Latte Art with a bit ‘o’ Hop and a Lotta Heart

Posted by on August 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm.

Matthew Johnson & Julia Kuo, Blenz Yaletown

When we first set out to find our home base for the 12×12 last winter, we knew it had to be a central coffee shop that not only offered the refreshments necessary for a day-long event, but also had comfortable surroundings for our photographers to kick back and relax.

During one of the early committee meetings, we were down in Yaletown and decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood to see if there were any locations that would be up to the challenge of hosting our large group of artists. There were a couple that shook their heads at the prospect and we started to get a little worried when Blenz suddenly came into view. They had a spacious outdoor heated patio with lots of seating, and the interior was warm and cozy with wonderful ambiance. With fingers crossed, we approached and asked to speak to its manager who turned out to be Matthew Johnson, just about the nicest fella, as was Blenz President George Moen, who phoned Morten personally to offer his support. They not only welcomed us into their space, but did so without batting an eyelash and for that we are so very thankful.

And we couldn’t have picked a more ideal coffee chain. With a mutual love for the arts, they were the perfect venue to collaborate with. Not only did we hold our inaugural marathon at Blenz Yaletown but our winners were also featured in the franchise-wide Blenz Digital Media Network for all its customers to enjoy. As a tribute to their generosity and for welcoming us back this year, here’s a bit of coffee art by Master Barista and Trainer Julia Kuo with shots of pouring and stencil latte art.

Thanks to George, all of our marathoners will receive a gift certificate on the day of the event so they can all enjoy a cuppa joe on him. Julia, you’re going to be one busy barista on September 12th!

Don’t forget to view the gallery at the bottom of this post for some of Julia’s fun works of coffee art.

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark-II, KinoFlo Kamio ring light, EF 24-105 F/4L IS USM, Sennheiser 112/G2 wireless kit + Audio-Technica shotgun.

Some helpful tips from Julia if you’re making your own cup of latte art:

  • It’s not necessary to press the espresso super tight, but you do need a certain amount of pressure to eliminate any voids in the coffee bed. Press too loosely and the water will go through the espresso cake really fast, leaving you with a very watery crema that lacks the rich caramel colour that is needed to reveal the latte art. On the other hand, pressing too tightly will impede the water from going through and you’ll end up with a bitter and burnt shot
  • When preparing the milk, gently let the steam wand touch the surface of the milk (called “kissing the milk”) and turn on the pressure to blow air into the milk. By this time you should hear the familiar “hisssssssss.” Since these are lattes and not cappuccinos, don’t steam that much foam; 2-4 secs will do. Foam can only be created before 100°F. Higher than 100°F and you’d basically just be heating up milk
  • After the foam is created, lower the steam wand further into milk and make the milk spin in a circle. This not only mixes the foam with the milk but also makes the bubbles smaller (called “micro-foam”)
  • When pouring the latte, try to grab the jug tightly but loosen your wrist. Without rushing it, gently wiggle in the milk. Remember that by the time you reveal your foam on the espresso crema, your jug mouth should be really close to the surface of coffee

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Vancouver Photo Workshops welcomes Raw Talent

Posted by on January 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm.

After the photo marathon itself on Saturday December 12th Angela, Anny and I found ourselves on the SkyTrain on our way back home. In our bags were 60 rolls of film screaming to be developed and over 700 photos just waiting to be displayed proudly on a gallery wall. There was just one problem: We didn’t have a gallery to host the 12×12 showcase! We were all exhausted and I didn’t want to spoil the mood after a main event that went off without a hitch by reminding the girls that we needed to start looking for a space for our show. We actually thought we had one at one point. But due to miscommunications it turned out it had already been booked. And several of the other spaces suggested by our friends and accomplices were either already booked, too expensive or not built yet. We were getting dangerously close to the point where we would be royally screwed.

Then my phone beeped.

I pulled it out of my pocket and did what most people do these days: Read private emails in public. It was from a guy named Marc Koegel and the subject line read quite unambigously “I may have a venue for your Exhibition!” And reading through the email I realized that just as I was starting to worry, our spacial problems had been solved.

