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You’re getting married!!! Thanks for dropping by the blog. We are a boutique wedding photography company with a singular focus: letting your true colours shine through. If our work jives with you, give us a call! A handful of summer / fall openings are still open for 2014.

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Nik + Dana {and their life’s masterpieces} Open this post

Nov 22
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals 7 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Nik + Dana {and their life’s masterpieces}

We finally had the opportunity to meet this dynamic duo — the husband-and-wife team of Fiorito Foto & Design — at the Wedding Show earlier this month.  As artists, it’s always a little unnerving checking out the competition… but it certainly keeps our fragile egos in check.  Nik + Dana are about as genuine and [...]

We finally had the opportunity to meet this dynamic duo — the husband-and-wife team of Fiorito Foto & Design — at the Wedding Show earlier this month.  As artists, it’s always a little unnerving checking out the competition… but it certainly keeps our fragile egos in check.  Nik + Dana are about as genuine and personable as it gets; not to mention we’ve been admiring their work for the past year.

So when they asked if we’d be up for a family photo shoot with an *urban* flair, we were simultaneously honoured and humbled. Thankfully today’s weather cooperated (seriously…. it could have been -20!!), affording us the chance to be versatile and flexible in our locations.  Their three young sons were so well-behaved and such troopers.

We can’t wait for the Fiorito’s to capture our crazy family!  Nik + Dana, thank you for putting your confidence in us.  We hope this sneak peak does justice to the love that clearly exudes from your family dynamic.

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Dana: Sam and Alvis, these are beautiful! Your words are too kind. We had an absolute fabulous time today and LOVE the results. We're so looking forward to shooting you and yours soon! Dana 11.23.2009

Katherine: you captured this family perfectly! awesome shots...keep up the good work! 11.23.2009

Beth (20 Birds): I saw these photos and said about time someone did photos of them, and next i said.... thats them! you "got" them, "caught" them, this is them ... the three boys against the wall? fabulous,,, i love those boys 11.23.2009

Jordan: I've tried taking some shots at that old train before...yours look WAY better. 11.28.2009

Ruben: .... good info!!... 07.28.2014

Byron: .... thanks.... 11.17.2014

arnold: .... good info!!... 11.17.2014

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Inspiration + Ideas: Stillmotion’s Y Experience Open this post

Oct 16
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals 2 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Inspiration + Ideas: Stillmotion’s Y Experience

Sam: “So Alvi, you’re back (thank goodness!).  What was the single most meaningful take-away from your Stillmotion workshop?” Alvi: “You’re asking me this at 11:30 at night?!  Sam, I’m bagged.  Go to sleep.” Sam  ”Nuh-uh.  If we don’t do this now it won’t happen!  You have a wedding tomorrow and a pile of editing to do.  So spill!!!! [...]

Sam: “So Alvi, you’re back (thank goodness!).  What was the single most meaningful take-away from your Stillmotion workshop?”

Alvi: “You’re asking me this at 11:30 at night?!  Sam, I’m bagged.  Go to sleep.”

Sam  ”Nuh-uh.  If we don’t do this now it won’t happen!  You have a wedding tomorrow and a pile of editing to do.  So spill!!!!  And be grateful I’m typing.  You know what you say, ‘you gots good english.’”

****moment of silence****followed by “the look”****submission and then caving!!!****

Alvi:  ”Wow.  So much, really.  It was reinforced that shooting a wedding is more than just taking images and setting up the shots.  It is actually about WHY am I shooting things this way and not that way; what does this picture mean and represent to the couple when they’ll see it?  Why do I think this image will matter? Will it trigger the memories authentically?”

Sam:  “Whoa.  That’s deep.  Ok let’s get back to the regular format cuz it’s hard to be succinct with you!”

Alvi:  “Don’t use big words on me, Sam!”

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************

It’s been a whirlwind 10 days… with just 7 hours spent back on TBay soil, in between our Rockies trip and an event I had been anticipating since the spring:  Stillmotion’s “Y” Experience.  

This week was all about professional development and growth.  Nine of us photographers from as far south as Miami and as far west as Calgary humbly assembled in the presence of renowned international photographers, Amina Moreau and Justin Demers (Stillmotion) at their Mississauga studio.  The emphasis was not so much about mechanics or cool new technology; it was more as about delving deep into why we do what we do as photographers.

This question of *why* became the central theme for all of us — a psychological quest for the deeper meaning behind our craft and the images we shoot.  It is true that anyone can click a button on a camera.  But to connect the dots and build a storyline takes time, effort and care. The entire concept of *why* will continue to stay with us at Bliss, as it’s virtually impossible to slide in a direction of complacency or humdrum after cracking open the box, staring ourselves in the mirror and asking *why* do we do what we do.  Not possible to go backwards.  

