chantal stone photography: the blog

April 19, 2008

Project Childhood

When I was in high school, I was the one most likely to change the world. I started my school’s student chapter of Amnesty International, I was the youngest member of our small city’s only environmental group and I was a member of Greenpeace. I helped organize and attend Earth Day events. I was a member of the Model U.N. I always understood the importance of community service and knew that no matter what it was that I did in life as an adult, I wanted to somehow give back. Now that I’m a professional photographer, it’s still so important to me to use my talents to give back and uplift others. And I’m really excited about a new organization designed to do just that.

I recently learned about a new non-profit organization of professional photographers and students called Project Childhood. From the Project Childhood website:

Project Childhood, which corresponds with Child Abuse Prevention Month during the month of April, is about creating a unified front among professional photographers in order to accomplish one goal: TO CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD.

I found Project Childhood via Laura Novak’s blog, and I don’t think she’ll mind if I plagiarize what she wrote:

1. The overall goal is to provide a web gallery of photos that will ultimately seek to inspire others to see the beauty of childhood. It will be a site meant to CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD, a site filled with content by those who spend each day doing just that through the art of photography.

2. By offering a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it, each photographer is making a significant difference in that child’s life. If nothing else, those parents will have a picture on their wall of their child. A picture to celebrate, and that child will grow up knowing that someone took the time to make a difference..

3. By donating the session fee to a children’s charity of his or her choice, each photographer will be making a difference in the community and contributing to a cause that they feel warrants financial assistance.

During the month of April to celebrate Child Abuse Awareness they are having a great contest…

Working on the honor system, professional photographers from across the globe will be asked to complete the following:

1. Offer a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford one, and then provide the parents with a free portrait from the session that captures the essence of childhood.

2. Donate your session fee to a children’s charity of your choice.

3. Submit the photo to PROJECT CHILDHOOD along with a link to your charity.

4. The contest is limited to three entries per photographer, but each submission must be of a different child, and must be submitted under the following assumption: You have donated your session fee for each child to a children’s charity of your choice.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is May 7, 2008 at 11:59 PM PST.

WINNER(S): As of now, the best picture will awarded a free site from BluDomain, One TypePad blog for life, and one logo from Piece of Cake Designs. The judges? 32 high school photography and video production students. The winner, along with three runners-up, will also be showcased in a featured gallery section on the site with several images and an interview.

I definitely plan to participate, and if you’re a photographer I hope you do as well. All I need is a subject! So if you are located in the Greater Columbus area and you have a child or know of a child who’s family can not afford a personal, high-end photo shoot, then please contact me at chantal [at], with “Project Childhood” in the subject line. We only have a couple of weeks before the deadline, so we need to get busy!


March 25, 2008

Photography Book Now

Filed under: contests/competitions,For Photographers,Photography,SoFoBoMo — chantal @ 4:45 pm

My memory is failing me… I honestly can’t remember where I came across this, either through email, someone else’s blog, or something?  Anyway, since a lot of photographers are participating in SoFoBoMo, then you may want to check out Photography Book Now, a contest for self-published photo books.

There are two categories to enter: General Photography Book and Thematic Photography Book, with a grand prize of $25,000.  The fee to enter is $35 per book, and the deadline is July 14, 2008.

Good luck!

March 20, 2008

My SoFoBoMo Project: March 29-April 29, 2008

Filed under: For Photographers,Personal,Photography,SoFoBoMo — chantal @ 9:22 am

(What’s SoFoBoMo? Read here, #4)

Paul Butzi, Colin Jago, and perhaps a few other photographers participating in this project are beginning to post about their planning process, and how they plan to design their books. I’m aways impressed with such early planning. For me, it’s usually just a matter of waking up one morning and starting, very little planning at all. But this is an important project, and I feel it deserves more attention in the early stages.