Vancouver Photo Workshops: Helping Photographers achieve their vision!

Walking through the small door and up two flights of stairs in a warehouse on 7th Avenue there is no indication that directly above you is a huge yet inviting space dedicated to photographic bliss known as Vancouver Photo Workshops. Past the entrance and to the left is an enormous studio space with huge silks hanging from the ceiling, comfy lounging areas, lighting equipment, backdrops, photo art and just about every tool you could possibly need to get that perfect shot caught on your favourite imaging media. And that’s just the first floor. Above is a second story of classrooms and a huge gallery. Just walking around the many rooms and spaces it’s clear that Koegel and his team not only love the art of photography itself but also understand that creativity is best nurtured in an environment filled with inspiration. The walls are adorned with the works of the staff as well as students, the industrial space is interspersed with calm and quiet alcoves, there is a dedicated makeup and changing room reminiscent of old time movies, a red sitting space for a relaxing snack and a conversation, in short it is the type of place you’d want to be if  you were a photographer.

And we’re getting the run of the place! Understanding our need for space and also wanting to give Vancouver photographers a place to showcase, enjoy and interact with photography Marc welcomed us with open arms (literally) and put his world into motion so that we could make Raw Talent all it could be. I’m not one to believe in fate and all that, but I believe this situation is the very definition of “serindipidy”.

About Vancouver Photo Workshops

Vancouver Photo WorkshopsVancouver Photo Workshops (VPW) was founded with the aim to help photographers achieve their vision and excellence in photography. VPW strives to serve and support the photographic community as it exists in Vancouver and beyond.

Whether you are a true beginner, aspiring amateur or seasoned professional, our intimate and focused courses and workshops are created with you in mind. We strive to provide unparalleled service and dedication to excellence. We are here to help you achieve your photographic vision!

VPW is comprised of a carefully selected team of industry professionals who pride themselves in their ability to inspire and share their unique vision and style.

Each instructor has the ability to show students both the technical, as well as, the creative aspect of photography. Our courses offer valuable insights into the essential theories of the art with a strong focus placed on hands-on learning in professional photographic environments.

Through strategic alliances with sponsors and industry partners, we can offer you a complete and professional learning experience unique to the West Coast.

Our seminars, workshops and courses are held in Vancouver largest photographic studio facility dedicated to photography. This 7000 sqft facility boasts multiple studio and shooting spaces, make-up and change rooms, a fully equipped kitchen and lounge, as well as over 2000 sqft of dedicated gallery and exhibition space. You will be trained using the latest technology (software and hardware) available on the market.

We are excited and humbly thankful for having Vancouver Photo Workshops host our exhibition and look forward to showcasing our marathoners’ photos in their great facilities. Be sure to visit their website and check out all the great classes, contests and other photo related activities they have on offer.

Vancouver Lookout provides high level exposure

Posted by on December 18, 2009 at 9:44 am.
12x12 Vancouver

Photo by John Biehler

It’s interesting how you can live in a city for years without actually knowing it all that well. This became apparent to me when I found myself on my way home from a meeting about the marathon and got a call from an unknown number. “Hi, this is Stacey from the Vancouver Lookout” a friendly voice said and I was stumped. Having just talked to several journalists my immediate assumption based on the name alone was that this must be another newspaper. Needless to say this was way off and what Stacey had to offer had nothing to do with print and everything to do with perspective.

A view of the world (or at least a small part of it)

If you don’t know already, the Vancovuer Lookout is the observation deck of the big tower on top of Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver direcly below the famously revolving restaurant: A quick ride in a glass elevator leading to spectacular views of the city and what lies beyond. It’s an attracktion hordes of tourists take advantage of every day of the year but it is one most Vancouverites are unaware of. Just like many of the other tourist attacrtions throughout this and other metropols those with a permanent residence in the 604 region seem unwilling to play tourists in their own city. Which is too bad because gems like the Lookout are a real treat once you take the time to get up there.

