Matt and I were invited to participate in the Shorebreak Hotel's "Couture Dog" fashion event a couple weeks ago, to premiere the Shorebreak's dog-friendly services as well as benefit the Orange County Humane Society. Humane Society pets were paraded up and down the catwalk while guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed the live DJ and fashionable pets in attendance!
When Helena contacted me for portraits, the reason she gave me was "I feel like it's a good time for me. 2010 is my year."Go Helena, it's your birthday! Actually, the session date really was her birthday. Lookin' good, girl!
I really love the look on the right. I'm going to have to find a tunic and necklace like that.
Tuesday with the Pros is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry. Today's authority is Youngsong, designer and owner of Wildflower Linen.LI: Describe the role Wildflower Linen plays in the event industry!Young: We are an innovative couture linen company, offering both rentals and sales. Wildflower is very trendy and designer-driven, so it's not your ordinary white table linens.LI: How did Wildflower Linen begin?Young: Well, I was a clothing designer and senior instructor at the Parson School of Design, but I got burned out on the fashion design business---I didn't want to deal with department stores anymore. So I retired! Shortly thereafter I got involved in a family wedding, and went looking for some inspiring linens for my niece, the bride. But what I was looking for simply was not there in the marketplace at the time, I kept finding old-fashioned satins instead of the high-quality silks I was used to. So I went out and made some chair covers for the wedding myself, out of dupioni silk. It wasn't long before people were talking about me and I found myself being approached by planners and brides to design covers and other linens for their events. There was a lot of doubt, a lot of questions at first; "How are brides going to justify spending all this money just for linens? How are you going to wash them? How are you going to earn money from this kind of venture?" There was simply nothing else like Wildflower on the market when we began. But I used to be a teacher, and I wanted to educate people. I wanted them to know that they didn't have to settle for horrible polyester fabrics for their grand event! After that there was no stopping me.LI: So Wildflower's couture fabric quality is what sets it apart from other linen brands?Young: Yes, and I think as a former fashion designer I have a strong sense for future trends that will eventually hit the market and impact our designs. So we like to think that we are trendsetters here at Wildflower Linen!LI: What is your favorite aspect of being a linen designer?Young: I like everything about designing fabrics. I also really love being part of something that is so special to my clients, like their wedding day. It's like when I furnish a client with a beautiful linen I'm helping them sculpt their event's atmosphere, and shape a highly valuable memory for them.LI: What goes into the process of designing a fabric for a client?Young: We look for complimentary color combinations, thread counts, and which fibers we can combine to produce the tones, textures, and the kind of sheen that the client is seeking. Right now we're working with some handpainted looks, samples of which you'll see in this year's spring issue of Your Wedding Day magazine, due out sometime in the next month.LI: Do you have a dream event that you'd love to design the linens for?Young: Oh, yes. The annual Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala in New York! I would like to collaborate with any of the designers involved to produce a truly amazing linen for that event. Someday!LI: Have you worked on any exciting projects so far this year?Young: Yes, we designed the linens for the Hurt Locker after-party following the Academy Awards this year...that was fun!LI: What would be your professional advice to help guide clients in selecting or envisioning their linens?Young: When people come to Wildflower, we listen to them. We want to know what their dream wedding is all about. It helps us understand what they mean when they describe what they're looking for...for example, if they were to say they just want "simple" look, I may not be sure what that means until I listen to them fully describe the event, and then I may come to realize that when the bride says "simple," she really means "no patterns." One-word descriptions can be very powerful, but also very inaccurate. So we encourage the client to tell us everything, and we encourage other vendors to really listen to them. That's the best way to truly produce the kind of event the client has in mind, and even go far beyond their expectations and imagination, as well!For more on Young and Wildflower Linen, visit:Wildflower Linen's websiteWildflower Linen's blogWildflower Linen on TwitterWildflower Linen on Facebook
Many thanks to Jason Meyer for inviting me to help him photograph this brilliantly-colored wedding. Here are a few of my favorites from the bridal room prior to the ceremony:
Haha, the "modern bride."
This post contains tasteful images featuring a nude female body, and may not be work-safe. Viewers under the age of 18 should obtain their parents' permission.
