3 Tips for Creating a Wedding Photo Book From Guest Photos

Utilizing guest photos in a coherent way can be a challenge for newlyweds, despite their desire. Read on for tips.


For many couples, no day is as unique and memorable as their wedding day. Not only is it a celebration of love and happiness, but it’s the culmination of months of hard work. It takes a professional team to have a wedding run smoothly, but even the best of the best can miss the perfect photo opportunity.

Many couples have transitioned to guest-influenced albums, ensuring their special day is caught from every angle, candid and professional. However, with a camera in every hand, it can be hard to streamline the photos back to the wedded couple.

With these quick tips on creating the perfect wedding photo album from guest photos, never lose a precious picture again.

Online Photo Albums

Did you know you can automatically generate an entire album with an online photo book maker? Photos are transferred from Google photos or an Instagram or Facebook profile into a ready-to-order photo album in just a few easy steps. Some services can even pull images directly from your phone and into a book without the need for a secondary app or USB transfer.

Skip the scrapbooking and have all your photos in hand with a readymade online photo album.

The Group Folder

Using a Facebook Group or Google Drive folder, you can invite wedding guests to upload all their photos in one easy-to-find place. Instead of scavenging through social media for all the individual pics, let them do the hard work for you with a group upload.

From the group folder, you can transfer and print the pictures you enjoy and never risk losing one to the endless social media stream. Splurge for big file folders to ensure every picture gets its place, even the blurry ones.

The Polaroid Plan

A modern-day polaroid can both capture and instantly print perfect wedding moments on location without the need for phone cameras or tedious store printing. Create a Polaroid photo booth at your wedding, and let guests take pictures of the day for themselves and you.

Guests can also write intimate notes on the back of the polaroid before slipping it into a photo album, making it both a personal treasure and a cute guest notebook. With the help of a matching photo album, guests only need to snap, print, and slip the photo inside. By day’s end, you will have an entire book full of surprises waiting for you.

At Day’s End

There’re no wrong ways to go about planning your wedding photo book. Whether you prefer personal customization and scrapbooking, or instant automatization, the perfect wedding album is easy to achieve.

Using group photos is an excellent way to make guests feel included in your special day and strengthen the bonds and memories between friends and loved ones. Through their eyes, you can see your hard work, love, and affection payoff in personal and sometimes goofy guest photos.

Remember to keep a few phone chargers on hand, so no one loses the perfect shot to a low battery.


Advice For Applying For A Software Engineering Degree

Software engineering is a field that is proving to be highly popular right now. This is understandable because software engineering is a heavily in-demand skill to have with software systems playing such a massive part in business and in life. Anyone with an interest in computers and technology should consider studying software engineering and this could put you on the pathway to an enjoyable career; but what can you do to prepare to study software engineering? This post will offer a few tips for aspiring software engineering students that should help you to find the right course and prepare for success as a software engineer.


Understand What A Software Engineering Course Involves

First, you should spend time understanding exactly what a course in software engineering will cover. Software engineering is the design, creation, and maintenance of software systems and apps with the purpose of solving problems, but a software engineering course will consist of lots of different elements. Generally, a software engineering course will teach you key skills and knowledge relating to:


  • Big data
  • Apps
  • Smartphones
  • Artificial intelligence
  • IT
  • Cybersecurity


Learn A Coding Language

Software engineering requires a lot of coding, so it is vital that you learn a coding language before you start your course. There are many different options, which can make it daunting, but you are better off focusing on one rather than trying to learn a small amount of several (you can always learn more later). Generally, it is best to go with a popular coding language with professional value. A few of the best options include:


  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • HTML
  • Python
  • Go
  • C++


You can always take a course in a programming language prior to starting a software engineering degree, but these days you can teach yourself online. It can take some time and practice, but many people teach themselves coding to a high degree simply by using online learning.


