When Chloe at Hey Babe Curated reached out to me to shoot the lookbook for her Valentine Collection of vintage lingerie and handmade fine jewelry...I was instantly inspired and excited. I've shot Chloe in her own vintage finds before and it's always a blast. Ever since she launched her own business, Hey Babe Curated, I've been drooling over her inventory and even snagged a pair of her gorgeous earrings for myself (#treatyoself).
When she dropped off the inventory (which was a lot more than I expected), she said that just wanted me to have options to create whatever I felt inspired to create (god, I love clients like that!) and boy was I ever inspired! Before I knew it, I had pages of ideas and I passionately wanted to create them all! So, I did.
I came up with 8 set ups I wanted to do and styled 8 looks for each of them and planned what props I wanted. Then, I set out to browse the valentine aisle at the local drug store, rummaged my own inventory, and went hunting down the aisles of a few flea markets to get some props.
I reached out to Micayla Storm to model and she said yes. This was her first time modeling and she killed it! Then, I set the shoot schedule for the day to optimize our time. Once the preplanning was done, all that was left to do was shoot. We had a lot of fun creating these looks back to back!
My whole idea behind each of these images was a self-love valentine... feeling gorgeous and sexy in your skin for yourself. Pampering and showering yourself in love... either through chocolates, a facemask, a good cup of coffee, relaxing in pretty lingerie, playing card games, or just plain enjoying your own damn company. Feelin' yourself...you feel me?
I think whether you are in a relationship with someone else or not, Valentines Day can be a great day to show up for yourself and write yourself a love letter of all you've accomplished, been through, survived, and really express your appreciation of all the gifts you have to offer the world.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
YOU ARE WORTHY.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Shop Hey Babe Curated
A few weeks ago, I spent an entire day at Blend Studio withi.V KiNG, her wife Shelby, Emily Edgar (makeup), and Brandon Goodwin (Blend Studio), plus a few awesome grips and PA's who donated their time to help us create a music video fori.V KiNG's new single, "City Girl."
I had the privilege of acting as Creative Director on this video, as well as taking behind the scenes photos.
Shot in one day, this music video had another challenge: we shot most of it backwards! To do this, i.V KiNG had to learn how to sing (or at least mouth) her song in reverse. We had to track everything in the song forwards and backwards to figure out how to execute it.
The one section that wasn't in reverse, where i.V KiNG is playing the drums, is what we shot first. The glitter on the drums was an idea I had that I was super excited about and it didn't disappoint! When I saw the glitter explode off the drums as she hit them, I got goosebumps. It was magical moment. But just watching i.V play drums live is a pretty magical experience--she's a magnetic, energetic, and just plain fun performer to watch.
I love this shot I captured of i.V's wife, Shelby (who plays a toxic badboi in the video), looking on at i.V playing the drums with such pride and joy.
We had to manually spin the disco balls!
Below are two of my most favorite candid shots I've ever taken... The glitter! The disco! Whatta vibe!
Once we finished that, it was time to switch it up and get ready to start working in reverse.
Below you can see some of the set up--on the computer screen we have a video of i.V singing played backwards so she can see what her lips look like and what it sounds like to try to mimic it. To add even more of a challenge--because obviously this wasn't hard enough already--we had to shoot each shot in one take because we were throwing paint and confetti on i.V while she sang backwards. It was a beautiful kind of torture for us all, but totally worth it in the end.
We used black-light body paint for the black-light bridge portion of the music video. Fun fact: we went through ALL the glitter we brought and used every tube of black-light paint.
i.V used the drop cloth to tuck into her newly thrifted pants to keep them from getting paint on them...this hilariously ended up creating the appearance of a wedding dress which Shelby and i.V had fun with between takes (see below). By the end of it, i.V was covered in paint and freezing cold. It was a long day, but we did it! We made something pretty cool.
Without further ado... please enjoy the City Girl music video!
When Season reached out to me to create some photos she said she wanted some couples portraits with more of an editorial vibe. My favorite! She said that they weren't really into traditional couples portraits and wanted something different, more artistic and unique. She sent me a few reference photos so I could better understand the look they were going for.
We started at their home (see photos below) which was a gorgeously decorated downtown loft full of art and large windows. Swoon!
Next, they changed into their second look and we headed out to C-street. We parked at one end, hopped out and started walking, stopping wherever we felt inspired...which was, like, a lot. I swear I could have kept shooting these two for hours...but it was freezing cold and I already had shot about 1,000 images so we called it a day.
