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Bright Colors + Interesting Arrangements = Cheaper Wedding Flowers

Bright Colors + Interesting Arrangements = Cheaper Wedding Flowers


Weddings are expensive.  How many times have you heard you ask yourself "HOW much is/are...(insert photography, flowers, invites, food, etc)...going to cost?!"  So it is no wonder the most popular question I get asked is, "How do I save money on my wedding flowers and still have a beautiful event?" My two favorite answers to that question are, use high impact colors and interesting details.

Compare this lovely bouquet I designed a couple of years ago in shades of white:

 Photo by Sarah Maren

Barely_There

To this bouquet I designed for a Fall wedding with high impact oranges and reds:

Photo by Kight Photographers

Wedded_Ned
Both bouquets are gorgeous, to be sure.  But which bouquet leaves a lasting impression?  Which bouquet would make you stop and take a second look?

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How Are You Inspired? Here's Mine For Wedding Photography

How Are You Inspired? Here's Mine For Wedding Photography


As a photographer, I'm constantly scanning magazines, the web, other artist's work, etc for inspiration for upcoming sessions & weddings. I've found that if I don't stay on top of things this way, it's easy to fall behind in trends. Brides are constantly looking at wedding blogs and magazines and as a huge part of their big day, I need to be "in the know" about what they're seeing, what's influencing them and ultimately, what they want. On top of these sources, it's easy to get those creative juices flowing with other avenues as well; A movie's cinematography may inspire my lighting choices, a store window may give me a prop idea or a badge on the COLOURlovers website may sway me in a color palette for my session.

For example, I love these particular palettes:

let_them_eat_cakeDawning_of_A_New_Day

The first one makes me think of a romantic engagement session... very natural, blush tones, something dewey and fresh with a little pop of color (the blue) maybe in the sky, some flowers or an unexpected place like socks. The second would be great for a bridal session... super girly, soft and feminine.

In my office I keep an inspiration board with papers, photos and notes that I look at for inspiration or encouragement. You want a peak at it? Okay, okay. Here's what it looks like:

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Wedding Color Trend: Yellow & Gray

Wedding Color Trend: Yellow & Gray


Both yellow and gray- together and separate- have been big trends in wedding colors lately, and they're definitely going to stay that way for a long while! I love yellow because it pairs beautifully with so many other colors, which is perfect because it can be used for plenty of different wedding styles!

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Mrs._Yellow_Mr._GreyYou_Were_All_Yellow

Yellow paired with gray can either be incredibly chic & modern, rustic & whimsical, or of course, anything in between. The two colors are so interchangeable depending on the details, location, and accent colors involved.

Chic & Modern

A nice collection from a modern, chic yellow and gray wedding that was featured on Every Last Detail (everylastdetailblog.com) / photographed by Stephanie Williams Photography.
Modern_Yellow_Gray

See the full wedding {here} on Every Last Detail


Rustic & Whimsical

And here are some rustic and whimsical yellow and gray wedding shots, photographed by Simply Bloom Photography.
Rustic_Yellow_Gray

See the full wedding {here} on Every Last Detail


I've created a Yellow and Gray Weddings Group so we can all collaborate on the possibilities of palettes! Go ahead and add your own version of a color palette for a yellow and gray wedding! Let's see what you've got! :) I'll be doing a lot more posts on wedding color trends, how to use colors in weddings, and also wedding planning tips and advice, so keep an eye out for my posts!

Palettes with either Yellow, Gray or both...

Both colors go amazingly with other accent colors too! Here are just a few examples...

jha_default_3Marry_You_♥signs_boxsuperlooperDalai_LamaPleasant_PassingdramaTrixxies_Birch_TreeFleur_de_Mousefrosty_mug_of_beerAccentm_e_m_o_r_i_e_s*
Bold_modern_springLemon_Lime_Gray

Lemon_Grape03220654♥iloveugly

FINE_design_group


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Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel

Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel


Meet Shannon, a new author soon to be seen frequently on our Wedding Channel (mainly). She has over 23-years of floral experience and is so deliciously creative with her art, that we had to snag up some of her talent for our benefit!

