And the Winner Is …

Well this has been a long time coming!! I promised these results like … three weeks ago I think? I know it was before Christmas which was CRAZY to think I’d have enough time to drive around and scope out locations right before Christmas. Who was I kidding??

So this week I finally did it. There weren’t a lot of locations to check out due to all non-free places being eliminated right away. It’s not that those places aren’t great. They might be. But I knew they wouldn’t win. Most people don’t want to pay to get me and their families into somewhere in addition to the cost of the session itself. Although if you DO, I’m sure that Phipps and the Children’s Museum would be great fun for pictures … during the week. And I even have a membership to the children’s museum.

So that left me with two hotels, the union project, and the cathedral of learning. We started at the Union Project and as the suggester said, they were REALLY nice. They were pretty excited about the idea of being part of a contest (though I’m not sure they understood that they hadn’t necessarily won). There was some great architecture inside and out and definitely a lot of potential locations to shoot. The main problem with this place was availability. She said weekends probably wouldn’t work (when most of my clientele schedule) and that the main room was going under construction that day until mid-March. Bad timing! So for those of you who schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday I would actually recommend this as a fun indoor location … but it didn’t win.

We checked out the hotels … the Omni William Penn and the Renaissance. I have to say I didn’t like either of them at all. They were pretty but they screamed wedding, not child. And the lighting was awful. ALL of the places were dark but these places were dark with the helpful addition of flourescent lighting (and in the case of the Renaissance it was a mixture of both red and yellow … an editing nightmare). So obviously … they didn’t win.

Last was the cathedral of learning. You have to pay for parking but it’s not much so not a big drawback. I actually had TWO people suggest this. One just said the cathedral overall, and one specifically mentioned the nationality rooms. Well when I went the nationality rooms had classes in them and the whole place in general was quite crowded … but library silent giving me the feeling I couldn’t make any noise at all (obviously not a sensation my 2 year old was feeling). It was also extremely dark but I couldn’t hold that against it as every suggested location had been dark. I held out hope that the nationality rooms would not be dark. I was able to peek into one but with classes being there I couldn’t see any others. But overall it was GORGEOUS. Can you believe I’ve never been there before?? And I could see there would easily be scads of locations to shoot in.

So I knew which location won. I just didn’t know which PERSON won the free session.

Fast forward to today when I had a session there. Fortunately I had somebody scheduled who was looking for an indoor location and didn’t mind waiting until the very last minute to decide where to go. I had decided I would choose the winner after I’d actually done a session there and whether I used the nationality rooms the most or the rest of the cathedral the most.

Well we quickly found out that not only are the nationality rooms not available during the week due to class … but they also close around 3 on weekends … and most of them were locked. We found two open and empty ones and while we were in the second one somebody came in and told us we only had a few minutes because she was locking them all up.

In conclusion … while the nationality rooms WOULD be nice and I would most definitely use them … the extreme time limits tied to them means that they didn’t win. Which does mean that Heba Alani … you ARE the winner!!

Thanks to everybody who played! Here’s a cute picture from today’s session in the Cathedral.

baby girl sitting in the cathedral of learning