Stacey Bode Photography » LIFE SHOULD BE PHOTOGRAPHED

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People have mixed feelings about photos of styled wedding shoots versus actual weddings. The criticism of the stylized shoots tends to imply that they set unrealistic expectations regarding budgets, time, and circumstances. My feeling is that they are awesome. Ten years ago, when I first became a professional photographer, I set up so many shoots, y’all. It helped me practice my skills and figure out who I was behind the camera. These days, I don’t need planned wedding editorial shoots to build my portfolio, but I still love to do them. Here’s a little secret. Whether I’m shooting a sweet family, an actor’s headshots, a flower, a theater performance, a dog, a building, or a 10-hour “real” wedding…I am learning and growing every…single…time. I have some very comfortable skills, but one of the things I enjoy most about photography is that there are always challenges and ways to improve. I can try a new way to light a scenario. I can try to get a wonderful shot really, really quickly or in crazy conditions. I can figure out a different approach to make the people I’m shooting feel more relaxed and confident. Set-up photo shoots make me a better photographer for the shoots that my clients pay me for. Also, folks who are planning weddings don’t need to be intimidated by styled shoots. Use them for inspiration. Even if it’s beyond what fits with your budget, location, schedule, you can still use the ideas in a way that works for you. So, I say, “long live styled shoots”!

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This image is from my winter wedding style shoot with the great people at Flower Child Weddings!

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I got to spend some photo time with my lovely friend Tara, taking some vintage-inspired editorial portraits. The Bass Lofts were a perfect setting, and she is so darn easy to photograph. Tara is a talented improvisor and actress, who recently played civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo in the movie Selma. Her involvement has gone far beyond her part in the film, and you can read about some of her powerful experiences on her blog, by clicking HERE.

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  • March 13, 2015 - 7:41 pm

    Tara - Loved this day – these shots have been infinitely helpful… and I can’t wait to do MORE PLEASE. You are my worst kept secret… Thank you for being amazing and inspiring :-)

    xoxo

Laurel and Endre may be raising the bar too high. I mean, when you’re that in love and that easy on the eyes…not fair! I really enjoy being around this wonderful pair. They are kind and easy-going, which was perfect for the relaxed, vintage, American style we wanted to capture in these photos. I’m happy that there’s this cool thing happening with wedding details that involves less quantity with the decorations, but the ones that are used are simple yet full of impact. Of course, it never hurts to have gorgeous horses nearby too. Heckyeah! Big thanks to Flower Child Weddings (who has these awesome items), and Grace Armas Hair & Makeup Design.

 

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I’m convinced that all photo shoots should probably include Tom, Julia, and adorable farm animals. YES! Here’s another winter wedding style collaboration with the awesome folks of Flower Child Weddings and Grace Armas Hair & Makeup Design. This wonderful couple shows us how effortless and romantic vintage-bohemian coolness can be. I do wish we could have put flower crowns on all the chickens and goats. Maybe next time! For now, I’ll just revel in the gorgeousness being served up by these two sweethearts.

 

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