blissheader
Blurb image

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.

rss rss rss

open post
Life’s Blessings {don’t forget to count ‘em} Open this post

Dec 29
2010

Posted in: Family, Personal 6 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Life’s Blessings {don’t forget to count ‘em}

It’s been a dog’s age since we posted anything remotely personal on this blog. And rightfully so, it is meant to showcase our most recent client work. With the holidays upon us, however, and family in all parts of the world these days, we couldn’t resist putting up a few images from our trip [...]

It’s been a dog’s age since we posted anything remotely personal on this blog. And rightfully so, it is meant to showcase our most recent client work. With the holidays upon us, however, and family in all parts of the world these days, we couldn’t resist putting up a few images from our trip home to Sudbury and Ottawa, where we took some time to just live in the present and hang with our girls Piper (7) and Saffron (2). And in case you find yourselves wondering, yes, this is about as typical as it gets with us: no sleds on hand so why not just grab some trusty cardboard and make do?!!

To our family in Guatemala: Mom, Dad, Natasha + Rod + Maple, Jonathan + Shalem…. we miss you a tonne and wish you were here! Say hello to the volcanoes and bring us home some Antigua coffee, please! To our family in the Middle East: Dagmara + John (+ and all our kindred bandmates)… counting the days until you make that requisite journey back home. Though you are so bloody far away (it’s hard to fathom where on earth Oman is!), you are in our hearts and we love you dearly. To our family in Sudbury: Mom, Dad, Inese + Freddy + Cody, Laila + good ol’ Mojo…. thank you for spoiling us rotten, for making numerous feasts fit for kings and for putting up with the yammerings of our little ones.

Life has blessed us in so many ways; but often we find ourselves caught up in the ever infamous pursuit of *more*. We are grateful for our health, for our two loving and mischievous daughters, for our supportive and unwavering families, for friends that love and accept us shortcomings and all and for this career which allows us such an intimate and poignant glimpse into this crazy little thing called *love.*

Happy Holidays to all our clients, former and new; and may 2011 bring you an abundance of your own blessings to count.

xo, Alvis (the man perpetually behind the camera and gratefully never in any of the shots!)

Gregory: .... good.... 07.27.2014

ricardo: .... спс!!... 08.22.2014

donald: .... tnx!!... 08.23.2014

felix: .... спасибо за инфу!... 08.26.2014

brett: .... good info.... 11.16.2014

curtis: .... tnx for info.... 11.19.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
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

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
…not your everyday hike {Volcán Pacaya: 8,350 ft} Open this post

Feb 25
2010

Posted in: Personal 2 comments
Author: admin Tags:

…not your everyday hike {Volcán Pacaya: 8,350 ft}

Toasted marshmallows at 8,300 ft anyone? Mystical, thick cloud forest, you say? Deep, unsteady lava crevasses? Sign us up for this! Last week Shalem, Sam and I had the opportunity to climb an active volcano just one hour outside of Antigua. Volcán Pacaya has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. In [...]

Toasted marshmallows at 8,300 ft anyone? Mystical, thick cloud forest, you say? Deep, unsteady lava crevasses? Sign us up for this!

Last week Shalem, Sam and I had the opportunity to climb an active volcano just one hour outside of Antigua. Volcán Pacaya has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. In fact, on any given evening, it is commonplace to see molten-hot lava flowing freely down the side of the mountain and if you look closely, you’ll see some of the local guides ferrying the tourists up to the top via horseback for the surreal glimpse of actual lava.

For our purposes, we opted for the sunrise hike. This was not a hike for lightweights… thankfully our guides came with the added bonus of horseback *taxis* available when exhaustion would finally set in. Sam wants everyone to know she hiked it! {And she darn well better if she expects to climb Mt Sajama in Boliva (22,000 ft) this June!!!} Despite the thick cloud shrouding the mountain that morning, every few minutes we were graced with stunning valley vistas. All this for $7 U.S. and a $5 park admin fee. Not such a shabby way to stretch the dollar and experience something unsurpassed! It is worth noting that several days after trekking up Pacaya, Guatemala experienced 2 separate earthquake tremors at a 5.4… just 4 hours apart. A good reminder that this is not our Thunder Bay backyard!

