It has always been a dream of mine to create a styled shoot. The fun, fantasy, and freedom you experience while piecing together all the perfect elements cannot be beat. For this particular shoot, I was inspired by a garment every bride-to-be is familiar with: the perfect dress. When I saw the dress posted on a local bridal shop’s website, I knew the time had come to dive into this styled shoot with full force. I could picture all the details in my head, it was just a matter of connecting the dots. Thankfully, I was able to work with talented vendors in the area who helped make this dream a reality. Living in Minnesota in the dead of winter, I anticipated–and wanted–a snowy photoshoot. I envisioned delicate, white snowflakes dancing around the bride in her perfect dress. But, as she often does, Mother Nature had other plans. Early March brought us 70 degree weather, so I moved on to Plan B.

While I was wondering how to create and capture a whimsical and elegant styled shoot, I stumbled across a photo of the newly renovated Lumber Exchange, which wound up being the perfect venue to photograph the styled shoot. The building, with its vast, floor-to-ceiling windows, was simply breathtaking. The natural lighting provided by the windows was a photographer’s dream. Detailed architecture matched with wide open spaces made finding unique angles to shoot from effortless and fun. Throughout the shoot I focused on the dress; how the lighting impacted its fabrics and patterns, how the color of the tall brick walls complemented its shape. The vintage decorations, neutral colors, and overall rustic feel of the venue allows viewers to focus on the most important element of the photographs: a young couple in love (and in fabulous formalwear).

Although I didn’t get a snowy, winter shoot, I got the chance to work with fantastic local vendors, as well as photograph a stunning dress, modeled by an even more stunning bride. In photography–and life–I’ve learned it’s always valuable to have a backup plan.

P.S. It ended up snowing 3 inches the day of the shoot. Go figure.

Styled ShootAlice Fahey