just leap...

What did you do with your extra day today? We were sent home early from work due to a city-wide power outage... a little excitement for the day, although it took me twice as long to actually get home. Treating major intersections as four-way stops reaaally slows down traffic. I planned to do a little reading, but then actually fell asleep for an hour long nap. I guess I needed it!

I've been thinking a lot lately about goals, wishes, and far off dreams. I tend to over-analyse these things only looking at the end result and all the work ahead. I realized I need to just go for things, just start somewhere... anywhere... to get things going. Otherwise you're just staring at a huge to-do list, feeling paralyzed to start, right?

How do you push through the beginning stages of a far-off goal?

Photos: My own, from film
P.S. I'm on Instagram! If you'd like to follow along you can find me @daniellamz


under cover...

Cold and windy outdoors. Cozy and warm indoors...

Photos: My own, from film

for the love of film {no.9}...

Hoping to get back to regular posting here on the blog, as I finally finished that roll of film...

Today, i'm excited to share the work of Elisabeth from Weepy Hollow blog. I had a really hard time narrowing down which photos to post, as Elisabeth's photos are all so fascinating to me. Her photography is full of emotion and capture a certain magical feeling. Each post on her blog brings something interesting and original. Elisabeth also has a book out called "Fables", which is a collection of photographs based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. You can take a peek here, or pop by her blog... and be sure to read her interview below, enjoy!

First off, what do you love the most about film photography?

I love that film is tangible. I love that you can trap some passing part of the world onto a bit of material, and that you can actually hold it in your hands. That's not something you can do with digital photography. It is truly and completely magic to me.

What kind of camera(s) do you use? Do you have a preferred brand/type of film?

The cameras I use the most often include a Zenit B, Minolta Maxxum, Diana F+ and Polaroid Spectra. I've recently been dabbling with a medium-format Argus 40 that is quirky. I would really love to invest in a german TLR sometime in the future. They shoot so beautifully. I try to experiment with different films, but Kodak Portra is commonly my companion.

What would you say inspires your style the most?

The fact that humans are intricate creatures. I love to photograph what makes us human, be it aged, imperfect, exciting, tragic, or whatever else. Anything that makes a human heart flutter, I would like to photograph.

How do you go about setting up the perfect shot? Do you have any photography "rules" that you keep in mind?

I adore natural lighting, I never use flash or light meters. Otherwise, I don't follow any rules or have any expectations. That would be rather limiting, I would imagine.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

In order to take a good photograph, you must have equally important knowledge of two things: your camera, and what it is in the world you find beautiful. If you know these things well, you will produce good photographs.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?

I love the film work of Annette Pehrsson and Maggie Lochtenberg. There are many artists similar to them whose work I have fallen in love with, just young women who, like myself, ardently love film and use it often.

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

France. Normandy, in particular- if my soul were a photograph, it would look something like that place, I would imagine.

Where do usually develop your film?

I generally go to my local drug store. Whenever I shoot something that I care a bit more about, I take it to a professional studio to get it sent out.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?

It changes with the season. It changes with the time of day. It could change with anything, really.

Thanks for participating Elisabeth!

Photos: Elisabeth Dare from Weepy Hollow, all from film


winter lull...

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of posting lately. I was battling a cold last week, and then the weekend brought some unexpected news. Needless to say, i've been a bit distracted. February is flying by, but Winter continues on, and i'm finding myself ready for brighter days, buds on the trees, and using a lot less washer fluid. I have half a roll of film in my camera, but finding it hard to get out there and shoot. It's that mid-winter lull... are you feeling it too?

Photos: My own, from film.


tea for two...

A few weekends ago my Mother and I headed to a tea house for lunch in a nearby town. It was a little cramped in the tiny, "white house", but the tiers of treats, scones, and tiny sandwiches happily reminded me of my last few trips to Scotland. Although nothing compares to tea and scones with Granny, it's still fun to enjoy the afternoon ritual every once and a while. I have this secret wish to one day open up my own tea house, complete with sparkling chandeliers and the prettiest floral teacups... how fun would that be?

Photos: My own, from film. A little yellow from the indoor lighting though.


happy valentine's day...

This year I had wanted to make these pretty paper heart strings that Erin from Reading My Tea Leaves had made (I also love these cookies and these little notes from her site), but unfortunately, I just didn't get around to it. Next year, I suppose!

Rick and I celebrated on the weekend, with a Valentine's dinner & dance at our wedding venue. Each year they put on a full event for every couple that's getting married that year, in place of individual taste testings. It was great to see how a full-out event worked, the service, and how the night would unfold. We also made roast chicken and potatoes on Saturday night, and spent quite a few hours watching True Blood episodes (very romantic eh? ha!). Rick was scheduled to work this evening, so I might enjoy a cup of tea and a valentine's cupcake to myself... we'll see.

Hope you're all having a lovely Valentine's Day!


ruby red...

Lately i've been having grapefruit almost every morning. The sweet, citrus fruit has been so good these past few weeks that's it's hard not to crave it. I love cutting each segment away from it's skin, but then squeeze whatever juice is left out of each peel into the bowl. Makes for a nice "cup" of grapefruit juice afterwards.

What's on your breakfast menu lately?

Photo: My own, from film


wedding wednesday {no.16}...

