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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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The return of our *Spring Bling* promo. Open this post

Feb 27
2011

Posted in: Newsworthy 6 comments
Author: admin Tags:

The return of our *Spring Bling* promo.

Welcome to the blog, and thanks for stopping by! Pull up a chair, grab a latte and get comfy. Have you thought about your photographer yet? Ok, dumb question; otherwise we’d not have the pleasure of catching you here {though the word on the street is that this blog makes for a great distraction at [...]

Welcome to the blog, and thanks for stopping by! Pull up a chair, grab a latte and get comfy. Have you thought about your photographer yet? Ok, dumb question; otherwise we’d not have the pleasure of catching you here {though the word on the street is that this blog makes for a great distraction at work!}.

At any rate, we’re thrilled you’re engaged! And make no mistake, we want to hear every single gooey, ooh-ey detail. Was the proposal the kind that leave many of us slapping our existing husbands/boyfriends upside the head? Was it clever and sweet? Was it goofy? Was he nervous? Tell us! How about the ring? How did you feel when he slipped it on your finger?

In honour of all this excitement the Bliss Team is resurrecting our original *Spring Bling* booking promo. And it goes a little something like this… Book your 2012 or 2013 wedding with Bliss before May 1st and enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast at Thunder Bay’s most romantic hideaway, the White Fox Inn. Certain restrictions will apply.

And what is a blog post without some imagery to make it more interesting? This is a sneak peek of the sneak peek for our couple du jour Randi + Ryan. These pictures are hot off the press; their engagement session took place this past Friday. We’ll be doing a full blog of their story in the coming week, but in the meantime, here’s a wee preview!

roberto: .... good.... 07.29.2014

Lloyd: .... hello.... 08.23.2014

ronnie: .... благодарен!... 08.26.2014

fredrick: .... спасибо!... 08.26.2014

brent: .... thank you.... 08.26.2014

Lonnie: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó!!... 11.17.2014

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Misty Mountain High {Bolivia Style} Open this post

Jun 21
2010

Posted in: Family, International, Newsworthy, Personal 15 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Misty Mountain High {Bolivia Style}

Here is a small portion from a rare email we have received from Sam in Bolivia.  She has climbed 2 smaller peaks maxing out at 17,650 feet.  She is now on her way to attempt a 22,000 foot climb. If interested, please the following excerpt: Just a few quick words on this trip so far. ….It was [...]

Here is a small portion from a rare email we have received from Sam in Bolivia.  She has climbed 2 smaller peaks maxing out at 17,650 feet.  She is now on her way to attempt a 22,000 foot climb. If interested, please the following excerpt:

Just a few quick words on this trip so far.

….It was a drama that unfolded like no other, but they handled it so amazingly. Everyday Leila (or Ozzy, the head guide) takes our pulse oxygen saturation levels…mine have been consistently around 80 (which is good) but Chris´s was 50. He was beginning to drown in his own lungs but didn{t even realize it yet. I guess he has that 18 year old invinceable mindset….stiff upper lip, etc. Leila has never before administered Dex (short form for powerful steroid drug) at a base camp and had she not done so, and insisted she bring him down to La Paz at lower altitude, it would have gone very badly. I am telling you this because I want you to know that at the heart of everything they have our safety in mind first. Every cough, headache, sneeze is questioned and checked. Ozzy our lead guide is just incredible. So caring, so amazing. So selfless.

I am all over the map here, just bear with me.

WAnt to tell you a little bit more about the big climb. WE were only three (me, Heiko and Teri) and then 3 guides. This kind of a ratio is practically non0existant in the mountaineering world. Incredibly safe. We woke up at 2:00 am and put on our headlamps and walked 1.5 hours to the base of the glacier. The day previously we had been up there practising crampon techniques and self arrest techniques with our ice axes (picture this: I was pushed down the slope of the glacier with my slippery gortex layer head first and had to use my ice0axe to stop myself….VERY UNNERVING!). But a necessary thing to know how to do. At any rate, we got to the glacier and I could hear it crackling and moving. It sounds like thunder. Kind of creepy. I was roped in with Ozzy (lead guide…guess they drew straw to see who would get the rookie!) and Teri and Heiko were roped in with Sergio together while Juancho floated around with no fear and no rope and took photos. It was a tough slog up that glacier at a very slow pace. By the time we reached the base of the actual slope the sun was coming up. It was incredible to see. Then we had this 50-60 degree slope to climb and we zig zagged it (sorry, cant think of the actual term for that!). It was tough because it was icy and all we had to rely on were our crampons. But the whole thing with being roped in is that the basically your harness is tied with a rope that must stay taut with the guides harness. That way if someone falls or goes down a crevasse there is no slack and it is easy to stop the person. Back to the story…. as the sun was coming up I saw what lay ahead and I thought NO FREAKING WAY. It was just never ending. I could see what looked like the col (the section that is flat that connects two mountains) but after we got there it was only the beginning.