Mom: Seeing these pics(all) for the first time. COOL.. 04.15.2010

Oscar: .... thanks!!... 07.27.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
Excitement Lurks Around Every Corner… Open this post

Feb 19
2010

Posted in: International, Personal 10 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Excitement Lurks Around Every Corner…

Buenas Noches to our faithful blog companions! We are approaching the start of week two as part of our three-week location shoot in Guatemala. These past few days have been rife with everything from a trip to the hospital for our sick little one {incredible care, we were really impressed} to a sojourn up a [...]

Buenas Noches to our faithful blog companions! We are approaching the start of week two as part of our three-week location shoot in Guatemala. These past few days have been rife with everything from a trip to the hospital for our sick little one {incredible care, we were really impressed} to a sojourn up a real-life active volcano… and this doesn’t even account for any of the shooting we’ve been doing!

There is much to look forward to at Bliss. You could say, we’re on our own version of *Cloud Nine* these days. But because it’s late and we did do the whole trek up the mountain thing just today, this post will be short {and hopefully cryptic enough to keep you checking back}. Rest assured if you’ve a hankering for some of our recent work, we have a smattering of incredible images to put up from the couples we’ve shot here in Antigua (Guatemala).

In the meantime, we’ll bid you Adios and remind you to come check us out at the Thunder Bay Spring Wedding Show this Sunday at the Da Vinci Centre from 11:30 to 4:30. Bliss’ own Martin Kremer will be on hand to answer any questions and get you excited about the approach we take with your Big Day.

And because a post just isn’t a post without a pic, we’ll leave you with just a few of Alvi and I goofing around earlier in the week.

sam_alvi_blog-00206

sam_alvi_blog-00268

sam_alvi_blog-00320

sam_alvi_blog-00356-2

sam_alvi_blog-00416

sam_alvi_blog-4004-2

Trish: Your wife is hot. :-) 02.19.2010

admin: Trish... thanks. I am aware of this. It's the old famous tale of Beauty and the Beast! Seriously though... she's her own worst critic. I'll tell her you said so! Greetings to you and the Ottawa gang. 02.19.2010

Trish: Beast? As if!! I just didn't think it was appropriate to comment on your "hot" factor, given that Sammy is such a dear friend. :-) 02.19.2010

Dana: Wow guys, LOVE the new blog. And the pics in GUATA....you guys are inspirational. 02.22.2010

Emma: You guys look ecstatic to be there! p.s., please tell Sammy Jam I LOVE her shoes!! hugs to you all! 02.22.2010

Jim: .... áëàãîäàðåí!... 07.29.2014

Victor: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó.... 11.17.2014

Ricardo: .... áëàãîäàðåí!!... 11.18.2014

Isaac: .... thank you!!... 11.18.2014

ronnie: .... good.... 11.19.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
Lonely Planet No More {bliss is guatemala bound.} Open this post

Jan 14
2010

Posted in: Family, Personal 9 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Lonely Planet No More {bliss is guatemala bound.}

We are so excited the vibrations are keeping the neighbours up at night (sorry 1426 Broadway!). In less than three weeks, we’re whisking the family away for a very special retreat to Antigua, Guatemala. What awaits us is a reunion with Sam’s parents, her brother Jonathan and his new wife, Shalem, along with a jam-packed [...]

vol1-0298We are so excited the vibrations are keeping the neighbours up at night (sorry 1426 Broadway!). In less than three weeks, we’re whisking the family away for a very special retreat to Antigua, Guatemala. What awaits us is a reunion with Sam’s parents, her brother Jonathan and his new wife, Shalem, along with a jam-packed agenda!

Jonathan + Shalem, after fighting tooth and nail to secure appropriate paperwork and basically giving their right AND left arms, were finally married this past November and we are stoked to take some time to document their story on film. Jonathan, a native Thunder Bay’er who’s been teaching English in Honduras for the past few years, met his true love Shalem in Honduras. Her English was mucho limited. His Spanish was rusty but passable. Somehow, someway, their love has conquered all language and cultural barriers and the universe succeeding in bringing them together. We are overjoyed to welcome Shalem into our family.

Whilst in Guatemala, several items of business will also be conducted, including a top-secret Trash-the-Dress shoot which has been in the works for years but has never gotten off the ground. Other related tasks will include Sam’s attempt to continue her training for the big climb {of Mount Sajama in Bolivia this June} with treks up several of Guatemala’s highest volcanos {including one active one… Pacaya!} and my quest to get up to Tikal to finally document the Mayan ruins that eluded me last year.

