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How to Sell Your Nature Photography

“Make money doing what you love by selling greeting cards of your photography.”

Taking photos of nature & wildlife is a passion for many lovers of the great outdoors. Nature photographers spend hours outside at parks composing beautifully proportioned images of landscapes or the vivid and crisply detailed macro shot of a single flower. Some are fortunate enough to work for National Geographic or have thriving careers in the photography industry. However, for many others photography is just a hobby. How do you take your hobby to the next level and make an income stream from it? An easy way to get started is by selling photo cards. It’s easier than you think, and we’ll show you how.

Nature Photo Cards

Examples of nature photo cards. Blank greeting cards with a "picture frame" style front cover make it easy to insert your own photographs.

How To Make Nature Photo Cards

  • Select Your Best Photos & Make Prints – Take inventory of your photo collection and narrow it down to just a few of your strongest images. Make prints (usually 4″ x 6″) of these photos.
  • Assemble The Cards – With pocket-style photo insert cards, the front cover has a window opening to slide your photo in. This makes it easy to create instant photo greeting cards, and if you change your mind, you can remove the photo without damaging the image or card.
  • Add Your Personal Touch – Don’t forget to include your name, web address and the title of your photo and location. Some photographers like to handwrite this on the window border or back of the card, some create printed labels to stick on the back while others choose to have us foil stamp their cards for a truly professional look.
  • Consider Product Packaging – While not necessary, it is a good idea to insert your cards into a clear cellophane sleeve to protect it from fingerprints & moisture.

Where To Sell Your Nature Photo Cards

  • Parks & Forests – A great place to sell photo cards is within gift shops at parks & tourist areas. Many larger parks & wildlife areas have gift shops on site to sell souvenir pins, walking stick medallions, iron-on patches, ornaments, commemorative pins and other souvenir items. Greeting cards of photographs taken at the park are the perfect compliment to these other items! Visitors love to take home visual reminders of places they’ve been.
  • Local History Museums – An often overlooked place is your local history museum. People visit museums to learn more about specific regions, so selling cards featuring photos of that area is a natural fit.
  • Tourist Areas – There is great opportunity to sell your photographs to tourists visiting your area. Take photos of the natural surroundings in town, perhaps even expand into local architecture & landmark photography. We’ve seen photo cards at coffee houses, fudge shops, ice cream parlors, apple and pumpkin farms & general gift shops. Photo cards also do great when merchandised at the front counter of locally owned restaurants that require you to pay at the cash register.
  • Farmer’s Markets – Setting up a booth in a farmer’s market is a great way to meet new people, sell your cards & get fresh air all at the same time. If running your own booth is too much work or money, see if another vendor would be willing to partner with you. For instance, selling cards at a booth that also sells fresh cut flowers or handmade gifts is a smart idea.
  • Etsy.comEtsy offers photographers a place to easily sell their photo cards and reach a wide audience. Try setting up your own Etsy shop and promote it with your blog, website or Facebook page.

Other Tips

  • Display Your Goods – For offline (in-store) sales, in most cases you’ll be responsible for your own card display. This can be as simple as a basket filled with your cards or a bigger, eye-catching wire greeting card display rack.
  • Welcome & Inform With Signage – Try creating a sign with the name of your photography business, price and a short bio. Make it personable by including a photo of yourself. Any little bit of information can help make a connection between you & the customer. If selling to a local market or if your work has been acknowledged, make that a selling point. Example: “Martha Williamson – Award Winning Local Photographer”
  • Take Photos of Your Cards – For selling online, you’ll need crisp & attractive photos of your cards. Set aside an afternoon to do a product photo shoot. Optimize your images in Photoshop using the “Save for web” feature to create quick-loading optimized images.
  • Determine Your Selling Price – Do other photographers in your area also sell cards? Do some research and find out what they are charging and price yours accordingly. Generally speaking, you can easily sell cards in most markets at a price point between $6-$9 per card. Anything over $10, and people are less likely to buy. Buying your insert frame cards & prints in bulk can help cut costs and keep more money in your pocket.
  • Think Seasonal – In most parts of the world, nature changes with each season. Varying your photo card selection by season will keep your work fresh & current. Don’t forget the time of year people send the most cards – Christmas! Create seasonal winter & holiday theme cards and make these available starting in early November.
  • Be Patient & Positive – Like with any new adventure, results can take time. Don’t become frustrated if your cards don’t sell right away, give it time. If your cards still are not selling, evaluate your photo choices, selling location & marketing efforts. Make adjustments & keep a positive attitude!

