styled shoot: romance al fresco

Today is a day for big news, and not only because my idol Benedict Cumberbatch's engagement was just announced. It's also a great big day because my dear friends Jenna and Jennifer at The Event Room are officially launching their brand new website.

I am so proud of these two hard-working women. They have a strong shared vision as well as complementary skill sets. They are immensely talented and just lovely to be around. I'm happy to have worked with them on many occasions, including Jennifer's own wedding last fall. Most recently, they expertly coordinated the launch party for my Feeling of Fragrance project. I'm sending a big hug and warm congratulations to my friends today. I know this is the start of something big for them.

We thought their launch day would be the ideal moment to show you our latest creative collaboration. I'll let The Event Room tell you all about it:

Our vision for this styled wedding shoot was "romance al fresco" through the juxtaposition of elegant luxe elements in an intimate garden party setting. The concept was inspired by the idea of taking the glamourous feeling of a black tie affair, and the relaxed vibe of dining with friends and fusing them together. It’s about living life as if every day is worth wearing your special occasion jewellery, or busting out the nice china. Where the finer things in life should be enjoyed along with the simple pleasures. 

The main design elements of the tablescape are crisp, white linens with silver and blush accents bathed in candlelight, all under the cover of towering willow trees. The mercury glass votives, crystal and silver candelabras and a chandelier strung from the trees set the tone for romance. The floral design takes the idea of from garden to table to a new level, with a light and fresh colour palate of beautiful full blooms and lush greenery draping over chairs, and cascading from the vintage washboard cake table. 

DIY hand-painted silver pear place cards, and framed paper goods that include romantic quotes add a sense of understated elegance. We couldn't resist a subtle nod to the glamourous life of Manhattan’s elite — the faux guests at this outdoor affair fit for Blair Waldorf were none other than the characters of Gossip Girl. The invitation suite was designed to be soft, simple, elegant and modern. Our baker The Sweet Spot Cupakes designed an array of treats with a luxe sensibility (read: glittering, silvery sugar!) that made them almost too pretty to eat.

A special thanks goes out to our models Meg and Steve, a real life married couple who spent their first wedding anniversary shooting with us. Now, without further ado, here are the images from our Romance al Fresco styled shoot:


Concept and Styling: The Event Room  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography, assisted by Karly Boileau  //  Venue: private residence  //  Florist: Helen Hardmeier of Florals by Design //  Rentals: Absolute Tent & Event Services  // Makeup and Hair: Dallas Curow  //  Baker: The Sweet Spot Cupcakes  //  Stationary: The Tansley Press

works in progress

My next wedding of the season is coming up at the end of this month, so I'm working hard to finish up a whole slew of projects before we head back to Canada. I'm pretty psyched to be nearing the completion of my New Client Guide. Designed to help brides and grooms prepare for their big day, it's filled with tips on everything from what to wear to engagement sessions to how to plan your wedding day itinerary. I'm so excited to finish this up and have it printed so I can send it out to my new clients. Here's the first draft of the cover:

Also on the go is my Beauty Lookbook, which is part of a collection of items I'll be giving to new portrait clients who are interested in having me do the makeup for their session. A special thanks to my friend Maya, who's on the cover! By the way, I'm currently scouting models for the bridal version of this beauty lookbook and a handful of other beauty shoots so feel free to send me an email (dallascurowphoto[at]gmail[dot]com) if you would be interested in modelling!

And as long as I'm screenshotting things to share with you, I was really proud to see one of my photos from Staci and Dan's wedding on the homepage of Le Belvédère's website. It's an absolutely gorgeous venue, with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. I was particularly impressed at how smoothly it's run by owner and event coordinator Jessica Davey, especially considering Staci and Dan's wedding was their maiden event! It was also recently named one of Canada's loveliest wedding venues by Wedding Bells magazine (photo featured on Wedding Bells taken by Brian).

Hope you're having a great week so far!

starlight creative shoot

Once in a while, when I'm lucky, an idea will begin to take shape in my mind. I can't remember the precise moment when this concept began forming, but I imagine it happened one night, after a few glasses of wine, when I tilted my head back to stare up into the autumn sky. I had a vision of people shimmering in the darkness, with glints of silver and white against navy. As the vision became clearer, I decided this would be the perfect concept for a final creative project before our big move.

When it came to casting, I thought it would look really cool if I could find some models who were very fair, and had pale hair to match, so that they could be luminescent in the dark setting. When I asked Sabina--who modelled for me recently--if she had any blonde friends, she remarked wistfully, "I used to be blonde..."

"Well, how you would you feel about wearing a wig?" I asked.

"I'm totally up for it!" she exclaimed.

My friend Tiffany also joined the project, and even bleached her hair for the occasion, though she ended up wearing a lopped off version of the wig from my halloween costume for the latter half of the shoot, as it worked better in the lighting at the final location.

This shoot was particularly special to me as I was lucky to be able to feature the beautiful work of bling slinger extraordinaire Rachel Dhawan of Brazen Design. Rachel specializes in making gorgeous creations in sterling silver. Brian and I have both purchased items from her collection before, and I instantly thought of her silvery wares once I'd defined the theme. She kindly lent me over a dozen pieces to feature in these photos, and I can't thank her enough for trusting me with these precious designs.

This shoot was intended to be purely experimental, an indulgence for my imagination. Oh man, it is full of mistakes, and there are so many things I would do differently next time, but it was full of great lessons. This is what creative shoots are for--to take risks go a little crazy, be accountable to yourself, and learn a hell of a lot in the process!

All that being said, I will be honest with you and tell you that I am very happy with how this shoot came out in the end. It's a tribute to the beauty of the models, the jewellery, and the velvety splendour of an autumn evening.

A watercolour painting of a starry night sky was my inspiration. After taking the photos, I painted this picture to accompany the shoot, and to provide a backdrop for the gorgeous jewellery.

The two makeup looks I conceived were a very pale, silvery white look, and dark and glittery smoky eye. Either of these would be perfect for any holiday party. To give their skin an ethereal shimmer, I mixed a foundation one shade lighter than their skin tones with an illuminating cream (I used St. Tropez Skin Illuminator) and set the foundation with a mineral powder (MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Lightscapade).

Thank you to everyone involved! And remember, if you love Rachel's work, her jewellery makes great Christmas gifts. I know because I've got this necklace on my wish list and Brian absolutely loves a version of this one that I bought him for Valentine's Day.