Personal Projects I like to undertake personal work for my portfolio. It challenges me and keeps me on my toes!
Often wondering what it would have been like to be a photographer during different times of our history and being drawn to the 1920s inspired me to shoot a ‘20s styled bride as a portfolio piece – my interpretation of a being a bride from this time of spectacular opulence. I was influenced by the beautiful imagery of Muriel Finley as photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston and the striking iconic shots of the Hollywood leading ladies.
Often referred to as the ‘Roaring Twenties’ it was a great time for new technology, discovery and advancement, this was a time of prosperity for many and choosing the right location for the shoot was key to overall look and feel of the imagery. Loseley Park, near Guildford in Surrey, a popular wedding venue I have photographed on many occasions, was the obvious choice. Built in the reign of Elizabeth I, Loseley Park stands in ancient Surrey parkland close to the North Downs. It remains remarkably unchanged since 1562 and is still the More-Molyneux family home. The stunning exterior and magnificent Grand Hall were exactly what I had in mind when planning the shoot.
The dress came next. The exquisite ‘Theda’ was chosen for its vintage style, beautiful crystal detailing and elegant lines, from the Madeline Isaac-James collection, designed by British designer Natalie Gladman.
The model for the day was Rebecca Dyer, chosen for her classic looks that really suit the era and to transform Rebecca into the aristocratic bride was make-up artist was Farnham-based Lisa Hancox, who researched make-up from the time and used her expertise to create the look. She created a modern, wearable interpretation of 1920s make-up, starting with a flawless base and applying flattering, natural shading and highlighting to the cheekbones. Lisa paired a wash of grey and deep amethyst purple for a contemporary smoky eye with semi-matte berry lips. Beige-nude nail varnish was applied to Rebecca’s nails for the finishing touch.
Think of 20s hairstyles and bobs, finger waves and Marcel waves come to mind. Genie Jewell-Smith, an award winning session stylist, took inspiration from illustrations and Art Deco wedding trends, with a touch of Downton Abbey. The look was prepped with a waver and Label M Volume Mousse then twisted ringlets were made around the perimeter for a loose woven texture. A finger wave was created across the face to deliver a style that harks back to the 20s but would look equally as glamorous on the red carpet today.
With the dress, hair and make-up all enhancing each other and Rebecca looking the quintessential 1920s bride, it was time to accessorise to add the finishing touches and the team had such fun sourcing the vintage glitter! Every piece chosen was thoughtfully selected – from the beautiful appliqué diamanté headpieces, delicate lace gloves and strings of pearls.
Every bride needs a bouquet and the bouquets from the era were typically huge, overflowing white blooms and cascading greenery. Eden Blooms, a creative local florist, had these images in mind when they assembled a classic Avalanche – spiraled stems of white wedding roses creating a hand tied shower design, softened with soft ruscus foliage.
The research, attention to detail and expertise from everyone involved have certainly created some stunning images, beautifully posed and truly elegant they convey the luxuriousness of the decade with the delicacy and femininity of the 1920s bride.