Work On Your Communication Skills

Obviously, hard skills are essential in a technical field of study like this. You certainly need to have a strong understanding of computers, tech, and programming, but you must not overlook the importance of good communication skills. As with any area, communication is important for working alongside others, making a good impression, and getting your foot in the door. In terms of software engineering, you will find that you often end up working on group projects, so you need to be able to express your thoughts, but also be a good listener. Additionally, many software engineering graduates go on to roles that will involve direct communication with clients and customers, so often you must be able to explain your work to someone from a non-software background. Not only this, but if you have aspirations of rising to a management position, then you must possess excellent communication skills. Therefore, it is a good idea to work on your spoken, listening, writing, and presentation skills prior to starting a software engineering course.


Develop Your Problem-Solving Abilities

Another key soft skill for a software engineer is problem-solving. At its core, software engineering is about developing software systems that are designed to overcome problems that the user is having. Therefore, it is important that you have strong problem-solving with critical thinking skills. This will come in incredibly useful when it comes to designing software systems and will put you in a strong position to find success on your software engineering course. Some people are naturally better problem-solvers than others, but this is also a skill that you can learn and develop through your own practice and research.


Choose An Online Program

When you are ready to start studying software engineering, it is important to take your time to find the right qualification. You will want to find the right level based on your skills, but it is also a good idea to look for an online program. An online masters in software engineering could be a great option for those looking to advance their skills and abilities as it can be easier to fit into your schedule than attending classes in person. Juggling work and study can be much easier with online courses, plus you can get a qualification from a great school without having to leave the home.


Make Sure That You Have Time

An online program is helpful in terms of making it easier to fit study into a busy schedule, but it is still important that you have enough time to fully commit to your studies. When it comes to software engineering, you need to have plenty of time to practice and refine your skills in your own time. You need to be able to do this while still having enough time for your other important responsibilities, leading a healthy lifestyle, and getting enough rest. A key way of doing this is scheduling all aspects of your life and making sure that you are well organized when it comes to your studies.


Think About The Future

Even before you start studying software engineering, it is a good idea to think ahead about what you plan to do with your qualification. This does not have to be a set path, but it is helpful to keep in mind what your overall aims are with a software engineering degree so that you can get the most out of your course and set yourself up for future success.


Hopefully, this post will come in useful to anyone who is thinking about studying software engineering. Software engineering is a great field to get into if you have a passion for software, tech, and programming, but it can also be demanding and you want to make sure that you are fully prepared to start your course. You need to make sure that you have the required tech skills but also know what the key soft skills are to succeed; plus you need to think about the course itself and make sure that you are able to give it your full attention.


Bret Stephens on Ted Cruz

What Ted Cruz Values

The Texan is repelling millions who believe in an America of the future, not the past.

Rancho Mirage, Calif.

It’s 70 degrees in this desert oasis, where I’m attending a writers’ festival, and I’m looking up at a vista of snowcapped peaks, cerulean skies and pink clouds that looks like a Bob Ross painting, only happier. But there’s only so much California positivity a man can handle, especially when he doesn’t play golf. That snowbound den of depravity known as Manhattan is calling me home.

With apologies to Billy Joel, I’m in a New York values state of mind.

Maybe I’d be a better person if I got away from the coasts more often, or visited a gun range. Maybe my conservative principles would be less attenuated if I weren’t surrounded, as Ted Cruz put it the other day, by people who “are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage,” and “focus around money and the media.” Maybe I should start listening to country music, the way Mr. Cruz did after he decided, in good Soviet fashion, that his musical taste ought to be dictated by political considerations.

And maybe I wouldn’t be quite so nauseated by the junior senator from Texas if the cynicism with which he mounted his attack last week on “New York values” weren’t so wholly matched by the sinister taint of an ambitious sophist who takes his audience for fools. Ted Cruz is the guy who made Donald Trump look tolerant and statesmanlike. That’s saying something.

Already it has been widely mentioned that Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is a senior executive with Goldman Sachs which isn’t exactly an Iowa values kind of institution, and that Mr. Cruz’s 2012 run for Senate was financed with the help of $1 million in low-interest loans from Goldman. Also noted is that Mr. Cruz owes his political career to the backing of billionaire Peter Thiel, who is libertarian, gay, and perhaps wondering what he was thinking.

And it goes without saying that most of us would prefer the values of the lowliest New York Fire Department cadet over the cleverest Harvard Law graduate any day we need to get out of trouble that isn’t of our own making.

