For the past couple weeks, I have been working very closely with the lovely Laura Chedrawe on her engagement shoot. Laura had approached me previously asking me to style her entire shoot. She had envisioned an over the top very vintage but glamorous VOGUE themed shoot. I envisioned multiple settings, shot ideas and looks for her instantly. Knowing Laura, I had expected her engagement shoot to be over the top and very glamorous. I was super excited about the opportunity to help her out, and I wanted to make sure my service went above and beyond to exceed her expectations in every way.
Laura knew the combination of Jeff Cooke’s shots and my styling service would make for an amazing engagement shoot. Like any bride-to-be, she was nervous at first, but that all faded away once she saw some of the shots Jeff had taken along the way. My personal touch of style with Jeff’s striking shots made the entire shoot a great success. The key to our success was that I had previously sat down with Laura multiple times and we discussed every little detail of the shoot. I focused on making sure every aspect from setting to looks were covered, and the results were astonishing.
Below are a few shots from the engagement shoot.
After having a quick chit-chat with Laura and getting a brief idea of her dream engagement shoot, I went straight to the drawing board and started planning out the storyboard for the shoot. Laura had originally approached me during my CTV segment, in which she was a model. Laura had asked me about my Instagram shots/blog posts, wondering who set up the shots and choose the poses etc. I mentioned I was the director/planner/stylist for my own shoots. For each look I have a certain vision: from the background setting to the ideal pose, everything went hand-in-hand for me. She loved the vision I had behind my Instagram account and wanted that vision for her shoot.
We sat down a couple of weeks after the CTV segment and talked full details for her engagement shoot.
I set up a storyboard for Laura, discussing the following details:
2. Shot Ideas
3. Laura’s Looks
4. Joey’s Looks
When sitting with Laura, I presented to her my full idea and vision for the shoot, discussed the options I had for location/looks and I showed her shot inspirations. She absolutely loved every part of it. Laura had a location idea in mind and I asked her to show me photos or videos of the location to get an idea of the vibe of the room. After analyzing the room, we decided to go with one of the locations I had chosen, which was her living room. Laura’s living room had a very vintage-chic vibe to it, which suited the shoot perfectly. Laura had also mentioned she wanted some shots at King’s University on the Dalhousie campus where she had previously done a shoot and loved the setting. I fully agreed with her and could see King’s suit the Vogue theme with the pillars and brick walls.
I discussed with Laura the number of looks she wanted for the shoot and how many shots per look. We sat down and started analyzing the looks, figuring out each and every single detail from the dress to the accessories and down to the shoes. Laura had a busy schedule throughout the engagement shoot and was unable to pick up bits and pieces for her shoot, so that’s where I stepped in. Laura wanted three looks for the shoot and wanted something very up to trend. After doing some research, we decided floral was the way to go. I asked Laura what style of dresses she liked to wear that made her feel at her best and most confident, and she mentioned the style which is exactly what we pulled for her. We finalized two looks and needed a third, so I offered to have a shopping day and pick out some looks to bring to her. I searched multiple online websites and shopped in local stores. At the end, after analyzing all the options, we decided to go with a piece that was tucked away in her closet.
Joey’s looks were very simple yet chic, and they coordinated perfectly with Laura’s looks. Joey also had a busy schedule and was unable to attend our meetings but we still managed to pull through with his looks. The main goal for the looks was that they balanced each other out. When Laura had a statement dress, we stuck Joey with a simple, clean and polished look. We didn’t want the looks to clash, but for one look we wanted Joey to be the main focus and got him to throw on a floral top with a blue on blue suit, making him the star of the shot.
Finally, the day of the shoot arrived. I was honored to get to work with the amazing Jeff Cooke. I had heard so much about him and was excited to see what he would bring to the table. When he first arrived, Laura asked if I could give Jeff a quick update and explain the shot ideas we had agreed on to make sure we were all on the same page. Jeff was very easy-going and understanding, and he was totally on board with the shot ideas, also adding some ideas of his own. We started the shoot at 2:30 and went until 7:30 at night. We began at our first location at Laura’s home and then headed to the second location, which was King’s University, where we had our final shots. I brought some styling necessities for the shoot, for touch-ups and also brought clutch options for her looks, which we ended up using.
If you had to ask me what my favorite part of the experience was, I would probably have to say the night before the shoot. I had stopped at Laura’s house and had a final talk with Laura, going over every single detail and making sure we were ready for the day. I could tell Laura was feeling very anxious, so I sat her down and told her a few words to put her at ease. Then I started to see a sign of relief in Laura’s face. I didn’t blame her for being anxious—it was her engagement shoot! This was an important moment in her life; she wanted these shots to be very special and something she could one day frame in her house and look back on. All I wanted to do was make sure she got everything she wanted and could look back at those photos with a smile on her face and remember how much fun she had shooting these shots with her love.
Laura it was a pleasure working with you and I wish you and joey nothing but the best and a lifetime of happiness.
Photography: Jeff Cooke
Styling: Joyce Gereige
Makeup: Vicky Mina
Hair: Christina Sands Shulba