For over a year now I have been taking small steps within my personal and business life to reduce my impact on this beautiful planet. I have made numerous changes which have dramatically reduced my waste, plastic consumption, and my product miles by supporting local companies as opposed to large conglomerates. This felt like a positive and fantastic start but, I couldn’t help the feeling I could do more. From here an idea began to form - I wanted to help encourage as many people as I could to start taking small steps to a more eco-friendly/ethical future. But more important than this, I wanted to show everyone how easy it can be!!
My love for the ocean and beaches is what spurred this gradual change in my attitude towards reducing plastic, waste and the ethical repercussions of many products which we use daily. So I realised that combining these two things, the beauty of the ocean and my tenacity for waste reduction I had at my fingertips an idea which, to my knowledge has never before been approached by a photographer in the wedding industry to this level.
I wanted to create a completely eco-friendly, ethical, plastic free, styled bridal shoot inspired by our beautiful oceans.
And that’s precisely what I did!
I had a particular vision for my shoot; I wanted to encapsulate minimal Japanese styling with a high fashion edge. I am using only recycled/recyclable products. I spent months and months, plotting, researching and scouring social media and google for the very best eco-friendly suppliers I could find.
Within my table arrangements, I sourced most of the material myself; the wooden bowls are handmade from up-cycled wood from an Etsy seller in the UK. (All packaged and sent in recyclable packaging). The vases are a mixture of stylish gin bottles, vases from my home, and vases from friends. The wine glasses and tumblers again are mine. I did, however, hire the beautiful aqua and cream crockery and stainless steel cutlery from Pot Kettle White in Manchester, a fantastic husband and wife run company in the early stages of business, but well sought after due to their unique and beautiful pieces. (I totally wanted to take all their stuff home)
The stationary, designed and created by a relatively new company Rock Paper Nib run by the wonderful Jenny. She created a full suite of gorgeous ocean spray stationary in an aqua tone on fully recyclable paper — the perfect accompaniment for the shoot.
The cake was designed and created by the fantastic Rachel from Marie Antoinette cakes. Rachel is an absolute genius when it comes to her minimal, and cutting edge wedding cake designs. So when I asked her to be apart of the shoot, I knew she would come up with something incredible. Here are some words from Rachel herself about her ambitions or the cake.
Words from Rachel
The dresses were always, in my mind, going to be the biggest challenge. However, they proved to be the easiest to find! Hannah from The Conscious Bride makes and sources all the garments herself (as well as stocking other eco-friendly companies) using only eco and
ethical fabrics such as bamboo fabric. Bamboo can be a controversial fabric but Hannah being the eco ‘conscious’ person that she is - pun intended, only uses bamboo fabrics from closed loop systems which means there is zero waste and no ill effects to the planet. Winner! The dresses were the perfect combination of simple and elegant with a beautiful beach vibe!
Words from Hannah
The makeup was probably the biggest challenge I faced. Makeup is such a controversial topic when it comes to its ethical ramifications if you don’t take the time to source the right products. Hannah, however, was the perfect choice. She uses only vegan products from Illamasque a UK company renowned for its mission to provide eco-friendly and ethical alternatives. Plus, she’s incredible at what she does!
The florals were one of the best parts to organise, Michelle from the very start was full of excited energy and brought so many incredible ideas to the shoot while working within my minimal beach brief. She sourced dried grasses; fluff grass, bunny grass, and pampas grass as well as dried flowers; Hydrangea heads, Aliums and Lunaria all reminiscent of a windswept beach and used them to create a beautiful wall piece. As well as a dried bouquet, all tied together with twine and silk ribbons provided by Silk & Purl. Finally, she sourced lots of gorgeous buds for the table arrangement; dill and Scabiosa.
The hair was styled by Lindsey of 'Bridal hair by Lindsey.' She opted for a simple wavey beach look, as well as a minimal and elegant twisted ponytail with the addition of Lunaria twisted into the pony. And finally, we ended the shoot with a more fun beach classic, the top knot. Loosely pulled up and pinned away from Cammy’s face.
MODEL - CAMMY CARTER (J’ADORE MODELS)
VENUE - FIVEFOUR STUDIOS
SILK RIBBONS - SILK & PURL