Selling photo art greeting cards is a great way to make extra money, express your creativity & gain exposure of your photography.

Related: Don’t forget that June 15th is Nature Photography Day!

Do you have any photo card selling tips or ideas? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below!

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What is a Beveled Edge?

“Cardboard photo frames & mats cut with a beveled edge add a polished look to photographs.”

Last month we defined a deckle edge, describing the difference between natural & machine-cut. Today we write about the beveled edge, another specialty edge treatment that customers often ask about. Common with mirrors, cabinets, tile & countertops, you’ll also see the phrase beveled edge to describe a characteristic of paper, most commonly mat board used with photo framing.

Bevel Edge Photo Frame

A bevel cut on the inside edge of a mat board photo frame.

Any edge cut at less than 90° degrees can be called a beveled edge, however in order to create a bevel cut the paper needs to be fairly thick to cut it on a slant. A thin piece of notebook paper would not be able to produce this look. Within the realm of paper products, mat board (the thick paper or cardstock frame that surrounds a photo) & corrugated cardboard are the two main types of paper that are thick enough to produce a bevel cut. Our beveled mat easel frames are a great example of a product that uses this cut.

Beveled edges are a highly desirable feature for picture frame mats, as it gives a polished and finished look to photos. Since the slanted cut edge surrounds the image, it draws your eyes towards the photo. It is this subtle detail that really accentuates framed photographs.

Simply put, paper that has a beveled edge is not cut at a 90° right angle.

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What is a Deckle Edge?

“A deckle edge is the name given to the irregular hand-torn appearance on the edge of a paper.”

Deckle Edge Paper

Closeup of the deckle edge detail on the corner of a white portrait folder.

The name “deckle” comes from a tool called a deckle, which is a wooden frame used in the process of papermaking. With handmade paper, as the wet pulp dries it seeps between the deckle and the mould. During this process there is some run-off which gradually thins at the edges resulting in irregular edging.

It is important to note that deckle edges are not perfectly straight like most papers we are accustomed to. Some would describe them as being rough, ragged, raw, frayed or uneven in nature. Depending on if the effect is a natural result of papermaking, or  if it is artificially produced with a machine, there can be some variation in the degree of unevenness.

With handmade art paper, the deckled edges tend to be a soft, feathery edge that gradually becomes thinner at the end. Since it is softer & thinner, it is also more delicate. This is common with books, scrapbooking & watercolor papers.

Many wedding invitations, stationery, greeting cards, cardstock & higher end paper products also have a deckled edge. These often have what is called a faux deckle edge, where a machine cuts the edge of the paper to create a ragged (somewhat rippled) decorative edging for ornamental effect. Since these edges are cut rather than created naturally, they tend to be stronger.

Several of our products feature a deckle edge including our Contemporary Portrait Folders & Classic Double View Portrait Folders. Since the edges of our folders are machine cut with a special deckle die, they are quite sturdy and suitable for commercial use for portrait, school & wedding photographers. Deckle edge folders also work well for upscale event photography, for photo giveaways at galas, fundraisers, cruises, restaurants or any event that wishes to have a unique formal look for their folders.

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Father’s Day Personalized Photo Gift Ideas

“Create a lasting memory this Father’s Day with one of these Dad-approved photo gift ideas.”

Photo gifts are not just for women! The key when selecting a personalized photo gift for Dad is to keep his personal interests in mind when selecting which photograph to use. While photo gifts with pictures of friends & family are always popular, think outside of the box and use a photo of his car, truck, boat or motorcycle!

Take a photo of Dad's car or truck and make a personalized beach towel!

Since Father’s Day is in summer, a photo beach towel is a practical & timely gift. At the pool or beach, a photo towel will surely strike up conversation and is a great way to show off his car. Even if Dad is not a beachgoer, a towel is a useful item to keep in the car or truck to protect his seats or to use for an afternoon on the boat, camping trip or hike.

