- Who’s Here
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- Military Wedding Giveaway
The explosion of digital photography, online sharing, home printing, and social media over the last decade makes it easier than ever to capture those everyday (and special) moments. We are thrilled that the art of photography has become more accessible to the hobbyist. Often times our clients have top of the line gear, similar to ours, and are well versed in how to use it. But even with all of the tools and resources so widely available, and the ability to capture the every day, nothing beats the work of an accomplished professional photographer to document your family, in its entirety. Yes, we know you’ll be in some of the images at your cousin’s wedding… and of course there are all your own family milestones… but the return on the investment of capturing who you are, today, is enormous. There is so much to gain from a custom, professional photography session, one that is created specifically for you, solely for that purpose.
“Yeah, I know… but really, why… why do I need to hire a professional to do that?”
Some portion of the answer is intangible (and emotional). Never have we heard from client “I wish I didn’t professionally photograph my family.” Rather, many times we have heard “I didn’t realize how important it was until after I saw the images.“ And occasionally we’ve even heard “I didn’t want to do it until I saw a friend’s images, then I realized I wanted the same for my family!”
The remainder of the answer is related to quality and end result:
• having a professional document what they see creates a story that is extremely different than one created by handing over your camera to your uncle or an aspiring photographer friend
• being able to relax and unwind, and pose yourself naturally, with a bit of professional guidance is far superior to striking your one go-to pose with your “camera ready smile” and hoping it works
• having an entire series of images, rather than just one good one, allows you to create wall galleries, or even albums, that pause and capture an exact point in time with your family
• having an entire series of technically correct images, rather than ones that are too bright or too dark, unfocused or incorrectly lit, will enable you to proudly share and display the end result without needing to rely on those infamous disclaimers (“I know it’s not in focus, but I love it anyway!”)
That said, high quality professional photography can be expensive – and that is because custom art commands value. Unless you have a bit of disposable income, you need to consider it as an investment the same way you would consider any other purchase for your home. You certainly don’t want to have to do it over (and pay twice!), or get less than what you expected. You should select your photographer based on their style, area of expertise, quality, reputation, brand, and your expectations for an end result.
Here are some points that we think are worth extra consideration as you plan your session:
• Experience: It is great to get a bargain with someone who is just building their portfolio. However for guaranteed results, you should be able to view an entire portfolio of images that demonstrate a consistency in style and output so that you can be confident in the end result you will receive. If you have doubts, ask to view a few complete sessions.
• Style: Consider whether you are looking for a classic portrait, timeless black and whites, ethereal storybook art or a photojournalistic “day in the life.” Spend time reviewing multiple photographer’s online portfolios to really understand their style and find one that resonates with you. Make sure you select a style because the end result is what YOU desire, not just what’s trendy on Facebook this week! Will that style stand the test of time and in 10 years, and will it still make sense for you?
• Product portfolio: Think about what you want to DO with your images. It’s best to have a goal, whether it be a specific family image for over your formal fireplace, canvases for a playroom wall, a classic framed display for a stairway wall or lovely coffee table keepsake albums. Once you select a photographer based on experience and style, make sure you review what products they offer, and have a conversation about your end goals to ensure they can deliver quality products that will meet your expectations. At the end of the experience, the art you purchase will be the final product and you need to love it.
• Stance on “Getting the Disk”: Do not assume that getting it “all” from a digital package is the best route to go. Deciding that you need everything in a digital format is a hasty decision to make if you haven’t even shot your session. Once you view your gallery, you may instantly decide which images you must have on your walls, and which in an album, and those that you want as digital files. Don’t rule out a photographer based on their willingness (or price point) to sell a session in a digital format… trust that they have experience in pulling together collections for clients that will meet their needs. You will want to enjoy your images everyday in your home…not left on a disk in a drawer.
• Overall Relationship & Style of Communication: You have to be able to connect with your photographer. If you enjoy a hands-on style, that is casual, in touch and friendly, you are going to need to find one that also works in that style. If the “feel good” aspect isn’t as important, but the end result is, that’s another consideration. There are many wonderful clients and many wonderful photographers, but like picking the perfect spouse, nanny or even best friend, not everyone is a fit, but there is someone for everyone. If you have doubts, pick up the phone and chat about how you connect best, and talk about your overall style and goals.
Typical client feedback from those who have invested in quality custom photography:
“A professional photographer has the patience and experience to capture amazing portraits. As a hobbyist shooter and their mom, my kids know most of my tricks, so getting them to cooperate is a challenge. Custom photography allows me leave the work and worry up to someone else, who I trust to capture images that will grace our walls for a lifetime.”
