Sunday, January 31, 2010

New friends and giving

So while our nanny Christine is away, I rarely have more than a few snippets of time here and there to work - enough to do a cute blog post on my children (obviously!), but not enough to do the full shebang for a wedding or portrait session, though do stay tuned for a really fabulous post from my New Year's Eve wedding which will be on here in the next couple days. So to tide you over, I wanted to share a sweet story by someone whom I "met" through my new network of i heart faces friends. I am excited to say that they liked my textures pic of Indigo on the floor - although not in the guest judge's top 10, it was picked as a fave by the two photographers who run the website out of 639 entries so I am very flattered and pleased since it was only my second attempt.

One blogging mum left a lovely and encouraging note on Indigo's photo, so I in turn went to her see who she was on her blog, and next think I knew, I was swept up in her life - the world of blogging is a strange one, but amazing at the same time. Anyway, this post particularly hit home and reminded me of how Oslo corrects me still every night, insisting that we need to pray for Haiti first, before we do our own thankful time.

Click here to read about her loving and generous boy, Kaishon.

And because all photographer's posts need images to help tell the story, here is Oslo and his friend, Will, presenting the Bermuda Red Cross with their school's donations for Haiti.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Telling textures

So my new fave blog is i heart faces. Just the fact that they have the word heart in their name is enough, for as Oslo and Indigo will tell you, it is my most beloved shape and they have quickly picked up on the love of finding hearts in nature wherever they can, be it a potato chip, a leaf or a rock. And I keep them all (well, maybe I eat the chips!).

So this week, the challenge is texture. This can be taken so many ways, from the obvious Photoshop tricks to the actual textures in the image itself. I was hoping to submit a photo of a client and even had one picked out last week, but I missed the deadline. So this week, I should make it in time and hope they don't mind another shot of Indigo - perhaps they will be happy to see her a little less teary this time - working our way towards the happy face.

What I love about this photo, aside from the obvious fact that she is my offspring, are the many textures within the image itself, even before Photoshop. You almost don't notice what I added, for all the patterns in the rug, her pettiskirt and messy hair. To me, it just makes her porcelain skin seem that much more flawless (biased mama perhaps?). I love the subtlety of all those muted colours in the same tones as Indigo herself, and all the busyness around her makes the perfect frame - delicious, just like she is.

So thank you i heart faces for another fun challenge. Blue that I missed last week (perhaps they will have another family theme in the future!) but thrilled to be enjoying the contests each week going forward.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Carolyn & Kristian

Kristian and Carolyn met when they were only 14 years old in English class at school. For two years, the pair were friends in the same circle, but the summer of 1999 changed everything. They became high school sweet hearts through their senior year, and remained together through 4 years of college and indeed have spent the last 10 years falling more in love, and being best of friends. Carolyn cannot remember a time when she was not in love with Kristian and the two are so excited to be starting on this next chapter of their lives, looking forward to all the new experiences and opportunities that will come their way.

When I say the weather on the wedding day was insane, that is putting it mildly. This is the view out of Carolyn's room as she was getting ready and it deteriorated from there. Not only were there torrential rains and storm force winds, but a couple tornados ripped through Hamilton at the very hour while we were en route from the church back to the reception, and even tore part of the roof off Bermuda's Magistrate's Court. Very unusual weather for this Island, especially in December when it is usually still lovely, and certainly crazy shooting conditions!

The dress was from Kleinfeld in New York and was a Pnina Tornai design.

Since Carolyn is virtually impossible to surprise, Kristian could not do the traditional romantic dinner proposal. Rather, he popped the question in a totally low key and incredibly unexpected way. It was December 29th 2007 and Carolyn was feeling pretty down that yet another year was about to come to an end and Kristian and she were still not engaged. They were in the car on the way to his apartment to make some room for some of Carolyn's things as the plan was for her to move in soon. He casually asked her to pull something out of the glove compartment and said he felt bad about not having given her anything for Christmas (the two usually only exchange gifts once a year and Carolyn's birthday is just before the holidays). At this point, she still was not suspicious, or excited for that matter, as the box was not your typical little back box. But when she opened it, there lay a beautiful round brilliant solitaire diamond set in a platinum ring. Kristian asked Carolyn if she would marry him and the rest is history.

Carolyn borrowed a diamond necklace belonging to her aunt, who is also her Godmother.

The rest of Carolyn's wedding day jewelry was from Swarovski which matched the Swarovski crystals on the dress.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not only a cuddle muffin myself, but am also really into capturing others cuddling - it pretty much defines my shooting style. I ask my clients to nuzzle all the time and some of them look back at me blankly, not even sure what I mean exactly but somehow, we always capture how they feel about each other! It turned out, Carolyn is not a touchy feely person, but I got her snuggling with everyone as much as I could, starting with her mum in this shot below - it was hilarious for her mother to get the hugs she wanted on her beautiful daughter's wedding day, and for Carolyn to reluctantly to give them. I could see she actually loved it in the end. So cute.

This shot below is one of my favourites of the day - Carolyn looks so serene and the details in her veil and dress are stunning.