A few weeks ago I went to visit my friend Amanda to talk about letterpress printing my save-the-dates and wedding invitations (insert high-pitched squeal of delight here!). Amanda has a new studio called Silverplate Press where she's been printing some beautiful pieces from polymer plates, wood and lead type. I've always wanted to have my wedding invitations letterpress printed, so to be able to have a friend do that for us, makes it all the more special. There's just something about that soft, thick paper and the feeling of the pressed design that's so wonderful. Plus, all the work that goes into it!

As I snapped some pictures, we had tea with our friend Sandi, talked paper and ink colours, and did a few fun prints without ink. The type isn't set up how she'd normally do it, but it was just a quick test so I could see how it all works. I even had a go at the giant paper cutter, that can slice through a phonebook with barely any effort at all. Smooth and straight!

I'm looking forward to sending our family and friends the final results, and i'll be sure to share a sneak peek here as well. Who knew that 9 years after meeting in college, Amanda would be printing my wedding invitations? So great how things turn out...

P.S. How cute is her cat, Sushi?
Photos: My own, from film


evening sky...

The days are getting longer, and the evening sky, brighter... it's nice not to leave work in darkness anymore.

Photo: My own, from film


for the love of film {no.8}...

I first came across Holly Cromer's beautiful work after I received a note from her, that she was enjoying the film series just as much as I am! I was so glad Holly told me about her own photography work, as her film photos are gorgeous, capturing every little detail with the perfect amount of grain. Check out Holly's interview below, and be sure to pop by her site and flickr page too...

First off, what do you love the most about film photography?

What I love most about film, is the same thing I hate most about film when I get a bad set of prints back, you don't really know what you are going to get back when it develops. I have had light leaks that made boring pictures look gorgeous and photos that I thought were going to turn out stellar that have come back completely out of focus with a bad multiple exposure. I also love that using film makes me spend extra time making sure that photos are composed better because I don't want to waste a single frame.

What kind of camera(s) do you use? Do you have a preferred brand/type of film?

I have a 35mm Holga which I rarely use anymore. My go-to camera is the Canon Elan IIe, I love being able to share my lenses between my film SLR and DSLR. For film, I'm not really very choosy. A couple years ago I bought a huge box of expired Kodak 400 film that I have been working my way through. I want to try some of the Lomography films next and I have a roll of Revolog Tesla film that I've been saving for the perfect occasion.

What would you say inspires your style the most?

I'm not exactly sure what I would say inspires my style most, I always shoot wide open looking for ugly things to try to depict in a beautiful way, and of course pretty things to make look even dreamier. I've always been a collector of sorts, now I collect things as images instead of actually physically acquiring them so I can share with others.

How do you go about setting up the perfect shot? Do you have any photography "rules" that you keep in mind?

I've never really been one to follow the rules. I only even remember a couple of the rules of photography from when I took a class almost 10 years ago. I do keep the rule of thirds in mind, but I don't follow it unless it gives me an interesting focal point.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

I still think of myself as a beginner most of the time (maybe I always will, it seems like there is no limit on what you can do or learn with photography). I think it's a good idea to take a notebook with you everywhere you go to write down ideas you might have for photos. When you add photos as your favorites on other sites really think about what it is that you like about the image then put it in your notebook. Read photography books, I can't finish a fiction piece anymore no matter how hard I try, but I can read a photography book cover to cover in one day. I just want to know it all!

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

I've fallen madly in love with the work of Davis Ayer recently. I follow so many amazing photographers on Flickr that it's really hard to choose. As far as wedding photography on film goes, Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina never cease to amaze me.

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

Honestly, I have hardly traveled out of the state of Virginia in the past three years so just about anywhere sounds good. Right now I have four locations on my "wish list" to visit: Cape Cod, road trip across California, Florida Keys, and New York. And just about anywhere out of the country would surely knock my socks off (like maybe backpacking across Europe). For subjects to photograph, just a variety of portraits of people from all different walks of life plus whatever lovely tiny details I might pass along the way.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?
This one has been my favorite since I got the prints back from the lab: I have a huge framed print of it in my home, however it is not very popular with other folks. I was using a one-use underwater camera and can hardly open my eyes under the water so it is a miracle that it turned out so beautifully.

Dear Readers: Are there any burning questions you have about film photography? Send me a note, as i'd like to add a couple different questions for each interview! Also, if you shoot a lot of film photography or know of someone who's work you admire, please do let me know! I'm always looking for more people to feature for the series.

Photos: Holly Cromer, from film



One of the things i've been continuing from the Whole Living Action Plan, is having healthy snacks on hand at work. It stops those 3pm visits to the vending machine (who are we kidding with those "baked chips"?) and helps to make much better decisions when it comes to dinner plans. Seems like an obvious thing to do, but I just wasn't planning well enough ahead of time to make sure I always have some good, non-processed food with me.

Lately I've been bringing a lot of fruit... pears, grapefruit, oranges, apples, bananas, and other things like raisins, oatmeal, celery with organic peanut butter, and a nut mix. The nut mix is really easy and there's so many ways to mix it up. Just gather a bunch of your favourite nuts and toast them in the oven for about 10-15 mins at 350˚ (just keep an eye on them). I usually add some raisins after, and next time I think i'll add a little 70% dark chocolate. Much better mix than the salty, store-bought kinds!

What are your favourite healthy snacks?

Photo: My own, from film.