Archive for 'Charitable Events'


Hey there everyone,

There’s been heaps going on around Houlden Studios lately and I have many blog posts waiting in the wings to be written and published.  Stay tuned around here over the next couple of weeks as I fill you all in on all the goodness of the past couple of months.

I wanted to very quickly share with you the results and photographs from our most recent charitable event.

Back in late winter we met with the Orillia SPCA to find out how we might work with them to help with their fundraising.  They told us about their Friends for Life walk-a-thon, one of two of their major, annual fund raisers.  After learning a bit more about the walk-a-thon, we put plans in motion to set up our charitable photo booth and create Facebook Profile photos of the participants’ dogs.

I’ve gotta say, we had an absolute blast creating these pet portraits.  It was definitely hard work though, lemme tell you!  Some of the fabulous furry buddies were very well behaved and posed magnificently.  Others, though, well, required a bit of patience, a whole lot of time and a sprinkling of luck.  You know, I wasn’t 100% convinced that we nailed it for every dog when we were packing up, but by the time I had the images downloaded and started looking at them on the big screen… wow!  Once again, we created some terrific pet portraits.

While I loved shooting these dogs, I loved even more getting out and around meeting all the dogs and owners that had come out to help support the SPCA with the walk-a-thon.  I met some pretty cool people and some really awesome dogs, even if I didn’t get to photograph them all.

As for the set up for these, I decided to try something a bit different from our previous photo booth set ups.  Instead of setting up a backdrop or using a wall as a background I decided to shoot into the light with Orillia’s Lake Couchiching as the background.  With the sun coming in from rear camera left, I set up a strobe rear camera right and a key light at camera left.  This created a lot more definition in my photo booth lighting than previous set ups.  I am really thrilled with how this turned out.  Yay!

Okay, without further ado, here’s a very short, very fun video slideshow of the pets and some of the people, too, who we photographed during the walk-a-thon.  I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave us a note in the comments below.

(Hit the jump to get to the comments if you are reading this from the home page of the blog)

Read the rest of this entry …


The big deal around the studio over the last few weeks has the been the fund raising efforts we’ve been leading to help out a local family mum stricken with breast cancer.

What started out as a one day photo booth event at a local Sugar Shack quickly morphed into a 3 weekend event complete with awesome prizes from a heap of local businesses. (More on prizes in just a minute!)

It was whilst chatting with our good friend and awesome Horseshoe Valley real estate agent, Diana Monteith, about our plans for the photo booth event that we learned about this local family in need.  From there, we realised that we could do so much more good than running just a fun photo booth.

A few calls to our business partners and other local businesses and we had a stack of prizes to give away that left us deeply thankful for their support.  As word got around about what we were doing, other local business put up their hands and asked to help out and added items to the prize list.  I even ended up having to resize the prize poster as the list got so long – a burden I was very happy to shoulder, I might add.

How did we do?  I’m sure this is the big question on your minds.  I’m am really, really thrilled to be able to say that whilst we didn’t quite hit our target of $1000, we came so close that I’m not gonna split hairs.  $970 was our final total.  A truly wonderful outcome and I’m very much looking forward to meeting with the family and presenting this to them.

Now, the next thing I’m sure you wondering… Am I a winner?  Of course you are!  We are all winners when we come together as a community to help a member in need.  But, I know what you mean – the prize draw!  Yes, yes.  Here we go:

Prize Sponsor Winner
14 Remote-Controlled Subaru WRX Davenport Subaru Lucia Tomson
13 $20 Shadowbox Gift Certificate Shadowbox Framing Skye Davenport
12 $25 Simcoe Sew & Quilt Gift Certificate Simcoe Sew & Quilt Gina Taylor
11 Hoot and Baby Booties Noble Upcycling Mike Blair
10 Hallmark Photo Album Campitelli Family Christina Kalkanis
9 Heron Sculpture by Anvil Designs Sienna Home Decor Sarah Vurma
8 Oil Change and Spring Service Napa Craighurst Shizuko Yano
7 6 Pack Mountain Biking Day Passes Hardwood Ski&Bike Teena Pool Sauvé
6 Race Entry to a Multisport Canada Event Multisport Canada Sandy Agnew
5 Custom-Designed & Personalised Santa Sac Quilts by Jen Diane House
4 Custom-Designed & Personalised Santa Sac Quilts by Jen Wendy Edmonds
3 Custom-Designed & Personalised Santa Sac Quilts by Jen Ingrid Long
2 1 Month Lite Membership to The Creative Space The Creative Space Wendy Edmonds
1 Custom Portrait Experience & 10 Inch Portrait Houlden Studios Sally Harridan

In addition, every prize listed above, includes a $100 Gift Certificate towards a portrait order from a Houlden Studios Custom Portrait Experience.

