At University I spent 3 years following my love for fashion and beauty photography which resulted in having to organise shoots consisting of a concept, location/ studio, model(s), hair stylist, make up artist, fashion designer and clothing stylist. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for constant work I felt as though every shoot I organised was rushed and not thought through enough in order for it to be a success. Shooting around 3 times a week resulted in huge amounts of stress and ‘rushed’ work. I absolutely loved a shoot that was well organised and the images reflected my vision however I have not organised a ‘styled’ shoot since… until now.
Due to the Wedding Season now starting to quieten down I am always looking for photography techniques and ideas to get me inspired – (this is where Pinterest comes in!) Since photographing weddings I have fallen in love with outdoor ceremonies. Whether this is a Woodland Wedding, Festival Wedding, Garden Wedding or even a Farm Wedding – you name an outdoor venue I will be 100% excited. I just love anything that is DIFFERENT anything where my Brides and Grooms can put their stamp on it and create a day that reflects THEM and not conform to your standard, stereotypical day. Yes, we live in England and yes it may rain but that is the thrill!
I am a country girl and love the fresh air and open outdoors. I have always wanted to shoot a ‘styled’ shoot where both the outdoors and weddings combine. I began searching under the category of ‘earthy weddings’ and ‘english rose’ and found so many absolutely beautiful images that just made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
After weeks of swooning over so many beautiful photos I finally felt totally and utterly inspired to organise a ‘styled’ shoot representing all things outdoors; beautiful, dainty and unique. I had seen some gorgeous and different wedding suppliers via ‘The Most Curious Wedding Fair.’ One supplier really caught my eye – a collection of gorgeous, hand drawn, linen animal masks designed by London based designer ‘Animalesque.’ I popped Sara (the designer) an email asking to borrow the masks for the shoot I was planning and she said yes (hooray!) and a shoot was in motion. Strangely enough (I think it was fate) a few days after planning the shoot I was approached by a lady called Katy Rayner (Bracken and Twine Floristry) enquiring if I organise styled shoots. I had a look at Katy’s Facebook page and just fell-in-love. If you are looking for a real unique, English, artistic bouquet you NEED to check this talented lady out. Her style is EVERYTHING! I informed her about the ‘Earthy styled’ shoot I was planning straight away as her and her designs fitted in with the theme so well – so she designed a gorgeous hair circlet and huge woodland bouquet. I then contacted the lovely Kate (By Kate Elizabeth) a fab stylist who I have worked with over the past couple of years and she recruited GORGEOUS models Alisha Whitworth and Kate Winser. I then saw that the very lovely Gemma Holiday (Gemma Holiday Hair Stylist) was home from America and she recruited seriously talented Missy (Melissa Abel Make Up Artist) AND A TEAM WAS BORN!
As always, when you have a brilliant plan nothing ever goes smoothly! We had issues with Mr. Postman resulting in masks not arriving on time, model sickness (and then Kate Winser stepped in), traffic jams, losing keys – you name it, it happened (bar the camera going wrong thank goodness!)
Due to not being able to shoot the masks the most of the team were able to meet again the following day so that we could re-shoot so that the masks were featured! Life savers!
Location wise we shot at the very beautiful Wensum Park, Norwich which was just perfect and incorporated everything from the mood board with over grown, woodland areas along with marble walls and gorgeous lakes and old stone steps. The dresses were sourced from the Big C Cancer Charity (Norwich) and were so beautiful and so fit for the purpose of this very English styled shoot – the detailing and the sleeves were just fantastic!
I was so pleased to be able to feature Sara’s (Animalesque) hand made, bespoke masks. The masks themselves are nothing like anything I have ever seen before and gave me such a nostalgic feeling when I saw them (they reminded me so much of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.) I was super eager to photograph the set of bespoke animal masks as I would so love for my Brides and Grooms to feature something similar (or the same!) for when it comes to photo opportunities and also simply having FUN at their weddings! The masks would suit many of my outdoor wedding bookings and would really aid in getting my Brides/ Grooms/ Guests in getting relaxed in front of the camera! Sara also designs special childrens masks that would be SO lovely on a little page boy or flower girl (hint hint 2017/ 2018 brides and grooms!) I was so excited to photograph Sara’s incredible designs and was more excited when I finally got my hands on them (a day late thank you to Mr. Postman!) and saw for myself the amount of detail and hard work that goes into every single one – it was incredible. the beaded work, the feathers and the sketch like print of the animals onto the material just worked so well together!