Use your favorite photo of your Father for a unique photo tile.

Photo tiles are an alternative to traditional picture frames. The photo is printed directly on a ceramic tile and coated with a gloss finish to protect it for years to come. The tiles come with their own wooden stand to display on a table or desk. You can make a tile with any photo!

Harley Davidson Photo Blanket

A woven blanket with a photo of Dad's bike makes a cherished & useful gift.

Does Dad have a “man cave”? Blankets are useful all year long. Even in the hot dog days of summer, a nice photo blanket is a great accessory simply draped over a couch in his den. We’ve even seen these photo blankets hung on the wall as a tapestry! A custom blanket with a photo of his motorcycle is a unique work of art that will be appreciated by any biker.

If your Dad is not into cars or motorcycles, think about other hobbies that he enjoys and use photos of that instead. Every Father is unique and a personalized photo gift is the perfect way to celebrate that. Father’s Day is the 3rd Sunday of June, so don’t wait until it is too late to start thinking about gifts!

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Celebrate Nature Photography Day

“Take your camera outdoors and capture mother on June 15th for Nature Photography Day.”

Nature Photography Day first appeared in 2006 and has since become an annual celebration of nature photographers across the globe. According to PMA Newsline, the The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) designated June 15th as Nature Photography Day, a day to explore the natural world with your camera.

Nature Photography Day

Learn

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a great list of nature & wildlife photography tips which covers topics like insects, flowers, movement & night photo tips.

Explore

Discover nature on foot or by bicycle and set aside some time this June 15th to go on an exploratory hike or bike ride and stop to notice your surroundings. If you are stuck working all day, pack a lunch to-go and take a walk outside. Raining? Don’t worry, bring an umbrella! Don’t have a sitter for the kids? No problem, bring them along!

Share

Share your photographs with others! There is a public Flickr group where members can post photos that are taken on Nature Photography Day and time-stamped June 15.

If you are a member of the NANPA or thinking of becoming one, check out their Nature Photography Day event for members. Photos will be published in their newsletter Ripples and in an album on their Facebook page.

Inspire

Your photos inspire others. Use your photographs to encourage others to think about the affect that humans and development have on nature. Nature photography has the power to spark conservation efforts and rekindle an appreciation for our earth.

 

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Create a Candy Buffet in 5 Easy Steps

“Creating a DIY self-serve candy station at your wedding reception party is an easy & creative alternative to traditional candy wedding favors.”

Jordan almonds wrapped in organza or tulle & tied with ribbon have long been the traditional wedding favor choice for many brides & grooms. TheKnot.com explains the cultural significance for these sugarcoated candies. While this tradition will always be popular, wedding candy buffet bars are becoming the colorful, interactive & completely customizable candy favor choice for many brides.

Creating your own candy table at your wedding is easy & affordable, and requires only a few supplies. From the candy buffet jars to the favor bags to the tasty candy itself, we outline the 5 steps it takes to create your own colorful and personalized candy bar dream.

Step 1 – Choose Your Candy & Colors

This is the most fun part! First think about what colors you want to have. Usually a bride chooses colors that match the rest of her wedding. Jelly beans & M&M’s both come in a rainbow of colors. Don’t forget licorice, gum drops, chocolates, gummy bears & taffy which come in many flavors. Online retailers organize their candy by color making it easy to find choices that will work with your wedding colors.

Step 2 – Buy Glass Jars & Candy Scoops

Big glass jars work best to show off your colorful candy. Similar to the jars used at old-fashioned bulk candy stores, these often have removable lids to keep the candy fresh, although you may want to remove and store the lids right before the guests start to fill their bags up! Glass flower vases & trifle bowls also work nicely. Don’t forget the scoops (or tongs, depending on what kind of candy it is), they discourage guests from dipping their hands directly into the jars. Use one scoop per candy jar.

Step 3 – Hand Write Labels

Handwritten labels are elegant and help identify what is inside the jars. Choose plain labels or ones with a pretty border that ties in with your wedding theme. If you have messy handwriting, go ahead and print labels on your home inkjet printer or ask a friend to write them for you.

