This summer, I did the photography for two editorial shoots planned and directed by Amelia Barnes (Owner of Miss Vintage Wedding Affair and Vintage Floral Teas). An editorial is a shoot, oftenly aimed towards a magazine or a blog or for brochure/marketing material for a brand or a company. It has been created in a way so that it tells a story and inspires the reader/viewer. To a wedding photographer, an editorial shoot is also a great opportunity to work together with other wedding creatives. Today I want to tell you a little bit about what is involved, and how I find that working on set up shoots can give me a lot of ideas for real weddings and for telling a story with my wedding photography.∞ On a warm July morning, our group of creatives gathered at the Grand Hall of Battersea Arts Centre to get ready for a fun colour- popping 50s bridal to be shot in the morning, and for a stylish, elegant 20s shoot to be shot in the afternoon. Both shoots where planned as features – with the 1950s shoot getting featured for the Nov/Dec issue of Your London Wedding Magazine and the 20s shoot for Love my dress. Arriving early gave me the chance to experience the whole set being built. An excitement about the day filled me as I witnessed candy- colored decor and all sorts of cute vintage details coming out of boxes, joining the line up of old fashion, suitcases, custom made stationary and pretty little teacups. Amelia, and Michelle from Muscari Whites built up a whole, well planned and styled set for this shoot! In between photographing details and making plans for the shots of the model, I also managed to get a couple of Behind the scenes shots to share.
An editorial shoot is a fantastic way to experiment and develop one’s “visual language” as a wedding photographer. Actually, the process for an editorial shoot and for how I approach a wedding- booking, have many similarities…
THE PHOTOGRAPHY ACTUALLY STARTS LONG BEFORE THE SHOOTING: Once the person who is organising an editorial shoot, has planned the project and decided on the suppliers, an important meeting for sharing the ideas and making plans takes place. In this case Amelia contacted me with her ideas – and it sounded like really good fun, so we went for a coffee to chat more. During our initial meeting, it was important for me to understand her visual ideas, the different moods for the two shoots, the purpose for the shots and what audience it would be for. From here, and with Amelia’s Pinterest boards fresh in mind, my head started to spin with ideas. The planning stage for a couple’s wedding is equally as important to me. After a planning meeting with a creative director or a wedding couple alike, my head fills up with ideas of how I can best tell this story. I research visuals, what the natural light is like at the venue, I create a shooting schedule, or for the couple: a wedding itinerary, so that I’m prepared when the actual day comes, and I’m ready to get the best shots…
Above is an excerpt of my research and planning for the 1950s shoot – I researched the fun, cheeky posing style of the 50s, the popular culture – such as the funny jive dance moves, colours associated to the era, and made a visit to the venue. I also created a rough shooting schedule and timings – so that I would have something to glance at for direction once I got caught up in the concentration of shooting.
About 20 people where involved in the shoot – suppliers, stylists, assistants, models and makeup/wardrobe people. So while chaos roomed around for the first part of the morning, I took this time to take detail shots of the decor.
It is perfect to use any “dead” time at a shoot, for detail shots which will form parts of the editorial story. Once the model is ready, it is easy to get so caught up with the main shots, and anything else will probably be pushed far back in to the subconscious. When shooting with a magazine or a blog in mind, and with a theme so vivid and well planned as this, shots of detail and decor is very important since they set the tone and support the main images – just as images of the special little details at a wedding reception is part of the story about that wedding. And there are a lot of things to think about here – The magazine/blog might need different options of the same detail to have more freedom with the layout, the shots have to “go together” with the shots of the model. So I think about getting the same “feel” in the lighting, same depth of field – similar F- numbers, compositions that will work together in the story, and a continuity in how the lenses are used.
As by magic, Amelia and Michelle got all the different ingredients together – and with help from several assistants, they had suddenly created a nice tableau- style backdrop for our 50s model.
Sharing some posing research with the model, could be good for giving her something to reference to when “getting in to character”.
EQUIPMENT USED: Nikon D600, Nikon 50 mm 1.4, Nikon 24 – 70 2.8 G ED, Nikon Ed VR II 70-200 2.8 + Ghionis Ice light as fill in
CREDITS – Thank you to everybody involved!
Assisting and extra detail shots: Cecelina Photography Venue: The BAC, London Styling: Amelia from Miss Vintage Wedding Affair Styling Assistant: Veronica Ballard Weddings China & Sweetie table: Vintage Floral Teas Cake : Temper & Tipsy Stationery: Lucy Says I Do Props: Re-Loved Styling Flowers & Heirloom Bouquets: Muscari Whites Bespoke Dresses: Kate Edmondson Bridal and My Eden Vintage Dress: My Vintage Wedding Dress Make Up: Sam Pearce Hair: Lucy Hayward at Hair That Turns Heads Accessories: Connie & Dolly Fine Vintage Jewellery: Addy Vintage Model: Megan McConnell