Photographer Fail

Well, I knew taking a (accidental) break from photography would be a bad idea! I had a bit of a photo fail moment last week. We are working on setting up a new online shopping system for our floral arrangements at work, which of course required a photo shoot of all of our spotlighted arrangements. I was actually looking forward to this as studio photography and “commercial” work is certainly not my strong point. With a background in photojournalism, admittedly, setting up a studio intimidates me. Nevertheless, this was a bit of a “work with what you got” set up, so I figured I could handle it.

It has been ages since I have busted out all of my old camera equipment beyond the camera itself. I dug around through some of my storage to find my flash systems and some white balance cards. Shamefully, a lot of my equipment could stand to be upgraded. To put it into perspective, I’m still using 1 GB memory cards and they sell stuff with 8 GB now. Woops. Well, I guess a lot of it is older than I remembered because I had a total equipment fail moment. Both of my flash systems are so old that the battery ports don’t even work anymore. Even with the batteries replaced. I probably should have listened to the advice of not storing a battery in the equipment.  Lesson learned.

After a brief minute of panic (and a series of dollar signs flashing through my mind) I decided to improvise. Thankfully, our makeshift studio was in the garage of our warehouse so I opened the doors and utilized the natural afternoon light coming from the parking lot. I also grabbed a desk lamp, sans shade, to use as a back light. With a solid backdrop and table top there was “barely” enough light to go without the fill light (whew!). Ultimately, I really could have used a reflector or some kind of fill light but it is what it is. I will probably have to do a bit of post editing to brighten a few areas but overall I thought it came out well. Isn’t it strange how you can feel a stronger sense of accomplishment when things are thrown together successfully?

My makeshift set up of a back light, aka, shade less desk lamp. Yes, that is sitting on a pile of styrofoam

My makeshift set up of a back light, aka, shadeless desk lamp. Yes, that is sitting on a pile of styrofoam.

Traditional style arrangement of garden roses and orchids

Traditional style arrangement of garden roses and orchids

Modern style arrangement of orchids and tropical accents

Modern style arrangement of orchids and tropical accents. You can tell the clouds outside had rolled away at this point allowing for a brighter space.

 

We also used the brief photo shoot as double duty for an upcoming advertisement run we have in a local newspaper. The finished product with one of my bouquet shots is below. Not so bad if I do say so myself! 🙂

Excuse the awful iPhone photo

Excuse the awful iPhone photo

The downside to this project is that my photography shopping list has now grown by a few more items. Currently requiring upgrading:

Camera Bag

Tripod

Flash

Memory cards

Point and Shoot camera (because lugging around an SLR can get tedious)

Reflector

 

Can Christmas come sooner please!

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Perfect Fit Flowers {Guest Post}

This weekend is all about relaxation for me as I am headed across the state to celebrate the wedding of one of my good friends from college and lay around on the beach for a few days. Sounds like heaven! In honor of a few lazy days I am also stepping away from the blog, but don’t worry my dears I have a fabulous guest post for you!

 

Natalie from Simplybridal.com shows us how to pair the perfect bouquet with the dress of your dreams. Simply Bridal is an online resource for custom made wedding gowns at great prices; taking the middle man out of your wedding dress experience. Their products have been featured on blogs such as Rock’n’Roll Bride, Style Me Pretty, and Wedding Chicks.

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”
~Henry Beecher

It comes as no great surprise that when a bride is planning her big day, she plans
everything so that they coordinate with each other.

Wedding dress? Check! Earrings? Check! Veil, shoes and other accessories?
Check, check and check!

You’d be surprised then, when it comes to the flowers, and suddenly, her favorite
flowers — pink roses — don’t match her favorite kind of dress or her favorite earrings.
In fact, altogether, the ensemble is nothing less than a mess.

Did you know, that certain flower arrangements match certain dresses and body
shapes? Let’s take a look at the 4 most common bouquet types (that I just learnt
about!) and see what’s best for you!

Cascade: The cascade bouquet is the most formal and traditional, with a rounded
top and a stream of flowers flowing in the bride’s hands, giving it a waterfall effect.
Larger flowers such as roses and orchids are generally the popular choice for
cascade bouquets. Cascade bouquets generally match sheath dresses.