Besides owning and running, Flourish, located in Sacramento, California, Shannon also blogs and manages, FancyPantsWeddings.com, a fantastic resource and fun place for wedding tips, floral advice and you name it.

Shannon has been a COLOURlover since September 2010 as FlourishShan, and constantly refers brides over to COLOURlovers.com to first create a palette before deciding on flowers. We'll get to learn more about her flower advice and a little DIY in the coming posts. Give her a big welcome and feel free to hit her up with any wedding flower related Q's! Enjoy! - Molly Bermea / Blog Editor


Hello, from Shannon herself...

Hi!  Let me start my intro post by saying that I LOVE color!  Color has always been a defining element in my life.  I clearly remember the color of my childhood bedrooms, the color of my high school's corridors and the colors of my own bridal bouquet.  Color drives my passion for floral design.  I consider the way I combine colors in my creations to be my strong point as a designer.  That is why I am so drawn to the COLOURlovers site and the tools it offers to myself and other color-philes (is that a word?).

Sarah Maren Photography

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Business Sense from Nick Campbell: Normal Colors are For Babies

Business Sense from Nick Campbell: Normal Colors are For Babies


Nick Campbell is the founder of an iPhone App company called BananaCameraCo, he runs a motion design education site called Greyscalegorilla, talks about the business of creativity on Nickvegas.tv, and speaks to students and creatives about how to be creative and get paid to do what you love. ...And all this came about AFTER he already had his "dream job" as an animator and a photographer making title sequences and TV commercials.

His business(es), all started as complementing side projects to his work as a motion designer under the the simple ideas to "help creatives and creators make cool sh$@" and “as I learn it, so do you.” From this he has developed a number of products and mobile apps all stemming from his core focuses. Everything from fun apps like ShakeItPhoto and CrossProcess that reach a general audience, to Photoshop for Photographers and Vintage Films for Looks reaching amateur and professional photographers, to even more technical industry focused products like HDRI Light Kit Pro and HDRI Studio made specific for the program Cinema 4D used by motion designers.

I had a chance to ask Nick a few questions about how, out of his client and agency work, he developed his own products, started spreading the know-how through blogs and podcasts, and created an effective business model out of it all.

The Takeaways

1) You'll never regret working for yourself but you might hate yourself if you never try.

2) Put yourself and your knowledge out there (blogging, podcasts, educating), if people trust you they'll trust your products.

3) Use those interactions to help fuel new ideas and product development

4) Start by branching out from what you're already doing. A successful idea is one that is already working for you.

5) Offering education and functional products not only expands your business it expands the business community, indirectly creating more opportunities for everyone.

Interview With Nick Campbell

A quick rundown of the progression of your work, please.

I graduated from Illinois Institute or Arts in 2005 with one of those degrees that don't mean anything. "Digital Media" or something like that, I didn't take enough design classes. I worked around town a bit and ended up at my dream job at Digital Kitchen animating title sequences and awesome TV commercials with some of the most talented people in the city (world?). I was clearly the worst designer there, but luckily they were willing to take me under their wing and teach me how to be awesome like them.

Meanwhile, in "internet land", I started a photoblog called Greyscalegorilla where I posted a photo per day for about three years. I also started posting Photoshop tutorials to the site for people asking me how I processed my photos. Of course, word got around that I also knew After Effects and Cinema 4D, so I posted tutorials of that, too. Well, it seemed as if there were PLENTY of Photoshop and After Effects tutorials floating around the web, but when it came to Cinema 4D, I was one of only a few. Especially when it came to showing how to use 3D for Motion Graphics and Logo Design instead of flying spaceships and crap like that. The site took off like crazy.

During all this, I also started dabbling in making iPhone apps. At the time, the iPhone app store was new and I wanted in. I made a Polaroid simulator called ShakeItPhoto and it was starting to do pretty well, that was really exciting.

