Tag Archives: bridal portraits

Supporting the Renaissance of Film

09 | 30 | 2014

Gia Canali PhotographyThose of you who know me well know that I’m pretty quiet about how I make my photographs lest the details distract (or detract!) from an emotional connection to my images. But, there’s good cause for me to break my silence and interrupt the regularly scheduled wedding-photo tips today.  CineStill Film has launched a Kickstarter campaign to start manufacturing a medium format version of one of my favorite films, 800T!  800T is converted from motion picture film and it’s a high speed tungsten balanced film.

Gia Canali Photography

first dance at the parker palm springs by gia canali

I love 800T because it lets me make photos with a gorgeous color film in low light where normally my only choices would be digital (for color) or black and white (for film).  I’ve been loving getting the best of both worlds—I can’t get enough of it in 35mm!—and would be over the moon to get to shoot this film in medium format.  I’m already dreaming of the kind of images I’ll be able to make with Cinestill and my Rollei, Contax, Mamiya, and my little army of toy cameras, too!

girl leaping by gia canali

This film is super versatile, so much so that I get great results shooting it in low light and everywhere I’m not really supposed to—in full daylight, in mixed light, window light, just after the sun goes down, et cetera.  The colors are rich and unique with a fairly stunning dynamic range.  It sounds kind of obvious, but this emulsion really does have a cinematic feel.

Gia Canali PhotographyIf the project gets funded, not only will we get to make images with this one very special film stock, it’ll open up the door to other stocks and different formats, which is pretty heartening news altogether.  These Cinestill guys are choosing to BE the difference they wanted to see in the analog film industry!

back of the bride's beautiful gown by gia canaliintimate dinner reception table top by gia canaliindoor ballroom reception by gia canali

Quite a lot of you readers and clients are photographers yourselves, and many of you love film as much as I do.  And we are all hoping beyond all hope that we get to keep making photographs with real analog film for our whole lives, so, let’s support this together.  Every roll we shoot really counts in ensuring a future of film.  And I believe whole-heartedly that we should put our money where our priorities are. So if you have a medium format camera that’s hungry for film, please go to the Kickstarter page and consider backing the project and share it around with all your filmy friends!

Gia Canali Photography

group portrait on beach at sunset by gia canali

All photographs by Gia Canali on cinestill 800T

 

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Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s Wedding: Wedding Day, Part 1

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the bride and groom kis

We’re so excited to be able to share Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s wedding photos with our readers. You may have seen a few photos in People Magazine a while back, but here are lots more from the whole weekend celebration. I just adore Molly and Scott (and baby Brooks and the doggies!), and am so happy for them. Molly was the best bride! Even though she’s a supermodel and has cameras on her all the time, she has the perfect sense of balance between camera un-awareness and a readiness to get the few posed photos she and I wanted. She was easy, happy, and “in the moment.” We’ve talked about how fast it all goes by, so that’s really important!

Although I think her intangibles (like her super happy, super easy-going attitude!) are the most achievable (and most affordable!) ideas to steal for your own wedding, I think you’ll love Molly’s style. Her dress by Marchesa was perfect for her, as were the bridesmaids’ custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy gowns. We love the whimsical signs, florals and decor (note the Moroccan wedding rug!), and the sweet vintage touches that celebrity wedding planners Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren helped design and produce for Molly and Scott’s wedding at a private estate in Calistoga.

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Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly and her bridesmai

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Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the ceremony setup undeMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - hanging floral arrangem Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - hand lettered wedding s

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~ ♥ ~

P.S. ELEW was the coolest! Molly met him at a DKNY show and knew right away that she wanted him to play at her wedding and told him as much (even though she didn’t even have the guy, yet!).

photos: Gia Canali Photography

event design & production: Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren; florals, Kimm, The Velvet Garden; venue: private winery estate in Calistoga, California; vintage tabletop items: Vintage Table Co; ceremony & cocktail music: Elew; DJ, Michelle Pesce; video, Bliss Productions; lighting: Got Light; bridesmaid dresses: custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy; Molly’s wedding gown: Marchesa; Scott’s attire, Tom Ford LA; bride’s hair, Davy Newkirk; bride’s makeup: Monika Prensena; invites, Mr. Boddington; day-of paper: Tiny Pine Press; bride’s jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz

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A Handmade Wedding Gift

08 | 04 | 2011

One of the things we did with Jess’s bridal portraits was make a gift for TJ.  Jess chose a photograph and, in the weeks before the wedding, I printed it in one of my favorite styles.  My friend Jennifer, of Tiny Pine Press, stitched the photograph to fabric, along with a few blank pieces of paper so Jess could write TJ a note to accompany the photograph.  Jennifer also handmade a beautiful paper folder, with a tiny twig clasp.

