If you follow my work (and I know a few of you do!), you’ll have seen bits and pieces of this shoot over the last couple of years, but I have never shared it in full because it was awaiting a print publication, and then I got pregnant, and well… ANYWAY.
This shoot was the first time I had worked with a team, and before it was done, I had shot five different sets in an afternoon (you’ve already seen a couple here – the gold dress I liked, and this little engagement party). As it is, because the work is almost two years old, it isn’t exactly current to where I am, so I am shy to share it, but I do love these photos and I want to tell you something specific that I learned through this shoot:
There is much more to photography than simply taking pictures.
I had no idea what I was doing here. I was taking pictures. Rendering opinions. Making little stories. Practicing with film. I am embarrassed to admit that at the time I didn’t really think about what everyone else was putting into what I was photographing.
You hear that “what I do could not be done without the help of my team,” and it is easy to skip over that seeming “caveat” and assume it is just a nice way to give credit where credit is due. You still think it is all about the photography and how amazing the pictures turn out so that publishers will want to feature everyone. You shoot what you think is important, and don’t really consider anything else.
This shoot – and some real relationships with other creatives – began a process that has been changing my perspective, and I am so deeply honored to share the other creatives who so generously let me photograph things that mattered to them.
The whole thing began when my friend Rebekah Pizana turned a simple request for a portrait session into a full-styled shoot with the help of her friends. I wasn’t sure what to do when she brought on Rebecca Gallop of A Daily Something to create our set design and style, and then Rebecca brought on another friend, Tia Stockton, who baked perfect pies and assisted with styling AND modeling. The next thing I knew, the girls had brought in another friend of mine at the Goodstone Inn, who opened their doors to us for our “little” shoot.
I didn’t know then that the people I was working with were SO. GOOD. at what they do. I can be clueless sometimes about things like that – people are people to me – and in this case, I honestly, truly, crazily had no idea how much working with these amazing people was going to humble me and overhaul my direction as a photographer.
It is easy to take people for granted when you have your own goals, but I have been learning that the more intimately I engage others’ work, the more I treasure my own work. Florists and stylists and bakers and designers pour every bit as much (and maybe more!) heart into their work as photographers do. I think a good photographer remembers that, and makes space to feel the heart behind what they photograph.
Knowing this and creating space to be an introvert within my work means that I am pulling back a lot in 2015 with what I shoot. I want every detail of every shoot to be consistent with my direction and my overall aesthetic, and I want to really invest in every person involved with my photography.
I wish that I had done better from behind my lens, knowing now so much more what each person brought to the shoot when I was “just taking pictures,” but these photos hold some of my best photography memories, and a lot of kindness, and a special group of people who made me feel special too.
Venue: Goodstone Inn & Restaurant
Set Design & Styling: Rebecca Gallop
Styling Assistant: Tia Stockton
Photography: Kelly Sauer
Models: Rebekah Pizana, Kyle Murray, Tia Stockton
Dress: Ebrada Atelier
Groom’s Jacket: Banana Republic
Groom’s Slacks: Express
Groom’s Shirt: Calvin Klein
Bowtie & Pocket Square: Van Heusen
Flower Source: Fields of Flowers
Floral Styling: Rebecca Gallop, Kelly Sauer Ltd. Co.
Pies: Tia Stockton