I had a blog that people liked, an iPhone App people liked and a full time job that I liked. Lucky me! But, there was a problem. I didn't have enough time. I decided to leave the full time job and focus full time on the blog and the iPhone apps. It was hard decision, but I had to try it or I would hate myself later.


ShakeItPhoto_1 ShakeItPhoto_2

It seemed as if there were PLENTY of Photoshop and After Effects tutorials floating around the web, but when it came to Cinema 4D, I was one of only a few. Especially when it came to showing how to use 3D for Motion Graphics and Logo Design instead of flying spaceships and crap like that. The site took off like crazy.

What percentage of your work is for clients and what percentage is for personal business and other non-business or more artistic projects?

After I left Digital Kitchen, I have had no clients. All my income has been from my own projects and products. Sometimes I do work for my friends if they need a quick logo animation or something like that. But it's never for money. Always for favors or beer. It's quite liberating actually. I didn't get into this stuff for clients, I got into it to make cool stuff.

Educating others has become a big part of your business model, and you're not just educating people about your own products but offering useful tutorials, open forums with feedback to others learning, etc... Has this helped your business grow? Does this interaction help you come up with new ideas for teaching topics and new product development?

The speaking and educating part has been an exciting part of this year. I get to talk to students and try to help them though this crazy design stuff. There are so many things that I wish people would have told me when I got started in all this. Now, I get to be that guy. It's weird, but fun. As far as being good for business. I think there is an aspect of that. People get to know me though the live show, podcast and speaking gigs. They trust me or at least like what I am saying. Then, when I have something to sell that people think is useful, like an iPhone app or a plugin, they trust me that it's not a peice of crap. Really though, the education thing is fun enough to do separately from selling a bunch of stuff.

cross_process_app_1 cross_process_app_2

People get to know me though the live show, podcast and speaking gigs. They trust me or at least like what I am saying. Then, when I have something to sell that people think is useful, like an iPhone app or a plugin, they trust me that it's not a peice of crap.

With some of your products in mind... Why can slight color variations make such a huge difference visually and emotively?

Color is hugely important in the work I do. When using most software, lights and colors usually default to 100% black or white and most people tend to leave things there. Even in Photoshop, the defaults are 100% black and 100% white. When people make things "Black" or "White" they tend to use these defaults. It almost always makes for a boring and unrealistic design. One thing I talk a lot about is the idea that nothing in real life is 100% black or white. You should always add color and variation to everything you design. Adding slight variations in blacks and whites go a long way to making things more realistic and interesting. This took me a long time to figure out, but it's one of those things that makes a huge difference.

What's coming next for you?

What's next? I hope to continue posting fun or interesting stuff to my blog and to continue making more Photo based iPhone apps. I am also playing around with the idea of brining some of my iPhone Apps to the new Apple App store for use on desktops and laptops. Our CrossProcess app will probably be first out. It will allow you to take any of your digital photos and turn them into photos that look like they were shot on film and processed in the wrong chemicals. It gives them a really cool color and adds a TON of contrast. I'm really excited about that one.

Normal Colors Are For Babies

Pulled from the tag for his product, CrossProcess, the phrase "Normal Colors are For Babies" sums up quite well Nick's career path, i'd say. While many could never think of leaving a dream job, Nick choose to, and ended up supporting himself and a greater community of creatives in process.


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Fine Art Wedding Photography: Book Review & Giveaway

Fine Art Wedding Photography: Book Review & Giveaway


When I found out that one of the photographers that I stalk, I mean uh, follow on twitter wrote a book on the subject of wedding photography, I had to buy it. I really didn’t even think about it. I saw the post that Fine Art Wedding Photography was released, immediately went to amazon on my phone and Jose Villa’s book arrived 48 hours later.

So was it all I expected?

More.