High level exposure

Photo by Benjamin Luk

Photo by Benjamin Luk

So how does a lookout over the city relate to a photo contest you ask? Well, it turns out the Vancouver Lookout has a gallery space frequented by thousands of tourists and Vancouverites every month: A wide alcove along the core of the tower where artists and photographers display their work. And while the space isn’t big enough to house our entire Raw Talent exhibition, it has plenty of room to showcase the 12×12 winners. For a substantial ammount of time. You’d be hard pressed to get more high level exposure than that – both literally and figuratively.

In short, once the Raw Talent exhibit is over and the Olympics have passed through our beautiful town the winning photographs from 12×1209 will be displayed in the gallery space at the Vancouver Lookout for between 4 and 6 weeks (TBD) accompanied by photographer names and info. Thus our winning photos will get some truly international exposure before being handed over to the winners themselves.

The Vancouver Lookout also gave all the participants of the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon unrestricted access to their facilities throughout the event to provide an alternate viewpoint of our fair city allowing amongst others committee members John Biehler and Benjamin Luk to take the awesome photos featured in this article.

About the Vancouver Lookout

vancouverlookoutSituated high above Vancouver, the Lookout is the perfect first stop for visitors and locals alike and provides a fascinating bird’s eye view of our City. Glass elevators whisk visitors 130 meters (430 feet) skyward from street level to the Observation Deck in a mere 40 seconds. Here you will enjoy a riveting and spectacular 360º view of the most beautiful city in the world. Admission includes The Armstrong Gallery, named after astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong who opened the Lookout in 1977, features exhibits by local artists. Rotated every month, the artwork is for sale and makes an excellent keepsake of Vancouver, while discovering Art in the Sky.

We are thrilled to have the Vancouver Lookout on board as one of our sponsors and look forward to displaying the winner photos in The Armstrong Gallery for the world to see. Be sure to check out their website and follow Vancouver Lookout on Twitter @VanLookout.

Opus brings photos to canvas

Posted by on December 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm.

OpusOn Thursday we landed a sponsorship deal with Opus Framing & Art Supplies (follow them on Twitter @OpusArtSupplies) that made us want to forfeit our titles and enter the contest ourselves: The four main winners will receive their winning photos blown up and printed on canvas! This is the kind of thing you normally only see in an art gallery and seriously, we are jealous.

I’ll let Nadine Nickull from Opus explain how this all came about:

Opus joins the 12×12 momentum

When 12×12 contacted Opus, we immediately got excited. What a great project. As art lovers and art makers, we appreciate any initiative that encourages art activity and reminds creators to use their eyes, skills and instinct. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

So it was easy to get involved. And even easier because as an art form, photography has been going through some amazing changes in recent years. Technology has adapted the way we all do things. Perhaps this is helping to blur some of the traditional lines which have distinguished artists from photographers. Yet both will tell you that a traditional C-print has a certain something that simply cannot be underestimated.

Whatever the case, we are finding that Opus is not just for artists any more, as many photographers are visiting us asking for all kinds of things we have never carried before. Of course this is very exciting for us. For example, did you know that we currently carry the most diverse selection of digital papers in Canada? And we’re darn proud of that!

We are also introducing a new service in the coming year at our downtown Vancouver store. We will soon print your digital images onto canvas. In a recent customer survey we did about considering this new service, we received some fabulous feedback. Our customers feel we have a history of facilitating their creative process and as a result, they trust us to be able to help them make the transition to printing their work digitally, even when they do not have the experience or knowledge. Wow. That’s the kind of praise that makes you feel very proud, and helps us to know we are on the right track with expanding into this brand new area of service.

So with that said, we want to congratulate 12×12 on this fun and inspiring event. And we hope that you will visit us at Opus to see how we can be a part of your creative process.

The Opus Story:

Opus storeWe began as a small picture frame manufacturer over thirty years ago, designing our own frames and stocking framing supplies for the professional art community. Many of the relationships we established early on have remained, as most of our long-term customers continue to shop with us to this day.

