2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Unique Holiday Gifts for Family Members & Teachers

Halloween has come and gone. You know what that means.

It’s (un)officially the holiday season!

Every year, you join in on the conversations about how you want to get all your holiday shopping done early to avoid the mall crowds on December 23rd. Every year, you have that one friend who actually finishes all her shopping by the end of November (yes, Karen, we’re talking about you). Every year, you wonder how she does it.

We want to help you join the Karens of the world and get on top of your holiday shopping list this year. We’ve got some personalized gift ideas that we know your family members are going to love. The best part? These gifts are totally unique, and there’s no need to deal with crowds; you can do this shopping from your living room.

Holiday Cards

Who to buy them for: Those distant cousins who, save for the yearly holiday cards, you never get to speak to.

Why they’re great: In one sheet, your child’s school photo is framed in six unique, fun, holiday-themed designs. They’re small enough to slip into an envelope and mail off with a card and a personal holiday note.

How to get them: Look for Package P when you order your child’s school photos.

Personalized Storybooks

Who to buy them for: Any child in your life would love reading a published book about adventures featuring themselves.

Why they’re great: There are so many stories to choose from. Let your child read about themselves and their friends solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo gang, fighting crime with Spider-Man, or hanging out with Disney princesses like Pocahontas. 

How to get them: Place an order with one of the online retailers that offer these awesome products.

Mugs

Who to buy them for: Grandma and Grandpa. You know they’d love nothing more than showing off their beautiful grandchild every day with their morning cup of coffee or tea.

Why they’re great: These ceramic mugs fit 16 oz of your favourite hot drink, and are personalized with your child’s Edge photo, name, grade, and the school year. They’re one of our favourite specialty products and have been a hit ever since we introduced them in 2018.

How to get one: These mugs are only available online at edgeimgaing.ca/order.

A Personalized Bookmark

Who to buy them for: Any teacher or school librarian would absolutely love a high-end, custom bookmark.

Why they’re great: Every aspect of this bookmark is customizable, from the base, to the beads, to the engraving. They’re handmade with Tibetan silver to really show your appreciation for the people who are helping to shape your child’s young mind.

How to get one: Check out Charm Philosophy on Etsy.

A Chatbooks Photo Book

Who to buy one for: More like, “who not to buy one for”? Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie and Uncle, and probably even Coach Frank would love one. Might as well get one for yourself while you’re at it, too.

Why they’re great: These photo books are 100% customizable. Choose your book size, number of pages, and each and every photo that goes into it. Create your book from your phone or your desktop, and use any combination of school and personal photos.

The absolute best part is that we have a code for $10 off your order!

How to get one: Download the Chatbooks app on your smartphone or visit chatbooks.com to start building your photo book. Use code “EdgeGift” at checkout to receive credit for $10 off.

Shop personalized specialty products and more when you purchase your child’s school photos online, and receive free shipping on orders over $50. Click here to browse!

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3 Signs You’ve Partnered with a Great School Photography Company

Photo day creates a lot of buzz and excitement for students. For school staff and administrators, though, let’s be real – it can sometimes be a bit of a hassle.

It doesn’t always have to be that way! By partnering with the right school photography company, photo day can actually be an absolute breeze for you and your staff. If you don’t believe us, it’s probably time to start looking around for a new provider.

Keep reading to find out what you deserve from a photography partner, so you know what to look for.

You forget photo day is happening…

…because that’s how stress-free your photography partner makes things. Their resourceful photographers have everything covered, and you don’t need to step in for anything.

A good school photography partner has your back and will only engage you when absolutely necessary. They understand how busy you are and do what they can to make sure photo day doesn’t cause you or your staff any headaches.

They take the work off your plate

It can be time-consuming ensuring everyone knows photo day is coming! A great school photo partner has all your photo day marketing covered: providing posters, flyers, and even templates for your school’s social media and newsletters.

The best school photography providers even proactively help you answer questions from parents. They have some sort of notification system in place to let parents know when photo day is and send out updates when proofs and orders are on their way. 

