Bonnie Marcus Holiday Card Collection

Image

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year at the Bonnie Marcus Collection design studio!  All of the holiday card designs that we’ve worked so diligently on throughout the year are finally available to our customers!  I can hardly wait to see which are everyone’s “favorites!”  (Of course, they are ALL my favorites!)

bonnie-at-table

This year’s collection was inspired by my love of everything that sparkles!  When I launched my business 10 years ago, I hand-sparkled all of my invitation designs to make each one a special work of art. I am thrilled that the advanced print methods at the KODAK Picture Kiosks could replicate the beautiful texture of the glitter that we use in our designs. Your friends and family will love these new beautiful, festive, sparkling card designs!

Another trend that has inspired our new holiday collection is my love of chalkboard-style design, which makes one nostalgic for the simpler days, before email and smartphones were our primary methods of communication.  Our chalkboard-style holiday card designs are definitely some of my favorites!

trend cards

One of the questions I am frequently asked is “How do I make sure that my holiday card stands out from the crowd?”  (What they are really asking is “How do I make sure that my card ‘makes the mantle’?”)  Many families receive hundreds of holiday photo cards during the holiday season!

To make sure that yours stands out from the crowd, my suggestion is to start with a theme in mind – something that is special and unique to your family. What are your family’s passions or pastimes?  If it’s sports, I would suggest taking your family photo at a favorite stadium.  If it’s boating, consider taking your photo out on the water.  Choose something that is representative of you and your family…. and don’t forget to include the family pets as well!

sailboat card

Another tip is to make sure that you take lots of photos – both group photos and individual ones. With 3 little boys in our family, there is a high probability that one of the boys will be making a funny face in every group photo.  So…. to guarantee that you’ll be greeting card ready, make sure that you take individual shots of each family member as well as group photos, because you may opt for a card that has individual photos of each child, if the group photo didn’t turn out exactly how you had envisioned.

It may also be helpful to do a little advance research and choose a few designs that you love prior to even taking your photos.  Perhaps the card you love will set the tone for your photo shoot.  Whether your design style is modern, traditional, nostalgic, religious, or high-fashion, there are such a wide range of options available on the KODAK Picture Kiosk – I’m sure you’ll find one that is perfect for your family!

Designing our photo card is actually a “family activity” for my children.  They love helping to create the cards on the KODAK Photo Kiosks at our local Target.  The machines are very easy to use, and our favorite feature is that you can view your photos in color, black & white, and sepia tones, and then choose the one that looks best with your layout.  My kids love “designing” their own cards at the kiosks, and I love being able to have them print while we shop – instant gratification, no shipping charges, and one more thing off the “to do” list!

color effect cards

EXCITING NEWS!
I will be giving one lucky fan a fabulous exclusive Bonnie Marcus Collection tote bag filled with $100 worth of stylish goodies – from a fashionable iPhone case (4 or 5 avail.) to designer post-it notes, chic thank you notes, stylish stationery sets and more!  For a paper lover, this is truly a dream come true!  The winner will definitely have their stylish stationery needs satisfied in 2014 (and beyond).

To enter to win, head over to the Bonnie Marcus Collection Facebook page and look for the post about the sweepstakes. Leave a comment about your family’s most memorable holiday “Kodak Moment.”  One Bonnie Marcus Collection fan will be chosen at random.  Good luck!

UPDATE: The sweepstakes is over and the winner of the Kodak moments Holiday Gift Box is Montana Griffin!

Cheers to a joyous, meaningful holiday season!

All the best,
Bonnie
Owner, Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper®”

Like us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/TheBonnieMarcusCollection
Follow us on Twitter  https://twitter.com/bonniemarcus

FilmsNotDead Winner: Siim Vahur

The recent FilmsNotDead competition offered a little step back in time for film and Kodak film lovers. The challenge (or excitement) was to enter with images that were shot on a Kodak Box Brownie.

Siim Vahur from Estonia won the competiton by sharing the images below which were shot with his Kodak Box Brownie 2.   We, from Kodak Alaris caught up with Siim from Estonia to ask some questions about shooting film and what he enjoys the most.

We hope that you enjoy his thoughts and especially his hints and tips on shooting film.

