chantal stone photography: the blog

May 4, 2008

Handmade Plantable Wedding Invitations!

Filed under: Green,Make A Difference,Weddings — chantal @ 11:20 pm

Have I mentioned before that I LOVE my clients?!? I think that what helps to make great Wedding photography is to have a great relationship with your clients, and I am so happy to say that I LOVE them! It’s such a huge honor to part of their day, to be trusted with their memories. I take my job very seriously, and by investing in the relationship, it makes documenting their Wedding that much more important to me personally. Good or bad, the personal investment I have in my clients is what I love about my job, and they seem to like it too!

So how excited was I to receive an invitation in the mail to one of the Weddings I am photographing next month?!? I was ecstatic! Natalie & Michael are getting married soon and they sent me an invitation!! I have been looking forward to this wedding since our fantabulous engagement session last year, so to receive an invitation makes me feel like so much more than just a vendor, it makes me feel like a friend and I am so honored to spend the day with them!

But not only was the fact that sent me an invitation so great, the actual invitation is the most amazing thing! They purchased their invitations from Botanical Paperworks, a company that makes stationary that is “plantable paper”. The papers are made with post-consumer waste and has real seeds in the paper, so that once you’re finished, you can PLANT THE PAPER and grow real flowers! Isn’t that cool?!?

I know there are plenty of people who are looking for GREEN alternatives when planning their Weddings, so I thought this was a fantastic idea and I wanted to pass it along!

Also: Notice the stamp on the envelope? Another great idea for engagement photos. Make your own stamps at Stamps.com!

Thanks Natalie 🙂

April 19, 2008

Project Childhood

When I was in high school, I was the one most likely to change the world. I started my school’s student chapter of Amnesty International, I was the youngest member of our small city’s only environmental group and I was a member of Greenpeace. I helped organize and attend Earth Day events. I was a member of the Model U.N. I always understood the importance of community service and knew that no matter what it was that I did in life as an adult, I wanted to somehow give back. Now that I’m a professional photographer, it’s still so important to me to use my talents to give back and uplift others. And I’m really excited about a new organization designed to do just that.

I recently learned about a new non-profit organization of professional photographers and students called Project Childhood. From the Project Childhood website:

Project Childhood, which corresponds with Child Abuse Prevention Month during the month of April, is about creating a unified front among professional photographers in order to accomplish one goal: TO CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD.

I found Project Childhood via Laura Novak’s blog, and I don’t think she’ll mind if I plagiarize what she wrote:

1. The overall goal is to provide a web gallery of photos that will ultimately seek to inspire others to see the beauty of childhood. It will be a site meant to CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD, a site filled with content by those who spend each day doing just that through the art of photography.

2. By offering a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it, each photographer is making a significant difference in that child’s life. If nothing else, those parents will have a picture on their wall of their child. A picture to celebrate, and that child will grow up knowing that someone took the time to make a difference..

3. By donating the session fee to a children’s charity of his or her choice, each photographer will be making a difference in the community and contributing to a cause that they feel warrants financial assistance.

During the month of April to celebrate Child Abuse Awareness they are having a great contest…

Working on the honor system, professional photographers from across the globe will be asked to complete the following:

1. Offer a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford one, and then provide the parents with a free portrait from the session that captures the essence of childhood.

2. Donate your session fee to a children’s charity of your choice.

3. Submit the photo to PROJECT CHILDHOOD along with a link to your charity.

4. The contest is limited to three entries per photographer, but each submission must be of a different child, and must be submitted under the following assumption: You have donated your session fee for each child to a children’s charity of your choice.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is May 7, 2008 at 11:59 PM PST.

WINNER(S): As of now, the best picture will awarded a free site from BluDomain, One TypePad blog for life, and one logo from Piece of Cake Designs. The judges? 32 high school photography and video production students. The winner, along with three runners-up, will also be showcased in a featured gallery section on the site with several images and an interview.

I definitely plan to participate, and if you’re a photographer I hope you do as well. All I need is a subject! So if you are located in the Greater Columbus area and you have a child or know of a child who’s family can not afford a personal, high-end photo shoot, then please contact me at chantal [at] chantalstonephotography.com, with “Project Childhood” in the subject line. We only have a couple of weeks before the deadline, so we need to get busy!

March 3, 2008

Mid-Week Round-Up, vol.4 ~ Offers, Tips, & Lunch!

