"I can be pretty awkward," she smiled, looking radiant in a bathrobe with her hair pinned in a loose halo of curls around her head. We sat, a politely captive audience in Jenna and Jonathon's soft and airy living room, and watched as the makeup artist began to work on Jenna's face. Naturally beautiful and full of a contagious energy that was anything but awkward, it was easy to transport ourselves back to a year ago in our couple's lives when all of the hustle and bustle was happening for the first time. Instead, we were prepping our blushing bride for a "take two" of her and her husband's big day. Jenna and Jonathon had generously welcomed us into their home to allow us to re-capture the intimate and special moments of their wedding day. While the makeup artist worked her magic on Jenna's face and hair, the group of us took advantage of the prep time to chat, laugh, and get to know each other.
In about two hours' time we were looking at a vision in white, perfectly styled from head to toe and ready for a walk down a fictious aisle. We piled our bride-- armfuls of lace and tulle -- and her groom into the car and whisked them to our makeshift ceremony location, which ironically happened to be the exact place they said "I do" a year ago. When we arrived, we were met with our first challenge of the day: Despite careful planning in advance, our location had booked a REAL wedding at the scheduled time of our photo session! We pleaded with the wedding planner who was blocking our entrance into our desired location, but she was an unyeilding force to be reckoned with. Defeated and aggitated, we nevertheless had no choice but to play the cards dealt to us and brainstorm a last-minute location change.
Luckily, working with spur-of-the-moment adjustments is something that my partner and I pride ourselves on. We assured our couple that we would not let all their hard perp work go to waste and piled them back into the car for a spontaneous location-scouting trip downtown. We took Jenna and Jonathon's advice to check out a small park and were encouraged by their positivity and willingness to help us pull this shoot off no matter what. But as we approached the proposed park, everyone's spirits dropped once again as we were met with a lack-luster collection of sparse architecture and overly harsh sunlight. Our couple fell silent, at a loss for a solution, and we knew we were up against a time-crunch to turn this day back into a positive experience.
We circled the park entirely for good measure, then I set my mind to retrace our steps and comb the downtown area for the perfect spot.
"There was one spot that looked interesting," I offered, adding a hopeful note to my tone as we cruised down the same residential street that had led us to the park.
Sure enough, a moment later the spot that had caught my eye initially came back into view, and I knew my first instinct was correct: This little hidden gem was going to save the day. Tucked amidst the ordinary suburban neighborhood as an extraordinary structure with an intriguing combination of Italian and Asian influences. Our couple seemed hesitant at first; after all, this was an apartment complex we had stumbled upon! But they trusted my excitement and certainty in this unexpected find, and just like that we were creating stunning images on the stoops and staircases of the (extremely!) accomodating residents who occupied the complex.
From there the afternoon flowed beautifully, and it was as if this little European villa-inspired apartment was where we had planned to be all along. Jenna and Jonathon made our job a cake walk. Their tenderness and love for one another radiated throughout each intereaction; it illuminated every shot we took. The only hard part was choosing a favorite image at the end of the day! Our newly weds were the perfect subjects for our first stylized wedding shoot, and we could not have asked for a more generous, dedicated, and beauitiful couple to work with. What had been the biggest setback in the day turned into the biggest asset to a set of flawless, timeless, unique images. It was an important reminder that any mishap can be used to your advantage if you keep an eye out for the hidden gems in each situation.
Handwritten by Chanel Fernandez
Hair and Makeup by iliana barrientos At Brushed Beauty
Flowers provided by Bloomingdays Flower Shop Tampa