Friday, November 30, 2012

Buying a Chair is like Choosing a Husband

I feel compelled to purchase every piece of flamboyant furniture that struts itself before me BUT that would be just like mixing all the paints together until you get puke poopy brown sludge — not exactly the look I'm going for with my new photography studio. I needed a colour pallette for guidance — I decided to go with fresh calming colours like cream & gold with charcoal & sea-foam accents. Sounds fabulous, I know :P lol

Deciding on the palette was the easy part though. Over the past week I've been hunting through furniture stores & consignment shops in agony — it physically hurts to say "no" to the gorgeous hot pink velvet arm chair and the perfect purple chaise lounge! Buying white furniture just doesn't feel as exciting. I was stressin' over this until last night when I was driving home on 520 and a beautiful metaphor flew in through my sunroof....

Buying Furniture is Like Choosing a Husband

There are plenty of drop dead handsome men in this world that make my knees weak BUT that doesn't mean I should marry ALL of them. Just because we'd look cute together at the alter doesn't mean he'll be the best contribution to my life; the one who can make me feel calm when life gets hectic and help me reach my full potential.


There are plenty of drop dead gorgeous chairs with vibrant colours, popping patterns & curves that would make J-Lo jealous BUT that doesn't mean I should buy them ALL! Just because we look amazing together in the store doen't mean it'll be the best contribution to my photography studio; the chair that will give my space that perfect atmosphere of glamorous tranquility.

Flashy fashions are fleeting (lovin' the alliteration today!) but I'm looking for the chair that I want to grow old with, right?! The chair that will compliment every outfit I wear, match every mood I'm in, and adjust to every stage I go through in life/business. That's not asking much or anything :P

Now I'm content — I can walk into Pier 1 and flirt a little with the turquoise armchair knowing that despite his uncanny good looks, he's not "the one" for me. Goodbye internal turmoil!

PS: FYI — I've already found & married a wonderful man that is "just right" for me. This post is infused with hypothetical-ness. :P

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shooting in Paradise :: Behind the Scenes Hawaiian Style

Behind the Scenes is my favourite place to be....especially when "Behind the Scenes" is located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii during a tropical golden sunset.... 

While I was crawling around like a crab in the sand, asking Ricky & Nozomi to spin & twirl for my camera, little did I know that my dad was creeping over in the bushes with his zoom lens, capturing the FULL picture in action! As far as I'm concerned, what could possibly be more fascinating than seeing pictures of me taking pictures?! I LOVE it! Plus, I just generally love a behind-the-scenes image sitting beside the final image taken in that same moment. Kinda fun & magical! 
I'm going to guess that I actually shoot 60% of a wedding day from down on the ground :P I get funny looks and very dirty knees but I just love the perspective from down there. Nothing quite like it.
Aloha rainbow! Every single day there's a rainbow on that beautiful island! 
Rainbows mean sudden downpour of rain.....
Ah, what a dream.... I miss you Hawaii. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Behind the Scenes VIDEO of Sydney's Glamour Shoot

The music was synchronized perfectly with my brother's dance moves. I'd spent days carefully crafting the most amazing home-video in the history of mankind. 

And then I lost it. All of it...gone! 
Some virus corrupted my files and my 13 year old heart broke over the PC's keyboard. 

So scarred by this experience of creative robbery, I've hardly touched video since 
(not counting those goofy movies I made with friends at university).

But the time has come to get back on the horse and hit record! 
Inspired by Sue Bryce {of course} I'm ready to start playing with video and sharing 
my new business with the world through moving pictures!

So, voila! My first behind-the-scenes video of a glamour shoot:
no fancy monopod; no super-duper editing software; no profesh videographer — 
just the beautiful Sydney + my Canon 5D Mark II + iMovie + a big dollop of homemade love 
= attempt #1 at assembling a photo shoot story :) Enjoy!

Read more about Sydney's experience (in her own words) on her "From the Model's Perspective" blog post HERE.

Thank you to Make-Up Artist Hanna Mazur for her amazing beauty skills!

Have a fabulous Monday :D

Friday, November 23, 2012

My First Thanksgiving in 5yrs!

"When did Thanksgiving become such a lively event?" I asked my mom as we left grandma's house last night. Her reply?... "Ever since you left." Nice. The last time I celebrated Thanksgiving (2006) we all went to grandma's house and sat around drinking Shirley Temples and eating shrimp, scattered around the house, engaging in polite conversation. 

This year, I walk into grandma's new crib — at least 10 bottles of wine chillin' on the counter, cousins drinking beer, football "roaring" in the background, all of us crowded around one table, popping Christmas crackers, plopping paper hats on our heads, hysterically confused over those pathetic little cracker jokes & riddles, tossing table-top horse-shoes & magic tricks, tripping ourselves into conversations of philosophy & logic too deep for our over-fed minds to comprehend (painful really :P).
Of course, grandma was marvellously entertaining as usual. She's amazing. Never fails to make me laugh :D
And I got to see my cousin Steven for the first time in years! He's in Florida training to be a Navy pilot!
A few weeks ago I photographed his brother, Wes, for his senior portraits. I threw the final images up onto grandma's tv and we had a family voting session. Unanimous — the photo on the left!