I went through all the photos, tossing out the bad apples and redundancy along the way. Then, I edited about 800 of them with a first round color correction in Lightroom and then did another round of zooming way in to find unwanted blinks, slightly out of focus (in the not cool way), and more unnecessary redundancy and narrowed it down to a final count of about 320 final photos. I then exported a few more for some additional retouching in photoshop and then presto finito! I'm done and the photos are off to the client within a week of being shot.
I used the Template app to create these cool collages of the photos. I love how they turned out!
Are you looking for a couples shoot that's a little different? If you like highly artistic, creative shoots...shoot me a message! Let's create some magic.
I've had an influx of adoption day shoots lately and I love it. This session was incredible because these kids were so sweet. They stole my gosh darn heart! I mean... just look at them. What a cute family.
I love offering free adoption day photos for families. It's something I am passionate about. As a CASA I see first hand some of the work families of all kinds do to become a family and I want to support anyone who offers up their heart and their homes to kids in need.
Usually each year in November there is a big adoption day event where the court tries to schedule as many adoptions in one day as possible and a bunch of businesses donate their time and services for the families. There is food, superheroes, build-a-bears, etc. I'm usually the photographer for the event. Of course this year we couldn't hold the event...so I'm glad to have been reached out to by so many families to capture their adoption day anyway.
Plus, I'm a little partial to shooting outside at parks for kids shoots as opposed to inside a warehouse with a mini studio set. I love being able to catch kids while they are playing and in genuine moments with their siblings and parents.
When I have the availability, I'll shoot the family shots, take portraits of the kids, candids, and even a couples shot. It's my way of saying, "Thanks for what you're doing!"
If you or someone you know has an adoption coming up, reach out to me. I'd love to gift them with a free family photoshoot.
Hannah is a dancer, model, and sophomore in High School. This is my second time working with Hannah to help creative some creative editorial portraits for her growing portfolio. I love working with her and her mom, Emery.
Usually for these types of shoots I start by asking if there is any particular style, theme or idea the client already has in mind...if not, I'll brainstorm a couple different ideas and create little collages to help the client visual each idea so they can choose which direction they want to go in.
Then, I figure out the set, lighting and sometimes the styling, hair and makeup looks. For this shoot we went with a combination of three ideas: 1. Colorful car shoot, 2. Water shoot, 3. Outdoor urban night shoot. These were easy enough to combine all in one location (on the roof of a parking garage in downtown Springfield).
I brought one of my regular lights and two color led lights along with a power converter plug for my car so I could make sure I had power to light the shoot. I love how it turned out.
Eli reached out to me about creating a custom illustration as an anniversary gift and since their anniversary happens to be on Halloween he wanted them to be in costume. Also, I had to find a way include their adorable pooch!
This custom illustration was created on Procreate on an iPad with an Apple Pencil. I used the dry ink brush to illustrate the lovebirds and the dog, and I used various paint brushes to create the background.
I loved doing this spooky, special family portrait illustration. Join me in wishing the couple a very happy anniversary and many more years of love together!
Custom illustrations make terrific gifts for all occasions! If you are interested in ordering a custom illustration, shoot me a message!
I've been the official photographer for all the Springfield Art Museum's exhibits and events for 2 years now. It was one of the first contracts I signed when I started my business in October of 2018 and I have loved every minute of it. It combines my love of art with my love of photography. Sometimes things are just meant to be like that.
Shooting the exhibits this year has been a little different experience, and I have missed all the usual events the art museum puts on, especially Art in Bloom and the 99x events. I hope they are able to do them again next year!
One of my favorite parts of shooting the exhibits at the museum is finding creative shots of patrons interacting with the art--that's of course been harder this year. Some exhibits this year I have shot while the museum wasn't even open to the public--but then, that's pretty cool in and of itself... having the whole museum basically to yourself. Unlike Night At The Museum, I'm sorry to report nothing came to life... or did it? I'll never tell!
This piece above was my absolute favorite. When I first starting shooting it, I thought I was getting a reflection of the art museum off the glass, but then I realized the "reflection" was part of the painting! So skillfully done. I just love everything about this piece, the colors, the details, the light...I could stare at it for hours.
If you're in Springfield, MO I highly encourage you to check out the Springfield Art Museum's Eye to I exhibit. They also currently have the This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer exhibit up, as well as their permeant collection Creating an American Identity.
As a reminder, I offer free adoption day family portraits and provide other photo services for free for kids in foster care.
This was an extra special graduation photoshoot! Kaleigh is a young woman in foster care. It’s estimated that only 30-50% of youth in foster care graduate high school and the stats are even worse for going on to college. Kids in foster care have so many hurdles to overcome through no fault of their own.