Then we had to climb up this pass called Tarija and it was nasty. We all just groaned when we saw it. I think it took 2 hours. AFter we get there, we had to take OFF the crampons because we were going to then climb down 60 meters over sheer rock…as in it was like rock climbing. But in reverse. I bummed it. Yes, I literally sat on my bum and gently and gradully got myself down. then when we got there we finally saw the route to the real mountain, Pequena Alpamayo. Heiko, who has summited a bazillion mountains said very audibly HOLY SHIT. Teri, who also is an amazon woman and has climbed a tonne, said “I{m just going to wait here until you guys are done.” The traverse was this knife-edge passage where we were only roped in together. On either side were drop offs (and crevasses). But the guides were amazing. One at a time they coached us through and never once lost their focus. They so have their stuff together. AFter that traverse we just had to climb one more really steep knife0edge passage until we got to the safety of the fixed ropes, at which point we were able to use an ascender and basically pull ourselves up to the summit. It was touch because there were some other climbers who were in trouble and ill prepared. One of the girls crampons had come loose and they were free climbing with just two ice axes each. Ethicially, our guides had to step in and help, but it meant there was a lot of standing around on the edge of a mountain…thankfully clipped in, but still very freaky. These guys were German and Heiko was so embarrassed he didn{t even acknowledge that he too is German! I´ve never seen such selfless, incredibly fast0moving quick thinking in my life. Our guides got them straightened out, allowed them onto their fixed lines (which, by the way, they had to install while we were on the traverse…..so Juancho the photographer guide dude was flitting all about the mountain with no fear installing these lines just 5 minutes ahead of us. And we would get through two and then have to wait so that they could go back and get the other original rope and use it again. (To have enough rope to do the whole approach would have been a ridiculously heavy load).

Finally, we got to the summit. I could not believe I had done it. It was incredible….. so peaceful and beautiful. We were up there for about 45 minutes, I bawled my face off. Took out a photo of my family and had pictures taken of me holding the photo. I dedicated the climb to you guys.

The whole way up I was starving but could not eat. I think my body was eating itself and I got up there on adreneline alone! The prospect of “how the hell do we get off this thing” occurred to me as Ozzy said “ok guys, five minutes”. Doing everything I just said when you are spent in reverse seemed like an improbable situation. My legs felt like cement. And looking down at the traverses that were so exposed was more daunting than looking up. To get down we absailed (sp?) which means Ozzy lowered us down a section with us facing the mountain and front pointing to the less steep part. I had to jump over this crevasse…CRAZY!!!! Then the weather started looking not good. CLouds were rolling in and we were still dealing with these ridiculous Germans.

Long story short, the hardest part for me was going back UP over the Tarija Pass which was all rock with no crampons. My thighs just had no gas left in them. I remembered Shalem saying ” no peudo mas, Pigger! En serio!!) and I said it a million times and shocked the guide who got stuck with me that I knew a little spanish. Poor Juancho….. I fell pretty far behind but eventually got off the friggin mountain and dragged my tired sorry butt back to base camp and collapsed in my tent. All in all it was a 15 hour climb that, to me, included every single element of the world of climbing. Steep passages, some technical stuff, crevasses, front pointing with your crampons up steep icy slopes, bad weather…. ridiculous, ill-prepared other climbers (tee hee).

And now? I have finally had a shower for the first time since Monday. Man it felt good. I am pretty nervous about Sajama as it is 6,500M and the one we just climbed was only 5400M. It is pretty much a mountain that stands alone in the middle of a desert. THere is a lot of wind and it is cold. And then there is the additional altitude. But I am going to just see how it is and even if I only get to high camp (which, is 5400M!!!) then I{m satisfied with what I{ve done thus far.

If you haven´t fallen asleep yet reading this little dissertation, I just want to share a few epiphanies I´ve had along this journey.

#1 I always feel guilty about being so blessed. I always wonder “why do I have such a good life…why me?” My epiphany is this: why NOT me? I´m a good person. I deserve what I get.