“I wanted two things… a healthy baby and newborn photos. What I got was a moment in time captured in the most beautiful photographs. Every time I look at them, I am reminded of those first few weeks with my son, when everything was new (and a little scary), and he smiled for the camera, before he even knew he could. I never could have captured that on my own.”
“I have multiple single images of my family that I treasure. They are beautiful and meaningful to me, for so many reasons. They are on Facebook, and printed in 5X7 frames next to my bed. But once a year I select a professional to photograph my family and from those sessions, I have full albums of images, each one technical perfection combined with artistry, and those are the ones that are displayed on my walls, are given as gifts to family members, and are showcased in beautiful albums.”
So do your research, find a pro who you click (no pun intended) with, and work together to create something that you and future generations will treasure forever.
~ The F Stops Here is an exclusive collection of articles by Design Aglow, designed to be used and shared by photographers. Look for this column twice monthly here on the Design Aglow Blog and feel free to grab & share on your site, blog and/or social media pages with a byline and link to DesignAglow.com.
When military couple Brandon and Kelly decided to get engaged, they could never have known that 2200 miles away, The Bridal Center businesses were beginning their search for a deserving couple to win a Military Dream Wedding Giveaway package.
The concept took on a life of it’s own as this group, wanting to show their gratitude to those who serve and protect our country, came alive with excitement when they realized all that they had to give. From there, many local affiliates came streaming in with their generous contributions as well.
The excitement grew as deserving contestants sent in their videos. The three finalists’ videos were put on You Tube, and the “Likes” started pouring in. One couple stood out. They were both stationed in Honduras, and both had brothers, sisters and fathers in the service. This couple’s military story was a true family affair of many sacrifices. Like every couple, they wanted their special day to be extraordinary, not only for themselves, but for their family members. But planning a fabulous wedding and making their dream come true while both in the service, was nearly impossible. Please click to see Kelly and Brandon’s entry video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khYKGCncFc4
As the deadline neared, the video “likes” kept coming. Over 7000 people viewed the three You Tube videos, and Brandon and Kelly, with the most likes, were announced as the winning couple at midnight on New Years Eve 2013!
It was a dream package for sure with a bridal gown, tux rental, limo services, lingerie, flowers, photography, wedding cake, a venue package, entertainment and uplighting, tanning and makeup, hair and skincare services, a health and nutrition package, wedding jewelry, stationery, fine linens, event planning and more. The Giveaway Package had reached a total of $17,000 and it was to be presented at a special Open House event at The Bridal Center on January 9th 2013.
While Kelly and Brandon could not attend this special event, Kelly’s father, Bill Becraft, came all the way from Utica, NY to receive each donated service and contribution in their honor. It was especially heartwarming to close this remarkable initiative with the wonderful Thank You Video Kelly and Brandon had sent sent in. Please click here to see Kelly and Brandon’s message of thanks . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMmb51DJftc
On behalf of The Bridal Center, we’d like to thank the following local contributors for making this giveaway such a success…we couldn’t have done it without your generosity and support.
Wedding Invitation Package – Soiree Andover
Hair Styling Package – Salon Invi
Wedding Justice of the Peace – Justice Elizabeth Gemelli
Wedding Cake – Suziecakes
In-Salon Spray Tanning Services – Elite Bronzing
Hydrafacial + BodyGlow Salt Scrub – Kiki Skin & Body Spa
Bride (+ 4) Make-Up Package – Rouge Couture Makeup Artistry
Reception Package – Fairways at Woburn Country Club
Kelly and Brandon are tying the knot this coming fall
Photos compliments of Megan McDade for Photography by Linda
For all of our Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Grooms!!
SHAPESHIFTING at SHAPERELLA
Fight with weights. Your own, hand-held and machine operated. It is all about body composition! Restrictive dieting and killing yourself with endless cardio workouts will not give you the attractive curves you want!
Shaperella’s personalized shapeshifting sessions for women are effective in:
preserving and creating lean muscle mass
increasing metabolic rate
increasing strength and bone health
keeping the body toned and shapely
looking better in and out of your clothes!
There are of course many more benefits but just these few and the fact that you will feel much happier in your skin and maintain a sharper mind to boot is well worth the effort!
Finbury and Stanley, 14 Lynde Street, Salem, MA 01970
email: email@example.com office telephone: 978 744 7100
Ann Stanley: 617 240 0468 Lanie Finbury: 978 317 5646 Gail Solomon: 401 996 0064
Believing that a gift should come from the heart of its maker as well as that of its giver, Finbury & Stanley is offering a unique new registry service, connecting the work of artists and artisans with wedding couples, their family and friends.