What I expected was a book of some of his favorite images, how he goes about his day and then maybe some pointers. It is a comprehensive book about his whole career. He goes through all of the types of photos he takes during the wedding day, the technical aspects of it (down to his camera settings and film choices), his business practices, marketing, and how to move your business up to the next level. It is much more detailed than I anticipated… to the point that in some instances I thought, “I can’t believe he’s sharing all of this with everyone.”

One thing that I’ve always had a hard time doing is marrying my fine art background to wedding and portrait photography. Jose does just that, and does it beautifully. He taught me to not be afraid of grain or blur… that it can sometimes give life and energy to the images.

i.e. – this shot of the bride and groom dancing (on left). The groom has a bit of motion blur to him, but it shows the energy of what’s really happening.

For this shot, I upped the ISO and lowered the aperture for the low light. I love that the bride and groom have a little motion blur to them but you can still see the great expressions on their faces.

For reception shots he really focuses on capturing emotion. One of my favorite things is to capture those moments that nobody thinks anyone is watching.

The black and white image on the left page is an example of this with the focus on the emotions and reactions to the couple dancing. My take on emotion photography is similar.

Far Left // These ladies have such a different reaction to the dancing going on that it is one of my favorite images and makes me smile every time I see it.

Top Right // With the bride and groom dancing in the foreground, the parents of the bride look on. The mother wipes her tears away.

Bottom Right // The mother of the bride dancing with her new granddaughter-in-law.

I love the sweetness in this image. It takes a simple hug and turns it into a palpable moment between the bride and flower girl.

If you could only have one word to describe Jose Villa’s work I would say it would be elegance. There’s a beauty and sophistication to his images that comes with time and hard work.

One of the little nuggets of information that he gives is sections called “Lessons Learned” where he shares times that he’s made a mistake or two and what he’s learned from it. This gets a big “Hallelujah” in my book that even great photographers like Jose Villa can be real enough to share their mistakes. I applaud him for these little sections and make notes for myself.

During the marketing section he talks about getting featured on blogs and magazines. Most of the publications like to see lots of detail pictures. These are some of my favorite things to photograph because it brings individuality to each wedding. It also shows the bride that you’ve noticed all of her hard work in the small details of her day.

Far Left // Guests grab a glass of champagne after the ceremony

Top Right // Bride putting on her shoes

Bottom Right // Grooms shoes

Some of the other topics that he discusses are the importance of the bridal portrait, bride and groom portraits & family portraits. Here are a few of my favorites from recent weddings.

I think that the book says without actually saying, that there are lots of photographers out there that will create images that are very “now”… but will they stand the test of time? Fine art photography will always be beautiful and will always "wow". No need for gimmicky editing or post effects. No need for quirky props or backdrops. Even though those can still be fun at times, creating your business or selecting a photographer for your wedding that does high-end fine art portraiture will always stand the test of time. You’ll never look back at your photographs and think, “what were we thinking?”

His book is an instant classic for me and a definite “go-to” for inspiration. I will definitely be flipping though it again and again as a refresher and bout of encouragement before all of my weddings.

True wedding photography is a fine art. And Jose Villa is a fabulous artist.

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Want a Copy Signed by Jose Villa? We have three!

Basic rules to be a contestant in a random drawing from the comments:

  • - You must leave a comment with either your photography website/blog OR a photographer's site you adore.
  • - We'd also like to hear why you think you deserve/want this book.

 

Contest will run from today, Thursday, May 12th through Thursday, May 19th, 2011. You must be a COLOURlover to be entered (to be able to leave a comment) so register if you need to!


Jose Villa

Jose Villa is one of today's most in-demand wedding photographers with his cutting edge style of fine art wedding photography. Fine Art Wedding Photography shows you how to produce the lush, stylized images modern brides love. Complete with lessons learned and camera detail settings, a must have book for every wedding photographer.

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from the book website. The book is also sold at the following locations (on/offline): Amazon.com, BORDERS, Barns & Noble and INDIBOUND.

