Tuesday, May 31, 2011

....and the winner of our Cool Camera Contest is....

And to assist us in picking the winner for the contest, here's our friend and favourite monster, DOMO!!!

You can see from the fazed reaction in Domo's face how excited he was to announce the winner.....


Hey Win, please private message us your home address or let us know how you want to claim your prize! I think I vaguely have an idea which one you like =) Congratulations!!!

Our Tiffany and Co. Contest is the next one up for grabs. Click here for more details!!

afraid of getting too personal??

I know, I know. All you're waiting for is for me to make the final announcement of the winner of our Cool Disposable Camera Giveaway, and promise I will let you know in about 1 1/2 hours! =) I'm really excited myself. (Is it too obvious? three posts before noon...you guessed it, I'm not at work today. Although technically, editing is calling my name....)

I like to think somewhere out there, someone actually reads our blogs. Just this morning alone, we had 126 views. It's minute compared to say, the population of Toronto alone, but it's encouraging to see that there are people from the UK, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, Japan, UAE, Germany and Australia who's visited our blog somehow through a random link, or a Google search. These affirmations encourage me to do more research, find more interesting and inspiring websites. Same reason we like to give away cool stuff for no apparent reason. It's amazing how a simple comment makes my day. So please, don't hesitate. Leave a note, say hi. I might just send you something nice =)

For years, I thought about whether it'll be appropriate to use my personal blog as an avenue to promote our business. Most people would say having a separate blog for our photography business is probably advisable and more professional. And yet, I can't separate myself away from my original personal blog. I think having people know me personally through my more personal posts just enhances the likability of our business. I think it gives more insight on our personality, and therefore gives our client a view of what we would be like working with them. 

Anyway, all I know is it gives me fulfillment and satisfaction however which way I am able to connect to people who read my blog. 

For now, I will attempt to make this origami strawberries with the names of the people who joined our Cool Disposable Camera Contest in them and then I'll be picking (literally) a strawberry and reveal the winner in just a little over an hour. Sooo excited!!

wedding trends: coloured wedding shoes

So yes, I think nowadays, white, cream or beige, or ecru is not always the only option for wedding shoes. You can also opt for these colourful and pretty heels!

Oh my gosh, I just died and went to shoe heaven! Love these yummy coloured shoes!!! Thanks, Magnolia Rouge for the amazing ideas!

How can you not love these beauties!!


 love these glittering and retro vintage shoes!

Looking for something more comfortable? how about chuck taylors??

Even some of our clients have opted using coloured shoes. 

Would you wear coloured shoes at your wedding? Send us your thoughts!

choosing the right photographer

There are times I wish I was better at doing the things I love. A better photographer, a better baker, a better guitar player....just better. 

At times, I feel the limitations of my knowledge and even though I know I worked my hardest at doing something, I still feel that my work is still not as good and perfect as I would have wanted them to be. Like any other artist, I am my worst critic. 

I see how A work, and sometimes I envy how he can view something and just know exactly the perfect composition without thinking twice. He has the eye for the best angles, the broader perspectives, the correct light setting and catching up to him sometimes feels like a chore. I envy how he can simply listen to a tune and without so much as a chord chart or guitar tab, he'll know exactly how to play this on guitar, while I have to try so much harder. I love his humility though, even when I tell him he's much more talented than what he credits himself for. When I do get to this tortured artist phase, I try not to simply feel down and depressed, instead I try to use this as an impetus to be better. 

We realize that our business is still young and not at all comparable to other photography businesses who've been in the industry for awhile. If there was ever a ranking for the best photographers in Canada, I'm not sure we'd even place because there are so many other talented photographers out there. This is also why we work harder to improve our craft. We try to channel our frustrations on our limitations to good use, by realizing that though we might not be the best, there will always be clients that would fit our style perfectly and appreciate the value of our work. Now if the ranking was for passion and dedication, then yes, we'd be right up there with the big leagues. 

I look for inspiration everywhere for this very same reason. No matter what I'm doing, there will always  be many others that are much better at doing it, and this inspires me to try harder. Over the years of shooting together, we've taken every experience to heart and learned from our mistakes. Every event we cover was an opportunity to get better. Often times we get more compliments when we're not over confident that we've done what we were paid to do. And it's because we're not over confident that we plan better shots, over prepare ourselves, create Plan Bs in case Plan A doesn't work out and try harder at creating better compositions with every event we cater to. 

Some people would say, I'm probably not as good as a photographer because there are so many things I'd rather be doing, like baking, or crafting, etc. The truth is, when our business was just starting out, we originally planned to do other aspects of party planning. I loved making handmade invitations, so I obliged when people asked me to do them, even though I was almost only charging at cost and not getting paid for labour. I took orders to make cupcakes that were paid for less than they're worth, because I tell myself that the reason I was doing it was not for money, but out of my love for baking alone. I took flower arrangement orders knowing that I will not have any profit, simply because seeing them at weddings made me feel good inside. Mind you, A and I still have regular day jobs, and so it's not as if we necessarily have to do weddings for money. 