Finbury & Stanley Concierge Gift Services and Registry promotes items that are made by hand in artists’ studios or in small factory/workshops with limited production runs. Offerings include ceramics, glass, silver, pewter, stainless steel, wood and textiles, with many of the represented artists working in and around the New England area.
For couples who are planning a wedding, this is an alternative to the mainstream retail gift registry. In addition to an unusual product mix, the company provides a highly personalized ‘concierge’ shopping experience. While creating a registry with Finbury & Stanley, the couple is escorted through a process that helps define their taste. Whenever possible, clients receive a personal visit to review samples, colors and idea boards. Once selections are made, they are available for purchase on the Finbury & Stanley website.
The Finbury & Stanley online registry presentation is very different from that of large retail chains. Each registry is a ‘customized store’ that includes personal touches unique to each couple, as well as an artful presentation of their selections. Gift cards are offered as a way for givers to share the cost of more expensive items. Finbury & Stanley wraps each gift, encloses a hand-written message specified by the giver, and then personally delivers the package whenever geographically possible.
Current registries can be viewed at http://www.finburyandstanley.com
Finbury & Stanley was founded in Salem, MA in 2011, and launched its e-commerce website in January 2012. The company was created by Elaine Finbury, Ann Stanley and Gail Solomon, who share a heartfelt appreciation of good design and craftsmanship, and are proponents of sustainable and ethical work conditions. They have, in mid-life, decided to combine their professional backgrounds and become purveyors of items that embody these values. In the process they have created a retail environment that adds the dimension of personal service to online commerce.
Elaine B. Finbury, Director of Operations and Marketing
Lanie is a principal at Overlook Associates LLC, located at 14 Lynde Street, Salem, MA.
She has been a real estate developer and consultant, specializing in historic preservation for the past 30 years. She is also an associate professor at the Boston University Graduate School of American Studies. A lifelong collector of handmade objects, she has always been supportive
of the creative economy.
Ann G. Stanley, Director of Product
Ann is a designer and has, for the past 30 years, owned Stanley Interiors, located at 185 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA. She has spent her career working with artists, designing and creating beautiful objects for her clients’ homes. She has been a speaker at local art colleges, advising students about marketing their work. Ann’s own home is the Ambrose Gale House:
built in 1663, it is the oldest house in Marblehead.
Gail R. Solomon, Creative Director
Gail is an independent graphic designer, with a studio located at 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. She has been a graphic designer and art director for 25 years, specializing in branding, collateral and product catalogues for home furnishings and artisan goods. She has worked on projects for Garnet Hill, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Laura Ashley USA, Warren Chair Works,
and Aid to Artisans, among others.
The concept behind Finbury & Stanley was Lanie Finbury’s idea. Here is the story in her words:
When my daughter Margo announced her engagement, I could not wait to get going on the wedding planning, and we hit the ground running. Margo isn’t the kind of person who likes to ask for anything, and was not so convinced that the “gift registry thing” was a great idea. It seemed over-reaching, obnoxious even. She decided that it wasn’t for her — until the first wedding gift arrived. She opened the package to find an odd, yellowish candy dish, that she was sure would languish forever in the bottom of a drawer. It seemed such a waste, but she was reluctant to return a gift that someone had taken the time to choose for her. It had now become abundantly clear that some things are best not left to chance. We decided to nip this in the bud.
And so off we went to [our upscale department store] to find things with which to feather Margo and Josh’s nest. We were handed a scanner and told to “walk around, point, and shoot.”
As we made the rounds of the shelves, the excitement of the day began to dim. Everything was, to be honest, disappointingly generic. I had wanted my daughter’s wedding gifts to be objects that would be cherished forever. What she and I really wished for were the beautiful handmade plates, serving pieces and glassware that we had seen in our many years of combing artisan craft shows and galleries. Why couldn’t we furnish Margo and Josh’s life with the work of artists and artisans who put their heart and soul into their work?
Pipe Dream Cupcakes, the first mobile cupcake truck in the Merrimack Valley, hit the roads of Andover and North Andover on June 13, 2012. Nadine Levin, founder and owner of Pipe Dream Cupcakes, has decided to expand her successful home-based cupcake business. Focusing initially within Andover and North Andover, Pipe Dream Cupcakes mobile unit will offer walk-up cupcake concessions, while also catering for events, weddings, showers, parties and corporate functions.
The truck will feature a variety of classic and gourmet flavors such as Vanilla Bean cupcakes, Red Velvet cupcakes and Key Lime Pie cupcakes, each made daily. A limited quantity will be baked each morning, and once sold, Nadine will close shop for the day. Orders can be placed in advanced thru her website or via phone.
