The Colours of Puerto Vallarta – weekly photo challenge Color

Turquoise seas, pink Hibiscus, blazes of yellow amidst dusty landscapes, tablecloths in every colour of the rainbow – and then some, vivid costumes and vibrant streets festooned with colourful flags sums up our recent vacation.  WordPress’s weekly photo challenge of Color couldn’t have come at a better time.

Nuevo Vallarta is the all-inclusive tourist zone outside of Puerto Vallarta city.  It’s the perfect spot for those who want a beach vacation away from city hustle and bustle, but is easily accessible to all tours, activities, and market towns.

There’s been a lot of bad press about Mexico recently – an economic recession combined with H1N1, and drug cartels massacres. (A drug war in Tijuana, or Mexico City is translated to ‘Mexico is unsafe’.)  Puerto Vallarta’s tourism trade has dropped 60% or more in the past five years.  Even cruise ship dockings are down.

Since our 2009 visit, there’s been a vast increase of ‘for sale/rent’ signs, empty storefronts and abandoned buildings.  That said, Puerto Vallarta, while not without crime, is safer than most US cities.  (We left a very expensive camera in our transport van last time and it was returned to us – other friends had their wallet returned intact…)

Our visit was thoroughly enjoyable – safety issues non-existent. We didn’t hide in our resort by a longshot –  horseback riding into remote mountain areas, a zipline trek in the PV area, a trip into the Sierra Madres to visit the picturesque historical town of San Sebastian Del Oeste and a somewhat hair-raising water taxi journey from Nuevo Vallarta over to the stunning Los Muertos pier. (Outbound in calm morning seas was fine, return in an open skiff across a bay with 2-3 foot swells is for the thrill seekers!)

So if you’re contemplating a tropical vacation, don’t rule out this colourful paradise…

Posted in Fine Art Photography, Flowers, Food, Photo Challenge, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Launch party for Urban Vogue Weddings & Events

I was thrilled to be part of the “Urban Paparazzi” team at the launch party of Urban Vogue Weddings & Events.  As event ‘architects & stylists’, Joyce Tai and Samantha Yeung showcased their ‘modern & chic’ vibe bringing together the best of industry with a ‘geek chic’ gala fit for kings!  Held at, and catered by, the luscious Hotel Arts it was a dazzling sensation.

Credit beyond Samantha & Joyce’s incredible talent also goes to:

Décor & Lighting –
Floral Tablescape –
Floral Centrepieces –
Jazz Band – Heather Blush & Lemondrop
DJ – Fayyaz K of Pez Productions
Stationery – The Social Page
Furniture & Linens – Great Event Rentals
Acrobatics – Cary Lam of Calgary Circus Studio

And the ‘Urban Paparazzi’ gang – my amazing photography colleagues:  Christy D. Swanberg Photography, Svetlana Yanova Photography, Paulina Ochoa Photography, EpicDanger Photography, Abby+Dave, and Filipek Photography.  (I love the collaboration in the Calgary photography industry!)

Posted in Calgary, Calgary & Area Attractions, Corporate Photography, Event Photography, Flowers, Photography, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wedding Cake Inspirations

As a photographer, I get to check out cool events related to my industry.  The Calgary Bridal Association’s  2013 Wedding Fair was no exception.  Inspiration abounded from simple to extravagant.

Today I’m focusing (yes, literally) on the cakes.  From classically simple to art deco and everything in between, there was no shortage of delectable delights…

From Cakeworks

From Cakes With Attitude

From Bliss & Co

From Whippt Desserts

From Cakery Bakery (High River)

From Buttercream Bake Shoppe

For some reason I feel the urge to hit my kitchen and bake…

Do you have cake inspirations, you’d like to share?  Post links on my Facebook business page.

Posted in Corporate Photography, Event Photography, Food, Wedding Photography, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter can be beautiful – mini road trip.