Through our beginnings, we realized that there was a need in the BC arts community for a comprehensive supplier of fine art materials. We now stock ready-made frames, chop frames and mats, student and professional art supplies, and a full range of unique arts, crafts and digital media materials which we continue to expand.

We currently operate an online store and mail order service plus six stores in BC — on Granville Island, North Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver, Langley, Kelowna and Victoria — so that we can serve customers across Western Canada and beyond.

opusBooksOur company philosophy is ‘small is beautiful’. We have worked hard to develop a community and culture where we can share ideas, develop solutions, and be innovative and passionate. We practice sustainable and earth-friendly options in our buying practices and our business dealings. We donate to our community and help our customers share their stories through our website and a monthly Visual Arts newsletter.

Many of our staff are also artists themselves and very knowledgeable about the products and services we provide. We believe we are our customers best resource when they are looking for creative solutions and materials.

Opus offers a wide range of framing and visual art related services from custom do-it-yourself framing, to classroom rental, to our community donations program, and much more. To find out what Opus can do for you visit their website, join their Facebook group or follow them on Twitter @OpusArtSupplies.

We are tremendously excited to have Opus on board as a sponsor and can’t wait to see the winning photos mounted and displayed the way photos should be viewed: In large format, on canvas.

London Drugs Photo Lab to the rescue

Posted by on December 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm.

London Drugs Photo LabLast Friday we put a call out to photo labs asking for help with film development, digital scans and printing of the now 720 photos produced by the 60 participants in the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon. This part of the project was by far the most costly and was in danger of pushing us into the red. The hope was that a photo lab would come to our aid and we’re excited to announce that London Drugs has answered our call:

London Drugs (follow them on Twitter @LondonDrugs) and their Photo Lab is now the official photo development lab for the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon providing development, scans and prints for all the photos. In addition they are also providing an identifying marker (which will remain a secret) so we and the participants can see who is part of the challenge as well as other materials to help with the event.

Attention to details makes all the difference

We are especially thrilled to have London Drugs on board because they are one of the few large scale labs that does development right. Let me explain what that means in a bit more detail: When you get your photos printed – especially from film – the way that film is handled during the printing process makes a huge difference in how well your photos turn out. When the film is fed through the scanner the developer is faced with two options: Either pass it through at standard settings assuming the exposure and colours are perfect or take the time to set the proper exposure and colour correction for each photo as it passes through. The first option is quick, easy and produces great photos only if the exposures on the film is perfect (which pretty much never happens). The second opiton is labour intensive and requires a well trained eye but the result is great looking prints even from sub-standard negatives. And that’s what you get from London Drugs Photo Lab: Supperior photos from attention to details.

Just so it’s said: I’m not just saying this because London Drugs is helping us out. I worked in two photo labs in Norway, both with the same policy as London Drugs. We repeatedly went to other labs to get films developed just to show what a difference it makes when you get your pictures printed at a “proper” lab. And the difference is quite striking. So when I moved to Vancouver I looked for a lab that met my ridiculously high standards and London Drugs was the only one that fit the bill.

About London Drugs’ photo lab services

Digital technology has ushered in a new era of recreational photography, and London Drugs is leading the way. We continue to print outstanding photos using cutting-edge techology paired with trained, passionate professionals. Now, we are providing a broad range of options: photo gifts for consumers or companies, in-store kiosks, a bold new and London Drugs Photolab Home Edition for customers to design high-end photobooks.

We are thrilled to have London Drugs Photo Lab on board to ensure that all our participant photos turn out right and bring out the best in each and every grain of film. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @LondonDrugs and look them up whenever you need high quality photo printing and development services, whether it be from film or digital. They’ll make sure your pictures look the way they were intended.

Pearson brings the knowledge

Posted by on December 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm.

If you’ve ever set out to learn how to do something using a computer you’ve more than likely come across (or may even own) one of the many books published by Pearson Technology Group (follow them on Twitter @ptgcanada) even if you didn’t know it. Pearson is the mothership that drives well known educational book series like the Sams (Teach Yourself) and QUE to name a few. But what many people don’t know is that they also have a huge lineup of books and other educational materials for creative professionals, photographers included.

