The Gardenia crew is fond of not only our men but our darling friends as well. This week Gardenia will feature daily a inspiration for throwing a Valentine's party for your friends. The color palette for today's table setting is a fresher version of traditional valentine's hues. Keeping the pinks and reds, things have been livened up with nectarine orange and pewter blue. Inspired by the colors of this table setting, we added touches of gold (because frankly we can't get enough gold) to add additional glamor. This Valentine's Day is a perfect day to bring out your monogrammed napkins, bright table linens, gold dinnerware, and crystal stemware. For a special touch, try folding your monogrammed or embroidered napkin in a different way to really showcase the design. Salt bowls are a wonderful way to bring charm to the table as well. And of course, don't forget the bubbly!
- Lomography is more of an attitude than a type of camera or film. It started with a small little Russian camera called a Lomo Compact Automatic. Some Austrian back packers stumbled on it in a pawn shop while on their trip. When they got the rolls back they fell in love with the images and the colors that the Lomo's plastic lens gave them. Over the last 17 years it has grown into an international organization. In that time, it has developed a set of 10 rules and a whole culture of professional and novice users who create for the sake of capturing fleeting magic.We shoot on film cameras and we do things wrong on purpose. We use the wrong chemicals to process our film. You see us looking at the strangest things and not using our view finder. It might give you a better idea of the attitude if I give you the rules:
1. Take your LOMO everywhere you go.
2. Use it anytime — day or night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it.
4. Shoot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don't think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don't have to know beforehand what you've captured on film.
9. You don't have to know afterwards, either.
10. Don't worry about the rules.
Inside of the Lomography culture there are a lot of people that shoot "Double Exposures". This is where you record two or more images on the same film frame. This is what truly captured my fascination. When I realized you could take more than one picture and mix and match things, my imagination exploded. I spent the next 2 1/2 yrs exploring the concepts that occurred to me. After throwing myself at this, I have completely fallen in love with the process and the results. If you aren't having fun with Lomography, you need to re-evaluate your reasons for shooting. Nothing good ever comes out of my work when I'm not laughing while shooting.
What kind of cameras do you like to use for events? Weddings?
I like to use no more than 4 cameras. I lose track of things, if I go overboard. I will always shoot with the Lomo Compact Automatic (LC-A+). It started the movement and it is a camera that allows me to think about the shot instead of camera settings. I can really be present to the moment. I have a newer 35mm camera called a Petri Color 35. This little silver Japanese wonder has more controls that the LC-A+ but packs the same portability and a sharper glass lens. I use a Holga for soft focus plastic lens dreamy shots. It's bulky, only has 12 shots, but if you hold it right it gives you magic like no other. My final piece is a Minolta Instant Pro. It is one of the few Polaroid cameras Polaroid didn't make. It has extra controls that allow for multiple exposures, lighting control, and is ultra compact. You can't beat Polaroid colors or the immediate feedback.
What is it about lomography that works so beautifully for weddings and events?
I think it is the original feel of the images. Everyone at the event has a digital point and shoot. Friends and family, they can all take the same picture. When a good lomographer is there, they can't even duplicate their results. It's all in the moment and it is reflected in the pictures. The plastic lenses add a dreamy softness to the images that match your memory. No one has a static and sharp image from their time at the wedding and the photos I get to produce are a beautiful amalgamation of the people, place, and the event itself.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
People's expectations about what you should be shooting. I generally like to be a second photographer a a wedding or event, though. Lomography, while beautiful, can be a little unreliable. When it works, it is the most thrilling image to hold, but there are a lot of factors in experimenting like I do. Experimentation, inherently, leads to some failures. I like having a main photographer there to use their digital magic and truly capture everything. It takes the pressure off of me. No one wants to be changing a roll in the middle of a special moment. It frees me up to be as creative as I want and not be held back by the risk. I generally charge a lot less than digital photographers, when I shoot events. It allows both parties to be comfortable having their bases covered and they get artistic shots plus a full digital coverage of their event.
How would you describe your style?
I hadn't really thought a lot about this till I was writing my intro for my book I published for my first show. Here is what I discovered.
I want to shoot what isn't there. What’s in our minds. Melding images together the way our memories come to us. No one image summarizes an event. When you remember a celebration, you don’t remember a single picture of everyone sitting in chairs watching a couple get married or a static image of everyone dancing out on the floor. You remember the floral arrangements, the beautiful chandelier that lit the room, a tree you stared at while waiting for the event to start, that one really funny guy you met while waiting in line at the bar, the hallway to the bathroom you walked down too many times, that woman's poor dress choice, and how happy everyone seemed. It all melds together into one impression.That’s what Multiple Exposures can do that singles can’t. It isn't about structure or capturing something perfectly. I capture life the way you remember it and not the way it happened.
What is your favorite image from an event and why?
Normally I would choose a double exposure shot, but I attended a friend's wedding, recently. Knowing both of them, the way I do, it was wonderful to catch them reacting to the speeches being given by friends and family. I was crouched on the other side of their table waiting for the unguarded moment. I was waiting till you could really see why they were getting married that day. Not when they were hugging, kissing, or dancing, but when they just looked in love. I feel like this shot really brings it through. Small cameras are a benefit when your subject doesn't know you're there.
Where is your dream location for photographing a destination wedding or party?
Goodness...I have so much coming to mind, but what just popped up most solidly is a castle. A big medieval European castle or Feudal Japanese castle; with tapestries, soft ambient lighting, echoing halls, and all sorts of textures, nooks, and aged atmosphere. I could have so much fun with that kind of setting. While I'm at it would need an evergreen forest outside with older radiant bulbs strung up from the entrance all the way out to the trees. Forming a tunnel. Don't just leave me here to keep imagining. I could just keep on creating this scenario and then I'll get depressed that it doesn't exist.
This month I'm writing the crafts article "How-To" for She! magazine. I'm absolutely thrilled that it's about throwing award season parties. While I can't reveal my article or the photos from the shoot yet, I can share with you my favorite images from my research. It's an inspiration board of sorts.