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November 29, 2017

Crowns and Kittens: A Styled Shoot at Haus 820

New Month, New Creation

It was February 2017 when I decided to shoot one creative session every month. Since then I have been on a fantastic journey of personal growth! (Note: when art is your job, it can be surprisingly easy to get creatively stuck!) Those of you who follow my work know that my projects have ranged from last-minute, window-lit portraits to detailed themes and favorite spots around Lakeland. As a result, this year has been incredibly satisfying to my creative side (which has only aided in making me a stronger wedding photographer!) and I can’t help but feel that this is a habit that should continue for months to come. 🙃

As November rolled around, so did another opportunity to get creative. I was honestly visionless until I walked into Concord Coffee one afternoon. I was there to shoot a magazine feature, and ended up reconnecting with a sweet friend and Concord barista, Julie Myers. I left there that day already knowing that she would be my model for November! And so the first domino fell…

There was something about Julie’s facial structure that just BEGGED for a floral crown. I am a HUGE fan of these bohemian beauties, and brides who wear them are my heroes! I had been itching to photograph a design like this, and so I just KNEW I had to have one for my November shoot with Julie. But why stop there? Before you knew it, I was calling up vendors around the area and putting together an official styled shoot, complete with hair,  makeup, gowns, and an INCREDIBLE spot at Haus 820! And as if all THAT weren’t enough, I called the SPCA on a whim and asked if we could have some KITTENS join us on the day-of. Would you believe it? They said YES!

The first section of this project highlights the stunning floral work of Heather Taylor, along with gown designs provided by Isabel O’Neil. Combine these masterpieces with the glamorous talent of Josh Vasquez and Ciara Liebl, and the expert styling of Lisa Malott, and we had one beautiful set up! The latter half of our shoot focused on all things adorable, aka bringing out the kittens to roll around and snuggle with. (Can we have kittens at every shoot please? They are basically guaranteed smiles!!) All of these various components made up a styled shoot that has become one of my all-time favorites!

Creative Side Notes

As with all of my art projects, there is often purpose and meaning behind my imagery. However, I will be the FIRST to admit that I often shoot beauty for beauty’s sake! The rich colors, the curve of Julie’s smile, the innocent fluff of a kitten tumbling off a chair… these are subjects that require NO artistic explanation! However, I have provided some elaboration for the sake of those who enjoy peeking behind the scenes into my thought process. 😊

My first goal was to portray a vision of innocence and life. The fresh florals, the white wedding gowns, the hilariously adorable kittens, and even Julie’s particular look all aided beautifully in this endeavor! I also wanted to experiment with more purposeful posing. I typically don’t position my models as specifically as Julie, but this was the perfect time and place to improve the skill! One of my favorite elements of posing involves the placement of hands and fingers. I have been pushing myself lately to incorporate more hands in my images (“hands hands hands!” I’ll tell myself silently) and I am more convinced than ever that they add a beautiful movement and emotion to an image!

Finally, I wanted to create a space to experiment with my editing. Over time my style has evolved into a more accurate depiction of my true taste. After a year of dabbling here and there, I finally feel as though my current look best expresses the vision in my head. If you’ve been keeping track of me, then you will have already caught on to my taste! I LOVE shadows. I also love golden hues and an almost baroque-like glow for my subjects. This shoot gave me the freedom to delve fully into the style I enjoy the most. ❤️

Vendors and Friends

I hope you enjoy browsing through this collection! The final product would not have been possible without my team of INCREDIBLE vendors. Thank you again my friends for your talent and support!

Venue: Haus 820 Florals: Taylor Made Gowns: Isabel O’Neil Hair: Josh Vasquez Beauty: Ciara Liebl Model: Julie Myers Kittens: SPCA Lakeland Rentals: Lisa at Wish Rentals Assistant: Katie Anderson

And now, get ready for the cutest styled shoot ever!!!

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