My wonderful friend Sophie has inspired me to start writing down 5 thing every day that I'm grateful for. In honour of Thanksgiving weekend, I'll share today's list with you!

1. I'm super grateful that my grandma lives so close by and that she finally has wi-fi! Now I can spend time with her and get my work done at her house!
2. I'm grateful for pumpkin pie — genius invention!
3. I'm grateful for Skype making it possible for me to spend 3 hours with Miggy this morning.
4. I'm grateful for a chance to sleep in.
5. I'm grateful for Pinterest making it easier for me to organise my ideas.

What are you grateful for today? Write it down for yourself!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

North Shore Hawaii Wedding :: Ricky & Nozomi

The most divine breeze I've ever felt rustled through the tropical leaves as the graceful hands of Malea danced a hula blessing over Ricky and Nozomi. We were on the edge of Loulu Palm Estate on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii with Pacific waves crashing onto the sand before us. The ceremony began with the sound of conch shell blown to all four directions. Just a few beaches down the coast, a surfing competition was drawing flocks of spectators but here we were on this small beach, in perfect privacy, watching Ricky and Nozomi performing Hawaiian wedding rituals, bringing themselves to one another to be united into a family. 
Ricky and Nozomi have both spent so much time in here and grown so fond of Hawaii, it was a complete no-brainer where they were going to have their wedding. Plus, Hawaii was a beautiful meeting ground for their families to come together for a week of celebration. Watching their two cultures, Japanese & American (Seattle), merge together was lovely and very entertaining. Ricky and Nozomi had prepared an entire cheat-sheet of Japanese-American phrases & translations for the guests! I didn't have much time to practice on the day but I had researched ahead of time how to say "Say Cheese" in Japanese! ;)
I'm so obsessed with the gorgeous Hawaiian plants. They made amazing wedding "decorations" all around the estate. I photographed them all day long and I had to resist publishing all my flower pictures  in this blog post — perhaps they'll win their very own post in the near future!
Oh, Nozomi...such a beauty.
Ricky picked out Nozomi's bridal shoes. :D Super sweet!
Barefoot (or nearly barefoot) wedding celebrations make me so happy! 
Look who it is?! Those goofy peeps are my parents! I love shooting weddings that they're invited to because 1. I get to spend time with them, 2. They get to see me doing my ninja camera skillz (a.k.a. they don't see me at all! lol) 3. They lend a helping hand when needed (my mom packs me wedding photography survival kits the morning of a wedding!) and 4. They're super fun to photograph! Never a dull moment with those two!
Witnessing a Hawaiian wedding for the first time was fascinating. My favourite thing about the whole ceremony was how each tradition felt so rooted to nature. I think this made the whole celebration seem so wholesome and genuine — we could all sense that a true bond had been made between them.
Nozomi's adorable niece doesn't like being photographed so I made it my mission all day long to try and catch her looking cute. :)
This was my first time every photographing tropical light! I am head-over-heels in LOVE! The last wedding I photographed was in Scotland and let me tell ya.... the "sunshine" up there is SO DIFFERENT and I had NO idea just how different until now. It's seriously like I've seen light, real glorious golden light, for the first time and oh my it's divine. I get it now. :)
Hooray! These two are so cute.
In Hawaii, there is a rainbow everyday. On Rick & Nozomi's wedding day, the pot of gold was right smack dab in the middle of our celebrations! Perfecto!
The golden sunlight made way for a purple haze that faded into a crisp black starlit nightsky, beneath which we danced to the guitar, swayed with the hula, gawked at a firedancer, and went crazy with Karaoke (special performance by my dad — LOVED this!)

Thank you so much Rick & Nozomi for taking me with you on your special adventure to the North Shore! I LOVED every minute of it and I can't wait to celebrate there again...hopefully with you! Congratulations on big celebrations and little surprises ;) Happy Thanksgiving & Lots of love, xoxo Chamonix

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Miss My Climbing Partner

This morning I fell asleep on the couch before work and when a rather nasty creativeLIVE Technical Director {*cough*..Adam} thought it was funny to wake me up with a fright I burst into tears. Everyone was staring and probably feeling awkward {apologies team} so I wiped up the little drops of salty water and make some tea.

I've been spread too thin between creativeLIVE, my own photography business, and taking care of myself and my relationships. I'm frustrated that's it's taking me so long to reply to messages, edit photos, go to the post office,  and write blog posts. I'm disappointed that I don't have the energy to give 100% to every job on my to-do list and I don't have time to visit my grandma and eat popcorn and read books.