Having said that, this is why we will be making an even greater effort to understand our clients.  How did you meet?  Why did you fall in love?  What was that moment like?  What are your values?  In the end, if we can connect to the deeper stuff it will transcend into your photographs.  After all, our job is to document a pivotal piece of history for you.  Something to show your children and grandchildren. Photos that evoke the raw emotion of your day.  This is not a responsibility we take lightly.  

So we’re in full-on growth mode at Bliss.  If you are on this journey with us we are so blessed and want to tell you to fasten your seatbelts, cuz it’s gonna be quite the ride!

Below are a smattering of shots taken throughout the day.  There is nothing overtly artistic here… just a handful of photogs honing their craft and muttering under their breath WHY.   

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Hot New Media [can I get a woot woot, please?!] Open this post

Aug 16
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals, International 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Hot New Media [can I get a woot woot, please?!]

So I’m waiting for Mr. Man to come home from his latest wedding.  He’s been commissioned to do Cinema for clients Stef + Kyle who were married today [must be one rockin' celebration as its nearly 2 am and he's still MIA!]. As is the usual practice I like to get the download when he [...]

So I’m waiting for Mr. Man to come home from his latest wedding.  He’s been commissioned to do Cinema for clients Stef + Kyle who were married today [must be one rockin' celebration as its nearly 2 am and he's still MIA!]. As is the usual practice I like to get the download when he returns home, and anyone who is a regular lurker knows I am a total insomniac.  Having crossed everything off today’s TO DO list, I’ve spent the last hour in complete awe.  The direct result of cruising the Net and coming across some rad new media stuff.  

I had heard that the arts community is a-buzz these days with some cutting edge projection media concepts and I have to admit I can see why.  My background is music <HBMus from good ol’ Lakehead U> so this meshing of music, architecture and funky images appeals to every artsy bone in my body. This is just about the coolest thing I’ve seen in ages.  Imagine actually standing inside this urban setting — if you ask me it would be an impact of the highest magnitude!

To give further context to what you will see from this company called Nuformer, here’s how they describe their offerings:

“Impressive and stylish projections on buildings, a renewing way of communicating. For those who want to carry out a message in a striking and visually attractive way with guaranteed exposure: 3D Projection on buildings is the communication tool of 2009, and what an impact! NuFormer Digital Media develops high-skill 3D video mapping projections. These 3D projections will be custom-made to fit any specific building and will be exposed by a battery of powerful projectors.”

But everyone’s a critic.  Form your own opinion, if you dare.  

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Ian Benninghaus: I do believe that "Mr. Man" did in fact have a good time at Steph and Kyle's wedding last night as I was the fellow who bartended it. It was a rockin' celebration and I can attest he did behave himself and is obviously a consummate professional as he conducted himself as such even while in the midst of some highly intoxicated party goer's. Lovely work on this site as well as the portfolio shots. Very, very well done and it is a crying shame that I did not know to contact you(s) when I was married in 2006. From what I have seen on this site and from my conversation with Alvis last night, I can honestly say that the next time someone asks me "Who do I go to for shooting my wedding?", I am most definitely going to refer them to BlissPictures. Absolutely stunning work by a gentleman who obviously knows his stuff and takes pride in his work. Cheers, Ian Benninghaus 08.16.2009

admin: Hi Ian! Wow; your effusive words are making my night! We are not worthy!! Thanks for letting me know he was on his best behaviour. It is important. LOL. We just checked out your flickr account and right back at ya..... I'm not sure we could take a decent nature shot if we tried. Gorgeous stuff... not sure I could even pick a fave as they are all esthetically stunning. Alvi and I both appreciate the environment we live in but rarely do we actually document its raw beauty on film. And yes we are the typical wedding photography co. that has nary a wedding photo of our own big day in site. Ah the irony. Thanks again and we appreciate your taking the time to visit! 08.16.2009

Derek: .... tnx for info!... 07.27.2014

shaun: .... thanks!!... 11.20.2014

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Beauty: It’s like they say.  {Skin Deep} Open this post

Jul 05
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals, Weddings 3 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Beauty: It’s like they say. {Skin Deep}

Always was an advocate for the tried, tested and true proverb; “Beauty is only skin deep.”  We all know that true beauty goes well beyond the surface.  And yet in my deliberate quest for a pick-me-up, I decided to FINALLY try out a friend’s new-ish business this afternoon.  I just cannot contain my enthusiasm.  I’m [...]

