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Styled Shoot

Love You to Infinity

Anniversary Galaxy Styled Shoot

This is something you won't see too often. Two photographer's acting as models for each other during the same shoot. Even more fun is that our husbands modeled with us! Let me set the scene for you. April 2017, Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors exhibit opens at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. Tickets are sold out within minutes and the lines to enter literally wrap around the building. But by sheer luck, on two totally different days, Marlayna and I both get the chance to experience the exhibit with our husbands. It's after our separate visits that we both have the same thoughts of how magical it was to be in the spaces with our spouses getting lost in the idea of infinity.  To say that the exhibit is inspirational is: 1. obvious; and 2. a total understatement. It was soon after my visit that we both started talking about the idea of an anniversary type styled shoot. One that would allow Shawn and me to model for Marlayna, and for Marlayna and Adam to model for me. It felt like a big task at the time, so we let it sit.  That shoot sat in our brains with a random Pinterest board hanging in the balance for 320 days before we officially jumped into planning. When we got the ball rolling, we were 100% invested. We went all in with our DIYing mastery. Creating plates, hand dyeing table runners, staining a table, along with so much...

Locally Grown & Sustainable Love Styled Shoot

Baltimore Bride Feature

Our locally grown styled shoot is one that I have been waiting to share since September! Not only is it low-key and intimately sweet, but it is also jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Much like the previous styled shoot Marlayna and I did, the vendors that we worked with completely knocked it out of the park. From the table florals to our bride's make-up, it is all stunning. Everyone worked so hard to make this shoot feel like a beautiful dream. It has totally paid off with our Baltimore Bride feature. Check out our Locally Grown feature on Baltimore Bride! My favorite part about this shoot has to be that the vendors we used are all from the Baltimore area. La Cuchara, our spectacular setting, is a charming, Basque inspired restaurant located in Clipper Mill. They source all of their ingredients from Maryland farms and markets, giving wonderful business to locals. It was a pleasure working with Candace Cage Design who took elements from the restaurants lattice design plates and incorporated them into the invitation suite. Marlayna and I are still in awe of those invites. Local Color Flowers brought so many vibrant florals to the tabletops and ceremony space. It's absolutely amazing to see a florist work, because they have such wonderful vision and it's almost magic to see them piece it together. We also got to include two perfectly crafted floral pressed guestbooks from UpDown Press and Bindery, which added a great pop to our reception scene. The loveliest part of...

Serenity Blue & Cobalt Styled Shoot

Charm City Wed Feature!

I know that everyone is probably well aware by now that, back in March, Marlayna and I collaborated with a ton of amazing vendors on a styled shoot. I've been chronicling that journey in a few different blogs, and I absolutely love being able to share all that we learned. I think the most awesome thing about that day was that we did not just get one shoot out of it, but two, thanks to the generosity and hard working vendors that participated in the shoot. Due to their collective effort, our second shoot was featured on a local wedding inspiration blog called Charm City Wed on Monday! Check out the Charm City Wed feature here! We went into March 15th thinking that we were going to have one shoot and that was going to be it, but as the day evolved we realized how awesome our vendor team truly was. Everything during the day could be split into two different sessions from the stunning earrings by Rachel Mulherin, to the delectable food by Copper Kitchen. Items could be combined and separated in order to create two new worlds within a single day. We used the invitations that Pretty Peacock Paperie artfully crafted within the second shoot to add a different look to the rings from St. Johns Jewelers. Nature of Design, the fantastic florist, created two completely different fairytale-esque tablescapes that were so beautiful and unique. Bella Bridesmaids let us borrow six dresses that made each model take on...

4 Tips to Keep Costs Under Control

Tips & Tricks

We experienced first hand that spending money is inevitable when planning a wedding inspiration shoot. (Spending money for anything in life is pretty much a guarantee today, but that's a different discussion, haha.) At the beginning of the process for our Rose Quartz and Cobalt shoot, we didn't really think about the money that we would be investing in the session ourselves. When this styled shoot was just a small little baby, we only thought we would need flowers, a dress, and two models. But being the very high end thinkers and dreamers that we are, we noticed that this shoot was going to be much larger than having just three or four components. As Marlayna and I entered into the later stages of planning, we realized that in order to make this shoot match what was in our heads, we had to put forth some sort of monetary contribution. This included paying for the venue, gathering tablescape decor, and purchasing materials for our DIY activities. We certainly saved quite a bit of money by doing a lot of things on our own and gathering coupons for Target and Hobby Lobby. There is no shame in our coupon and final sales game, haha. We tried really hard to make sure we split the costs equally and that we weren't going ridiculously over budget for any one thing. We were thrifty in our purchases and definitely kept each other in check. And I never realized how awesome and beneficial...

Our Geode & Watercolor Styled Shoot

We've Been Featured!

