In Category: ‘Grab Bag’

Wondering what to get your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? That’s easy: give the gift of photos.

Flowers wilt, candy gets eaten, but photos will last forever. Give your girl a feel-great gift with a portrait session to celebrate her beauty. Or book as session for the two of you! It’s a fun activity that will leave you with wonderful memories and a record of this spacial time in your life.

Plum Tree is celebrating Valentine’s Day with Half Off All portrait sessions booked in the month of February! So if you are getting engaged, take advantage and book your engagement portraits for 50% off. Of if you just want to give the gift of photos to yourself, your sweetheart, or any loved one, use one of the other two coupons below. Session must be purchased during the month of February, but can take place any time through 2009.

Wishing you a love-filled Valentine’s Day!

Engagement+Half+Off+02.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Half+Love+Portrait+2.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Love+You+Portrait+Special+02.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Name the place. I’ll be there. I’m 100% fluent in Spanish, which is very convenient for south of the border weddings. And I know just enough French to get us out of a scrape. Obviously, I speak English…so that covers two whole continents and part of Europe. You up for it?

Seriously. Plum Tree Studios is setting its sights on Destination Wedding Photography, and I couldn’t be more stoked! Photography is inherently a movable business and with my knack for finding the best local cuisine and shopping, well I can double up as a pretty darn-good tourist guide! It just couldn’t come more naturally.

I’m so stoked, in fact, that I will travel (with an assistant) to photograph your wedding for FREE (including a sweet little package of goodies) – as long as you cover travel expenses for the day before and day of the wedding. So, if you are having a wedding somewhere other than Houston, Texas and you need a photographer, and you like what you see – give me a buzz. I’ll be running this offer for all of 2009.

Visit my website to learn more about me and see more of my work. You can also contact me through there. Looking forward to it!

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new site!

I’m so happy to have it live and (mostly) off my very busy plate so that I can get back to what I love doing most: photography. I say mostly because I still have lots of photos to upload to the galleries — it’s tougher than it sounds! Putting things together for a site, though lots of fun, is hard work. It is however, a great creative exercise. So that’s how I’ve come away with the idea for January’s contest: A FREE Senior Portrait Session.

So here’s to graduating and looking forward to fresh beginnings! If you are interested in entering (or nominating someone you know), please email me the following:
  • A photo of yourself (or your senior) with a little background info
  • Age – if under 18, please provide proof of parent’s permission
  • Info on any talents, interests, projects, or achievement that set you apart
The winner will receive the following – A $250 value:
  • 1 hour on location portrait session
  • A CD of all high res images with a print release
  • Online gallery to share photos with loved ones
  • Slideshow of select images set to music
  • A $50 print credit for professional prints
Last day to send your email is 1/31/09. Blog comments get you brownie points!

I’m not one for resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in them. Well okay, I don’t believe in them. I prefer to call them projects. Or goals. This is because I seem to do better at tackling projects. And projects typically have deadlines. So I guess it’s just a little self-trickery because I’m the type of cat that is results driven. Bare with me.

Anywho, one of my goals for this year is the same as for 2008 – except I’ve resolved decided to kick it up a notch. Said goal is to be more giving and so, to that end, I am awarding one lucky couple with a completely FREE wedding booking in 2009.

I have to say that it wasn’t easy to pick the winners. I had several heart-felt and well written emails from folks who entered December’s contest. The entry requirements weren’t very difficult – just an email with info about their situation and a wedding taking place anywhere within 50 miles of downtown Houston. So when I say “lucky winner” I’m not talking about the great honor of having me as a photographer. I’m talking about using a sorting hat – yeah, like in Harry Potter, but not a dirty-tattered, talking one. Couldn’t find one of those.

So the lucky winners are…..drum roll please…….Crystal Ramirez & Richard Garivey!

I look forward to working with you both! Calendar is marked for August 1, 2009!

For me, life always comes back to paying it forward. I’ve blogged about this before. Earlier this year I ran my first marathon and donated to cancer research. Very often I have some kind of contest to give back to my supporters and spread a little love. There are always ways to make a difference and we each have the power to do this every day.

So, I was thinking about what type of contest I wanted to have this month. It’s been a tough decision because I really wanted to focus on something that made an BIG impact in someone’s life. Especially with all of the doom and gloom that permeates our news of late. I know there a lot of people suffering through a financial crisis that is unlike anything they’ve faced before. But surely, there is hope in the horizon for all of us because if there is one thing I’ve learned in my couple-plus decades here on earth is that there’s a positive outcome to be found in just about everything.

After scratching my head continuously these past two weeks, here’s what I’ve come up with:

I want to donate a wedding photography booking to one couple in need in 2009. “In need” means that they would not be able to afford me otherwise and that they’re not just looking to save some bucks for that well-coveted beef upgrade. Sure, saving money is great, but this is meant to go to someone who’s current options probably include buying disposable cameras for the guests or having Great Aunt Sue take the photos. No offense Aunt Sue, but you’d have more fun enjoying the wedding day anyway.

