Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Wednesday Giveaways!

Hey guys!

So throughout the Christmas season, Jaime Lauren Photography will be featuring a few freebies. Every Wednesday until December 22, I'll be posting the latest giveaway on the blog and spreading the word via Facebook. Feel free to help share the love and pass the word on to friends and family!

This Wednesday I'm offering all brides & groom's to-be a FREE custom hard cover photo book when they book their 2011 wedding with Jaime Lauren Photography throughout the month of December. Every handcrafted coffee table book features exclusive designs, artful layouts, and accurate photo reproductions on premium archival, acid-free pages. Each book is 15"x11", 20 pages in length and comes with a protective slipcover to ensure your leather-bound, debossed book remains stunning no matter how many times you show it off!

Already booked your 2011 wedding and still want to get in on the deal? Refer a friend and receive $100 photo credit when they book!

So spread the word, drop me a line, and book your 2011 wedding now and round out your photo package with a free leather-bound premium hard cover coffee table book. Only a limited number available!

Offer expires January 1st at 12:00am PST.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brett & Kelly: A Maternity Shoot

Every so often I get asked if I photograph anything besides weddings and engagements. The answer is always 'yes, but I rarely advertise'. See there's a school of thought that aligns itself with the theory that if you project yourself as a generalist, you'll never get taken seriously as a specialist in any given field. I've found that since I stopped promoting myself as a photographic jack (jill?) of all trades and started focusing in on weddings and engagements, I've been able to work on my craft, hone very specific skills, and settle into a niche (a very LARGE niche, but a niche nonetheless). And guess what? I haven't lost business as a result.

On those occasions when I'm asked if I do more than weddings, the follow-up question is usually one that includes a request for maternity/baby/family/corporate/promotional photographs. And if there's room in my schedule, then of course, I'm always on board. I enjoy the opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone, test other waters, and of course, build relationships with others through photography. As of recently, I've been getting quite a few requests for maternity & baby sessions, and since winter is a tad slower as far as weddings go, I've made room to honor a few of these requests.

Some of these shoots will be featured here on the blog, and since I wanted to put some space between featured engagement sessions, I thought I'd go back to an end of summer shoot that took place with our friends Brett & Kelly here in Livermore, California. Enjoy!

Isn't she a total rock star??? Kelly was a natural in front of the camera and is easily one of the most photogenic pregnant women I've ever photographed.

Don't they look great together?! Brett was pretty relaxed in front of the lens as well. They made my job ridiculously easy!

One word about Kelly's dresses: 'ruching' . All that lovely gathered fabric can do wonders for any figure, whether one needs it or not, but what I find myself swooning over in these two B&W shots is how beautifully the ruching leads the eye around Kelly's maternal curves. And both the rings and her necklace punctuate the flowing lines quite nicely. GOR-GEOUS.

(And they're just as fun as they look...we love having them as friends!)

Of course the shoot wouldn't have been the same without a glimpse of their little guy.

And since Brett & Kelly are major baseball fans, we headed to a nearby ball field for a few shots.

This last photo on the right was the result of an idea I had the night before the shoot. Love how it turned out with the white T's! Thanks guys for the awesome shoot. So glad that the little guy is doing well and growing like a weed!

I realise that these photos were all done 'on-site' and would love to hear feedback from viewers/readers as to whether they prefer maternity shoots on-site or in the studio. Which do you favour?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

La Bibliothèque

Just after we received our first piece of mail at this address last year, I announced on Facebook that it was official: I could go and get a local library card. I did that--yesterday. I have no idea why I procrastinated so.

I love libraries...not just what you can get from them, (free books, old movies, audio CD's, back issues of Vogue, all without the pressure or commitment to buy anything) but the atmosphere within a library. The din and hum of visitors trying to be quiet, the odd child breaking out from the confines of the 'indoor voice' and then the turned heads as an embarrassed mom tries to shush her kid, (I'm sure that will be me in a few years!) the sheer volume of information at one's fingertips--I love it all. Even the exteriors can be pleasing, especially in larger cities. Vancouver's library is a stunning work of art; if you've never been to the Vancouver Public Library's main branch you should go next time you're in the city--from the outside it looks like a modern-day Coliseum.

So yesterday I finally treated myself to my first visit to Livermore's main branch and I was really pleased with how inviting it was. Warm lighting, (they went easy on the fluorescents, which I was happy about. I've always said fluorescent lighting is the devil's lighting) visible timber trusses, and neutral earth tones made the whole place seem more like a lodge than a library. If only there'd been a large stone fireplace at the end, soaring upwards towards vaulted ceilings...

Anyway, the last great feature of this particular library was it's automatic sliding doors. I never leave a library with just a book or two, and am usually weighed down to the point where if I were grocery shopping, I'd look ridiculous without a cart. So when the automatic doors whirred open I felt really grateful for not having to turn my back to the door, heave the door open with my shoulders, and leave the library backwards. Thank you Livermore for providing me with the opportunity to maintain my dignity here.

What was in my hefty stack of books you ask? A couple pictorial coffee table books, but mostly travel memoirs and guides. China, the Middle East, a couple about Iran. You know, docile, indifferent places...no troublemakers in this pack! Oh, and a guidebook to Switzerland, because that is where I'll be headed to shoot a wedding after Christmas!!! The most neutral place on earth! It's been a year and a half since I've been outside of Canada & the US and I'm dying to explore some place new, even if just for a week or so. Plus it'll be great to see an old friend get hitched, not to mention provide the newlyweds with a snowy photo shoot in front of a castle or something (fingers crossed!). Chocolate, snow, fondue, (CHEESE!!!!) castles, the Alps....I seriously cannot wait!

