Chilled Sundays at the Lourensford Harvest Market

If you ever thought about visiting Cape Town South Africa then think no more.Here is a great reason why you should go.

winelands weekends

Autumn has officially made it’s appearance and in the Cape that means cool mornings, warm, perfectly still days and certain trees and vineyards turning glorious shades  of red.

One of the nicer things to do on an autumn Sunday is browse around outdoor markets, and Somerset West is lucky enough to have one set in one of the oldest and most beautiful wine estates in the country, Lourensford Wine Estate. The Lourensford Harvest Market has been running since 12th of October last year and has 77 rustic wooden stands filled with fresh produce, beverages and craft vendors, all housed under a permanent roof structure.


Start your morning visit with the perfect cup of java from the Magnificent Barista Boys (and they are indeed magnificent) and then sample some of the goodies on offer while deciding what’s for lunch. Try Eden all Natural peanut butters (try the Hot and Spicy for a kick…

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BTS Nat Geo….Crop, or No Crop? « Joe McNally’s Blog


Modern Nautical Newport Wedding

Modern Nautical Newport Wedding

My hubby and I are knee-deep in planning a little Newport babymoon, and this seaside lovefest from the lens of Judy Pak has me hoping springtime rolls around, STAT. It’s every New England bride’s dream come true, with carefully curated nautical moments alongside all-white blooms styled by Stoneblossom. Kick Tuesday off right here in the full gallery.



From The Bride… When Dave and I got engaged and started to think about our dream wedding, we knew we wanted to plan an event that would be elegant and classic with whimsical, personal touches and most of all be relaxed and fun for our guests. We live and work in Manhattan and decided we thought it would be extra special to come up with a great weekend destination – somewhere that would get people out of the city but wouldn’t be too far away for most of our guests. I had vacationed in Newport with my family growing up and had recently been back to Castle Hill Inn which is just the most magical and beautiful place – I knew it would be perfect. Dave and I took a trip to Newport and he was immediately convinced- Newport and Castle Hill would give us that perfect elegant environment for the wedding, with lots of room for fun for our guests.

We worked with Joyce Holland of Stoneblossom Florals and she became an incredibly trusted adviser and friend in planning. We weren’t stuck on any particular types of flowers but we knew we wanted the environment to feel light and soft with some minimal seaside/nautical touches. She paired lots of white and green flowers with beautiful garden roses, anenomes and other seasonal varietals which gave the perfect flecks of color for our fall celebration. She brought in tons of candles, mercury glass and other beautiful additions like lanterns and aisle decor. She was our savior! To add to Joyce’s decoration, the crew at Exquisite Events handled lighting. We picked vintage chandeliers and swathed the tent with fabric to bring the ceiling down a little lower and give it that quaint, vintage feel.

We were very lucky to have Judy Pak as our photographer. We fell in love with Judy’s signature style – light and airy, dreamy images. She captured our day to a tee from the perfectly orchestrated “first look” to those little moments that only the most skilled photographers can catch. She is a true artist.

Our cake was created by Marc and Marie Soliday/ Confectionery Designs. It was spectacular! Marie worked with Joyce to replicate the flowers in my bouquet. We were blown away when we saw it. Plus it tasted delicious. We had a most excellent band – Big Mix with Joe Shane, we brought them up from NY. I had seen them perform at a wedding many years before and they always stuck in my head. They played classic covers and even backed my husband our friend up for a little impromptu Whitesnake performance.

There were many special and personal touches throughout the weekend. From our “message in a bottle” save the dates, to our Adirondack chair escort cards (to match Castle Hill’s signature chairs) to our personalized welcome bags and signature cocktail straws, and much more, Alana Jones-Mann outdid herself in our collaboration! Alana is the queen of whimsy and details and took our visions and made them realities. She also hand letter pressed our three-piece custom invitations and created a gorgeous presentation for when they arrived to our guest’s mailboxes.

Castle Hill could not have been a more perfect venue for us. With breathtaking seaside views, the mansion and semi-permanent tent set the scene for our dream wedding. The menu was exquisite and the service is unparalleled. After the reception in the tent we hosted an after party in the mansion where our guests partied into the night. Our wedding was truly a dream, we loved every second!

Previously posted on Style Me Pretty

Photography: Judy Pak | Wedding Coordinator: Joslin Caroll | Florist: Stoneblossom | Wedding Dress: Lusan Mandongus | Bride’s Shoes: Prada | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Caterer: Castle Hill Inn | Makeup Artist: Christopher Ardoff | Band: The Dream Team | Wedding Venue: Castle Hill Inn

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Judy Pak

Powerful Environmental Portraits Need 3 Things

Photofocus (old site)

Environmental portraits show people in their place, their habitat. The environment sets the mood and the place of the story, and a single look at the photograph can tell you what the story is about. Let me show you three things I think about as I light the background to make an environment worth photographing.

1. It’s Gotta Be Believable

Lighting and posing a person so he looks his best is my primary concern. (Here are two other articles about lighting and posing to help people look great.) After that’s under control, I’ve got to figure out what the background will be, and how bright to make it. Most of the time, it’s got to look believable, and I like it to look like a good picture, not a well lit picture. I don’t want someone to say, “Oh, this guy has a nice light from a flash on his face”.

For instance, I…

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