Thanks
Lars.

******************************************

KA: Siim, you’re clearly a lover of film photography. Do you have a favourite camera that you regularly use?

S: As a mad collector – I’ve got plenty of them. Right now from my collection of 35mm cameras I like to use my Voigtländer Super Wide-Heliar 4.5/15mm with my 78 year old Leica III, a Canon Canonet QL17 G-III (as it’s the most handful light-weight fast lens rangefinder with full manual option), Horizont,  Fujica Drive (neat little half-frame)

maru_-_knitter_(fujicaST801_helios85mm_f1.5_velvia50)_09[1]

And from my collection of 120 it’s some simple boxes like my competition winning Brownie No.2, my Daci, a Seagull 4B (I really like the triplet lenses as well as square format) and my Arax 60 MLU (+Zeiss lenses).

My collection habit has even made me create cameras of my own. I have a self-made anamorphic pinhole camera http://www.siimvahur.com/anamorfoos/index.html and a

self-made half-frame fisheye http://www.siimvahur.com/commuud/fisheye/

I’m always ready and willing to try things that are new, the bond between me and film photography is strong and not something I see changing in the near future.  Today’s world is too fast for film, my everyday work is fully digital, I’m a fan of new technologies, but I enjoy shooting film. Not for a fun. Just. For a life.

maru_-_knitter_(cant_remember_film_and_camera)_15[1]

KA: So you mentioned you’re a collector, but are you an amateur or professional photographer?

S: Professional. I guess. For almost 10 years I have been full time theater photographer (my main job is at Tallinna City Theater, VAT teater ) and I’ve been working part time as a food photographer for magazines and cook books. When not shooting for  home/creative still life (i.e food photography) or work/portrait etc (i.e theater) I do like street photography. I don’t do wedding photography.

andrus_-_an_actor_(whosafraidofvirginiawoolf)RB67ProS_55mm_expKodakEPN100[1]

KA:  OK, so you’re a professional, did you always want to be a photographer? How did you become a photographer?

S: No, but it just went that way. First I was interested in classic graphic art (you know – all those good old methods – from dry-point to lithography). But one day I found myself studying photography at Art College. And four years later I found myself taking pictures at theater.

In childhood I wanted to become a asphalt worker (at summer) and a street cleaner in night shift (at winter).

KA: How long have you been shooting film for and what do you enjoy most about it?

S: I’ve been shooting film consistently for about 15 years and really it’s just because I love beautiful things, including all those heavy and shiny cameras. I especially love using unique lenses that give me real feelings with real film. Shooting film is about thinking first  – not just point and shoot!

margus_-_an_actor_(barnes_-_red_noses)_RB67ProS_180mm_6x4.5back_KodakEPN100_exp10.1994[1]

KA: So tell us, what are your favourite films to shoot and why?

S: Again I like to use a variety of films, I shoot colour and black and white, so it’s a good mix for me.  The colour films I’ve used most are Kodak Profoto 100 as I find it the best value for money and I also use Fuji Velvia 50 as its deep blue, dark green tonality fits 100% into our the ’pessimistic’ Estonia climate. However with these being expired films, I am looking at experimenting further with Kodak’s Portra and Ektar films.

When it comes to black and white I’m a fan of hi-iso and push-process black and white, so Kodak TRI-X, Ilford Delta 3200 / Surveillance P3/P4, Agfa Traffic are my best friends.

I also like to shoot the now expired Kodak Vericolor III (when I can find it) as it offers neat tonality.

alo_-_an_actor_(valdes_-_midnight_sun)_RB67ProS_127mm_fomapan100[1]

KA: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to use film?

S:  As I said to the Films Not Dead team, don’t go the Lomo way (sorry, guy’s), look around, get a real camera (from a box brownie to a modern ultra wide Heliar equipped and a 30′s Leica or just a simple mechanical SLR with some fix lenses), find some neat films with real character and play and try and you can feel the difference between your smartphone and real thing. For camera colletors like me, it’s great to be able to use my neat and beautifil old gear.

KA: Finally can you offer the readers of this blog five tips on shooting film?

