Come on in, enjoy some of our latest work to date, hot off the press. Winding Violets is a boutique photography studio that specializes in couture wedding photography. We believe that your wedding photos should evoke nostalgia; they are momentos that can be proudly shared from generation to generation. These are not just photographs, but heirlooms: a timeless reminder of your love, life, and beauty. Our cameras see what your heart knows.
It has been a long time since we last met. Many wonderful photographs have been made; relationships, and bonds, have been strengthened; and time has tramped on indifferent to the goings on inside her eternal mechanism. Fall is upon us.
Hemingway once wrote:
“You are expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.” (A Moveable Feast)
I suppose fall is sort of a melancholy season, full of reflection. When losses are felt more deeply and with the days shortened, time seems to slip from our grasp with more ease. But Autumn is also so full of brilliance. Brilliant reds, yellows, oranges; wool sweaters, homemade soup, and firesides; words like cozy, embers, and glow fit into our conversations like a home knit scarf.
Autumn is a season on contrast. This fact isn’t easily missed if you spend in our household. Melissa feels the melancholy in the season, resonating with the words of Hemingway; whereas I see it’s brilliance, and might cite Albus Dumbledore: “happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
We hope you enjoy this little ray of light tonight, while you are curled up under your quilts, with your extra soft flannel pajamas on, listening to the wind howl through sparse tree branches reaching up toward the cold dark night.
I read this fantastic quote the other day and wanted to share it with you. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” A beautiful sound bite from an inspirational address delivered to a group of school children on Prize Day. These words are a reminder to strive for your ideals, but that change happens on the ground in your actions.
I felt so moved by this quote that I tracked down the full speech and read it through. And just like the cliché goes, reading the book is so much better than watching the movie, reading speech gave so much more gravity (meaning) to the quote.
President Roosevelt was warning the boys and girls of Groton that many people are going to want to put them into a box: “you will meet plenty of well-meaning people who speak to you as if one trait were enough.” And that happens doesn’t it? People see us for one aspect of ourselves – the dreamer, the loyal friend, or the joker etc. – and then we start to conform to that description and begin to be defined by it.
One trait isn’t enough. You are a multifaceted, complicated, and beautiful person that was carefully made with intention. True happiness lies in listening to ourselves honestly and fully, then striving for that ideal position in life that we were made to occupy. Be deliberate in the way you live your life.
“Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.”
– The Violets
Guildwood Park Engagement Session, Toronto Ontario
We figured that since Jack Frost is here to stay, we might as well join in the winter fun.
No two snowflakes are alike. I feel the same way about engagement sessions. Put these two ingredients together – snowflakes + an engagement session – and your photographs have the potential to be full of romance and wonder.
The analogy doesn’t end there though. Snowflakes are also quite delicate, their beautiful form can be caught on the tip of your tongue or in hand, but almost immediately they lose their crystalline form once captured.
I feel like catching a snowflake is great analogy for what we do: making photographs.
Once we’ve figured out where we want to shoot, taken the light into consideration, and found some loose posing that will most flatter our couple, it’s all about catching snowflakes.
And by snowflakes, of course I mean genuine expressions of love and connection between our couples.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not running around a field with my camera ablaze hoping and praying I’ll catch something beautiful. That would be the equivalent of sticking my tongue out and hoping to catch a snowflake. And I don’t care who you are, no one likes it when you stick your tongue out at them. Especially two people who are already feeling vulnerable enough – likely in front of the camera for the first time.
No, we know we are catching snowflakes – that is to say delicate moments, and expressions of love between two people – we are deliberate. We make the appropriate choices to make our couples feel free to fall into our hands and share their connection to one another in front of us.
Congratulations Kristin and Steve, thank you for your trust and for braving the snow with us!
Winding Violets is four years old today, and this is probably the hardest blog post I have ever had to write . . .
How do you write about something you pour your whole heart and soul into? Your every waking moment. When every book you read (and believe me there have been many, in the hundreds), every conversation you have (upon waking, driving, walking, eating, going to sleep), and every “vacation” you take comes back to building this very thing: Winding Violets.
How do you even begin to articulate a journey like that? Oh wait! Herman Melville covered this one in, “Moby Dick.” I guess that makes me Ahab?. . . yikes!
In all seriousness, I suppose our journey has turned Winding Violets from a small business into a vocation. When that line that divides work and lifestyle is blurry at best.
When you do something you are passionate about for a living, it consumes almost every waking moment. Everything in your life is framed in relation to it. And it’s seldom something anyone actually sees, or that can be articulated. Winding Violets is us, and we are Winding Violets. And truly I would have it no other way.
But sometimes such a blurry distinction between self and occupation, the very thing that makes us great at what we do, is really hard emotionally. When someone says, “no” to Winding Violets, for whatever reason, they are saying “no” to us. “Too expensive,” translates to you aren’t worth it, or you don’t hold enough value as creative agents.
Inversely when someone says “Yes!” it’s a thrill. Every time someone says, “Yes” to Winding Violets, they are telling us we are worth it. They value what we create and want to see us continue to develop our legacy and brand. “Yes!” is the ultimate compliment.
What I think defines that last four years of Winding Violets, the legacy we are building, is one of Authenticity. Winding Violets is built on an unwavering and fearless commitment to habitually look outside of ourselves, our community, our circumstances, to bring new and exciting things where they have never been before.
“Like you wouldn’t believe.”
