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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Carlo Carletti

Preparing for a Wedding in Tuscany Italy

wedding photo taken at the Gargonza Castle, medieval village situated on a hill dominating the Val di Chiana valley

A wedding is always a new adventure, a surprise event that will certainly find a place in my heart and live forever as a unique experience. In nearly 20 years of professional experience this is the take-away: 2 weddings never turn out the same. It may be the chemistry between the couple, friends, relatives and myself, at times it's the stunning surroundings which trigger emotions and behaviors constantly changing during the wedding. The fact is I'm always a bit tense as I approach the location of the wedding - you never know what the impact with the couple is going to be like.

Wedding at Podere Finerri, Asciano - Crete Senesi

Yes there has been an intense exchange of Emails leading up to the wedding day, and yes there have also been some phone calls across the Atlantic or the Channel (for couples getting married in Italy from the UK) but on the day of the wedding everything changes, we finally meet and they are nervous, especially the bride. It's a real challenge to perform at your very best - emotions and excitement are flowing freely and must be captured, demanding absolute attention, creativity and intuition, discretion and inspiration. Contemporary photojournalistic photography is all about being spontaneous and capturing a moment in time, be it in the crowd, or with the couple in their final preparations before the wedding begins.

Wedding in Certaldo, charming medieval walled town of Etruscan and Roman origins set on top of a hill in the province of Florence

Comfort and body space are key elements to a successful wedding photography reportage: we all have a "comfort zone" beyond which nobody should venture - my job is to find that boundary and stay just outside it, without invading privacy. Breaking the ice and getting to know the couple quickly builds up to establishing a relationship I use to put them at ease and trigger a flow of events I'll capture on camera.

Wedding at Villa di Catignano, near Siena is one of the most romantic places in Tuscany to get married: an old, fairy-tale country house in Italian style framed by olive trees and an idilic panoramic view over the surrounding landscape and Siena.

What makes Tuscany so special? I love Tuscany, not only because I was born and live here, but because it truly is a beautiful land rich in history and traditions, offering such a wide variety of locations for unique and romantic weddings with a tremendous emotional impact, few other destinations in Italy or the rest of the world have to offer.


Tuscany Packs a Punch

Weddings in Tuscany are celebrated on the seaside but mostly in the numerous countryside locations or the art cities (Siena and Florence). I owe so much to this land where I learned to picture places and people, a passion I have always had and expressed early on in life as a photo reporter for local papers. I began my career as a wedding photographer in Italy here in Tuscany: roots are an essential part of our life. My wedding photography wouldn’t be the same if I hadn't been nurtured and grown up in Tuscany.

About the Author:

Carlo Carletti is a Top Wedding Photographer for exclusive Weddings in Italy, the only wedding photographer who has won the WPJA Award twice. Carlo is well known in Italy and abroad, frequently requested for exclusive weddings worldwide. Contact Carlo at

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bougie Girl Audio: The Using

I wrote "The Using" a few years back.  Since then, people have asked me whether this essay was based on personal experience... The answer to their query has no bearing on the meaning behind this essay.

The message that I wished to convey in "The Using" was that scheming, plotting, and manipulating your way into someone's heart will ultimately cause you to end up in a proverbial moving truck by yourself.

Listen to "The Using"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Man God Has For Me...

The path towards the man God has for me has been filled with darkness and very little light...

I believe that the man whom God has for me will celebrate my quirkiness,  gently call me out on my BS, and be emotional ready for our journey together.Admittedly, there are days in which impatience gets the better of me and I find myself feeling frustrated about the state of my love life. In the past I have pried open the proverbial door of  love without any thought of how my hasty actions were negatively impacting me.

Now, I am rockin' a new attitude of patience and yes, even a sense of humor about the whole process.

It's in God's hands now...where it belongs.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Bougie Girl Creativity: Carving Out Time For Creativity

Carving out time for creativity can feel like an uphill climb...

Creativity is an important aspect in all of our lives.

I am challenging you to spend at least 20 minutes a day in pursuit of a creative endeavor. A creative endeavor can be anything from cooking, snapping photos using your cell phone camera, sewing, writing, sketching, painting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, sculpting, and/flower arranging to name a few.

The following websites are great for an extra boost of creativity:

1. The Accidental Creative
2. Dumb Little Man 
3. Jazz24
4. All Free Crafts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guest Blogger: Jason Greiner on Photography

Bird of Paradise by Jason Greiner

I’ve always had a number of artistic interests. But sometime around 12 years ago or so, I really began to develop an affinity for photography.

I was about 20 years old when I began to take this medium seriously. Before that time, like nearly everybody else out there, I had really only dealt with snapshots. And these snapshot where generally taken with either a film-based point and shoot camera, something of the old instant photo variety or one of those ultra convenient disposable jobs. It was at this point that I was given the gift of my first real digital camera.