Filed under: Make A Difference,Personal — chantal @ 9:41 am

Since it’s been a few days since my last post, I figured a Mid-Week round up would be fun at the beginning of the week. Let’s get started with a cool OFFER:

1) Are you (or someone you know) PREGNANT? I’m looking for a Mom-to-be for a photo project that I am planning. One lucky future-mom will receive a YEAR of free photography and loads of other discounts. Here’s the criteria:

  • the EARLIER you are in your pregnancy the better
  • Don’t be camera shy~~ don’t worry, I won’t have you do anything that would make you uncomfortable, but I need someone willing to bare that fabulous belly (and don’t worry about stretch marks, that’s what Photoshop is for!)
  • be willing to have 6-10 photo sessions depending on how far along you are when we get started, INCLUDING a NEWBORN session.
  • At some point I’ll want to shoot a finished nursery (or nearly finished)
  • A willingness to HAVE FUN!!!

What you get:

  • FREE photo sessions
  • HUGE discounts on ALL premium prints and products including photo books and gallery wraps
  • I will give you disk of high-resolution images at the end of the project

Contact me ASAP at chantal [at] chantalstonephotography [dot] com!

2) The FEED BAG (found via bludomain.com)

feedbag.jpg

When you purchase the reusable Feed Bag, you’re buying a year’s worth of school lunches for a needy child. Sponsored by the UN World Food Program, learn more at www.feedprojects.org.

3) COOL WEDDING TIP! One of my Brides (wedding in June—I can’t wait) is having stamps made from one of her Engagement photos. How cool is it to have a personalized stamp on your wedding invitations??!!! You can have personalized stamps made too at PhotoStamps.com. I’d just be careful about purchasing a large quantity since the price of stamps will be increasing to .42 on May 12, 08.

4) VOTE EARLY! If you live in Franklin County, Ohio, then you have one left to vote early for the Primary. Because of the huge demand and the expected record voter turn-out, the Board of Elections will have extended hours today from 8am to 9pm.
Franklin County Board of Elections
280 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215

I gotta say, I am so excited for this election! Politics has NEVER been this interesting in my lifetime, and I have become a total CNN/MSNBC junkie… I’m driving my poor husband nuts! LOL

5) Am I the only totally freaked out that Easter is so early this year? March 23rd!! When I saw the calendar I was like what?!?? This year is already FLYING!

6) LUNCH! If you are a Central Ohio photographer, or if you’ll be in the area, then you don’t want to miss lunch with a group of photographers this FRIDAY. A small group of us will be having lunch this Friday at 12:30, at Champ’s at Lennox. If you need details, leave a comment or email me at chantal [at] chantalstonephotography [dot] com.

UPDATE: THE DATE/TIME OF OUR LUNCH HAS BEEN CHANGED TO MARCH 13, THURSDAY AT 12:00, SAME PLACE— CHAMP’S AT LENNOX!!

7) Okay, normally I LOVE ugly weather. I love gray, gloomy days, I love rain and snow, and I love the cold. But I am SO SICK of this winter….I’m ready for some SUN. I suppose it’s because we didn’t really receive much snow here until LATE in the season, and now it won’t seem to stop! At least today is supposed to be WARM 🙂 but with rain swiftly moving in. I’m so ready for SPRING!!

February 6, 2008

Mid-Week Round-Up vol.2, featuring Barack Obama

Filed under: Inspiration,internet,Make A Difference,Music,News,Personal — chantal @ 10:06 am

(the 2nd installment of random things I come across…)

1) Most of you have probably seen this by now, but if you haven’t, take a moment to watch. Even the biggest skeptic can’t walk away from this without feeling inspired. I love what creative minds can do…

Barack Obama – Yes We Can music video

2) Fish Lips Paper Designs. This is so cool….gift wrap with beautiful and unique designs made from 100% Post-Consumer recycled paper. (found via Anna Kuperberg’s blog)

giftwrap.jpg

3) DIY Bride. This is GREAT resource for Brides who are planning their own wedding and want everything to be FABULOUS! Get creative, often inexpensive ideas on DIY Bride. There’s a forum that you’ll need to register for, but it’s FREE.

4) Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static – It released yesterday, and from what I’ve heard so far it’s AWESOME. It usually takes a while for a new album to grow on me, but I’m a big JJ fan, and this one definitely delivers.

jj.jpg

5) BABIES!! It’s official, I have baby fever. With my last two photo shoots being all about the babies, I can’t help it! And no, I’m not going to go for #4 of my own, I want to shoot YOUR baby. So if you or anyone you know has a BABY give me a call or send me an email… I’m offering a limited time special package for BABY PHOTO SESSIONS. (email chantal@chantalstonephotography.com for details)

6) Avoid “The McWedding”. For Brides on a budget, this article is a MUST READ….in fact, the whole blog is awesome!

courtesy: Cocktails and Details, The Wedding Planners’ Fabuluxe Blog

September 6, 2007

Green Weddings

Filed under: Green,Make A Difference,Photography,Weddings — chantal @ 9:32 am

We all know by now how important is it to be environmentally responsible.  Everyone is familiar with ways to reduce one’s own carbon footprint by using less energy, recycling, reusing, etc… so I won’t list them all here.  But what a lot of people are unfamiliar with is the idea of a Green Wedding.

