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.
What better way to celebrate the one day of the year we set aside to celebrate love – the greatest human emotion of all – than with some thoroughly romantic wedding images. Prince Edward County always surprises us with it’s unique ecosystem. At sunset, there appear these beautiful deep dark grey blue skies to the east, and in the west the sunset glows a warm soft golden yellow. These are the perfect conditions for creating striking photographs, that refuse any other adjective but romantic. Brooding and Bright, so lovely!
In fact there is a Fine Art term for these exact conditions. It is called, “chiaroscuro.” This term is pronounced, Key-are-as-cure-o. Don’t worry I can never pronounce it right either. Basically the terms is Italian for light and dark, or contrast.
This technique was developed and popularized by the painters Leonardo DaVinci, Johannes Vermeer, Titian, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt. Good company to be in huh!? (laughs)
There is something about the mixture of light and dark, in a rural setting that always reminds me of a Brontë novel. Particularly Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights.” I’ll leave you with this beautifully romantic quote that has always meant something special to Melissa and I from the novel:
“He is more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
– T.S. Elliot (Four Quartets, “Little Gidding”)
Have you ever heard the word Synecdoche (sin-eck-da-key)? Probably not, huh? It’s not a French word, or even concept, but rather a term used to describe a tool used by writers.
A synecdoche, is when a single part of something is used to describe the whole. Take for example Paris. A good synecdoche for Paris is the Eiffel Tower.
We see a keychain, fridge magnet, or paper weight Eiffel Tower and we immediately think of Paris. Not just the Eiffel Tower itself, but the object or symbol gives way to a flood of associations: cafés, baguette, the Mona Lisa (an Italian painting btw), Napoleon, stripes, Notre Dame, and the Seine, and many more.
Don’t be afraid to fill in some blanks yourself. Eiffel tower, go …
Pretty neat word and idea right!? I’ll bet you were able to come up with many more Parisian things than what I had listed.
Unfortunately, our Eiffel Tower synecdoche can have a reductionistic effect as well. Once things are reduced to a single part, we are often given the impression that we understand the whole. I think this is even true of a city as grand, Romantic, and historic as Paris.
Even though Melissa and I had been planning and saving for a big trip to Paris for years, I must admit that this reductionistic thinking had somehow infiltrated my mind to some extent. What could really be gained from a place that seemed so familiar?
Let me tell you, my very first night in The City of Lights obliterated any sense of the cliché or perceived familiarity I had with Paris or the Eiffel Tower.
Once settled into our flat, the sun had set on Paris and the artificial lights had just started to illuminate the city. We settled on a walk down to the Seine, a serpentine river running the length of the city. And a dividing line between the Right and Left banks.
I will never forget the feeling I had once we reached the base of Boulevard dé Sebastopol at the Seine. Together our eyes followed the long black river, the city lights dancing in the strong current shimmering almost like the scales on an enormous snake, and at its head standing on the horizon…the Eiffel Tower.
I was very nearly reduced to tears.
Our first night remains my favorite memory of Paris. My most vivid. That night I was reminded that something, even as cliché and familiar as the Eiffel Tower, has the power to move my mind, heart, and soul in its depths.
The Eiffel Tower is a fitting synecdoche for Paris. And it is an especially rich one for me now that it is emotionally charged in my memory. Any sense of familiarity and cliché associated with Paris has been wiped clean from my mind.
When I take our tchotchke Eiffel Tower down from our mantle, I now see the most inspiring, Romantic, and enchanting place I have ever been. This may seem reductionistic or cliché, but not to me.
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking out together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I love this quote for it’s unconventionality. It’s rebellious.
The words we often use to describe love are introverted ones. A classic example of this is the heart. The heart is a metaphor we use to imply emotion, intimacy, or desire. In the words above, love consists of “looking out”, not inward. The bond of love is expressed in a shared vision. This is an active love and purposeful love.
One thing you learn early on when running a small business is the importance of a business plan, or vision for where you are going. You need to have a finish line, target or map; otherwise, you are just left reacting to situations and this will inevitably lead to burnout and failure.
You have the passion, the know how, and the “heart,” but without a clearly defined direction you are going to become lost, confused, and frustrated in your pursuit of fulfillment.
We believe in love that is built on a shared vision, and that is creative. Relationships of this kind are deliberate, and therefore much more agile and able to withstand the stormy seas that are sure to arise.
What is more intimate, desirable, and emotional than seeing a shared vision being brought to fruition? Perhaps only the birth of a child, and that is as apt a metaphor as any: the two become one.
Incidentally that is the title of a lovely little book by Bob Goff. We high recommend giving it a read. The books message is one of truth and inspiration. And it embodies this quote fully.
Maureen and Chris certainly embody the sort of people who have a shared vision as well as shared heart. Congratulations on your marriage AND the new little addition that is on the way!
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Okay…fireplace roaring, quilted up, pyjamas on, lights dimmed, winter whistling by safely outside your windows, snow piled high, your special someone by your side…queue Downton Abbey Season 5!
Sound like heaven? Well it does to us too. Right now this is exactly where you’ll find us all cuddled up on these frigid January evenings….with the bunny by our side – for those just getting to know us, we have a small dwarf rabbit that can be spotted running about our home sporting his cow print coat. I know there is still a few days before the next episode airs, so for now we have a beautiful wedding in a Downtonesque setting to help you get your Downton fix.
Roseville Estate Wedding Venue , what can I say? This may just be the perfect backdrop for the bride who is drawn to an estate style wedding. Downton Abbey fans, this might just be the ticket for you. Roseville Estate Wedding Venue boasts a beautiful main house, constructed in the 19th century, shake style roof, white shutters over beautiful large windows (lots of natural light inside, which makes for beautiful photos), and an updated spacious interior.
The the main house sits on a sprawling and spacious piece of property. Long laneways flanked by mature deciduous trees stretch out and wind through the property. This is perfect for taking your retriever for walks – think Lord Grantham & Isis – or for stealing away after the ceremony for a few intimate moments before joining the party.
A slate grey board and batten barn meets you at the end of the Estate’s picturesque laneway (pictured below). This rustic out-building doubles as a rain contingency, or primary ceremony locale for those bride’s whose sentiments lean toward rustic-rural chic. If you’re more of a Sybil, this might be the setting you imagined her and Tom getting married in: love born and bound in a garage lol. Strung out Eddison bulbs dangle from the rafters warming the space with the slightest hint of domesticity. A charming space to be sure.
All in all my fellow Downtonites, Roseville Estate Wedding Venue , Cambridge Ontario is lovely rain or shine, is tasteful, elegant, and a beautiful multifaceted environment to celebrate your nuptials in.
As a bonus, your guests are going to adore Roseville Estate Wedding Venue . Not only will you be the envy of all other brides this season, but you may be responsible for kindling a new romance yourself; sparks are bound to fly against a backdrop as romantic as this.
Congratulations Taylor and Kyle, you love you two and throughly enjoyed your wedding, stunning!
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!