Sarah’s Shakira-Inspired Couture Fashion Shoot

I’m going to be painfully and brutally honest:  This has not been a good year for me, business-wise.  That’s not to say I’m having trouble booking or not making money – quite the contrary.  This year I have more weddings on the books than I ever have, and while I am so incredibly thankful to be succeeding, I’m learning that there’s a price for everything.  My social life has all but vanished, and virtually every waking moment of my life is consumed with shooting, editing, or working.  On almost any given day, from the moment I open my eyes until the moment my head hits the pillows again, I am doing something related to my job.  I hired staff to help out this year with grand ideas of having free time to myself, being able to blog and network more, gearing up to be a better wife for my future husband Jason, and possibly even travel a bit.  Well, I was a bit delusional, to say the least.  The good side to this is that I absolutely LOVE what I do, so even though I have become a full-fledged workaholic, I am loving every second of it.  I have so many “I can’t believe this is my life” moments, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  The down side is that working so much so often has left little time to pursue personal projects.  Recently, however, a fabulous shoot from a photographer I admire, Jose Villa, put a seed into my brain.  The shoot featured an amazing black wedding dress.  Normally when you see black wedding dresses, they’re done in a very harsh, goth sort of way.  Jose took a different approach, and shot it in a romantic, soft, classy atmosphere.  I wear black almost every day of my life (although I am trying to incorporate more color, you just can’t beat a LBD and pearls), and although I will not be donning a black wedding dress for my nuptials, I loved the idea of taking a gorgeous black wedding gown and approaching it from a softer, more sophisticated perspective.  A week or so later I saw a photoshoot in Ibiza, Spain which featured Shakira in a massive seven-foot-long hot pink tutu.  The amazing silhouettes and texture of that inspired me as well, and in my mind a plan began to form.  I went to Joann Fabrics (I come from a long line of sewers – every girl should own a sewing machine! – so this place is like a second home for my mother, sister, and I) and purchased about eighty yards of black tulle.  I set aside one night for a personal project – a pretty big sacrifice, for me – and began to sew and stitch and gather and trim.  Soon an amazing piece of clothing began to take shape.  It obviously wasn’t ready for prime time, but I knew it would look amazing on the right girl in the right setting.  But what to do with this beautiful masterpiece?

Last weekend, I traveled to Cooperstown to photograph a wedding for two incredible opera singers, and since my regular second shooter Jena couldn’t make it, I asked friend and fellow wedding photographer Sarah Kate to come join me.  I imagined upstate NY to be fairy-tale land of tall trees, rolling hills, and gorgeous old houses.  What better place to don a truly massive swarm of black tulle?  Luckily, Sarah Kate is absolutely stunningly beautiful, and since I knew we would have the day before the wedding to ourselves, I talked (read: forced) Sarah Kate into modeling my tulle monstrosity for me.  As a fellow photographer I knew she would understand my need to push myself and try something different, and luckily she allowed me to dress her up like a doll (a very sexy, vampy doll) and force her to go traipsing through fields of who-knows-what.   Here are a few of my favorite images from the session!

black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
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black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves
black haute couture wedding dress gown tulle tutu fashion photo portraits by Dallas wedding photographer Stacy Reeves

Thank you so much lovely Sarah Kate for being my muse.  HUUUGE thanks also to Mayra Rams-Sanabria, who is hands down the greatest makeup artist I know (evidenced by the fact that she was one of the first vendors I picked for my own wedding). Although Mayra did not pack up and come to NY with me, she did an impromptu makeup technique lesson with me so I could attempt to have 1/10 of her talent.  I hope to do a blog post just about her in the near future, but she is the only makeup artist I know whose brides are all 100% happy with their makeup and more importantly, who all look as good at the end of the night as they do when they leave her chair.  She is really amazing – if you need a makeup artist for your event, you would be out of your mind not to hire Mayra.  She’s not cheap, but like anything in the wedding industry, you get what you pay for!!

I hope my blog readers enjoy seeing something different as much as I loved shooting it.  Although I adore shooting brides and couples and all things wedding related, I also relish the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone.  If any of you have been aching to do something incredibly bold and unique, drop a line and let me know.  I am always up for a challenge!

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  • Poser - Now THAT’s a rad dress.
    Great job Stacy!

  • Kate - Absolutely stunning! My jaw is on the ground. I’m happy you were able to carve out some time for a personal project. You’ve inspired me!

  • lyncca - Holy cow! These are amazing! I’ve followed you for a long time, and you are amazing, but you broke right out of your comfort zone on these! to know you made the skirt means even more :)

  • ryan - the entire set is…sick. as i scrolled down i kept finding a new favorite. really amazing looks: model, posing, dress, lighting…all great.

  • elena wilken - AWESOME job! these are fantastic! very, very cool skirt, btw!