S:

1. Composition. See frames in your head. Think!

2. Light. See light around you. Use it, i.e move yourself!

(One light, one place, different angle of views and you can make really different results – awful ones and vice versa)

3. Light. Measure it! Know your film’s peculiarity.

4. DOF. Use it! Most wonderful thing in photography.

5. Don’t rush, just be ready.

KA: Tell us a little about Siim the person:

S: I’m just a 32 year old guy with wife and daughter. I have done photos for many cook books, books, theaters, posters, magazines, websites … so photography is my life.

I love my country. And I love this kind of bad weather.

My life – my pictures: www.siimvahur.com

My life – my wife – my pictures, all of them: www.marudesign.eu

My collection of cameras – http://www.flickr.com/photos/siimvahur/sets

Film Friday: “Long Live Film” documentary and Indie Film Lab

Last spring, five guys – Luke, Nick, Josh, Alan and Matt – loaded up an RV and set out for Las Vegas from Alabama. This group, better known as the team from Indie Film Lab, took video along the way and what started as a short video has become the documentary, “Long Live Film!”  You can watch previews of “Long Live Film!” here and here on YouTube. The film captures not only their journey across the southern United States, but also their passion for film photography. The guys tell us a bit about their experiences here.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for the documentary?

LUKE LINDGREN: Before our road trip to Las Vegas for WPPI we wanted to document our trip. As we planned out our trip the idea evolved from taking pictures to documenting our trip by making a short video. We wanted our focus to be on film photography, and about why we and other photographers still love film.

But after talking to all the awesome film photographers we met in Vegas there was so much depth and heart in what they had to say. It went from a simple youtube video to a documentary.

Matt - Texasx

JOSH MOATES: It was an organic transition from a road trip to fun blog video to documentary. It definitely was a slow progression and grew very quickly.

Q. What was the most surprising thing you saw while on the road?

MATT ROBBINS: The most surprising thing I saw on the road was the snow for sure. Living in the south my whole life, I had never seen more than a few inches of snow. The first time I saw more than a foot of snow while we were on the road I was literally like a kid in a candy store. I just wanted to run up and play in the snow. I was pretty pumped to see snow that was up to my knees.

ALAN EVANS: The antics of (professional photographers) Ryan Muirhead and Tanja Lippert; How awesome everyone was at Joshua Tree.

8170002705-R1-E005x

NICK DROLLETTE: The most surprising thing I saw on the road was how big our country was. I have done a good bit of traveling up the east coast and I have also been to Haiti and Cuba but I have never been out west in our own country. I was really shocked to see what was out there. The landscape and the terrain were absolutely beautiful. I have never seen any rock formations like they have out there. It was really nice to get out of Alabama and see a change of scenery.

000001100003x

Q. What was your favorite location?

JOSH: The Grand Canyon.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.13.49 AMx

ALAN: The Grand Canyon, however the company I was around during the trip would have made any place awesome.

MATT: While we were driving to the Grand Canyon, we would see cracks in the ground while driving through Texas and Arizona. I was getting excited about seeing a few that were 10-20 feet deep. Then we got to the Grand Canyon and I was just astounded by its size. It was my favorite location on the trip by far.

000080300011x

NICK: When I was photographing Monument Valley, I started walking down into the valley just shooting away and after about 30 minutes of shooting I realized I was close to a mile away from the RV. It was just an overwhelming experience that I had to capture.

LUKE:  Joshua Tree, CA was awesome because there were about 20+ film loving photographers just hanging out, shooting film, and learning from each other out in the California desert.

Q. What films did you bring and how did you shoot them?

LUKE: KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 @ 200, KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 @ 100 or 80, KODAK PROFESSIONAL TRI-X @ anything from 200-1600 and KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100 @ 100. Both 35mm and 120/220.

5555002168-R1-E013x

ALAN: All KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film: PORTRA 160, 400 and 800; EKTAR 100; KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN; TRI-X

JOSH: We had every type of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film you can imagine. But I shot TRI-X and PORTRA 160 most of the time.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.20.03 AMx

MATT: The films that I brought on the trip were EKTAR 100, PORTRA 160 and 400, and Tri-X 400. I wanted a bright look, but with the highlights still there so I was shooting all my film at slightly lower speeds than the box speed. I shot a few rolls of EKTAR 100 at 80, PORTRA 160 at 100, and most of the PORTRA 400 at 200.