But the deeper problem with Mr. Cruz’s assault on the Big Apple isn’t his personal hypocrisy, or his two-bit stereotypes, or in biting the hands that fed him. That’s what we expect of politicians; the priced-in rate of running for high office. It’s the full-frontal assault on millions of GOP voters who, on one issue or another, share some of those dreaded New York values. The senator is trying to do to socially moderate Republicans what Democrats did to their own social conservatives when they barred pro-life Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey from speaking at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Yes, kids, there used to be Democrats who didn’t march in lockstep with Emily’s List.

There also used to be a theory of politics that, in two-party systems, it was in both parties’ interests to pitch the broadest possible tent; to have, as the great Si Kenen once put it, “no enemies, only friends and potential friends.”

But that’s not Mr. Cruz’s theory. He believes in the utility of enemies—the media; Washington; his fellow Republican senators; other squishes—because they’re such easy foils and because he’s convinced that polarization works and persecution complexes sell. Who cares about Republican voters in New York (or California, or Massachusetts, or Illinois) when not one of their votes will count in the Electoral College? Why waste time and energy courting the center-right when doing so will earn you the permanent enmity of the permanently angry?

The answer to that one lies in Cuyahoga and Pinellas and Loudoun counties—those purple lands in Ohio, Florida and Virginia where swing voters still decide elections in this country. Mr. Cruz needs to answer how he plans to win 50.1% in those states, not 70% of the Bible Belt. Such an answer is available to a Republican nominee, but only one who doesn’t demean other people’s values even when he doesn’t share them. Mr. Cruz needs to study old Ronald Reagan clips to understand the difference between having strong beliefs and being an insufferable jerk about them.

In the meantime, let’s put in a word for those New Yorkers and their values: the immigrant strivers; the capitalist-philanthropists; the skyscraper builders; the professional classes of lawyers and publishers and doctors and money-managers and (even) journalists; the cops; the opera lovers; the headline writers at the New York Post; the people who believe their true identity lies in the near future not the ancestral past. This is the America of aspiration and competition, of honest self-reinvention, of getting along in crowded places, of letting the smaller differences slide.

Mr. Cruz has the personal biography to have made New York’s story his own. He made other choices. I know plenty of New Yorkers won’t be shy about telling him what he ought to do with himself, and the rest of the Republican Party should take their views—and maybe even their values—to heart.



Social Media and Jewish Teens: The Good, the Bad and the Inappropriate

In the early 1990s I was an active leader in my synagogue’s high school youth group. Even as a young teen I appreciated the importance of communication in cultivating new members to the congregation’s chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY) and for keeping current members abreast of upcoming events. This membership communication came in the form of photocopied flyers on colored Xerox paper, phone messages left on the family’s answering machine, and hand drawn posters attached to cork boards with push pins in the synagogue lobby. Once every two months we assembled a cut-and-paste newsletter to be photocopied, stapled and sent to members’ homes.
social networking and teens
Teens and Social Media –


Much has changed in the past twenty years when it comes to teens and communication. Everything is now instant. Those mailed event flyers often took as much as a week to arrive in teens’ mailboxes, but today’s texts and tweets arrive in the blink of an eye. Direct communication, of course, has become easier as we’re almost always available to chat. No more leaving messages on answering machines as teens can connect virtually anytime using Skype, FaceTime or text messaging. Parents, however, are often out of the communications process in the 21st century. Each teen has her own cellphone to talk, text and video chat so parents often don’t know what their teens are doing or where they’re going unless they ask (or snoop).

For the most part, the growth of instant communication and social media has been a positive for teens in general and the success of Jewish teenage youth groups in particular. But despite the ways social networks like Facebook and instant messaging services have made it easier for teens to communicate with each other and for Jewish teen leaders to promote their group’s programs in more efficient ways, there are some very scary consequences that come with this high tech communication and social sharing.


Jon Stewart and Jason Bateman Shmooze in Yiddish

The great Yiddishist Leo Rosten was hopefully rolling (with laughter) in his grave last night. The late author of the book “The Joy of Yiddish” worked very hard during his lifetime to bring the dying Yiddish language into the mainstream.

