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Instant love on instant film

21 Feb

We shoot everything on film. And we love it when other artists choose this classic medium as well. Other artists like Ben.

Ben owns byfield~pitman photography and specializes in shooting candid wedding pictures and edgy editorial portraits. Ben & I went through photography school together and even back then his work always stood-out because he would try things no one else would even think of. And now more than a decade later, he continues to trailblaze by launching a very cool new service called Polaroid Weddings.

Ben explains how this service came to be: “A couple of us at byfield~pitman have really been enjoying working with Fuji’s Instax cameras and film, so we thought we’d see if the medium would lend itself to wedding photography. In the fall of 2011 we had our very first couple, Susan & Alex, agree to have us photograph their entire wedding with instant film! We were overjoyed with the results, and in 2012 we’re looking forward to hopefully a few more couples seeing value in this timeless way of capturing images.”
It seems that Ben might have stumbled upon an emerging trend. Just last week BRIDES published an article about wedding photography trends mentioning the retro, grainless beauty of Fuji instant prints for couples looking for a completely unique way to capture special moments. According to Ben, the recent interest in this format may be because of the popularity of iPhone apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic. He says they have “become incredibly popular since the demise of Polaroid in 2008. While you may not have heard the names of those apps before, you’ve undoubtedly come across pictures that your friends have posted online which look remarkably similar to Polaroids. Basically, this is our response to this phenomenon. We think that it can be done better. And it turned out that Fuji agreed with us!”
The new service can be done as an add-on to any of their wedding photography packages, and the only increase in price will be the cost of the instant film itself.  (These guys obviously love working with film). And byfield~pitman can photograph an entire wedding on instant film or if you prefer just part of the day such as portraits of the bride and groom, first dance or detail shots.
I love that byfield~pitman is offering real film photography, not a post-production trick.  You have to be technically proficient and brave to shoot with film and they’ll do it right with professional lighting, selective focus, and multiple framing formats. If you would like more information about Polaroid Weddings write or call Ben at 613.PICTURE.

Eco-friendly wedding vendors

22 Apr

I make an effort to minimize my carbon footprint by being vegetarian, choosing to live in a small, central home, and getting around by bicycle whenever possible. These are all small things but I know every little act of green adds up. Since today is Earth Day, I’d like to feature some amazing Ottawa businesses that can help you plan your green wedding.

With Love Bridal Boutique

Planning your wedding and looking to reduce, reuse, and recycle along the way? One of the easiest places to apply these eco fundamentals is by purchasing a dress on consignment. With Love Bridal Boutique dedicates an entire floor of their beautiful bridal shop to consignment allowing brides the opportunity to pass on their once loved wedding dress to another lucky bride-to-be. The dresses are all three years old or younger, have been dry cleaned and are in like new condition. Dana and Becky are the two lovely ladies behind With Love working together helping brides find the perfect dress and making sure it fits like a glove.

Local creations: With Love offers beautifully hand crafted jewellery by a variety of local artisans as well custom veils, hair accessories, clutches, sashes and flower embellishments that can all be created in-house!

Full Bloom Floral Design

Erin of Full Bloom is a natural genius with flowers. She creates gorgeous, modern and memorable wedding floral design by using the best quality local product and recycled materials whenever possible. Erin’s work stood out to me immediately and now that I have got to know the woman behind Full Bloom it was no surprise to discover how knowledgeable and sweet she is! Not only creating creative eco-friendly work, but Erin has charitable ideas that can help spread the love: “In lieu of guest favors, tell your guests that the flowers from your event will be donated to brighten someone’s day. Once your event is over, we will arrange for the flowers from your event to be sent with a personalized card in your honor to the organization of your choice.”

Forever green: Each of Full Bloom’s clients are given “The Eternal Tree” in an effort to pay it back to the environment and to decrease our carbon footprint. After the wedding Full Bloom will plant a tree seedling in the newlywed’s honour to symbolize the eternal love and strength of marriage. A photo and map is then emailed to the couple to let them know where their tree is located so they can visit and watch it grow along with their marriage.

{ CAKE }
Auntie Loo Weddings

 Since 2009, Mandi & Kate have been offering 100% vegan custom designed wedding cakes as delicious as they are beautiful. Auntie Loo Weddings uses mostly organic ingredients shopping through local vendors wherever possible.  All of their cakes are 100% custom designed and one-of-a-kind as they believe that each wedding should be as custom and unique as the couple. They work with weddings or orders of any size they do their best to work with a client’s budget, and will come up with different options to help stay within a certain price range. Their establishment is also 100% pride-friendly!

Sweet service: Make sure you and your attendant’s bellies are full before you walk down the aisle with a “Wedding Morning Breakfast Pack” which includes yummy croissants, cinnamon buns, and danishes that are freshly baked for your wedding morning.

Chelsy Anne

I first met Chelsy at Wed by Hand (an awesome alternative wedding show featuring DIY, handmade and eco-friendly services) and fell in love with her designs. I was so enchanted by her stunning Orb earrings and just had to have them! Chelsy’s work is beautiful and eco in every-way. All materials are sourced within Canada, such as vintage findings, fair trade recycled glass, art clay silver, reclaimed leather & fabrics, as well as semi-precious stones.  She also offers two different ways to recycle your jewellery into new work through re-working or trading it in. And of course her business cards are 100% recycled, all packaging is biodegradable and made from recycled materials.

