Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dwell in Possibility {Renee Locks}

When I'm working in the Crystal Shop I spend a large portion of my day staring at BrushDance greeting cards. Brush Dance has a large variety of cards but we well the Reneé Locks series. One afternoon I was struck by the idea that I could turn Reneé Locks' meaningful art into a beauty shoot. It wouldn't be too difficult — paint a greeting card onto a model's face!! One side is a flower and the other side is a quote. I plan to do a whole series of these 'Reneé Locks' shoots inspired by her designs. Here's the first one!! Hooray!

In this first installment of my series we have Charlotte Hughes modeling "Dwell in Possibility." Charlotte is a lovely model who used to be a horse jockey! How often do you meet someone that has that on their CV? She turned to modelling after a bad fall resulted in a career ending injury. I'm sorry she was hurt but I'm so glad she's modelling now! She was a joy to work with :)

Dwell in the Possibility of having a Fabulous Day!!!
Thanks for the inspiration Reneé!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Doubts & Changes

Some people fear change but I love it. In fact, I'm almost addicted to it. I'm always itching to turn the page to the chapter of my life. When I was growing up I used to rearrange my bedroom at least once a month. I just couldn't stand to keep it the same! Now I'm finding that my business has taken the place of my bedroom.

Every chance I get I want to redesign my website, blog, profile photo, logo etc... I've done my best to create a brand that accurately represents who I am and what I have to offer but that's tricky because part of who I am is this 'constant changer'. How can one website portray all the different sides of my personality and my ever-evolving style? I also just get bored of seeing the same design over and over again. I must remind myself that when potential clients visit my website, they're seeing it for the first time and so for them it still looks fresh.

I also worry about the name of my business. So many photographers use their own name for their business. I think this makes lots of sense since it keeps things straight forward, personal and really emphasises the idea that the photographer is the important/essential part of the business.

When I was naming my business I thought my own name was too long and didn't exactly roll of the tongue. This wouldn't matter if I were only doing commercial photography but as a wedding photographer there needs to be an element of stylish luxury. The name does play a role in attracting the client. If they can't pronounce it they won't be able to relate to you as well.

I figured it would be safer for me to come up with a brand name. I was originally fond of the name "Plum Bumble Photography" because it made everybody smile but it was also bizarre. At the end of August 2011, I was just about to leave for the cinema with my husband (we were going to see the final Harry Potter!!) and I shouted "Ready to go, loveduck?" I've called him 'loveduck' for years and that was the moment when I realised it could be a cute name for my business.

"Loveducks' reminded me of "lovebirds" which seemed appropriate for weddings and to top it all off, I actually do love ducks (my first word was 'quack'!). Everyone else also seemed to like the name so that was that - decided - or so I thought. Ever since then I've been doubting. I seem to operate under two names now: Loveducks as the business and Chamonix as the photographer. What should I call my Twitter, Flickr, FB account? LoveducksPhoto or Chamonix?

I don't want me to be hidden/obscured behind the Loveducks Logo. I want the business/brand to be about me because essentially, I am what this business is about and when people hire Loveducks Photography for their wedding, they are actually hiring Chamonix Thurston-Rattue! Confusing for my little brain!

Maybe I should just call myself "Chamonix Thurston-Rattue Photography." I get lots of compliments on my name so surely that's a good sign. It's unique & it has the potential to be an elegant brand. But I've already set everything up as Loveducks (business cards, websites, emails, ads etc...).

I think for now, despite my worries, I should put my hands in my pockets and carry on as Loveducks. It's a wonderful name and it's been very successful so far so why fix something that ain't broke? I've compromised by adding my name to the logo so I'm part of it instead of hiding behind it. On the plus side, Loveducks is a more unique & memorable name. And that's the whole point, right? To stand out from the crowd & be remembered?

So here I am full of doubts & itching to change but choosing to just sit back & smile instead. :D
Have a wonderful day!
Big smiles :D
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue {Loveducks Photography}

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cool Finds from the Interweb

Good day to you all good chaps! It's a sunny one in St. Andrews but still freezing like usual. I had my first yoga class scheduled for this morning but nobody showed up - pooey. I'm not taking it personally. I'm blaming it on the lack of people in town (it's student holidays), lack of posters (shops aren't very encouraging), and lack of word-of-mouth (people can't get friends to come along if they haven't even gone themselves yet lol). Not to worry though, I'd paid for the room already so I used it for my self-practice which was actually quite yummy. I love taking advantage of 'waiting' time. It always feels better to stretch in a waiting room than in the gym (just my personal opinion). Although waiting room stretching has been known to attract stares. :S I have another class scheduled for 3pm today and I know I'll have at least one friend show up but I feel bad about her paying...but then again she is getting a private yoga lesson - expensive stuff! lol. Anyway, while I wait for my next class, sitting here in the computer lab, here's some entertaining things I discovered on the internet this week!





