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7 year Busini-versary!~A month of giveaways…starting with Chatty Walls

I just made up that word….busini-versary. Today, October 1st, marks 7 years that I’ve been a business!   Just 7 years ago Kristen Duke Photography was born.   Seven years ago, I had my minolta film camera, and asked a friend if I could photograph her family (for free) and then after that, I had a few jobs lined up (for pay).   Here is the portrait of my friend and her family at the Austin Botanical Gardens:

 After that, I had my first paid job, I charged $50 and used 2 rolls of film ($10ish), developed it ($10ish) and with my profit, I giddily bought myself a pair of black heels ($25).  Just a year out of grad school, we pinched our pennies.  This money that I made was golden.  Though I don’t still wear those shoes, I can’t get rid of them because they remind me where I started, and how far I’ve come.  I have learned sooooooooooooooooo much in the past 7 years.  Many hours, many tears, late night resarch, money spent, and support from family and friends along with way have brought me where I am today.

So for the month of October, I will be  posting a giveaway each Friday.  The giveaways have something to do with portraits.  So check back each Friday and comment to enter!

Without further ado,  I introduce CHATTY WALLS

I am in love with vinyl lettering.  I have several projects in the works, and Chelon from Chatty Walls has been so great to work with!  I gave her my ideas and she sent me a digital sample mock up of what it would look like.  Their site has many many suggestions, fonts, and colors to choose from. I had specific ideas in mind, but going to their site, I have even more ideas!  They can do artwork as well.  I love how organized their site is, and full of ideas!

I especially like to put vinyl on boards like this:

  Or adhere them to a tile with an easel like this:

 Or just directly on the wall as a decoration like this:

 OR, you could even make your own frames (think Christmas gifts!)

Chatty Walls has graciously offered their “Family Is…”  Kit as our first giveaway.  This isn’t just one vinyl wall word, but a bunch of words that you can display in a grouping with wall portraits. LOVE IT!!!  If you’ve been around my blog, you know about my passion for decorating with portraits.     All the words above are in the kit, and then you sprinkle them around your family portraits.

To enter:

1. Check out Chatty Walls  (and the blog if you want more ideas)

2. Come back  here and leave a comment on what you’d like to see in your home (besides “family is…”).

This ends Tuesday at 5pm Central, winner announced Wednesday.

P.S. If you are a skeptic who thinks you won’t win…I hear that by leaving a comment, those that don’t win will get a discout:)

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  1. Not sure exactly what I’d want it to say, but I’d love something fun for my laundry room… I like the two ideas I saw on the Chatty Walls website, or maybe “Loads of fun”… even though laundry is definitely NOT loads of fun!

  2. Congratulations and Happy 7 year busini-versary!

    I’d totally go custom and get the wording to make a board that says our last name and “Est. 2007″ on it. I’d really love that!

  3. I’d love something about boys, since we have 3! Or something with our last name!

  4. I would go with something about family and put it above my fireplace mantle.

  5. I’d love my baby girl’s name for her room. Her big sister Charley got her name in vinyl on her wall in her big girl room before her baby sister Andie was born – see we didn’t find out what we were having. Now that we have our 2nd little girl – she needs her name on her wall too. :)


    Hopefully my business will continue…and be as successful as yours!! Thanks again for the help with my questions on the flash for the baptism – here are some of the pics!

  6. I’d love my baby girl’s name for her room. Her big sister Charley got her name in vinyl on her wall in her big girl room before her baby sister Andie was born – see we didn’t find out what we were having. Now that we have our 2nd little girl – she needs her name on her wall too. :)


    Hopefully my business will continue…and be as successful as yours!! Thanks again for the help with my questions on the flash for the baptism – here are some of the pics!

  7. I would choose the phrase Discover*Imagine*Explore for my kids’ room. Imagination is so important to me, and I love watching them use theirs to make everyday an adventure:)

  8. I have always loved that saying “Always Kiss me Goodnight ”
    So i would like that in my room and my daughters…don’t think my son would appreciate it at 8 years old ;)
    too cool.

  9. Ooooh, That Sisters one is perfect and would be the motivation to finish decorating my 3 girls room. :) (I didn’t find it on her site though…)

  10. Rebecca M says:

    I really love that “family is” set and I love the “in all of living” quote by President Hinckley

  11. Congrats! I love your pictures and your blog. It makes me wish I lived closer to Texas. :)

    I love the “family is” set. We have just bought our first home and I am trying to follow your advice for decorating with portraits and large pictures.

    They have so many fun ideas. I would love to do a custom order and have it say, “Where the Wild Things Sleep” in my kids room. Its their favorite book!

  12. I love “the gathering place”, and the family is set is fantastic!

  13. I love “The Gathering Place” and the family is… is fantastic! :)

  14. Happy Business-versay Kristen! You do FANTASTIC work and tell beautiful stories through your photos!

  15. I haven’t had time to comment lately, Kristen, but I read your every post here & at the idea room, and I think you’re more awesome & generous & kind with every one!
    Happy businiversary to you!
    I checked the Chatty Walls site, with the idea in mind of some sort of monogram for a wall in our home. Then I saw it – the Welcome Monogram – with the W! (our last name is Watkins.. but I see you can have it customized to whatever letter you want.)
    It’s perfect, and I know just where it would go. :)

  16. I LOVE that “family is..” displayed in the wall. That is beautiful!! I really love the “welcome” that you can put on your door as well!