Last night’s five minute dialogue between actor Jason Bateman and Jon Stewart included more Yiddish words than we typically hear on television. It was as if Bateman wanted to drop some of his well-rehearsed Yiddishisms during his interview on The Daily Show. As soon as Jason Bateman sat down he told Jon Stewart that his “It’s nice when nice happens to nice” opening comment sounded very Yiddish. And from there it became a Yiddish word competition between the two men.

Jon Stewart and Jason Bateman Speak Yiddish on the Daily Show

Jason Bateman explained that he recently learned the Yiddish word “chazerai” which seemed to confuse the Jewish host of The Daily Show (the former Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) who mistakenly said the word means a guy who’s a bit of a chazer (pig). Bateman correctly defined chazerai as garbage, but Stewart disagreed. At the end of the show Stewart actually returned to publicly apologize to Bateman for correcting his Yiddish since chazerai indeed does mean garbage.

Bateman then threw out mishegas and Stewart responded with meshugena. The conversation then turned to Bateman’s self-identification as a goy (gentile) and his experience at a friend’s Passover seder. Here’s the video of them shmoozing on the show last night:

Zei gezunt to Jason Bateman and Jon Stewart… and thanks for the early freilich Purim gift! 


Shabbat Saved this Guy from Dying on the Malaysia Airlines Flight. Or Did It?

Purim begins this Saturday night and once again the Jewish people will tell the story of our salvation. We will listen to the words of Megillat Esther, the story of how our ancestors were miraculously saved from their tragic death.Indeed that story is one that celebrates life. The Jewish people were saved from death in ancient Shushan (Persia), as the story goes, because the heroes Mordechai and Esther rose up and saved their people from destruction.

As we are preparing for the Purim holiday we are also glued to the TV waiting for any news of the fate of those aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight #370 which disappeared somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and its destination of Beijing. Oftentimes when a tragedy such as a plane crash or a terrorist event occurs there are those who claim that by some miraculous turn of events they evaded the tragedy. Sometimes these stories are accurate and other times they are debunked by websites like


Malaysia Airlines Shabbat Miracle

I learned this morning of a story that has been circulated on the Web about a Jewish man who tried to book a flight on that Malasia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, however the travel agent being an ultra-Orthodox Jew refused to book him on that flight since it would require traveling on Shabbat. (According to Jewish law even arranging for another Jew to travel on the Sabbath is in violation of Jewish law.) The story, as reported in a blog by Daniel Eleff, the CEO of online travel agency, claims that his friend was the Sabbath observant travel agent who refused to book the man, whom we only know as Andrew, on that flight.


Purim YouTube Videos – Top Purim Videos for 2014

Purim is here! In preparing for my annual rundown of the top videos for Purim this year a few thoughts emerged: First, nothing really impressed me this year. Second, there wasn’t a lot of creativity (did a memo go out limiting people to only use Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” and “Let It Go” — the theme from the movie Frozen?). Third, where’s this year’s contribution from the Maccabeats? Maybe they’re too busy touring around the world and appearing on TV with Katie Couric?

I’m hopeful that the creative geniuses out there will get working on next year’s Purim spoofs and parodies and come up with some fun videos that are more creative than the t-shirt above. It’s actually easier for me to choose the best Purim videos when there’s more to choose from. While it was slim pickens this year, there are some fun ones below. So Happy Purim… and here are 2014’s top Purim videos:

HAPPY Purim (by Pharrell)

The Haman Remembrance – Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Megillas Lester Official Trailer

Kinderlach – Purim Chagiga

Miracle – Gad Elbaz and Naftali Kalfa featuring Ari Lesser

“What Does Haman Say” by A.K.A. Pella

Star Wars Lego Movie Purim Trailer

Let it Go Frozen – It’s a Purim Song

Michelle Citrin – Shake Your Grogger (A Purim Song)

Bob Dylan Purim Shpiel (Robert Zimmerman)

What Does Purim Say? (What Does the Fox Say?)