They keep your students’ data safe

Unfortunately, schools are becoming the next big target for hackers across North America. The state of Louisiana declared its first-ever state of emergency in 2019 after three of its school districts were victims of a cyberattack. 

While no organization can be completely immune to a cyberattack, it’s important to partner with a company that recognizes the importance of continually investing in secure systems, as cybersecurity is not a one-time investment. Choosing school vendors who prioritize data protection and security is one of the best ways to mitigate your risk of a data breach.

Need to find a great school photography vendor? Contact us to find out more about working with Edge Imaging!

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4 Tips for Making Yearbooks Stress-Free

You remember your school yearbooks, right? The signatures from people you spent virtually every day with for four years straight, the winners of the “most likely to…” section, the unfortunate hair, the hearts drawn around your crush’s photo…

Image by Carolyn Williams via Flickr

No matter how your school years played out, it’s tough not to look back at them with a bit of nostalgia once you’ve grown up. We believe that every student should have some sort of keepsake book to remember their school days by.

When we talk to schools that don’t do yearbooks, we often hear that they want to offer yearbooks, but are worried that it will be too much work for school staff. Not to brag, but we are yearbook experts, and we’ve seen enough to know it’s totally possible to put together a successful yearbook without burdening office staff or teachers.

Read on to find out our top tips on how to start a stress-free yearbook!

Start early

Sure, if you start in April, it’s not too late to put together a yearbook before the end of June. But this is just like when students start a project the night before it’s due – and we all know that while it can work out, it won’t yield your best work.

Remember, the early bird gets the worm.

By starting your yearbook before the winter break, you’re giving your yearbook team enough time to get organized and get comfortable with the roles they’re in. The end product ends up turning out much better for it, too.

Involve students

Yearbook clubs or committees are a ton of fun for students to be in, and it’s one of the best extracurriculars for preparing students for further education or the workforce.

Working on a yearbook helps students improve their teamwork and organizational skills, and it even allows them to develop skills that will help them in a future career, like journalism, writing, graphic design, and more.

Besides the skillset payoff, students appreciate having the ability to make their yearbook their own, and by the end of the year, will surely feel proud knowing they helped to make it happen.

Choose a yearbook partner that provides support

Not all yearbook providers are created equally!

One of the first hurdles is organizing the individual student photos. This is a big job no matter the size of your school. At Edge, we create these pages for our school partners, meaning that nearly 50% of their book is already built before they even start working on it.

You’re bound to run into bumps somewhere along the road during your yearbook build. Maybe you can’t figure out the software, or you want feedback on the pages you’ve created. Be sure to choose a yearbook provider who has a dedicated support team.

Let software help you save time

Different yearbook providers offer different software for building your yearbook, and some are more user-friendly than others. Look for a provider with a software that offers a simple, drag-and-drop interface.

If you can automate any part of your book build, you’re well on your way to a stress-free yearbook. A facial recognition software helps to cut down on time spent organizing your candid photos and leaves more to perfect your yearbook writing and design.

Of course, you should choose your facial recognition software carefully. For the most security, we recommend choosing a desktop-based software, rather than a cloud-based one.

If you sign or renew a yearbook agreement with Edge Imaging in the 2019-2020 school year, we’ll give you a free one-year subscription to Tag That Photo, a secure photo recognition software that automates photo organization faster and more accurately than Facebook and Google.

Ready to get started on your Edge yearbook today? Send us an email at yearbook@edgeimaging.ca to get in touch!

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How to Win $1000 for Post-Secondary

Senior year is one of the most exciting times to be a student. You’re at the top of the food chain in your high school, and you know that next year is going to bring a major change: either entering the workforce or going on to college or university.

If you are planning to continue your education at a post-secondary school, you’ll be meeting a whole new group of people, taking cool classes your high school doesn’t offer (Beyoncé class, anyone?), and maybe even moving away from home for the first time. 

Oh yeah, and paying tens of thousands of dollars for tuition, transportation, food, and rent.