NICK: I shot mostly with PORTRA 160 and 400. I did shoot a bunch of TRI-X though. I have shot Tri-x a few times before but nothing like I did on the road trip. Tri-x 35mm and 120 are simply stunning. They just give a look that digital can’t give you. I also fell in love with a film that I was not familiar with at all. EKTAR 100 was such a cool film to shoot with. I shot some of my landscapes with EKTAR 100 and I am super happy that I did. One of the places I shot EKTAR 100 with was the Grand Canyon. The colors that I got back from it were pretty awesome. I was super happy with them when I started scanning them in.

000001020001x

Q. What do you hope that people take away from this documentary?

LUKE: Our greatest hope is that people see shooting film as more than just the look, and they begin to understand the feel film gives you. There’s a lot of beauty in film, and this documentary explains it all. It’s the entire process that can really take your art to a new place.

ALAN: Do what you love to do!

8161002569-R1-037-17x

JOSH: I hope photographers that started with digital will see how amazing, expressive and rewarding film can be

MATT: I hope people can really understand what film is all about, and that it isn’t about shooting 2000 images at a wedding and not using 1800 or just bracketing one shot to make sure you get the right exposure. It is an art form and you really have to know what you are doing and time your shots just right. When you get to the point of having a 80% return rate on the shots you take with film, and it seems like every shot you take is awesome, that’s when film becomes an addiction. When you shoot 15 rolls of 120 and get back 195 or 200 images that are  awesome, that is a great feeling.

000080180005x

NICK: I hope that people take away from the documentary that film is not dead. I don’t want people to think that we are trying to push that film is better than digital. They both have their uses and I encourage people to shoot what they want. Whether it is an iPhone, disposable camera or a Hassleblad, shoot what inspires you. I just hope that it educates new photographers and helps them understand the roots of photography. I think that if people understood film that they would have more of appreciation for photography. I know for me personally film has changed the way I shoot and it has brought more of an excitement to it.

Check out “Long Live Film!” on the Indie Film Lab YouTube Channel, available today.

In addition, you can see the team’s journey on Instagram, Facebook and on Twitter.

Click here to find more information on Indie Film Lab online.

Halloween photo projects

Did you know that the day after Halloween is one of the biggest photo sharing days of the year on Facebook? So we know you are taking lots of pictures on Halloween. Here are some ideas for using them!     spider-frame

A pack of plastic spiders, a glue gun and a plain picture frame is all you need to make a creepy, crawly display for your favorite photos.spider-clip

Those spiders can also be glued to clothespins painted black and go on to have many uses.

spider-clip-photos

They can hold photos and stand alone…

spider-line

Or be clipped to a string for a festive Halloween photo banner.

photo-jars-800

Fill a jar with water, red food coloring and some plastic eyeballs for a really gross Halloween photo display. Yes! You can submerge prints from Kodak Picture Kiosk into water and they will last! “Prints made at our self-service kiosks are also waterproof and stain resistant. They are protected with KODAK XTRALIFE Coating that makes them incredibly durable—they are even wipeable!” – thus being able to add them to a jar of water.

You can make prints at your local Kodak Picture Kiosk for all of these projects and more over on our Kodak Tips and Projects Center.

collage

Not only can you make fun photo projects to decorate for Halloween with prints from Kodak Picture Kiosk but you can make other products to help share and remember all your best Halloween memories.

Create a cute Halloween collage from your photos to hang on the fridge or to send to friends and family.

photobook

Collect all your Halloween photos either from this year’s party or from all Halloween’s past in a photo book that you can enjoy for years to come.

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you to get started!

Kodak Alaris, Kodak Professional and PhotoPlus Expo 2013

Tomorrow kicks off the annual PhotoPlus Expo and Conference in New York. While our team works on getting the booth up and running, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what you’ll see from Kodak Alaris in the coming days.

First, you’ll see our new name – Kodak Alaris. We’re excited to show how our new company preserves the heritage and legacy of the KODAK brand, while quickly addressing needs and changes of the professional market.

