Task #11: Don't Stop, Thinking About Tomorrow

Are we really nearing the end? The final countdown? We've had so much fun haven't we! I have received countless emails from so many of you (some not even playing 'the game'!) who have mentioned how much you are enjoying participating & watching. I love hearing that! It's been a lot of fun for everyone!

Well the grand finale is near ... the last task is here ... and we need YOUR help!

Here are "The Tasks" the participants have completed ... along with their last task of the day - Task #11:

  1. Post about this game/giveaway in your status update on Facebook (or Twitter) & invite your friends to become friends & fans of MachC Photography! You’ll need their support now & in the new year!
  2. Send me a video, snapshot or blog post of you & your crew saying “Happy New Year!” ~ show us how you rang in 2011!
  3. SHOW ME a snapshot of your New Year’s Resolution!
  4. SHOW ME where you’d like to have your photo session. (real or dream location)
  5. SHOW ME your favorite room in your house … and tell me WHY (with a Jan 2011 sign in the shot)
  6. Take a picture of you/your kids/your dog/your truck/your family in front of ANY temp sign in town!
  7. Task #7 simply comes from the heart & where it leads you: donate to a local charity.
  8. Write a Testimonial OR Write a “Why I want/need a MachC Photography Photo Session”
  9. Today, I challenge you to bake sweets for your neighbor & deliver them.
  10. Grab your favorite children’s book. Give me a self-portrait of YOU & YOUR KIDS reading your book.  Post to the MachC Fan Page!
  11. Today's Task - voting is revealed & begins! Anyone and everyone can VOTE ONCE for their favorite contestant & entry!

The Contestants

Listed below are all 11 contestants who completed all the tasks listed above (we started with about 15!). You will see them "represented" by Tasks #10 and #8. Although part of the requirements were that anything they shared could be shared on the blog, none of the contestants knew that it was these two specific tasks that would be displayed for the voting time frame.

I hope you will read each one and pick your favorite as determined by you.

Voting will end Thursday at 9pm AKST. The WINNER will be announced on Friday, January 14th!

Please CLICK on the LOVE IT button underneath your favorite contestant/the person you are voting for. You may only vote once - but you are welcome to ask others to stop by & cast their vote as well!

And here are those who have made it through all 10 Tasks onto the voting round! Good Luck!

Robyn & her MachC testimonial

Wishing for Words ... Task #8

To begin with I am a mother and a math teacher. I love math and teaching: the structure, the correct answers, the logical thinking, the variety of students, the patience that it takes to explain a concept just right. But that is not what my life as a mother has been like. Motherhood has been F.U.L.L. of moments where I was unsure about what I was doing and whether or not I was doing it right. On the flip side the rewards have been so rich, tender, silly and special. While as a teacher I will always have another class full of extraordinary students to teach, to watch grow and to bump into along lifes road, I will not have another son or daughter whose hand I can hold, whose pain I can kiss away or whose chubby arms will wrap around my neck. There are so many little moments that I want to hold tight to when I lead them out into the world and watch them take-off and fly. While I can not preserve the smell of my baby fresh from the bath, the feel of a fevered child cuddled to my chest, or so many of the day-to-day moments that make my life perfect, I can always bring them back for a moment with a photo. This is incredible important to me.

My task was to write a testimonial about MachC Photography and this sounds like it is all about me, my family, my kids and motherhood ... but that is what Chelsey does. She steps into your life for a few hours to capture who you, your family and your children are.

Walking through the door she is polite, professional, full of fresh ideas, yet ready to listen, and patient with all of the little ups and downs that young children present. Before she comes she asks you to fill out a survey about what you want to get out of the session, take the time to do it!! She takes the time to read it and comes prepared to photograph your heart and soul. At the same time, YOU need to listen to HER. Experience is a wonderful guide and she won't lead you astray.

After several hours spent in fun with your family, she will walk away smiling and you can tell that she is already searching her mind's eye for her favorite photo from the session and what she is going to do to arrange them in a way that will make you smile, laugh and cry. Blog-stalker is what my husband calls me as I anxiously await the sneak-peeks. When my gallery comes up I get up EARLY, just so I can sit and look at them all by myself and savor being the second person to see them all. I spend hours trying to narrow down which photos I just can't leave out and wind up putting into the hands of my wise husband ... who tells me that a few extras never hurt.

Trying to describe my favorites would be silly since you can see them for yourself and they tell so much more than I ever could. But I do want to mention the 16X24 canvas that I **won** last year. If it had been a picture of both my children I won't have hesitated to hang it front and center in the living room and force everyone who entered to admire it, but it is a photo of myself with my nine-day-old daughter lying on my chest. People can be strange about photos of themselves and even though I liked the picture from the beginning it felt strange to have a life size version of myself on display, but I have come to LOVE it. Chelsey captured one of the most content, happy and perfect moments in my life - I was a mother for the second time and felt confident and delighted about the days to come.

