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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

family photos and why groupon rocks

My sweet (and very photogenic, I might add) husband loathes professional photographs.  I adore them.  If it were up to me, we'd have them taken once a month and if it were up to him, we'd never set foot in a photography studio.  But as you've probably figured out by now, given that we are polar opposites in so many ways, we have gotten pretty good at compromising.  So once and only once a year he lets me drag him to get a family portrait taken.

I am a huge fan of Groupon, which I originally discovered when we were living in Seattle.  If you aren't familiar with it, let me fill you in.  Groupon is a collective coupon that offers amazing deals in cities all over the country.  Each day has a new deal (different for each city) that is available for one day only, usually for at least 50% off a product, restaurant, event, or service.   The "catch," if there is one, is in order to get the deal you must pay ahead of time.  (Sort of like purchasing a gift certificate for yourself.)

A few months ago, only a few days after I changed my Groupon account to receive the Tampa deals instead of the Seattle deals, an amazing offer popped up for an on-location family portrait session by Angela Clifton Photography.  Tampa is about a 2 hour drive for us, but this deal--$59 for a 1 hour portrait session and photo CD of all the images--was just too good to pass up.  Even my husband, Mr. Anti-Portrait, couldn't turn it down.

This past weekend our long-awaited appointment finally arrived.  Dawn and Brent, the owners of Angela Clifton Photography, were super helpful when it came to suggesting a location (since we're not familiar with the Tampa-area beaches) and the best time of day (for good lighting).  They arrived for the session right on time and started shooting photos almost immediately.  They were great with the girls and did a wonderful job of just capturing the natural moments instead of trying to pose every shot, which made the experience a lot more tolerable for my kids (and my husband!)  Even more impressive, they emailed me a link to view the images less than 24 hours later!

I am so glad this package includes a CD of ALL the photos because there are way too many good ones to choose from!  Here are just a few of my favorites:

So out of all of this comes two things:  

1: if you live in SW Florida, it is worth a trip to Tampa to work with Dawn & Brent of Angela Clifton Photography.  The normal cost for their family package (what we got) is $200 (still a bargain, in my opinion!) and includes a CD of all your images, BUT if you mention my blog when booking your appointment, they will graciously give you a 20% discount--$40 off!  

2: if you live anywhere else and you have not yet signed up for Groupon, what are you waiting for?  Even if the closest participating city is a few hours away (as ours is), it is worth getting a daily email because every once in a while you will find something worth driving for.  Even better, there are a lot of offers that come up for online companies, which you can order from anywhere.

For instance, these online deals are available today, and many of them would make great gifts:

Providence-$40 worth of brownie gifts from Fairytale Brownies for $20.

Bakersfield-$35 worth of desserts from Fancy Fortune Cookie for only $15.

Buffalo-$115 worth of photo books from Photobook America for only $35. (70% discount!)

North Jersey-$12 worth of baked goods from Gimmee Jimmy's online store for only $5.

Sioux Falls-$50 worth of custom photo products from Harold's Photo Centers online for only $20.

San Francisco-(Deal Nearby)-$75 for photo scanning service worth $200 from ScanMyPhotos.com.

Louisville (Side Deal)-Choose from two custom photo bags by SnapTotes.com, a clutch ($29--normally $50) or a tote ($50--normally $80).  This deal includes shipping!

Omaha (Side Deal)-$50 worth of personalized gifts from Zazzle.com for only $25.

To sign up for Groupon, click here.  Once you have signed in, you can click on visit other cities to grab any of these deals.

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own and I received no compensation for recommending either Groupon or Angela Clifton Photography.


  1. Oh my goodness...what great photos, Ruth!! I agree - the CD is the way to go so you don't have to choose. The sandy feet is just too cute! But really, they are all amazing!

  2. You all are so photogenic! We need to get some family pictures made and pronto! Don't have any from this year.

  3. Great pictures! Beautiful family :)
    Following you back from http://whatifedmyfamilytoday.blogspot.com/

  4. Following you back from Mediocrity Chronicles. Please stop by again soon!


  5. You have a beautiful family and I'm loving the pictures.

    Thanks for following me. I'm now following you back. I absolutely love your blog and really looking forward to future posts.

    Diary of a Chic Mommy


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