I saw this amazing shoot all over my Facebook via blogs and photographers recently, and I could not express more love for it if I tried. Paola de Paola, the splendid photographer whose work I’ve been lucky enough to feature on my blog before (see here and here), asked if I would also like to feature it. Obviously, this was met with an emphatic and slightly excited and shouty “YES, PLEASE” from me!! I looked on the Pagan calendar to see what was coming up, and I saw that not only is today Hallowe’en, but it’s also the Covenant of the Goddess. So publishing it today, well I don’t think you can get more apt than that!!
This is one of the finest styled shoots around and it comes from the heart of each contributor – you can feel that they all have a little piece of this inside them that came together to make this beautiful day. I love this type of totally authentic creativity: it leaps off the page.
Here’s Lau from French Made to tell you all about the shoot, from its inspirations to the details themselves.
As an ex Goth kid (oh yes), I can’t help being attracted to dark art in general. Plus my recent obsession with the series called ‘Vikings’ and their Pagan way of life gave me inspiration. I was lucky enough to find a fabulous team of wedding suppliers as ready as I am to push the boundaries and willing to get involved and create the most eye pleasing alternative subtly single sex bridal styled shoot. There have been quite a few woodland themed shoots around the blogs recently so for this one, the idea was to create a darker, more dramatic Voodoo feel using emblems such as skulls and black candles but keep a Mother Earth and purity vibe to it by, for instance, getting the models to wear ethereal, beautiful Days of Grace vintage lacy dresses.
Paola, the photographer, and I have worked together on quite few projects now, so we have a very good understanding of the final product. We are able to join forces to make the visual materialise. She can create images that reflect the essence of the story. The crops are at times very tight, to give the audience the chance to enter the scene, and be part of the story. Working with a harmonious, talented, creative team is the key factor for a successful result.
Lou from Beyond Vintage expressed her love of the occult and a passion for tarot through carefully selecting her finest vintage props. She managed to show how these can be adapted to many different themes. For example, the crates took on a whole new feeling when she and our stylist for the day, Alexandra Merri from Bijou Bride transformed them into a Voodoo altar.
The grand flower arrangements Emma from Laydybird created using deep red roses, almost black calla lilies and deep purple dahlias worked perfectly for the theme. She decided to specifically use calla lilies for the bridal bouquet, as the white variety are very popular in traditional weddings as they are not only beautiful but they are associated with holiness, faith and purity. Using the deep dark purple was the perfect twist for this hand fasting ceremony.
Mel Kinsman met the challenge of doing beautiful make up on three very different looking models. First, for the wonderful alternative Moniasse with her piercings, tattoos and scars, she used strong pigments to mix with conventional shadows to highlight and compliment the blood red colours of our flowers and candles and mixed gold in to give light and shimmer. For Nicola, our blond one, a more innocent look was called for so she used big lashes for top and bottom lines of the eyes to give a wide-eyed look. Sarah’s makeup was expertly taken on by her assistant for the day, Nina Bains.
Maelle from Haut De Forme Studio usually designs glittery, vintagey stationery, but this time she successfully went out of her comfort zone to create a full suite inspired by Matthew Barney, True Detective and even the Blair Witch Project.
Personally, I chose to cover my tiered cake with ivory icing and skin tone buttercream as well as adding fur, leather, antique styled lace, feathers, bronze coloured studs and a Pagan symbols charm. My naked single tier, decorated with a badger skull and flowers, which was sitting on a wood stand, reflected the rustic aspect of the shoot.
Myriam, of La Dame au Béret – Millinery, adds,
When Lau, of French Made, and Paola De Paola Photography asked me to be part of the ‘Pagan’ shoot, I was thrilled and thought: ‘Just my kind of thing!’ Like Lau, I am a former Goth, and my eclectic inspirations include Celtic art and design, old Scandinavian tales, witchcraft… I am very close to Mother Nature, flora and fauna, and all those influences came together naturally. I used wood, bamboo, straw, leather, real human hair (mine!), feathers, fabric flowers and vintage metallic ornaments to make the headpieces and hats worn by the models, all in natural shades. They went extremely well with the beautiful antique tea gowns from Days of Grace, the floral arrangement and flower crowns by Ladybird and the atmospheric setting by Beyond Vintage. Not to forget the gorgeous models we were lucky to have and the magical make-up by Mel Kinsman and Nina Bains. The vision we had of this all-female cast among a dark, dreamy world was a great success and we are all very proud of it.
Coordination/cakes – French Made
Photography – Paola De Paola
Video – Zyrah Film
Styling – Bijou Bride
Props and china hire – Beyond Vintage
Make-up artist #1 – Mel Kinsman
Make-up #2 – Nina Bains
Hair – Louise Alway
Headdresses/hats – La Dame au Béret – Millinery
Dresses – Days of Grace
Taxidermy (antlers/ badger skull) – Death and Glory
Flowers – Ladybird
Stationery – Haut De Forme
Models – Sarah; Moniasse; Nicky
All the Pictures