Sarah Vaughan PPE 2013 Tanja Lippert PPE 2013

As always, we’ll have our full portfolio of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Media and KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film on hand. You’ll see those products brought to life by through the photography of Jeff Yeats, Tanja Lippert, Sarah Vaughan and Martin Grahame-Dunn in our booth, printed on our KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Premier Paper.

MGD PPE 2013 Jeff Yeats PPE 2013

In addition to showcasing his photography in our booth, Grahame-Dunn will also present two sessions at PhotoPlus, entitled  “Collections: Elevate your expertise; Control your future!” on Thursday 11:15-12:00 and Friday 2:15-3:00 in the PhotoPlus Show Floor Theater.

Grahame-Dunn’s presentation illustrates the value of our new solution for photographers and professional labs, called KODAK PROFESSIONAL Collections and Creations Software. The solution is designed to help both professional labs and photographers deliver products in a way that more directly aligns with how consumers purchase today. Consumers crave immediacy. Let’s meet that craving.

How do we meet that craving? We provide them the soft-copy. That’s right. A company that creates some of the highest quality media available for photographic printing says “give consumers the digital file.” As an industry, we need to meet today’s consumers on their terms.

But note, we don’t say “give them the soft-copy for free,” which is where the nuance lies. We believe that any photographer who simply gives away the digital content leaves money on the table. At the same time, we believe any photographer who doesn’t offer digital content missed opportunities as well. Our message is to offer today’s consumer a Collection of photo products that include soft-copy offerings in conjunction with prints, albums, books, keepsakes and more to commemorate life’s treasured moments. Once you’ve provided the option for the soft copy and have captured the consumers’ interest, you then show them just how much more they can do with the professional content to preserve their memories for a lifetime.

With the Collections and Creations Software, products are organized into thoughtfully created sets that follow a logical flow to help photographers guide their clients through the story-telling process, from start to finish.  Photographers will be able to show how they take the professional content and deliver an experience that creates an emotional connection among the consumers, their images and their story.

This in turn, enables the consumers to:

•Promote their memories by sharing with family and friends anytime, anywhere

•Produce their memories in story form

•Preserve their memories for a lifetime

The goal of the solution is enabling photographers to function as consultants, artists and trusted advisors for their clients, rather than providers of a commodity. Because we believe that’s what photographers, in conjunction with their lab partners, are. They are consultants who have made the investment, in the form of equipment, time and energy to develop a craft that includes a vision and a skill to make beautiful photographs that tell a story that preserves memories for a lifetime.

We hope you’ll come by the booth in New York to learn more. We’ll be at booth #855 in Javits Conventions Center Thursday – Saturday.

Film Friday Guest Post from Photographer Jan Scholz

I started photography after moving to Maastricht in the Netherlands, as a spare time activity, taking pictures around town with a digital SLR. Soon afterwards I turned towards portraits. From then on photography became almost an obsession, consuming most of my spare time.
5946102431_537d1aaef1_b
The main reason why photography is so fascinating to me, is that I can create my own world and use it as a stage for emotions, stories and scenes, that matter to me, that I find beautiful. I often do not have a defined concept for a shoot and just let myself be driven by what I find, the location, the light, the model.
6411403411_eecdb43872_b

I switched to film after I already had a very good grasp on digital cameras and photoshop. The reasons are multifold, and include: I love the look of film right from the scanner. I always loved black and white photography, but when I was shooting digitally I was never happy with the conversion and the resulting tones, regardless of the tools used. My first scan of a simple black and white negative was already a revelation. Film is like a beautiful canvas the image is painted upon.

7129456163_f2cebe963b_b

Another reason are the beauty of old film cameras. They are a joy to use, their simplicity, their vintage feel, the big, bright view finders to look through, the sound of the shutters, the feel of the mechanics when forwarding the film. All these factors are not measurable in megapixels, dynamic range or frames per second, but they inspire me and contribute to the joy I have when photographing. Maybe I am stretching it a bit, but I think they also have a positive impact on most people I photograph. Especially using a large format camera tends to fascinate people, they feel like being part of something special.