With that said, here are the contest rules:

  1. To enter, send me an email with your story (the why’s are important) and the date, time, and location of the wedding.
  2. Location must be within 30 miles of the downtown Houston area. Obviously, if you can afford a fancy venue you don’t need to be entering this contest.
  3. The wedding must be taking place in 2009.
  4. You can request this for yourself or for someone that you know, as long as either one of you qualifies for the “in need” part.
  5. Last day to send your emails is December 31, 2008 at 11:59 pm.
The chosen couple will receive a fully complimentary wedding photography package (a $1500 value) which includes the following:
  • Up to 6 hours of wedding day coverage
  • An on-line photo gallery to share with family & friends
  • An on-line slide show set to music (also compatible with Facebook)
  • A $150 print credit for any size prints (excluding canvas)
  • A DVD of all retouched, high res images with a print release
Here’s to hoping for a BIG impact! Best wishes and blessings for you all! – Patricia

So, you’ve heard about the contest change, eh? Here’s the scoop:

I’m going to be hosting all of my contests here on my blog from now on, instead of by newsletter. Every month there will be at least one contest. Some months there will be more…depending on my fancy. ;)

RULES? Just Four:

  1. Leave a comment on the blog. It can be on a past post or a current one. Each comment equals one entry. Oh yeah, and they’re cumulative. I’m going to randomly pick a comment-writer every time. The more you comment, the more chances you get.
  2. I’d like to see some sort of effort. In other words, you can’t just comment “hi” and have it count. “Nice photo,” “This post blows,” “Who’s Patricia?” — all valid comments.
  3. Anonymous comments don’t count. Please, please, please: help me identify you so if you win, you get the goods.
  4. Some contests may have a specific rule for entry (such as locals only), depending on the prize. These rules will always be clearly posted.

With that said, here’s the WINNER for the October Newsletter Contest:

GI+Jane+1 CONTEST RULES & October Winner Mom and Baby GI Jane won most original costume! What did they win, you ask?

They’re getting a free holiday portrait session with yours truly, complete with a CD of the images and 25 photo cards. Just in time for Christmas! Josie, I’ll be contacting you to set up your session. :)

Nobody entered the Ike story contest. So I’ll be using that free microdermabrasion session on myself! Yey! And :( That’s me frowning. But you knew that!

Recently, I came across an idea to add new readers to my monthly newsletter. Every month, I will raffle something for one lucky winner. The premise is simple: forward the newsletter to at least three people and get your name in the drawing. Every forward after the first three earns the participant an additional entry.

So…how do I keep track?? I use this nifty service called Constant Contact. This service not only helps to generate very slick looking newsletters and other marketing pieces for use with email, it also generates a whole lotta data that tells me if I’m spinning my wheels — or whatever is the correct euphemism that correlates to typing for no one else’s amusement but my own.

CC allows me to see how many “opens” my newsletter gets…as in, how many people actually take a gander. I can also see if it has been forwarded…though I cannot see to whom. And it gives folks the freedom to unsubscribe easily and without any effort from my part to wade through contact lists and delete.

My last send-out was 4 days ago…and you’d think that with the promise of a shiny-new iPod shuffle I’d get lots of forwards. Alas, the odds of winning are VERY good at this point because only a handful of my readers have forwarded the thing along.

I’m guessing that the consensus must be that there’s a catch to my offer. At least I hope so…because otherwise I’m forced to contend with the thought that my newsletter is a load poppycock. :(

So, in the hopes of putting my reader’s at ease, I thought that it may be a good idea to dispel any misgivings. Though I don’t know that these are accurate, for I can only imagine myself in the seat of the reader, I’ve come up with some Q and A’s below. For the sake of sanity, that’s what I’m calling it. Because otherwise, it’s just me talking to, and actually answering, myself…for all of cyberspace history!

1. If I forward the newsletter, my friends are going to start getting unsolicited email…like those annoying ones I get with threats of pending doom if I don’t send to 10 more people in the next 5 minutes. Why would I do that?
  • I’d like forwards to be thoughtful. If you have a friend that could use the information, by all means, send it along. I cannot see their email address, all I can see is that you sent it. I would never send unsolicited mail to anybody…I hate chain letters and junk mail as much as the next guy — or girl.

2. So why do you want me to forward the email, then?

  • If it’s sent to someone who finds it useful, my hope is that they will press the button to subscribe. And then next month, they can forward to their friends, and so on.

3. Why do I have to use the “forward” button on the newsletter instead of just hitting forward on my email server?

  • This magic button is how I can see that you’ve shared it with someone else. If you just forward on your own, I can’t keep track and put you in the drawing. So, this is me making sure you get what I promised you.

4. Why do you care if more people subscribe?

  • I hope that the more people that read it, the more friends I will make. I like friends. :) But also, it stands to reason that the more friends I have the more chances Plum Tree will have to provide a service when any one of those friends should need it.

5. Why give away free stuff and not just ask to forward?

  • I guess because I know that it takes effort, and I believe effort should be rewarded. I could spend the money sending out postcards to people in selective zip codes or some other advertising vehicle of that nature, but I’m a huge believer in grassroots marketing. I truly do like having clients who also see me as an ally, if not also a friend.

So, you see, it’s not a ploy or an underhanded tactic. It’s just me, making friends and hoping that I can write for more and more folks who may find my witty humor amusing. ;)

End of monologue.

Your iPod Awaits.

ipod shuffle%5B1%5D So, Maybe Somethin Smells Fishy...