Everything Is Purim (from the Lego Movie)


Jewish Celeb Harold Ramis on Groundhog Day’s Torah Metaphor

Sadly, Harold Ramis passed away yesterday at the early age of 69. Famous for so many great movies including Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Analyze This, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Stripes. Ramis also acted and appeared in such films as Knocked Up, As Good As It Gets, Airheads and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (where he played L’chaim).
Harold Ramis - Groundhog Day and the Torah

Not a religious Jew, Harold Ramis did don a tallit and gave a terrific sermon on Rosh Hashanah at Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living a few years ago. Here are the videos of that presentation about Jewish creativity:



For many, Harold Ramis’ finest writing contribution was the 1993 classic Groundhog Day. In a talk at the Hudson Union Society in 2009, Ramis explained some of the allure behind Groundhog Day. While Zen Buddhists find it to be very Buddhist, Christians see the Christian metaphors in the film. The psychiatric community told Ramis that they thought the movie was a metaphor for psychoanalysis. At the 2:39 mark of this talk, Harold Ramis shares how there is a connection between Groundhog Day and the Torah. As a Jew, Ramis explains that Jews respond to the movie so well because the Torah is read anew every year and yet we see the same story with different meanings.


Twitter Hashtag on a Wedding Kippah

Reform Jewish wedding, Conservative Jewish wedding or Orthodox Jewish wedding… they all have one thing in common — the personalized yarmulke. It’s impossible to go to a Jewish wedding and not receive a keepsake kippah with the bride and groom’s names imprinted on the inside along with the wedding date.Well, these personalized kippot have been fairly standard for a very long time. Some Jewish wedding couples choose to include the Hebrew date of the wedding along with the secular date and some couples have their names printed in Hebrew as well.

For the first time I saw a couple include a hashtag on the inside of their wedding kippahs. Hashtags are used on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) that are used to identify messages on a specific topic making it easy to search. Oftentimes at conventions, conferences, events and sports games a hashtag is recommended so users can follow the related posts.


Hashtag Wedding Kippah (Yarmulke)
Brian Stelter and Jamie Shupak’s wedding kippah with the #thestelters hashtag

The Case for Making Jewish Summer Camp More Affordable

Jewish day school parents will soon be sitting in crowded movie theaters able to relate with the family on the big screen. “That’s us!” they’ll say as they watch Zach Braff and Kate Hudson star in the upcoming movie “Wish I Was Here.” In the film, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival and has raised over $3 million of its $2 million goal on Kickstarter, Zach Braff plays Aidan Bloom. Bloom is a struggling actor living in suburban Los Angeles with his wife (Kate Hudson) and their two children. The couple is forced to pull their children from their Jewish day school after his dad, played by Mandy Patinkin, announces he is suffering from cancer and will no longer be able to pay tuition. Rather than send them to the local public school, Braff’s character decides to home school the kids.Zach Braff co-wrote the script with his brother Adam. He told the Hollywood Reporter that it’s based on their real life childhood. “It was kind of a combination of both of our lives,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We did have a very strong Conservative/Orthodox upbringing.” Many families will be able to commiserate with the challenge of affording day school tuition.

And when parents choose to send the children to Jewish overnight camp in addition to Jewish day school, the bills really start adding up. Just ask any Jewish family that sends their children to private Jewish day school and a Jewish summer camp about the affordability of such endeavors and they’ll use words such as “sacrifice,” “hardship” and “priorities.” With the cost of Jewish day school tuition for one child varying from $10,000 all the way up to $40,000 per year, more Jewish families who desire a day school Jewish education for their children are finding it cost prohibitive even with financial aid.

Add to those rising costs, the additional expense of a month or two at a Jewish summer camp and families are having to just say “no” to their kids. In the new economy, the Jewish middle class has virtually vanished. Many families who once would be considered upper middle class are forking over their tax returns hoping for subsidies to make day school and camp tuition affordable. New organizations like the Affordable Jewish Education Project (AJEP) are sprouting up seeking to imagine alternative solutions to the economic crisis. Plain and simple it’s becoming cost prohibitive to raise a Jewish family according to the values of day school and summer camp.


Campers and staff at Camp Tamarack in Ortonville, Michigan