March 23, 2020

Styled Floral Editorial Session with Nelli Noel

At the beginning of this year, I was able to accomplish a longtime goal of mine: photograph a styled shoot. As simple as that goal may be for others, I always held myself back. The seeds of doubt and lack would enter my mind such as “I don’t know any ‘models'” or “I don’t know where to shoot it” or “I doubt a vendor would want to work with me”. My ideas would remain only ideas. A few months back, I was second shooting a wedding with my friend Jenny and I told her about all of my ideas for concept shoots. Not only did she immediately challenged me to do one, but also promised that she would follow up to make sure I did it.

I was grabbing coffee with a fellow photographer (and friend) Nelli when I told her I had this new challenge of completing a styled shoot. As we began talking, we realized we had a similar vision for an editorial type of session with an artistic floral element. Once the vision was set, Nelli spearheaded gathering the model, her gorgeous friend (and professional ballerina!) Frances, and reached out to a florist who was able to put together this amazing headpiece. It was exactly what I had envisioned and she did an incredible job.

The day finally came and the first part of our shoot took place in front of a sheet thrown over a goal post in a public park. Yes, that’s right. You really can shoot anywhere if you have the drive to make it happen. The only real challenge was handling the overcast lighting and the bitter cold breeze, but Fran pushed through like a champ.

Scroll to the end for credits.

Afterwards, we decided to move the shoot inside and try utilizing the light in Fran’s apartment. We threw the aforementioned sheet across some open cupboard doors and pinned it using the nail from her wall calendar. Surprisingly, it worked, and the light coming from her kitchen window made my jaw drop. Note to self: shoot inside a kitchen with the blinds pulled up for every shoot ever.

Towards the end of the shoot, we flipped gears completely. Fran then donned a white shirt with a scarf and matching sunnies moment; doesn’t it give you total Audrey Hepburn in ‘Charade’ vibes?!

Co-shooter: Nelli Noel
Model: Frances Chae
Floral headpiece: Walnut & Main