  • Kat Braman - wait wait wait, you made that? seriously!? and you flew it all the way to New York? holy cow Stacy, that’s so unbelievably awesome. and the images are gorgeous. I particularly love the close up where she’s sort of wrapping it around herself. she’s really lovely in front the camera as well. congrats!

  • Ivan Luckie - the below part of the black dress looks like black smoke, nice images Stacy

  • jen@greenweddingshoes - WOW! I can’t believe you made that!! Stunning dress and stunning photos!! Yay for a fun personal project :)

  • Kaysha - All I can say is WOW, you should spend more time on personal projects!! Stunning!!!

  • Jacob Lacey - awesome work Stacy! great idea and sweeet light.

  • Tracy Allyn Croysdale - Oh.my.goodness… SO stunning. Every single one of them gorgeous!

  • Jennifer - Breathtaking! Gasp-worthy! Sarah Kate is stunning, and your creativity is truly inspirational. Love the arched door and stone doorway. Congrats!

  • kyle - A. This is your best shoot yet, by far.
    B. I had a really similar idea that I think I’ll be shooting in October, though with a twist. Now I don’t want to do it anymore!

  • Jose Villa - Dang! This dress is wild! Thank you for the kind words above ;) hope to cross paths soon ..

    Jose Villa

  • Erica Velasco - Beautiful!

  • Wanted Imagery (Bec) - fantastic images Stacy! Loved them all. although it does help when you have a lovely model, and a brilliant imagination. that dress is just divine.

  • Steve Elmer - Stacy, this is an ridiculously intense photo post. I loved every single image, awesome work ;)

  • Julian Beattie - AWESOME! …Enough said.

  • Candice {The Beautiful Mess} - oh man…i love everything about these! great work!

  • Abby - Stacy this is stunning work. I love the dress, she looks beautiful and I really love the way you used the light. Awesome job!

  • Ally - Stunning!! I love the emotion and mood to each of the photos. Beautiful work :)

  • Jeremy Gilliam - Gorgeous.

  • Lara - Incredible! Love every frame!

  • Sarah Kate - it is so fun to be photographed by such a great friend and fellow photographer. of course it is a little weird seeing myself on the other side of the camera but this was a blast! fun memories in cooperstown!

  • Holly - Stacy, this is amazing. Seriously.

  • Tiffany - Amazing!! Just amazing!! Love them ALL!!

  • tamsen - Wow!

  • Lindsay - These are over the top stunning to me. My jaw was on the ground after each shot! It’s refreshing to see/hear someone whose work I admire talk about the need to do something creative for yourself…it’s so easy to get caught up in all the everyday work that you forget why you started this in the first place – your love of photography and creating something beautiful. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  • Vanessa Del Pino - Wow, I’m speechless…

  • L - That is awesome Stacy! I can’t believe you actually made that dress! Wow. Love the images, great work, as always!

  • Kelly - These photos are amazing–the setting, the fascinating dress, and the model and your fabulous photography were totally worth your time and creative effort!!

  • becci - this shoot is divine.

  • Ariel - Absolutely beautiful! These photos were such an inspiration to pursue more personal work. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cat Mayer - Gorgeous Stacy. I guess I should sign up for that sewing class now!

  • izehi - Great job, on the photography and the sewing!

  • Stephanie Reinish Photography - LOVE!! just amazing… that light is just amazing and that dress (well it doesn’t really need words). I’m glad you took some time to do something for yourself!

  • Jay Studio Photography - Truly beautiful work! Loved every single one of the photos and great theme! Thanks for sharing.

  • Kayla - WOW! I can’t believe you made this dress! Incredible! These photos are SO inspiring! Love them!

  • Amanda - These are so amazing. I looove them.

  • Christa Lynn - Wow! Stunning dress and beautiful girl. Well captured. I would love to do a collab with you if you ever get bored. :)

  • Jessica - Wow. I was looking through your pictures/blog to see your photos and you are amazing… breathtaking… I’m not sure if there is really any word that can describe your photos. This session is AMAZING. I love the dress, simply amazing, AND everything about the photos.

  • Tino - Hi Sarah

    Very nice photos what i like about your photos is the drematic and poses

    nice
    Tino

  • Sarah {A Paper Proposal} - Beautiful! Something about the black and white shots, in particular, just GETS me!

  • Kylee - Where did you get this dress??? Who designed it?!? I absolutely live it! B

  • Maria - This is beyond amazing! Definitely inspires me to finally do some of the ideas I’ve had floating around in my head for the last year, even if I do it as a personal project instead of a paying client shoot.

  • Olivia - These photos are absolutely stunning! A wonderfully creative vision really brought life to these jaw dropping photos! I stumbled upon this while looking for a wedding dress, all I can say is I want to be married in that dress!!

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