Normally words escape me, they wind up feeling sappy, sarcastic or just wrong when I read them over, but I wanted Chelsey to know just how much happiness her talent has brought me. I will continue to have her take my family's pictures as long as she is in business.

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Cindy's entry on why

I so want a MachC Photography session for grandson's Koa and soon Eli. Ms Mach is able to capture the overwhelming love of her subjects on her photos, MachC Photography is Fairbanks own personal Ann Geddes.

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Jan's entry on why I want & need this photo session

I can see a couple of different scenarios if I were to win this contest.

The first is what I described to you before. I would love to have my picture taken while I was painting outdoors for promotional purposes. I would like these photos taken on our property in Salcha because it is a place near and dear to my heart. I love it out there. It makes my heart slow down just to see our view and to breathe the air and listen to the aspen leaves in the breeze. I never tire of watching the mountains. I am promoting my artwork more and more each year with the planned result being to paint full time and retire from the university. I love my job at the university but I love to paint more. I have lived with the dream of painting full time for most of my life and I look forward to making it happen. When it happens in a few more years, I will be using a portion of my time promoting my artwork. I will need professional photos of me for this part of my career. I would want to experiment with the lighting and do some 'artsy-fartsy' kind of shots too that would be good to use on book jackets, magazine articles etc.
The second scenario would be if I were to give this photo shoot to my daughter. I would love for you to shoot her, her husband Shane and their three beautiful babies. I am sure they would want to do this in Salcha too. They love that place as much as Paul and I do since Shane designed and built it for us. Why would I need pics of them? I'm a "Gamma", (named by my granddaughter). That says it all.
I guess there is also the third scenario if you would be willing to shoot Heidi H and Darcy's family together. Their kids love each other and I could see an awful lot of fun photos of them playing together if you were willing to tackle such a crazy large project. What fun that would be!
I have been impressed with your photography. You have a very good sense of composition and are sensitive to capturing emotion and the often hidden characteristics of people. Your work reflects a sensitivity to children and creative approaches to making them feel comfortable and capturing their personality.

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Susan's entry 'say it loud, say it proud'

Hello from the D' household! Well where to start? I guess with the obvious, why did I choose you? I was searching for a photographer to capture our family in the moment. The 2 local obvious choices and the other one that was suggested to me we not my style. I hate the whole overly controlled environment. I wanted life. The tears if they're there, the giggle if it comes, the tender looks that only people who love each other can give at any given moment with out even realizing it. In my quest for finding someone in this dry town I came across your work. There it was the spark of life that was missing from all the other sites. Your ability to capture family, is unsurpassed in this town. Every newborn shoot looks like a professional model, not like the baby next door on that stupid lifted dirty fuzzy blanket and one hand under the chin. Also it's easy to make a girl look fantastic, put a bow on her head and a tutu on her waist and your golden. But you are creative enough to have the boys shine as well.

When I contacted you about doing a shoot for my family I was amazed at how personable you were. Even on vacation you answered questions and continued to communicate with me. At the time I was not able to justify the amount for a newborn photo shoot. Trust me I tried. But I felt your prices were fair, your work justified the price that I was not able to spend. I was wanting a bentley on a pinto budget.

But, you did more for my family by being out there than you know. I have caught the photo bug. My Grandpa was a photographer, and my brother has some what followed in his footsteps. I am now looking at really learning what is involved in becoming a photographer myself. I know that I have mucho to learn. But I'm willing. I may never become the caliber that you are, because it is an artistic ability that you possess. I lack the ability to use that side of my brain. :)

So ultimately do I deserve to win? Probably not. In actuality even if I won the session I may not be able to get the family pictures done. You see I have psoriasis. This is something I don't share with many people. I do my very best to hide it from everyone. While pregnant there is a brief moment where all is well and then I have an explosion. It's an autoimmune disease that manifests on the skin. With my first born by this time I was cleared up and back to my normal (manageable) self . Not with Egan. I am at my worst and even have it on my face so there is no hiding.

The irony is that I gave all the Grandparents photo books for Christmas. It was then that I realized that there were very few of me because I was behind the camera. And when I say few I mean the last one other than the one of Egan and I at the hospital was at Easter. I finally want to get out in front of the camera and have no idea how long it's going to take. I can not take the"strong" medication because I am breast feeding. So in 6 months I'll be able to do something for me. Until then I will use the medication I have and battle with it. I really don't care if I win this or not. You were just what I needed to get up everyday. I had been pretty depressed and self depreciating. So thanks, and keep 'em coming! Children in need of my attention but i think you get the gist ;)

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Sarah B.'s entry on Why I want a photo session with MachC Photography

I want a photo session with MachC Photography because Jacobi is our last baby. Today is his 1st birthday and I want to encapsulate his babyness in a photo that I can have forever. I saw a photo story yesterday about a women’s birth story. Just from the photos I could almost smell that just born baby smell, mixed in with the hospital smell. . I want a professional photography session because they are more personal, more into the soul of the subject then the usual look at the camera and say 'cheese' photos. I want a photo that when you look at it you can almost feel like your there. From seeing your photos I know that you can capture that for us.