To our valued clients, new and those-we-have-not-yet-met; February shall be *business as usual* despite our sojourn to Central America. We shall continue to move forward on our editing; we shall continue to blog; and we shall continue to photograph!!!

Arturo: .... thanks for information.... 07.28.2014

Julius: .... благодарен!!... 08.22.2014

ted: .... благодарен!!... 08.23.2014

tracy: .... tnx for info!... 08.23.2014

ray: .... good info!... 08.23.2014

Clarence: .... спс за инфу!!... 08.24.2014

gene: .... спасибо.... 08.24.2014

Donnie: .... благодарствую!... 08.26.2014

Craig: .... ñïñ!!... 11.19.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
Celebrating Family *:)* Open this post

Dec 05
2009

Posted in: Personal 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Celebrating Family *:)*

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to do a family photo swap with our friends over at Fioritofoto.com; if you haven’t yet met Nik + Dana, they are not only a force to be reckoned with, but they are just so genuine and sincere!  We were  stoked with the images they produced and [...]

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to do a family photo swap with our friends over at Fioritofoto.com; if you haven’t yet met Nik + Dana, they are not only a force to be reckoned with, but they are just so genuine and sincere!  We were  stoked with the images they produced and wanted to share them with you.  As irony would have it, we had not yet done any family photos since adding (nearly two years ago) our train wreck daughter to the equation.  So if you’re new to the blog and have not yet met our brood, allow us to introduce you to our crazy, nutty intense but lovely family: Saffron (22 months, Piper 6, Sam ?, Alvis 42).  Enjoy!

plavins_images-1022processed

plavins_images-0983processed

plavins_images-0965processed

plavins_images-0905processed

plavins_images-1143processed

plavins_images-1124processed

plavins_images-1197processed

plavins_images-0969processed

herman: .... hello.... 07.31.2014

Lynn: .... ñýíêñ çà èíôó!... 11.17.2014

Franklin: .... hello!... 11.18.2014

terrance: .... thanks!... 11.20.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
Adventures in Alberta! Open this post

Oct 09
2009

Posted in: Personal 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Adventures in Alberta!

Greetings from our loft at Brewsters Mountain Lodge in Banff National Park, Alberta.  Alvi and I have left the daily grind back home and are here with only three goals in mind: (a) reconnecting as a couple with no kids in tow, (b) restoring our souls by getting close to nature and (c) hiking until [...]

banff_blog-0012Greetings from our loft at Brewsters Mountain Lodge in Banff National Park, Alberta.  Alvi and I have left the daily grind back home and are here with only three goals in mind: (a) reconnecting as a couple with no kids in tow, (b) restoring our souls by getting close to nature and (c) hiking until our legs beg for mercy.  So far, so good — I would say!

Our arrival in Calgary on Wednesday was quite the treat.  We were greeted with a mixed bag of good ol’ Canadian weather.  And in typical Calgary fashion, it seemed to flip-flop every 15 minutes.  Whilst headed to Banff and proceeding to get very lost thanks to the incredibly helpful road signage (could finding highway 1 BE any more difficult????!), we encountered sun, sleet, hail, blizzard-like conditions followed by rain.  Needless to say I was relieved to have been so thorough in packing for all conditions.

Yesterday we spent the night in Lake Louise and decided we were going to *take it easy* in terms of the hiking/climbing itinerary. Now understand that my life-long passion is to get to the Himalayas and the Andes and scale some big mountains {in fact, this October I was supposed to be climbing Island Peak in Nepal… a trip that had been booked 2 years earlier and then cancelled following the start of the recession} .  So while I was battling with a decent bout of mountain fever {wanting to climb to the top of everything we saw}, Alvi’s mantra was “let’s pace ourselves as I have a new heart and am outta shape!”  {says the man post-open-heart surgery by only 4 months}.  So we struck a balance and opted for a technically easy but lengthy climb to the top of the Glacier of Six Plains.

What a hike, indeed!  I was totally in my element and the trail was not crowded at all.  There were a few times when we needed to stop and catch our breath (both of us); breathing heavy from the altitude gain and also from the steady climb uphill.  But Alvi was a trooper.  Only once did he have to reason with my level of sanity when I begged to veer off the beaten path and climb what looked like a perfectly achievable route to the top of one of the neighbouring mountains.  {Upon our return while caught in the middle of a snowstorm I conceded that it would NOT have been one of my finest intelligent decisions!}  

We had homemade soup and bread along with a kick-ass bottle of wine {thanks to me for lugging the bottle} at the top in a quaint little teahouse which we learned was just 5 days away from shutting down for the season.  Lucky us!!  And then on our descent we ran into the nicest people who had been caught in the storm in their canoe on Lake Louise.  Olivier and Florence, French nationals living in Manitoba, had just managed to pull themselves and their heavy canoe out of the water and were proceeding to carry said canoe in the storm back to their vehicle about 2 clicks away.  