Step 4 – Buy Favor Bags

Just like clear glass jars work best for displaying the candy, clear cello bags work best for filling. If you’d like bags with extra detail, white striped candy bags or white lace cello bags are subtle & elegant for weddings but still let the candy show through. Don’t forget twist ties or pre-cut ribbon so guests can tie their goodie bags shut!

Step 5 – Set Up Your Candy Bar Buffet

Now that you have your candy fill, labeled jars, scoops & bags, you are ready to set everything up! Cover your candy table with a table cloth and add bunting to the front of the table, if desired. A vase of flowers also looks nice amongst the jars of delicious sweets.

On your big day, your guests will love filling their bags with their favorite candy, and you’ll love knowing how easy it was to create!

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Graduation Announcement Wording

“Find the graduation announcement wording that is right for you. Here are some ideas on what to write in your graduation announcements & invitations.”

Example of wording for graduation announcements

Dual-purpose, cards can serve as both announcement and invitation.

Graduating from high school or college is a special event! All that hard work at school is quite an achievement, and one to be proud of. Paper graduation announcements are an elegant way to announce and share this achievement with friends & family. Not sure what to write? When creating your grad announcement cards, while the wording is entirely up to you, there are a few essential pieces of information you should include.

Basic Announcements

Announcements don’t have to be fancy or overly complicated. If your belief is “less is more” and you would prefer a simple look, just three pieces of information are needed.

  • Graduate’s Name
  • School’s Name
  • Graduating Year

An example wording for your basic announcement text:

Kate Monahan
East High School
Class of 2012

Formal Announcements

Reading more like a wedding invitation, a formal announcement has a sophisticated look and is a good choice for proud parents wishing to send out the announcements to their relatives & friends.

  • Names of Parents or Guardians
  • Graduate’s Full Name
  • School’s Name
  • Graduating Year
  • Graduate’s Major (optional)
  • Honors & Awards (optional)

A sample of a formal graduation announcement text:

Mr. & Mrs. Paul Monahan
Announce the graduation of their daughter
Katherine Anne Monahan
from East High School
On Saturday June 3rd 2012

Story Announcements

Sometimes graduates want to share more than just their name, school & class year. Feel free to add additional information that you would like to share with everyone. Include a short paragraph on future plans after college, favorite school memory, or even an inspirational quote. Sharing these details creates a more personal card and lets family & friends know what you are up to after graduation.

  • Names of Parents or Guardians (optional)
  • Graduate’s Name (full name optional)
  • School’s Name
  • Graduating Year
  • Graduate’s Major (optional)
  • Honors & Awards (optional)
  • Future Plans
  • Quote

Mr. & Mrs. Paul Monahan
Are proud to announce the graduation of
Katherine Anne Monahan
from East High School
Class of 2012

Kate is attending Columbia College in Chicago this fall where she will study journalism.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Invitation Announcements

Popular with high school graduations, announcements can also double as party invitations. Use this opportunity to invite people to an open house or celebration in honor of the grad.

  • Graduate’s Name (full name optional)
  • School’s Name
  • Graduating Year
  • Graduation Date
  • Party Address
  • RSVP Details (optional)

Suggestion for grad party invitation wording:

Class of 2012
Celebrate Kate Monahan’s Graduation
from East High School
May 12th @ 4pm at the
Monahan’s Home
1200 West Palm Court
Sarosta, FL 60615

Sending grad announcements is appropriate for ALL graduations including kindergarten, montessori, junior high/middle school, high school, community college, state university & nursing school. All the hard work and time pursuing your education is a reason to share your accomplishment with others by sending an announcement.

Have you written a unique graduation announcement that you’d like to share? Tell us your idea in the comments below.

Additional Resources: Photo Graduation Announcements & Graduation Quote Ideas.

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How To Have A Successful Easter Bunny Event

“Ideas and tips for your Easter Bunny photo events.”

Thinking of having a picture with the Easter Bunny event this year? Seasonal events are a great way to connect with the community and bring people into your business, raise awareness for a cause and create goodwill in the community. However, a great event comes from great planning. This article will help you plan and organize a successful event this Easter season.

