News And Events

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Kind words from one of our talented, inspiring Bliss & Bokeh 2013 alumni, Sawyer Baird…

“Bliss & Bokeh has been a breathe of fresh air for not only myself but my business. The knowledge that I took away from this experience is something that affects me in my career day to day. When I signed up for Bliss & Bokeh I had no idea what I was getting into. I had dropped out of college to pursue my career in photography. When in school I found that film photography was the right path for me. I had bought Jose Villa’s book and fell in love with artistic vision and the timeless elegance that film photography has. It instantly felt like home to me. When I started looking to further my career and expand my knowledge I found Bliss & Bokeh. This workshop had everything I could imagine learning. I was the last person to sign up… and what an amazing adventure it was for me! Such a fun fact to all this is I got my Contax a week before the workshop… it really was fate!

What I took away from the workshop was not only some of my closest friends but the knowledge that drives me in my career. During the workshop I really learned a lot about myself as an artist. Along with learning about myself as an artist I learned about the things that drove me and inspired me. When seeing all these things that I had dreamed about come to life I learned that dreams can come true and that nothing is impossible. I had no idea about the fine art wedding community. So it was so nice to finally find my place. I loved being able to connect with such amazing vendors and getting such amazing advice from them as well. Some of the things that really stood out to me were styled shoots and the details that were in everything we did. I loved being able to watch Joy Thigpen style so many details. At that moment I was learning to not only be a photographer but an artist with my work.

During the workshop I only shot one roll of film. People call me crazy- sometimes I even ask myself why I did that. I could have had so much more amazing content for my website. The truth is I had just learned to roll 120 film, I didn’t think shooting would allow me to gain the knowledge I was after, and I just didn’t want to spend time shooting when I learn from watching others. So instead of shooting I sat back and watched KT Merry shoot, Joy Thigpen style, and really got to tune in to their vision. A couple moments that stood out to me was when Joy placed the cake where she placed it, due to lighting and the setting, another thing was watching Joy style the bride’s dress. She was very intentional with where she placed her hands and where she told her to grab her dress. These are just a few things that stood out that I still think of when I am shooting.

Overall Bliss & Bokeh has given me so much to be thankful for. I made the most amazing friends (that I still talk to daily), amazing industry advice, learned about styled shoots, how to build my portfolio, attracting my dream clients, ways to get published, the direction that I wanted to take my business, and just so much about myself as an artist and photographer. It has made me tune in to so many important things with my photography and made me more aware of my surroundings & the little details in everyday life. I am beyond grateful for this experience and I highly recommend it to anybody looking to expand their business and their own artistic mind.”

Sawyer Baird

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We adore Sawyer, and we couldn’t be prouder of her amazing growth since Bliss & Bokeh 2013! Thank you, Sawyer, for sharing your heart and your experience at Bliss!

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We are finally dusting off the blog and excited to share some big news with all of you! It’s been an amazing year, and we are so grateful to all of you who have come on board and made Bliss & Bokeh what it is today! We hosted our second retreat in September, and we met the most talented, gracious, inspiring group of women we can now call dear friends. Over the last year, we have watched the attendees of our first Bliss & Bokeh retreat do incredible things and continue to create gorgeous work! We are so proud to know all of them, and I’m excited that a few of them will be sharing with all of you here on the blog soon!

Today, we are excited to share the details of our third Bliss & Bokeh, which we’ll host here in Charleston this May! We are over the moon to have two very talented fine art film photographers joining us this year: Jen Huang and Elisa Bricker! Along with Jen and Elisa, we will be bringing along the wonderfully talented Ginny Au to teach and style for us and someone whose vision and heart we so admire, Katie Selvidge, founder of Cottage Hill, to lead an important discussion on nurturing ourselves as artists and the process of creating honest, meaningful work. We’ll also be adding a few more speakers and special guests, so stay tuned as we reveal more!

Registration is now open, and we would love to have you join us! Go here to reserve your spot! Use coupon code “mybliss” to receive a $100 discount today only!

We hope to see you in May!

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{image by Jen Huang}

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leighwebber.charlestonharbor

We have so many updates to share with all of you, and we don’t want you to miss a thing, so listen up! Today, we’re going to share some of our surprises and let you in on more exciting additions to Bliss & Bokeh, which by the way, is happening in just a little over a month! We’ve been eagerly anticipating this event and the chance to meet all of you since January, so for us, it simply can’t get here soon enough!

While some of our speakers are still fine-tuning their presentations, and some decisions are still being made, below is a pretty complete picture of your time spent at Bliss & Bokeh!

