Corona Days: 9 Things You Can Do While You’re Stuck At Home

Ok, it wasn’t a happy start for a new year, thanks to Coronavirus. We can’t do our jobs, we can’t socialize or travel. We are all confined to our homes.

As a photographer, I had to cancel all my newborn sessions and studio shoots. It hurts not being able to do your job especially if it is also your passion. Cancelling everything when you are planning various photography projects, getting new props and ideas. cry

Anyway, it is real and it is here. We have to accept the situation and start working on “how to make the best use of this depressed lockdown time and get things done. I want to share a bunch of ideas that I come up with and start doing myself during this dormant period.

 

1. Start your garden!

Spring is here, it’s a good time to start flower and garden veggie seeds indoors as well as garden/yard clean-up. We have planted some tomatoes, sunflowers, basil and daisies in tiny starter kits. Looking forward to transplanting them to the community garden a few blocks away. It’s also a healthy leisure activity for kids to visit the garden once in a while to water and weed.

 

 

 

2. Online learning

This is a great opportunity for online learning on subjects related to your job or any skill you want to learn. Calgary Public library provides its members with free access to Lynda.com with tons of learning videos with exercise files you can download from their site. Here is the link to access Lynda.com through your library membership: https://calgarylibrary.ca/read-learn-and-explore/digital-library/lynda-com/ I use Lynda though our Roku device from the comfort of our living room couch, sipping my tea. Learning has never been this easy! 🙂

Calgary public library has lots of other online resources for kids and adults, I highly recommend to check it out.

 

3. Crafts

Yes, crafts that you always wanted to do but didn’t have time. It can be anything from watercolors to knitting, from wood working to robotics. YouTube is a great resource where you can find very specific how-to videos on almost any subject.

The last few weeks, I have been knitting like crazy and making newborn hat-wrap sets and cute headbands which comes in handy to stock some newborn photography props. I can’t wait to try them on my littlest models!

 

4. Basement clean-up

This is a perfect time to get rid of the clutter and turn your basement into a space you can use for different purposes. People are still using Kijiji to sell stuff, practicing social distancing when pick up stuff or just do porch pick up. I’ve been working on organizing my photography equipment and props in an IKEA Pax wardrobe in the basement and try to get rid of the items we don’t really use to make more space for my studio.

 

 5. Quality time with kids

It is a difficult time for everyone, especially for kids. You can set a time everyday to do something with kids, like boardgames, home schooling, outdoor play, crafts. Our favourite family board game was “Pandemic” until recently. It’s scary now!

 

6. Daily walks or biking around the neighbourhood

As a result of the Coronavirus lock-down or social distancing, we all became much more inactive. When you add eating out of boredom to it, it is not going anywhere good. It is fortunate that this pandemic coincided with good weather, so we can at least go out for fresh air and some activity. As a family we are walking around the neighbourhood everyday after breakfast. As the weather gets better, we will add more rounds to these short walks and biking.

 

 

 7. Organizing old photos

Organizing old photos and putting together family photo books is another thing we tend to procrastinate. After switching to digital world, we all compiled thousands of photos in our discs without revisiting, arranging or printing them with the comfort of knowing that we “have” them. It is as much difficult to browse through so many similar photos as it is easy to take them. Lock-down time is perfect to go back to old photos, delete the bad ones and organize the good ones in separate albums. On top of that getting a few photo books to share on the coffee table would be great! Online print places are still servicing.

 

 8. Small repairs around the house

Is the bathroom faucet leaking? is bedroom door squeaking? Are the felt pads under the furniture worn out and chairs are rubbing against the floor? Little malfunctions that annoy you everyday but never have time to fix. I accept It’s not fun, but this is the time!

 

 

 

 

 9. Free entertainment at home

It cannot be all about work of course. For entertainment and feeding our soul, we need music and arts. Here is a few online resource where you can access free concerts and shows:

For live music performances, you can go to https://nac-cna.ca/en/canadaperforms where Canadian musicians perform live on Facebook.

For theatre plays, UK’s National Theatre records their live plays at high definition quality and put on youtube which stays there for a week. A play for each week. You can find their schedule here: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

For musical plays, check out Youtube channel The Shows Must Go On!  When they post a new video, it stays available for 48 hrs because of the rights restrictions. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag

For opera, you can go to New York Metropolitan Opera website as they are streaming HD video recordings of their live performances on their website with each performance available for a period of 23 hours. https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

If you are using Apple, Amazon, Roku devices or Samsung Smart TV you can watch the videos through the Met Opera on Demand app. To access them without logging in, click “Browse and Preview” in the apps for connected TV and you will see some of the videos are marked “free preview” on the corner.