According to a 2018 survey done by MacLean’s, the average annual cost of a university education in Canada is just under $20,000. You don’t want to know how much of that is just for textbooks, trust us.

Further education is expensive, but also necessary for so many different career paths; or, it’s the next step in the academic career you’ve always dreamed of having. We’ve been there, and we know how tough it can be when you start doing the math on how you’re going to afford it all. 

That’s why we want to empower you to graduate from post-secondary by taking a bit of that financial burden off your shoulders. In 2015, we launched a bursary contest, and have been giving away $1000 to one student each year to help him or her pay for the expenses of post-secondary education.

Want to win a $1000 bursary from us? If your school uses Edge Imaging as their photography partner, keep reading to find out how!

Make an impact

Positive role models like Emma Lim, Greta Thunberg, or the Parkland students are showing teenagers around the world that you’re never too young to make a difference. 

Maybe you’re organizing rallies against climate change, or simply volunteering at your local animal shelter. It doesn’t matter how big or small your cause is, because the energy you’re putting into it is creating an impact.

Take us along for the ride

Document your journey! We want to know what you’re doing and how your project is coming along.

Post your photos and videos on Instagram so we can see. Be sure to tag @edgeimaging and use #EdgeGrad20.

Get rewarded

Finalists will be randomly selected by Edge Imaging. At the end of the year, their stories will be sent to principals and vice-principals across Canada to determine the winner of the $1000 bursary grand prize. Runner-up prizes will also be awarded.

Not an Edge student?

Reach out to your school office and ask them to switch over so all graduating students can be eligible to win a $1000 bursary. Send them to our website for more information on our photography programs and to get in touch with an Edge representative.

Click here to read all the details on how you can win our $1000 bursary!

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How to Take the Best School Photo Ever

School picture day is one of the most fun days of the year, but the pressure of taking the perfect photo can make it more stressful than it needs to be. After all, this photo is going to be in the yearbook!

With more than 13 years of experience photographing schools, we know the ins and outs of a great school photo. While we can’t guarantee perfection, we’ve compiled our list of top tips for taking an incredible fall school photo.

how to take the best school picture | how to take the best school photo

Start preparing a couple of weeks ahead of time

For those truly dedicated to taking the best school picture ever, preparing the night before is not enough.

Luckily, preparing for school pictures is not difficult.

If you think you might need to get a haircut, aim to do so about two weeks before your photo day. Not everyone likes the way their hair looks right after leaving the hairdresser – or the day after when the styling has been slept on or washed out – so leave yourself some time for your hair to start feeling natural again, and to get used to styling it.

Consider practicing your smile in front of a mirror. You might feel silly at first, but it’s a helpful strategy for getting your picture-perfect smile right on cue come photo day. Besides, it’s better to feel silly standing alone in front of your mirror than on picture day in front of the camera!

What to wear

The key to looking comfortable in front of a camera is, well, feeling comfortable! Choose an outfit that makes you feel awesome and emphasizes your personality. In our experience, bright colours and/or long sleeves help students to stand out against the background and draw attention to the face. 

If you know you’ll be photographed against a green screen background, be careful not to wear any green. Trust us, you don’t want to be a floating head against your background.

If you normally wear glasses, don’t feel worried about wearing them to the camera. Edge photographers are trained to reduce lens glare.

And most importantly…

Relax and have fun! Edge photographers are known to be awesome people. 🙂

Don’t miss out on anything photo day related! Sign up for reminders and notifications at photoday.edgeimaging.ca.

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3 School Fundraising Ideas for the 2019-2020 School Year

verworked and under-funded: this is the case for programs in many schools across the country. Fundraisers can be a ton of fun to plan for the right staff member, but time is a valuable resource that not everyone can spare. 