In true Alvi-fashion, he picked up Florence’s end of the impossible-to-portage-canoe {given its design} and trek it with Olivier back to the car while Florence and I chittered away about our lives and the impossible-to-predict weather.  You never know who you might meet in life; this young couple was so sweet and if they ever do find themselves in Thunder Bay and would like to renew their vows we’d be happy to document it for them!  I’m still blown away that they were married last year in an igloo Olivier built himself.  

So on the agenda today is a 4-hour trail ride through Spray Valley and dinner at an Italian restaurant here in Banff.  Cannot WAIT!  We’ll chat later.  

*Note* This little holiday is sponsored with the incredible support from Gramma Dawn and Grampa Mike; both of whom have given up their Thanksgiving to accommodate our busy little munchkins.  Thank you so much, Mom and Dad!  We owe you big time.

banff_blog-0002

banff_blog-0034

banff_blog-0093

banff_blog-0095

banff_blog-0101

banff_blog-0089

banff_blog-0087

banff_blog-0047

banff_blog-0049

banff_blog-0074

banff_blog-0075

 banff_blog-0043

banff_blog-0004

banff_blog-0105

banff_blog-0106

ron: .... tnx.... 07.27.2014

jimmy: .... áëàãîäàðåí.... 11.17.2014

Eric: .... áëàãîäàðñòâóþ!... 11.17.2014

guy: .... tnx!... 11.20.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
See ya, September.  It’s been a slice. Open this post

Sep 29
2009

Posted in: Family, Personal 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

See ya, September. It’s been a slice.

Top of the evening to our faithful blog-stalkers.  Thanks for dropping in… we do appreciate it!   September has been life-changing in so many ways; but at the risk of over-sharing we’ll keep much of that insight private.  What a whirlwind, though:  {Weddings, funerals, power outages, tree felling, road trips to the ‘Bury, bus trips to [...]

Top of the evening to our faithful blog-stalkers.  Thanks for dropping in… we do appreciate it!  

September has been life-changing in so many ways; but at the risk of over-sharing we’ll keep much of that insight private.  What a whirlwind, though:  {Weddings, funerals, power outages, tree felling, road trips to the ‘Bury, bus trips to the Alberta Oil Sands, consultations with overseas gurus, new client bookings, school starting, surprise 60th birthday celebrating, reflecting, learning, growing, adapting.} I’d say that’s plenty for one month, wouldn’t you?

Alvi took the girls home to Sudbury recently and we are finally getting a chance to view some of the shots he captured along the way.  I love that in spite of the 11-hour car ride with 2 young children in tow, he opted to make the journey top priority as opposed to just the destination. These photographs were taken along the shores of Lake Superior as Saffron and Piper spent an hour collecting rocks and learning about the beautiful world we live in.  Oh and couldn’t resist throwing in a few pics from the Plavins’ house on the lake.  While these pictures may not interest you, we are succumbing to massive pressure from family members on the West Coast, in Honduras, Great Britain and the Middle East.

People:  we surrender already.  Enjoy!

sudbury trip-2380

sudbury trip-2394

sudbury trip-2411

sudbury trip-2427

sudbury trip-2430

sudbury trip-2462

sudbury trip-2505

sudbury trip-2506

maria: I love the pics, I miss the girls, they are soo beatifull... and look at their long hair, smilling faces and happines in their eyes.. I can´t believe, that Saffron did change so a lot. Piper you are very pretty young lady! I am sending kisses and hugs to all of you (I wish to do that in real)I miss you so badly...MARIA 10.05.2009

maria: I love the pics, I miss the girls... they are sooo beautifull and look at their long hair, smilling faces and happiness in their eyes. I can´t believe that Saffron did change so a lot. Piper you are very pretty young lady! I am sending kisse and hugs to all of you (I wish to do that in real), I love you..Maria 10.05.2009

Robyn: Those are such beautiful pictures of your girls! You should both be so proud...xoxo RR 10.06.2009

Larry: .... thank you.... 07.30.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
Meanderings  {Post-processing Updates + Epiphanies} Open this post

Aug 14
2009

Posted in: Personal, Weddings 4 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Meanderings {Post-processing Updates + Epiphanies}

Hello world.  Another day, another night of insomnia… guess the Blog is happy!  Were it not for insomnia, methinks this young blog — just in its infancy — would go completely malnourished.   A Wee Rant It’s been quite the day.  Allow me to share as a form of *venting*.  For starters, our new wedding books arrived.  We [...]