The old adage is, “no man is an island.” And Winding Violets wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community, friends, all the wonderful brides and grooms who have hand selected us exclusively. We are thankful to those of you who continue to support us by passing along our name; we feel like this is the ultimate sign of support and confidence in what we do and who we are. And last but not least, all of our social media connects. We love all the comments and interactions with you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, keep it coming! We love seeing the things you create too.
Thank you to all the past, present, and future brides and grooms. Thank you for saying an empathic,”Yes!” Thank you to all the couples and individuals that continue to refer us and spread our name. Thank you from the bottom of hearts. You make what we do possible.
But most importantly I want to thank my best friend, my business partner, my personal confidant, and the love-of-my-life: Melissa. For all the fear, anger, exhaustion, hurt, we get to do something we are passionate about together, hand in hand, day in day out, all because of you. One hundred percent because of you.
Seriously folks, do you think I woke up one day and just said, “I want to be a professional wedding photographer!?”
Melissa taught me that wedding photography could be cool, sophisticated, cultured, and classic, and that love stories are pretty damn awesome.
Spindle Tree Gardens is an enchanted place. Walking its grounds gives you the feeling of being transported. I’ve visited these gardens many times. Each trip impresses fresh details into imagination, details I find myself recollecting when breathing life into a new book. It is an inspiring, and homey place. Not unlike what I imagine the Shire to be like. What better place to fall in love, or rather express your enduring love for your special someone? I can think of none better.
– wedding venues in Kingston Ontario, Spindle Tree Gardens –
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . . well maybe a rabbit? Here’s a little glimpse into WV Headquarter’s the night before Christmas. We are looking so forward to all the great couples that we will be working with this upcoming wedding season. We are hoping to make 2014 Winding Violets’s best yet. Congratulations to all of the couples that are getting, or have gotten, engaged over the Christmas season. We hope to hear from some of you soon!
. . . in the mean time check these two lovelies engagement session in the distillery district. And make special note of Joanna’s beautiful vintage Hudson’s Bay blanket . . . gorgeous, and totally on point! Did you know that the Hudson’s Bay Company has been undergoing a huge brand revitalization. That’s right fellow Canadian’s, one of the world’s oldest department stores, our very own Hudson’s Bay Company at 340 years old has become cool again. You may notice, hat’s, scarves, blankets, etc. with the classic green, red, yellow, blue, print popping up more and more. Perhaps there is something from the Hudson’s Bay Company wrapped and waiting under the tree for you this Christmas?
Christmas is three days away; Kingston is covered in ice from roof top to sidewalk; our tree is casting it’s warm amber hue over the room; the fire is crackling; White Christmas is on the television; we are snuggled in for a long winter’s nap.
But before we nod off with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, the third door of Winding Violets Advent Calendar must be opened. Behind door number three . . . nope not some amorphous chocolate figure unfortunately, but something just as sweet. A slight imaginative reprieve from the ice storm, a trip to Prince Edward County’s sprawling Sand Dunes. Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
Consider today’s entry a much needed postcard addressed to you from Watch Hill, RI. Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is home to many post card worth sights. Take for example Ocean House Hotel, woowzers! Ocean House’s extravagant rooms and breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean have been enjoyed by Henry Ford, Clark Gable, Conan O’Brien, and Hugh Jackman to name a few.
Other notable sights are the historic Watch Hill Yacht Club, many beautiful Victorian “cottages,” and the oldest continuously operated carousel in the United States. The Flying Horse Carousel, sadly not pictured below…total fail I know, is set up right on the beach. Nothing like riding a carousel while enjoying an ocean view, huh?
The funniest thing about these photos, and much to our surprise, is that many of them were made less than 100 feet from Taylor Swift’s house. Just after coming across Ocean House, and still a little dazed, we spotted a discrete path that led to the Atlantic Ocean. We rambled down the stoney walk, through bushes, and long beach grass (braving the many tick warnings), eventually emerging onto a large beach that was nearly vacant.
Far out into the Ocean a large sailboat was barely visible over the white caps and crashing waves rolling a shore. The sound of waves rendered speech almost inaudible, but that vastness of the beach, ocean, and isolation, made it feel silent. Not a dissimilar sensation to standing still, at night, in a freshly fallen snow. You can hear your heartbeat.
When we got back to our hotel we consulted the All-Mighty-Goog and found that we were right behind Taylor Swifts home in Watch Hill. Nice choice girly. We hope you enjoy our little postcard from Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
“I am constantly drawing inspiration from the places I travel, the people I meet, the movies I see, the heroes I admire. Growing up I was inspired by Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Mickey Mantle, FDR, and JFK. I still am.” – Ralph Lauren
Everyone needs a break from the scenery of daily life and its routines. We all want to be inspired. Whether that means escaping into a great novel, listening to a favorite record, perusing a great blog, or traveling somewhere new, these outlets whisper promises of something larger than ourselves. Our desire to be inspired speaks to the potential that lies dormant in each of us.
For Melissa and I that need is best fulfilled by travel. With my new found love for sailing, and all things “preppy,” New England proved just the ticket.
As creative professionals, our tanks run on high octane when it comes to inspiration. We are constantly glossing the internet, books, and the world around us for ideas. We are looking for things that inspire us and that will inspire you. The ideas we find in turn become the fuel we use to create the photographs you see right here on the Winding Violets blog.
We want to thank Michelle Pilon, from Lovebird Bridal, for contributing this beautiful Allure Romance gown and the Justin Alexander sash for this bridal shoot. We love Michelle and her beautiful boutique, nestled in the heart of downtown Kingston. Another big thanks to our beautiful model Alexa, and her friend Josh, for driving all the way out to Watch Hill with us for this shoot.