I’m starting my project a couple of days earlier than the rules dictate, but for good reason. On April 29th my husband will be deploying with the Ohio Army National Guard for his 2nd tour to Iraq. My project will begin on March 29th, when I will be chronicling the final 30 days that my family is together before he leaves. This is a deeply personal subject for me– my family. But it’s also something I feel is so important for the public to see. We just passed the 5th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, and with all of the other things going on in the news these days, it seems little attention is given to how this war is actually affecting regular Americans on a day to day basis. Almost everyone knows someone who is or has been deployed to the Middle East, but how many are actually personally affected by this thing that’s taking place 7,000 miles away?

This project will serve two purposes: 1) to have a photographic document of the time my family enjoys together during this last month that we will all be together for a year; 2) to bring attention to the fact that this war affects real people, real American families, everyday in a very profound way. It won’t all be doom & gloom. We’re planning a road trip during April which is always fun with 3 kids, and is certain to provide plenty of great photo-ops.

For the actual book, I’m not sure which format I will use to do the design. I do plan to have the book printed, so right now I think I will likely use one of the same design and print services that I use when designing Wedding albums for my business: WillowBook. It’s certainly not the cheapest option out there, but the quality is excellent and I know the design interface, which is easy to use and navigate.

I will likely blog many of the photos during this month-long process. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll post them here to this blog, my other photoblog, or a separate blog dedicated to just the project. I kind of like the idea of having a page just for the project, so we’ll see. And of course, once the book design is finished, I’ll post the PDF for everyone to see.

March 18, 2008

Mid-Week Round-Up vol.5

Filed under: Books,For Photographers,Good Reading,internet,Photography,SoFoBoMo — chantal @ 9:15 am

1) Cool Websites… If you spend more than 5 minutes a day on the Internet, then chances are you’ve already heard of It’s a blog-phenomenon only a few months old. It’s funny, satirical, stereotypical, and irreverent… and if you don’t know it, come out from under your rock and check it out. But even more significant might be all of the stuff-people-like spin-offs that have grown from this popular website. It seems every demographic has felt the need to create their own lists of stuff they like. Sadly though, many seem to lack the dark humor that makes the original work. And yet, these blogs/lists seem to be popular among their own stereotypical group. A few you might want to take a peak at are StuffEducatedBlackPeopleLike, StuffCollegePeopleLike, StuffGhettoPeopleLike, and my personal favorite spin-off that’s relatively new but has lots of potential to be perfect: StuffGayGuysLike.

One note– if you scroll through the comments on these websites, you’ll notice how some people get angry and leave negative comments; some people are clearly offended. But it’s important to remember that these lists are supposed to be funny. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, than what?

2) Don’t Make This Mistake… I was browsing a photography message board (or something, I can’t even remember what site it was) the other day and someone made a post asking for lighting advice because he/she was asked to photograph a friend’s wedding but he/she had no clue how to handle the lighting. The first thing that popped in my mind was: why on earth would this person accept the job if he/she didn’t know what to do? I can understand a Bride looking to save a few bucks because Weddings are just so expensive. But really, there are so many areas to save money, the photography is one area where you don’t want to go thrifty. A Wedding is one of the most important days in new family’s life. And after the ceremony, after the food is eaten and the flowers are wilted… years later when you’re browsing your albums with your children, the only thing left are your pictures. Do you really want to leave these important memories to someone who’s photographic education is a one or two time post to a message board? This may not be true for every area of your Wedding planning, but when it comes to Wedding photography, you really do get what you pay for: Hire A Professional.

However… if you must let your cousin or uncle or friend —who just got a new DSLR for Christmas and now they want to be a professional photographer— actually shoot your wedding, then make sure they read this website: How To Shoot A Wedding. It’s a great article, written by wedding photographer Anthony Hands, that covers everything from making sure the wedding couple knows your experience level, to written agreements, to knowing the basic functions of your camera.

Wedding photography is fun, but it’s a skill and an art, and certainly not as easy as it looks.

3) Easter already? Is it me, or is March going by way too fast??