Easter Bunny Photo Supplies

From top left: Garden Arch Prop, White Wicker Chair from Pier 1 Imports, Happy Easter Banner on Etsy, Easter Bunny Imprinted Photo Event Folder from Studio Style (links to products at bottom of post)

The Bunny

This is a given! Make sure that the Easter Bunny can attend your event and pose for pictures with the kids. The Easter Bunny is very busy this time of year, so make sure to plan ahead! Many entertainment companies (think clown & magician businesses) have a bunny that can pose for pictures, walk around and work the crowd, pass out candy, entertain or even perform magic and other tricks. Don’t forget you could always buy or rent a bunny costume.

If the “real” bunny is unavailable, and a costume is out of your budget, try a jumbo inflatable bunny or giant plush rabbit. Cardboard cutouts can also work!

The Venue

Most malls host their own annual Easter Bunny events, but there are a lot of other great places to have an event. Have the Easter bunny visit your store, anywhere from small boutiques to large grocery store chains. How about a breakfast (or brunch) with the Easter Bunny at a restaurant or country club? A spring festival, parade or egg hunt? How about inviting the Easter Bunny to a local 5k race or other sporting event?  Try hosting a “Take your pet’s photo with the Easter Bunny” event at a pet store, animal shelter, grooming salon or dog rescue. Children’s hospitals are a great place to have the Easter Bunny stop in for photos & a visit. The zoo is also a great location and your guests will spend the whole day there. Park districts & chamber or commerces love to plan events around this holiday. We’ve even seen Easter events on trains and cruise ships!

There are a lot of opportunities for Easter picture events that go beyond the mall.

The Right Props

The most basic prop you’ll need is a sturdy place for the Easter Bunny & visitors to sit. Wicker chairs or benches are the most popular type of seating for Easter Bunny photos. White is a classic choice, but natural wood or black are more modern choices that are becoming popular.

For an indoor event (such as a mall or restaurant) a backdrop is needed to block out any distractions like store fronts or people walking by.

Outdoor events (like a community event at the park) do not need artificial backdrops. Use the outdoors to your advantage and pick a photo location that has trees, shrubs or flowers in the background. In an urban area (or an area that does not have a lot of greenery this time of year) try setting the scene against the brick wall of a building or other element that will make an interesting background.

While a chair and background are the two primary elements of an Easter photo shoot, there are lots of other props you can use. Try one or several of the following:

  • Oversized Easter Basket Filled With Eggs
  • Gazebo or Garden Arch (you can find them at a local wedding rental company)
  • Artificial or Real Floral Garland
  • Easter Banners or Flags
  • Inflatable Easter Eggs or Carrots
  • Potted Tulips, Daffodils or Other Spring Bulbs
  • Forsythia or Pussywillow Branches
  • Chalkboard With The Words “Happy Easter!” or “Easter Greetings!”
  • White Picket Fence

Make a trip to your local craft & party stores and see what is available. Look to nature and visit a local garden center or florist, or even your own backyard for branches and flowers to use at your event. Party rental supply companies & even the home improvement store have options for larger props, tables & seating. With a little creativity you can even make your own unique spring & Easter themed accessories.

The Photographer

Book a photographer in advance to ensure that you’ll have someone taking pictures on the day of your event. Take in consideration the photographer’s background. A photographer that specializes in event photography or kids & families is going to be more qualified than someone who shoots wildlife photography.

The Giveaways

Give your guests something to remember their visit by. The most obvious giveaway would be a photo. Due to the nature of these events, the ability to print photos on site is necessary. If you do not have access to a on site printer, then using an instant camera is an old fashioned alternative that is still used quite often. Your budget and equipment will dictate this decision..

You’ll want to have a cheap paper picture frame to transport the photo home in. An Easter photo folder or cardboard photo frame will protect the photo from becoming bent or damaged.

Most paper frames can be customized with your logo, event name or other information specifically for you. This turns a simple photo souvenir frame into a promotional marketing piece! It’s a great way to have people remember your company or event.

Sometimes the event photographer will supply the frames at an additional cost. Other times the event coordinator or staff will order them. Communicate and see who will be ordering the photo holders and make sure you’ll have enough for your event, in the correct size you’ll need. Easter picture holders are most commonly available for Polaroid & 4″ x 6″ pictures, but custom ones can be made for other sizes.

Some other great souvenir ideas would be coloring pages with crayons, fuzzy bunny ears, candy, snacks or stickers. Including a coupon for your business, or a related business, is a great incentive for repeat business.