Hello world.  Another day, another night of insomnia… guess the Blog is happy!  Were it not for insomnia, methinks this young blog — just in its infancy — would go completely malnourished.  

A Wee Rant

It’s been quite the day.  Allow me to share as a form of *venting*.  For starters, our new wedding books arrived.  We decided to move our business to a new company and have really been quite pleased thus far.  In particular, we’ve been waiting on books for some VERY patient clients who in turn have been waiting a LONG time to receive them.  Imagine my delight upon opening the FedEx package to behold this 14 x 20 book… to see the beautiful images staring up at me… to feel the quality of the 206gsm coated paper… to drink in the velum inserts… Ah so lovely indeed.  Now if you will, imagine my horror upon flipping the book over only to discover the wedding date was wrong.  How could this happen????  How could it have been missed????  

Major <sigh>.  On the bright side, our clients will get to enjoy an extra book and hopefully can overlook the misprinted date.  The updated/corrected version is already back in the queue.  Oh human error.  You really could not stay away, could you?

Post-Processing Updates – Cinema Clients

We acknowledge that we are behind.  We thank you for your patience as we rebuild both machines in an effort to rid ourselves of whatever issues are causing the chinks in the armour.  The issue comes into play during the burn of the DVD and we are frantically working to rectify it.  

A Word to Meghan + Paul

Hey guys.  Hope married life is treating you well!  Your wedding was incredible and we cannot wait to share a sneak peek of the images we captured.  Please bear with us… your turn is coming!  Hopefully we’ll have some teasers posted early next week.  In the meantime we thank you, Matthew for sending us this neato shot courtesy of your mobile phone.  I’m posting it just ‘cuz I like it. So there!

cell shot

Sunday, August 8th; Capturing Meghan + Paul; image from Matt's cell phone

Epiphanies

So tonight I had to drive Piper out to her friend’s camp on Lac de Mille Lac.  It’s a near 2 hours there and obviously the same back. The time I spent on my return gave me a much-needed opportunity to reflect on life and I will share the following epiphanies that floated into my brain:

  1. I need to pay more attention to the gas gage.  Running out of gas with no cell phone service and a baby in the backseat would not have been one of my finer moments.  ’Twas a bit of a nail biter, folks.  I felt like Kramer on Seinfeld as he pushes the limits of Seinfeld’s caddy to see how long it will last on an empty tank of gas.  Thank you Gary’s Esso for existing!!!
  2. Life is short and it’s moving way quickly.  
  3. Raising two little girls = tremendous honour/major responsibility/ongoing drama/lots of hair accessories.
  4. How blessed are we if we have our health.  No more scares, thank you very much.
  5. Driving behind a transport on 11/17 is a good strategy to avoid moose at night.  Let the rig take it!
  6. How amazing is it that at this very moment someone is being born?  Probably every second if you look at it globally.
  7. Isn’t it way cool that Row,Row,Row Your Boat and Twinkle, Twinkle have been around forever?
  8. People should really buy their life insurance when the going is good.  I wish the world knew this.
  9. The sound of an 18-month old saying “Mummy” as she falls asleep in the backseat is utter bliss.  
  10. Martina McBride’s song “This One’s for the Girls” has some good life lessons in it.  Thanks, Martina.  

Maggie: *NOTE* Have a close look at the danger he puts himself in! Take a look at the wood near the top rung. It is cracked almost in half! 08.14.2009

Sam: Maggie you KILL me. So I guess he should start charging for danger pay, eh? LOL. Cannot wait to post some sneak peak pics of Meghan + Paul. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday. 08.16.2009

Harry: .... ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!!... 07.30.2014

julius: .... good!!... 11.19.2014

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND

open post
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.

YouTube Preview Image

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

add a comment:

SEND

email this post:

SEND
PAGE 1 OF 2next
Don't even think about scooping our stuff! © 2008-2017 Bliss Pictures. professional photoblog by Flosites logo