You already know the biggest key to having great photos—whether they are of you or of anything else—is to hire a skilled photographer whose work you admire. (I should note, if you hire a photographer whose work excites other people but not you, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. You have to like your photographers' style in order to like your photographer's photos of you!) That said, if you want to ensure that your kids’ jaws and your kids’ kids’ jaws drop every time they look at your wedding photos, here are the top 10 tips a lá Luminaire Images for looking spectacular on your wedding day:Hire a professional hairstylist and professional makeup artist. Nobody wants to repeat, “What on earth was up with my HAIR??” every time they look at their wedding photos. Hairstylists and makeup artists are often the first to be removed from the wish-list when planning a wedding on a budget, but from a photographer’s point of view they are essential. If you’re going to great lengths to look incredible on your wedding day---bought a gorgeous wedding dress, scheduled some time at the spa---why skip the pro stylist? Don’t forget that your whole dress may not be in every single picture of you, however your face sure will!Take ‘er for a test driveA few weeks prior to your wedding, do a test run of your makeup and hair to ensure you like how it looks on you, and that you’re not allergic to any of the products. A practice run may also allow your makeup artist to move more quickly on your wedding day since she already knows what works for you. If it looks good, you don’t have to wash it off right away, either! Schedule your engagement session for after your test appointment, or a night out on the town!Don’t forget touch-upIf your makeup artist won’t be there the whole day with her Magic Bag O’ Beauty to constantly refresh your face, put someone else in charge. Enlist a bridesmaid to keep a “touch-up clutch” handy with lip gloss, pressed powder, and waterproof mascara, and tell her that it’s her job to re-do your face (and maybe your bridesmaids’, too!) after each cry, or in between events, and before each shoot.Practice, practice, practice!Make sure you schedule an engagement session with your photographer. This will not only prepare you and your fiancé for the types of poses and directions your photographer may use at your wedding, but also gets you more relaxed in front of your photographer’s lens. Your photographer can also note and manage your weaknesses---for example, if you have a bad habit of blinking when the picture is taken, it’s good for the photographer to notice ahead of time so he or she is prepared.Consider wearing a veil.Veils don’t have to be ten feet long to add some extra “wow” to a wedding ensemble. A birdcage veil made of netting affixed to a hairpiece looks chic and glamorous. Longer, more traditional veils can be used for romantic, breathtaking creative imagery, especially if it’s a breezy day!
Find a dress that flatters your figure!This seems like a no-brainer, but amazingly some brides rely solely on the advice of whoever comes dress-shopping with them, instead of boutique assistants who may be more qualified to make suggestions on the type of dress you should be looking for. If you have a big waist, avoid full, fluffy skirts, and if you’re more top-heavy, avoid strapless dresses. Don’t forget that quality plus-size dresses are all styled to make curvy girls wearing them look slimmer! Everyone is built differently, and it’s silly to think that one style fits all.Select a visually interesting locationIf you are getting married in a boring, small, or overly-busy location then your photographer may be forced to find something more picturesque nearby for certain shots in order to avoid power lines and passers-by in the background. If possible, try to scope a ceremony or reception location with dramatic scenery, wide open spaces, or at least one that has a variety of places that are visually appealing. Chances are, if a location impresses you before you've even seen it with flowers and decorations, then your photographer will like it, too!Take formal photos BEFORE the ceremonyYou’ll be your photographer’s best friend! Before the ceremony is when everyone’s makeup is the freshest, everyone’s hair is still perfectly in place, and no one has red eyes from crying or shiny faces from sweating. It’s the perfect time. If possible, it is highly recommended seeing your fiancé before the ceremony for some photos as well---your photographer can arrange a “First Look” meeting so there is still a moment of “revealing” yourselves in all your finery to each other, if you prefer. Not only will you both look your best during these pictures, but you and your guests won’t have to take as much time for photos following the ceremony, which is when everyone really just wants to just get down and party!Take your photographer’s suggestions seriously!Your photographer will rarely ask you to do something---whether it’s leaving in the middle of dinner for some sunset pictures or riding piggyback on your fiancé---unless he or she thinks that it will make for an unbeatable photo. Let them know if you’re uncomfortable or unable to do what they ask, but if you’re ready and willing, then go for it!And last but not least…RELAXAs talented as your photographer is, if you feel stiff and forced, then you’re going to look stiff and forced. Have a couple drinks, shake it off, reflect on how happy you are to have made it to the big day, and try to enjoy yourself. Not only will you look more relaxed in the photos, your attitude will have an amazing relaxing effect on everyone around you and ALL your vendors produce better work when they sense that you're not stressing too much. You, your fianceé, and all your guests are there to enjoy yourselves...so why not enjoy?
Today 944 Magazine (OC version) sent me on assignment to photograph Michelle Nguyen, the owner and designer for Quail, a local clothing line.
Q: "What should a photographer wear when photographing a wedding?"A: I never thought I'd be blogging about this, but this topic appeared in both a Flickr forum and a MySpace photography forum yesterday, so apparently it's something people want to know/are discussing.My first reaction was, "Anyone with any common sense would wear..." but then when I thought about it, I recalled that there was a time in not-too-recent yesteryears when I was going to weddings "dressed down" as far as my current standards are concerned: khaki slacks and a cute tank top! Not a tee and jeans, but not exactly something appropriate for the Ritz, either (thank heavens I never shot at the Ritz back then!).