I also want a MachC Photography session so that both my husand and I can be in a picture with Jacobi. We have pictures of Daddy with Jacobi and a few of me with Jacobi but none with both of us and Jacobi.

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Terra's entry - "Why do I want to win?"

Because my kids are growing so fast!  And I would rather capture them outside, having fun and doing something they love than in a studio with forced smiles.
Because portraits are a luxury I don’t get to splurge on, except for in store studios, where they don’t really care to take the time to figure out what you really want.  And they don’t care if that is your child’s real smile or not! And they would rather text through your session than actually pay attention.  And they spend more time adding silly enhancements hoping you’ll spend more money than they actually do taking your pictures.
Because I think you do a great job of capturing that spark in a child’s eye.  And my kids have a lot of spark, and spunk, and fun.
Because Reighley would get a total kick out of having a real photo session!
Because I am a photo freak and love to be surrounded by pictures of my kids!
Because I love the color in your photos and would love to scrap them.
Because I am in love with the bath tub photo on your web page (though I don’t think either one of my kids would appreciate being shoved into said bathtub at current size!)  I appreciate the creativity you use in your shots.

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Sarah K's entry & thoughts on why she is hoping for a MachC Photography Photo Session

Chelsey,

I would like a session because I've tried everything else and it's not working.  After 3 years, my SLR camera still confuses me.  I have to use Auto most of the time because I can't get the settings right and Auto is more often than not my best bet.  The results of this are subpar.  I plan to take a course to help me but for now I have a master's degree to finish up and I'm not sure a course is going to be all that helpful anyway.  I have some [people] who like to photograph and tried them, but I didn't like their work.  My dad is sick so this fall I hired a custom photographer in [another state] to drive 90 miles each way take photos of our family and my parents on my parents' farm in the boondocks and spent more money than I care to mention and I wasn't happy with the results.

I have 2 bare walls that form a 270 degree viewing angle in the middle of my house, and they're reserved for something special, possibly you: canvas or metal, I don't know.  I haven't yet seen anything worthy of hanging on them.  But, I know I won't be disappointed in a MachC session.  Maybe I'm biased, but I have possibly the 2 prettiest boys in town.  I don't know where they got their looks, but it's not from us.  They are gorgeous and they are soon 1 and 3.  My husband likes the awful photos that WE take, you know the ones with the shadows behind or the red eyes or the incorrect lighting that I quickly put into books.  I like crystal clear outdoor photos of shining eyes and bright backdrops or the textures of timeless black and whites.

And, I like the way you run your business.  It is obvious that you care and that you put a ton of time into making your clients happy . . . for example, this contest.  It's obvious that you invest a ton of time into editing and choosing only the best photos to share, and I think that's much more important than quantity.

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Heidi's entry ~ a personal testimonial on working with MachC Photography

MachC Photography provides customer service far beyond the "normal".  The information she gathers prior to each session is critical to the success of each photograph taken~and it shows through her work.  The sessions always go smoothly with no pressure for the "perfect" shot. Each person's personality is captured whether in group photos or individual~truly amazing!  As a family of six it absolutely amazed me that MachC was able to capture us all at our "best".  Our six year old has Autism and I was extremely nervous about our first family session.  The on location shoot, Chelsey's relaxed nature and skills, and of course our beautiful daughter made our family session amazing while capturing her beauty. The delivery of your photos and gifts is a day you look forward too!

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Kristina on why she is hoping to win a MachC Photography Photo Session in Fairbanks, AK

So I have never had the privilege of a "MachC" photo shoot, not because I don't want to and although Hunter is one of the GREATEST joys in my life, when there are other things that need to ensure his health and well being, forking over that much $$ for pictures is just hard to swallow.

I would ♥ LOVE ♥ to have the chance to get my kid in front of Chelsey's camera, I have seen the pics she has done for others and they are amazing! I especially LOVE the newborn pics and would love to do a shoot like that. I am hoping that maybe one day it might actually work and I am blessed with the opportunity to call and say "Hey I need to schedule that session!" If that doesn't work out then, I am ALWAYS looking for awesome pics to send to Grammie and Papa who are nearly 4,000 miles away and don't get to see their only grandkid but maybe once a year. So I either NEED to kick your all's butts or win the lottery!

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Diana's entry *

Why I want a photo session with MachC Photography:

It would be amazing to capture my three year old daughter on camera. She is always moving, always changing.  And she's just so darn cute!

It would also be interesting to see how you work. How you set up, how you interact with the family, and how you interact with the child.  As a very *very* amateur photographer, I am always wanting to learn and better my skills and I think it would benefit me greatly to witness a pro photographer in action.

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