#2 Being away from my family makes me feel not whole. I need my kids and Alvi in my life and I realize that often I spend time with my head in the clouds or thinking of the “next thing on the to do list”. You guys are the most important part of my whole world. Without you I ache. I spent many a night alone in my cold tent just wishing that I could have a snuggle from Piper, or a hug from you, Alvi.

#3 While our little world goes on, there is a whole other world happening. People in Bolivia have so little, and they work so hard, and they are so selfless. It makes me realize how spoiled we are and how preoccupied we can get with acquiring things. I´ve decided I dont care about acquiring THINGS. I want to see the world, and teach our girls that there is a life beyond their back door.

#4 You get what you pay for. This is a huge epiphany for me. I now understand why this trip cost so much. It´s because it is first class. Every meal is prepared, coffee brought to the tents in the morning, and most importantly, Berg Adventures pays their guides and staff VERY WELL. They have changed these guys lives. They have invested in them and I could just cry thinking of how their employment with this organization has opened doors for them.

Many many more epiphanies……………………………………………………… but I am now running out of gas.

I want you all to know how much I love you. This has been an epic experience for me, and the real meat is yet to come. I cannot believe how much I have seen and done in the past 10 days. One of the local ladies herding the donkeys and llamas that ported our bags out was probably 25 or so…and she loaded up these animals with her 10 month old baby boy strapped to her back. And she had no socks on and it was -5 this morning. But she was smiling and happy and doing her thing. BLOWS ME AWAY.

At any rate, thank you for all your support. I am going off the grid again until Saturday. I feel pressure to get to the top of this mountain because once I start something I don´t want to quit. But I am going to be very cautious and smart about it. Getting to the summit is not the purpose for me anymore, it truly is all about the journey.

- Samantha

On a personal note, I miss my wife and the girls miss their Mom.  I/we could not be more proud of her in her accomplishment and following that dream. Regardless if she completes the final climb or not she will be “our” hero.  We will have more posts upon Sam’s return as she has taken many images from not only La Paz but also from the journey up the mountains.  One last thing, when I ask Saffy where Mommy is and her response is “Olivia” and then proceeds to point to the Nor’Westers indicating that Mom is mountain climbing.  That’s my Saffy!

- Alvis

To catch up or follow the climb with the dispatches, please check out this link

http://www.bergadventures.com/v3_cyber/2010/2010-06-11-bolivia/main.php

The following comments have been reposted from Facebook.  Please feel free to post in the blog.  THX!

admin: Sam you are an inspiration! what an accomplishment! And you are so right that living your life in the pursuit of material "things" will never lead to lasting peace or happiness. Our society as a whole is so messed up in that regard! Go get 'em girl!! xxxx 06.21.2010

admin: Wow, incredibly inspiring! Thank you for posting it! 06.21.2010

admin: Tanya Braye Hurtig - wow... so amazing.. I am so proud of u sam... You have accomplished many things on this trip and look forward to hearing your wisdom.. miss you and love u dearly xo 06.21.2010

admin: Cindy Watral - Oh Sam .... Such an amazing experience! I was hanging off of every word. Thanks to Alvy for posting this and keeping us in the loop as we cheer her on from the sidelines!! 06.21.2010

admin: Tammy Busniuk I'm trying to type with tears in my eyes. I always knew that Sam is an incredible person but after reading that, I am totally blown away. Her epiphanies are amazing. Her writing is spectacular. Her strength, courage and persistence is second to none..... And her love for her family is truly priceless. I am so fortunate to have met Sam, Alvi and the girls - they are an incredible family. Sam, I am cheering for you and can't wait to get together so that you can share your journey in person. As incredible, descriptive and feeling as your words are, I know that the best is yet to come when I see the animation in your face when you describe this. We are all thinking of you and miss you. Love Tammy, Kassandra and Nicole xoxoxoxo 06.21.2010

admin: Tanya Braye Hurtig - Tammy...... u could not have described how we r all feeling any better.. :) 06.21.2010

tash: hey alvi! well...you are doing a fabulous job over there playing mr. mom AND dad! i have sent sam numerous messages...but seeing the blog post just makes me beam! you guys are such a strong, amazing unit...you can feel the love....i miss the girls so much...and am so excited for them to really learn what their super mom is all about! Sounds like they already understand! xoxo 06.21.2010

Trish: Sammy -- you continue to amaze and inspire me. The mountains I will climb in my life will not be ones of rock, but I think the fact that you have chosen real ones is all the more impactful. What a wonderful adventure. Love you to bits. Can't wait to talk "real time" about this life-altering journey. Trishy 06.22.2010

