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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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Love Is Bliss {why we do what we do} Open this post

Mar 15
2010

Posted in: Engagement 2 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Love Is Bliss {why we do what we do}

Bliss is on the brink… of what? Well, something. Something. This tiny little company has grown in leaps and bounds since 2004 when Alvi and I first opened up a notebook and sketched out his dream. If the beginning was our infancy, and goodness knows we stumbled over hurdles and blocks, I guess now you [...]

Bliss is on the brink… of what? Well, something. Something. This tiny little company has grown in leaps and bounds since 2004 when Alvi and I first opened up a notebook and sketched out his dream. If the beginning was our infancy, and goodness knows we stumbled over hurdles and blocks, I guess now you could say we are in our adolescence — a sort of *coming of age*, if you will. The wedding season of 2010 warms us; humbles us; excites us. So many fantastic stories of love, long distance, and lifelong dreaming will culminate in one extraordinary day… and for us it will happen over and over and over again.

When we find ourselves backlogged with editing, or even just dealing with the everyday curveballs life throws, we remember the whole reason we got into this business in the first place: because it’s personal. What other job can dish out so much satisfaction and happiness each and every time we click the camera? It is the greatest honour in the world to get a glimpse into your story. We are on this planet for a nanosecond in the grand scheme of things… to find love, to live it, to cherish it is perhaps what IT is all about.

Many of you may have seen this little video floating around facebook or vimeo. I just stumbled on it tonight and it got to me. Big time. Thank you to the production company One Small Instrument for documenting such an intimate and life-changing moment. This is *Casey Proposes to Amy*.  Enjoy {find kleenex, first}.

http://www.vimeo.com/7733651

sidney: .... ñïñ çà èíôó.... 07.28.2014

tom: .... ñïàñèáî!... 11.20.2014

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…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

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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.

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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

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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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15 Ideas to Make Your Wedding Unique Open this post

Apr 09
2009

Posted in: Weddings 2 comments
Author: admin Tags:

15 Ideas to Make Your Wedding Unique

You’ve waited a long time for this blessed day to come about; and you’ve put your dues in.  Sixteen times a bridesmaid.  Twice a “master-of-ceremonies”.  Eight bridal showers hosted.  Countless hours devoted to the success of your best bud’s shag. But now it’s your turn! And one thing that you know for sure, is your wedding will [...]

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You’ve waited a long time for this blessed day to come about; and you’ve put your dues in.  Sixteen times a bridesmaid.  Twice a “master-of-ceremonies”.  Eight bridal showers hosted.  Countless hours devoted to the success of your best bud’s shag.

But now it’s your turn!

And one thing that you know for sure, is your wedding will be unique.  You want it to be outside-the-box; as alternative as you are.  We’ve come across some pretty cool ideas over the years and have been stock-piling them on the side…. now that we’ve got a blog, there’s a forum to share them!  Hope a few of them really turn your crank.

1. Precise ceremony start-time. Create mystery and drama by staging your ceremony at a time that is specific.  It can be as random as 3:21 pm; or as meaningful as the exact time he popped the question.  It will certainly get your guests talking and might ensure those perpetually late buds of yours show up on time!

2. Well-wishes booth. Have your videographer set up a ‘faux’ studio at the reception where guests can drop by and have their well-wishes permanently recorded.  Fair warning: best to do this early in the night!  Although the messages can be far more entertaining as the wine continues to flow…

3. Make a difference. Already have everything you need to set up your home?  No financial concerns? A desire to help others?  Include in your invitation a notice that suggests “in lieu of gifts, we would be thrilled if you made a contribution in our honour to “x” charity.”

4. Love, love the lighting! Talk to your decorator about lighting.  The impact of professional lighting can be intense, dramatic and memorable.  Chances are that a wide spectrum of colours is a possibility, and that extra wash of colour can add a dramatic flare to your event.

5. Creative table naming. Why assign numbers to your tables?  When making seating arrangements, think creatively about each grouping of people and name the table accordingly.  Alternately, if you are hosting a themed event, skip the table numbers and come up with a name that relates directly to your theme.

6. Hand-written notes to Mom & Dad. Write a hand-written thank you note to your parents and leave it on their seats at the ceremony site.  What to say?  It can be anything from a heartfelt thank you for their support over the years to your gratitude for all the values they instilled in you.  They’ll be touched you took the time to put thoughts to paper and the tears will be flowing before you walk down the aisle.

7. Karaoke! Instead of hiring a regular d.j., get interactive with your friends and family…. go for a reception with Karaoke!  This works extremely well and makes for the most memorable of receptions, especially if you’re having a smaller-sized reception (i.e. 80 guests or less).  Trust us on this one.  We know from personal experience.  When looking around, make sure you get someone who is set-up to do both regular d.j.ing and also karaoke.

8. Mix-it-up with a unique cocktail reception. Create a drink menu based upon the familiar “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. Take recommendations from special people involved in the wedding for their favorite old/classic drink, a new/modern drink, a favorite borrowed unique drink recipe, and a blue cocktail.

9. Be kid-friendly. Have a “kids zone” area at your reception… Parents will LOVE this idea.  Stock it up with crayons, colouring books, board games, stuffed animals, barbies, lego, and, if you can swing it, someone you know and trust of baby-sitting age to supervise the whole shebang.

10. Customized wedding CDs. This idea is cumbersome but oh-so-rad…. consider handing out custom-created CDs as wedding favours.  You create your own wedding soundtrack based on music that is meaningful to you, or based on the year you and your sweetheart met, or, based on the year you were born.  With a little bit of time and the help of a graphic artist, this keepsake idea can really hit home and will stir up memories for years to come.

