In early 2017 I had a vision for a bridal styled shoot in Seabrook, Washington. I had this vision after meeting a new photographer friend out there to hang out and swap some pictures. The "town" is more of a community that I like to explain as a scene straight out of the movie Pleasantville. It's so cute you can't even really believe it exists. And here I am, living only an hour away from it! Tucked right next to the ocean, Seabrook is a summer hot spot for many travelers and even though I've only experienced it in the thick of winter, I can see why so many venture there to relax and unwind. I've been eyeing the Seabrook Town Hall online and reached out to the town coordinators to see if they would be willing to let me shoot in the space. They said yes and I was beyond thrilled and excited!
I'll be honest when I tell you about this shoot and how the entire way leading up to the shoot (and right after) felt like the odds were stacked against me to pull it off. However, in the end it came together magnificently and I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome. There was a bit of a dress dilemma that made me think the whole thing was going to be a flop, but I made a call to my friends at Bixby + Pine to see if they had anyone they could connect me with up in Seattle to borrow a dress. They connected me with La Belle Salon Bridal out of Bellevue, Washington. Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am to these women for helping me last minute to make this shoot a reality. I could not have done it without their help. It was another reminder as to why I believe so strongly in the power of community. We are stronger together than we are alone. The relationships I have made in the past year and half since discovering my passion of photography have been instrumental in where I am right now and where I dream of going in the future.
I asked my friend Bella to model for me and she was absolutely amazing. I love working with Bella because not only is she absolutely stunning, she is very easy to work with. She takes direction beautifully and is confident to try new things and be okay with my random suggestions and ideas as well as show me things I had not thought to do myself! It was even more amazing that she got to go to the bridal shop and try on dresses and ultimately choose the one she felt the best wearing. It was also my top choice during the FaceTime chat so it was a win-win!
I had intentions of moving the shoot outside to the beach but it was pretty nasty outside. It started with rain and turned to snow pretty quickly and not that super soft gorgeous snow, but pretty wet snow. I was not willing to risk damaging the dress in any way even if I really wanted to get outside! My friend and florist Nancy with Elixir Culture beyond exceeded my expectations with the florals. I love to give Nancy creative freedom when designing elements for my shoots. I gave her my color palette and let her run with the rest of the design. Any my goodness did she pull it off. I'm still in awe over this keepsake bouquet and how she incorporated an air plant to give it something unlike anything else I've ever seen. Brides, if you're reading this... contact Nancy! She's not only so easy and fun to work with but she's incredibly kind and talented. Her passion is evident in the work she has done for me and continues to do as our friendship grows. Thank you, Nancy! Another big shout out to my friend and calligraphy artist Sarah with Sarah B. Calligraphy. You will see her incredible talent shine through when you see the stationery she sent for me to use! I will forever be grateful for her sharing these with me because they really made the shoot that much more special and unique.
As we shot through the afternoon, the snow continued to dump outside. I wanted to keep going but something was telling me it was time to wrap things up and get everyone on the road before things got too bad. Bella made it home safely but did tell me there was a sketchy part that made her a bit uneasy. I was going alright until I hit the highway between Aberdeen and our town. It was bad. There were cars in the ditches and people sliding all over the place, including myself. My assistant for the day was in front of me in a big truck with her Husband. We were about 10 miles from town when I went off the side of the road just barely missing the ditch that would have surely cost me a tow truck. I hate winter driving! I am the first to admit that I hate it and I don't think I'm very good at it. I 99.9% of the time have my Husband to take me where I need to go when things are dicey outside but for this situation I was stuck going solo and was unable to swap cars with anyone in the family for a more reliable vehicle. Anyway, Shane and Kathleen got me out and Shane drove my car the rest of the way home. That was NOT fun but I'm just glad it wasn't worse or that I didn't total my car or something! Let's just say my Husband and I have been on the hunt for a more reliable snow/bad weather SUV for me this upcoming fall/winter. :)
All in all, even when I thought I wouldn't be able to pull this off, I did. And I was able to because I have some seriously amazing and talented people in my life who not only encourage me, but step up to help when help is needed. This was my first real styled shoot and I learned a lot from the experience on what I will do different next time and what I will do the same! I hope you love the images as much as I do! Vendor list is at the bottom.
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