In a number of my previous posts, I have talked about the importance of occasionally creating pictures for nobody else but myself. Not pictures that someone has paid for, or that anyone is going to criticize (Well yes you may but please don’t tell me!), but rather as an expression of creativity.

I adore photographing weddings. I love that the day is filled with so many real emotions, and being asked to capture that is always such a privilege. My hope is that my clients will end up with a bunch of images that honestly and beautifully reflect the day.

Sometimes, however, the conditions at weddings aren’t perfectly suitable for spectacular photography. Perhaps the room isn’t well lit, or maybe the makeup has smudged a little by the time of the reception. And that is okay. Because that is how it really was, and those little imperfections give a wedding personality. I’m going to be totally honest here – I get kind of annoyed looking at pictures of seemingly “perfect” weddings – where every wedding looks exactly like the one before it. That’s just not a reflection of how things really are.

So for that reason, I have always been a little anti-styled shoots… I’ve always felt that they are fake, a cop-out if you wish, and that they don’t in any way reflect a photographer’s ability to take good photographs in more difficult scenarios.

Well that was until my friend over at Kristi Agier photography excitedly told me about an amazing styled shoot she’d been part of and how it really lifted her spirits being able to have the room needed to creative beautiful images without the given time constraints etc. I slowly began to realise that maybe it wasn’t that I was against styled shoots as such, but rather that I was jealous of those doing them , because they always manage to get such freaking amazing shots! I tried to rationalise this by saying that anyone can take a pretty photo of a perfectly-styled, beautifully arranged setting with a professional model with professional make up and blah blah blah…

Well I don’t take that back! It certainly is easier taking pretty pictures of pretty things.

Buuuuuuut, I’m starting to see the merit in it now too. Because the truth is simple: Creating something beautiful is FUN and  rewarding! And having the time to be creative and to try new things in a controlled environment, well that’s kind of cool too.

Despite of that, we decided not to call the shoot below a “styled shoot” (a rebel, I am) but rather a “creative collaboration”. We were so lucky to have Lindsey from Makeup and delight do the Makeup and hair for us. She is not only incredible at what she does, but she is also such a bubbly and lovely presence to have around! (Future brides- I totally recommend her!!)

Our model was the breathtaking Christina Colson from D&A model management. Christina and I were at school together, and for so long I’ve dreamed of capturing her beauty one day! So glad we could finally make it happen!

And then of course there’s Kristi, without whom this shoot never would’ve happened! Thanks so much Kristi for the kick in the butt! We made a point of shooting from different angles and at different spots so that our pictures wouldn’t look the same. Turns out this was hardly necessary, because it became clear that we each put a bit of ourselves into our pictures, and naturally ended up with such different sets of images. I really love that we used exactly the same model with the same wardrobe and makeup at the same location, but yet we had different creative visions, and those in turn reflected in our photographs. I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn’t totally in love with Kristi’s images! She is SO talented! You should totally go check them out here.

Lastly, I also wanted to give credit to Heike from Fleur Le Cordeur who created the beautiful flower wreath that we used for a few pictures. She is an absolute creative genius. It was originally created for my friend Julia Winkler‘s beautiful styled shoot that I got to observe (and make a behind-the-scenes video of). The wreath still looked good after 3 months!

Here’s a little video we put together of our little creative collaboration. Hope you like the pics :)


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