Monday, June 29, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Kevin Kelley Photography

Yet again, we have stumbled upon another fantastically talented local photographer. It really is amazing the kind of creativity that is out there! And Kevin Kelley is no exception to that. This week, he is our featured photographer... enjoy getting to know a bit about him and his work.

Name: Kevin Kelley

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in Milford, CT and serve all of CT, MA, RI, NJ, and NY.Also will travel for destination weddings around the globe.

How long have you been in business?
7 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I remember the darkroom in my photography class as an escape from the rest of my high school day. It may have all started then but I think what really pulled me in was the ability of a series of photographs to tell a story. I could try to communicate a story to you with words, but add beautiful images to aid in that process and..... what's better than that?! I believe in the visual power of photography -to communicate, motivate, inspire change, and touch lives! Am I starting to sound a bit dramatic? ....pick up a camera, you'll see what I mean.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I've recently been told a lot lately that I am very ‘calming'. I approach weddings with a gentle lead and look to capture genuine moments throughout the day. I am always pushing myself to add something fresh to each shoot and better my photography skills. Honestly I think every photographer is set apart in a sense due to the fact that everyone looks at moments differently....captures them differently....and experiences them differently. This shows up in our work, well.....differently.

What do you love most about your job?
I think what sums it up are those moments when a couple is looking over their photos for the first time. Being a part of the most important day of someone's life and helping tell that story in a beautiful way. I also love dedicating photographic services to non-profits and other organizations who are in need of a louder ‘visual voice'.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Hmm, I think the toughest question of the bunch and it has the shortest answer. Creative. When I was little I wanted to be an inventor when I grew up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Robin Dini Photography

We first met Robin Dini a few years back at a wedding we were coordinating. It was immediately obvious that she is a breath of fresh air in the wedding photography business. She is fun and laid back and makes her photo subjects completely comfortable. Her ability to do this is truly an asset to her clients.

A few weeks ago, Jess and I had the pleasure to meet Robin for coffee. And no surprise- we had an absolute blast! Robin is one of those people whom you meet once and feel like you've known them your entire life. We had a wonderful time discussing the upcoming new addition to her family (you'll learn more about that below), her experiences as a wedding photographer and her outlook on life and the industry in general.

Please enjoy a look into the mind of this talented and lovely woman.

Name: Robin Dini



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I do business out of New Haven, CT and offer my services to Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and am willing to travel throughout New England.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 5 years.

What drew you to photography as a profession?
Fine Art has always been an interest of mine. I excelled in the arts throughout my years of schooling and continued to focus my studies on it while in college. I graduated with two Bachelors Degrees, one in Elementary Education and the other in Studio Art: Photography. I tried teaching for a short time but wanted to be on my own and decided to take the leap and begin shooting portraits and weddings. I love telling stories with my images and showing my subject's true personalities and emotions in my images. Transitioning into weddings let me achieve that on a much larger scale.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I think it's important to focus on something that you are good at and try to offer that as your main selling point. I pride myself on being a good storyteller, both in pictures and in words. I like the simpler things. I try to keep my images clean, emotive, and leaving the viewer to want more.

What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy the relationships and interactions. First, the relationships I develop with my clients as they plan and experience their wedding day. Hearing their details, meeting family members, being a friend to them if they need any advice along the way. The excitement build up is awesome! My most favorite part of my job is simply being the "people watcher" on the day of an event. Observing interactions between guests and family, the couple and the world around them. I become very emotionally involved when I am shooting and really get fired up when emotion is at it's peek. I take those opportunities to shoot all those wonderful moments that are real and not staged. That is especially true now with one specific portion of the reception for me. My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in September and watching the mother and son dance takes my emotion and observation to shoot to a whole new level. It's awesome!

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's like raaaaaain on your wedding day

So, I like to have things planned out in advance - weekend plans, vacation plans, life plans, everything. I can't help it. I like knowing what's coming next. I also like having some degree of control over what's coming next. Unfortunately, as we all know, that isn't always possible. There's a funny little saying that goes, "If you want to see God laugh, make a plan."