Oh, and if you have any favourite reads that might inspire my trip, let me know so I can hit up the library again :-)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bryce & Rebecca's Engagement Shoot: Part II of II

So a couple days ago I promised Part II of Becky & Bryce's Engagement Session would appear on the blog today and here it is folks!

If you know me well, you know I'm a fan of scarves. Summer, winter, in-between-the seasons scarves...I rarely leave the house without one. But one of the reasons I often suggest them as the perfect accessory for a photo shoot is that they can easily be used to draw the viewer's eye to the subject's face. I especially love what a fantastic punch of colour a vibrant scarf can lend to a shoot, particularly if the day is gray and overcast. (Wait, was that the Canadian or American spelling for gray/grey???) Anyway, I don't think I asked Becky to bring a scarf, but she brought a couple and they couldn't have fit better with the light, the backdrops, or her complexion and bright eyes. Gorgeous.

The B&W shot on the far right is one of my most favourite engagement portraits of all time. The tenderness revealed here gives me the chills...thanks Becky & Bryce for moments like this which I'll treasure always. It really is a privilege to be let in on intimate moments such as these.

All right, I'm still waiting to see if anyone can pick out where these photos are taken. What I'd also love to know is if you have favourite images from either Part One or Two of Becky & Bryce's shoot. It's always good for me to know what appeals to viewers and why. So if composition is what grabs you, I'd like to hear which one you think is the strongest. If it's emotion, colour, contrast, post-production techniques, or creativity that cranks your engine and one (or more) of these photos does it for you, please leave your comments below!!!

Oh, and have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bryce & Rebecca: An Engagement Session to Make You Melt--Part I of II

Get ready to melt ladies! This couple will make you want to throw on a scarf and boots, grab your man, scout out a field, barn, or any other rustic, fall setting and let yourselves fall in love all over again. Oh, and don't forget to bring along a photographer who's a sucker for romance, hint, hint. Not the cheesy, gushy sort that makes me gag, (I'll refrain from naming specific authors or movies, because you don't want to get me started) but the truly romantic kind that blends the passion and beauty of a strong woman with the devotion and honor of a steady man.
Think Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy if you're the genteel type, or William Wallace and his bride Murron if you prefer a little more edge than a curt remark with your romance! I like both forthe record! Anyhow, I digress. I'll stop now and just let you drool...or dream...the latter being a little more keyboard-friendly if you ask me!

This middle one is a favourite of mine. It reminds me of the moment when Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy in the field at dawn in the new version of Pride & Prejudice. I've always preferred the BBC version, but that particular scene, with the sun glistening off the dew in the damp meadow, is pretty gorgeous. Kiera Knightly never hurt anyone's eyes either...wish I could look like her in a wet field!!! HA...fat chance of that happening!

Can we GET anymore photogenic people??? Sigh....

Becky & Bryce could not have coordinated better to compliment each other and their natural surroundings. Plus, I'm a HUGE fan of scarves as accessories both in front of and behind the camera (great for protecting the gear when shooting in the rain--see my Tofino shoot for more of that!!!). Being madly in love never hindered a great photo shoot either!

Stay tuned for Part Deux coming Friday and in the meantime, if you're from the Okanagan, I'd love to know if you can guess where these were shot! (If you already knew where the shoot was taking place please hold off on guessing!)

Monday, November 01, 2010

An Island Wedding: Josh & Seija

Rain is not an element I particularly enjoy...at least not the getting wet part. While living in Vancouver I waited out many rainy afternoons in my dorm's 'sunroom', huddled up next to cool, dripping panes of glass at a coffee shop sipping something warm, and as often as I could, soaked in the warmth and soul of Burgoo's food and cozy atmosphere--at a window seat of course. More often than not, however, a great deal of my rainy days in Vancouver were spent in the pitch black as hours of darkroom time were clocked day after day. Rain and darkness were very much a part of my Vancouver years, and now that I live in California, I try to soak up as much sunshine as I can in order to make up for lost rays. It's been a long time since I could see the good in getting downright drenched by a Pacific storm, but this September, rain was redeemed!

Just over a month ago, I had the sheer pleasure of being thoroughly soaked while photographing my friend Seija and her husband Josh as they very gallantly braved a Tofino lashing and froze their newly-wedded socks off. The ceremony was supposed to be held outdoors on the beach, but Storm Season had officially arrived on Vancouver Island's western coast and so an intimate ceremony was held in the warmth of Long Beach Lodge Resort's great room.

An island wedding was truly appropriate for this Kelowna couple who hail from Prince Edward Island (Josh) and Vancouver Island (Seija). Neither were too daunted by the coastal weather and I was blown away by how willing Seija was to shoot in an utter downpour, especially with a reception to follow.

And I, for one, had an absolute blast! It's one thing to find yourself sopping wet in the middle of a city street on your way to class or a meeting, but it's another to find yourself liberated by weather and enjoying the elements in all their glory. I realised that for me, being outside in the rain while being surrounded by nature (as opposed to an urban environment) was freeing rather than aggravating. Even while my fingers were fumbling to grip my camera (all weather-sealed, thanks to Nikon) and water was cascading through my jacket, I can recall feeling as alive as I've ever been and couldn't help but thanking the Creator for such tremendous beauty.

Seija & Josh, thank you so much for enabling me to be a part of such a unique and dramatic occasion, and I hope that the way you both embraced the storm in order to produce something beautiful to cherish will prove to be more than just a metaphor for your marriage.

To Seija & Josh and a Beautiful Storm!