Welcome to the INSPIRATION section of my blog.  This will be a compilation of all things inspiring (to me!) from the world wide web.  It will be mostly musings on weddings, love, photography, interior design, fashion, nature, and being crafty…. I am drawn to all things creative and wanted a little place dedicated to fun finds and unique ideas!

Please visit my main blog for my photography work.  This section will be articles, photos, links, quotes, and products that I think are pretty darn cool.  So do note: the majority of the photos I will be posting on this section are NOT my own photography- but rather photography and ideas that inspire me. 

Visit often and comment freely!

Into the darkroom – Denver Darkroom Photography

I recently began shooting film…. I love how it brings me back to the basics.  And how there is no choice but it get it right in camera the first time.  In my opinion, shooting film helps photographers become better — even if they go back to shooting digital.  It has helped me become more aware of light and of composition — and to become a more well-rounded photographer.

I recently purchased a used medium format film camera and have been experimenting… seeing what film I enjoy the most, how I like to meter for light, and how I like to shoot using this new medium.  I had been sending the film out to a lab and then waited for the goodness to come back!

However, that didn’t feel like enough… I wanted to become a part of the darkroom process as well.  After much googling I found the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and I can highly recommend their classes!  My instructor was Michael Snively, and he was excellent!  If you are interested in film, PLEASE sign up for a class!  Support your local film groups!

This was a black and white darkroom class– each week I would shoot a few rolls, then we would develop the negatives, print contact sheets, and then print a few individual photographs.  I have one more day of darkroom printing, and then I am going to send off my negatives to get the digital files to share.  So stay tuned for that!  I LOVE how some of my prints turned out!  Can’t wait to digitize in order to post online too.

Here’s a few quick iphone photos I took that document my 4 weeks in darkroom class.

Photo descriptions, from top left:  black and white film, ready to be used! ; my fancy new-to-me camera, a Contax 645 and my light meter ; practicing loading film onto metal canisters ; darkroom printing ; the Bessler enlarger that we used ; darkroom chemicals ; exposed film, ready to be developed! ; contact sheets in the wash process ; final contact sheets and negatives

Sarah Box - March 30, 2012 - 4:54 pm

This does sound really fun- can’t wait to see your prints!

My sister and the wedding planning process: Invites – Part II

In Erin’s words….

Once we had the design finalized, Roger and Jessica with Flourish Letterpress had us over to practice our ombre technique on the paper to make sure that everything would work and look beautiful. We weren’t letterpressing watercolor paper, so we had to find the right paper that would take the paint and also letterpress correctly. After researching ombre techniques, I decided that hand watercoloring the paper would achieve the best look and be able to be repeated the easiest.

After examining the overwhelming watercolor color options at Meiningers, I decided on a 50/50 mix of Holbein Artist’ Water Color inks in Jaune Brilliant No. 2 and Shell Pink (note – after running out of paint after 8 tubes and an emergency trip to Meiningers only to find that Shell Pink was out of stock, we made do with using Brilliant Pink instead towards the end. Consistency was kind of thrown to the wind, but everything still turned out great!). With the paper type and color chosen, Roger was off to cut out the paper.

And HOLY MOLY, it was a lot of paper. He gave us just under 1000 pieces of paper to ombre paint!

tricked recruited Andy and my mom to help and it took us a really long time. Many a nights were spent listening to Glee Cast on Pandora while our kitchen table turned into Crafting Central. We were anxious to get the Save the Dates out, so we focused on those first and handed them off to Roger and Jessica for letterpressing in advance of the rest of the suite. In fact, we just wrapped up the ombre painting for the invitation and the reception pieces last week. I’m really excited to see how they look after being letterpressed! And Andy and I are both relieved this enormous DIY project is a wrap!

Stay tuned for pics of the final product!

If you are interested in undertaking a project like this, here are some tips I learned along the way:

1) Figure out how to properly care for watercolor brushes. I had to buy a few replacements as mine kept going funny. Also, if you have a dog that gets jealous when you aren’t petting her and sees you painting every night for 2 weeks instead of petting her all night, make sure to put your brushes away or you may come home to this.

2) Recruit help and let go! I tried the first night to paint everything myself and quickly learned that I would go crazy if I didn’t have some help. So after teaching Andy the correct way to use the paint brush and embracing that it was beautiful for each one to look different, I ended up with the best painting partner and we now have some great memories.