Always was an advocate for the tried, tested and true proverb; “Beauty is only skin deep.”  We all know that true beauty goes well beyond the surface.  And yet in my deliberate quest for a pick-me-up, I decided to FINALLY try out a friend’s new-ish business this afternoon.  I just cannot contain my enthusiasm.  I’m so impressed I had to blog about it!

Angela Romeo opened Luminous Laser & Med Spa two years ago this fall and I can say I have definitely seen her in her element. While lying peacefully in her elegantly appointed treatment room, the soothing sound of something nature-like and ethereal filled me with a sense of calm.  We chittered away about this and that and then she got straight down to business and whipped out this wicked ‘Machine.’  I confess to have been fully intimidated on first glance.  Yet as it stripped away my my tired looking skin I couldn’t help but get excited about its promise of a soft, radiant glow.  And no, it did not hurt one iota (always my first question in a scenario where I have no control!)

And then came the ‘Other Machine’.  

Let’s just say that ‘Other Machine’ and I did not bond like the first one.  I believe this was the phototherapy segment to my treatment.  Its laser worked tirelessly seeking out the enemy: broken capillaries, sun spots and redness.  It stands to reason that I’m not quite sure how I made it through the delivery of two children… I’m sure Angela is still giggling at my complete and total floppiness on the table!  It actually did not really hurt at all; it was more the nature of the *zap* followed by its accompanying light that gave me a wee jolt.  But Angela was a true professional.  I took note of her ability to keep me chatting away about endless other subjects so as not to hone in on the task at hand. Nicely done, Ange.  Very subtle!

Fast forward to a wonderful day spent chasing kids and puttering around the yard; I’m now wide awake and reflecting on this awesome experience I had today at Luminous.  I can’t help but think if I was a bride this would be at the top of my *beautification* list in the months leading up to the Big Day.  I’ll be having additional treatments with Angela and will let you how the progress is shaping up.  I found it to be extremely well priced and it has completely shattered the myth I bought into, that this type of *pampering* was targeted only for the affluent and superficial.  Definitely not the case.

And dare I say, I think I’m glowing!  Thanks, Angela.  

You can check out all her offerings at LuminousLaser.

Douglas: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó.... 07.31.2014

harvey: .... ñïñ çà èíôó!... 11.18.2014

roland: .... áëàãîäàðþ!... 11.20.2014

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Meanderings {M.J. Dies + We Scout for You + Wicked Photog Combos} Open this post

Jun 25
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals, Weddings 2 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Meanderings {M.J. Dies + We Scout for You + Wicked Photog Combos}

My 1983 Thriller Jacket is Now Priceless Holy @#$%!  The world has lost a legendary icon…….  breaking news confirms that the King of Pop has died, allegedly of cardiac arrest. While it is refreshing to break from CNN’s current story du jour <Jon & Kate: Separate…….puh-lease; we don’t care anymore, people!>; we at Bliss find ourselves [...]

My 1983 Thriller Jacket is Now Priceless

Holy @#$%!  The world has lost a legendary icon…….  breaking news confirms that the King of Pop has died, allegedly of cardiac arrest. While it is refreshing to break from CNN’s current story du jour <Jon & Kate: Separate…….puh-lease; we don’t care anymore, people!>; we at Bliss find ourselves saddened by this loss.  It’s hard not to respect all that this man has done for the music and indeed entertainment industry in general; the dude was as inventive as they come.  Salacious rumours of pedophilia notwithstanding, we pause for a moment of silence to reflect and honour the iconic legend who was: Michael Jackson.  May you moonwalk wherever your spirit now takes you. 

Trade Secrets: Why Bliss Works Harder

Without opening up the vault too much, we wanted to give prospective bride *lurkers* one more reason to consider making Bliss Pictures your photographic/cinematic partner in crime for your Big Day.  Plain and simple: we work hard for you.  What many clients don’t realize is the amount of pre-planning that goes into ensuring you are blown away with the art you’ve invested in. From the moment you sign on the dotted line, our creative juices begin to brainstorm and the research begins.

Case in point: where to do the photo shoot?  Well, let’s just say that we get über excited when given a wide berth of latitude for going outside the realm of ordinary.  Today we met up with Dave + Cynthia, clients originally from Thunder Bay but now living in Ottawa.  This Saturday, they will exchange vows in front of 120 adoring fans at St. Dominic’s Cathedral on the South Side of town.  And sometime around 2:30 pm or so, we shall be whisking them away to a top secret grain elevator for an exclusive photo session in an environment that is rugged, raw, removed and beautiful.  Make no mistake, this is no Vickers Park <thank goodness>.  We are equally excited that Dave + Cynthia have such open minds and have put their faith in what we believe we can capture for them.