There are a lot of ways you can help by either donating resources to programs that help kids in care or becoming a CASA (I’m one if you have questions) or becoming a foster parent. There are a lot of kids who need a safe and loving home either as a permanent placement or for a time period while their parents work to get to a place where they can parent again. I encourage you to take a few minutes today to research what you can contribute to making this world a better place for kids in foster care.
This was my second wedding shoot during the pandemic. A third that I had scheduled for this month was postponed for next year, along with others. Both this wedding and my last during the pandemic were downsized to small, intimate outdoor gatherings where social distancing and masks were mandated. While I am grateful that people are following these guidelines, it does create a whole new set of challenges as the wedding photographer!
This wedding took place at the gorgeous Stockton State Park on Stockton Lake in Missouri. The temperature was perfect, the sun was harsh and setting. The bride and groom both wore glasses and masks, along with the rest of the guests. I think you see where I'm going with this... I was also wearing glasses and a mask, shooting into the sun half the time due to where we were positioned on the bluff. So my glasses are fogging up and half the time I'm shooting using muscle memory and faith that my auto focus is focusing where I am needing it to focus. Not ideal, but hey! That's the joy and challenge of wedding photography. It's a game of improvisation and how well you can live in the moment and make the best of whatever is thrown your way!
My advice for photographers shooting weddings during this pandemic? Invest in a great wide-lens camera for socially distanced wedding party photos! The bigger the wedding party, the wider the lens needs to be!
The bluff overlooking the lake was gorgeous but unfortunately the sun was on the less-than-ideal side so when I shot them, Catie & Ryan were just dark silhouettes against the sparking blue water. I knew I would have to do some creative editing to make them work, but thankfully it worked out. I love how their style, the fall colors, and the turning leaves all worked together to create a look that feels both vintage and timeless.
I shot about 1800 images during the four hour period I was there. I edited those down to about 600 which I edited in Lightroom, about half of which I also edited in Photoshop afterward to touch up things further. All photos were delivered within 5 days of the ceremony.
The specialness of getting married in 2020 is the challenges you overcome to get down the aisle any way you can, and the photos taken that document this strange time in history for all future generations. I wish Catie & Ryan a lifetime of happiness and love, and I hope they look back on these photos fondly for many years to come.
I don't think I've ever felt such strong imposter syndrome before this week. It's just been one of those weeks where everything is happening so fast that it feels hard to conjure the special sauce of creation. I had four photo shoots for 12 shirts for Culture Flock and then a wedding, all in one week, plus regular work hours, et all. In short, I felt like a chicken with her head cut off running and shooting and hoping I got the shot, and then editing when not shooting and second guessing myself and re-editing and third guessing myself and re-editing and thinking of all the ideas I could have done but didn't think of in time and then hitting "send" with a prayer and baited breath, just hoping I didn't let everyone down. I don't know... is it at all comforting to know that all these years of doing photography and two years into this being my official business that I'm struggling with feeling "legit" or is it depressing to know that? It is what it is, I suppose. Just a part of the human condition.
This was a great week for my business and I should be celebrating that, instead of beating myself up over all I could have done better... but then, that serves a purpose too, doesn't it? Things to do differently next time so I can create even better work than I have before. This is the process of progress--create, make some mistakes, learn, create better, make different mistakes, learn, create better and so on and so forth until the end. But enough about that! Let's get to the photoshoot itself and these awesome tees on these gorgeous gals!
Working with Culture Flock is always a dream come true--I love their products and I love their mission and I love the creative freedom they give me on these photoshoots. We decided to create four sets with four models modeling all the shirts for each element of the zodiac sign. So Charlotte modeled all the air signs (above)... which had "air swirls" and a yellow backdrop.
Michelle (above) modeled the fire signs and had a fire crown and candles for her set on a pink backdrop. I made the decision to light the candles in post since my studio is a wood paneled basement and the candles were set on wood crates on a paper backdrop... just seemed like that would be tempting fate.
Randa (above) modeled the earth signs (hi! Taurus here!) with plants on a gorgeous green backdrop.
And Kimber modeled the water signs with a blue backdrop, blue floral touches, and vases of water.
These shirts are selling out fast, so be sure to grab yours while you still can at https://cultureflock.com/
And if you're feeling like an imposter at all this week, just know you're in good company and keep trucking along... the feeling will pass, and your talent and skill will continue to improve the more you do it.
PS. Culture Flock's response to the photos was, "I just wanted to say these photos are fucking awesome! Thank you so much! You are SO talented and we love working with you!" So take that imposter syndrome! Take that right to the bank, ya dummy.
I'm Andie Bottrell, a multidisciplinary creative based in Springfield, MO. This blog is designed to give you an inside peak into the process behind my projects and to share my work.