a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Aug, 2007

The Fishbowl Back-to-School photo contest (you can win an HP printer/scanner!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews

I love back-to-school photos, don’t you? There’s just something about them that is sweet and genuine and true. There’s that buzz in the air, the kids are excited, the parents are excited … and to be able to get that on film is truly a wonderful thing.

I know, I know. You want to know more about this contest thing. First, some backstory:

I got a note in my Inbox from HP Canada. HP, along with Toronto-based professional photographer (and mom) Wendy Rombough, has developed a set of tips for your back-to-school photos. I thought they were pretty good. And considering this fits my quest (you didn’t know I had a quest, did you?) to encourage good photography everywhere, fellow photographin’ mammas make note:

  • Use the light: Turn off your flash whenever possible and work with the existing light.  Your images will be more meaningful when the light is natural, and your children will be more relaxed without the flash going off.


  • Zoom with your body: Don’t just rely on your zoom camera features. You can move yourself around and closer, much faster. Get close and capture special moments, such as when your kids reunite with last year’s friends on the first day of school. 

> I’m adding something here: Before you snap that photo take a moment to do a quick in-camera check: have you filled the frame? Is there anything weird in the background? Are buttons buttoned and zippers zipped?

  • Measure the years: Pick a special place at home or at school and photograph your child in the same spot every year to show how much they are growing.


  • Think symbolic: For a young child, this might mean photographing them walking away from you with a huge backpack trailing behind them, or carrying a favourite book 


  • Don’t forget your almost-grown kids: Teens can be hard to photograph but try candid moments, such as your son saying goodbye to his dog before leaving for the first year of university.


  • Go on location: Environment photos can bring back all kinds of memories so try taking pictures of the school, playground, or a university student’s new room in residence.

Memorize those tips, and get snappin’, because you have a chance to win an HP Photosmart C5280 (and ink AND some photo paper!) courtesy of HP Canada. Thanks HP! (Prize details at the bottom of this post.*)

Here’s how you can win:

-This is a “back-to-school” photo contest, so the subject of your photo should be of your school-age child going back to school or starting school for the first time. Boarding the bus, walking to school, waving goodbye – the setting and set-up is up to you and remember those tips!

– Here’s the tough part. You’ll be taking miles of photos (in fact, school may have already started for some of you), but we’re asking you to post your BEST (a maximum of three) photos to Flickr. Make sure each photo is tagged “fishbowlbacktoschool.” That way it will come up in a group search and we can admire them all as a group. (Not sure what this means? Just ask. Or email me the photos and I can post them on your behalf)

– The best photo (as determined by our panel of judges) will win the prize.* 

– Whether you’ve entered or not, don’t be shy about telling us which are your faves.  Which is the best photo? Who do you think deserves to win? Give us your two cents in the comments below. We’ll read them all.

– Deadline for entry is midnight, September 10th 2007. Anything posted after that will not be considered.

– This contest is open to folks in Canada and the continental US only.

* So here’s how HP described the prize to me:

Ideal for school projects and printing photos, the HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-One Printer, Scanner and Copier, provides reliable, worry-free home printing.  It’s also easy to save, share and print photos … simply insert a memory card then view on a 2.4-inch image display, all without a PC.
Print essays and projects, make high-quality colour and black-and-white copies, and even print directly onto CDs and DVDs.  With one-touch red-eye removal and HP Photo Essential Software that allows you to edit, print and share photos, it is easier than ever to personalize and print your photos. And, with HP Vivera Inks, your photos will always be rich and vibrant in colour.
Win an HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-One along with HP Vivera ink and Advanced Photo Paper and the creative possibilities are endless. Total value: approximately $235.  Learn more about HP printers and inks at www.hp.ca.

So there it is folks! Happy snapping. And good luck!

[contest updates – if any – will be add at the bottom of this post]

20 Responses to "The Fishbowl Back-to-School photo contest (you can win an HP printer/scanner!)"

1 | porter

August 24th, 2007 at 12:21 pm


don’t have time to read this post yet but woooohoooo!!! i have to make sure i don’t miss out on this one. hope you are feeling better.

2 | BeachMama

August 24th, 2007 at 3:53 pm


Very Cool. I will have to take a photo from his first ‘intro’ day as it is before the 10th.

3 | DaniGirl

August 25th, 2007 at 2:40 pm


Ohh, what fun! Too bad Simon’s first day of school is Sept 12, but I’m sure I can cook something up!

4 | porter

August 26th, 2007 at 5:54 pm


hmmm….i don’t know if i will participate. i’m still kinda bloggy shy when it comes to showing pics of the kids (and my hubs and i)….maybe this will be the kick i need who knows. either way i look forward to seeing all the first day shots.

5 | Postcards from the Mothership » Best quiz result ever!

August 27th, 2007 at 5:21 pm


[…] Speaking of books, it’s back to school time, and Andrea over in the Fishbowl has a great back-to-school photo contest. You can win an HP Photosmart C5280 printer/scanner! Click over to Andrea’s place for details and some good photography tips, too. […]

6 | Ginger

August 27th, 2007 at 11:05 pm


I cannot wait to see all the shots. I don’t have little ones of my own yet to take pictures of and it is illegal for me to post pictures of the kids I teach…so I can’t enter. But you can read about my wonderful first day back to school if you want! :) I hope you feel better soon!

7 | twinmomplusone

August 28th, 2007 at 12:33 pm


oh yeah, I am so going to do this, the hard part will be picking which one to send

8 | chantal

August 28th, 2007 at 6:34 pm


Question – do they have to be from THIS year?

Love the suggestions and tips. We do the same photo of the kids on the porch. Different porch after we moved, but that just shows the changes we’ve made. :)

9 | andrea

August 28th, 2007 at 6:41 pm


If it’s a good photo, post it. It doesn’t have to be from this year… :)

10 | C.E. Warrender

September 1st, 2007 at 6:28 pm


Great contest, but oh heavy sigh for those not having children… our pup doesn’t catch the bus! ;+}!

11 | scatteredmom

September 2nd, 2007 at 1:02 pm


I’m in! Can I mention the contest on my blog, or better yet, use that cute little button to advertise it?

12 | chantal

September 4th, 2007 at 12:06 pm


I tagged one in my stream, but I don’t see it under the public tag page. Does it not show my own?

14 | Occidental Girl

September 5th, 2007 at 11:44 am


I’ve posted some photos! Thanks for letting me know about the contest. I really need a printer, have gone without one for months, so my fingers are crossed.

15 | Sharon

September 5th, 2007 at 4:25 pm


I posted Nathan’s back to school pictures on my blog already. BUt I think I can take a few more and give it a go. Funny I just got a new puter so a new printer scanner would be LOVERLY.
Of course I have to be good enough to WIN.
Your address is to send that cheque to is?

16 | sherry

September 6th, 2007 at 11:36 am


I tagged three of my photos for you, but my favorite of the three is this one:


Just because she looks so PSYCHOTICALLY happy about finally going to school for the first time ever. :)

17 | Sharon

September 10th, 2007 at 3:21 pm


I finally download some of mine. I have so many it was hard to pic. I wanted to put them all up.

Thanks Andera this was fun.

18 | Sharon

September 10th, 2007 at 3:22 pm


OH and the one of him and bus is one of my favorites. Makes me feel like time is trying to take my kids away.

19 | Julie McLaurin

September 11th, 2007 at 9:53 am


Hey! I posted my pictures yesterday and they aren’t there…

20 | Amanda Tourangeau

September 11th, 2007 at 2:38 pm


I posted yesterday too but still not there, how can I email them to you? Can you email me the address?


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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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