Last month I invested in me. I invested in my business. I surrounded myself with hundreds of incredibly talented photographers from all over the world. I met with owners of film labs to learn more about their processes and how I can deliver the best images to my clients. I met with print labs to discuss new partnerships for the fine art prints I have always offered my clients, since the beginning of my business over 16 years ago.
It’s always important to me to attend at least one industry conference each year. Continuing education is invaluable. I never want to feel like I’ve learned everything there is to know. I want to always be a student, honing my skills. Conferences are always a shot in the arm of inspiration, but sometimes they can also make you feel “less than” or overwhelmed with information and how to apply it to your business right away. As soon as those feelings creep in I try to realign them with the truth that I am enough. My worth is in Christ and I am created to be me, not anyone else. I do me. I stay true to my style, my goals and my desire to keep learning and pursuing the best ways to serve my amazing clients. Then I stop for a minute, take a deep breath and realize how deeply grateful I am that THIS is what I get to do every single day. It brings me so much joy.
I already shared the shoot hosted by the talented Eric Kelley and you can see that post here. Now, I want to share some of the film images from an inspiration shoot and workshop hosted by another leader in the wedding photography industry, Lauren Fair, who has been named Top Wedding Photographer in the world by BRIDES and The Knot. I enjoyed meeting her after following her work for a while now. She and her husband Tim are kind people and wonderfully humble educators. I love how this shoot turned out because of the efforts of an incredibly talented vendor team. My business started with film exclusively over 16 years ago. After a long sabbatical, it feels good to slowly weave film back into my workflow as a hybrid shooter, which just means that I’m an artist who chooses the medium (film or digital) that best suits the client, the situation and the light. I hope you enjoy this lovely wedding inspiration shot on film…
Credits/Vendor Team + Instagram Accounts:
Host Photographer: @erickelley
Producer and Set Designer: @type_a_society
Floral Designer: @melissabroadwell
Wardrobe Styling: @lexfordays
Jewelry: @sarahojewelry + @trumpetandhorn
Couture Bags and Jewelry: @mindylamjewelry
Earrings: @jenniferbehr + @lili_claspe
Backdrops: @telicialee styling mats @jrd_artshop
Plates, Silverware and Glasses: @greystonetable
Stationary: @yonderdesign + @aerialistpress
Ring boxes: @voeu_du_coeur
Floral Pedestal Columns: @lavendersflowers
Jane Elizabeth and Taylor’s April wedding….it was stunning! Just wait to you see the reception floral design. It’s next level gorgeous! The couple even brought their lab “Honey” along for portraits after their First Look. My favorite image of the day? As you are scrolling, look for the black and white, wide reception room shot with JE and Taylor in a moment as if they were the only ones in the room. That image is what I look for at every reception. It encompasses the story of the entire day from planning and design by the talented Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events, to all the important people in your life celebrating with you, and most importantly your joy and emotion in the midst of the moment of it all coming together. It’s everything!
I loved spending the day with this Alabama girl, Arkansas Razorback and their sweet families! I say this every time, but y’all my brides are the sweetest! I feel truly blessed to be invited into your lives.
Photographer: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographers: Emily Kicklighter & Rizza Phillips | Planner: M. Elizabeth Events| Floral Design: Mary Donald | Wedding Gown: Custom redesign of bride’s mother’s dress by Katherine Vier | Bride Shoes: Stuart Weitzman|Tuxes: Mr. Burch | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids |Wedding Invitations: The Scribbler| Bride Hair Stylist: Melissa Bogardus| Ceremony: Cathedral Church of the Advent | Reception Venue: Mountain Brook Club| Cake Artist: Magic Muffin| Lighting, Draping and Rigging: AG Lighting | Rentals: Prophouse Birmingham |Entertainment: Atlanta Groove Factory
I always get asked the question, “What should I wear for my Engagement Session?” and my answer is always a long, solid-color fluid dress, heels and classic jewelry — estate or family pieces if you have them. Long dresses are very feminine. They catch the wind and add beautiful movement when you walk. That movement adds so much interest to your images. And, the fit of your dress should compliment your figure and show off your shape. If an outfit off the rack needs to be altered to fit you well, then do it to look your best. The reason we love so many celebrities’ outfits is that they are custom made to fit their bodies. My favorite silhouettes? It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE a one-shoulder dress. It’s a hint of sexy, but classy at the same time. I also love simple slip dresses and wraps that accent your waist.
When choosing a dress, keep in mind that solid fabrics are best, because prints and patterns can be trendy and distracting unless they are tiny florals or classic patterns like stripes or checks. Plus, so many trendy outfits can date your images very quickly. Same goes for big, chunky accessories. Choose simple and delicate instead. I love heirloom, estate pieces that connect you to your family and give just enough sparkle. Ask your grandmother if you can borrow her pearl and diamond earrings, or your mother her diamond necklace. If your location makes it a little hard to walk in heels, you can take them off. Holding your shoes as you walk gives the images a more relaxed feel (even though you are dressed up) and also gives you something to do with your hands.
For a second, more casual outfit, well-fitting jeans with heels and a dressy blouse or a tailored jumpsuit, is what I recommend. Both are always a win.
So, to sum it up in a few words…solid, flowy, delicate feminine, and classic with a just hint of sexy and a touch of tailored. If every piece you choose to wear for your session can be summed up in those words then you’ve nailed it and your images will be beautiful and timeless.
Be looking for my next post, which will be a Q&A with Walton’s Jewelry on how to confidently shop for and choose estate jewelry and antique engagement rings.
My first wedding of 2019 was Virginia and Matthew’s beautiful Birmingham, AL wedding planned by M. Elizabeth Events in shades of smoky blue, white and greenery.