I love all these other things and I'd probably do them just for the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of my labour. I don't think however that my love for these other things hinders me from being a good photographer. In fact, I think it is for this reason, I am a more enriched photographer, as I have appreciation for the value of little things. I know how much work is put in in creating the larger and little details at an event, which makes me focus my attention to them a little bit better than another photographer. 

And so when there are clients that devalue our work, and think we're charging more than we deserved, I think about how much harder we have to work to keep up with improving our craft. I think about the money we spent in investing on the best photographic equipments. I think about the hours and hours of editing we do, to ensure that each individual photograph is colour corrected, perfectly balanced and retouched. I think about the time and money we've invested in creating the custom photo books, the amount of time and gas we spent on client meetings and shoots. And for my baking, I think about the hours I spent making fondant, colouring, planning for customized cupcake toppers to meet the requests of my clients. 

One of the things we learned in this process is, we're probably not the best photographer for everyone. And we shouldn't be. We'd love to work with people who appreciate photography as much as we do, people who are passionate about the same visions and ideals. We'd hate to be the kind of photographers who'd lower their price and give discounts just so they can get clients to hire them. We know there's still so much we can learn from other photographers and we believe knowing what we are and embracing our limitations only make us strive harder to get better. 

So my advice is this, when choosing a photographer for your event, please choose wisely and carefully. Choose a photographer who has the same vision as you do. A photographer who will appreciate and understand the efforts you've made in putting together your special event. Remember that your event is about YOU. It's about finding someone who will take utmost care and respect in documenting your most precious moments as much as you do. It's about finding someone who'll care and value your memories as though they are their own. And please pay them accordingly. I'd hate to see struggling new talented photographers devalue their work just so they can get their toe in the water. They deserve better and you know it. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Featured Artist: Rowena Abat

A lot of people who've ordered cupcakes or are planning to order cupcakes have asked me if I make bigger cakes and my answer was always "No". The truth is, even after baking for awhile, without formal training, I still feel somewhat unsure. My best friend however, has turned her passion into beautifully crafted and artful cakes. What started out as a love for baking has turned into her quest to learn more and create the most amazing cakes. She's also dedicated herself in training to improve her love for handcrafting these beautiful cakes. Very Cake Boss indeed!

From the very first cake we made together....(by the way, she did all the baking and fondant covering...I just helped with decorating)

to this....

a barbecue cake for your summer parties!
 beautiful wedding cakes!

 just WOW!

shower cakes!

 birthday cakes!

my favorite ruffle cake! A joint effort! Cake by Rowena, paper decorations by yours truly!
and even character cakes!

photos taken from Rowena's Facebook page except Coraline taken by J. Perlas. 
photo credits: Rowena and Edsel Abat

So lucky to be surrounded by such talent! Couldn't be more proud of my bestfriend! For contact info, visit her Facebook page, or message me to get her email address. Order your custom cakes now!

Friday, May 27, 2011

wedding trends: cutest escort cards

Love how fancy and unique escort cards can be! Check out these amazing ideas! 

soda pop escort cards

french macaroons as escort cards

pinwheels, clothes pins and buttons!


 yummy veggie escort cards

and more ideas!!

comfort food

It's been raining almost everyday in Toronto but I refuse to be bogged down by this almost depressing weather. In times like this, it's nice to stay in and indulge in your favourite comfort foods. For me, it's cupcakes =) How can this sunny batch not bring a smile on your face, even on a gloomy day, like today?

 I haven't cooked in a while, so here's a good old recipe for Filipino style chicken noodle soup!

 Chicken Noodle Soup


4 chicken breasts
4 eggs
3 cups of pasta (macaroni or shells)
5 pieces of chicken hotdogs (cut lengthwise and into half-moons)
2 medium sized carrots (cut into half circles)
3 stalks  of celery
1 whole onion minced
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of butter
4 cups of milk
3 cups of chicken broth
3 chicken bouillon cubes


1. Place the chicken breast in a large pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, or until the chicken is cooked and tender. 
2. Drain the chicken. Save 3 cups of the broth in a bowl. Use a strainer to remove the fat and chicken bits. Cut the chicken into strips and set aside
3. In a separate pot, cook the pasta. In another pot, bring the eggs and the carrots to a boil. Drain and set aside. 
4. Add the butter in a pan on medium heat. When melted, saute the garlic and onion. Add the hotdogs and chicken strips and cook until brown, and almost crispy. 
5. Transfer in a large pot. Add the milk, chicken broth and chicken bouillon cubes. 
6. Add the celery, carrots, hardboiled eggs and pasta.

So, go ahead. Bring your umbrella and enjoy the weather!

random shot from Madison Square Park

Thanks August Empress for the cool background!