Hacked By BALA SNIPER
Hacked By BALA SNIPER
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Who doesn’t love Old Hollywood photography style! I do! When I heard of a workshop organized by Pete Wright, a photographer from Virginia, I jumped into an opportunity to learn from one of the best in the field, and I wasn’t disappointed. The workshop took place in Las Vegas concurrent with an annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International conference. Old Hollywood style is a bit different than what I am used to doing. First, no light modifiers are used. For example, soft boxes or umbrellas that diffuse light are often used to make female skin look softer and more flattering. In this case, strong direct light is used. It produces very deep sharp shadows that are characteristic to this style. Editing process is a bit different as well. Pictures obviously are black and white (no color film existed yet). There is a deep contrast between highlights and shadows and a glow filter is added for a nice finishing touch. The final result is pretty amazing! So who wants Old Hollywood photography glamour session? Make sure to call for an appointment soon.
It is almost spring, but I am excited to post pictures from the winter wedding shoot I did in collaboration with a few other vendors at The Garden on Millbrook. As always, it was a great concept and a great experience, and the venue could not be more amazing. It was a cold January day with expected snow fall, which in North Carolina is a big deal, so we had to be done before the weather went bad. The setting could not be any better though. The sky was overcast (perfect for this type of shoot) and we even had a frozen waterfall to play with. Just like with a previous shoot I did at the Mountain View Farm, all vendors went out and beyond to fulfill their role in the shoot. We had a beautiful white cake and cupcakes from The Confectionate Cakes, awesome frozen desserts from The Freezing Pointe, and our table was dressed by no other but The Paradigm Shift Event and The Desktop Diva. Vivian, our bride, was wearing an amazing wedding gown from Savvi bridal boutique, and Brock, our groom, looked handsome in a tux also provided by Savvi. Not to mention how absolutely stunning Vivan looked thanks to Liz of Wedding Hair by Liz and Pam of OnLoktionMakeup. Let’s not forget about bling on Vivian’s neck and ears provided by Sabika and gorgeous flowers donated by North Raleigh Florist. My idea for a winter wedding shoot was brewing in my head not very long. I pretty much knew what I wanted to do. Winter weddings in North Carolina are not very popular. Most brides prefer warmer weather and some color in the nature. But I wanted to create something different. Winter is such an awesome season even if there is not much snow on the ground. You just have to know what to look at. Picking a venue for a winter shoot was crucial. I did not want any bare brown trees in the background, so more urban looking venue was perfect. But we did have one awesome surprise: a frozen waterfall! There is a small waterfall in the corner of the courtyard that normally flows easily down the rocks, but due to lower temperatures, it was completely frozen creating cascades of ice. I could not ask for anything better as a backdrop for the winter wedding shoot.
What is so special about Mountain View Farm NC? Every now and then I have a vision and a need to create a shoot that is just for me. Mostly to practice certain new techniques I learned, build my portfolio, or satisfy the hunger for creating something new. This time I wanted to create a boho stylized wedding with all elements that come into planning a real wedding. That is not an easy task, but a task that requires involvement of many individuals. First of, I needed a venue that would let me use the grounds to bring my vision to life. I wanted to find a place that would be as close to boho style as possible, so I contacted one of the vendors I met at the networking event, Kimberly Williams of Wedding by the Vine. She happened to know Sandra, the owner of a very lovely property called Mountain View Farm NC. The moment I saw the grounds, I knew it was a perfect choice. The grounds are breath taking with pastures, horses, a pond, gazebo, huge old oak tree, and mesmerizing cottage. I needed a cake, stationery, decorations, flowers, makeup artist, hair stylist, and models of course. I sent a message to the wedding vendors I met before, asking if they would like to participate in the shoot, and to my surprise, they all were on board! (You can find a list of all fantastic vendors at the end of the post). This is when the real excitement started. It is not an easy task to coordinate that many people, but we find a date we all agreed on, and the planning process started. Our theme was boho, and since it was fall time, we decided to incorporate fall colors. I must say, we encountered a few hiccups, but overall the shoot was a total success! Everybody did such a great job, and I am forever grateful to all wonderful women who put their souls, time, and talents into this shoot. Not to mention the owner of the Mountain View Farm NC, Sandra, who went overboard to accommodate us and made us feel at home.
