Last Day: Family Portrait Giveaway!


UPDATE: Just a reminder that today is the last day to throw your name in the hat for the family portrait giveaway. We’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck!

If you’ve always wanted a really incredible portrait of your family – something worthy of a spot above the mantle – you’re going to be so glad you clicked over here today. We’ve got the mother of all Motherlode giveaways, and the winner will get a session with local photographer Melanie Merkling and a 20 x 24 print of the photo of her choice, printed on canvas and stretched across a wood frame by professional framer Scott McGowen of Scott Frame & Art (located in Rogers).

If you’ve ever had professional photographs made before, you know how expensive it can be when you add up sitting fees, printing costs, framing, etc. If you went out and bought this, it would cost around $400.

But we think every mama deserves a chance to have a beautiful portrait of her family – something she can keep forever. So we asked a few of our friends to help us pull it off. Melanie Merkling, whose work you see featured above, is also a contributing writer here on Motherlode. She writes the tips you see in the “Picture Mama” category, and her photos speak for themselves. Click HERE to see more examples of her work on her website.

Once you’ve got that great photo, you need an equally great presentation of it, which is why we called our friend Scott McGowen of Scott Frame & Art (located in Tuscany Square behind Chick-Fil-A on Pleasant Grove Rd in Rogers). He has framed several family photos for me, and his work is beautiful.

scottframe-jpgresize.jpgOne of the reasons I love his shop is because he uses high-tech computer equipment that lets me experiment with different mattes and frames. The computer program will let you actually see what your photo or artwork will look like with various frames before you commit to one. This tool is WONDERFUL for those of us who have a hard time envisioning what the finished product will look like. No need to imagine anymore. Now you can see it, change your mind, try something else and be certain about your selection before you order. For the winner of this giveaway, Scott will print the portrait on canvas (a huge 20 x 24 size) and stretch it on a frame so it will be ready to hang in your home.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post by clicking the word “comment” below, or send us an e-mail at As always, we reward those who help us spread the word about the website and our giveaways. So if you send an e-mail to your friends about it, be sure to CC us on the note and we’ll put your name in the hat again for every friend you tell, thereby increasing your odds of winning.

A great photograph of your family is something you know you’ll enjoy for years, so don’t miss out on a chance to win this one. Best of luck to all our fellow mamas. We’ll pick a winner at random on Thursday and announce on Friday.


  1. oh my gosh…i would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win this giveaway!!! Melanie did my prego pics and when our Addison got here, she did our 2 week photos, and she is AMAZING! This would be the most perfect Christmas present for my husband. Again, i would LOVE to win this!! 🙂

  2. I would love to have a nice famiy portrait done to hang in the middle of our 2 daughters pictures (we haven’t done family portraits in two years – we are about due one) I would love to win this giveaway and surprise my husband

  3. I am a compulsive contest enterer! I have always wanted a family portrait done professionally but have never done it and have been talking about it to friends recently who have. I would LOVE this!


  4. Please choose me! I would LOVE this for our family. ( Evan after reading Abotu Gwen’s photo session!)

  5. We haven’t had a family photo since Autumn has joined us, and even our last fam photo never got a frame!

    Thanks, ladies, for doing this!!!

  6. I think it would be AWESOME to win this!! To have a nice framed canvas portrait of the family would be great!!!

  7. I have been wanting to have a nice family picture done for our living room for a while now, but was just looking for the right photographer. I would love to win this drawing!

  8. Like everyone else, I would love this opportunity to get an awesome portrait made of our budding family!! Thank you so much for this!

  9. I would love to win this! My son will be one soon. We haven’t done a family portrait yet, so this would be so wonderful!

  10. Oh, Yes, I would love to have a beautiful family portrait. Since all of our relatives live out of town, what a great Christmas present for them.

    Thank you so much!!

  11. What an awesome contest! I have only had one picture done of my and my five year old and myself and couldn’t really afford to get a large print. I have done my son with his cousins but never had an opportunity to do just the two of us. Thanks for the opportunity to enter!

  12. I would love to win this. We have never had a family portrait done. I have recently been researching the local photographers. I really love Melanie’s work. Good luck to all who enter!!
    Angie Yarbrough

  13. I would love and cherish a family portrait. With my youngest just turning a year it would be awesome.

  14. I would absolutely LOVE to win this family portrait to put in my new home!!! I need to fill my walls 🙂

  15. This would be the perfect Christmas gift! I love your site. It’s perfect for mom’s and grandmom’s too! Thanks

  16. Your portraits look so beatuiful!! This would be an amazing gift to a special family. Thanks for sharing the opportunity with us.


