As a destination wedding, adventure photographer for the past 16 years, I am always looking to push the envelope with my photographs and I find that all brides are always trying to find ways to do that for their own weddings. In a Pinterest-Saturated world it is hard to find an original idea these days to spruce up your wedding and I am constantly getting asked by brides for unique ideas I have seen while shooting . I am always seeking out inspiration for my photography outside of the wedding industry in not only fashion, but tech news, science, fine art, and through my travels. My signature saturated style and vibrant imagery can be seen not just in my wedding work (www.beautifulday.photography), but also through my Wanderlust travel work (www.lauragrier.com).
Here is a little bit about my favorite shoot, which is no surprise that it’s my favorite to this day because it blended my love for travel, adventure, and weddings all in one amazing visual exploration.
After meeting numerous amazing, unique funky vendors in the wedding industry that are more like fine art installation artists, I was inspired to create a shoot that showcased each of their individual talents, since their work does not belong in a typical wedding shoot, magazine, or on a traditional bride. I then came up with the idea of “Wearable Art”, and the hunt for the perfect artists began. I reached out to incredible vendors that make one-of-a-kind pieces including baked ceramic corsets, dresses made entirely from old romance novels and used men's dress shirts and insane floral crowns.
I thought finding a barren desert-scape would be the perfect backdrop, since I didn’t want the location or the backdrop to take away from the art itself. I wanted the background to be a “blank canvas”. I had been inspired by a photograph I had once seen of a petrified sand dune in the Utah wilderness called “The Wave” and I was determined to find this place and do a shoot there. I found out that you have to apply 9 months in advance just to get a permit to hike into this place.
Once the team was assembled, we had to rent a van (#glamvan) and drove 8 hours overnight from LA 8 hours into the Utah Wilderness then hike three hours in through snow and 30 degree weather to get to the locale for this shoot. It was intense and we felt obligated to document the entire process to create this shoot, since the process and the art of the process was just as important if not MORE than the end product of the shoot itself.
Each vendor was hand-chosen and had their own “looks” represented in the shoot and had their own creative freedom to create a piece or look. I just photographed each look in my own surreal poppy oversaturated style.
The looks were:
-Hand-made dresses made of found objects or repurposed materials (Evey)
-Ceramic corsets baked and hand sculpted in clay and then fired in a kiln, not knowing the actual color of what it will be until it is taken out of the kiln 12 hours later (Nicole Moan)
-Dresses inspired by fire or ashes (Michelle Hebert)
-A tribute to Jackson Pollock (throwing pigment on Models wearing a “blank canvas” or white outfits) (Laura Grier)
-creating hair sculpture pieces (Krystal Kaos)
-Over the top Make-up and colors/lashes based on each look (Tara Dowburd of Make-up Therapy)
-Creating a behind the scenes video that looks like a fragrance ad with dramatic faded in and out of focus clips of each look and documenting the “process of the shoot” (Sarah Horowitz)
-Over the top floral crowns made with found plants in the environment as well as orchids and flowers, hand wired and created on site (Bess Wyrick)
-The idea that COLOR rules and why not have a wedding dress or veil that is NOT white. This idea and the hike out to The Wave was my concept (Laura Grier)
Also, the colors and dramatic skies and lighting/colors are my art specialty
The whole journey was exhilarating! From throwing pigment as a nod to Jackson Pollock to our epic finale where we hiked three hours into the desert with only our camera gear and 40 yards of hot pink tulle to capture the last scene of the project in the famous "wave", I am honored to have worked with these fearless artists!! Check out my favorites from the shoot, behind-the-scenes images and video trailer below.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS AND CREATIVE GENIUSES:
Narrative and Conceptual Photography-Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography
Make-up Application- Tara Dowburd of Make-Up Therapy
Florals/ Styling /Model- Bess Wyrick of Celadon & Celery
Hair Artistry and Wig Styling- Krystal x Kaos with Anything for Beauty Co.
Artist & Fashion Designer (Red Dress and Burnt Dress)- Michelle Hébert
Custom Wearable Art Wedding Dresses- Evey of Evey Clothing
Ceramic Corset Dress Designer- Nicole Moan
Model 1- Christina Duerr
Model 2- Ashley Gain
Videography and Stylist- Sarah Horowitz of Sarah Natasha Photography
Film Editor- Jodee Debes
Shoot Coordinator- Harmony Walton of the Bridal Bar
Photo Shoot Assistant 1- Edward Diaz
Photo Shoot Assistant 2- Brooke Keegan
Photo Shoot Assistant 3- Tam Ashworth
Wigs- courtesy of Dolluxe®
Jewelry and Accessories Styling- CLD PR
Neon Green Shoes- Designed by Alejandra G.
Embroidered headpiece with crystals and pearls- Designed by Dar Sara
Metal and sterling silver Necklaces- Designed by Lisa Monahan Metal Works
Gold Drop Earrings- Designed by Nanis Italian Jewels
Tourmalinated Quartz Collar- Designed by Charles Albert
Red CZ Ring- Designed by Charles Albert
Alchemia Large Cuff- Designed by Charles Albert
Opalized and Rose Quartz Necklace- Designed by Charles Albert
Titanium Treated Quartz Necklace- Designed by Charles Albert
COMPANY: Beautiful Day Photography by Laura Grier