That art - called styling - is something that I've always wanted to master, and that desire has been hugely reinforced by Pinterest, where the difference between styled shots and unstyled ones is pretty obvious. Whether it's a perfectly placed throw, a simple floral arrangement adding an essential pop of colour, or a couple of sparkling rings casually strewn on a dresser, styling is such an important part of getting the shot, and none of it happens by accident.
So when the opportunity presented itself to team up with my friend Dallas on a styled wedding photo shoot, I jumped at the chance. While I don't intend to pursue a career in weddings, the skills you need to style a wedding shoot and an interior design shoot are essentially the same. It's all about figuring out what works in person vs what works on film in terms of colour, composition, spacing, texture, light . . . the list goes on. By taking on this challenge I would get to learn about all of it in the only way I really know how - hands on.
When we first started we were thinking pretty small, but the project quickly grew, and then grew some more. In a matter of days we went from a small shoot in a park to a full day at a gorgeous local restaurant with eight models and a stunning lace confection of a dress. We had vendors to coordinate, props to source, d.i.y projects to tackle and (due to a hilarious twist of fate) a three tiered cake to make ourselves.
And while it was definitely a lot of work, and there was a big learning curve, I loved every single minute of it. We weren't even finished with the first shoot when we started planning the second one, and we're currently dreaming up our third. I officially can't get enough.
For a full write-up on our concept (think cozy urban fall) and more of the portrait photos from the shoot, visit Dal's post here. If you just want the pretty though, here are a few of my favourites:
Like anything worth doing, I feel like I have learned so much - more than I had even expected to. I'd expected to improve my styling skills, but I've been amazed by all the other skills I've improved on as well, like marketing, networking, planning, coordination...really the list is endless. What's more, I've met amazing people along the way, most of them inspiring women who have followed their passions and started their own businesses doing what they love. I can't tell you how pumped up that gets me!
When I look back at the process and the photos from each shoot I feel intensely proud, but I also see everything that I would refine or do differently. I see a huge amount of room for improvement, and I get excited just thinking about how much better I can do next time. Which is what makes it fun for me. The second I stop learning is the second I stop doing this.
I'm excited to keep sharing these projects with you, as well as all my other attempts to improve my styling chops. I hope you'll share your honest opinions on areas that I could tweak, or ideas that I may not have thought of. Your thoughts are so so welcome!