I adore when brides place a beautiful broach or something sentimental to their bouquet - it makes the blooms so much more personal and glamorous. Carolyn attached her grandmother's ring to her the ribbons of her flowers, created by the ever talented Marguerite from Petals. Her grandfather gave the ring to her grandmother when she was only 16 and there wasn't a day when she did not wear it. Both her maternal grandparents passed away five years ago but the bride wanted them to be with her on the day so she chose this ring as her something old.

Carolyn's hair and makeup was done at the Inverurie Day Spa downstairs in the hotel. I loved that the bridesmaids' styles were almost as fabulous as the bride's, and that their jewelry was in keeping with the colours of the day and the crystals on Carolyn's dress.

Nikki Begg from Bermuda Bride was the couple's wedding planner and she was the one who recommended St Michael's Church. Nikki had nothing but wonderful things to say about Father Vladamir and the intimate setting that the church offers. As soon as the couple stepped inside, they knew it was where they should be married, for it reminded them of their church at home.

As I mentioned before, it was a wild drive back through town from the church to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, but everyone made it in one piece and looking as fresh as ever. Carolyn's first trip to Bermuda was immediately after their engagement. Kristian had been to the Island before many years earlier and Carolyn fell in love with the friendly people, the countryside, and the climate (I imagine the weather was a little different that December than it was this year!). When the couple visited the Princess, they fell in love with the Gazebo Room as the location for their reception and the decision was made.

Carolyn loves the colour pink and knew it had to be incorporated into the wedding. After visiting Bermuda, she realised that pink and green are an underlying theme around the Island and so this seemed to her the perfect combination given she wanted a Christmas colour scheme without being so obvious with red and green. Pink and green seemed like the next best option and it all pulled together beautifully, from the flowers, to the bridesmaids' dresses, to the way the reception was decorated.

Santa showed up while we were taking photos and so we couldn't resist getting him in a shot or two.

Kristian's wedding band is a simple white gold band with a comfort fit as he is not a jewelry person, but Carolyn is proud to report that he is still wearing it, even though he did nearly lose it after leaving it on the bathroom sink just before the couple left for the airport back home. Since then, he has been extremely careful! On the inside of the ring, his bride had engraved "My Everything 12.19.09". Carolyn's wedding band is an eternity ring with two rows of pave set diamonds and she could not love either her classic engagement or her splendid wedding rings more. I hope you can see the rings in the image below - perhaps click on it to see larger.

This dreamy image below is another fave, and I am happy to say that Carolyn needed no encouragement nuzzling her handsome groom - I guess her husband is the only one where her non-touchy-feely nature goes out the window.

The best part of the day for me was when the sun came out. I realise that the weather does not effect brides and grooms as much as it does me and that is what I love. They are still madly in love, even if it is howling a gale or flooding in the streets. They still say I do, even if not in the exact location they had envisioned. But the look in each others' eyes is all they notice anyway and I bet better than they could have dreamed. The flowers are still gorgeous, the friends and family still celebrating, the food still divine, and frankly, it is as if the weather doesn't really matter at all. But I have to say, I tend to think that it matters to me. While I am always surprised by how wonderfully the photos turn out when we don't have sunny skies, if we are blessed with a break in the weather during a wedding, my heart leaps and I charge outside (poor couple in tow) to seize whatever moments I can. And this is what happened on Carolyn and Kristian's wedding day. After enduring a weather system that seemed it would never let up, the skies brightened, the winds calmed and the light became glowy.

Below is Jonathan of Summit Video Productions showing the couple some of his amazing footage of them with the sunset behind. He captured a sunburst that made my heart go pitter patter for it was such a lovely moment in time. And I will have you know that Jonathan braved the elements from the church to the reception on a scooter - new found respect for him, for my car was being blown onto the other side of the road so cannot imagine what was happening to him!

I couldn't decide between the two of these shots - they are they same image - just processed differently and I just love both.

And then the sunset lit up the sky and just left all of us breathless. What a grand finale to such a wild weather day.

The couple's dream cake was created by the chef at the Princess. Carolyn had found a picture of the cake in a Martha Stewart wedding magazine and instantly loved its simplicity. With their monogram on the bottom tier, and a smaller version of the bridal bouquet adorning the top tier with a cascading pink ribbon coming down the side, its simplicity and elegance fit the couple to a tee.

Ever since Carolyn was a little girl, she knew she wanted a Christmas wedding. She loves the holidays with all the decorations and lights. It is the time of year she is most happy, even though it now means that her birthday, anniversary, Christmas and New Year are all celebrated in a matter of weeks. Every year, Carolyn's mum has put an ornament on their tree from a wedding she had gone to at Christmas time. Carolyn thought that would make a great wedding favour so she designed the balls online and used their colour scheme of pink and green.

After going to so many weddings, when Kristian and Carolyn started their own event planning, they knew they wanted something special, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends. They decided to have a destination wedding which was the perfect solution for this private couple to keep their big day intimate. With 43 loved ones flying in for the celebrations, the couple felt it was the perfect sized guest list. At first, Carolyn had feared the grandness of the Gazebo Room would overwhelm such a small gathering, but after working with Nikki on every detail, the space was transformed into an intimate setting that was so personal to the newyly weds and the pair had the time of their lives.

Carolyn and Kristian - I wish you both nothing but happiness as your journey together continues. If the weather on your wedding day is anything to go by, your lives together will be filled with excitement, unpredictability and truly colourful and heart warming surprises at every turn. Happy loving, happy living. xx