Tag Archives: julie mcgann

Which Movie Character am I most like?

I have never been able to compare myself to anyone in books or television until several weeks ago, when I watched Harry Potter for the first time.  My daughter is a HUGE Harry Potter fan and I discuss these books with her almost every day.  It wasn’t until I saw the movies that I realized, there is a character that is almost exactly like me…minus the magic of course…lol!



Why it’s LUNA LOVEGOOD of course!

Why you ask?  Here are five characteristics that we have in common…

1.  We both speak in a soft and sweet voice…probably why kids love me so much!

2.  I have been known to skip around, especially when I wear a ponytail.  Who doesn’t like to make their pony tail swish?

3.  Even though she doesn’t say much or look like there is much going on inside her head due to her blank stare, there actually is a ton of imagination brewing all the time.  She believes in “what if” situations and can imagine them as if they were real.  Sound familiar? A Tyrannosaurus Rex who wanted purple hair…lol!

4.  She is odd…much like me when I burst out an imaginary idea in front of a crowd of friends, telling them of the giant bottle of ketchup wearing sunglasses in my brain that is playing helicopter with a little girl…lol!

5.  Since she is so quiet, her jokes although sometimes unintentional are extremely funny because they are so unexpected. I love joking about everything, but the most unexpected thing about me would be my sneezes…lol! I may have a tiny little voice, but my sneezes can blow the top off a mountain…watch out!

In other words, I am weird…and I love that!

What movie character are you most like?






What is the #1 question that every one asks me about my art?

So, what is the #1 question that everyone asks me about my art????

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The answer is no!

Each portrait is made up of several images that I have blended together in Photoshop to bring my imaginary idea to life! It is like finding all the pieces of the puzzle and putting them together as I see it in my brain. Each tiny little detail, I have captured with my own camera!  Sometimes as many as 50 images come together to create a final portrait! It is actually a very exciting process watching it come to life!

Since I use real life objects and people, the imaginary vision that the child has described to me can actually come to life right before their eyes! They can see what it would look like in the real world! The technical term for my form of art is called Illustrative Portraiture, which means bringing imagination to life using Photoshop and giving it a “painted” feel. My artistic painted style of choice is pastel watercolor! I like soft colors, because it matches the sweetness of little children’s imagination that I love so much!



Addicted to Pinterest

Okay…I admit it!  I am just slightly addicted to Pinterest!  Okay…maybe a LOT!  It just seems like time is moving too quickly and I am afraid that if I blink, I might not notice my kids growing up until they are already grown.  I am definitely not a Pinterest Mom, although you can probably call me a Pinterest Mom Wanna Be…lol!  I am constantly surfing Pinterest to fill their days with interesting crafts to do and games to play.

However, what I am totally obsessed with??

It’s creating the perfect birthday, which means baking the best cake that they will remember forever!  I work hours on each of their cakes the day before their birthday.  I have to admit this right now, although I am good with Photoshop, the oven is NOT my friend!  Somehow my cookies always turn out burnt and raw at the same time.  My kids call them scabs…lol!  I really want to be that Mom that has warm homemade cookies and milk waiting for them when they get off the bus and they do…just not Pinterest quality cookies…lol!



Thomas the Tank Engine Cake (Using my new frosting Fun Gun)  – Word to the wise, the fun gun is no fun at all.  I got frustrated, stabbed the cake a bunch of times, threw everything in the garbage, drove to Wegmans and bought a Thomas cake!

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The Ferocious Beast (From Maggie and the Ferocious Beast) – Looks beautiful right?  Until the next morning when his head fell off!  Cue the tears!  But no worries, I turned it into a joke! She had the Beast’s Butt as her birthday cake that year and you know what happens if you light a fire near the beast’s butt…lol!IMG_8796

The Reading Tree – My daughter liked to climb one our our trees to read her books.  She wanted me to make a cake of her sitting in her favorite tree.  So I searched Pinterest and found a great way to make a tree by using rice krispie treats colored green as the top of the tree.  Sounds great right? Well, let me just tell you in advance, rice krispie treats catch on fire…FAST!  So the whole entire tree was in fire!  I don’t have a picture, because we needed to try and put it out really fast…lol!  You can use your imagination!


However, not all my birthday cakes were complete failures.  I have one birthday that will go down in history as the best birthday party I have ever planned thanks to Pinterest. HARRY POTTER!  I planned everything, right down to the scavenger hunt for her present, which was a treasure chest full of Harry Potter accessories.

The Feast 


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Are you addicted to Pinterest too for Birthdays?  Show me your cakes…good and bad!  I won’t judge…lol!  



Cell Phone Magic

Curious about what the personal photos look like that I use in my portraits? Here is an example! They don’t have to be perfect! I can make anything work! I used these three cell phone pictures from a client to make a portrait of her children and their dog.

Recently, Barney, the beloved dog of these two children passed away. They missed him so much that they wanted to create a picture in memory of him. So, I asked them, if they could spend one more day with Barney, what would they want to do with him and it could be anything! This is what they came up with. The double rainbow symbolizes their two wishes coming true.

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10 Inspirational Children’s Book Quotes

Have you ever had a really bad day with your kids and felt like you were the worst parent on the earth?  It happens to me sometimes. But somehow, at night, when I read my children a bedtime story, I just feel so much better about my day.  Books have hidden inspiration in them and sometimes those little words can make a bad day great again. I have collected some quotes from children’s books that I either say to myself or to my kids to help us through rough moments. I hope they can help you too!



