Following on from yesterday’s trip down memory lane, today I wanted to share the Polaroid fantasy of wedding photographers Julius & James. When Stephen (James), who has a passion for old film cameras, gave Julius a modified Polaroid 250 land camera for his birthday they immediately started to think about how they could use it in their wedding and fashion photography. So they started to experiment with 4X5 film in their Toronto studio.
“We’ve added three cameras, a Polaroid SX-70, which shoots the new Impossible Project film, and two Fuji Instax cameras”, Stephen explains. “Because this was going to be a studio shoot, we really felt free to play and have fun, so we decided to shoot a vintage bride, wearing authentic 1950s and early 1960s outfits. Our inspiration came from looking at a lot of original advertising from the Mad Men period. We re-used several period poses and compositions, and for about 12 hours only, it even became permissible, in fact obligatory, to smoke on set. We took multiple shots of the same pose using different cameras and film to demonstrate the variety of looks that are achievable with the instant film available today.”
The Photography Farm is a three-day workshop for wedding photographers, hosted by Lisa Devlin on a beautiful 12-acre farm near Gatwick. I’ve been involved with The Farm since it’s inception, helping to style the shoots and speaking to the ‘farmers’ about blogging, working with wedding blogs, advertising & marketing and building a successful online brand.
I love The Farm. It’s quickly become my home away from home, a place I look forward to escaping to and somewhere I get to meet a whole host of new and exciting emerging wedding photography talent. I always leave the safe confines of the 16th century farmhouse with a head full of ideas, a new jolt of inspiration and a renewed invigoration for where the UK wedding industry is heading.
At each workshop, we pull together a styled shoot concept for the farmers to practice the techniques that Lisa teaches them on the first day. However never wanting to keep things simple, we always strive to come up with a creative idea to really get those farmers excited. For this latest shoot we had newlyweds Hannah & Iwan as our models.
There has been a huge shift in how the wedding industry views styled shoots. When I first started doing them (remember these?! – look at that baby face!) there was really no such concept. Styled wedding editorials were the reserve of glossy wedding magazines with their big budgets and large teams. But over the past few years there’s been a huge shift, and now hundreds of small groups of wedding suppliers are gathering together to showcase their skills and play with new themes, trends and ideas. They’re featured on wedding blogs daily and even the wedding magazines, for the most part, have cut down on the number of editorials they shoot, opting to instead publish the offerings of these eager-for-publicity contributors.
To me, the thing that makes a really great editorial shoot isn’t all the pretty details (although they help), the beautiful model or the amazing backdrop – it’s the narrative and the story that the images tell. As soon as I saw this shoot sent over by wedding photographer James Melia I instantly started wondering what this girl’s story was and what the photographer and stylist wanted to tell us.
But luckily for me I could just ask them! As James explains, “The inspiration for this shoot came from a really simple idea of just a girl, and the beauty of the everyday. Using our model Jemima as our inspiration. each of the contributors added our own elements while working with a colour palette of peacock blues and moss greens. We thought it would look really striking against her delicate translucent skin and white blue cropped hair.”
Struggling to find the kinda of clients they really wanted to work with in Yorkshire where they’re based, photographer and videographer Lorna Lovecraft & Darryl Forrester decided to take matters into their own hands and show these kinds of alternative couples why they should be booking them.
“Although we have both been in business for a while, we have been struggling to book the kinds of clients who are having the style of wedding that we really want to shoot”, Lorna wrote. “We really want to work with couples who have a very individual style and are not afraid of doing things their own way on their wedding day. We decided whilst business was quiet in January we would do an alternative styled bridal fashion shoot to try and highlight our skills to our ideal clients.”
“I took inspiration from Kat’s article which appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine about future trends in weddings for 2013. One of the items that leapt out at me was bold colour and where she wrote ‘The vintage trend that dominated the wedding industry for the past few years is finally starting to wane. Instead of pretty and pale, 2013 will be the year of daring colour choices… And I’m talking bold colour baby! Colours that contrast and complement like black and yellow, or teal and grey, will be popular selections, but for the more daring couples it’s all about the clash! I’m thinking pink and orange, or yellow and green! Delicious’.”
Wanting to do something different to the vintage-loving crowd, wedding photographer June Cochran opted to have her latest project shot inside, at night and with a warm cosy vibe. This idea but juxtaposed nicely with bright pops of colour and daring and edgy flower arrangements. “Pretty much every single stylized wedding shoot I’ve seen is at magic hour, outdoors in a field, and as vintage and pastel as it gets”, she writes. “That’s beautiful, but I wanted to shake it up and push it out it the box.”
“With the help of some amazing Colorado wedding vendors, we created a beautiful and modern idea for brides that rock. We were first inspired by an outdoor reception shot of a table with candles and brightly colored floral centerpieces. The theme took off from there by stepping outside of the typical outdoor, pastel palette, sunset, vintage style wedding shoots.”
“Our over arching theme was an Indoor night-time forest wedding with our base foundation being our venue, the romantic and highly popular Denver restaurant, Beatrice & Woodsley. This idea turned into reality and even included a custom designed wedding dress, made for just $100! This shoot was anything but typical, and everything magical.”
The bitter Winter weather seems to finally be waning and it’s almost felt like the start of Spring across the south of England this week. So what could be a better way to celebrate than a perfectly boho inspired beach photo shoot?
“We wanted to mesh the elegance of a tea party with the mellow relaxation of the bohemian lifestyle with this shoot”, wrote photographer Yuna Leonard. “By choosing elements from both avenues – the beautiful vintage cups and saucers, along with the seating pillows and lace table overlay – we crafted a modern take on a classic event. We also found inspiration within our location, pairing the muted backdrop of the rocky beach with a soft, warm-spring-inspired color palette.”