3) If you mess up on one, let it dry and come back to it later. I found that the more water and more paint I put on just made it worse. However, it was really easy to review the “drying station” and pull the ones that needed a little more work and fix them in a couple minutes.

4) Do not leave red wine next to your giant stack of cut paper. I dodged a bullet with this one and missed the paper by an inch. My rug wasn’t quite as lucky:)

I can’t wait to share the final invite suite! Stay tuned!

xoxo,

Erin

Erin Davenport - March 27, 2012 - 5:24 pm

WOW that is quite an undertaking! I can’t wait to see the final product, you’ll surely cherish these for many many years to come and they will be such a special part of your whole wonderful event :)

My sister and the wedding planning process: Invites – Part I

In Erin’s words….

Stationery has always been a favorite of mine.  I have amassed a rather large collection of little notes and cards over the years – there’s just something about the promise of a beautiful, blank card or notebook that excites me.

When Andy and I sat down to make a priority list for the wedding, stationery was definitely in my top three.  I believe my list went 1) Photography 2) Stationery 3) Pretty Things.  And, somehow I’ve managed to make #3 encompass a lot.  Andy was not prepared when I decided that hand cut napkins, flowers, my dress, desserts, hair/makeup, and generally all décor would fall under ‘pretty things’.  A girl’s gotta have her priorities, right?  It just so happens that for me, nearly everything is a ‘priority’.;)

Andy and I went to the Anna Be Five event back in November 2011.  It was a super fun event – all the guests were dressed in 1920’s style clothing, tasty drinks and indulgent appetizers were passed around, and there were numerous creative vignettes put together by local vendors showcasing beautiful wedding inspiration.  It was at this event that we met Roger Maynor and his fiancée Jessica with Flourish Letterpress.  Their unique and fun custom design for the event and their impressive portfolio really wowed me.  Also, they were so fun to talk to throughout the night that when we left I said to Andy, “They are so nice!  I want us to be their friends!”

A few days later I reached out to Roger and he invited us over to see his antique letterpresses and laser machines.  He even demonstrated how the letterpresses work!  I’m so entranced with the whole thing that I’ve even signed up for a local class to get some hands on experience!  After spending a few hours talking with Roger and Jessica and sharing my inspiration photos, I knew they would be perfect to design our wedding stationery suite.

Roger put together two great designs and I had the hardest time choosing.

So, I asked him if it would be possible to combine them. I was smitten with the graphics and layout of the first design and I loved the idea of the ombre wash from the second design.

Here’s the combined design:

I absolutely love the look and feel of calligraphy, so I hired Victoria Hoke Lane (who happens to be our talented florist’s mother) to write out some of the wording for the invite suite. There’s just something wonderful about hand calligraphy that a computer font cannot capture.  Her work came back beautiful and I was so excited to have Roger incorporate it into our design.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about our DIY part of the invitation suite.

XOXO,

Erin

Erin Davenport - March 26, 2012 - 4:16 pm

Ah, the calligraphy takes the cake. I’ve always loved a fresh set of notecards or a beautiful journal as well and my love for calligraphy runs deep! These are lovely. I didn’t get to meet Roger at the Anna Be Five event but his cards made a big impression on me – you’re clearly in good hands! Love that you’re going to get some hands on experience with letterpress, too – what a neat thing to have come out of wedding planning :)

[...] Original post: My sister and the wedding planning process: Invites – Part I … [...]

OMG Ombre! | Woodlark, an event co. - March 29, 2012 - 10:47 pm

[...]  Post 1: Design     Post 2: DIY [...]

my sister and the wedding planning process

As a wedding photographer, it’s quite fun to go through the planning process with my sister for her own wedding.  She is engaged and will be married on August 18th, 2012.  I thought it would be fun for my sister to pop by a few times on the blog to discuss the planning process.  Here’s her first post!

Hello blog world!  As my sister said, I will be popping by every now and then to post about my wedding planning experiences.  Also, I’m hoping I can convince Andy, my fiancé, to write a post or two to provide the “Male Perspective”.

Let me introduce myself- my name is Erin and I am Laura’s only favorite sister. I suppose I became a little enamored with wedding blogs well before I was engaged.  I would pour over the gorgeous invitations, breathtaking flowers and stunning dresses as I read though my 25+ wedding blogs on Google reader every day.  Actually, this love of all things wedding related inspired me to team up with Laura last spring to design a style shoot.  After getting engaged last October on the Golden Gate Bridge, my fiancé and I are embarking on the wedding planning journey together.  It hasn’t been easy, as I’m sure most brides can attest, but it’s been very fun and has definitely helped improve our communication skills with each other.