I get restless this time of year.  Calgary is known for it’s Chinooks – warming winds which can make winter snow disappear and leave ‘blah browns’ around for another 3 months.  (Sadly, no matter how mild the winter, the green grass and trees don’t start appearing until late April or early May.)

Last weekend I decided to find ‘beauty in the browns‘ and headed west on a mini road trip.  I’d seen some beautiful light & clouds over the mountains earlier in the week.  Mother Nature was no longer playing nicely in that respect.

I discovered plenty of horses on the Morley reserve with a few ‘mature foals’.  A little editing removed the… ummmm… ‘horse debris’ prevalent in many of the shots.   There was remarkably little snow even as you approached the mountains, and the Seebe Dam wasn’t completely iced over.  Sadly Bow Valley Provincial Park yielded not a single shot – and it’s normally one of my favourite places.

Had I headed out this past weekend, the snow situation would have been a whole different story.  Sunshine Village Ski Resort received 42cm (16.5″) in 24 hours – and describe ski conditions as ‘epic’.  Dogsledding tours were cancelled for ‘too much snow’.   City road conditions were appalling so I stayed indoors and only used the camera to capture Ozzie’s enjoyment of the conditions!

I think I’m going to loosely tie this one into Ailsa’s Travel Theme of ‘Roads’ too as I managed to get my own show on the road with this mini road trip!

Posted in Animals, Calgary, Calgary & Area Attractions, Fine Art Photography, Photography, Travel, Weekly Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spring Cheer, Daffodil Days & Yellow Themed Weddings

I’ve been having a bit of a ‘blah’ week/month.  Have a feeling it’s the ‘January blues’ set in late, compounded by the realization I haven’t taken my Vitamin D all winter.  Will I ever learn!?

That, and an email from the Canadian Cancer Society reminding me of the upcoming Daffodil Days (month of April) gave me the inspiration to check out bright, happy ideas for weddings.  A quick Google search on ‘yellow-themed weddings’ and ‘daffodil weddings’ brought a plethora of ideas – and cheered me up no end…

I was amazed to discover copious quantities of  John Deere themed weddings.  The little yellow dresses in the gallery above, that look like they have large polka-dots, are actually John Deere fabric with little tractors and logos all over them!  (You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version).

Click one of these links to see more budget conscious Daffodil themed wedding ideas and even sites dedicated to helping you plan your wedding by colour!

Posted in Calgary, Flowers, Food, Photography, Wedding Photography, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

So you’re too fat to be photographed…

I’ve never re-blogged before, but this one was too good to resist.  Teresa of North Carolina has done a wonderful job of explaining why family photos are important at any time…

This doesn’t just apply to family photos. I’ve had brides ask me if I can ‘hide them’ during the day’s shooting.  Sure, there are some more flattering poses than others (that applies to all figures) but be yourself.  Let yourself shine on your big day.

Life is too short – so if you’ve been putting them off,  it’s time to rethink.   And I promise to make more of an effort to step out from behind my own camera during our family activities and include myself!  (My teenaged son actually has a knack for capturing wonderful photos of me so  I really have no excuse! 😀 )

Posted in Calgary, Family Photography, Photography, Rambling Thoughts, Wedding Photography, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A ‘stolen’ child and a gorgeous winter’s day…

Before you direct the police to my page, I promise the ‘stolen’ child was in the hands of some wonderful caregivers who wanted to give his mom a surprise.  She’s out of town on an extended business trip and both mom & son are missing each other loads.  Their wonderful friends brought me in to capture Kyle ‘in action’ – and action it was.

An outgoing 4-year-old, Kyle led our ‘adventure’ around their rural property trekking over mud piles, through shaded snow drifts, and onto various farm vehicles narrating all the way.  We gave him some gentle guidance but 99% of the ‘poses’ were all his own – including the ‘budding supermodel’ on the bobcat.   To get him to smile, we had him say the number ‘3’ – or ‘pizza’ – or a combination of both!

And, if by some small chance you know the family, please don’t share the blog to them LOL.  She’ll get the pictures later this month!

Posted in Calgary, Family Photography, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments