Details. Everything is about the details these days. It’s so amazing to look at all the thought, creativity, and work that went into every aspect of the wedding day. Rings, necklaces, ties, shoes, cufflinks, watches, veils, centerpieces, shoes, letters, invitations, flowers, lockets, etc. All the small pieces add up. So many memories tied up in each detail. It’s amazing!
As I went through weddings I would get some strong detail shots that I loved (amid some that weren’t so strong), but I didn’t really know why it worked and not knowing the why made it hard to replicate. I knew that if I wanted to up my details game, I needed help. Stephanie of Life Created is a still life and details guru. She makes absolute magic happen! Her style is natural and real. The everyday looks beautiful through her camera and style. I followed her for months and drooled over her photos while I struggled with mine. I knew that if anyone could help me learn to get the shots I wanted, it was her! So I reached out to her and signed up for a mentorship.
Best. Decision. EVER!
Mentoring day arrived and I was so excited. I checked the location on the map so I would know how much time to plan from where I was staying to where we were meeting. I carefully watched the clock all morning. Finally time came and I headed on my way. I opened my maps app, saw that Zoe’s Kitchen was in the menu so I binked on it and off I drove. I was so proud of myself for showing up early. The parking lot was only half full, the weather was great, and I stood there talking with some girls working the booth outside. Before long I got a text from Stephanie saying that she was there, but having trouble finding parking.
And then it hit.
I opened my email, looked at the address of the meeting place, and realized I was in the wrong spot! For some reason the Zoe’s Kitchen I binked on when I started driving wasn’t the same Zoe’s Kitchen that I’d looked up earlier that morning. I was 20 minutes away from where I was supposed to be. After a few phone calls back and forth we decided to just meet up at the Zoe’s Kitchen I went to as it was less crowded. Proof you don’t grow out of dork moments. I felt like a doofus, but Stephanie was so sweet about it all.
I loved sitting and visiting with her over lunch. It was great to get to know her and to visit about our businesses. After eating she brought out the laptop and we dove into her presentation and my portfolio pictures that she sent. She went over her method and we were able to discuss what makes a strong photo, how to set up a shot, and what made my photos work or not. It was amazing! I knew which details shots were good, but I didn’t know why at all. Going over what makes a details and still life shot work and pop was exactly what I needed. Seeing each picture dissected was so helpful. Knowing WHY something worked or didn’t was the best thing ever! This was exactly what I needed to know.
After lunch and talking, it got to be play time. We re-met out at The Simple Farm in Scottsdale where Stephanie brought so many AMAZING props to set up and shoot. Invitations, flowers, jewelry, boxes, boards, paper, fruit, perfume, vases, etc. It was so fun to put into practice what we had just discussed. I loved being able to watch her set things up and see the angles she shot. I love discussing approaches with her. It was so much fun!!
All I wanted to do when I got home was to pull out everything I could and take detail shots. A whole new world had opened up! I’m so grateful for other photographers who are willing to share what they know and to teach others.
I can’t wait to put what I learned into action in all my weddings this year!