Adventures with Kayla - Reclamation Dress Styled Shoot
I have a soft spot for shooting with other photographers. I love the interaction, seeing people's ideas come to life, and the different perspectives we get while shooting the same content in the same place. This time, it was going to be something extremely special, though we didn't know yet just how special it would be. We were photographing a Reclamation dress! If you've never heard of the Reclamation Design Company, read on, because their dresses will blow you away.
I'm not sure exactly when I decided I wanted to photograph a Reclamation dress. I've seen them in my Instagram news feed for at least a year, though I imagine that's just when they fell on my conscious radar. They are handmade, one of a kind dresses made of heavy lace, and they are comfortable, old fashioned, but timeless. I finally looked into their dresses and while the price tag to buy one is too high to justify at this point, the company rents the dresses out! You pay to rent it for a week, photograph whatever you wanted in it, and send it off to the next person. It's genius really.
I messaged the shop on Etsy, found out which dresses are available in Canada for rent, and picked one with the help of my photographer friends. We picked a week, and I ordered it. Easy peasy.
Then I got bogged down in life, and lost most of my inspiration for planning shoots. I wanted to photograph this dress, but the effort of setting up a model and location was draining on my mental state, just knowing I had to do it. You know that feeling of excitement that becomes dread because your mental health sinks to a space where even getting out of bed is a bit of a chore? I was there.
Kim (KG Photography) is one of those people you meet and you can just feel the positive energy flowing out of them. She's one of the most approachable, helpful, supportive people I've met. Anyway, Kim reached out and asked me how it was going and if I wanted help. I told her where I was at and we talked a bit.
She has a wayyy bigger following and her model calls always bring us amazing people, so I was thrilled when she said she would put one out. She had a ton of applications. We decided a maternity session would be amazing in this dress, and we picked our model.
Two days before the session our model threw her back out and wasn't able to do the shoot. It's okay, we still had time to set up another model. I still really wanted to do a maternity shoot in the dress and none of the others who reached out were pregnant...but Kim is! I twisted her rubber arm and she agreed to model for us.
The day of
It was raining and kind of blah while Kim was getting her makeup done. Daphne (Smoulder MUA) was just finishing up when the skies decided to cooperate and the rain stopped. I have nothing against shooting in the rain, but I did not want Kim to get cold and sick for the sake of some photos.
We met up with the other photographers (Dayle Kennedy Photography, Kaptures by Karli, and Chelsea Dawn Photographs) and used a small trail system for our first location. Kim had this beautiful Etsy bouquet she bought for a styled shoot that was perfect for the vibe of the dress, so we incorporated that.
Do you know how many spots there are in Prince George to photograph people in? I don't shoot in PG all the time, but there are still so many I don't know about!
We headed up Cranbrook Hill to this spot that is apparently pretty well known by local PG photographers and it was beautiful!
Not only was the field, fence, and tree line perfect, but the skies were amazing. Kim has a really moody style of photography and the sky provided the perfect lighting for moody photos.
I found I was less concerned with taking the photos during this shoot and more focused on getting photos of the other photographers and also just enjoying the time. Making conversation, laughing, encouraging when I could. Don't get me wrong I still took a lot of photos, but less than I would have in the past for sure.
Part of that is the confidence I've gained since I started photography, but the biggest part of it is that I just appreciate these opportunities to work with other photographers and have started to recognize the value in taking a step back and being in the moment.
The best feeling
The best feeling comes from knowing that people are happy with their images.
A couple of days later I sent Kim the gallery and she was happy! She printed out photos to scrapbook with, which in turn made my heart swell up with happiness. I'm still extremely glad Kim became our model. It feels amazing to provide such a wonderful, kind, happy person with maternity photos she can cherish forever.