To show their support for the creative arts Pearson has provided us with a huge pile of books for photographers that will be part of the winner prize packages handed out at the Gallery Showcase. These books are:

Visual Poetry: A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs

by Chris Orwig

A great photograph has the potential to transcend verbal and written language. But how do you create these photographs? It’s not the how that’s important, but the who and the what. Who you are as a person has a direct impact on what you capture as a photographer.

Whether you are an amateur or professional, architect or acupuncturist, physician or photographer, this guide provides inspiration, simple techniques, and assignments to boost your creative process and improve your digital images using natural light without additional gear.

Chris Orwig’s insights—to reduce and simplify, participate rather than critique, and capture a story—have made him an immensely popular workshop speaker and faculty member at the prestigious Brooks Institute. His engaging stories presented as lessons follow his classroom approach and highlight what students say is his contagious passion for life.

Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision

by David DuChemin

Within the Frame is a book about finding and expressing your photographic vision, specifically where people, places, and cultures are concerned. A personal book full of real-world wisdom and incredible images, author David duChemin (of shows you both the how and the why of finding, chasing, and expressing your vision with a camera to your eye. Vision leads to passion, and passion is a cornerstone of great photography. With it, photographs draw the eye in and create an emotional experience. Without it, a photograph is often not worth—and can’t capture—a viewer’s attention.

Both instructional and inspirational, Within the Frame helps you on your photographic journey to make better images of the places and people you love, whether they are around the world or in your own backyard. duChemin covers how to tell stories, and the technology and tools we have at our disposal in order to tell those narratives. Most importantly, he stresses the crucial theme of vision when it comes to photographing people, places, and cultures—and he helps you cultivate and find your own vision, and then fit it within the frame.

VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography

by David DuChemin

For those who want to make the transition into the world of vocational photography—staying true to your craft and vision, while fusing that craft with commerce VisionMongers is a great place to begin your journey. With a voice equally realistic and encouraging, photographer David duChemin discusses the experiences he’s had, the lessons he’s learned, and the practices he’s adopted in his own winding journey to becoming a successful working photographer.

When it comes to this personal, honest combination of craft and commerce, there is no single path to success. Everyone’s goals are different, as is everyone’s definition of success. As such, VisionMongers does not prescribe a one size-fits-all program. Instead, duChemin candidly shares ideas, wisdom, and inspiration to introduce you to, and help you navigate, the many aspects of transforming your passion into your vocation. He addresses everything from the anxiety-riddled question “Am I good enough?” to the basics—and beyond—of marketing, business, and finance, as well as the core assumption that your product is great and your craft is always improving.

Along the way, duChemin features the stories of nine other photographers—including Chase Jarvis, Gavin Gough, and Zack Arias—whose paths, while unique, have all shared a commitment and passion for bringing their own vision to market. With VisionMongers, you’ll learn what paths have been taken—what has worked for these photographers—and you’ll be equipped to begin the process of forging your own.

Photographing Nature: A photo workshop from Brooks Institute’s top nature photography instructor

by Ralph Clevenger

Anyone can photograph nature—just step outside and you’re on location. But becoming a good nature photographer takes expert training. In Photographing Nature, Ralph Clevenger, whose images have appeared in such publications as Nature’s Best and National Geographic, shares the techniques he’s been personally using and teaching to aspiring photographers for the last 25 years in his popular nature photography course at the elite Brooks Institute.

In this stunning, four-color course-in-a-book, each chapter opens with a spectacular photo spread from the natural world that Clevenger uses to illustrate themes and techniques essential to mastering nature photography. Just as he does in his classroom at Brooks, Clevenger explains how each photo was captured, the tools and techniques used, and typical problems related to capturing such a photo, along with solutions. Chapters also include sample Q&A sessions as well as assignments you can try yourself.

By the time you’ve worked through all of the techniques in this beautiful, yet informative book, you’ll not only photograph the world differently, you’ll see it differently as well. With a foreword by George Lepp, one of North America’s best-known contemporary outdoor and nature photographers.