Well, it's finally here! The Smitten Magazine issue featuring the Spring styled shoot by Marlayna and me is now live! We are so honored to have our names in such a beautiful collection of styles, recipes and photographs. It truly feels like a dream to have our work recognized, especially after the difficult process of getting it submitted. I still remember when we got the email from the editor of Smitten telling us that she loved the shoot and wanted to put it in Issue 15 of the magazine. Cue the tears and the giddy bouncing up and down in our chairs. Once we settled down we realized that we had to wait an entire month and a half until June for the magazine to come out, which seriously felt like an eternity. I don't know how we made it through, but here we are! Check out the Fresh Issue here! The most rewarding feeling was going to Smitten's site and seeing that beautiful cover image, and then flipping through the first few pages and seeing our faces (that sounds vain, but it was really friggin' cool). Seeing our images alongside so many other talented photographers and beautiful couples made all of the stress and worry completely worth it. This feature is not just for us, but for all of the amazing people that helped make our Pinterest inspiration board come to life. The florals from Nature of Design were beyond anything that we could have imagined. Janet and...

6 Tips for Emailing Styled Shoot Vendors

For the Creative

Continuing my series on organizing a styled shoot, one of the most crucial parts to planning and executing a styled shoot is connecting with other creatives. Sure it may be possible for you to make invites or put together bouquets, but why would you want to if that isn't your specialty? In photography, it's kind of like thinking a cell phone will be the same quality as a DSLR. The easiest and most organized way to connect with others is to email the vendors you think would best fit your plan for the shoot. You can lay out your ideas after research, send them links to Pinterest, and give them a feel of your personality. I'm a big advocate for text messages instead of taking phone calls (sorry mom), so emailing is where I find the biggest benefits to communicating. 1. Create a canned response email. When Marlayna and I were reaching out to vendors, we used a canned response that allowed us to save writing time, which conveyed who we were to our new connections. We tried to cover the date that we had in mind, the general location (we hadn't yet finalized a venue), and what we were looking for. This allowed vendors to see that we were serious and had our thoughts in order. The only change we made to each message was to add some personalization. Here is an example of one of our canned responses to a local dress shop (name redacted since we...

Exciting News About Our Styled Shoot

Smitten Feature

So I know I've been talking quite a lot recently about the styled shoot that Marlayna and I did, but that's because I'm really proud of everyone involved and what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I feel like most planned shoots don't happen within a month and a half (but I could be wrong, haha). We worked tremendously hard, and I fully intend on covering every topic that there is through this blog. I've already started a little bit of the conversation in my blog last week, which made me excited to share every happy, joyous, and heartbreaking moment that we had on this journey. One of the most amazing things happened yesterday: our first shoot - our little photo child - was accepted by Smitten Magazine. As embarrassing as it is to admit, Marlayna and I both cried when we got the email from Audrey, the editor-in-chief. Our entire goal for this shoot was showcasing everyone who dedicated time and their talent to it. After getting just a couple of rejections, we were feeling like failures in the publishing world. But then Smitten happened and our energy, emotions. and belief in love was completely restored! Can I just cuddle this exciting feeling for a little bit :P? Again, I'll cover ever single topic in the series on styled shoots, but just know that this acceptance did not come easy, and the joy of having our work recognized is really freakin' awesome. &...

The Beginning Steps to Organizing a Styled Shoot

For the Creative

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about the styled shoot that my friend, Marlayna, and I put together. The time leading up to the shoot was exciting, frustrating, and - at times - overwhelming. But we kept pushing forward, because we knew at the end something great was waiting for us. We truly weren't expecting all of the hard-work and beauty that everyone contributed to this day. Even though our final images have to stay under-wraps for now, I wanted to start a conversation about the behind the scenes of the shoot. As I said earlier, there was a lot that Marlayna and I put into this, and I feel like there is so much that we can share regarding the process of planning and executing. I am totally aware that there is just too much information for one blog, so I'll be organizing my posts into the different parts of a styled shoot. Organization is the key to staying sane. If you are planning a styled shoot either on your own or with a fellow creative, please utilize a service like Google Drive. I cannot tell you enough how huge this was in keeping us on track and professional. The ability to have a cloud system that can share spreadsheets and documents is a total lifesaver. For our shoot, we started by creating a shared folder. Anything that we needed from that point was readily available in the form of a spreadsheet...

Our First Styled Shoot

Teaser

Next to my wedding day and Pony's arrival, yesterday was literally the best day of my life. About a month and a half ago, me and photo-friend, Marlayna, decided to do a styled shoot together. The goal of a styled shoot is to provide a central spotlight on a lot of fantastic businesses by creating a mock event, which gives everyone excellent product photos and some good exposure after submission to some fantastic blogs. It was our first time planning our own shoot of this caliber, and we had little idea of where to start. So we Googled the heck out of previous styled shoots conducted by other photographers, and came up with an awesome game plan.  First, we needed a theme that is unique and interesting so our photo blog submissions would stand out. I think that was probably the easiest part of the whole process, because we pretty much just looked at our collective Pinterest dream boards and discovered we both love geometric shapes, geodes, and watercolors. Boom, theme was done. We set up our checklist and magical spreadsheet of what we needed and started reaching out to people. The hard work came in finding our venue, not spending our life savings in Home Goods, and figuring out the logistics for moving super heavy (and gorgeous!) furniture. The end result, though? Fan-freaking-tastic! It was better than any of our Pinterest boards, and the saying "go big or go home" has never been truer than our...