Oliver: .... спс за инфу!!... 08.22.2014

Luke: .... tnx for info.... 08.23.2014

Kenneth: .... thank you.... 08.23.2014

Samuel: .... tnx for info!... 08.24.2014

randall: .... thanks for information!!... 11.17.2014

kirk: .... ñïàñèáî çà èíôó.... 11.18.2014

sidney: .... tnx.... 11.18.2014

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Bliss Blog’s Birthday: {v. 2.0 Launched!} Open this post

Feb 21
2010

Posted in: Newsworthy, Weddings 8 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Bliss Blog’s Birthday: {v. 2.0 Launched!}

After months of tweaking and refining, Bliss is proud to unveil our newly overhauled, custom-designed Blogsite! We are ecstatic and hope that you will enjoy some of the rad features, including our Sneak Peek section {for anyone too busy to read an entire post} and a more user-friendly comments section complete with all the social [...]

After months of tweaking and refining, Bliss is proud to unveil our newly overhauled, custom-designed Blogsite! We are ecstatic and hope that you will enjoy some of the rad features, including our Sneak Peek section {for anyone too busy to read an entire post} and a more user-friendly comments section complete with all the social networking you could ever want. What we like best of all is that finally, we can veer away from templates and let our personalities and creativity shine through {not that there’s anything wrong with templates… Net Rivet, you rocked. But being in an artistic industry, we have to continue to push the limits as best we can to remain distinct}.

A huge shout-out to our friends at Flosites {Ross and Dimi, you guys have been phenomenal!} for bridging geographical boundaries and time-zones and working with us from all the way on the other side of the globe {little country called Moldova…ever heard of it?!}.  Flosites worked alongside our local branding experts at Eleven-Seventeen {shout-out to Krista + Dan for helping us better understand who we really are!} and together they pushed us to think differently and yet be true to ourselves. The marvels of modern technology really came through for us, as things became interesting in these last few weeks whilst here in Central America away from the conveniences of home. And yet somehow, someway, we still managed to get ‘er done and have the important dialogues despite geography. It’s pretty mind-boggling to realize how small our little planet actually is…. when you think of it. They are there in Moldova.  We are here in Guatemala. And yet we communicated just fine. So cool!

And now onto our actual post.  Bliss came to Guatemala to celebrate the union of Jonathan + Shalem. Jonathan, originally from Thunder Bay, has been living and teaching English in Central America for several years now.   Shalem hails from Honduras. Together they’ve endured nothing short of a paperwork circus to try and formalize their marriage. In fact, when asked how he first met Shalem, he says to me “what are you, the Embassy?!”. As I probe deeper, it was as simple as “she walked by my house one day and caught my eye.” And when asked what he absolutely digs about her, the words “she’s crazy!” and “she’s a goofball who’s always laughing” and “she has an amazing way with children” come out of his mouth.

We had the opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day with Jonathan + Shalem at an incredible restaurant here in Antigua. Panza Verde was the romantic backdrop for our lovely dinner and impromptu photo session. {The real photo session is yet to come!} There was something old-world and gritty about the setting… so much so that we opted for a black/white edit on this imagery. Please enjoy and check back for more in the next few days!

Shalem: Great photos, Alvis. Thank you for coming to see us during this special time. Muchos Gracias!!! 02.21.2010

CynthiaK: Wow, such gorgeous photos. What stunning subjects to make work of, too. :) Hugs to you all, down there in warmer climes. 02.21.2010

Jason Bowers: Wow guys, this is really nice. I love the Casablanca feel to the location. Would love to be filming this. The new site is great. Have a great trip and easy on the ticker. 02.21.2010

admin: Thanks, Jason! Taking it easy down here. Yes, it's rife with unbelievable spots. You would die if you were here with your crew. 02.22.2010

Jonathan: Although I find it hard seeing myself in any reproduction - makes scary mornings in the bathroom - I could never get enough of my beautiful wife frozen in time. I think the setting helped with that aspect as Antigua does its best to embrace the romance of times gone by. What a place! What photos! I am excited to see the others and am stunned by my wife's terrible Spanish. Thanks. 02.22.2010

lynn: .... ñïàñèáî!!... 07.31.2014

Jeff: .... ñïàñèáî çà èíôó.... 11.18.2014

karl: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó.... 11.18.2014

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Hope for Haiti {Bliss to donate 5% of all 2010 sales to Canadian Red Cross} Open this post

Jan 24
2010

Posted in: International, Newsworthy 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Hope for Haiti {Bliss to donate 5% of all 2010 sales to Canadian Red Cross}

“I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”  –Helen Keller The recent earthquake in already impoverished Haiti has left us feeling simply dumbfounded. How is it that one [...]

haiti image

“I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”  –Helen Keller

The recent earthquake in already impoverished Haiti has left us feeling simply dumbfounded. How is it that one tiny nation must endure such a walopping? And while we continue to seek the answer on that one, we are reminded daily that living in Canada is akin to winning the lottery.

