Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet the Fowlers/Lorimers

I am really excited about this post.  It has been almost 1 year in the making, but it was time sensitive.  I didn't want to reveal any wedding gifts prior to the big day... So, here goes.

During 2010, I attended a total of six weddings.  In 2011, I have been to two weddings with one more to go.  For 2012, there is a tentative 2 already planned.  From this, I have learned one thing…Wedding gifts are expensive.  (Ok, I’ve also learned love is beautiful, love is kind, etc etc etc).  I also learned that buying presents off of their wedding registry can be really boring, especially if you procrastinate and there is nothing good left on their list (or the only things remaining are somewhere between $5-$7 or $100). 
Austin and I have friends who got married in September 2010.  They are wonderful people, and I wanted to make them something personalized—and also something that they would actually enjoy.  So Austin and I embarked on a project that was inspired by my brother’s high school photography project from about 3 years ago.  For his project, he had to take pictures of random objects that looked like letters.  He needed one picture per letter of the alphabet.  I wanted to take pictures in nature that spelled out there last name.  I’m sure you have seen similar art work, I think Target recently carried a similar piece of art that spelled out “believe” or “hope” or something like that.
A how-to on creating a personalized wedding present for a couple that you love.
Step One.
The first thing to do is decide on a location.  Yes, you could take all of the pictures at various places, but I wanted to gather them all from a meaningful location.  So I settled on a park in our college town.  This park was perfect for many, many reasons.
1.      Marissa and I went on a field trip to this park in our Earth Science class our freshman year of college.
2.      It’s located in our college town. 
3.      It’s a memorial park for veterans.  Mark is not a veteran, but his father is, and they did get married at the Air Force base, so it just seemed appropriate.
Step Two.
Take pictures!  At times, you have to get very, very, very creative.  Especially for the difficult letters.  Their last name is Fowler.  Basically, “o” was the only super easy one.  We found tons, and tons, and tons of usable o’s. "L" and "e" were also pretty simple to find.

“F”, “w”, and “r” were not quite so easy.  There were lots of tree branches that resembled an f, but there was not enough of a contrast against the background for it to really stand out.  

Step Three.

Upload pictures onto your computer.  Pick the best options.  I used Picasa 3 (it's free!) to crop photos (it's important to keep all the dimensions of all the individual photos the same to ensure that they will all be equal sizes in the final product), manipulate lighting, etc.  Then I used Microsoft Publisher (not so free...But I'm sure there are many, many other programs that would work) to put the letters in the right order. 


Step Four.

Look into printing options.  I used Snapfish.  But I found that my dimensions of the final product was not really available for a large sized print.  So I added a top and bottom border and "Welcome to the [Fowler] home".

Additionally, Austin and I were privileged to both be in our friends' wedding.  Jeff proposed to Katie at a park, so it seemed fitting to take all of the pictures at said park...The end result:


I personally really liked the goose head...  probably my favorite component of this one.  I'm still learning the fine art of balancing photos so that they work nicely together and are close to the same size.  So far, I'm fairly happy with the results.  It's a fun gift, personalized gift to make and one that I am happy to give.  For the Lorimer's, I gave them the choice to determine what they wanted to do with the print.  I gave them a 4 x 6 copy and told them I would order whatever they would want (poster, cards, etc...) 

I'd love to see if anyone has completed similar projects!!

1 comment:

  1. At first, I only saw the pictures and didn't know what to make of it. Then I read what it actually was and thought the idea was brilliant! Very cool project on this one with a beautiful meaning :)


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