Sometimes I see something so beautiful that it haunts me. My husband and I were traveling in Bend, Oregon when we drove by Smith Rock State Park...and I was astonished at how other worldly the landscape was. I just knew I had to photograph something, anything, in the midst of the gorgeous scenery.
As we drove home that day, I started sketching out ideas for a styled bridal shoot...one that evoked romance and a wild, windblown nature that matched the beauty of the area.
FILM : Mamiya 645 AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Fuji 400H Film | Scans by PhotoVision
DIGITAL: Canon 5d Mark III | 50mm F/1.8 Lens | Mastin Labs Fuji Preset
I've taken part in quite a few styled shoots both as the photographer and in other roles, but every attempt fell short of what I really wanted to accomplish. In the past I had a tendency to over style, or try and fit too many elements into one look. Maybe the biggest mistake I made was trying to build a whole shoot off of something pretty I'd seen while coveting another photographers work, and I always rushed through things. Thus, I usually ended up with imagery that felt disjointed and lacked attention to important details. Styled shoots are a lot of work... so to be less than pleased with the images is very disappointing, particularly when the blog rejections start piling up.
START WHERE YOU ARE. USE WHAT YOU HAVE. DO WHAT YOU CAN. -Arthur Ashe
This time, I let my ideas sink in for a few months while I slowly contacted vendors. I only took on as many details as I could truly handle on my own without a team (no tablescapes, cakes, invitations or large floral garlands to speak of). I kept it simple and used what I had. I cut myself some slack, moving slowly while I considered my options. Most of all, I decided to shoot for myself...and not worry about blog submissions until the images were finished.
I'm learning not to expect perfection from myself...and this shoot is no exception. It's not perfect. And yet, these are some of the best images I've created and I'm very proud of them.
The Pacific Northwest fell victim to a really terrible wild fire season this year...at its worst, some very brave fire fighters even lost their lives in Washington. As we shot at Smith Rock, lingering smoke from fires burning many miles away hovered over the terrain, like an eerie fog...creating a filtered pastel color in the sky that I doubt I'll ever get a chance to photograph again. As the evening progressed, we felt grateful for all the people keeping us safe from the fires burning far away...we were filled with gratitude. Everything felt a little somber as the sun set, but it was beautiful despite.
The gorgeous Fine Art Wedding Blog (and one my favorites), Wedding Sparrow, is featuring the full gallery of film images from this shoot TODAY! That's the particularly fanciful thing about the folks at Wedding Sparrow, they only feature film images, which is rather lovely. I've featured a fuller range of images that includes digital as well (since I'm always trying to master hybrid shooting), and it adds a little variety too! Thanks for stopping by...
Ken Kupelian - My husband and gracious assistant during this shoot
Montana Ocampo - Model
Swoon Floral - Floral Design
Kate Tuma - Hair + Make Up
Melinda Rose Design - Headpiece + Veil