I’ve been looking for different way that I, as a photographer, can have a green business…or greener, at least.  Photography requires prints, after all, and printmaking is not a very green process.  But there are other things I can do, such as shooting digitally, using digital proofs instead of print proofs and only making prints for the desired photos, using all rechargeable batteries, using compact florescent lights.  I plan to donate a percentage of all profits to an environmental cause too…and I’ll post more about that another time.

Another idea I had is to offer my clients a Green alternative to traditional Wedding albums….like a Wedding album made from all recycled materials.  I’ve found a few online that I may use, but I’m still looking.  Once I find something I am happy with, I will make an announcement here.

During my search, I came across this website: Great Green Wedding,  and it’s full of tips, ideas, and suggestions for people who want to have a beautiful Wedding but with as little cost to the environment as possible.  There are ideas such as hiring caterers who use local foods, florists who use locally grown flowers, using invitations made from recycled materials, and many, many more.

I also found The World Wildlife Fund’s wedding site.  From the site:

The World Wildlife Fund Weddings and Celebrations Site and Registry provides engaged couples with the opportunity to enhance their wedding by contributing to conservation while also getting valuable information on how to plan a wedding that’s both joyous and environmentally friendly.

There’s also a list of Green Wedding  Tips, and I’ll list a few here, but go to the site to read them all….lots of great ideas here, not only for weddings, but for all special occasions.

  • When choosing a caterer, consider an organic company that uses locally sourced ingredients and certifies that any fish served comes from sustainable fishing sources and is MSC certified. You will be supporting local farmers and will reduce the carbon emissions generated in transporting the food long distances and when you’re done, donate any unused food to shelters or food banks.
  • Use flowers from your ceremony and from the bridal party to decorate the reception area.
  • Or, instead of flowers, consider using other items as the focal point of your table centerpieces, like candles, stones, or shells. Please be sure that all items chosen, in particular, shells, are sourced from vendors that assure they were harvested responsibly.
  • When choosing your dress and the attire for the groom and bridal party, consider clothes made from natural materials.
  • The internet can help you communicate all aspects of your wedding experience. There will be lots of information that needs to be disseminated so reduce the number of mailings and phone calls by setting up a wedding website and using email notifications.
  • When shopping for gifts for each other, the bridal party or those special friends and family members, be sure to choose products that use the minimal amount of packaging possible.
  • Email your engagement and wedding announcements to your local newspaper for publication instead of mailing them. It will reduce the use of toxic chemicals used in the photo developing, save paper and reduce carbon emissions in mail delivery.

If anyone else has another tips or ideas for Green Wedding albums, or anything photo related, please let me know!

August 16, 2007

Free Wedding Photography!

As many of you may already know, I am currently building my own wedding & lifestyle photography business. Starting one’s own business is definitely a labor of love… many, many ups and downs. My business has been a lifetime in the making and I am proud to announce that the official launch of Chantal Stone Photography will be in 2008 (or sooner!). (I’ll announce when my pro website is complete!)

(UPDATE: My new website can be found at www.chantalstonephotography.com. Check it out!!)

I never intended to become a wedding photographer, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. It is such an incredible honor to be chosen to document one of the most important and special days in a family’s life. Weddings are emotional, beautiful, intimate, and joyous…and after the food is eaten, the music has stopped and dresses and gowns put away, what’s left are the memories of the spectacular day, and of course the photographs.

It’s such an important job to photograph a wedding, one that I feel I was born to do. It is truly a blessing!

I have been very busy these last few months doing all sorts of things to build my portfolio, build my brand, and simply get my name out there. And now I can use your help!

I want to photograph a complete wedding for FREE sometime during 2008. No strings attached, I will do the engagement photo session, full wedding coverage and reception absolutely FREE (a $2000+ value). I am also willing to travel anywhere…as far as travel expenses, I’m sure somehow we can get it taken care of!

Here are the rules:

  1. Any couple getting married sometime in 2008 is eligible. The date and location need to already be set.
  2. Send me your story (or the story of your nomination) about why you should have your wedding photographed for free along with a recent photo of you and your fiancé.
  3. The final three couples and stories will be posted here December 16th for people to vote.
  4. The winner will be announced on December 31st .
  5. Email your story and photo, along with the date and location of your wedding to: chantal@chantalstonephotography.com with “FREE WEDDING NOMINATION” in the subject line.

So please tell your friends, tell your family, and announce it at work….tell everyone you know and help get the word out for this amazing offer. I’m so excited to be able to do what I love purely for the joy of it.

Together, we can make a deserving couple’s dream come true!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE:
I currently have the following dates UNAVAILABLE–
Feb. 22-23
March 15-16
May 16-18
June 7-8
July 4-18
November 1st
November 15-16
December 12-13
(…this list will be periodically updated)

Sorry!

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