When I first started working on my blog, a lot of the choices I made came down to what I could do myself and what I needed to outsource for.
I have over time read and followed a lot of blogs so I knew that if I were to invest in one thing for my blog it would be the photography, so I went and did my research, found an incredible photographer to help me create my vision and the journey of the SPARKLE on darling photo shoot started from there.. and what a journey this was. Who knew that having to organise and get everything to come together for a photo shoot would be such a big job. Ready to see what it was like for me behind the scenes? I can't wait to share all of this with you.. The Raw + The Real
Firstly I want to get raw and real with you. Organising this photo shoot was a lot of work, it took a lot of my personal down time and energy. You would think that you just contact a photographer and show up, right? Not in my case. For me my creative brain was going a hundred miles an hour as soon as I decided this was what I wanted to do, and at the same time I wanted to keep it as organic as possible, so blending the two well, let's just say it all worked out in the end, but I was nearly in tears after the shoot because of how happy I was that it all finally came together.
Working on SPARKLE on darling was also during an extremely busy time in my working life, by busy I mean I had just been promoted and we were busier than ever. My body during this eventually came to a point where it started to shut down, it was telling me to slow down, and in fact probably to stop. I ended up with a severe tension headache running through my entire upper body for about a month, and would you know from looking at my photos that on the day of the photo shoot I was so unwell? No thankfully because of my incredible photographer who made the experience so much fun, that the pain I was in within my body became secondary and my sole job of being a model that day was most definitely a priority, that day my smile was in full motion.
When choosing a photographer I knew I wanted someone to help me brand myself as who I am personally, but also professionally. I wanted someone to help me bring my vision of my blog to life with my philosophy keeping with everyday wellbeing, wholesome eating and simple living. During my search I came across Kelly Adams Photography, her focus is on family and wedding photography, but after a search through her site I came across Creative Branding. After looking through her recent Creative Branding sessions I knew that this was everything I wanted. I sent off an email and we began working together from there.
Kelly was so helpful every step of the way, and also incredibly patient with me as I tried to pull everything together (literally down to the night before). We got there though in the end and Kelly helped more than helped me create everything I envisioned, she helped me create everything I could have ever hoped for. So grateful to have been able to work with someone so passionate, creative and full of SPARKLE.
Choosing a location was the hardest part for me. Some are blessed to have photographic homes, with beautiful lighting and clean white walls, this though is something I currently do not have, so a beautiful location for me was a must.
I went through a lot of options until I finally found (again thanks to my photographer Kelly) the stunning studio in Albion, Brisbane, Vieille Branche 'a creative space in an industrial backstreet warehouse' - Viellie Branche. The options before this space though included one that I got approved for, then knocked back only a couple of days out from my original shoot day, which was really hard as I was on a tight time frame to get everything to come together if I was going to launch in July. Thankfully though I was easily approved for the final (and best if I don't say so myself) location after taking a chance and them being incredibly kind about all of my requests. Forever thankful to have the opportunity to work in such a divine creative space.
Clothes + Props
Choosing what I would wear and use in the photo shoot for me was probably the easiest part, because my vision from the very beginning for SPARKLE on darling was to be as relateble as possible, and always be true to who I am. I didn't want to promote big labels or brands, I didn't want to use fast fashion or wear something just to get attention, I wanted to focus on my mission.
A lot of the clothes and accessories were pieces I already owned, some I'd had for years. I ended up purchasing only a couple of new plainer pieces to keep the 'no label' feel under wraps, such as the t-shirts I wore and the knit. There were also a few pre-loved pieces in the mix that I had gotten from an op shop and from Gumtree (an online second hand website) to use for the shoot. These second hand pieces I don't think I could have ever found in a fast fashion store, or even a boutique, the sparkle dress I have used to brand my blog being one of them (best pre-loved find ever).
I wasn't able to book my hair with the hairdresser that I originally planned on going to for my photo shoot due to the date not being set in stone and having to change it in amongst the planning. There was this hairdresser though that I had always seen on my way to work, Bach Hair. The shop front is absolutely gorgeous, I could tell it had a lot of character and I had always wanted to try it out, so I booked my appointment.
I went for a natural wave after getting my hair cut short again the week before. The hair style lasted the entire shoot, was perfect for the initial photographs where I had the sparkle dress on and then loosened up even more perfectly for the more relaxed shots. I was so in love, it was exactly what I had envisioned. They also treated me with a beautiful long black coffee, a great way to start the day.
Once again with the uncertainty of everything coming together I ended up going to Napoleon Perdis at Indooroopilly to get my makeup done. I was able to book it easily in advance and at the perfect time to also fit in with my hair appointment prior and photo shoot after. I've honestly never had so much fun getting my makeup done before, the make up artist that was looking after me was so raw, real and down to earth, we immediately clicked and I loved that.
It was so nice to just relax and enjoy the experience as this was the last thing I needed to do before all systems go that afternoon.
I also got back in products what I spent on my make up which was a total bonus to have the same products to touch up with during the shoot (although I kept forgetting of course!).
Photo Shoot Day
Although I wasn't totally myself because I wasn't well on the day of the shoot, it was still the most magical day. I felt like Cinderella all day, from getting totally pampered to being photographed, this day was all about me and that for me was beyond amazing. I sometimes feel like I give so much of myself to others, leaving myself a little empty from time to time, so it was nice to enjoy something that was totally for me, about me and my dreams and passions.
Looking back on the photos now I feel like it looks like a bloggers fairytale. I still can't believe that everything came together like I did, and because of these photos, SPARKLE on darling really is my dream online space. I cannot wait to do another photo shoot in the future, but for now, these make me so incredibly happy and full of self love.
Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way to make it happen, to all of the businesses and most importantly Kelly, for everything you helped me with and did for me, I couldn't have brought SPARKLE on darling to life without you. So thankful and so grateful..
All my love,