Dim the lights and enjoy it!

Alpina Photography, Calgary, calgary photographer, Coronavirus, free access to online resources, free concert, free shows, met, metropolitan opera, pandemic, what to do during coronavirus lock-down, calgary photography blog

Valentines Day Contest

We did a photography session give away contest for Valentines day and we received great response! One of the contest rules was answering the question “where is your favourite spot in Calgary for outdoor photography” and the answers were varied. I must admit, there were places that I didn’t even hear before. I will be checking them this spring and discover new locations for my spring blossom sessions. It was so much fun to interact with people on a subject that connects us.  I want to share all of the answers here. I can’t wait to go and take beautiful photos!

 

  • Bowness Park (this one swept most of the votes)
  • Fishcreek Park (this was the second most popular)
  • Prince’s Island Park
  • Confederation Park
  • Edworthy Park
  • Baker Park
  • Riley Park
  • Shouldice Park
  • Nose Hill Park
  • Big Hill Springs
  • Birthplace forest and botanical gardens in Silversprings
  • Downtown/Stephen Avenue Walk
  • Peace Bridge
  • Carburn Park
  • East Village
  • Eau Claire
  • SAIT area
  • Inglewood bird sanctuary
  • Reader rock garden
  • Hamptons NW
  • Nikka Yuko Japenese Garden in Lethbridge
  • Banff
  • Public Library
  • Elliston Park
  • North Glenmore Park
  • Anywhere with blue sky (I love this one, easy to find in Calgary)
  • Anywhere with cherry blossoms in the spring
  • By the river
  • Near Didsbury
  • My own backyard 🙂

Tags: Alpina Photography, business portraits, calgary family photographer, calgary headshot photographer, calgary kids photographer, calgary newborn photographer, calgary photographer, calgary photography, environmental portraits, giveaway contest, Valentines Day, valentines day 2020, valentines day giveaway, valentines giveaway

Baby Sofia

 

Newborn sessions are my favourite. I love photographing these admirable little miracles. Their tiny hands and feet, their heavenly baby scent…

A few days ago, I had a little client who was almost 2 weeks old but the size of a few days old baby 😊 Before they arrived, as I always do, I prepared a few different settings. Pink & white theme with a little wooden bed and a tulle bed canopy, blue theme with the bean bag covered with blue knit blanket, and a basket with a white/cotton theme with an alternate Christmas theme on the side.

When baby Sofia arrived, she was awake. I didn’t know that she was not going to sleep for the next 1.5 hrs. Being awake is not a problem itself, but if the baby is looking restless and unhappy, then it is a problem. There is no way, you can get those adorable shots from a discontent baby.

To find out what was wrong we went through the regular checklist:

Diaper? Checked √

Feeding? Checked √

Gas? Checked √

She must be ready to sleep. So, what can it be?

She was happy only when she was feeding. Then we came to the conclusion that she was going through a growth spurt and dad had to go to the nearby Safeway to get extra formula for the baby. She got the extra milk, and some more and some more… Finally, at the end of a 1.5 hr period she was full and content. She fell asleep with no tense muscle on her face, so I could start my session. Since the time was limited, I didn’t do any naked poses, but I managed to do all four settings for the baby as well as parent poses. Happy ending for everyone ♥♥♥

 

Cake Smash Experience

Today I had a cake smash session with little Owen who just turned 1!

Like most 1 year olds, he didn’t taste much of sweets until his birthday. He was quite skeptical about the cake when we first introduced it to him. Later when he put some in his mouth, he kind of liked it and started exploring what else he could do with a cake. Finally he discovered that he can roll it on the floor like a ball. Paint on the paper with the colored icing. If you leave it to kids, you’ll see the possibilities are endless 😊))

Big brother, who was watching Paw Patrol at the moment appreciated home made banana cake better than the little brother, taking short breaks from his favourite show to have little pieces from cake rolling on the floor. LOL.

Preschool Portraits

This week I was at the University Heights Preschool  to take 2019 student portraits. It was amazing to see how such young kids (3 & 4 year old) can follow posing instructions and surprise you! Some were shy, some were like a rockstar, but results for all of them are beautiful. I am not a traditional school portrait photographer. As soon as I get the “school” type of look, I switch to “free style” and try different poses and let them lead the way. When you leave posing to them, they can be really creative and unbelievably cute!! I’ll post some of them here when I get model release from parents.

As promised, I’m sharing some photos from the preschool picture day. Click on the images to view full resolution.