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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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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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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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DIY Coffee Filter Pom-Pom's Revisited: Assembling

DIY Coffee Filter Pom-Pom's Revisited: Assembling


Back when I did this original post Reception Tent DIY: Coffee Filter Pom-Pom How-to, I had promised some pictures of the pom-pom's at the wedding. Unfortunately, the lighting at the time when we did setup and had time to take our own pictures, was a little sharp. These were the dreadful tents we had to work with, but it worked out.

The reason for the revisit is that I had many many people contact me via COLOURlovers, facebook and twitter for more detailed information to assemble these things. I dumbed it down and made a process that worked great and pretty efficient I must add. I have omitted the details of dying the filters (to add colour) because that's something in itself and was covered a bit in the last post. I will also do an immediate follow-up post on different variations on what I found worked, to add colour to the pom-pom's.

Getting the Scrunch Right.

Trust me when I say that this step matters. Prepping your filters for scrunch is highly important as they will just turn in to floppy filters within an hour (or less) after ONLY hand scrunching. I spent an entire afternoon with trial and error to nail down the best method for best final results in the most time-efficient manner.

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Smart, Sexy Wedding Dress Transformation

Smart, Sexy Wedding Dress Transformation


What have you done or what are you planning on doing with your wedding dress?

Meet Erin. She's done a terrific job of transforming her wedding dress into a reusable keeper. Not only has she had it re-structured to be a sexy cocktail dress, but she's added a unique element that I haven't seen anyone else do yet–she's re-coloured and added a hand-painted design.

I had the opportunity to interview Erin a little on her entire dress experience from purchase, to wedding day, to finished cocktail dress.

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Fall Wedding with a Hint of Halloween

Fall Wedding with a Hint of Halloween


Perfect timing! I just came across this wedding from one of my photographer's (friend & client), Micah Williams who is located in Atlanta, Georgia. For those of you thinking about a Fall wedding, I adored some of the simple ideas and colour palettes that made up this wedding.

I realize these aren't scary carved or painted pumpkins, but they still remind me of Halloween. I love them! This was the entrance to the farm where the wedding was held.

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Wedding Shoes for Men: Tone it Up or Tone it Down?

Wedding Shoes for Men: Tone it Up or Tone it Down?


You've gotta love a man with great style. I'm always really interested in what the man is wearing at his wedding, from his choice of neckwear [or not], to boutonnière all the way down to his shoes. Men have a lot of options to make their outfit look cool if they're willing to step outside the box a little without going too far - you don't want to outshine your misses or scare the guests. ;)

I've dug around a bit and found some really unique shoes that still retain a classy look, yet scream "style!" - I've found a few designer lines I don't think I can live without too!

Marsu Homme, by Chrissy Hammond, an Australian based shoe designer, makes some nice styles. One of which I fell in love with called Alfred in Louvre Red Fox.  This can go for an elegant look but also add a little funk to your wear.

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Wedding Colour: RED

Wedding Colour: RED


I loved how this couple incorporated RED in to this wedding without trying too hard or going overkill. They used it in the cutest of areas down to using tu-tu's and tootsie rolls. The average wedding already incorporates the white of the brides dress and black for the man's tuxedo, so their colour scheme involved all of red, black and white as a whole.


Luxuryamerican_idiot

My friend and feature photographer, Jolyn Hutsell at Davee Blu Photography was nice enough to put together this adorable collage with all the adorable details this couple used. I thought that the tu-tu's for the flower girls was an adorable and abstract touch.

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