7414386376_367fa0bdaa_b

The limitations of each camera, each format is forcing me to approach photography in a different way. I take different pictures with a fast and mobile 35mm SLR than with a slow and stationary Large Format Camera. Going out with such a tripod based camera and knowing that I have just 10 or maybe 20 pictures to take, will make me photograph completely differently than with a 8GB card in the DSLR. It turned the way I photograph upside down. I look a lot more carefully, re-consider every composition and pose again and again before clicking (or not clicking) the shutter. This taught me a lot and I believe I learned most I know about photography and composition after switching to film.

7566678972_f82356157c_b

For most formats and applications, it’s probably true that digital has outrun film in terms of resolution, but in terms of “look” and tonality I am yet to be convinced. It’s a very personal opinion and decision. There are good reasons for digital and film, and everybody has the liberty to use whatever one likes and finds convincing. You can throw a lot of reasons pro-digital at me, it will not change how I feel about using film, for a multitude of reasons.

8310742909_b31f921130_b
My choice of film has been a little journey. I started out by buying and trying all sorts of films and after some time settled for a small selection suited for the situations I mainly photograph in. I believe my “signature film” is KODAK PROFESSIONAL Tri-X Film, developed in HC110. It offers smooth tones, with the right amount of “punch” in the contrast.
- Jan Scholz

KODAK Photo Service

Greetings from San Francisco. Yesterday was a pretty exciting day here. First (and most importantly), I was lucky enough to celebrate 25 years of marriage to a fantastic woman. That, in and of itself, made yesterday great.

Second, on the professional front, we introduced the KODAK Photo Service at the first ever Mobile Photo Connect conference. When Kodak Alaris first formed, we committed ourselves to thinking of new ways to drive business opportunities and revenue for our partners in the imaging business.  KODAK Photo Service is just that. It takes the core competencies of Kodak Alaris, our retail partners and the roster of creative content developers and brings them together to create a solution that bridges the digital and physical worlds.

banner_lrg

But how? And more importantly, why?

Let’s start with the why. Hans Hartman, the host of yesterday’s conference, shared some compelling data. Today, there are more than 28,000 photo and video apps. Of the top photo and video apps, 90% are photo apps. Yet only 1% of those apps offer printing capabilities, mostly because setting up the infrastructure for printing and payment can be pretty complicated. So you have these insanely talented developers creating incredibly popular applications that remain trapped in a digital world, with limited opportunities to extract revenue from their brilliant ideas and execution.

That’s on the app side of the equation. On the other side, we have our retailer partners. We have more than 100,000 kiosks globally. In these locations, we have retail partners with the equipment, expertise and infrastructure to create high-quality output from this treasured digital content.

At the same time, consumers have said “we’ll print, but you have to make it easy.” Last year, we entered the market with our own apps to test that theory – if we created an easy-to-use connection between consumers’ mobile devices and the retail environment, would consumers print more? The answer is a resounding yes. We’ve seen more than 1 million downloads of our apps and our retailer partners who have implemented our wireless connectivity have seen a significant increase in sales of premium products.

Creating the apps gave us fantastic insight into consumer behavior. Yet our core strength lies in our high-quality KODAK Picture Kiosks, KODAK Printers and a proven, global net-to-retail infrastructure. Therefore, we realized that we could create the bridge – between the digital and physical world. Between content providers and retail partners. Which brings us to how.

With the KODAK Photo Service, we’ve opened our KODAK Network Services APIs, which allows content providers to write to our API and create a simple print-to-store option for their consumers. At the same time, they gain access to our global, trusted network and relationships with multiple retail partners. Think about it – by writing to a single API and choosing from one of two business models, content providers gain access to thousands of consumer touch points and a new revenue stream. No worries about payment. No need to create multiple agreements with multiple stores and locations. No need for marketing plans. We’re excited to have the developers listed here as part of the program launch and look forward to adding more names in the coming weeks and months.

Now, consumers who create content using any of these apps can transmit this content to their local retailer, where they will pick up and pay. For retailers, it builds volume, revenue and relevance as the imaging space evolves. Retailers participating in this program include Target and Bartell Drugs in the US. Also, dm-drogerie markt in Germany intends to join the program in time for the holidays, with more retailers expected to join globally in the coming months.

For more information on joining the KODAK Photo Service program, please visit https://www.kodakdeveloper.com