But at this time, for some reason I began to really start to think about my legacy and the precious element of time. I found that the art of photography gave me the ability to achieve something so simple yet at the same time so profound. This was the ability to freeze a single moment in time, to capture it and hold onto it for all of eternity.

So, as my passion grew, I studied the craft. I did so by reading vigorously and seeking to learn from the experience and guidance or local professionals and long-time photography enthusiasts. I experimented with different techniques and was always in search of new subject matter on which to focus.

I wanted to make my passion my career. But at the same time, I knew that I couldn’t just abandon my day job as an office assistant at a local university. I couldn’t just risk everything for an unknown future. So, I decided to found a side business which would allow me to work with my photography on a by appointment only basis. This was one way to assure that it would no interfere with my main job and other responsibilities.

Since that day in mid-2007, I’ve had a wonderful ride. The opportunities to shoot photographs in some beautiful locations, of fascinating scenes and of some really amazing people has been a truly enriching experience. 

Now, I can only hope and wish that others will have the chance to enjoy working with photography as much as I have.


Jason Greiner is a photographer and literary artist from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from college in 2002 with a BA in journalism and mass communications with a minor in English literature. In 2007, he founded the Three Rivers Creative Arts company based in the Mount Washington neighborhood of the city.

New Developments!

Last month, I made the conscious decision to a make a few changes on this blog. One of them being that I have started accepting submissions from Guest Bloggers on the topics of creativity and food.

I chose these topics because they are near and dear to me. Immersing myself in the creative process (whether mine or someone else's)  provides a lot of inspiration for me. In addition,  I am also jazzed to learn  even more about food via the Guest Bloggers whom will also be posting from time to time.

Sit back and watch the slow but, steady expansion of this blog.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Site Of The Moment: Madison Heights Jewelry

I purchased this bracelet from Madison Heights Jewelry .  I feel like a queen whenever I wear it!

I love the intricate detail of this jewelry line and all of the pieces are one-of-a-kind.

Show them some love on their Madison Heights Jewelry Facebook page!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Freewriting Series: The Clearing

 Back in November, I walked past this area and it was filled with trees. A couple of weeks ago, I observed that a majority of the trees had been removed. After speaking with a few people, I discovered that said trees were removed over a month ago.

Why did it take me at least month to notice that the trees were missing? Perhaps,  I took for granted that those trees would always be there. Are there other aspects of my life which I am currently taking for granted?

Will I walk by one day and look up to see that they too are gone?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fix Yo' Man A Plate!

I created this T-shirt based on an essay I wrote entitled: "Fix Yo' Man A Plate". 

This essay was based on a real life experience which occurred during my sophomore year of college.  The elder women in my family chastised me for not cheerfully fixing my man a plate during a family gathering. Of course, being 20 years old at the time, I was so convinced that conveying of any type submissive behavior was tantamount to being weak.

It took another ten years or so before I acknowledged that the elder women in my family were indeed wise in their advice about the importance of lovingly fixing your man a plate.  Back then, I masked my insecurity with the relationship via feminist rantings directed at my  then significant other. 

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2011, I am running around the kitchen making sure kids are fed, fixing up plates for the single men in the family, and feeling super-nurturing towards the world in general.

Now, I know that some of the womenfolk out there are not gonna be pleased with this directive. Perhaps, you have no clue on how to plan a menu or even cook for that matter. Remember, most men are easy to please when it comes to food.

They aren't expecting you to whip up Beef Wellington every night. In most cases, they would be pleased with a grilled Provolone cheese sandwich on wheat bread with a couple of slices of turkey, a steaming bowl of vegetable minestrone, and a scoop of French vanilla ice cream for dessert.

If you are too busy to cook full on meals on regular, then consider fixing him up a snack plate. Snack plates take only about 10 to 20 minutes to prepare and he will really appreciate the time that you took to prepare it.

Fixing yo' man a plate on a regular basis is simple way of showing him how much you cherish his presence in your life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Honesty Monologues: Seeds of Love and Personal Growth in 2012

What kind of seeds are you planting in 2012?

Fresh starts are crucial for personal growth. The above photo was taken in a nearby park. This empty field is the ideal place to plant a new crop of trees and flowers.

  • Will you choose to plant new seeds of love and personal growth? 
  • Will you find yet another excuse to plant toxic seeds into the fresh field of a new year?
  • Will you continue to rock that same tale of woe or will you  finally overcome it to create a new reality for yourself?
  • Will you ever gain the courage to cut ties with those poison-filled situations which are leaving you unfulfilled and emotionally stunted?
  • Is this the year that you accept people for who they truly are and not who you need them to be?
  • Are you ready to cease and desist being stuck in a situation/marriage/relationship which you desperately want out of?
  • Are you going to muster up the courage to make healthier choices that will give you a bountiful harvest of love and personal growth?
Alas, I am unable to answer these questions for you.

However, I know from personal experience that my life vastly improved once I was able to answer them for myself.

What does 2012 look like for you?

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