But the point is quite simply this: our clients are promised an experience that is authentic yet unique; timeless yet edgy.  This is our signature style.  To fulfill this promise, we will go the distance to scout around town, pull strings with our contacts and discover the undiscovered.    Your images are the unwitting beneficiaries of this exploration.  We want to think differently.  We want to capture the essence of your union in a setting as distinct as your love story.  And because we do a lot of our shooting outside, many brides will — rightfully — ask how we handle their photo shoot if it rains.  ”No worries,” we say.  Because quite frankly, the weather does not bother us; bring on the rain…… the elements produce such wicked opportunities to work with varying escarpments of sky and light.  <Disclaimer: we do want it to be lovely and sunny as much as you do; but we can work in any situation, really.>

So if you want Vickers Park, we may not be a fit for you.  But if you are up for something fun and unique, give us a call!

Converging of Creativity: Bliss + Shannon Lepere

Thanks to circumstances beyond our control <namely, open heart surgery to replace one doomed aortic valve>, we are eager to pair up with a hot local photographer we’ve been eyeing for quite some time.  This Saturday’s wedding shoot will allow us just that opportunity.

This spring we were faced with the gravity of Alvi’s health crisis and immediately knew that a small handful of our clients would be impacted. Recovering from open heart surgery is not like getting your tonsils out!  Our fallback plan was to try and secure the services of an available photographer whose style and vision best aligned with ours.  We found that fallback in Shannon Lepere .

Shannon is a young, formally educated photographer with a degree from Fanshawe and a style that would knock anyone’s socks off.  Her signature *jump shots* are known around town and if you are at all artsy and have not been living under a rock then you will be well familiar with her work in the fashion and music industry.  What initially started out as disappointment <to have to forfeit a wedding as the lead photographer> has turned out to be — we think — a cool blessing in disguise.  We are eager to pool our collective good ideas with Shannon and are confident Dave + Cynthia will be blown away .  Moreover, let’s face it, in this business there is always a need to grow and we look forward to learning from Shannon and all that she has to offer.

ramon: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó.... 07.29.2014

Brandon: .... áëàãîäàðåí.... 11.20.2014

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Meanderings// Bliss + Alvis + Kids + Photographers We Like + Music We Dig Open this post

Jun 16
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals, Family, Personal, Weddings 3 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Meanderings// Bliss + Alvis + Kids + Photographers We Like + Music We Dig

I find myself using the word *meander* frequently and recently stopped to double-check my thesaurus for confirmation on its meaning… hey; you get enough funny looks from people, you start to wonder if you’re speaking gibberish! Ahem.  ”To Meander”:  to be all over the map, to change, drift, ramble, gallivant, traipse, roam, vagabond.  Whohoo!  I have been [...]

I find myself using the word *meander* frequently and recently stopped to double-check my thesaurus for confirmation on its meaning… hey; you get enough funny looks from people, you start to wonder if you’re speaking gibberish!

Ahem.  ”To Meander”:  to be all over the map, to change, drift, ramble, gallivant, traipse, roam, vagabond.  Whohoo!  I have been using it correctly.  And now I shall make full use of its literal meaning and move forward with this post as it roves and recoils throughout various subject matters near and dear to our hearts.

Alvis Update// The New Ticker Rocks!!!

So it would seem that after a passage of nearly 3.5 weeks, our 41-year old Valvinator <the new name he’s affectionately taken on> is on the mend.  Hurray for modern-day science and prosthetic aortic valves!  I know that many of you were concerned and believe me, we were too. But so much good has come from this experience we are actually grateful to have gone through it.  For one, he’s gonna live and live a long, long time.  Heck, his new valve comes with a lifelong warranty that will outlast any actuarial prediction of life expectancy!  For two, the whole thing has brought us closer together as a family.  A brush with your own mortality tends to have that kind of lasting effect!  For three, he no longer snores.  Wohoo!!!  We are chalking this up to a proper intake of oxygen throughout his body, thanks to the new valve and also in part due to dropping 25 lbs from the surgery.  Thank you all for your prayers, emails, notes, comments and the terrific amount of food that was brought over while we got through these past few weeks.  