4) Photographer looking for a project? April is almost here, and that’s the month to start your SoFoBoMo project. What is it? It’s Solo Photo Book Month… a project where photographers will photograph and put together a solo book in a month. Paul Butzi started it all and discusses the project in length on his website, including a SoFoBoMo Q&A. And I think a SoFoBoMo-dedicated website is in the works. Colin Jago has a running list of participants on his blog.

The project is supposed to be made in a 30-day time period, during either April or May, depending on the photographer’s schedule. I’m bending the rules just a bit, and beginning my project on March 29th and ending on April 29th. (I’ll be discussing what my project is about in a later post.)

5) I can’t wait for Spring!! I’m tired of crappy weather…last week it was snow, this week it’s rain, and I even heard flurries in the forecast for tomorrow. UGH! I shot this sunrise in Chicago last Spring… I can’t wait for the warm Sun to make its appearance again…


**please note that in about 4 months, I’ll be complaining about the heat and saying how I can’t wait for Fall. I seriously need to live where it ranges from 6070° with an appropriate balance of sun and clouds.

6) What I’m Reading… There are a few books I’m reading right now. I try to limit my reading to one book at a time, but these are all great, and different from each other, and I can’t put them down:

Atonement, by Ian McEwan – It’s a crime that I haven’t seen the movie yet. But it comes out on DVD today and I’m going to Blockbuster this afternoon. However, I’m still going to read the book, since Ian McEwan is one of my favorite authors…his writing is like a total brain massage. So rich, so descriptive, I love all of his books.

The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore – I’ve said it before, I’m a political junkie…more specifically, I’m a presidential polotics junkie, and this a great book on the philosophy of Reason for the modern age. It helps to clarify how much of what goes on in Washington right now simply does NOT make sense.

A New Earth, by Eckhart Tole – You see people everywhere reading this book right now. It’s an Oprah book, and it’s great. I’m only at the beginning, but it’s all about reawakening and altering your thinking to change your life for the better.

January 26, 2008

Pro Photo Resource

I’ve been doing really well with posting daily for the past few days, so I didn’t want to let today go by without a blog post…

If you’re a photographer, then you’ll really enjoy checking out Pro Photo Resource.   Like the subtitle of the site says, its a site “for photographers, by photographers”.  There all sorts of articles with shooting tips, techniques, product and book reviews, and awesome advice from the pros.

The highlight of the current issue for me is Jasmine Star’s article.  You’ll have to register to read the full article, but it’s free and totally worth it!


January 21, 2008

One Great Project & One Great Offer

Filed under: For Photographers,News,Offers,Photography,Weddings — chantal @ 11:19 am

I came across two awesome ideas, neither of which are mine, but I just had to spread the word…

The Great Project:

Solo Photo Book Month…or SoFoBoMo

What is it? It’s Paul Butzi’s brilliant idea for photographers to assemble an entire book project within one month. Writers have NaNoWriMo, musicians have NaSoAlMo, and now we photographers have this. This is perfect for me too because I just had an idea for a month or so long photography project involving some stuff that will be happening with my family this Spring. I’m not ready to say what that is yet, but stayed tuned, I’ll be posting about it soon enough.

So if you’re a photographer brimming with project ideas, check out the SoFoBoMo post on Paul’s blog and sign up. The time period is roughly from April 1 to May 31, allowing wiggle room for people’s varying schedules. But the photos, text and editing must all be created within a 30-day time period. It’s looking like there will be a website for the project fairly soon…I’ll be sure to post the link.

The Great Offer:

Deborah Fraime, from “For You” Event Consulting & Catering Services is running a special for all 08/09 Brides: a 15% discount for all Wedding planning packages, including a FREE 2 hour planning session. Deb is a fabulous planner with whom I have had the pleasure to work, and she is also a beautiful person….and I can’t wait to work with her again soon!

Check out her website and give her a call. Planning a Wedding can be so stressful and overwhelming, when it should be such a happy time. Having a professional planner makes all the difference in the world!

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