Ballroom Styled Shoot

A successful styled shoot (or any shoot for that matter!) begins with a vision. The end result doesn't always match the initial idea perfectly, but that is part of what makes the creative process fun!

When I sat down to plan this shoot, I knew the venue (The Ballroom at I Street) and the dress shop (Tesori) would lend themselves to a clean, sophisticated shoot.

I had just finished this rustic outdoor styled shoot and wanted to do something completely different this time around.

I also wanted to consider my branding. So I spent time envisioning how I could communicate my own style and personality, which I typically don't get to do. With real weddings, the bride tends to be in charge ;)

Simplicity, easy sophistication, and lots of whites were on my mind. Also some soft, dreamy close ups of the bride.

The shoot was to feature the bride, a bouquet and a small table with a wedding cake. Pretty simple - which is how I like it!

I hoped to feature a few unexpected elements - such as some modern sculptural earrings or hair pins and also some prettily wrapped gifts to add a unique twist and help the photos to stand out. The earrings we ended up using came from Dillards, and the perfect hair pin was shipped all the way from Estonia! A talented friend of mine from Florida sent the watercolor gift wrap. Overall I was super happy with all three of those items, I only wish I had photographed them a tad more. I looooovvvvve details!

After looking at all of those items on our mood board, I decided to ask Genoa to do a natural look for the makeup - with pink lips and possibly a deeper brown eyeshadow. Earlier I had thought about doing something really creative with the makeup - like dripping gold eye paint... but after seeing the elements come together, a pretty and natural look seemed more appropriate. She absolutely nailed it!

The low updo was chosen to compliment the the neckline and the lines of the back of the dress. I love that Kirsten was able to create a hairstyle that was formal without being stiff. Perfect!!

The dress is by designer Desiree Hartsock. The detailing and cut of the dress definitely accentuate feminine curves and that's ALWAYS a good thing!

The shoes of course are Badgley Mischka. The jeweled heels are a favorite of photographers. When I took them out of the box I kinda just had a moment because I wasn't expecting the classic toe! It really takes the shoe to fairytale status IMO. The perfectly placed vine of jewels winding around the stiletto heel is remarkable in itself... all these details form what may be the most perfect wedding shoe. It's enchanting, classic, sophisticated and stunning!

Rick's Bakery brought the cake and cream puffs. For the cake, we had two different looks we were trying to decide between: A simple, white two-tiered cake with small sprigs of greenery... or a simple, white two-tiered cake with a wide silk ribbon. Lindsay at Rick's made the call to go with the ribbon and I am SO GLAD she did! That beautiful bow is such a stunner... I didn't expect it to be such a show stopper but it totally is! It added a whole new layer of texture, softness and "pretty" to the shoot. This is a perfect example of how a small and inexpensive detail can transform a photo collection. For this look you will need a 3" wide ribbon.

The last thing to do was style the cake table and this time the task fell to me. Honestly I was a tad nervous because in the past I have left styling up to everyone else. But once I realized I could do whatever I wanted I guess I enjoyed it! Having all the other elements decided really helped me narrow down and choose the right items that wouldn't be distracting next to the cake. The candlesticks, turtledoves, china, silverware, tray, napkins and art books were gathered from mine and my sisters' homes. The dusty miller helped connect all the elements in the composition.

The totally original bouquet from Stems by Em kept the elevated look of the shoot. None of us had seen a ruscus before and we all kept wanting to touch it! All the texture in the bouquet was so interesting and a nice balance to the otherwise understated bridal portraits. The bouquet included magnolia as well.

One of my favorite items in the shoot is actually one you can't see! It's an industrial fan we used to create some movement and energy in some of the photos with the veil. Having that movement totally brought those photos to a whole other level in my opinion! I had been wanting to use a fan for a shoot for a while and it did not disappoint!! The fan and cake stand were both courtesy of Somthin' Borrowed.

If I'm being really honest I also have to say that eating the cream puffs was my other favorite part! I can't believe how good they were (yes, I may have eaten both- a girl gets tired after a styled shoot and sometimes substitutes dessert for real food.) I didn't mean not to share.

Well there you have it! The quick version of how this shoot came together. Of course it took a lot of work from some pretty talented people! When we work together we can create something new and amazing, and all learn a little from each other in the process.

Venue: The Ballroom at I Street

Floral: Stems by Em

Dress Shop: Tesori Bridal

Dress Designer: Desiree Hartsock

Cake: Rick's Bakery

Hair: Hair by Kirsten

Makeup: Genoa Falar Walls

Model: Emily Dennis

Papers: Jayebird

Hair Pins: Tanne Design

Rentals: Somthin' Borrowed

Photographer: Olivia Fryer

Assistant Photographer: Katie Christian