Having a sister in the wedding business has tons of pros (example 1, example 2, example 3 to name a few) and only one con.  When Andy and I came back from San Francisco, we had to immediately dive into looking for a venue and selecting a date.  Andy and I wanted a 2012 wedding and Laura’s calendar was already really booked up- great for her and challenging for me!  I wanted a Saturday spring/summer wedding and she only had four dates to pick from between May and September!  After a whirlwind couple weeks of reading every Colorado wedding magazine I could get my mitts on, googling for hours for images of different venues, and a few site visits, we picked August 18th, 2012 at the picturesque T Lazy 7 Ranch in Aspen, Colorado.  We are absolutely smitten with our venue!

After we had the venue and date hammered down, I started up my Pinterest page which had definitely helped me hone in on the overall wedding style I want to achieve. It’s a great way to edit inspiration photos to make sure everything is cohesive – there are so many great blogs and images out there that it is easy to get overwhelmed and end up with conflicting styles.  After editing down my images, here’s my style board.

I hope you stay tuned to hear a little more from me about what I look for when selecting a vendor, the search for the perfect dress, a look into the invitation suite design, DIY projects and more!

xoxo,

Erin

Sources (from left to right):
Top Row:  Photography by Jose Villa, found on Style Me Pretty; Photography by Jose Villa, found on Once Wed; Watercolor painting by Todd Hunter, found on Scott Livesey Gallery
Second Row:  Source unknown; Source unknown, found on Erin Ever After; Photography by Braedon Flynn, found on Green Wedding Shoes
Third Row:   Photography by Jen Huang Photography, design by Paper Finger, found on Green Wedding Shoes; Flowers and photography by Flowerwild, found on Once Wed; Mara Zepeda found on Design Sponge
Erin Davenport - March 26, 2012 - 4:11 pm

How fun for you two, I’m so glad you’re doing these guest posts! I am pretty much in love with your inspiration board, the colors and softness are divine :)

WPPI : Las Vegas

I had the pleasure of attending wppifor the first time this year. It is a HUGE conference for photographers– almost 17,000 in attendance.   And what a whirlwind of an experience.   It was 4 days full of learning and networking (and staying up past my bedtime!;)).

For any photographers who are considering attending next year, here are my tips!

#1- Wear comfortable shoes.  This may sound like common sense, but I was not prepared!  We stayed in the MGM, where the conference took place, and I must have walked 5 miles a day! I can’t image how much walking was done by the people who roomed across the street.  I brought one pair of new flats and they hurt!  And I was too busy with the conference to go shopping for a new pair.  Bring the most comfortable pair of shoes that you own!

#2- Have roommates.  The more the better!  I was a little nervous rooming with 3 other girls, two of which I had never met before. (SarahMegan, and Rutheah … thank you for making my WPPI experience amazing!!!!)   But having 4 of us in a room made the experience even better!  Sure, we saved some money on the hotel room, but more importantly I gained priceless friendships.   Within 2 hours of meeting my new roommates I felt I had known them for years.   It was interesting to hear their perspectives and to hear about the things they saw if we split up during the day.

#3- Pre-register for classes.  Sign up for WPPI well in advance so you can pick your favorite classes.   The most notable classes I attended this year were Elizabeth MessinaJose VillaLawrence Chan, and Mindy Weiss/JuneBug. So motivating!  Many of these people inspired me as I was growing my business and it was amazing to meet them in person.

#4- Check Twitter/Facebook/Photography Forums for updates.  I learned about giveaways, contests, tradeshow speeches, and who was in attendance by checking the online feeds.   Saw a lot of cool things that were not noted in the WPPI brochure.

#5- Go to Airplanes and Blazers!  This is a private party sponsored by a few wedding vendors.  And SO MUCH FUN.  My guess is 1000 people attended.   Register in advance for that too, as pricing goes up!

#6- Bring lots of snacks!   The food options near the conference are terrible, the lines are long, and it’s pricey!  We were often hungry during our time at the conference!

#7- And most importantly, come with an open mind ready to learn.  Take bits and pieces from the trade show/classes and blend them together to work for your business.  Write everything down!  So much happens over the course of 4 days, that you won’t be able to remember it all.  Then, teach others what you learned to reinforce it.

Sarah Box - February 28, 2012 - 4:53 pm

So happy to have shared our first WPPI experience together! I am so thankful for you :) . And you really should have borrowed my shoes!