Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scope it Out

Recently the Perfect Wedding Guide had a luncheon for wedding vendors at the new Hilton in Baltimore. It's always fun for us to attend these events because we get to catch up with friends in the biz and the publisher, Karen Buck, gives a talk on different aspects of the wedding industry each time.

At these luncheons, Karen invites different vendors to show off their products & services. This time Wessel's did the centerpieces, Gala Cloths did the linens and Carla David did all the stationary. They all worked well with the modern look of the Hilton and really came together like clockwork to put together a gorgeous event.

So, anyhow ~ the favors on the table were photo scopes, which is what I found so exciting that I am still thinking about them a week later!!!

Years ago ~ like about 30 years ago, yikes ~ I remember going on a family vacation to Ocean City, MD and my folks getting a photo session done of me and my big brother on the beach. My parents bought various prints, which were long since replaced on the walls by other, more recent portraits. But the photo scopes they bought from the session have lasted all these years. I still have mine. My grandmother still has hers -- it lives in the china cabinet with her good crystal and dishes.

But mine sits out at my workstation in the studio. It reminds me of everything good about growing up, about being a kid playing on the beach, about my family then ~ three decades ago. I can still see myself as a little girl, posing on the sand in my favorite Snoopy bathing suit. It was very chic, for a toddler. It had Snoopy as "Joe Cool" and he was holding a surf board. Every time I see the scope, I remember how cool I felt in that swim suit (tho in reality the bum of my suit was full of sand), how exciting the trips to the beach always were ~ the exhilaration & simplicity of being that age. It also reminds me of all the silly stuff that went on in my family that we laugh about now. Like my brother getting sunburned only on the bottoms of his feet. Like when I accidentally locked myself in the hotel bathroom and my dad had to climb in through the window to get me out (toddlers and door locks aren't a good combo). Like when we would all combine our skeeball tickets to get a great big prize on the boardwalk, but fight about which prize to get. And of course, I can still taste the fresh salt water taffy. The orange flavor is still my favorite.

My Ocean City photo scope (left/front) and newer sample model from My-Scopes (right).

I haven't been to Ocean City in probably 20 years. My family switched to Rehoboth in Delaware somewhere along the line, which is now a favorite place for Nathaniel, Lochrima & I as well. I have no clue where the other photos my parents bought on the beach photo shoot are. But I still have and love the photo scope from our vacay on the beach. The picture itself has yellowed a little, but considering how many years old it is, I have to say, it still looks good.

(You know, until the Perfect Wedding Guide luncheon, I didn't know they were called "photo scopes" -- I usually described mine as "the keychain thingie from the beach that has a tube with a photo in the end and you hold it up to the light.")

Anyhow, you can get your own photo scopes now!! I am so excited to have found this and be able to share it!

We don't sell them, but the company from the luncheon is called My-Scopes and a girl named Melissa Carpenter handles them in the Maryland area. You can email her at or visit her website. Her scopes come in ten different colors, can have personalized imprinting and start at only $7.99 for one. The more you buy, the cheaper they get: 5 photo scopes are $19.95 and have free shipping. Which is so cool. I know I will get some for us and for gifts as well. You can do so many cute things with these: imagine your save-the-date for a wedding, baby or kids' pictures, party favors, thank-you presents or fun personalized ones as gift tags for the holidays. To make a scope, you go to her site and upload your photos and click, click, click you're done.

Though they are a little kitschy, a little touristy and slightly silly, I'm a huge fan of photo scopes. My experience with them has been great so far. Thirty years and counting.
~ Rissa

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