Music// An Insomniac’s Greatest Adventure…Searching for Cool New Tunes

Hey — a music degree has to count for something, right?!  What it means is a continual thirst for searching out great new music to implement in our wedding movies and just to groove to around the house.  I’ve come across some real beauties in my last couple of quests and will be sharing one of my faves with you below.  We are HUGE Joshua Radin fans and this piece rocks; for sure it would make an excellent addition to your reception music score.  <Fair warning: it’s a cheesy YouTube posting but at least it gets you the lyrics; and no we did not compile it>. When we produce  wedding movies for clients, we do seek input in terms of meaningful song selections/genres; but we do like to have some degree of creative control so that we can find just the absolute perfect piece that fits to the captured footage and storyboard.  If you’ve hired us to do your wedding movie, you’ll soon see what we mean.

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Hannah Cakes + Graduation Takes// Piper’s Milestone Moments!

Where has the time gone?  My baby girl is officially turning 6 this June 20th… This past Saturday we had the opportunity to host a special *family party* for Piper to honour this momentous occasion.  One of the highlights was definitely her reaction to the Hannah Montana cake that was lovingly made the night before thanks to the expertise of good friend Lisa and a bottle of Australian chardonnay.  You see, we had surfed the net together to come up with the *perfect* cake and after about an hour of scrolling through umpteen images, she finally settled upon this little number involving feathers and a real Hannah barbie.  And although it didn’t quite resemble the masterpiece we unearthed online; she was tickled pink.  And now its onto other monumental rites of passage; tomorrow Piper graduates from S.K. into Grade 1.  Pass me the Kleenex, sniffle, sniffle.
Building up the anticipation...

Piper's priceless look of appreciation.

Supporting Our Own// An Amazing New Photographer on the Scene

The word is already on the street about Jennifer Fabiano and her amazing photographs of children and newborns.  There is something tender, touching and so innocent about the images she captures <does have a lot to do with her subject material!>.  We have been following her work for quite some time now and are officially huge fans.  Working with little ones requires an infinite amount of patience and the special skill of being able to bring out a child’s natural personality.  There is nothing contrived in Jennifer’s work.  We congratulate her and hope that one of these days we can get around to having her capture our own little family unit <lest we never ever see Daddy in the pictures!>.  Check her out at Fabianophotography.    




Jen Fabiano: Thanks so much for the mention!! I'd love to take a picture of your family if we can squeeze any time out of the busy summer! Can't wait to see pics from all your upcoming weddings! I'll be blog-stalking you :) 06.20.2009

Donnie: .... ñïàñèáî!... 07.28.2014

aaron: .... tnx.... 11.20.2014

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Rubbing Shoulders with Cinevate  ;) Open this post

Mar 13
2009

Posted in: Allied Professionals 3 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Rubbing Shoulders with Cinevate ;)

Who says Friday the 13th isn’t lucky? As my luck would have it, got a call from the best graphics agency in town, Eleven-Seventeen, wondering if I would have time to take some last minute shots at a local firm called Cinevate. “Would I?!”, I exclaimed.  Damn straight! Now Cinevate may not be on your radar [...]
Cinevate in action.

Cinevate in action.

Who says Friday the 13th isn’t lucky?

As my luck would have it, got a call from the best graphics agency in town, Eleven-Seventeen, wondering if I would have time to take some last minute shots at a local firm called Cinevate. “Would I?!”, I exclaimed.  Damn straight!

Now Cinevate may not be on your radar screen, but if you’re a budding cinematographer or have anything remotely to do with the world behind a camera (and you have not been living under a rock), then you would know that this Thunder Bay company has a stellar product that is taking our industry by storm.  I’ve been a quiet fan of Cinevate for years; even pondered bugging them for a job when we first moved up from Ottawa…thinking my IT background and penchant for photography could lend itself nicely to their team.

Yada yada yada. Cinevate is participating in one HUGE trade-show in Las Vegas next month.  It’s the National Association of Broadcasters flagship, “who’s-who-in-the-world-of-broadcasting-show” and hopefully the shots I humbly took today will do them the justice they deserve.

But if Krista and Dan at Eleven-Seventeen have anything to do with it, I’m sure theirs will be the slickest, edgiest, funkiest booth at the show.

Note: not to be a hypocrite, while I don’t yet utilize Cinevate’s tool (key word: yet), I’m still allowed to be a fan and have been following their work for quite some time.

Check out their work:

www.eleven-seventeen.com

www.cinevate.com

Jason: That is exciting news! Congratulations to you. Cinevate is an awesome place and Dennis and the staff are great to deal with. They are going to make a huge splash at NAB. Good job Alvis. 03.14.2009

admin: Thanks Jason. Great-looking site by the way. Looks like you have some hip, gifted photographers at your disposal! 03.14.2009

tyrone: .... ñïñ!!... 07.31.2014

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