It’s no secret that I have a ‘thing’ for ridiculous headwear, and my obsession with ears in particular is completely unfaltering! So I was thrilled when I saw this cute ‘bunny love’ photo shoot by South London based wedding photographer Ellie Gillard. This world needs more brides wearing ears that’s what I say. Why not be brave and do something quirky like this for your wedding day portraits… go on, I dare ya!
“I’ve wanted to pull together some form of styled shoot for a while”, wrote Ellie, ” something to showcase my work and something that had a different angle to the weddings I shoot. I wanted to shoot something where I could create my own story. I was also keen that, rather than just being a showcase for lots of lovely things, that there should be some kind of tangible emotion in the photos, so that real couples planning their wedding could see something in it.”
Shooting a bride in water is nothing new, but there was just something about this Lady in the Lake inspired shoot that spoke to me. I love the bride’s beautiful blue, green and purple mermaid hair (obviously) and the simple yet edgy styling ideas are pretty damn awesome aren’t they? I’d love to see a future real bride carrying a rustic and dramatic bouquet like some of these.
“This Lady of the Lake inspired wedding styled shoot features some of Baltimore’s most talented wedding vendors”, wrote wedding photographer Sarah Gormley. “The styling was by Mobtown Florals, Lauren Ruth Ward did hair, make up and modelled and the gorgeous dress was by Jill Andrews Gowns. We wanted to choose a theme that could serve as inspiration for brides looking for darker and more edgy styling – and the Lady of the Lake theme did just that.”
Two rockabilly babes, tattoos and seriously cute wedding dresses – what’s not to love about this adorable set of images, shot in and around The Custard Factory in Birmingham? “This shoot came about from my vastly growing obsession with polka dots, in all their multicoloured forms”, wrote button bouquet creator Emma, who masterminded the whole thing. “Actually, not just mine, but also many of my brides who often want a bit of dottiness in their bouquets! I wanted to create a look that would appeal to and inspire my clients so I set about this little collaboration with some wonderfully talented wedding peeps.”
Emma asked Annie’s Antics, the most fabulous pistachio green, old school style ice cream van to join in the fun and obviously she created the button bouquets herself. “My range of button and felt bouquets that I created for the shoot explored the bolder pastel tones that sum up spring”, wrote Emma. “I used sherbet lemons, candy pinks and palma violets as my inspiration.”
I think by now, we’re all aware of my feelings about styled shoots in general. But rules are nothing if meant to be broken, and when I clapped eyes on this stunning tattooed couple and their quirky yet attainable wedding styling ideas, I couldn’t help but want to blog it – so shoot me!
“We’re not really big on ‘inspiration shoots’ but we got sick and tired of shooting stuff that everyone else wanted”, agrees photographer Lucy who runs her photography studio with partner Steven. “Being from the South, we have found it a huge challenge to get couples to think outside the box and just go for it.”
“It was important to us to stay true to ourselves and use real people who aren’t models but people who are engaged and really like each other! We met Maria & Chris through my husband. Maria is a salon owner and cuts his hair and Chris is a world renowned tattoo artist. They are both awesome people and awesome looking…..WINNING. They got engaged a while back and plan on just going to the court house so we thought this would be perfect for them. They get pictures out of the deal and we get models…”
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.