My working title for this blog post was ‘Sparkle Motion’… because it’s the first thing that popped into my head when I started to write the feature. It stuck, because after thinking long and hard, I couldn’t imagine anything else being as apt. These glorious pictures were submitted by Utah based wedding photographer Natalie Wall.
“I had been wanting to do a moody stylized bridal session for a while”, she wrote. “While I love working with clients, it can become creatively exhausting. Anytime you have a collaboration of people with different ideas, you tend to get multiple potential outcomes. As an artist, it can be very difficult to put aside your creative preferences to please those you are working with and/or for. This shoot was, essentially, to liberate myself from just that. I wanted to create something, using challenging lighting, to create a nontraditional mood – dark and romantic, edgy and beautiful. Something I could see out from start to finish, while remaining in artistic control.”
The day I published this article on wedding trends (and why they suck) Scottish wedding photographer Caro Weiss got in touch to tell me she couldn’t agree more – and that she’d just done a shoot with florists, Pyrus, for the exact same reason!
“Every year before wedding season kicks off I like to do a collaborative shoot with like-minded wedding industry friends”, she wrote. “It has become a highlight at the end of winter for me and I really enjoy coming up with a concept and challenging myself. For this year shoot I wanted to really focus on the fun side of things.”
“I have become rather bored with seeing the same kind of styled wedding shoots in magazines and on blogs (that is obviously not the case on Rock n Roll Bride!) usually featured a wavy haired ‘pretty’ brunette looking demure and elaborate dresses and lots of little ‘pretty’ details. Well, tell you what. The best weddings I have been to and photographed are nothing like that.”
One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.
As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.
When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.