Well, God was apparently feeling comedic on my wedding day because I had planned for it to be 80 degrees, sunny, and breezy. Not too much to ask, I didn't think, considering that it was June. What I got instead was 95 degrees, overcast, and humid, with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. Luckily, most of the rain held off until we were on our way to the reception. We did get our outdoor photos as planned, but not with the blue sky backdrop I had envisioned, and not without complaints from our bridal party about the unrelenting heat.

Fast-forward four years. I decided it would be fun to get all dressed up and do a trash-the-dress-type photo shoot for our anniversary, so after convincing Greg to go along with the idea, I started making plans. I hired a photographer, shopped for outfits, booked hair and makeup appointments, and once again willed the weather to cooperate. And once again, God had a good laugh at my expense.

Our shoot was scheduled for Thursday, so that Monday, I started stalking the upcoming forecast . . . RAIN. All. Week. Long. Now, rain on your anniversary isn't quite as disappointing as rain on your wedding day, but the fact that things weren't working out the way I had planned (again) was frustrating nonetheless.

Short of rescheduling the photo shoot, which wasn't really an option in my mind since I wanted the pictures to be taken on our actual anniversary, there wasn't much I could do. So I watched my plan go down the drain (literally), dusted off my umbrella, and hoped for the best. And this is what I got:

Those little white specks you see in the photo are individual rain droplets. Pretty cool, huh?

The moral of this story is: go with the flow on your wedding day. The weather is about the only aspect of the event that you can't control. If you're planning an outdoor ceremony, have a backup plan just in case. And if it does rain, get cozy with your new hubby or wifey under an umbrella and have fun with it.

Huge thanks to Eric and Amber at Raw Photo Design for their photographic skills. Here are a few more of the amazing shots they captured for us:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Fabuluxe Photos

This week we are spotlighting the inspired work of Fabuluxe Photos. Enjoy the interview with this incredibly talented photographer!

Name: Claudia Garcia


Blog: &

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
CT, NY & NJ. ONLY -- I just can't be away from my 2 kids for more than a day ;) Family is the most important thing in my life.

How long have you been in business?
It's been 2 yrs when I decided to start my own business but I just feel that this coming year is going to be my first real year because I started making more decisions on how to provide a better service to my clients and start spending more money on branding my business.

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I had never like this questions ;) because I know that most of photographers loved photography since they were kids and to be honest, I didn't like photography until I started college. I studied Graphic Design and I was told I needed 6 art credits, so I decided to take two photography classes, not because my love for photography but because I thought it would be the easiest classes. (Oops!!! I'm really saying this!!) .....
I guess you know what happened after that..... Yeap. I started shooting free weddings, got a website, took more classes and now, I am making people happy. ;)

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
Honesty. I am not sure if this sets me apart from other photographers but It sure helps me when meeting with clients.

What do you love most about your job?
I love shooting. I love editing. I love meeting people. I love not only wedding photography but boudoir photography too!!!. BUT, what I love the most is knowing how my clients feel after seeing their pictures for the first me, from a thank you note, to a phone call or just an email. Let me add to all this that I also get to work on the hours I want; meaning, more time for my family.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Loyalty is everything. I'm loyal to all my good friends, to my family, to my clients, to all my commitments...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speaking of anniversaries . . .

Mine is today! Greg and I have been married 4 years today and I can't quite believe that much time has passed. In some ways, it feels like we've been married forever, and in others, it seems like just yesterday. Weddings are wonderful, but the best part is what comes afterward - sharing every day with the person you love.

Below are a few of my favorite images from our day, taken by Ed Rogers of Rogers Photography.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Rob Skinner Photography

I came across the beautiful work of this week's Vendor Unveiled while searching for a talented photographer for one of my lovely couples. As I spoke to Rob, his personality was apparent... he was so excited to have the opportunity to provide a couple with memories from the most important day in their lives. You could tell this was his main goal with his art and it was refreshing to see that. Please take a moment to get acquainted with this wonderful wedding professional.

