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    How to Prepare For and Execute a Photoshoot

    April 3, 2018

    Hi!    One of my many goals with this website is to help you learn how to execute your vision.    I really would love to be a resource for you to turn to when you’re learning photography and developing your eye and brand.    Originally, Will and I had just planned to go out and shoot all of the beautiful flowers around town as it looks so incredible right now  (“Charleston in Bloom”)  but, as I spent the morning clarifying the mood I wanted to set this spring/summer by creating inspiration boards, I saw a direct influence on what we photographed and thought it might be more beneficial to break down that thought process instead.  Here we go (and you can still enjoy some beautiful flowers, too):

    Pre-determine the mood.  I grab a lot of inspiration from what’s around us in our daily lives but, when I am feeling stuck or creatively drained, I scour coffee table books, iconic images on Pinterest, and I love Mark Sikes’ blog, too — in my view, he does a great job of combing through great old magazine spreads and pulling out the best images.   Most of the shoots that we do are designed to feel dreamy/light-filled but I think I am developing an eye for moodier images, too.

    Gather color inspiration.  I often pull colors from an image as well as a few photographs/items which I feel set a similar or complimentary mood.   I try not to go into a shoot totally oblivious to the colors that we’re trying to capture.   I would rather pre-determine what I think goes well together and then try to find it/create it.

    Oftentimes what I execute is totally different but infused with a feeling which I feel is inspired by these images and colors.  Here is an example of a board that I had created earlier, with the thumbnail from our afternoon shoot which I think demonstrates a similarity:

    I love the pale blue, deep tropical green and magenta red in combination.   Since I picked up this skirt last week, I realized that I already had a piece which could help execute this vision, particularly as that blue and those greens are readily available in town.    I often send my mood board to my phone so that I can reference it while we’re working.

    I have said this time and time again but do make sure that you’re heading out in flattering conditions!  I really love sunny days and try to shoot in the late afternoon/early evening (I start the day slowly!).    My favorite is early evening/dusky light but because we also like to be home for dinner and chill time with the baby, this isn’t always our priority so we head out around 4 or as late as we can for favorable light.

    I’m not a natural in front of the camera but being in front of it has really helped me direct our wedding and other clients.    It’s particularly challenging right now with my mouth full of braces (and missing teeth no less) because I find that it gives me my version of RBF but, I find that the best shots are always when you’re laughing or more relaxed (so brace yourself for LOTS of laughs once these bad boys are off…) … Perhaps that’s why you see me with so many glasses of wine …. 😉    In all seriousness, movement seems to draw out a more natural feel and the more you do it, the easier it is.     I find that walking, shifting weight from one foot to the other, and working with someone you really trust seems to help!  xxx


  • Hydrangea Series:  Behind the Scenes

    As the wedding season heats up and I have found myself surrounded by flowers every weekend, I have been so looking forward to shooting the next flower series for our Fine Art Print collection. I have often been…

    April 26, 2017
  • girl with red top

    In the Land of Jasmine: J.Crew Challenge

    Julia generously tagged me in the “J.Crew Challenge,” and sent me this lovely top to style.  Amidst the beauty of Charleston’s spring, where white Confederate Jasmine is in full bloom, it was easy to show…

    April 25, 2017
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    April 24, 2017
  • Tea Party in Hampton Park

    We feel so lucky that Hampton Park is only a short walk from our home; we visit nearly every day.  The park is so quiet, well-maintained, and is constantly bursting with new color and floral inspiration. We…

    April 21, 2017
  • Tutorial: Moss-lined Hanging Baskets

    We were so excited to bring home some hanging baskets of bougainvillea last week.  I am really drawn to their sprawling nature and fantastic colors (I think we all are!). We decided to place the…

    April 18, 2017
  • Color Study: Celebrating Pink

    Continuing on from last week’s series, we’re celebrating pink color inspiration today with lots of vibrant hues.   I’ve gathered a few of my favorite pink items from around the house: the most delicious Peony scented…

    April 17, 2017
  • spring easter table

    Colorful Easter Table

    Growing up, Easter was my favorite holiday (after Christmas).  My Mother always made such an effort to infuse the weekend with magic, arranging activities with dear friends and family that always featured an elaborate, fun…

    April 12, 2017
  • Dreamy Garden Flowers for Spring (Planting Project, P1)

    Will & I have been eagerly awaiting April, and the opportunity to re-plant our garden flowers for spring. Our winter flowers bloomed beyond our wildest expectations, particularly because neither one of us is naturally green-thumbed.  Encouraged…

    April 11, 2017
  • color inspiration charleston periwinkle

    Color Inspiration: Periwinkle & Lavender

    One of the reasons I fell in love with photography is my love for color.  These shades of blue crashing into purple are my absolute favorite and perfect for color inspiration. When I cleared my…

    April 10, 2017