  17. I would love to have a portrait of my daugther and I. Being a single mom, I can’t afford to get pictures taken as often as I would like. (Especially having a little girl growing right before my eyes!) The last portrait we had taken together was 3 years ago. Thank you NWA motherlode….

  18. Wow, what a generous offer from Melanie Merkling Photography! Thank you for having the giveaway. It would be so exciting to have free photo session. We could never afford something so nice.

  19. What a beautiful portrait! The last family picture we had done was taken by a photographer that did not do well with children, lesson learned! Thanks for a great family giveaway!

  20. I would love to win this great gift! We haven’t had a family portrait made in several years. Thanks for this opportunity to win!

  21. I would love to win this as a present for my parents. We haven’t had a family portrait done in years, and being a single Mom going to nursing school, I can’t afford to do something like this!

  22. I would love to have a family portrait taken! Melanie is wonderful and took our son’s pictures 2 years ago when he was first born. I think it’s time for some more!

  23. It would be soooo great to have a family portrait taken! I have so many pictures of our kids but very few of our whole family! My husband would be so excited if we won this!

  24. Thank you so much for this chance to win the family photo give away!! I hope we win!!! I can’t remember the last time my family had a photo done together but I’m sure I had a “80’s” hair do!! I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  25. We haven’t had a family portrait done in several years. This would be wonderful! I never win anything! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  26. What a wonderful contest.. right in time for Christmas! I would like to be entered in the contest. Thank you! 🙂

  27. What a wonderful giveaway! We have a new son & haven’t had the oportunity to have a family portrait taken yet! I’ll be sure to forward this to tons of friends!

  28. I would LOVE to have such a touching, memorable gift of our family. We have a lot of pictures of the kids but usually it is them alone or with either my husband or I as the other is behind the camera. I would be blown away to be the lucky winner. Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter.

  29. This would be a great present that i could give myself. The kids and i haven’t had a professional picture taken in years. I would love to win! Thanks for the chance.

  30. I think this is an incredible opportunity! Thanks for giving all of us a chance at winning a beautiful work of art.

  31. I just found your website because a friend of mine told me about the portrait contest. So, here I am looking at all the neat things you have on here. LOVED the devotion about just sitting and being happy where you are.

  32. I love to take pictures of my kids but I never get in the pictures since I’m holding the camera. I would love to win this and get the WHOLE family in the picture!

  33. This would be so great! I haven’t had a portrait done of the family since my youngest was born and she is almost 2! This photographer does amazing work and I would love to be a part!

  34. I have seen a lot of Melanie’s work and it is Awesome! What a great giveaway. We have never had a good family portrait done. We are the house lacking that great family photo. With 3 children that’s kind of sad. I would love to be able to do this. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  35. A friend sent me this link to your website. It is really refreshing! Please enter me into your contest for the family photo — I have 3 beautiful kids who are growing up too quickly and I would love to have a family photo that preserves the way the are at this phase in life. Thanks!

  36. We would love to have this opportunity! We just had our 4th and final baby this past year and it would be the perfect time for us!

  37. What a wonderful give-a-way! I saw Melanie’s work on her page. What beautiful pictures! I can’t imagine a better Christmas present.

  38. Our family is in the picture for the giveaway, and I just wanted to write a quick comment about how WONDERFUL our experience with Melanie was. She completely captured this beautiful time of our lives and our daughters’ spirits. Good luck!

  39. We just moved this month and our mantel is bare. This would be the perfect addition. Thanks for the chance to win.

  40. What a great website and what a great idea to get the word out! Kudos! Thanks for literally giving a family something that otherwise they might not have been able to prioritize financially. Thanks for getting into the spirit of Christmas! I would love to win this for my big blended family!

  41. This would make a wonderful coming home present for my husband who is currently serving his second deployment in Iraq. Thanks for the chance to be a part of something so exciting!

  42. I would love to win this prize!!!!I have had a frame with no picture in it over my mantel for almost a year.Waiting for the perfect picture!!!!!

  43. In my mind pictures are one of the most valued treasures we can give and receive. They tell stories that might otherwise be forgotten. How many times do we look back on photos of our children when they were small or of a lost loved one and “remember when”? Anyone winning this awesome gift will be blessed to have the portrait in their home! And if you don’t win, get out there and get your family portrait done and preserve precious memories!!!

  44. I would LOVE to win this! My son is 14 months old and has changed so much since we had our only family picture taken when he was 3 months old. This would be a wonderful Christmas gift.

  45. My family has never had the opportunity to have our pictures taken professionally. I would love to be able to put this picture on my mantel above the fireplace. Please pick me and my family.

  46. I too would love to win this…I too have not had my family pics done. Plus I have the perfect place for it too! Please enter me!

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