Name: Rob Skinner

Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in Norwalk CT, but I am available for domestic and worldwide travel.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 8 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
I had a good friend whose father had a darkroom, so early black & white printing and using a pinhole camera were great fun, and led me to photography.
What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I think I have a great empathy for people and am very sensitive to people in love. I like to capture the emotion, joy and love between two people and discover their story. My excitement comes from this discovery and this leads to wonderful and memorable images.
What do you love most about your job?
Photographing people in love

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cooking Classes with Ciao! Catering and Events

Last night, Elizabeth and I, along with two friends, had the pleasure of attending one of the cooking classes led by Tom Devine of Ciao! Catering and Events. Classes are held on select Wednesday evenings throughout the summer from 7pm to 9pm at Two Steps Downtown Grille in Danbury, CT.

Each themed class is taught by either Tom or his business partner, Keith O'Marra, and features four different dishes. Tom or Keith demonstrates how to prepare each dish, offering cooking tips and advice along the way. Then, following each demonstration, the class attendees are able to sample the prepared dishes. Complimentary wine is also served.

The theme of last night's class was A Slice of Sicily and featured the following dishes:
  • Cauliflower with Penne Rigati with tomato, fresh basil, and ricotta cheese
  • Linguini with Artichokes and Proscuitto with fresh garlic, lemon, wine vinegar, and shaved romano
  • Risotto with Fresh Sea Scallops and balsamic drizzle
  • Grilled Chicken with black olives, roasted peppers, and crumbled feta

Everything was absolutely delicious and we can't wait to try all of the recipes out at home. It was a fun evening and we would highly recommend attending one (or more) of the classes if you are in the Danbury area. The cost is just $33.00 per person.

Check out the Ciao!/Two Steps Summer Newsletter to see the schedule of upcoming classes and events. They also offer private cooking classes for groups of 25 or more - bachelorette party, anyone?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vendors Unveiled: Aurora Photography

I came to learn about our next Vendor Unveiled through a high school classmate who had gotten into photography and was shooting with this amazingly talented photographer. As I learned more about Aurora, I've come to absolutely love her unique spirit and desire to be herself in every situation. Aurora Photography has been previously spotlighted on Following Bliss as we announced their trash the dress/day after photo session giveaway. Now we would like you to take a moment to get to know the woman behind the art (and her crew)!
Name: Aurora…



Where are you located, and what geographical area(s) do you service?
I am located in New Milford, CT, and I serve the greater tri-state area, and am willing to travel as well.

How long have you been in the business?
Approximately 2.5 years

What drew you to photography as a profession?
After serving my time in corporate America I knew that I wanted to own my own business one day. By the time I was planning my wedding I knew what it was I would love to wake up and do every day, which was a little more than 6 years ago now…

The year before my husband and I got married, he bought me Blu (our Weimaraner) as a Christmas gift. As our first baby was growing up so quickly, I borrowed a digital camera from a friend and was instantly hooked. By the time we were getting married 9 months later I had gone out and spent a hefty penny on my first digital camera. Since I owned the nicest camera I was often asked to take the pictures, and very quickly it became evident that I was good at it. I just fell in love with it, and couldn’t get enough.

What do you feel sets you apart as a photographer?
I am definitely a bird of a different feather, not quite average anything. I am passionate about what I do and I have a talent for allowing people to forget themselves and live in a moment. I believe that the true beauty in my work is in my ability to allow people's own inner beauty to shine. I take a little more time to get to know my clients and it allows me to capture their essence, that moment that is just SOOOOO them. I have always been a people person and so I enjoy getting to know my clients just as much as I do photographing them.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the connections I make doing this work, I get to meet the most interesting people and hear their stories, I like to believe that everyone we meet has something to add to our lives, and I want mine to be FULL.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
One word… really… seriously have you met me? One, just one? Ok if I had to…

All the questions were really geared toward me, and how I came to do this profession. However, I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention my team as well, it is the team that makes this whole thing work. Our day in day out creative team consists of myself, Nicole, Cate and Jenn, and we have Tara now helping us with the books. Each of us is talented and skilled and we each possess our own set of strengths that we bring to the table. The sum total of the massive amount of heart and passion and talent we possess collectively is totally unstoppable, and I couldn’t be more excited about where we are going!