Nosegay: The nosegay bouquet is a popular bouquet for bridesmaids. They are
simple and less dramatic as the cascade effect, but are great for brides opting for
the big ball gowns, so that it’s just not ‘too much’ with the big dress, big flowers
combination.

Arm Sheaf: An arm sheaf bouquet is cradled in the brides arms, and is made up
of long stemmed flowers such as orchids or long stemmed roses, perfect for taller
brides, or brides wearing empire or mermaid gowns.

Flower Bracelet: Although not as common as the others, the flower bracelet is
also known as a wrist corsages and are made of small bunches of flowers that are
then attached to an elastic band and slipped around the wrist. Although not very
common, it’s great for brides who’d rather not be holding a bouquet all day, and are
a great accessory for the short and flirty wedding dresses.

The cascade bouquet via Snippet and Ink. The nosegay via Snippet and Ink. The sheaf via Love Heart Weddings. The white corsage via Polka Dot Brides. The ribbon corsage via Wedding Chicks.

So whatever dress you have, there’s the perfect flower arrangement for you.

To pick out your perfect gown to match your flowers, check out our range of gowns
here:www.simplybridal.com. All dresses are courtesy of SimplyBridal.

The bridal bouquet is all about complimenting the dress and Natalie’s advice is perfect for brides! Thanks Natalie!

I’ll be sharing some sneak peaks from the wedding weekend on the beach so stay tuned! Happy weekend!

I’ve always known it was you Pt. 2

Well, as promised, it’s time to revisit the Ormond Beach Wedding. The professional pictures are in and they are fantastic. Seriously, there were so many beautiful images it was hard to pick out just a few to spotlight. The ceremony was held at Rockefeller Gardens with the reception following at Plantation Bay Country Club, both in Ormond Beach, Florida. Despite reports of thunderstorms we were blessed with clear skies and a nice breeze long enough for ceremony and pictures. All photos were taken by the talented AJ Neste who is such a blast to work with! (I apologize in advance for the oncoming photo overload!) Without further ado…let the ooh’s and ahh’s commence!

Using the forsythia blossom as inspiration Jaclyn and Ryan chose yellow, grey and white as their colors which were continued throughout the day. Guests were entertained with an acoustic guitar and cello during the ceremony by friends of the couple. All of the flowers were provided by Petals and Nature Scapes in Palm Coast and Parrish Designs of Miami. The reception was filled with willow and oncidium orchids, tulips, hydrangeas and calla lilies. Guests were greeted at the reception with a signature cocktail punch and a photo booth set up by the father of the bride. Shopping around for months, the bride found a vintage type writer through a friend so guests could write notes and well wishes to the couple. Guests were sent off with personalized bottles of olive oil put together by the bride and groom.

(From the bride) “They say it goes by quickly, but you can’t imagine.  The waiting feels endless — especially when you are engaged for a year in a half — but the last few minutes soared by me before I could catch a breath.  There was so much riding on one day, All of those tiny, minuscule details for a five-hour show.  But I wouldn’t change a thing.

I was so incredibly nervous about all the details coming together.  I had flowers for the reception coming from two places, and the ceremony flowers coming from another.  The aisles were lined with bows handmade by a friend and petal cones that I threw together. I had a groomsman flying in the day before the wedding, without his suit, praying that Penny’s would have his size.  It was chaos — brought together by one of my best friends, and wedding planner, myself & the groom, and my parents, who had been wonderfully helpful throughout the whole process.

So it came down to the final minute.  I walked down the aisle.  I said my vows.  I took the obligatory photos and some rather hilarious ones.  I rode in a limo to the reception.  Danced to our song.  Cut the cake.  Smile and hugged like my life depended on it.  And then it was over.  It was a massive, yellow blur for the most part.  I remember flying to St. Lucia for the honeymoon and thinking that I couldn’t wait to see pictures because I couldn’t remember how everything looked. I was praying that it all came together like I imagined.  

