Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Bliss Imagery

Monday, May 24, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: , , , |

OK, as promised here's our latest giveaway! I have been really excited about our next vendor spotlight and giveaway because 1) he's our very own wedding photographer and a very talented one I might add, 2) you have a chance to win a very awesome prize and 3) this giveaway is a little different than what we've done before! First, let me introduce the subject of our next Vendor Spotlight -- Don Le, part of a two-man team that make up the wedding photgraphy studio Bliss Imagery. He and his partner Nate Fu offer highly stylized photography and videography from a truly photojournalistic perspective. As you might know from an earlier post, Bliss Imagery will be shooting our own wedding in August and we are really honored and lucky to have them for our wedding! Looking at their work, you can see why. Not your usual run-of-the-mill wedding photography, Bliss Imagery offers great angles, truly genuine moments, rich color and texture and amazing perspective. Seriously, major swooning!

What I also loved about Bliss Imagery is that they were willing to customize a package that fit what we wanted while staying within our budget. With an attentive ear and a truly creative eye, I bring you Don from Bliss Imagery!

How did you get involved in photography?
It all started out in high school when I just felt the urge to satisfy something inside of me creatively... especially the visual core of myself. I've always wanted to be a director because I love films, tv, music, cartoons, videogames, and just the medium of visual entertainment as a whole. It always seemed like photography was one extension of that world that I could enter into and continue to evolve and express myself. Expression was the most significant part to me when it came down to photography. Once you get the technicals of it all down pat, the process is that much simpler to express yourself in ways you never thought imaginable.

What made you get into wedding photography?
I love the single fact that I get the chance to experience one of the major milestones, probably THE milestone, in these couple's lives. I'm actually a romance junkie; one of my favorite movies is "The Notebook". If you throw something schmaltzy in front of me, book, movie, music... I'll probably
bawl my big softie eyes out.
I actually never thought that I would ever get into wedding photography, but I was given the chance to photograph a friend's wedding two years ago on a whim. They just asked me do some quick photography and they loved it dearly. After that experience, I had such a great time that I slowly thrust myself headfirst into the art and fell in love. I'm still in love with wedding photography more than ever and am learning about the greatest nuances of it everyday. In time, I just hope to continue to grow the wedding studio with my partner, Nate Fu, into one of the premier outfits in the OC/LA area.

What is your photography style? What would you say makes it unique?
I have a mixture of styles both photojournalistic and traditional. I'm very photojournalistic in the sense that I can blend into the shadows and everybody who sees my pictures afterwards would be surprised, not having remembered me there in the first place. At the same time, I'm traditional because I'm able to work with clients and help pose them. I can work with big groups or one-on-one to make subjects feel comfortable.
My background flows from a love for film, TV, and overall pop culture, as well as producing background in music videos, commercials, short films, etc. All of that contributes to a very cinematic style in my photography and videography. I like to think outside of the box and create products or items that people haven't ever seen before. And if they have seen it before, I want to turn it upside down, shake it, and make it anew.

What would you say would be the most interesting wedding you ever shot? What was it that made it so awesome?
The most interesting wedding I ever shot had to be a yacht wedding with a couple by the name of Peggy and Alee. They are the owners of a couple of Paul Mitchell schools, so naturally, they had the co-creator of Paul Mitchell and Patron, Jean Paul DeJoria, as an MC of the festivities. The whole affair was very much like a lazy Sunday. Everybody was maxing and relaxing (approx. 80 guests), and the Patron was flowing on the boat all night. The couple was very chill, and we just all had a good time. To me, it was not only picture perfect, it was immaculate in the spirit of love.

As a wedding photographer, what are the components you look for that make a great wedding shoot?
I always make sure that I bring my "A" game to every wedding shoot, so everytime I come into a wedding shoot, I intend to create memories that not only I would enjoy, but that the couple could look back on in 40 years and it would remind them of their magical day. As a photographer, I try to make sure that every picture is timeless. It's not about shooting 1000 pictures in the span of an hour. You could hire a monkey to do that. It's more along the lines of figuring out how to compose the shot in a style that moves you. If it compells, shoot it. That's my motto. At the end of the wedding shoot, if I'm still energized by the whole day's worth of photos and am able to look at the pictures afterwards on my computer with a jug of tea, then I'll know that I had a great wedding shoot. I have to be amped up before and after the wedding!

What advice would you give to couples out there as they pick their photographer?
Couples need to look out for three specific components when choosing their photographer: chemistry, innovation, and style.
Chemistry because the couple should be able to click with their photographer. If the couple isn't comfortable being around their photographer, it will reflect in the pictures. That one is key.
Innovation is important because it's important that your photographer constantly strive to improve themselves, their craft, and their vision on things. A wedding photographer who's been doing it for years upon years becomes complacent, almost lazy in their vision of weddings. For every photographer, a wedding with a new couple should always bring a new energy and unique vantage point. If the photographer's portraits start looking like other photographers you've scouted, walk away because your photos are going to look exactly like their other clients' pictures.
Lots of photographers tend to copy each other's styles. You deserve a fresh, raw outlook on your wedding;
not the cookie cutter treatment.
Lastly, style is something that you should able to spot from the very get go. It's just that visually tangible something that makes their work stand out to the point where your jaw just drops and you're unable to describe how you feel about the work as a whole. You have to be able to appreciate their style, color scheme, framing, otherwise, there's a sea of photographers out there waiting to cater to your hopes, memories, and wedding dreams!

Now, onto our GIVEAWAY!
Bliss Imagery is giving one lucky couple a free engagement session! Wow your guests with great photos for your Save the Dates, invitations or photos at your reception. Also, these would be precious images to keep for years to come!

 * All photos by Bliss Imagery
This contest is open to US and International residents. If the winner lives outside of the Los Angeles/Orange County area, winner must pay travel and/or lodging expenses for the photographer. Contestants must not have already booked a photographer for their wedding. Session can not be scheduled on a day Don is already booked. Session must be scheduled no later than Janurary 2011.

OK, I said this is going to be different!

1) To enter, follow me on Google Friend Connect. Then grab a camera or anything with a video recording device and tell us why you and your fiance would make a great engagement shoot. You can tell us anything you want -- how you and your fiance met, how you got engaged, your favorite hobbies, your favorite places...anything! The most creative, interesting or compelling video (really, the video with major "awwwwww" factor) wins!

2) If you don't already have one, set up a Youtube account. Upload your video to your Youtube channel.

3) Come back to this post and comment with a link to your youtube video. You must comment back on this page with a link to your video or your entry will not count!

4) I will favorite the video and you can view all the videos entered into the contest in the My Favorites section of my channel

5) You must complete steps 1-4 or your entry will not count!

This contest will close 11:59 PM, Thursday, June 24, 2010.

Remember, have fun with it! You and your fiance are the directors and stars! Good luck!!!

* I received no monetary compensation or product for this review or giveaway. The views expressed in this feature are truly my own observations.

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