I've reached this point where I'm staring at the computer screen for 2 minutes in a mindless trance - the cogs in my brain spinning like the "wheel of death" on my Mac's screen. Spinning and spinning and waiting and waiting, wondering if it's frozen. Crashing.

I've been away from Miggy for over a month now. Up until now it's been easy-breezy. Sure, saying goodbye was tearful but since arriving in Seattle I've been so active I haven't had a moment to miss him. Sounds terrible but racing around at full-speed every waking hour {look at me writing all dramatic} has proven to be a phenomenal distraction.

I was "fine" — "who needs a husband?! I can get so much more done without him around!" I was feeling free as a bird to do as I please. Such sweet independence that I haven't tasted in over 5 years. But now... now that I'm shattered; now that I'm starting and ending my day in tired tears, my hot-headed independence has plummeted and I just want a hug from my husband. I want to rest my head into that soft spot on his shoulder and fall asleep.

When we were getting married, I had this image in my head of two rock climbers working their way up the massive rock face in Squamish, British Columbia. Meters apart, they each had to climb the mountain on their own, but they were joined by a rope, linked together on a common mission, headed in the same direction, with a shared promise to help each other up to the top.

They chose to climb together not in hopes of a bubbly conversation en route but because they knew that the journey would be treturous and they would need a partner to whom they could entrust their life; a partner who would fight with every ounce of their power to rescue them the trials they would face; and of course, a partner who would give them a really good kiss & cuddle when they reached the top ;)

Miggy is my climbing partner. I've hauled him out of frozen crevasses and he's pushed me up and over intimidating overhangs. Today, my fingers are sore and my arms are tired and I just want my climbing buddy by my side so I can let go for just a minute and hang.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Featured on :: Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique BLOG!

Yesterday, I received an email from one of my lovely brides! Jessica got married to Carl in Peterborough at the beginning of September and she was excited to share with me that her wedding photos have weaseled their way onto the Leonie Claire Blog

Jessica purchased her wedding dress from the Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique and they've written up an entire blog post about Jessica & Carl's wedding! Check Out The Leonie Claire Blog Post HERE! It's fun to read about their wedding day from someone else's perspective. 

I'm so glad the gorgeous willow tree image made the cover... 
Such a beautiful tree and I just love how Jessica & Carl were looking at each other in that moment. :)

To re-live Jessica & Carl's wedding day at an Old English Hotel [from my perspective] check out their Wedding BLOG POST HERE. Or go waaaay back and take a peek at their engagement session HERE — we went punting in Cambridge!

Monday, November 12, 2012

From the Model's Perspective :: Sydney

"I wanted my photos taken by Chamonix for a potential modeling portfolio for me. I've never modeled in my life but I've wanted to, seeing as how I'm almost 6 feet tall and rather thin. But I've never had professional photos to show. It was the best opportunity for me when Chamonix's brother suggested I have a photo shoot with her! I was so excited because not only would I have those professional pictures, but I'd have them by an amazing photographer."
"I was expecting to go to her house, have her dress me, and try to invent my own poses for her camera. Most photographers I've met will choose a pose, set the model, and just say "go" while snapping a hundred pictures. I was quite surprised when Chamonix sculpted most of my poses. At first it seemed like a script she had rehearsed but after a while I realized each pose she had me were ones that she saw would look best on me.
One thing she told me during my first pose was that she would constantly be telling me to push my chin forward and down. And she was right; she did say it a lot! It felt funny and weird at first, but the more that she convinced me I looked gorgeous, the more it felt almost natural." 
"Now, there were some poses I did that felt pretty awkward, especially the ones were I stuck my hip out to what felt like the other side of the room. All I kept thinking was 'this must look so weird' but Chamonix has an amazing eye and only when I saw the photos did I realize that she is truly brilliant. The photos did not at all look posed and unnatural. They all looked so incredible even if I may not have felt like it in the pose!"
"My favorite part of the photo shoot was when this purple fabric was brought out. It had previously been intended for curtains for Chamonix's mom, but for then it was my outfit! At first it started off on the ground for me to sit on, but then it came up and turned into a dress that flowed around the ground by my knees.

I have to admit, it was so much fun! After that sheet came a new white fabric that was tucked into a corset to look almost like a wedding dress. And to add even more, two sheer curtains were added to the look! I can only describe the look as elegant. Now if the pictures had been of my backside, one would wonder where my pants were... the fabric only covered my front side! But the pictures truly look like I was wearing a full princess gown."
"As for the pictures, they really do make me look gorgeous. But I have to admit, all of the credit goes to the lovely Chamonix! I was so lucky to be able to have a photo shoot with her. I had so much fun and I would honestly love to do even another one with her. I'm very excited to start my modeling portfolio and I'm also excited to see what Chamonix Thurston-Rattue Photography has planned for the future!"

*Special Thanks to :: Hanna Mazur {Make-Up Artist} & My Mom {Improv Stylist}