Levin, a resident of North Andover, spent the past 15 years working in the advertising / publishing industry in Boston. She noticed the growing number of food trucks in the city and became inspired by the concept. Currently, there are three cupcake trucks in Boston and one on the South Shore. According to the National Restaurant Association, food trucks are the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry. Levin states, “Operating a mobile cupcake truck enables me to share my cupcake creations in the suburbs, while having the flexibility not available in operating a retail store front location.”
To find out where the truck will be located, you can follow Pipe Dream Cupcakes on Twitter @PipeDreamCup or you can follow it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pipe-Dream-Cupcakes/206939199321240
More information about Pipe Dream Cupcakes can be found at www.pipedreamcupcakes.com or call Nadine Levin at 978-397-6470.
Mary Beth Schlichte, the owner of Elite Bronzing is one of only a few Master’s level Certified Airbrush Tanning Professionals and Consultants in the country. At Elite Bronzing, you don’t get JUST a spray tan, you get Custom Colorizing Care! Don’t trust your wedding day skin to just anyone! We are committed to meeting and exceeding your needs and expectations. When only THE BEST will do, we’ve got you covered!
Elite Bronzing has been providing brides with flawless tans since 2007. We have established relationships with many local hotel and wedding venue’s and are insured for mobile services at all of these locations. We can provide our services onsite throughout the New England area for your wedding or in our Salon and offer group pricing.
We have a wide variety of spray tanning treatments available. Our most sought after tan is our Elite Bronzing Tan which is applied by our Master Tanners, and perfect for your Wedding day, Prom, or other special occasion.
Our products are made with dual-active eco-certified organic ingredients, and are infused with anti-oxidants to promote the repair of UV Damaged Skin Cells. Our solution is a nourishing blend of anti-aging, skin firming and cell-rejuvenating ingredients to boost your skin’s inherent glow. Elite Bronzing guarantees all of our spray tans to look flawlessly natural.
Elite Bronzing is for the discriminating client looking for the best spray tan of their lives.
Mary Beth Schlichte
Certified Master Level
Airbrush Tanning Professional and Consultant
696 Main St
Haverhill, MA 01830
The Bridal Center welcomes our newest affiliate, Pipe Dream Cupcakes. Soon, you’ll be seeing Nadine’s cupcake van out and about Andover. We had the tasty pleasure of sampling two of her legendary cupcake offerings – Smore’s cupcakes and Red Velvet Cupcakes. Amazing to say the least!
Thought we’d include some mouth-watering images of her creations – these are only the beginning – check out her website!!
“Let us cater your next dessert table for any type of party…
birthday parties, baby & wedding showers, weddings, graduations, retirement parties and bar/bat mitzvahs.
Our specialty is cupcakes. We can customize a cupcake to your liking by incorporating different ingredients from candy and chocolate to berries and fruit. Just let me know what you like.”
Shaperella offers personalized eating plans as well as extremely effective body shaping sessions for women who want to be healthy and confident.
As the president of Shaperella it is very important to me that all of my clients find way more than just a diet and an exercise routine when entering the studio. In fact, I am proud to say that for many of my clients the Shaperella Experience offers a total transformation. Shaperella turns women who are unhappy with their weight, shape and/or eating habits to women of confidence and happiness, inside and out!
At the Shaperella Studio, located in the beautiful Bridal Building in Andover MA, (http://www.thebridalcenter.com) clients find themselves in a warm and cozy atmosphere. By appointment only, each client enjoys her exclusive time with utmost attention being given to her individual weight-loss and weight management objectives, her shaping and toning targets and her overall confidence as a woman. No matter what age, body-shape or weight, no matter what her goals may be, she will immediately feel encouraged, motivated, and supported that she can pursue her goals and meet them without false promises, depriving diets, or harsh workout routines.
The Shaperella Concept is simple yet unique. It has worked for over 20 years bringing healthier body images, healthier eating habits and great self confidence to a lot of women. The quickly visible results and the ease with which they are obtained are encouraging for any women to stay on track and reach her goal. Coupled with unprecedented emotional support and motivation, the weekly appointments at Shaperella become a “want-to” experience rather than a “have-to” requirement!
The very affordable luxury of having her personal coach to guide her to a healthier, more shapely and well defined body makes the Shaperella Concept very attractive to many women, Brides and their Bridal Parties are no exception!
For more information go to: http://www.shaperella.com
We love this article from Colin Cowie’s wedding website – http://www.colincowieweddings.com/inspire-me/photography-videography/clicking-with-engagement-photos?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=photography&utm_campaign=status
The Bridal Center loves Colin Cowie. Read his recommendations for finding the right color palette for your wedding. http://lifeandstyle.colincowie.com/notes/0108p.asp