Ribbons and pretty dresses – a simple stylized photo shoot

What makes a photo shoot “stylized”?

To me, it means there is something elevating it beyond a pretty picture of a pretty person. Usually, it means having a theme – complete with a colour palette –  and then incorporating a bunch of props to reflect that theme and palette. I do find that props help a child to stay interested in the shoot; it gives them something to hold onto and something to focus on other than me behind the camera!

However, a stylized shoot doesn’t always need to be heavy on the props. Sometimes all it takes is a pretty dress, some ribbons and gorgeous evening light …

This photo shoot was inspired by a dress I found at Home Sense in two sizes that would fit my friend’s daughters. It’s a gorgeous blush colour with a lace-covered bodice and a flowy knee-length skirt. There’s nothing super-fancy about it, but I could just picture the pretty colour on the girls, and I knew that if I timed the photo shoot right, golden evening light would make the skirts glow.

Speaking of golden light glowing through fabric, once I had these dresses, I knew the shoot needeed something else: something equally flowy and sheer. Then it came to me: ribbons!I set off for Fabricland with the dress in hand to find ribbons that would coordinate with the dress. I wanted to echo the dress colour but also find a mixture of ribbon materials – some sheer, some more satiny, others more lacy, etc. It may be a subtle thing, but I think the mix of materials adds more dimension and interest to the photos than if the ribbons were all the same sheer fabric.

I tied the ribbons to a drapery ring for each girl to easily hold, making sure that the ribbons were of varying lengths (again, for visual interest).

Then all we had to do was wait for a beautiful night when the girls were free!

The girls were so much fun to photograph. They are always so enthusiastic and this night was no exception. All I had to do was give them simple instructions about where to run, walk or stand (depending on the position of the sun and the background), and away they went.

I did most of the shoot in a large field with newly-leafed out trees in the background. I love the bright green of the new leaves. For some variation, we also went to the nearby riverbank where I did more close-up shots of the girls together and separately.

I love these goofy sisters!

As the sun got lower, we headed back to the field for a bit more fun and then called it a night.

This was one of the easiest photo shoots to execute. It was simple to prepare, and so pretty. Really, it was just all about capturing these beautiful and fun-loving girls in the gorgeous golden light.

What do you think … would you consider this a “stylized photo shoot”? Or do you think a stylized shoot means a more elaborate set-up?

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