Which leaves us with the Grand Prize winner of a custom Portrait Experience and 30 inch wall portrait on canvas from Houlden Studios  – Joanne Comeau.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated in both the photo booth and the prize draw.  Together we have accomplished a wonderful thing!

Winners – You’ll be receiving a phone call from Jennifer this coming week to organize pick-up of your prize(s).


As Jen mentioned in her post last week, we’ve been going like crazy putting on a series of charity events to help support a local family who is struggling in their fight against cancer.

We learned about this family’s situation a couple of weeks ago while I was chatting with a realtor friend of ours about a community event she hosts at a local sugar shack.  (For those of you not in sugar bush country, a sugar shack is where maple sap is boiled down into maple syrup.)

Anyway to cut a long story short ,seeing how Jen covered this in the previous post, with this past Saturday’s event I decided it would be kinda fun for you to see our photo booth and the sugar shack hike in action.

Here is a time lapse sequence of the day.  6 hours compressed into just a minute and a half.  Click play and enjoy.

Remember, Sharing is Caring so please share this video to help us get word out about how fun this event is.  We have another event scheduled for Saturday, 7 April 2012 from 11am-3pm at Elsie’s Creek Sugar Shack – 4279 5th Line N, Oro-Medonte.

Oh, and check out that awesome, quilted banner by the fabulous custom quilt designer, Jennifer Houlden at Quilts by Jen!


Hi Everyone,

We have something a little special here today.  Jen wrote a fantastic blog post about the fund raising we’re doing for an Oro-Medonte family with a Grade 3 twins who’s mum is fighting cancer.  I’ve cross-posted her entry here, to the Houlden Studios blog, for you.

Have a read and will you let us know if we’ll be seeing you at the Sugar Shack this weekend?

Fun at the photo booth!

Houlden Studios along with some help from Quilts by Jen – maybe more than a little help seeing how I am kind of the other half of Houlden Studios – is helping to raise money for a local family fighting cancer living here in Oro-Medonte.  Last weekend we set up our photo booth with all it’s wonderful props that we had at our Family Day photo booth and some new ones to take some more funny, crazy and wacky photos.  We set up in conjunction with Elsie’s Creek Sugar Shack – Carl & Rebecca who own and run the sugar shack are wonderful hosts and served awesome pancakes with their fabulous maple syrup.

We will be setting up again this Saturday March 31 and then again April 7 from 11 am- 4 pm at Elsie’s Creek (4279 5th Line N) to have loads more fun with the photo booth and props.  Along with the photo booth is an awesome list of prizes to be won – we have had an overwhelming response to help raise money for this family in need with many prizes being donated from local businesses in Oro, Orillia and Barrie.  With over $3000 in fantastic prizes doesn’t it make sense to come out and buy a ticket?  1 for $5 or 3 for $10 with all proceeds going to our family in need.  Some of our sponsors include:  Hardwood Ski & BikeShadowboxNoble UpcyclingMultisport Canada and many more. This Saturday’s pancakes are being served and sponsored by Diana Monteith one of our local realtors.

As well, Quilts by Jen, will donate $20 to the cause from each and every Santa Sac ordered up until the end of day April 7, 2012.  A personalized, custom made sac for that special little one will certainly put a smile on his or her face Christmas morning when they find it under the tree full of goodies.  Check out the different designs available in my on-line catalogue.  To order contact me at

Personalised Santa Sac – One of many designs

So tell me, what are you doing these next two Saturdays?  Will we see you out at Elsie’s Creek for a walk in the woods, some pancakes with maple syrup and lots of fun in the photo booth?

See you there and if it is raining, big deal – you don’t melt, do you?