  1. “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” – Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
  2. “So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains!” – Oh the Places You Will Go by Dr. Suess
  3. “It is our choices Harry, that show us who we really are, far more than our abilities.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  4. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can……” – The little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
  5. “It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.” – Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  6. “No bad bunnies, no rude rabbits, use your manners and have good habits. Be polite, and kind, and true. That’s my bunny! Good for you!” – No Bunny’s Perfect by Anna Dewdny
  7. “A little glitter can turn your whole day around”  – Junie B Jones First Grader, Shipwrecked by Barbara Park
  8. “You just think wonderful thoughts,” Peter explained, “and they lift you up in the air.” – Peter Pan by JM Barrie
  9. “In every every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and the jobs a game” – Mary Poppins by PL Travers
  10. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – The Lion and The Mouse by Aesop

What is your favorite children’s book quote?  Share in the comments!



What I Value the Most

My mission as a creative photographer is based on ten core values that I strongly believe in…

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  1. Originality
  2. Imagination
  3. Creativity
  4. Connection
  5. Humor
  6. Happiness
  7. Friendship
  8. Inspiration
  9. Fun
  10. Quality

However, one core value stands out in my mind as the most important…the one I believe is the heart of my all portraits.

That is…Connection!

Children have a deep connection with animals, but much differently than we as adults feel towards them.  Children view them as best friends to play with.  When you think of a little girl who has a kitten, what does she want to do with that real live kitten?  Take it for a stroller ride of course or dress it up and have a tea party with it.  I understand that need to befriend animals and I try to portray that connection in my portraits!  This friendly connection with animals is why I created dream pet portraits, so children could live out their fantasies of having any animal in the world as their best friend!

Did you have an animal that you so desperately wanted as a child to play with?  Share your stories in the comments!  






Lost in my Portraits

There are several ways people can run their businesses based on their personality strengths…

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So, what is my main personality strength that is the heart of my business?  

Well, by the use of the word “heart” it is Passion of course!

I pour my heart and soul into each and every portrait I create.  I find myself drawn into the story and the characters I create, as if I am living right in the portrait, with each detail harmonizing the senses of taste, touch, scent, sight and sound right before your eyes.  I am taken to another world that I am passionate about creating.  My style gives you an open book into my soul and how I feel on the inside.  The final portrait should portray a warm emotional connection between the characters of the story and overall feel of the dream scene.

Afternoon Tea is one such picture that I became lost in and felt like I was actually there getting to know the dogs at the tea party.  Katie is the beautiful sophisticated senior dog fanning herself in the back.  She prefers the coolness of the shade. She is elegant and wise, looking very fashionable in her pink dress. Emma, on the left, is the diva of the group! She is the leader of the pack and a total drama queen, which is why she refuses to wear a hat and is texting at the table. Oh, Emma! She has been featured on Target Boots & Barkley pet products recently and even has her own dog blog called mygbgvlife.com. Emma just loves the color red! Bailie, on the right, is the baby of the group and looks up to the other two dogs. She is a very goofy dog and loves the colors brown and orange. She wants to be just like them, but still a baby at heart with her little stuffed bunny.  They all live in their beautiful dog house mansion with a pink candle chandelier in a picturesque cherry blossom orchard.  I feel like I know them and I have never even met them.  

I am passionate about creating an out-of-the-box creative portrait that captures the essence of the families and the connections between them.  Whether it be between people and animals or just animals alone, you will be confident to know that tender loving care is put into each portrait.

Have you ever read a book and felt like you were actually there? That is how I feel about my art!  Tell me about it in the comments!





About Julie

I am a wish granting digital artist who captures the imagination of little dreamers by giving them them the dream pet they have always wanted!

I can make any dream come true worldwide through use of your personal photos! http://juliemcgann.com/artist






Terrible Mistakes I Made

When I first started out photographing children for my Imaginary Dream Portraits, I made a lot of mistakes.  And that is okay!

“We all mess up. It’s what we learn from our mistakes that matter” -Lauren Myracle

Here are 4 terrible mistakes I made while photographing children and what I learned from each one… 

1.  When asking a child about their dream pet, I must remember to reassure them that I am not bringing an actual animal to their home!  The child was terrified when I arrived and refused to take a picture with me…thinking I had brought an actual zoo animal!  This session did not work out…so in the end, I asked my daughter to complete this picture.


2.  I must remember to remind the child that she is going to be merely pretending to fly!  When I arrived at the child’s home, she thought I was going to actually take her flying high up in the sky.  Only in our imagination, little one…only in our imagination.  She was very pleased with the final picture though!

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3.  When pretending to feed an imaginary animal, it is hard to explain to the child how to look excited and happy.  Soo…a crazy thing I like to do is have a person be that animal and make crazy faces and then you get that perfect expression!


4.  This portrait session was supposed to be an elephant make-over.  She had trouble pretending to paint the elephants toenails or put on makeup or basically anything I asked her to do.  She was in a horrible mood that day.  So…to resolved the problem, I gave her a toy camera and asked her to take a picture of the beautiful elephant.  Problem solved and a picture perfect ending!  I learned that I have to be willing to change my vision at a moments notice…

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“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons!  Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible” – Cherie-Carter Scotts



5 Reminders For Times When You Feel Like Quitting

Writing and illustrating a children’s book has been very challenging.  There were many times where I just wanted to throw in the towel and chuck that thing in the garbage, but this is my dream.  I can’t give up.  I can do this!  It WILL happen!  I will see this to the end!

You have a dream too…I know it!  Don’t give up!  All your hard work will be worth it in the end!  If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it, right?


5 Reminders for Times When You Feel Like Quitting

1.  Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date, take a deep breath and try again (K.T. Witten)

2.  The moment you are ready to quit is usually the perfect moment before the big miracle. Do not give up! (Unknown)

3.  Never give up…you may never know how close you may be to achieving your dreams! (Unknown)

4.  You never fail until you stop trying (Albert Einstein)

5.  You are capable of more than you know (E.O. Wilson)

Now go out there and chase your dreams!