We’ve put together a list of our favourite school fundraising ideas, ranging in level of involvement needed from school administrators, for the 2019-2020 school year:

Yearbook

Sure, your school will receive a percentage of the cost of each book sold, but the best part about a yearbook fundraiser is all the ways it will benefit your students. The most obvious benefit for them is the end-product yearbook. The added bonus is by involving students in the creation process, yearbook can provide them the perfect opportunity to develop themselves and their skill sets.

By appointing a staff member as Yearbook Advisor and pulling together a student yearbook committee, you’ll be positioning students to develop soft skills like organization, teamwork, digital literacy, and more, which will aid them throughout their school career and eventually the workforce.

There is no better way to raise funds for your school this year than by equipping students with useful skills and a keepsake of their school year in the process.

Bake Sale

Have your cake and eat it too! Bake sales are the classic school fundraiser, and for good reason. 

Involving parents creates a sense of community within the school, and store-bought goods can be brought in where a nut-free issue needs to be solved. Those who like a theme can use a common goal or colour scheme to make the event more fun or lend itself to a cause, like we did for our 2019 Pink Shirt Day bullying prevention fundraiser.

It’s likely that few students, parents, or teachers will be able to resist the idea of a mid-day treat, meaning your school bake sale is sure to be a success.

Spring or Sibling Photo Day

Fall photo day is one of the students’ favourite days of the year, and parents love that traditional image of their child at the beginning of a new school year. 

Spring photo day allows parents a mid-year snap of their child that can be compared to their fall photo and help fill in the story of school year growth. Sibling photo day, on the other hand, provides parents with a  (possibly rare) photo of their children all getting along.

The best part? Spring and sibling photo days can be combined to take place on one day, to disturb the school environment as little as possible.

Book your yearbook or sibling photo day with Edge and start your school year fundraising today, with little to no planning required from your staff! Learn more here.

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Fall School Photos: A Canadian Tradition

If you log on to any social media app, you’ll see your parent friends posting dozens of adorable snaps of their children. With the quality of these smartphone photos, filters, and pre-sets, it’s almost like everyone is a professional photographer.

Even with this technology right at our fingertips, students and parents alike are still excited every year for the back-to-school tradition of fall photo day. Fall school photos go back many decades, and in the early days, most families did not have access to a camera the way we do now. 

So why then, despite the increasing digitalization of our world, are school photos still so popular here in Canada? 

Photo by Imansyah Muhamad Putera on Unsplash

Why we love school photos

Whether your child is coming home from school with a school portrait of themselves against the timeless blue background, or a more modern green screen option, it’s clear that the tradition of school photos is alive and well, and here to stay.

School photos represent more than just another photo of your child. These photos represent a child’s journey into independence; that is, when he or she is off making memories and doing things without their parent or guardian being around.

School photos serve as a professionally captured documentation of a student embarking on the journey of a new school year. By the time they finish high school, each student has 14 years’ worth of photos of themselves in a similar pose, completing the story of growth through their school-aged years. 

The evolution of school photo day

Like with any art form, trends and fads in school photography styles have come and gone over the years. Even in just the last few decades, we’ve seen preferences change from the laser backgrounds – that were all the rage in the ’80s – to a wide range of green screen options. Green screen backgrounds are an exciting way to customize school photos, and let the students showcase some of their personality.

School photo products have changed a lot as well. What started out as just simple, printed photo sheets developed into fun paper products like calendars and montages, and now, school photos are incorporated into useful items like notebooks, mugs, and digital-only products.

In short, school photography has adapted to the times, using the latest technology to continue offering relevant and interesting products families treasure and use to encapsulate these precious school year moments.

The future of school photos

Through the rapid advancements of technology, school photos remain a popular mainstay. School photography fills a different need than iPhone photography does: leaving parents with a professionally documented memory of their child in their school years, a crucial life stage, and provides fun product options beyond the photo album (or rather, the smartphone photo gallery).

The school photo is a timeless tradition for students in Canada; paired with digital developments, the industry continues to offer increasingly innovative products to parents and students to bridge the desire for that traditional, year-over-year school photo with the desire for cool, fun items both students and parents like.

Browse our online products and order your school photos now!

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