Wedding Dress Secrets


How do some brides pull it off with their wedding dresses? Where do they shop for fantastic dresses that do not come with the prices of Balenciaga wedding frocks? If you are getting married this year, the thought might not cross your mind, but it pays to know what to do in advance.

Shop Months Ahead

Planning for the wedding covers hundreds of details for a one-day affair. If you can afford a wedding planner to do the worrying that would be great but if you opt to do the footwork yourselves, be realistic about diving the chores with your groom so you can focus on shopping for a wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, and your trousseau.

In your excitement, you might make the mistake of hundreds of brides before you. The common mistake brides make is taking too much time deciding on their wedding dresses. Ordering a wedding dress should have a margin for alterations and several fittings before it is finally ready for pick up, which in most cases is about three weeks before the wedding. Bridal shops require that you make an order at least six months before the wedding; this may seem to be too well in advance, which is correct.

In six months time, you start shopping around. When you find one that stands out from the rack of wedding dresses and discover it does not fit, there is time to make extensive alterations. If you find a dress that’s perfect but you want pearls to be added on the bodice, then that’s another time-consuming refurbishing.

Another thing, if you are planning a summer wedding get your order before the summer boom. Bridal shops are up to their neck with alterations by this time and you won’t find a shop willing to take on a rush order for wedding dresses. Unless you have a perfect figure and can fit the regular sizes and you immediately find something gorgeous, there should be no problem. But don’t bet on this.

The Custom Look Without the Expense

You might have set your sights on Oscar de la Renta wedding dresses, which are unfortunately beyond your budget. If you look around, you can find a similar style from a Tanya-Marie Bridal collection, Mari Lee collection, Jai Bridals, Alfred Sung, and Collector – for the fraction of the price of ritzy designer labels. You might be surprised at the extensive selections, the fabulous fabrics, and designs and best of all, the price for a stunning wedding dress and you can rent your wedding dress!

Advantage of One-Stop Shopping

Bridal shops have bridal packages and give away lots of discounts if you buy your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, mother-of-the-bride’s dress, wedding invitations and wedding cake from them. This saves you time and the stress of dealing with different shops. The bridal shop specialist assigned to you also works closely with you and gives you updates on your wedding stuff. These are a hundred dollars

Ordering Online

Ordering wedding dresses online is a convenience. But be very accurate with your measurements before clicking away. Ask a professional seamstress take your measurement first. Doing the measurement yourself may not be a good idea; mistakes are costly and the dress may need extensive work for a single mistake.

If the bridal shop is within your locality or just an hour’s drive away, visit the shop and try on the wedding gowns and dresses that suit your body shape and skin coloring. This eliminates future problems about fit. Now you know some of the secrets when shopping for your wedding dress.


- Written by Egypt Eve



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Videography 101 – White Balance

Hi again everyone and welcome. As I had mentioned in my previous post, I am going to go over some of the buttons/features that you may find on your camcorders.

Here is a brief list of the features that we will be covering:

-          White Balance
-          Iris Setting (aperture)
-          Shutter Speed/Angle
-          Backlight
-          Focus (manual vs. auto)
-          Zoom
-          Frame Rate (fps)

The above items or settings are commonly found on most consumer camcorders as well as professional Cameras. In principal, they all work the same; the key is in understanding what they do and how one may affect the other.

Today I will provide a brief explanation of White Balance then in subsequent posts I will go into more detail about the others individually.


White balance can also be thought of as color balance. Its function is to give the camera a reference to “true white” — since white light is the sum of all other colors, this function tells the video camera what the color white looks like so the camera will then record all colors correctly.

Incorrect white balance shows up as video recorded with orange or blue tints, as demonstrated by the following examples:



Most camcorders have an “auto-white balance” feature, which is activated when the camera operates in “full auto mode”. When on automatic, the camera performs its own white balance without any input from the operator. Unfortunately, the auto-white balance function is not particularly reliable and it is usually preferable to perform this function manually in order to obtain the best results.

White balancing can make the difference between a video that looks natural and one that looks a little off, giving the audience reason to feel as though something isn’t right.It is important to note that even the slightest shift in color can spark a subconscious uneasiness in the mind of the viewer. We know when something isn’t right, especially when looking at skin tones  and even clouds in the sky. Things may look a bit too blue (cool) or yellow (warm) as in the examples above.

This problem is caused by a difference between how cameras see things and how our eyes perceive the world. Different types of light sources “splash” surfaces with a slightly different color. This is what is called color temperature and what the cameras adjust for.

Color Temperature in video and digital photography is measured in kelvins (K). Different light sources give off a different temperature making the reflected color from objects slightly different. It is for this purpose that most manufacturers include several “presets “ on video cameras that allow for a quick color balance setting.

This table may be found in some manuals that illustrates the most comon settings found. Note that these settings are also commonly found on most point and shoot digital photography cameras.

Video White Balance

The custom setting is the most useful when shooting in environments where there are several types of light present and where the color temperature is abnormal. It will also deliver the most accurate color tones.

So where are these settings found?

The WB settings may be found either on a dial or button located on the camera body but most commonly on a “soft setting” within a menu. Some cameras may not have these settings but have an option for “full automatic” & “Manual”. Take some time to find these settings as well the location of your WB button before continuing, and yes, you may have to locate your manual!

Setting a White Balance

This procedure should be performed at the beginning of every shoot and every time the lighting condition changes. It is especially important to re-white balance when moving between indoors and outdoors and sometimes even between rooms that are lit by different kinds of lights such as incandescent and fluorescent or daylight from windows.