Hot Shoe Diaries, The: Big Light from Small Flashes

by Joe McNally

After spending more than thirty years behind the lens—working for National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated—Joe McNally knows about light. He knows how to talk about it, shape it, color it, control it, and direct it. Most importantly, he knows how to create it…using small hot shoe flashes.

In The Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe brings you behind the scenes to candidly share his lighting solutions for a ton of great images. Using Nikon Speedlights, Joe lets you in on his uncensored thought process—often funny, sometimes serious, always fascinating—to demonstrate how he makes his pictures with these small flashes. Whether he’s photographing a gymnast on the Great Wall, an alligator in a swamp, or a fire truck careening through Times Square, Joe uses these flashes to create great light that makes his pictures sing.

The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world’s top shooters

by Joe McNally

Joe McNally, one of the world’s top pro digital photographers, whose celebrated work has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, and National Geographic (to name a few), breaks new ground by doing something no photography book has ever done—blending the rich, stunning images and elegant layout of a coffee-table book with the invaluable training, no-nonsense insights, and photography secrets usually found only in those rare, best-of-breed educational books.

When Joe’s not on assignment for the biggest-name magazines and Fortune 500 clients, he’s in the classroom teaching location lighting, environmental portraiture, and how to “get the shot” at workshops around the world. These on-location workshops are usually reserved for a handful of photographers each year, but now you can learn the same techniques that Joe shares in his seminars and lectures in a book that brings Joe’s sessions to life.

The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers

by Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby, the best-selling Photoshop author in the world today, once again takes this book to a whole new level as he uncovers the latest, most important, and most exciting new Adobe Photoshop CS4 techniques for digital photographers. This major update to his award-winning, record-breaking book does something for digital photographers that’s never been done before—it cuts through the bull and shows you exactly “how to do it.” It’s not a bunch of theory; it doesn’t challenge you to come up with your own settings or figure it out on your own. Instead, Scott shows you step-by-step the exact techniques used by today’s cutting-edge digital photographers, and best of all, he shows you flat-out exactly which settings to use, when to use them, and why. That’s why the previous editions of this book are widely used as the official study guide in photography courses at colleges and universities around the world.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers

by Scott Kelby

Written in concert with Adobe’s development of the Photoshop Lightroom 2 Beta, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers – by #1 bestselling computer and technology author, Scott Kelby – is the most complete and concise Lightroom “how-to” book for digital photographers of all skill levels.

In The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers, Scott walks readers through the basics of Lightroom use, leading them to a brilliantly devised and super efficient digital photography workflow that dramatically improves productivity and allows photographers to spend less time processing photos and more time shooting them.

Throughout the book Scott shares his personal camera and Lightroom settings, as well as the studio-tested techniques he’s developed for his own photography workflow. The book is written in his trademark step-by-step, plain English style, and because he knows what really works and what doesn’t, he isn’t shy to tell you flat out which tools to use, which to avoid, and why. This allows digital photographers of any skill level to jump right in using Lightroom like a pro from the very start, sidestepping a lot of the frustrations that typically haunt those unfamiliar with new applications…especially those as powerful as Lightroom.

About Pearson

pearsonPearson Technology Group Canada (PTGC) is the premier distributor of books and training materials for today’s business and IT professional. PTGC represents the publishing industry’s leading imprints for authoritative and cutting edge technical and professional information. Our imprints include: Financial Times Press,Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall Professional, Cisco Press, Peachpit Press, Que Publishing, and Sams Publishing. In addition PTGC has corporate alliances with Cisco Systems, Adobe Systems, Sun, and IBM.

PTGC is a division of Pearson Education Canada, one of the global education publishing business of Pearson plc., the international media group.

You can get more information about Pearson and their extensive lineup of educational products (including Morten’s two books) check out their Canadian website. You can also follow them on Twitter @ptgcanada for the latest updates. Remember to check out their huge selection of books, DVDs and other learning materials for creative professionals by visiting

We are thrilled to have Pearson on board as a sponsor and hugely jealous of the winners who get to walk away with these fantastic books.

