I adore the explosion of beautiful blooms up against the Prior Park walls, the incredible dessert table, and the fashion-led, colourful bridal outfits that would be ideal for an elopement, or marry now and party later type of celebration.
Over to Emma to tell us more about the shoot and the incredible team that helped put it together…
Emma from Heart Full of Tea…
Where did you get your inspiration from?
In late October I sat in my office not editing a wedding. October is normally a super busy time for me, catching up editing amazing weddings from over the summer, then setting up my kit for winter weddings. I had come to an understanding emotionally that since March, 2020 was going to be a different year. All my wedding couples had postponed to 2021, some even to 2022 and all on top of exciting new referrals for 2021. 2021 is going to be busy! As a self employed photographer you are always prepped to a certain extent to adapt. That can be an absolute joy of being your own boss.
I have asked myself over this worrying period, is this a time for change, should I look into what I do and perhaps rethink my career. I mean with nothing to shoot wedding wise, it had crossed my mind several times! I already have a second job, but thought about perhaps actually stopping shooting, making 2021 my last year, I have to say it was an absolute low point. My business brings me such joy. I have been shooting all my life, but have been in the wedding industry for 10 years now.
Then I asked myself, why do I shoot weddings? It is totally for that connection. It’s beautiful to watch, it’s beautiful to be a part of. Not only that, it’s one of the most creative industries. The industry itself is such a massive inspiration.
Imagery is my thing, it always has been. I started my working life as a graphic designer (a long time ago, in a far off galaxy), with photography as an extra skillset. Creation, colours, brands and photography is just my happy place. The wedding industry is absolutely booming. Why? Because so many people are creatives, it offers you flexible working hours and brilliant relationships with like minded people. There are so many fantastic artists out there (nearly 400,000 to be precise in the wedding industry,) contributing to an annual income of £14.7 billion. Being part of several industries including hospitality, events, and the arts is just a great combination for all my passions.
Over the summer I have got used to saying in my head, its ok, we just need to stay healthy and adapt. We can get through this.
How did you find the suppliers who made this concept come to life?
So going back to October, where I wasn’t sat editing a wedding, I FaceTimed my loveliest friends Saffy and Verity (The Bath Flower School) to discuss a shoot idea stuck in my head! I work with these awesome two teaching photography to the florist industry so I knew they would be on board! We discussed my idea at length, including the practicals of the day and completing 6 page Covid risk assessment to ensure we could do this.
Photographers often see magic in the mundane, but often those shots have numerous suppliers behind them. We always shoot connections, moments, simple touches, but these are being more and more treasured as we are all lacking such physical reach and interactions. The word abandonment, around self-employed awesome individuals desperately paddling to keep their heads afloat was a hard hitting emotion. Totally yearning to shoot and left feeling abandoned; an emotional state, which people feel undesired, left behind, insecure, or discarded. This seemed to hit the mark with how I and many others were feeling. We are many, we are often small but boy are we feisty!
I needed to create. With my camera sat there gazing into my eyes on a daily basis, I just couldn’t take it anymore! I mean how many more photo’s of my animals and garden can I take! From that initial chat, two weeks flew by and we were ready to go, I couldn’t believe how many people on contacting instantly replied and said yes yes yes. The commitment was amazing! These were individuals who I already work with in Bath in the wedding industry and then some, such as TH&TH and Hope and Ivy London whose amazing dresses have been part of my couples days for a long time. A very quick two weeks and my vision came to light, it was intense!
What details are your favourite, and why?
This is hard! As the whole concept came together so well, in such a short time frame, everything blended exactly how it was meant to, but I think to be honest it has to be the flowers. Mainly as that was the base for the inspiration. The whole floral concept was where it started, Looking through Pinterest at old fashion editorials, including Tim Walker of course, especially the famous photo of Tilda Swinton ‘Mr James’s Daydream’. And I have always loved the vision of the Ziegfeld Girls; they were the chorus girls and showgirls from Florenz Ziegfeld’s theatrical Broadway, the Ziegfeld Follies. With the flair of the famous art nouveau artist Erté who I studied at College & University. All very dream like, but the florals for the shoot were to have an established feel, as though they were left over from an event and had merged in the building itself. They were beautiful and I cannot shout about Saffy and Verity enough.
I could have cried when we finished, I was so happy! Hold it together Emma, hold it together! Yes, yes I am meant to be doing this. The shoot was an explosion of flowers against an established Bath venue, local suppliers in full flow, with a twist on an editorial wedding shoot, where statement fashion pieces were key.
Shorter smaller weddings are often not what couples had planned, I get that, but this seems even more of a nod to do as you please within that right now and party later when it’s more realistic to do so!
I am so excited to share these images, this day was just a joyful outburst of colour, collaboration and love for the wedding industry. In a time where adaptation is the key player and the wedding industry may be not be recognisable, just don’t forget us, we’re also here for the ride trying our best to work with a huge change and remain safe. We are all here ready to take on the challenge! Thank you so much to everyone for all your enthusiasm and excitement to bring this together. Here’s to the next! Watch this space!
Do you have any styling tips for readers looking to emulate this shoot?
Just take inspiration from what makes your passion ignite. It that isn’t there and you don’t stick to your vision then it just won’t work and it will look disjointed.
Be confident if you are the one leading the concept how you want the end product to look. I had a fantastic team who all completely understood my vision. I put mood boards together and worked with the model on the day expressing the feel of the shoot so she could get in the zone. I think thats definitely one thing I would say, you have to have the right model. They are totally key to the look.
What’s the most important tip you have for couples planning their wedding?
Just remember why you are getting married in the first place. Your journey. And remember that life is ever changing, think about what is important to you to remember in 1, 5 or 10 years time on the wedding anniversary. What photo’s of your day will you cherish the most? Thats what you build your day around. And if thats a delayed massive 200 strong people wedding then thats fine. If it’s just you, your love and your dog down the register office with an banger of an outfit and takeaway pizza after, thats also fine.