How a Simple Photo Tip Got One Family’s Photo on a National Billboard Campaign


We dedicate a lot of time to finding and sharing relevant, inspirational and sometimes humorous stories with you here, and once in a while, we inadvertently help make something wonderful happen.

That was the case with the Anderson family, who recently got in touch with us to tell us how a simple photo tip we shared changed their lives for the better. With their permission, we’re sharing that story with you.

Scott Anderson and his wife Denise have two kids together, Maxwell and Libby. Four-year-old Maxwell has Down’s Syndrome, so each year, they take a photo of their kids and send it off to potentially be included in the Canadian Down Syndrome Society Calendar.

When Scott got in touch with us through our tips contact page, he told us that he frequents our site and a few months ago came across this funny tutorial on smiling naturally we shared back in February.

He said “this isn’t a tip — just a thank you,” and proceeded to tell us how, ever since seeing that video, he now has his kids say “Cheetah” instead of “Cheese” when posing for pictures. The results have been great! “They love it,” he writes, “and now (most times) they go over the top with enthusiasm when posing.”


But he wasn’t the only one to notice the difference that small change made. A month after submitting their entry for the CDSS 2014 Calendar, they received a message from Design and Communications Coordinator Kaitlyn Pecson asking for permission to use the photo in the organization’s national billboard campaign.

The Anderson’s were ecstatic, and between mid-October and early November you can see their children’s smiling faces plastered on CDSS billboards across all of Canada.

“I’m sure to most people, it might not be a perfect shot,” writes Anderson. “But it’s evident they are having fun. And because of a pointer shared via your site, my kids are now part of a national billboard campaign. So thank you.”

And we want to thank you, both the Andersons and the rest of our readers. This might not be the most photographically relevant thing you read on PetaPixel today, but it certainly reminds us why we do what we do, and illustrates how even the silly posts have their role to play in fulfilling PetaPixel’s goal: to inform, educate, and inspire in all things photography-related.