Jose's Blog - josevillablog.com | Book Site | Follow Jose on Twitter - @josevilla

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Threadless + Steven Alan Pattern Design Challenge: Using Seamless

Threadless + Steven Alan Pattern Design Challenge: Using Seamless


Threadless, well known for it's community-designed, community-picked (aka "scored") t-shirt designs, is partnering up with Steven Alan for a fun, Fall Pattern Design Challenge. We LOVE Threadless because they empower artists and create portholes of success, no matter who you are or where you are at in your art career/hobby. In turn, this produces a wide range of awesomely unique clothing for the rest of us to wear.

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COLOURlovers {Mention} in BRIDES Magazine!

COLOURlovers {Mention} in BRIDES Magazine!


This months BRIDES magazine mentioned COLOURlovers.com and our partner Spoonflower.com on page #104. Thanks to Research Editor, Yelena Moroz, for submitting us on the Editors Picks - THINGS WE LOVE spotlight.

BRIDES magazine {February 2011} issue is dubbed, the COLOR issue and beholds a lot of fabulous colorization tips and products.

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DIY - Rustic Wedding Cake Stands

DIY - Rustic Wedding Cake Stands


Let's face it, looking at your upcoming wedding expenses can be daunting. As you may know, this past June, my younger brother, Sam got married to his lovely wife, Emily. My mom and I were in charge of mostly everything; decor, food, planning and coordination, and I can say, a bit of planning helped them move through the major expensive decision so that they made it to the wedding day with everything, including the budget, in order. Things like invitations, cake, flowers and such, can all be expensive but one of the bigger expenses is always the cake, which I will focus on here.

The Backstory.

When it came down to the nuts and bolts of the getting the cake, Sam and Emily really couldn't care less about having a lavish 8-layer tower extravaganza. However, they did want gourmet flavors as opposed to the standard buttercream frosting, bleh. They wanted the divine Tiramisu with silky, melt-in-your-mouth cream frosting; the Chocolate Chip layered chocolate cake with yummy chocolate whipped cream frosting, etc., etc. You get the picture. They were all about flavor vs. presentation. Which was fine, but left me trying to make their budget work with the gourmet price.

I could easily have fit one of the available wedding cake packages in to their budget, but it meant they were only going to have either a 2-tower (10" bottom and 6" top) gourmet wedding cake, plus two smaller side sheet cakes for around $300, or a 3-tier (10"-8"-6") and no side cakes for about the same price. Not really much for your buck, and we needed more cake than that. This is when Sam and Emily told me that maybe we could do something different with the cake rather than ordering one of the wedding packages, because they didn't really care about having a tower-style cake arrangement.

Planning & Comparing Cost Saving Ideas.

Here's where the creative part had to work. I came up with a brainstorm after Emily mentioned that a regular order for an 8" gourmet cake was only $18-26. All I needed was an attractive and inventive way to lay out the cakes. There are plenty of bakeries doing these sort of designs but using lots of floral (more floral ups the expense so I kept thinking). The goal was to do something that would present the multi-tier the cakes in a nice presentation.

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January Wedding: DIY Snowflake Roundup

January Wedding: DIY Snowflake Roundup


If you were to describe January what would you say? Off the top, I automatically go with Snowflakes. I'm done with Christmas and the reds, greens and bells and trees. I'm all for the beauty and freshness that winter and the New Year brings.

Most often people choose a January wedding for the Winter Wonderland approach which can be anything from elegant snowflakes, ice-sculptures or cold climate whimsical creatures such as Polar Bears and Penguins (or even Swans). If taking on a more formal theme, using pure whites or even a rich gold and/or silver will do.

In any case, snowflakes can be incorporated in whimsical, formal and even a rustic theme. It's all in how you decide to reproduce them. They are great to use as the main design element or as a filler decor piece. It's ok to overuse them too!

Paper Snowflakes from Basic to Advanced

Remember making these in grades school? Did you forget how to make them? I did. My little guy is only 2 1/2 so I'm not exactly re-living grade school just yet, but here's a basic starting point.

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