Eco blossoms : Chelsy’s jewellery tags are an extra special mix of earthy beauty and great design. Created by the fabulous Papillion Press, they are formed with eco-friendly paper made with post-consumer waste which recycles itself into wildflowers when you plant it!

Oresta Organic Skin Care

Have you heard about Ottawa’s all natural spa services specializing in luxe organic skin care, makeup and personal beauty products? At Oresta Organic Skin Care they believe in beauty without compromising your health. This unique spa uses handmade, organically grown herbs, spices, fruits and vegetable based skin care products free of parabens, synthetic fragrance and colour. I met Oresta early last year when visiting the award-winning building (green and gorgeous with thanks to her husband’s artwork) was so impressed by her services and the product lines she carries. You can now shop and be pampered at two locations: Glebe and Hintonburg.

Organically beautiful: Oresta suggests booking a facial six months prior to the wedding. This way you can experience the signature organic facial package called “Glowing Bride” – specifically designed to achieve radiant and camera-ready wedding day skin!

Happy Earth Day today and everyday!

2012 wedding contest!

19 Apr

If you are planning your 2012 wedding prepare to get seriously excited…

Thanks to A Million Little Details, M Photography, Live Love Plan and you-know-who you have a chance to win over $10,000 in photography, planning and vintage cinematography!

You could win:
– Full wedding day coverage of 10 hours by M Photography (value $5,800)
– Full day of wedding planning services by Live Love Plan (value $2,200)
– Custom “Indie” wedding film package by { First Kiss Films } (value $2,600)

For complete entry requirements and contest rules (and a daily dose of GORGEOUS wedding inspiration) please visit A Million Little Details – Canada’s Daily Wedding Inspiration blog. Good luck everyone!

Historic schoolhouse becomes chic wedding venue

29 Mar

Looking for an intimate wedding venue where most of the details are taken care of? At the Schoolhouse might be just the answer.

This historic stone schoolhouse is located just 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa and has been converted into a modern space custom designed for weddings and special events. With a capacity for groups of 2-70 people At the Schoolhouse offers full-service wedding ceremony and reception packages. With a certified wedding planner and licensed officiant on-site everything you need is conveniently located in one location.

Last fall the ladies who run this unique venue asked me to create a vintage film that showcases their services. So I invite you watch the trailer below to experience what it is like to eat, drink and be married At the Schoolhouse.

~ Filmed on Kodak 16mm film ~

A taste of Afternoon Tea 

21 Sep

A few months back, I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Amna Hakim Photography in the creation of a South Asian inspired High Tea. While the weather didn’t cooperate, everything else just fell into place and the final result was just stunning.

I invite you to watch the following trailer to experience some of the decadence that surrounded us that day. Want to see more? Be sure to check out Amna Hakim’s blog on Tuesday, September 28th (one week from today!) to experience all the beauty as it was captured through her lense.

NOTE: for better viewing quality, watch the film from the Vimeo website by clicking the title “{Afternoon Tea} trailer”  or the word “vimeo” in the image below.

~ Filmed on Kodak 16mm film ~

A big thank you to the following vendors:
Amna Hakim Photography
Flowers: Michelle VandenBosch
Cupcakes: The Flour Shoppe
Hair: Shaista
Make-up: Facades by Farhat
Clothing: Sobia Saleem Couture

Additional thanks to our wonderful models, to the Hakim family for their hospitality and to my mom for her many treasures!

This film was featured on marigolds & mithai and Maharani Weddings and Toronto Wedding Society!

Drawn together

16 Mar

Photo courtesy m photography

A few weeks ago while at Wed by Hand I met an incredibly talented and creative couple who create STUNNING custom-letterpress stationary.  Sudbury-based Chantal Bennett and Joel Kimmel are the design duo behind Papillon Press. Not unlike { First Kiss Films }, they obtain a vintage aesthetic though an authentic hand-processed technique that is hundreds of years old.

When I saw these lovely paper designs in person, I instantly wanted to touch them. Since your wedding invitation is the first item that your guests see, it’s important to think about choosing something memorable. Letterpress invites are a gorgeous way to set the stage, but you can also have custom-designed programs, menus, place cards, thank you cards  – you name it.

Not only do a ADORE their work but they also have the sweetest proposal story.

Joel proposed to Chantal on January 1, 2010, by writing and illustrating a short story and pasting it inside a book that was originally published in 1883. The final page of the book revealed an antique brass ring with a coral art nouveau design that was hidden inside the book. If you like, you can read the whole story on his blog. It’s always endearing to hear proposal stories from the groom’s perspective.

Having seen the creative work Chantal and Joel have produced thus far I can just imagine how incredible their vintage-inspired wedding will be this summer. Congratulations to them both!

Double Feature!

28 Feb

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a professional portrait done. Like anyone with a photography background I find it hard to let go when someone else is behind the camera.

But look at how fun this images is! Melanie of m photography was able to get me to stop thinking about the image-making process and just kick back – and I think it shows in her photos. Melanie is hilarious, high-energy and has a incredible eye. Plus she’s efficient! Can you believe she snapped these in only 20 minutes? Amazing.

Not only did Melanie take some great photos but she also featured me on her blog! Thank you so much, Melanie!

And while I’m sharing features, you might find it interesting to read last month’s Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa’s (IFCO) blog. I had the opportunity to be a featured member and talk a bit about the work I create through farrout productions (I produce these films under by maiden name). You might notice I was feeling particularly succinct the day I was interviewed…