11. Love story movie at the reception. Instead of showing a slideshow of pictures from your childhood, have your videographer help you create a moving piece of footage that explains how your love story evolved.  Get creative; reenact the moment when you first met.

12. Host a Green Wedding. In today’s environmentally concerned society, why not set an example and strive to be earth conscious when making decisions about your big day? From buying conflict-free diamond rings and recycled gold wedding bands to serving locally grown, free-range fare and donning bio-friendly wedding dresses made of 100 percent silk and cottons.  And for sure, skip the expensive printed invites and make use of the internet with a savy e-invite.  There are some terrific wedding sites that allow you to customize your own website free-of-charge.  Have your guests weigh in on decisions along the way, too!

13. Go with a theme wedding. Get your family and friends into the spirit of your union… host a costume masquerade, a wedding with an old-Hollywood glamour theme complete with a band that does the vintage crooner favourites.

14. Arrange for solicited advice. Instead of clinking glasses to get you to kiss during the reception, have your married couple family and friends offer you their advice as you begin your new life together.  Some of them will be itching to pass along the do’s and do nots!

15. Wedding programs with a twist. Create a wedding program that reads like a newsletter.  Include get-to-know the wedding party section, notes about musical selections, readings, and cherished loved ones who are there in spirit.  This is easily achieved by making use of software like Microsoft Publisher, or get a graphic artist involved.

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Booking with Bliss = Complimentary Engagement Photos! Open this post

Mar 23
2009

Posted in: Weddings 3 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Booking with Bliss = Complimentary Engagement Photos!

You’ve got the ring.  You’re first formal task was securing those favoured vendors!  But have you forgotten about formal engagement photos?  If you have, we can help! When you book any package with Bliss Pictures, we will shoot your engagement photos free of charge. Nada.  Zilch.  It’s just a value-added bonus to thank you for putting [...]
Ah love.  Ain't it grand?

Ah love. Ain't it grand?

You’ve got the ring.  You’re first formal task was securing those favoured vendors!  But have you forgotten about formal engagement photos?  If you have, we can help!

When you book any package with Bliss Pictures, we will shoot your engagement photos free of charge. _mg_4822Nada.  Zilch.  It’s just a value-added bonus to thank you for putting your trust and confidence in our services.  Locations for your photo session are limited only to the stretch of your imagination.

We had the pleasure of capturing Megan & Steve last summer and their wedding is fast approaching. Here’s a snippit from the time we spent with them.  Oh!  And a shameless pitch…  Their shag is coming up; you can join them April 9th at the Moose Hall.

Tash: Wow! What a gorgeous picture! 03.24.2009

Brandon: .... thanks for information!!... 07.30.2014

Luke: .... ñïñ çà èíôó.... 11.17.2014

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Hated your wedding photos?  Introducing “Déjà Vu!” Open this post

Mar 14
2009

Posted in: Weddings 3 comments
Author: admin Tags:

Hated your wedding photos? Introducing “Déjà Vu!”

Every once in awhile we run into a couple just bemoaning their wedding photos.  And funnily enough, we can relate!  Quick sidebar here… My wife and I were married on a beach in Costa Rica nearly 7 blissful years ago (I didn’t just put that in for effect, there ya go, honey!).  At the time, we [...]
<em>Now is this the best cake-cutting shot?!</em><strong></strong>

Now is this the best cake-cutting shot?!

Every once in awhile we run into a couple just bemoaning their wedding photos.  And funnily enough, we can relate!  Quick sidebar here… My wife and I were married on a beach in Costa Rica nearly 7 blissful years ago (I didn’t just put that in for effect, there ya go, honey!).  At the time, we did the best we could to line up a photographer sight unseen over the internet and the pickings were slim to say the least for a number of reasons.  (Yes, we could have flown someone local down but we wanted to support the economy there and thought we would end up with something more authentic by hiring from within.)

Unfortunately the photos were pretty flat, rather “safe” and to be quite honest, downright boring.  They did not capture the intimacy of our 12-person elopement, nor did they do any justice to the incredible nirvana-like setting of the Guanacaste Beach.  As a result, we literally have no wedding photos up in our house, save for one taken later at our reception back in Ottawa.

Ok I’m back.  So for the longest time when we would encounter folks in a similar predicament our only option was to genuinely commiserate… inferring that yes, there’s no dress rehearsal for those magic moments, and in theory (!) we only get married once, etc.  All this led us to do a wee bit of research and we decided at Bliss that we needed to be able to offer something to these unsatisfied married couples.  

So, if this is you: utterly disappointed/uninspired by your original wedding photos, now’s the chance to don that lovely dress again, dig out that tux (or go see Mr. J’s), and sign yourself up for the new Déjà Vu Package at Bliss Pictures!

$700 gets you:

  • 4 hours coverage at multiple locations (we help  you choose!)
  • a make-up artist
  • all images hand-polished on CD
  • exclusive rights to all your photos
  • a contemporary, magazine-stye “new” wedding album

Tire-kickers beware.  This package is only available as an actual do-over from your original wedding shots and we’ll definitely want to see them to gain a clear understanding of what you DON’T want.  Please do not call us enquiring about the scope and price of this package as it is not available as a stand-alone for your original wedding day photography package.

leonard: .... good.... 07.27.2014

Lonnie: .... thanks for information.... 11.18.2014

joey: .... thank you!... 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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