We’ve been struggling to figure out how we could get involved… In March, 2005, following the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami in Southeast Asia, we were able to get our hands dirty and help with the clean-up on the island of Ko Phi-Phi in Thailand. Though it was only a short visit, we saw first-hand the generosity of spirit of people from all over the globe who travelled with one common mantra: “we don’t know how we can help, but we’re going anyways.” It was remarkable to witness the kindness of humanity, but equally disturbing to see the dramatic, life-changing impact this natural event had on its survivors… People left without homes, belongings, drinking water, food, their children, their brothers and sisters.

Sadly, we cannot fly down to Haiti. We cannot scoop up even one orphaned child, as much as our hearts have the room. But we can do something. We will keep you posted throughout the coming months, and encourage you to think about what role you can play in bringing Hope to Haiti. If you’re needing any inspiring, click on the video below and let the lyrics from John Mayer’s song Heart of Life fill you up.

5% of all 2010 Bliss Bookings will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked specifically for Haiti Relief.

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jose: .... tnx.... 07.27.2014

Shaun: .... tnx for info!... 11.17.2014

Kelly: .... ñïñ.... 11.18.2014

philip: .... good info!!... 11.18.2014

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Booking Promo FEVER!!! Open this post

Nov 09
2009

Posted in: Newsworthy 1 comment
Author: admin Tags:

Booking Promo FEVER!!!

In the unfortunate event you were hiding under a rock; kidnapped and held for ransom; getting an early start on your Christmas shopping (we’re told there are very few wii’s left!); or down and out with H1N1 (oy, that would have been rough); AND you missed yesterday’s Wedding Wishes Show, we thought it’d only be [...]

In the unfortunate event you were hiding under a rock; kidnapped and held for ransom; getting an early start on your Christmas shopping (we’re told there are very few wii’s left!); or down and out with H1N1 (oy, that would have been rough); AND you missed yesterday’s Wedding Wishes Show, we thought it’d only be prudent to trumpet our exclusive promo… which YOU can take advantage of by booking with Bliss prior to December 31, 2009.  How’s that for the world’s longest, most grammatically-incorrect sentence?  

flyer 09-101-1

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So much news we can’t stand it.  Ack! Open this post

Nov 02
2009

Posted in: Newsworthy 1 comment
Author: admin Tags:

So much news we can’t stand it. Ack!

News #1 — WE’RE WEDDING SHOW BOUND! Bliss Pictures is excited to connect with you at the upcoming Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Wedding Wishes Show, next Sunday, November 8th at the Valhalla Ballroom starting at 11:30.  Drop by the booth to size us up, view our work, and let us in on all your planning [...]

News #1 — WE’RE WEDDING SHOW BOUND!

Bliss Pictures is excited to connect with you at the upcoming Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Wedding Wishes Show, next Sunday, November 8th at the Valhalla Ballroom starting at 11:30.  Drop by the booth to size us up, view our work, and let us in on all your planning glory!  This year we’ve been asked to contribute to the Grand Prize and are eager to meet the lucky couple who will enjoy one of our deluxe imagery packages.  

News #2 — WE’RE RENNOVATING!

Our portfolio site is down for some deliberate refreshing and rennovations (www.blisspictures.ca).  On November 8th 2009 we’ll be going live with our new galleries and packages.  We are stoked; stoked I tell you!  Thank you to all of our wonderful clients for allowing us the honour of using your images to showcase our work.  

News #3 — WE’RE REFINING!

Bliss has had some growing up to do over the past few months.  We are, after all, but 5 years young; still figuring out what works for our clients and doesn’t; and what works for us, and doesn’t. Thanks to the fine folks at eleven-seventeen.com and no small amount of reflecting on who we are; we’re about to unveil a more distinct and accurate representation of the Bliss Pictures experience.  

News #4 — WE’RE HIRING!

Bliss Pictures is looking for some part-time assistance; both on the administrative side and in editing cinema.  If you know of anyone eager to contribute their creativity and organization, drop us a line and we’ll flesh out the details.  

alex-0002


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