It also important to custom white balance frequently during early morning and late evening since the daylight color changes quickly and significantly as the sun rises or sets. When in manual mode, perform regular white balances at intervals during these periods.

How to perform a manual white balance.

  1. Point your camera to a pure white subject, so that most of what you’re seeing in the viewfinder is white.  You can have someone hold up a white sheet of paper or you can look for a white surface that is well lit. Ensure that the surface be fairly matte (non-reflective). For best results ensure to fill your viewfinder with the white surface by either zooming in or physically coming in closer with the camera. If it is not possible to fill your viewfinder, ensure to at least fill about 50-80% of the frame.
  2. For now, set your exposure and focus to automatic.
  3. Activate the white balance by pressing the WB button or throwing the switch. The camera may take a few seconds to complete the operation, after which you should get a message (or icon) in the viewfinder.
    Hopefully this will be telling you that the white balance has succeeded – in this case, the camera will retain its current color balance until another white balance is performed.
    If the viewfinder message is that the white balance has failed, then you need to find out why.  The most common reason is too little light which can be easily corrected by increasing your exposure.


Now that we have some basic understanding of what white balance is and how to set it manually or by using a preset, I encourage you to go out and experiment with your equipment and see what different results you can achieve by altering these settings.

I recommend that you find a room with one type of light (incandescent, fluorescent or daylight)  then shoot the same scene over again each time with a different WB preset (if available). After shooting using the presets attempt a custom WB and compare the results.

If your equipment does not have presets, you can still perform a good experiment. Find two adjacent rooms that have different types of light (one lit with incandescent bulbs and the other with fluorescent).  Perform a custom WB in one room then while recording footage, walk into the other. You will notice a dramatic change in terms of how the scene looks when you enter the other room.

You might want to repeat this exercise using the camera in Auto-WB mode and observe how the camera will slowly adjust to the new WB setting as you enter the new room.  You may notice that the color in your view finder will change slowly and will adjust to this new environment.

I mentioned before that the automatic setting, although useful, may also be very unreliable under certain situations where more than one type of light source is present thus throwing off the true value.  You may find this situation especially in rooms or areas that are lit with fluorescent or incandescent bulbs that also have large windows that spill daylight into the room.

Your camera does not know what your subject is or where you intend to primarily shoot. In a professional and controlled environment, the daylight would be suppressed by either overpowering it using very powerful lights or by using “scrims” (pantyhose type material that reduces the intensity of light) outside of the windows. This technique “balances” the light and eliminates undesired changes in WB and more importantly balances exposure levels. In the world of amateur video this is rarely a possibility so choices and sacrifices must be made in order to obtain the best results.

First you must determine where “the action” will be taking place: is it primarily in the “daylight zone” or “bulb zone”?  The answer to this question will help determine the best WB setting to use. If you leave your camera in the auto-WB mode, chances are that you will get unwanted color shifts throughout your video.

Again the best way to understand this is to practice and experiment with your equipment. The best part is that when you understand the nuts and bolts you will know how to make the most of any situation.

I will leave you with this thought from Greg Kinnear:

“Part of filmmaking is always a guessing game, and part of it is always a game of trust.”

Next up: Aperture Settings (Iris).

Furry Friends Pet Photography

CMMS Studio is the “cat’s meow” for pet portraiture.  The “Dog Days of Summer” are over now so come on out and get a beautiful portrait made of your favorite furry child or children. We are also offering a special on Pet Portrait Painting for those who are interested! Check out our Pinterest for some furry inspiration!



















Big Fat Greek Wedding – Lean Style

Eric and Olga were wed at the Greek Orthodox Church in Myrtle Beach, but had some unorthodox moments. Olga’s engagement ring was a toe ring, Eric picked out Olga’s wedding dress, and Eric walked Olga down the aisle (instead of her dad who had passed on).  Their wedding was such a joy to capture!

Olga and Eric Slideshow


Diving into Minds – High School Seniors

The class of 2013 represents the dawning of “Generation Z”.  They are unaware of what life would be like with little to no technology entertaining their every moment.  With such cultivated lives comes great, yet complex personalities.

We have had the pleasure of photographing some of these unique seniors lately.  Enjoy!




Has someone ever told you, “You are very photogenic.  The camera loves you!”

A term once used to describe someone has now become a competitive division in the pageant world.



Photogenic /ˌfōtəˈjenik/  (noun) a headshot or portrait used to compete in beauty pageants



How are these photos judged?

Photographers must have a keen eye for composition and know what the judges are looking for when taking a photogenic.

#1 You are only able to submit ONE photogenic in competition (at the MOST two if they permit it)

#2 The eyes must be composed above the 50% mark of the image.

#3 THE BABY MUST BE HAPPY AND CHEERFUL.  Judges want to see a baby that is full of life.  The solemn, pouty look is ok to be submitted in the “portfolio division”, but NOT in the photogenic category.

#4 Judges want to see a colorful images.




Cricket, the first little beauty queen shown below is currently winning, not only in her division, but also winning “Grand Supreme”.  In Layman’s terms that means Cricket is winning photogenic in her age group, winning overall in her age group, and winning the overall competition (meaning she is beating girls up to age 18). 

Keep up the good work Cricket!

Lillie B is the new, fresh face of Child Model Magazine

Sydney, 2012 Photogenic Winner "Dance Machine Nationals"