Blenz Coffee Celebrates the Arts

Posted by on December 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm.
Blenz Coffee in Yaletown. Photo by Lesley Tetlow Stefanski.

Blenz Coffee in Yaletown. Photo by Lesley Tetlow Stefanski.

Blenz CoffeeAs you all know, we are using Blenz Coffee in Yaletown as the headquarters for the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon. We chose the location for its proximity to the new Yaletown -Roundhouse SkyTrain station and for the fact that they have food & hot beverages for a cold day, plus a huge heating array outside.

But Blenz involvement in this event goes way beyond merely providing a convenient location. The Vancouver based company has, through its president George Moen, decided to come on board as a sponsor and provide services that will benefit you, the participant and help promote the event:

First of all, each of our 60 marathoners will receive a $5 gift card during registration that is redeemable at any Blenz location. To show his support, George is also coming down to the location before the kickoff to personally hand over the cards to our team, and to meet with the participants.

As part of the prize package for our winners, Blenz is offering to showcase the winning photos throughout the Blenz Media Network. We are still working out the details but basically it means the winning photos will be displayed along with the photographer’s name and website on screens throughout the Blenz stores as part of their in-house promotions package. This means your winning photos will be seen by everyone who enters a Blenz store.

The Blenz Gallery

As an added service to all 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon participants, Blenz is also offering a dedicated space under their recently launched Blenz Online Gallery site to showcase your 12×12 photos as well as any other photos you may wish to share with the world. I asked George to explain this in a bit more detail:

Blenz Coffee has recently launched the Blenz Online Gallery ( ). With the rapid rise of Social Media Blenz has quickly seen the importance and power of opening a conversation with it’s Customers and Team Members. The Gallery is designed to encourage people to load up their images on the gallery to be shared with our many customers and visitors. Blenz has 100,000 of thousands of visitors each month to our 56 plus stores in BC and many take advantage of our free Wi-Fi access to connect with their world online. We encourage those customers who want to promote their projects , brands and businesses to use the Blenz online Gallery to direct traffic back to their blogs, websites etc. The Friends Of Blenz will be able to have control over their images, content , keywords etc.

Blenz is happy to be a sponsor of the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and has provided a number promotional options to the organizers and participants. Working with the organizers we will set up a “category” for each of the Photographers who wish to share their art with the world and take advantage of Blenz Social Media promotional efforts to showcase their work.

Further, Blenz Coffee will also, at the option of the Organizers & Participants to broadcast the winning entries on the newly deployed Blenz Media Network. Blenz now has in most of our stores within BC a Digital Display Network where we can provide a wide array of images etc. for our customers viewing.

We are thrilled to have Blenz on board as a sponsor and look forward to further collaborations as the event progresses. Be sure to check out the Blenz Blog, follow @BlenzCoffee on Twitter (they give out a $5 gift card to someone who mentions them on Twitter every day), and check out their new and awesome Latte Art available at every location.

Oh, and lastly a tip: If you’re having a hard time coming up with stocking stuffers for Christmas, consider a Blenz gift card. They can be personalized and you get a 10% discount if you call and order in advance.

The Province helps us go retro

Posted by on December 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm.

The Province coverageWhat is an event without some serious support from a local paper? Earlier this week, news editor Erik Rolfsen from The Province newspaper took an interest in our event and decided it was a good story. So good in fact, that in addition to today’s feature, the paper is going to print a selection of the winning photos in advance of the showcase in January. That’s right fellow marathoners! If you win one of our categories, chances are your photo will be printed in one of the biggest papers in British Columbia!

So pick up a copy of today’s Province (the Sunday edition), pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and sit down to page A10 for a darn good read. Every single copy of the paper has been snapped up? No problem, you can find it online by clicking here.

Media support is paramount to get word of an event like this out to the masses and we are grateful to have The Province on board. A special thanks goes out to Erik for writing the piece and to photographer Arlen Redekop who had the challenging task of getting a shot of me without my usual dorkiness.

HINT: Read the article for a promo code that knocks the ticket price down to early-bird pricing after Sunday.