An exciting time to be a "creative"

Don't you think it is an exciting time to be a "creative?"

A couple years ago I saw a TED presentation online where Sir Ken Robinson talked about how after years of stifling creativity and art, society is slowly coming around to embrace it. In education, we push reading, writing and arithmetic, while the arts receives significantly less emphasis. And those who excel in art, but struggle with the Three Rs, are often labeled as challenged.

Robinson's presentation was three years ago, and it's pretty obvious that even in that short time period, things have changed. Today, all across America we see urban renewal as people are moving back to the cities to embrace a life of social and cultural awareness. Creative individuals are starting businesses left and right that yesterday would have never been possible. Now more than ever, the axiom holds true: If you can dream it, you can do it.

As I've spent the past couple months working with my alma mater on a long-term project, it has been exciting to see the changes that have taken place in the 13 years since I graduated from high school (wow, that hardly seems possible!). They have totally embraced the arts and added additional music programs to what was already a really strong music program. They have added an outstanding fine-arts lab and a really cool digital media lab. They have an amazing wood-working shop and a great life-skills lab. When I was a student much of the above seemed only an afterthought. I was excited to find the positive changes.

As business owners ourselves, Joy and I are passionate about watching others start and grow their businesses. There are few things as exciting as pouring your heart into a craft that you love and watching it grow into a flourishing business.

Another creative business that we're excited about is Chaviano Bridal Couture. When Annette Thurmon hired us three years ago to photograph her wedding in Atlanta, we were excited. We're always excited when a bride hires us. But what was especially exciting about Annette was that she was designing her own dress. She showed us a sketch and we thought, "okay, this girl is serious!"

Annette and Jared had a beautiful September wedding and we had a blast photographing them. Fast-forward a couple years and Annette was working as a registered nurse (remember when Joy used to do that?). On the side and in her spare time, she was working on a series of gowns so that she could launch her own label, Chaviano Bridal Couture.

In January, we were thrilled to be the first photographers to photograph Annette and her gowns. For the past few months these pics have been burning a hole in my computer screen, but we didn't want to share them until her website was live. All I can say is "wow!"

Now you couldn't tell by these images, but it was one of the coldest winter days I remember. The high was around 20 and the low around 10. The building we photographed in didn't have electricity, so no heat. Annette wore a thick jacket and every time I would set up a shot, she'd wait until the last minute before removing the jacket so we could shoot. Meanwhile, the rest of us stayed bundled. And I'm happy to report that everything went well and none of us went home sick.

Here are a couple behind the scenes pics.

Honestly, I can only remember two times in my life when I've ever been so cold. Once was one night in Chicago when Joy and I were walking along Michigan Ave in a snow storm and I was wearing penny loafers and super-thin gold toe socks...don't laugh...we were young and just married and I didn't know any better! And the second time was when I was in high school and we were snowed in and without electricity for five days, so I took a cold shower because I couldn't stand myself any longer. Anyhow, I digress...

Congratulations, Annette! We couldn't be more excited for you. We're thrilled that you're chasing your dream and we wish you all the success in the world. The timing is right and it's there for the taking.

I'll end with a quote from Annette's site: "There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart...pursue those."


Katie Torres said...

Absolutely gorgeous! We are so proud of you both. Such an amazing shoot!

Alex Rodriguez said...

Fabulous images.

Brandy J Rammel said...

I have told you this before and I will tell you again, these are breathtaking. So many great things happening here. The designer looking beyond regal in her gowns, the photographers who were there with her from the very beginning...I just love it all!

Congratulations to sweet Annette. I am excited to see where this takes her. And congratulations to you guys for once again pushing the envelope and coming up with some truly extraordinary work.

We love you all!

Unknown said...

I agree: Regal is the key word here!

Stunning imagery guys.

And Garrett, you look pretty Regal too in that cute hat :)

Congrats on such a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with fellow creatives!


sticky said...

Garrett, I didn't know that you even owned a hat!

The gowns are beautiful, Annette! Congratulations and best wishes.

Amazing imagery again. Breath-taking!

Jackie Beale said...

wow these gowns are beautiful! Very classy and worth every penny!! You can just tell all the love she put into these. I've been reading your blog and admiring your work and you guys are very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourselves. I live in Volusia County, not too far from you guys I think. Where is this building located? It would be awesome to do a day after session here!! :)

Mel McLellan said...

Wow! Annette - these dresses are insanely gorgeous and Garrett - you did such a great job capturing them!