It honestly wasn’t until I got to see the photos that I realized how perfect everything was.  The flowers matched perfectly and created a beautiful backdrop.  The DJ was fun and entertaining and the pictures of everyone on the dance floor show my friends and family having a fabulous time — including my 80-year-old grandfather.  By the last photo of the night, Ryan & I have our heads pressed together and I look truly exhausted and truly blessed all at the same time.  And that’s what I felt. Everything fell into place and I was surrounded by beautiful things & beautiful people for the whole night.”

All of the little details added up to a spectacular wedding! Congratulations again to Jaclyn and Ryan!

 

Floral initiation (of sorts)

Today, I crossed a new item off my list. That is, my list of things to do/learn. With both my boss and my coworker on vacation this week (so close to mine!!!) I am in charge of our wedding for the weekend. This isn’t so big of a deal because clearly I run weddings by myself all the time. THIS time however, I was also in charge of a good portion of the florals. EEEK! Basically, I got to make all of the personal flowers for our lovely bride and her wedding party tomorrow.

I’ve done my fair share of boutonniere’s before (hey prom!), but I’ve never done an actual bouquet. Now I have a lot of faith in my creative abilities, and clearly so does our creative director (he’s the one that left me in charge of this task) but I’m not gonna lie – this was a new frontier and I was scared shitless. Really, the bouquet is the one thing that is in pretty much EVERY picture and is by far what the client nit picks over the most. But alas, onward I trudged. (warning – please excuse the horrible iphone pictures from here on out. It’s a Friday, part of me gets to be lazy).

I started out with the boutonniere’s to get my feet wet and get used to it again, you know, hop back on the bike as they say. I used dendrobium orchids with some greenery accents:

my supplies also included some wire, floral tape, ribbon, floral shears and ribbon scissors. The pile of flowers on the left are my orchids, the right is the greenery (don’t ask me what kind – I don’t know. I just know it’s sticky when you cut it . gross). I wired each of the orchids individually, then layered them with some greens and wrapped them with some floral tape to finish it off. Then I took a trusty hot glue gun and wrapped the whole sucker in satin ribbon. Basically, I ended up with this:

except there were 10 of them to make, as well as a big purple vanda for the groom. So this is what it looked like when I was done:
 
with that finished I spritzed them with some water and in the cooler they went. Then it was on to the big guns.
 
This time around I started out with light pink/purple phaleonopsis orchids:
pink peonies, purple vanda orchids, white freesia and possibly some white dendrobium orchids (which I ended up not using):
This time I only needed to wire the purple vandas so I could basically build the bouquet however I wanted. The bride wanted a cascade so I started with my phalonopsis since they are fairly bendy and curved to begin with (all technical terms of course haha). Next I added in peonies for some fluff and because, well let’s be honest, who doesn’t love peonies?
Finally, I added in the purple vandas throughout the bouquet and spotted it with some freesia. I added a few more stems of phals at the last minute and wrapped the whole thing up. Finished product here:
Personally, I give myself a pat on the back. I thought it turned out quite splendidly! I’ll have to see in the AM if it will require any tweaking but I think it was a great first shot. I will also be interested to see how it photographs. I might just have a career in floral design after all! Tomorrow I get to build a chuppa … what a weekend. 🙂
 

(Almost) Famous

I had a bit of a meltdown this Holiday weekend – but don’t worry it was a good one. Actually, that’s the understatement of the year, it was a fabulous meltdown!! How is a meltdown fabulous you ask? When your name appears on one of the biggest wedding websites ever thats how!! I know I’ve already shown video clips of my April wedding at Villa Woodbine, but now you get to see more of it. Style Me Pretty (we all know how much I love and adore them) just featured Amanda and Joe’s wedding as one of their Florida spotlights yesterday. Check it out (and my cred at the bottom EEEK!!!).

photo by Michelle Turner Photography

I am beyond thrilled but talk about pressure! Let’s hope there are many more instances to come. I’m going to go continue my freak out now….

 
(sidenote…the company I work for, Parrish Designs, was also featured on Style Me Pretty a few times this week. Here and Here. They were also the beauty behind Amanda’s florals. It’s a great week for everyone!!)