On Tuesday, I had an amazing time at Backwoods Venue 222 photographing eight models and several different setups!
For those not in the wedding industry, a styled shoot is essentially a photoshoot where vendors collaborate to create something absolutely beautiful in order to build portfolio content and test skills. Although I’m past the portfolTio building stage of my business, I love the opportunity to just play around with fellow vendors. It’s always so fun to test out techniques that I often don’t have time to do on an actual wedding day.
The entire concept for the shoot began with a pair of shoes – my wedding shoes. Back when I was planning a wedding in 2018, I found the most perfect wedding shoes. They were blush velvet heels that I bought for $20 on clearance. Score! Even though my shoes have been photographed several times, I wanted to build a shoot with these shoes in mind.
I’m pretty obsessed with velvet. I own a dozen velvet ring boxes and incorporate velvet whenever I have the chance. With COVID ruining all my summer plans, I thought this was the best time to bring my shoot to life. In 2019, I did around 12 styled shoots and was pretty burned out for a bit. It has been a year since my last shoot and I’ve been going crazy with boredom lately, so I began brainstorming.
I first met LaTasha with The Veil KC at a wedding networking event a couple years ago and then had a real wedding with her last Fall. I loved the way she worked, so she was the first one I thought of to make my vision a reality. Thankfully she said yes and the planning began.
We put together the entire shoot in a month, so I wasn’t expecting it to turn into much. I created a bare minimum inspiration board and thought we would just have fun with a couple models and a small setup.
Well, let me tell you, this woman knows how to plan! She called me two weeks ago wanting to turn this shoot into something bigger than I ever could have imagined. Since she doesn’t do too many shoots, she wanted to invite multiple models and create years worth of content. I went with it because I wanted her to feel like she was also getting something out of the shoot, but I didn’t think it was possible to organize so many models with such short notice. Once again, this woman is amazing! I have no idea how she did it, but she coordinated eight models along with all the vendors! She created three different table setups, two cake setups, and so much more!
She also suggested the idea of multiple photographers to help photograph all the models. After I found out how many models had committed to the shoot, I was happy to have the help as long as the other photographer focused on the models instead of my details. Well, the other photographer had a family emergency a couple hours into the shoot, so I was left to photograph all the models alone. Part of me was happy to have all the responsibility but also I wasn’t sure how I would do it alone.
Well let me tell you, I am frickin’ exhausted. It was hard work, but I am so damn proud of myself. We were there for 12 hours and I was a little grumpy by the time the shoot ended. However, the images I was able to capture made it worth it!
Anyway, after LaTasha and I initially began planning, we started discussing venues. The first venue that came to mind was Backwoods Venue 222 because Aimee, the owner, has been trying to get me out there for years! I also met Aimee at a networking event and we quickly bonded! I love her positive attitude and wanted to work at her venue so badly. All the images I had seen were stunning and I knew I could create something beautiful there. I was so thrilled when Aimee was on board!
An overarching theme of the shoot was inclusion. As a black business owner, LaTasha wanted models who could tell her story. We partnered with several models to make her dream a reality. We even were able to find a model with rainbow hair to add another “offbeat” element to this shoot. So often, as wedding vendors, we find ourselves working with the same type of couple. I didn’t want another shoot that perpetuated false ideas of beauty. We were able to capture and show that beauty comes in all shapes sizes and ethnicities. These are real people and they all have their own unique stories to tell!
In addition to such a fun setup, I loved having the opportunity to practice my lighting techniques. As a wedding photographer, I need to adapt to any lighting situation I am given. So many photographers work best in natural light or with flash, but I really wanted to show that I could do both. The majority of the shoot took place in a dimly-lit barn, so I really had to work on creating the light. I’m really proud of the way these images turned out!
Of course, I also had to take the couples away from the barn for a bit for my signature sunset shots. The sky lit up that night and we really lucked out. After a couple days of rain, the ground may have been soggy but the weather was perfect! We could not have asked for a better sunset!
At the end of the night, I was able to practice some of my night shots with Mic King’s spark machine! I was first introduced to a spark machine a few weeks ago when I made my modeling debut. That’s a long story that I won’t get into with this post, but I loved the effect of the spark machine. Being a photographer myself, I saw the way the photographers were photographing and thought ‘I can do better.’ Well, I’m not sure if I did better, but I definitely added my own spin to it.
I couldn’t be happier with the results of this entire shoot! I hope you enjoy this full preview!!!
VENDORS, your full gallery will be delivered in the next couple weeks! Feel free to share this post, but the images are low resolution. You will receive the high resolution images in your inbox shortly!
Thank you to this incredible team who made the Backwoods Venue 222 Inspiration Shoot an amazing reality!!!
Photography: eGolden Moments
Venue: Backwoods Venue 222 Wedding Venue
Planning and Design: The Veil Kc
Velvet Couch Rentals: Diedra Lee Every Last Detail
Table Decor Rentals: Ultrapom Event Rental
Pink and White ‘Love’ Cake: Sweet tooth
Pink and Black Flower Cake: Cake-a-Boo
Paper Products: Hazel Designs MC – Megan Callahan
Gowns: Savvy Bridal Boutique
Makeup: Hello Lovely Salon & Spa
Hair: Tamara Lee
Florals: Peach Petals Floral Design
Live Painting: Cindy Scott Artistry
Spark Machine: MIC King Music and Events
Velvet Bowtie: Keefe Cravat
Models: Faedra Silverio, Tracy Tnt Thomas, Glynne Taylor, Derek Kjenstad, Miles Adams, Rachael Bross, Erika Em, Collette
Keep scrolling for some of my favorite pictures from Backwoods Venue 222!