International Storytelling Center: Garden Bridal Session

With sunny days and spring flowers in bloom, there was no time more perfect for this bridal session. But it wasn’t just a normal photo shoot. In fact, we didn’t even have a real bride!

Instead, this session was planned as a styled shoot with a few goals in mind:
1- To create marketing images for the vendors involved.
2- To further explore and become familiar with one of our favorite
venues, The International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN.
3- To practice bridal posing as a team so that we will be able to create
consistent and diverse galleries in a short amount of time on wedding

To start our afternoon, Chetna Patel from Bombshell Beauty came to our venue for hair and makeup. I’ve known Chetna for years and watched her grow as a makeup artist through many weddings and photo shoots. With the natural beauty that our model, Kara Lawrence, presented, I had no doubt that Chetna could do beautiful things. Now, looking back at these images, I can confirm that she totally nailed the Southern Belle look we were going for!

While Chetna finished up Kara’s look, we set about photographing some of our details for the evening, including this stunning gown. Even after 10+ years in wedding photography and countless gowns in front of my lens, this dress is probably my favorite! I can’t thank Once Upon A Time enough for allowing us to use their amazing gowns and veils for our projects! Also, huge shout out to Linda (Leslie’s mom), who made our bouquet for us. She said she didn’t want any credit but she totally deserves it! This bouquet was a perfect compliment to our color palette and styling!

After a few hours of prep work, it was time for the fun to really begin. The International Storytelling Center not only has gorgeous ballrooms upstairs, but is also surrounded by a beautiful brick patio, lush gardens, and a landscaped courtyard that all spark my creativity! Since our goal was to showcase this space and learn to work with the unique options each venue provides, Leslie and I walked around before our shoot to identify where and how we wanted to photograph these areas. By paying attention to the lighting, background, and unique features of each area, we were able to quickly move our model into the ideal positions for our shots.

It was also important that we use this time to focus on the “team dynamic” of our process. Anytime you have multiple photographers trying to capture the same thing, it’s inevitable that you’ll get in each others way at some point, but we wanted to take this time to really learn how we shoot together so that we could develop a smooth and seamless flow to our work. Once I saw the shots during post-processing, I was reminded again of how important assistant photographers are! There were so many stunning images that were captured by Leslie at the exact same moment as I was creating another great photo. Had either of us not been there, the gallery would have been much smaller and lacking so many of the details that make it feel complete!

We definitely learned a lot from this shoot concerning what each of our strengths are as photographers and how we can incorporate those into our future work. I can’t wait to see our future shoots as we perfect this process even more! But with all that said, I’m so excited to share these images! It’s truly one of my favorite galleries from my career and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I can’t wait until we’re back on the Storytelling Center’s property again! Hope you enjoy these highlights as much as I have!

Remember how I mentioned that by having two photographers photographing the same moment, we were able to capture multiple angles and perspectives to create a full gallery? There are two examples (4 photos) of that in the color photos above! Can you find the sets that were taken at the exact same time by both Leslie and I?

And since y’all know I LOVE black and white images, I couldn’t resist creating an incredible gallery devoted to these timeless beauties! Which do you prefer: the color images above, or the black and white photos below? Let me know in the comments!

Vendor Love:
Venue: International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, TN
Hair and MUA: Bombshell Beauty by Chetna, Kingsport, TN
Gown and Veil: Once Upon A Time, Johnson City, TN
Model: Kara Lawrence
Assistant: Leslie Black

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