The Promotion

Advertise! Make sure the public knows about your event. Flyers, blog posts, Facebook updates & Twitter are all great ways to get your message out about your event.

Easter Bunny Events on Twitter

Easter Bunny Events on Twitter

Try tying a promotion in with your event. If you are a restaurant, offer a special dining offer (like a unique Easter theme menu). If you are a store, offer a discount (try 20%) for that day only. Adding an extra incentive will get more people in your door and excited about the event.

Another option would be to donate all, or a portion, of the proceeds to charity. Give people a REASON to participate in your event.

With the right planning, a Visit with the Easter Bunny event can become a fun yearly tradition that will build awareness, bring profit & be a positive spring activity for your community.

Products featured in this post: Garden Arch Portable Prop from B&C Mortensen, White Wicker Chair from Pier 1 Imports, Happy Easter Garland from bekahjennings on Etsy, Happy Easter Photo Event Folder from Studio Style.

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New Products at WPPI 2011 Las Vegas

“The WPPI trade show floor holds a wealth of knowledge & opportunity, not just for wedding & portrait photographers, but for all photographers.”

2011 WPPI Las Vegas

We’re wrapping things up here at our last day of WPPI 2011 in Las Vegas, the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Show at the MGM Grand. This marks our third year of attending this great show and it is always a pleasure to meet with photographers new & old to learn about their photography needs and see how the business is growing. One of the best things is to hear stories of how photographers have used our products for their customers’ photos, and to get feedback. We also love to meet with brand new photogs and event planners and hear about their upcoming projects & events.

One of our signature products, imprinted portrait folders, were a popular choice with photographers looking to have a polished portrait folder imprinted with their studio name on the front. In addition to imprinted folders, we showed cardboard photo frames, full-color printed photo event folders, certificate frames, presentation folders and our photo cards, including our newest addition, the Wave Card.

Wedding Save The Date Wave Cards

New Product from StudioStyle.com - Wedding Save The Date & Thank You 3-D Wave Photo Cards

These cards can be customized with engagement or wedding pictures, personalized dates & text. They fold flat like a tri-fold card for mailing, and with a few cleverly placed tabs they are transformed into three-dimensional sculpture cards. (Learn more about Wave Cards on Facebook.)

It’s been a great week at the WPPI trade show, with lots of vendors showing some really great products. We’re proud to be part of the photography community.

Were you at WPPI this year? If so, what were the highlights for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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Paper Photo Frames For Valentine’s Day Events

“Send guests home with a photo memento of their special Valentine’s Day at your restaurant, cruise ship, gala, party or event.”

With Valentine’s Day just a month away, it’s time to make final plans for your event. Whether you are planning a romantic valentines dinner at your restuarant, a special hotel weekend package or taking your event to the ocean, river or lake for a valentine dinner cruise, the right planning will make your valentine’s event one that couples will want to return to year after year.
Valentine Photo Folders

Full-color printed photo folders for handing out pictures at your Valentine's Day event. These picture jackets can be printed with your logo, photos or artwork to create a specially designed frame that reflects YOUR business or event. It's a specially branded photo memento for your guests!

Event photography is often a part of special events and are a terrific way for your guests to leave with something tangible to remember their experience. All you need are a photographer, on-site printer or instant film camera and photo event folders.

Sell or give away the photos at the end of the event. It can be a money-making opportunity, or a complimentary gift to say thanks.

Here are a few different types of Valentine’s Day events happening across the country next month.

On The Water
From romantic night cruises to family brunches, turning “love boats” are a great way to celebrate. Here are some options across the country.
On The Dance Floor
Everyone loves a party, and dancing always livens up the atmosphere. Below are a few examples of Valentine’s dance events.
Charitable Events With Heart
Some organizations & charities hold fundraising events Valentine’s Day. Here are a few that focus on a cause.

Whatever type of event you are planning this Valentine’s Day, event photography is an added extra that will sweeten your celebration.

Products featured in this post Custom Event Folders for 4″ x 6″ or 5″ x 7″ photos & Happy Valentine’s Day Red Heart Foil Imprinted Photo Folders for 4″ x 6″ pictures.