A wedding photoshoot with the bride sans the groom (and vice versa) is as important as the shoot they have together. Enjoy this story of doubt, self discovery and confidence, 3 obvious but seldom downplayed moments a would-be bride faces, as she approaches her big day.
We need to be careful that we do not pressure our daughters and sons into being with another (for the fulfillment of family rites), before they discover themselves and their capabilities.
You can read the story below or view it in pictures.
Sitting in front of Popeye's while our model and my friend went to grab snacks for everyone, Erika and I came up with this story.
A bride-to-be suddenly becomes unsure of her decision to marry the love of her life. They've been together for 8 years and you would think this is the moment she has been waiting for.
In the days leading to her wedding, precisely 4 days before, she strays far away from home to find solace. She uses this time to contemplate on her decision to be one with another being, to share her space with this new person, to accommodate all he does, whether right or wrong, to make life-changing decisions and build a home with Saheed. It seems all too much for her, and daunting at that. But she is a resilient woman so once in a while, she rises from her doubt and basks in the sunset.
She twirls and twirls until her heart beat picks up again. She chooses to be one with nature and journeys in her thoughts, pausing a few times to deeply reflect on her decision and the life before her and Saheed. At other times, she runs even further, attempting to set herself free from the unknown.
This cannot be undone.
Moments later, she emerges from her hiding place stronger than ever, fully aware of herself and convinced of the great things she brings to their table. She regains confidence in her decision to marry her lover and makes her way back home.
Story Credits: Memkoh & Erika Layne.
The Story, in Pictures
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BACK STORY - because by now you should know that great feats are preceded by great pain.
The last time I styled a wedding photoshoot on Memkoh was over a year ago and since then, I have been looking for an opportunity to work with brides and grooms to no avail. I did everything, from getting enlisted on Aisle Perfect as a vendor (see my profile here), to getting listed on another wedding site I paid $49.99 for every month (and still haven't gotten any request), to reaching out to wedding photographers and getting no response. I didn't leave out several social media postings and word of mouth. Still, I knew styling a shoot would put my bridal services out there.
My budget has for a while been very lean and I'm not even sure if my other resources still exist. I'm just floating everyday, crossing my fingers and toes. I digress.
For this shoot, I wanted it to be easy and effortless, but a fresh take on weddings. I needed to make it happen asap, given that summer is almost over in the wedding world, aka couples getting married this summer have taken care of a huge chunk of their event already, leaving me in the run for Fall 2016 and Summer 2017 weddings and onwards.
It seemed as though no wedding photographer wanted to work with me. The dress had been ready since April; my model was probably ready since the Yetunde Sarumi shoot in February or March but the photographers never followed through. I told myself I'd reach out to someone one last time, after which I'd grab my camera and make the shoot happen myself. The downside of the latter was not being as apt as a seasoned wedding photographer would be or having the robust client base. I eventually got a response from Erika of Erika Layne Photos who was an absolute joy to work with. The idea to work with natural elements was all hers and I welcomed it wholeheartedly. We spent $14 for the mushrooms, cactus, sugar cane and long beans you saw in those pictures. Everyone, including my friend who was just visiting, literally joined hands to make this shoot happen, including our model. I just love having people who can do things outside their job description; it shows versatility! Thank you Mitchell for going above and beyond your job description. Thank you T for making the entire scene lively and helping with organizing the model and props. Thank you Miss Erica for coming through and taking these bomb photos in under 20 minutes!
Permit me to also point out that the role of a stylist is so underplayed in the wedding industry that every "styled shoot" I have come across has been executed without a stylist; it worries me.
For next week's wedding post, I will explain to you just why you need a wedding stylist. Right now, keep staring at these amazing photos over and over. Thank you once again to everyone who made this dream come true! I will work on a full shoot with a groom when my budget gives me more wiggle room. Update: Post here.
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