Merry Christmas 2011!!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas weekend! It was our first Christmas together because in the past I've always flown back to Seattle to celebrate with my parents. I think in the future I'd like to spend Christmas with more friends and family around but for our first Christmas I'm glad it was just the two of us. It was fun learning about each other's traditions and figuring out how to combine them. Today I've been sitting in my kitchen watching Grey's Anatomy, playing with salt dough, eating chocolate and editing photos. So after hours, here are our first Christmas photos!!!!!!!

Christmas Eve:

On Christmas Eve, Migs and I walked to town through the forest. We passed a few dogs which made us happy :) The trees on the pathway were beautiful. The night before there was a wind storm (actually St. Andrews has been beaten by the wind for weeks now!) so there was lots of storm debris - broken branches everywhere! Through the line of trees we could see the sun setting in colourful orange & yellows. I'm not the biggest fan of early darkness so I'm glad from now on the sunset will be getting later and later :) 

 We found this tree that was covered in some amazing mushrooms! I loved them and of course it was impossible for me not to take photos of them for five minutes while Miggy stood there waiting for me. He's a good man :) Once he saw the photos on the computer he was glad I took the photos :)
 Further along down the path we were walking beside the river. The river is called Kinness but I think we should call it the Heron River because there's always a heron sitting on a rock. This time, we saw two herons. The first one was fishing and we actually saw it plunge its head into the water and emerge with a fish! The second heron flew off and I got to take some cool photos :) I love its wings!!!!

 I love convincing/encouraging other people to take photos so just before we got to town I handed my camera to Migs. He was quite proud of the photos he took. He's always hesitate when I ask him to take a photo but after he's snapped the shutter button a couple times he starts smiling and it makes me happy!!!

Town was so different than it usually is with all the students rushing around with their notebooks. Instead, there were families shopping and drinking warm beverages. The twinkle lights in the trees were so beautiful! We were originally planning on making our rounds on the charity shops but surprisingly they were all closed for the day so we explored a couple retail shops (foreign territory for us) hehe.

Migs wanted us to visit the bottle shop. He can spend hours there admiring beer but I had to make my own entertainment. Lucky for me they had a fancy mirror in the corner and the guy behind the counter pushed the wrong button and he suddenly looked like Santa Clause with 10 metres of till receipts. I also found a bottle carried in fur! 
 The town was stunning on Christmas EVEning :)
While window shopping I found a pair of boots that I love and want want want :) I'd love the wear them with a flowery summer dress!
 Christmas Day:

 I woke up on Christmas Day, grabbed my camera and one of my mom's homemade Christmas cookies and went for a walk around the neighborhood. I wanted to take some photos of families celebrating through their living room windows. Of course, the danger of this mission was that it makes me look like a staulker or peeping Tom which is obviously less than ideal. As it turns out lots of people put their sofas by the window so all I could photograph were the backs of people's heads. :P

I was walking along the path by the river and found some very pretty berries than made me feel very Christmasy! I also discovered the dovecot in my neighborhood that I never knew existed :)I also stumbled across some beautiful hydrangeas. Miggy hates brown & 'dying' flowers but I think they're stunning. The contrast between the brown & the colour makes me happy :)
I made it back to the house and woke up Miggy and the celebrations began! Our homemade stick tree is soo weighed down with ornaments! I love it! Miggy's mom brought over a bunch of gifts which really helped bulk out the bottom of the tree! My mom gave us one of the stockings that she made for her and my dad in their first year of marriage. So sweet - it's all red and velvety :) When I sat down beside the tree I put my bum a little too close to the candle and boom my bum was on fire! I felt my backside getting warm and when I turned around I saw a nice big flame. Yes, I panicked but thankfully huffing and puffing put the flame out! Thankfully no burns for me, just a nice black hole in my dress :( which will look much better when I put a patch on it. hehe

I gave Migs 1.5kg of Seaweed Peanuts! I thought he really liked them since he always picks them out of my Japanese cracker snack bags. Turns out, he doesn't love them (at least not 1.5kgs worth of love). He likes them better than all the other treats in the snack bag. Well, that doesn't matter because I love them and I'm happy to eat them all!!!!! The best bit though was that I wrapped each bag of seaweed peanuts separately and I got to watch Miggy's face as he opened one packet after the other - hehe 

 Giants candy canes from my mom!!! Chocolate from Seattle from my mom, which I ate today :P
 I gave Migs ethical boxer shorts. He liked them (of course!!) hehe
We were on Skype for 2 hours with my family in Seattle. It was fun just lying on the couch watching my parents, brother & grandma opening the gifts I send to them. I love technology today! :)
I love wrapping gifts in newspaper! My mom knows this so she warped our gifts in newspapers and even took the time to cut out letters to spell our names! So sweet! :)

Our little collection of yummy, nice smelling Christmas presents! Yay!!!! We have 1.5kg of seaweed peanuts, yogurt covered raisins, dried apricots, flapjacks, lavender & rose soap and juniper & pine plant wax candles! 

So that was our Christmas! I hope everyone else had a beautiful weekend too :)
If you're one of the lucky couples who got engaged this holiday season, congratulations!! 


 PS: I'm eating Miggy's seaweed peanuts right now (he doesn't know :P hehe sneaky me).