Sunday, October 6

4pm Meet and Greet Social, Charleston Place Terrace
5pm Meet your Roommate & Settle In
6pm Dinner at Charleston Grill
8pm Speaker: Whitney English {Authenticate: Goals, Dreams & Envision Extraordinary}

Monday, October 7
8:30am Breakfast at Charleston Place
9am Speaker Presentations
Tara Guerard {Working with Elite Planners}
Angela Marcaccio {Top Mistakes Most Photographers Make}
12:00pm Small Group Lunches*
1:30-4pm One-on-One Critiques & Free Time
4:30pm Cocktail Hour at Zero George
Speaker: Lynn Easton Andrews {Making Connections through Social Media}
6-8:00pm Private Dinner at RiverOaks Charleston
{This dinner will be held at the gorgeous Charleston wedding venue along the banks of the Wando River, hosted by their very gracious owner, Marianne}
Speaker: Melissa Bigner {Editor, Charleston Weddings Magazine}
Headshots by KT Merry {optional}

Tuesday, October 8
8:30am Breakfast at Charleston Place
9am Speaker Presentations
KT Merry {Getting Published, Marketing to Destination Brides & Film}
Leigh Webber {Staying Inspired & Side Projects}
12pm Lunch {to be revealed}
1-2:30pm Free Time
2:30pm Leave for Middleton Place
3pm Speaker: Joy Thigpen {Working with a Stylist & Process of Creative Direction}
4pm-7pm Styled Shoots**
8pm Dinner {to be revealed}

Wednesday, October 9

9am Special Farewell Breakfast
Speaker Presentations:
Emily Newman {Once Wed, Editor’s Perspective}
Becky Hoppman {Gracious Brands & Smitten Magazine}
12pm Say our Goodbye’s

*Small Group Lunches*

On Monday, attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a small group lunch with one or two of our speakers and 4-6 other attendees. This will be the perfect opportunity to get to know one of our speakers and one another in an intimate setting and to enjoy one of Charleston’s best restaurants!

**Styled Shoots**
On Tuesday afternoon, attendees will have the chance to venture to Middleton Place for an afternoon of shooting models and gorgeous tablescapes alongside a couple of incredibly talented and experienced photographers as well as a group of new friends. The exciting news is that instead of two styled shoots, attendees will actually have the chance to shoot THREE unique and beautifully styled shoots while on property; designed by Joy Thigpen and Emily Newman of Once Wed, Lynn Easton Andrews of Easton Events, and a fun surprise addition styled by Melissa Bigner and the team from Charleston Weddings Magazine! Attendees will be divided into groups of 6-8 and will rotate through each shoot, spending 45 minutes at each shoot. This time will be well organized and structured to allow for both instruction and time to shoot the various elements, without simply fighting everyone for a shot. As we announced Friday, you will also each have the chance to shoot film with a Contax 645, (film and processing provided by Richard Photo Lab and equipment rental by Contax Rental). The cameras will be available at the shoot with KT, as well as during some free time to explore downtown Charleston!

If you are still considering joining us, we have five spots remaining, and registration closes tomorrow! Please feel free to email us, hello@blissandbokeh.com, if you have any lingering questions! To our attendees, thank you for believing in this experience and making the commitment to join us! We are so grateful to each of you for contributing to Bliss & Bokeh your talent and creativity and most of all, your desire to learn and be a part of this community!

35 days and counting…

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{image by Leigh Webber}

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da1

Design Aglow wants to know: how can we help you grow your photography business?

Since 2006, Design Aglow has been the premier online resource for information and products created for the success of professional portrait and wedding photographers. Our library of 300+ templates and guides were created in a rigorous design process, by a team of professional photographers, designers, and writers. Field tested by studios worldwide, our products have helped guide over 40,000 studios to success. Design Aglow’s three founding principles–to save photographers’ time, enhance their photography, and increase their sales–drive us to create fresh ideas and constant inspiration for your work.

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As wedding photographers, we understand that time is often your most valuable commodity; our products use beautiful design, customizable layers, simple calculations, and helpful advice to add time back into your budget. Consider how resources like the Pricing Guide for Wedding Photographers, Wedding Welcome Packet: Minimalist Edition, and the Studio Workflow Assistant could change your studio:

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Think our business solutions could boost your bottom line? We invite you to explore the Design Aglow world, including our just-opened Frame Shop. Let our tools help move your studio forward.

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We are thrilled to announce Design Aglow as our newest sponsor for Bliss & Bokeh! I’ve loved chatting with the women of Design Aglow about this retreat and the growing community of talented women who will be attending! Design Aglow joins an incredible group of sponsors who are all eager to help us make this experience a valuable and exciting one for our attendees: Richard Photo LabKISS BooksSmitten Magazine & Once Wed

On that note, Bliss & Bokeh is getting a lot of wonderful buzz and praise this week {we’re blushing}, and spots are limited! Registration closes September 1, so don’t delay if you want to join us in Charleston in October!