  17. Happy Anniversary! I like to think that it was our engagement photos (which are still some of my favorite shots)that started it all, thereby making Ry and me responsible for all your success. Just kidding, I know how hard you’ve worked, and the effort you’ve put into balancing photography and your family. Even though the family discount has worked out great for us ;), I am just as glad that you can work in something that you find joy and a creative outlet in, while still being super-mom. Love you, Congrats!

  18. I love a lot of the vinyl lettering but I like “Festive Christmas Tree Collage” the best for I’m really into decorating for Holidays.

    Congrats to seven years!!!!!!!

  19. I think I would like the Welcome decal for the front door. But I really hope I get the Family is… kit. That would be REALLY exciting.

  20. Congratulations Kristen! I am so happy that I found you and I love your work!

    I love the Live Simple, Expect Less, Give More quote.

  21. Kristen,
    Congratulations on your 7th Anniversary! I thought I’d try my luck at winning yet another one of your giveaways. I checked out the sight and really would like a board with “All because two people fell in love…” for my friend that’s getting married and one with ” COURTNEY~love, laughter and friends always welcome.” for myself. By the way, I know the lady in your picture from St. Philip’s CDC. Her daughter, Maddy, was my son’s sweetheart when they were four.

  22. Happy 7 year busini-versary!!! I love the very first picture you took! I can’t believe it’s been that long they all look sooo young!! You are amazing! I love the “sisters” one too! It would go perfect in my 2 little girls room.

  23. Oh…I love the “Family is” kit! If I don’t win, I am gonna buy it with the discount! If I do win, I still think I am going to buy the “Sassy Girl” one with my daughters name…to hang over her bed!

  24. I love the “Family” kit. I absolutely put that on my family room wall around our photos.

    What I would also like to create is a wall decor with the lyrics “I’ll be your candle on the water…my love for you will never die.” This is from Pete’s Dragon and was on the wall of the cruise cabin where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. It always makes me smile.

  25. I love the religious tiles… the BE tile, as well as the Come What May tile. I really need that! I would also LOVE for a tile to be done: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
    it’s about learning to dance in the rain”

  26. Congrats on 7 years! I LOVE your work and you are so great to share your knowledge to help others!

    Love it all! Working on decorating my little guys nursery so I would go with the circle room kit and a quote on the wall that says ‘I have a hero, his name is dad.’

  27. LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the family kit! creatively-awesome!!!

  28. Congratulations! I love all the new ideas and things you are posting on your blog. i love the flower and polka dot kits to do in my girls room. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. I love the one above with the family words and pictures all mixed up. I can see that on the big wall in my staircase.

  30. I’ve been looking for some vinyl to put up on the walls of my new house. I love the ones about Family…”Family: Find Joy in the Journey” and so much more! I hope I win!!!

  31. Kristen, Congrats on 7 years! Wow, that is excellent! I can’t wait to see our proofs. I’m sure they turned out amazing!

  32. Oh I like the “Family is…” and I too think things with your last name are fun. I wish I still lived in Texas! Such a beautiful blog! Love the colors and of course the photos!

  33. Oh I like the “Family Is…” and something involving your last name. I love the one in the girls room too. I love your colorful blog and your beautiful photos!

  34. I love the “Love One Another *AS I HAVE LOVED YOU ~John 13:34 (overlay)”…so beautiful!

    Happy busini-versary! Not sure if I spelled your new word right though! ;)

  35. I love the “Love One Another *AS I HAVE LOVED YOU ~John 13:34 (overlay)”

    So pretty!

  36. MaryAnn Switzer says:

    Kristen…7 years..congrats. The phrases I like are about laundry. That would fit in my laundry room..hmmm

  37. Love the “Always Kiss me Goodnight” Would look great with the photos that are above my bed.

  38. I really like the Wall Board…CHRIST~the center of our home. Congrats on your 7 years. I wish you many, many more. : )

  39. I would love something about marriage, maybe to put with wedding or bridal pics on the wall. Like trust, friendship, loyalty, love (or lover depending on how far you take it!), laughter, life, etc, etc. I als love the sisters one, too, being that I have 2 daughters. Maybe more about sisters, brothers, or siblings in general?

  40. I need to put several “Don’t forget to pray” signs all over my house. But I do love the “count your blessings” vinyl lettering.

  41. I would like the saying “Here Rests…” And then I would hang it above my bed.=)

  42. I love the Welcome to Our Home Door Decal!

  43. Love it and congrats! I’m in the process of remodeling my daughter’s room and would love some fun stuff to use in there.

  44. I absolutely love the “family is” set. I also love the door decals, especially the Merry Christmas, with the holidays coming up.

  45. besides family is – cause I love that one – i might go with one of the welcome decals…..

  46. Wow! 7 years in business doing great photography while being a great mom all the while- super impressive!! You go girl! That is something to celebrate!
    So, I really like the “family is” kit, and the “count your many blessings” one on the website. I hope I win!:)