Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Veils En Pointe- A Styled Bridal Shoot

A little something different for you today! Many of you know about my journey with ballet. It's a total labor of love rather than a natural ability.
My mom started taking me to see the Nutcracker as a very small child (early elementary) and we have gone annually ever since. As I got older, she took me to see other performances as well- Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella... anything Russian that came to our state, we saw. I danced a bit as a child, and a lot as an adult but have *always* been exceptionally drawn to the art. Many dancers see ballet as an avenue to other forms of dance, or at best a foundation. But for me, ballet is the epitome of dance.
So, I was honored when Nicole of N. KRISTINE PHOTOGRAPHY asked me to participate in a styled bridal shoot that was themed around the grace and beauty of ballet.

The shoot was originally featured by ARTFULLY WED but, I'll be showing you my favorite pictures from the shoot, many of which haven't been featured yet, and giving a little behind the scenes info about the experience.

We shot back in March of 2017 on a cold day in Michigan. The venue was gorgeous with distressed walls and muted colors that played perfectly into the palette. If you were to go and rent this space, it would obviously be heated, but the floor we were on was unheated that day and so cold! The (beautiful) wooden floors were also uneven- there was even a warning sign posted, which was an interesting turn of events for a dancer. Between the numb feet and uneven floors, combined with the weight of the dresses and bouquets, this was challenging. I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised at how much more difficult it was to balance en pointe and hold poses in this situation. That was the difficult part for me- just realizing in the moment that this would be 20 times harder than anything I've done on stage or in a studio and having no way to go back in time to prepare. But that's kind of ballet in general- you can never go back and redo a performance.

Ballet is a struggle toward unachievable perfection. My first (adult) instructor and very dear friend told me that with all art- you cannot look back, but only forward, after it is created. While perfection in ballet is an unattainable goal- the crew we worked with absolutely hit the nail on the head. I'm so excited to share their work with you.
The above two photos were taken at the last minute on a different floor. The dress was actually too big for me, so we originally planned not to use it, but it was the only one short enough to showcase ballet or movement. When we were nearly out of time, with just a few minutes left to shoot, we threw it on and snapped a few photos. They ended up being my favorites.

All of the dresses from ALI NICOLE BRIDAL and DETROIT BRIDAL HOUSE took our breath away. Loads of lace, separates, miles of tulle... they are beautiful and timeless choices. The owners of each shop were wonderfully helpful with great suggestions and personalities that would set any bride at ease. I didn't get the chance to visit Detroit Bridal House in person, but I did spend some time at Ali Nicole Bridal and LOVED her boutique! I would definitely plan a return visit to pick up cute accessories and clothing.

The veils, from KATHRYN ANN BRIDAL, made me regret my own wedding day! Ladies, if your day is still ahead of you... please order something from Kathryn. Her work is handmade, custom and the passion she has for marriage is reflected in each veil she creates. They will truly be your crowing glory! I've already told Kathryn that if we ever have a vow renewal, I'm coming to her!

She even has a blush veil, pictured above, which made my heart soar.

On set, we had two models, myself (for ballet inspired shots) and an actual model, Tara (for the rest). It was a joy to work with Tara (instagram as @tarafromearth) who is wildly talented. She's an obvious beauty, but also so much fun and easy to be around. I can only imagine how useful her natural intuition in modeling is to those who are photographing her. Tara is so lovable!
It could have been slightly awkward to shoot these photographs, having never met each other before- but it was not! Tara is hilarious, and right after the above right photo she whispered to me, "Sorry about my breath, I just ate an onion bagel." ... it was so unexpected and fantastic that I instantly burst into ugly laughter. The resulting picture was very authentic, but I refuse to share it with you :) When I say ugly laughter- I mean... mega ugly laughter. P.S.- her breath was fine!

Let's take a moment to appreciate these arrangements. Anemones, ranunculus, shades of blue and blush. Swoon-worthy. BLOOM is renowned in the wedding business having won countless awards and also having been featured in many publications. Samantha, who is their lead designer and studio manager is *very* good at her job. She's detailed, precise and ahead of the trend.
I really loved the idea of a bouquet meant to be held upside down, which you can see in most of the more ballet inspired pictures. Samantha had to teach me how to hold it, which was slightly embarrassing.

These invitations from THE INK-STAINED MINSTREL are so well done and perfectly curated. This was one of the only vendors I sadly didn't get to meet, but would love to comment on the beauty of her work!

PRIMP did our hair and makeup for the shoot. I was impressed by their level of knowledge and attention to detail. Kathryn gave each team member photographs of her vision and direction, they took that info and ran with it. They required perfection from themselves, while still having an environment full of fun and laughter- a place any bride would want to prepare for her big day! They're also in The Knot hall of fame, which is a pretty fancy feather to have in one's cap!
You can see the (real) floral comb created by BLOOM in these photos as well. I was pretty excited when Samantha told me I could keep it! I dried the entire comb and am saving it for just the occasion.

And of course, I can't say enough good things about Nicole, from N. Kristine Photography. Nicole is truly a gift to this world. Her vision, thoughtfulness and talent come through in every shoot she spearheads. She is a dear friend and I'm very familiar with her work. Her use of light creates such an ethereal quality in her photographs. She makes everyone around her feel comfortable, which is such an important part of photography! And of course, her final product is of the highest caliber.

This was an eventful day that will go down in history for me as another notch in a dream achieved. I continue to train in the art of ballet, and aspire to get better every day in order to teach those behind me to the best of my ability. I would love to try something like this again!
Be sure to check out the vendors for more inspo!
Vendor list
Photography: N. Kristine Photography
Veils: Kathryn Ann Bridal 
Floral: BLOOM
Hair/Makeup: Primp 
Dresses: Detroit Bridal House and Ali Nicole Bridal
Models: (Instagram), @Tarafromearth, @Aunak
Invitations: The Ink-Stained Minstrel
Venue: Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

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