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eastonevents
We are so excited to finally announce a new addition to the Bliss & Bokeh team, Lynn Easton Andrews of Easton Events. Recently named one of the top 10 most influential wedding designers by The Knot magazine and owner of two gorgeous venues, Pippin Hill Farm and Zero George St {here in Charleston}, Lynn is the perfect addition to our community of incredibly talented creatives! Lynn and the Easton Events team will also be designing the second styled shoot for us at Middleton Place in October. As with all of our speakers, we’ve loved getting to know what makes Lynn tick…

What’s a typical day like for you?
6:30am |Wake and read NYTimes/answering emails
7:30am | Gym/answering emails
9am | Morning meeting to determine daily itinerary for planning w/ Charleston + Cville Offices/trying not to answer email
12pm | Marketing meeting with Pippin Hill or Zero George St.
3pm | Actual event planning {wink}
6pm | Dinner with parents or kiddos
9pm | Nightcap with Dean
11pm | Bedtime/answering emails

What are some ways you’ve found to balance your work and personal life?
This question always makes me laugh, because historically, life and work have coexisted as one and the same. The reality is.. leisure is a very modern concept. I find, as a person who is self-employed, managing several businesses and collaborating with my husband, that my personal life and work life are intrinsically tied and one gives life to the other, and vice versa. I assume that this works for us because our children are grown and have lives of their own. As a young family, boundaries and “balance” are definitely more important to make sure you’re allocating proper time to all important things; but for me, I love my work – I love working with my husband and so that’s what we do in our common life. It is what makes life so fun.

What has been a pivotal decision you’ve made that has contributed to your success?
Opening Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards with my husband Dean, was probably the most pivotal and riskiest decision I’ve made. We had everything on the line. With my husband’s years of luxury hotel experience and my wedding industry expertise we formulated a design for a truly sublime location to wed. The happiest moment of my career was when PH was named “Top 50 Most Romantic Venues” in the US by Brides Magazine. I literally did the chicken dance… a lot.

Visit our speaker page to read more about Lynn’s expertise in the wedding industry!

Also, an update on REGISTRATION: We currently have only ten spots remaining, and we will be closing registration on September 1! We know there are so many of you out there who’ve reached out to let us know you’re hoping to attend and working to make it happen, and we have a truly incredible community of talented and wonderful women registered already! That said, we don’t expect these spots to last much longer, so secure your spot soon! You won’t regret it!

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ktmerry.kissbooks

We’re so excited to have partnered with KISS Books to offer one lucky winner a $500 credit towards new KISS samples! We love their gorgeous new linen and leather color options! I’m so happy today to be able to finally announce the winner of our big $500 KISS giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you to KISS Books for this amazing offer! With the help of Random Results, we have randomly chosen one winner…. Jashim Jalal, a talented wedding photographer out of New York! Jashim, we’ve checked out your work and love your site – especially your happy dance! Congratulations, and enjoy!!! Email us at hello{at}blissandbokeh.com to redeem your credit!

Everyone else… don’t forget our early registration ends in just two weeks on June 15! Save $105 on your registration fee to Bliss & Bokeh by securing your spot before then! We hope to meet you in October!

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{image by KT Merry}

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ktmerry.bride

We’re very excited to share with you the itinerary for Bliss & Bokeh 2013. We’ve worked diligently with a lot of heart and a clear vision to put together a team of talented and successful leaders in this industry to speak on a variety of topics pertaining to the business and art of wedding photography. Our speakers are currently working to fine tune their presentations, but we’ve compiled a list of topics covered here on our blog! You can also learn more about each of our speakers and their areas of expertise here. We’ve had several requests for a timeline for the retreat. We completely understand some of you will be working over the weekend leading up to the retreat or will need to fly in, so we’ve made sure to start the festivities late on Sunday to allow plenty of time for travel {and sleeping in on Sunday!}. If you are able to arrive in Charleston earlier, we have some suggestions for how to spend your day here. Just let us know!

Sunday
4:00 Meet & Greet at Charleston Place
5:00-6:00 Settle In
6:00 Dinner & Speaker: Whitney English
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Monday
8:30 Breakfast at Charleston Place
9:-00 Speakers: Tara Guerard & Angela Marcaccio
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Rotations: Small Group Discussion/One-on-One Critiques/Free Time
5:30 Headshots {optional}
7:00 Dinner
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Tuesday
8:30 Breakfast at Charleston Place
9:00 Speakers: KT Merry & Leigh Webber
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Rotations: Small Group Discussion/One-on-One Critiques/Free Time
3:00 Styled Shoots {Middleton Place} & Speaker: Joy Thigpen
8:00 Dinner
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Wednesday 
9:30 Special Brunch & Speakers: Emily Newman & Becky Hoppman
12pm Goodbye’s

For those who choose to join us, we believe you will leave truly grateful for your time spent with everyone here in Charleston. Not only will you learn from some pretty amazing women, but you will also develop meaningful connections with women who share your passions and your struggles. We invite you to come escape from the demands of your (amazing!) clients and your growing workload and indulge in all of the charm and luxury Charleston has to offer. Refine your talent and your brand, learn key business strategies from some of the industry’s top female entrepreneurs, and take time to unwind and refresh your creative spirit.

At Bliss & Bokeh, you will be challenged and inspired to dream bigger, find your purpose, and discover ways to share those talents to bless others. Ultimately, our wish is to create a community of women who will support, encourage and inspire one another long after the retreat; and along the way, you’ll learn how to return home and create community in your own market through collaboration with other creatives.

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{image by KT Merry}

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ktmerry.florals

Ok, we have some exciting news to share! While there are still plenty of spots available for now, we have an amazing group of women who have already registered for Bliss & Bokeh! For those of you who have made the commitment, we are blown away by your talent and so grateful for your enthusiasm to join us! It’s an amazing moment to realize that everything you envisioned and put so much heart into is coming together just as you hoped it would. Spending time pouring through each of your portfolios, browsing your instagram accounts (it’s true, I can’t lie), and learning more about all of you both as photographers and as women, lights a fire in me to continue to pour my heart into this event and this community! I love finding new ways to enrich your time here in Charleston!

To answer a few questions we’ve received:

  • Shared rooms are for 2 attendees, and if you register with a friend, we’re happy to make sure the two of you room together! Just send us an email or include a note in your registration! If you register for a shared room and are attending alone, we will carefully pair you up with another attendee based on your personality and preferences! Personally, I think this is the way to go!
  • If you’re flying in to Charleston, we’re happy to assist you in scheduling your transportation to Charleston Place. All other activities are within walking distance or transportation will be provided!
  • Registration is limited to a maximum of 30 attendees. We believe in maintaining an intimate environment that encourages meaningful interaction amongst attendees and speakers!
  • Bliss & Bokeh is all-inclusive. Your registration fee covers your accommodations at Charleston Place, as well as all of your meals, which will be amazing. We promise!
  • Our vision for Bliss & Bokeh is not to be a beginner’s workshop, but rather to appeal to and provide the best opportunities for learning to established wedding photographers. That said, if you are just starting out and able to make the investment, we believe you will absolutely learn so much from all of the speakers and your fellow attendees.

Also, as many of you have seen, early registration ends June 15. While you’ll still be able to register after that date {pending spots are available}, the cost of registration will increase to $2600 for a shared room and $3000 for a private room. If you know you’d like to attend, don’t miss the opportunity to save $105 by securing your spot soon!

If you have any other questions at all, don’t hesitate to drop us a note!

hello@blissandbokeh.com

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{image by KT Merry}

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ktmerry.kissbooks

We are so excited about the NEW colors being offered by one of our sponsors, KISS Books, and we are even more excited to be able to offer you an AMAZING GIVEAWAY to help you purchase some new sample KISSes to impress your clients! Both of their new linen and leather color options are gorgeous, and our very own KT Merry worked closely with KISS to help select the new options!

A huge thank you to KISS Books for allowing us to offer one of you a $500 credit towards your next sample album order {no additional minimum order required}!

To Enter…

1. Comment on this blog post with your favorite new KISS color in linen or leather!
2. Share our giveaway on Facebook or Twitter by tagging @blissandbokeh and hashtags #blissandbokeh and #kiss500giveaway!
3. Join Bliss & Bokeh’s email list through the Newsletter tab on our Facebook page!

Best of luck!

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{image by KT Merry}

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Template_2Happy Launch Day!

It’s with incredible excitement for each of us at Bliss & Bokeh that we finally introduce you all to the amazing Charleston-based retreat we’ve been carefully curating for months now! We’re still finalizing all of the pretty little details we have planned for our attendees, but we have no doubt this is an experience you don’t want to miss! We’d love for you to take a few minutes to browse our beautiful new site – thank you to our talented designer, Becky Hoppmann of Gracious Brands! A big thank you also to KT Merry for the beautiful images on our site! We’re tremendously grateful to each of our speakers, sponsors and contributors for making this opportunity possible!

Now, the reason we’re all here… With a limited number of registrations available, there is no time like the present to REGISTER and secure your spot to Bliss & Bokeh 2013! You won’t regret it!

Hope to see you all soon!

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