 per kids, then you start a punch card for more value down the road. You can race people, time yourself on some of the climbs, and take some great leap of faiths!

NOTE: My youngest would like to advise you that you really should wear pants. Sadly, she had a ferocious case of hungry bum because she wore shorter shorts and those straps are fitted in all the wrong places. Just saying. lol. #Truth.

So parents with 13 year olds, this might be a family outing option for all your people, praise the lord. Amen!

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"What Not to Wear" -Photography Preset Version | Klutch Photography| Vancouver family photographer

Stacy London from "what not to wear" had the right idea. Stop it with the trends, and stick with classics that fit you well!

I get it tho; everybody loves a trend! Sadly over time, we tend to regret some, not all of the "trends" we opted in on. Personally, I vomit in my mouth a little when I look back at some of my fashion choices. I would have thought FOR SURE they would have lasted the test of time.

This is also how I feel about my photography preset choices I made back in the day with MANY of my images. And to add salt in the wound, Facebook keeps haunting me with all of my bad decisions! Every morning I grab my phone and see a popup... "Want to see your memories from seven years ago"? Duh, of course I do, it's like an unfortunate car accident, you have to look! And then the next five minutes are all about the feels, except it's this one… #regrets! I'm so mad at those presets choices I made back then more so than the time I ate a golf ball size of wasabi on a dare!

I feel so passionate after all these years, that if your images can tell a story or feel some emotion, all you have to do is add a simple "accessory"! Can you hear Stacy saying that!? No need for an entire wardrobe add-ons, with more accessories on top of accessories!

After ten years of photographing families, babies and all else in between, I've finally have grown into my photography shoes. I know what I like, and what I want now, and 30 years from now AND that is not a REHASH of a film preset in all of my images!

I only alter my images to pure black and white, no more of that sepia crap! My colour images get the same R E S P E C T (insert the song while you read it, its' way more fun! No seriously, try it again!) with minimal fake looking alterations. This folks, is what I like to call the "simple black dress" effect! When you walk into the room everyone is looking at you, not your outfit...same goes for the image! What's inside the image is speaking to you, not the " preset" you chose. The "black dress" will make your image stand the test of time. I think I'm going to change my name to Stacy Ferreira Stoddard London! Greg might like a "new wife"?! I can see it now..."Hey Stacy, what to go into the bedroom and see if these pants are fitting properly?". Yikes, I take that back! Seriously tho, why can't I have this much insight while I dress myself in the morning.

I know, your thinking "Dina or Stacy....(whomever you're calling your self now) cool your tits, it will last, you're overreacting"! I'm telling you truthfully, and from my heart, and from my own experience ...it won't! Save your selves the horror that I have to relive every day, stop the dramatic presets while you can!

Don't be another dated looking image statistic! Be the simple black dress.

THE IMAGES BELOW WERE ALL TRENDY AT ONE POINT.

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Sepia with a green overlay.

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Soft lines with a overall blue hue.

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Orange Polaroid vibe

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SEPIA

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HIGH CONTRAST AND BLOWN OUT HIGHLIGHTS

Vignetts and a strong green undertone…

Vignetts and a strong green undertone…

Dina’s Instagram feed….