• Kel Donaldson

11.11.18; A Woodland-Inspired Shoot.

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

As a young and budding photographer I'm always looking for ways to get out there in the art world as well as the wedding industry. Last fall, one of my best friends, Taylor Whitcomb of Gorham Village Baking Co., approached me with the idea of putting on a styled shoot.

What is a Styled Shoot you ask? I myself, had no idea. Never heard of it. Long story short, it's when you collaborate with multiple vendors in your area and everyone donates a piece or participates in some fashion to produce a "wedding". It's an absolute blast, and Pinterest will be a hugely inspiring help, but let me tell you - it is a lot of work.

I thought before sharing my photos with all of you, I would put together a list of 5 tips I wish we would have known before getting into this project.

Tip #1: It's not a cake walk. (No pun intended - bakers!) People do drop out last minute. We had a calligrapher picked out - who we were stoked about - and at the last minute, she couldn't participate. And everyone has a life, which we understood. But Taylor worked her little buns off trying to get people to commit after that. Thankfully we found Sarah Parrott who is AMAZING, and did a spectacular job with the calligraphy used for this shoot.

Also something to know is that with rentals, etc. some vendors have contracts to be signed and some will charge (often a discounted rate, at first). This should not deter you, as we have heard after your first time, you are likely to build trust in the community as well as exposure, which can then lead to people jumping up to voluntarily participate the next time around at no charge.

Tip #2: Have backup. You need all hands on deck. Us two stubborn feminists did all of the heavy lifting and we were sore for probably a week after. Don't be silly - look for people who would otherwise be loafing on the couch for the hour you need them, and ask for help.

Tip #3: Be practical. For those who don't know me, I am a pisces, therefore I can be somewhat impractical when in the pursuit of all things dreamy. I chose Baxter Woods in Portland, ME as our "venue". For those of you who have never been, we highly recommend it, as the trees there are freaking GORGEOUS. But because we didn't do extensive research, we ran into things like needing to be able to back in the U-Haul - which we couldn't do. So we had to carry things further - such as our huge and gorgeous table rented from One Stop Event Rentals. We also ran into DOGS. Normally I would be soo excited about this part. I am a dog person. But where we had 3 cakes, that took tireless effort for Taylor to make, it is ABSOLUTELY a hurdle to have dogs around. And not every dog owner is responsible. Hence, dogs coming up and sniffing the cakes and nearly eating them. Not a fun time.

Tip#4: Have a budget. I think it cost a combined total of $325.00 to put this shoot on. We went into it with the hope we wouldn't have to spend a lot. We ended up needing to rent a U-Haul and adhere to certain contract stipulations from our vendors which in turn cost money. There were a few other things we needed that added to the price. But in the end, we think it was so worth it.

Tip #5: Have fun with it. Enjoy the time researching. I'm sure you have your dream wedding pinned on Pinterest. Or maybe you have several potential wedding boards you've made in attempt to establish the season you want to get married in. Spend some time thrifting. Taylor was able to purchase the most beautiful gold candle holders and wooden crates just from a day trip to The Willows in Mechanic Falls, Maine.

That being said, please enjoy these images as it took a great deal of work and collaboration to create them.

Photographer: Kel Donaldson Photography Desserts and Planning: Gorham Village Baking Co. Floral Design: Bounty O' Blooms Rentals: A Family Affair Maine + One Stop Event Rentals

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