{click any image for a closer view}

photographs: Gia Canali; handmade folder and stitchin’, Tiny Pine Press

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Jess’s Fine Art Bridal Portrait Session

08 | 03 | 2011

The great thing about bridal portrait sessions, as opposed to weddings, is that you have the real luxury of having time to make portraits, slowly.  I mean: I love the challenge and the rush of making portraits happen in the swirl of the events and obligations of a wedding day (what wedding photographer doesn’t?!).  And Jess’s session was slower than most because we intentionally sought to make images on our slowest, most deliberate cameras.

Bridal sessions are about the bride and certainly also about her exquisite refinery.  Jess’s dress was designed and lovingly crafted by Suzanne Hanley of Atelier des Modistes.  Sue is a genius designer and I feel lucky to count her among my friends.   I particularly love the lace chevrons (though, seriously, I can’t fathom how much time it took her and her team to make those) and the bustle, which reminds me so much of the wild, wild west.  Jess’s bridal session is also featured {here} on 100 Layer Cake today, with an interview from Jess about the custom dressmaking process.

Neither one of us could have known that Jess’s wedding day would bring rain (or rainbows) and mud or that the slow moments in the day could be counted on the fingers of two hands, so I am extra grateful we made time early in the summer before her wedding to make these portraits.

Jess found other value in making these images.  This is what she wrote:

“I thought it was really helpful to do the portrait session before, because it was an excellent introduction to you and Matt, and how you like to work. It was also great for me to hear some tips from you on posture, how to stand, how to act, etc., before the “main event,” so to speak. It was certainly a little more challenging to take photos alone, as opposed to how much more natural and easy it felt when I was with TJ.  But I think for people who haven’t been photographed much before [their weddings], it’s a great introduction. Plus seeing these initial proofs, I could then say to myself—well, I like it when I smile like this or that, and I love how my hair and makeup looks in these photos, and so onso it was a great dry run overall.”

photographs: Gia Canali

gown: Sue Hanley, Atelier des Modistes, whose little shop in San Francisco I featured awhile back; hair and makeup: Sharon Tabb.

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Things I Like: An Heirloom Lace Veil (& a Good Story)

05 | 17 | 2011

{click to enlarge}

I consider myself a collector of stories (sometimes a creator of them, but not in this case).  In this case, the story is even better than I’d imagined when I first came across this veil of exquisite beauty in the tiny bridal room at Stanford Chapel the morning of Louise’s wedding.  As she and I conversed (both there and since), and I learned more about the veil, I thought you folks might love this story as much as I do.

Connecting with the things our forebears have done for centuries is a powerful reason people get married and have weddings (and why it is an institution in all our human culture).  But getting to so tangibly, so physically connect to that past is one the rarest and most extraordinary privileges.

Plus: don’t you kind of love to imagine ladies with excruciatingly delicate fingers embroidering this lace by hand … over 150 years ago?!

From the bride:

“My grandmother grew up in San Francisco, and lived in an apartment building with her mother. They became close with Mrs. Kane, a woman down the hall who had no children of her own. When my grandmother was engaged, the neighbor loaned her a lace veil that had been handmade for *her* grandmother on her wedding day, but the neighbor never wore since she eloped.  The veil is well over a hundred years old! My grandma wore the veil when she married my grandfather in San Francisco in 1949. When they had three daughters of their own—Katie, Nyna and Mary Lou—Mrs. Kane decided the lace veil should be passed into our family permanently. Katie wore the veil when she was married in 1975; Nyna, who is my mother, wore the veil when she married my father in 1977; and Mary Lou wore the very same lace veil on her wedding day in 1980. From generation to generation, the antique lace will continue to be passed down to brides in the family, and I wore this same veil on my wedding day in March 2011.  My cousin Carrie will wear the lace next for her wedding on July 4, 2011.”
Lace worn:
Veil and collar:  Carolyn Tilton married to George Magee Cunningham, Jr.  July 30, 1949
veil and collar:  Nyna Lynn Cunningham married to William Dana Dolby, July 9, 1977
Veil and collar:  Mary Louise Cunningham married to Rex Douglas White, July 26, 1980
Collar and handkerchief lace on veil cap:  Kathleen Ann Cunningham married to Scott Norman Lamb, August 1975
Veil:  Louise Gabrielle Dolby married to Brian Everett Schultze, March 19, 2011
Collar:  Carolyn Elizabeth Judson to be married to Justin Urso, July 4, 2011
The veil was also borrowed and worn by the daughter of a good friend of my mom’s for her wedding in 2009.
photo: Gia Canali
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