Kimberly Williams – Wedding by the Vine
Kristal Cloer – Farm and Filigree
Julie Robbins – Julie Robbins Makeup
Liz Pamias – Wedding Hair by Liz
Sarah Butler Proudfit – Sabika Jewelry
Courtney Ann Marshal – Courtney Fashionista
Laura Gornto McMillan – Confectionate Cakes
Jennie Harke – Savvi Tuxedo and Bridal Gowns
Samantha Bunn Alawar – North Raleigh Florist
LaDonna Bethea –The Desktop Diva Stationery
Emily and Brian’s spring wedding was nothing short of fun and chick. The wedding ceremony took place at the small and very intimate Fred Fletcher Park in downtown Raleigh, while the reception was moved to the City of Raleigh Museum on Fayetteville Street. Fun and relaxed couples are always so easy to photograph. Especially when you have to deal with big family portraits and chaos of Saturday evening nightlife downtown Raleigh. At some point during the wedding reception, we decided to take a few shots on the street in front of the museum. You can only imagine how busy the street was with all the people attending to local bars and restaurants, not to mention the car traffic. Taking a photo in such conditions requires some planning and strategy. On the other hand, it cannot take too long, since you deal with all the pedestrians and drivers, and you do not want to keep your couple away from the guests for too long. When you scroll down the pictures, you will see one of the pictures I took in the middle of Fayetteville Street that night. Man, was that fun! I was actually surprised how cooperative all drivers were stopping for us and waiting until we were done. This is the magic of the wedding dress! Everybody freezes when they see a bride and let her enjoy the moment. Emily and Brian’s wedding was a great second shooting experience.
Engagement sessions are definitely my favorites. And if you have a fun couple like Jackie and William, it is even better. We decided to do an engagement session on Duke University Campus. It just happens that it is also one of my favorite locations to shoot. Mostly because of its stunning architecture that gives many opportunities. There are brick walls, stairs, arches, little nooks, but also trees, open green areas, and benches. Of course, during winter there is not much green happening, so we opted to work around the Duke Chapel. The day was absolutely stunning with almost 70F weather in the middle of February! I think they both did a great job picking up their outfits. They both look handsome and elegant, but still comfortable and casual. I like the way they coordinated the colors without going overboard. Choice of outfits for an engagement session is very important. I want my girls to look their best, and a proper attire can make all the difference. Jackie looks gorgeous wearing fitted top and jeans that showcase her awesome curves. Not to mention her stunning makeup by Tiwa Lawrence of Pink Diamonds. This couple gets an A+ for an effort.
I had a great time attending Forever Bridal Productions bridal show this past weekend. I did not have my own booth at the show. Instead, I was helping another photographer friend with whom I shoot weddings as a second shooter. It was truly an amazing wedding related event with many different vendors catering to engaged couples. Interacting with many brides-to-be is a great and rewarding experience. You don’t only learn what the current expectations are but also how to approach different individuals. I made sure I visited every wedding vendor at the show. It was a huge task since there were over a hundred vendors. I was happy to see many old friends, but I also made many new ones. As a wedding photographer I know the importance of a relationship with other vendors. We all help each other and refer brides to those vendors who we think are best fit for a particular bride. Forever Bridal Productions bridal show was a great opportunity for me to make new contacts. Not to mention that the event itself was wonderfully organized and entertaining, starting with models presenting wedding attire on a runway and ending with free wedding cake samples. If you are a bride looking for a vendor, I encourage you to visit one of the shows organized by Forever Bridal Productions. They have two main shows in January and August and two smaller shows in April and October. I am sure every bride can find everything she needs at those bridal shows. I am also happy to announce that I will have my own booth at the upcoming show in October. This show is going to take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Chapel Hill. Make sure you stop by to say hello and, more importantly, book your wedding date with me.
Helping charities is one of my goals and photographing Safe Haven Tuxedo Cat Ball was an incredible experience. Safe Haven For Cats (http://safehavenforcats.org) is a wonderful no kill shelter for many cats who one way or another found themselves without a home. Besides taking care of homeless animals, they also offer medical assistance to pets, adoption events, and occasional promotions like free spaying and neutering services. As an animal lover and advocate, helping organizations like Safe Haven is my pleasure and obligation. Safe Haven Tuxedo Cat Ball was a fancy event with many guests wearing beautiful gowns and tuxedos. Silent auction was one of the most important components in raising money for the shelter. Altogether, over $100,000 was raised! What an amazing and surprising outcome! The event itself took place at elegant North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh (http://www.northridgecountryclub.org/). Entertainment at Safe Haven gala included a photo booth managed by Russell Martin ( http://www.haveablastpictures.com/) and a DJ from Shansound Entertainment (http://www.shansound.com/). You could see that guests had a really great time. Not to mention incredibly tasty dinner and deserts prepared by club’s own chefs. The biggest hit, however, was an appearance of a tiny five week old kitten. The little guy appeared on a stage for just a few minutes accompanied by ohhh’s and ahhh’s from all guests. She was just a reminder why events like Safe Haven Tuxedo Cat Ball are important and how important it is to donate the money needed to take care of her.
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