Archive for July, 2012
Jul 21, 2012
posted in Business, Portraits with 0 Comments

Ok, so I’m running a bit behind with my blog postings lately.  Things have become increasingly busier as I head into the bulk of my weddings for this year, along with the mix of other sessions and meetings on my plate.  I really do want to talk about one of the special shoots that we did just two weeks ago.  It was a big collaborative effort among a handful of wedding vendors, which was coordinated by Shawn from TreBella Events.  And after rescheduling a few times due to weather problems, it was exciting to finally get this shoot done.  We just burned up in the 100 degree heat instead.

The shoot was a mock wedding.  As vendors, we’re always at the mercy of the final say of the couple that hires us.  Though we are often leaned on for advice and guidance, it still remains their day, which is at is should be.  So the idea of the mock wedding is to give a day back to us vendors, to try and get some of the amazing images that we imagine for ourselves and want to show, but are hard pressed to get because the event doesn’t include it, or a photographer doesn’t capture it.  In doing this, we can create the images to show couples what we can do, and want to do for them.  For example, I have never had a couple use a vintage Bentley for their wedding day.  As vendors, we always are aiming to push the envelope to rise our skills, image, service, and value.  Doing so sometimes means taking on a personal project to express creative juices and to prove show off our skills.

After working with Shawn on another wedding a couple of years ago we have maintained contact, and so when I was ready to finally attempt the mock wedding, I knew she was the one to help make it happen.  So I contacted her, proposed my idea, suggesting that we use Sotterley Plantation as our venue since that’s where we first met, and of course it’s a favorite location for the both of us.  Linda at Sotterley Plantation was very accommodating in allowing us to use the plantation for this shoot.

As a coordinator, she has more contacts and connections than I do, so she took the reins and did majority of the leg work in coordinating with the other vendors.  Shawn really did an absolutely amazing job pulling together a hair stylist, make-up artist, dress shop, the vintage Bentley, jewelry, and more (you can see the full list at the end of this post).  Originally, she also had a a few others as well, but unfortunately they were not able to participate on the final day.  But she did surprised me with some elegant furniture arrangements and table set-ups.

It is interesting that no matter how much you plan for one thing, something else will happen instead.  We had a few ideas for what we wanted to do for images, but factors such as extreme heat and a couple that aren’t really a couple tend to drive a slight detour in plans.  Of course there was also the newly recharged dead battery packs for my strobe as well, but that’s why I had more than one way of lighting.  Shawn had a really cool chandelier set-up as well, but the candles melted and fell out of it before we can shoot it at 8:00 am.  Then the pretend husband and wife duo didn’t know each other, so having them fake certain intimate poses (such as kissing) proved more humorous than passionate.  I think we did good getting them to hold hands.  We also had planned for a staged ceremony, which wasn’t able to happen, but the heat itself really did do a number on us that day.  I actually left that day with chest problems, but was fine by the next day.

I have to say that despite everything, we really did pull off some amazing images.  It really did take everyone to pull this off, and everyone did great, especially considering the heat.  Of course one benefit to having it rescheduled so many times is that I was able to apply some new lighting tools and techniques that I’d gained from a recent workshop that I wouldn’t have had if we’d shot the mock wedding on one of the original dates.  But I tell you what, if we had to reschedule one more time, I was going to throw in the towel.  Thankfully we didn’t, and the images we now have are more than worth the heat that we had to endure to get them.  I do hope to do this again in the future.

I honestly don’t know if doing this mock wedding will lead to anything for me or not in my business, but it has given me a chance to create some cool wedding images without the stress of a wedding, and it gave me some closer connections with some fellow vendors.  Nothing is more valuable than personal connections with others, vendors or not.  I loved doing this, and would do it again in a heartbeat.  But hopefully with less heat next time.  Please check out the list of vendors below.  They are amazing at what they do and deserve tons of credit for what that did to make this shoot the success it was.  If they can pull off what they did in the extreme heat conditions we had to work in, then they can deal with just about any tough situation.

Vendor Services Provided:

Cake:  Anita’s Cakes /

Attire: Today’s Bride /

Makeup:  Favia’s Artistry /

Bridal Bouquets: Chesapeake Floral Arts /

Photography:  Brandon Malone Photography /

Decor & Event Styling/Design:  TreBella Events /

Jewelry:  Jenna’s Gems /

Transportation:  Classy Chassis / no website

Hair:  Hair It Is /

Location: Sotterley Plantation /



Once I’ve had a chance to finish going through all of the photos and create some signature art pieces, then I’ll create a new post to showcase those image.  Thanks again to all that participated, especially the models that pretended it wasn’t 100 degrees outside while they’re wearing HEAVY clothes.




If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Plus I appreciate Likes and Shares when I can get them.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography