Styled Shoot with Nikki

Wow! Where to even begin?! This was my first ever styled shoot. Not only was it my first, but it was also the first one that I planned. The idea literally came when I was watching TV and I saw a red head in a green dress and I just loved the combo! I wanted to do something moody with some rich tones. Something a little different than I normally do. I put out a model call for a red head and got SEVERAL responses. I was more than honored that so many beautiful women wanted me to photograph them. Once I saw Nikki with her beautiful long red hair I knew she was going to be perfect. After I had my model, I needed a location. I looked up some of the most breathtaking places in Oregon and right at the top was Abiqua Falls. I fell in love with the texture in the walls and I knew it had to be there. Because the vision involved a green dress I couldn't technically group this into the "bridal" category for styled shoots which I knew going in would be a turn off for certain vendors. BUT, I was met with open arms from several different creative professionals.

First, my amazing florist Lindsay Helzner of Lindsay Helzer Floral Design. When she contacted me about providing flowers for the shoot honestly my heart skipped a beat. Her work is just insanely amazing and I have enjoyed looking at her flowers all over instagram for a while! I seriously didn't feel worthy! lol I will be encouraging all of my brides to contact this amazing woman. Check out her facebook and instagram if you would like your mind blown.

So with an amazing florist on board I was ready for a make up/hair artist. At one point I had two on board and then they both had to drop out. So I did something kind of scary, I let Nikki do her own hair and make up! Just from looking at Nikki's images on social media I knew she had some make up knowledge and would look gorgeous no matter what.

Now it was time to find details. The golden high heels were actually MINE! haha I just loved the way they paired with everything! I prayed they would fit Nikki and low and behold they did! The earrings and necklace I purchased at the mall and the beautiful ring was actually my mothers! I used the ring that my dad proposed to my mom and married her with! Cool right?! Oh, and that ALSO fit Nikki! *winning*

Although the location was absolutely beautiful, it was also VERY hard to get to with a huge bouquet, camera gear, a model, and an assistant. I actually got hit by a falling rock and recieved a nice gash on my leg as a nice momento from the shoot. My first photography injury! Now that I have bled in the name of art I feel like a *real* photographer! lol Once we were down there it was all magic. I'm so happy that I get to create and play for a living! Sometimes creating for the sake of creating is my souls medicine. It's just what I need.

At this point as you can imagine Nikki was FREEZING. But being the badass at that she is she was still down to go to a different spot where some golden light was peaking through down stream. Nikki, for never modeling before you were amazing and such a champ with everything I put you through! I can't thank you enough!

Thank you again to Lindsay, Nikki, and my awesome assistant Marta! I couldn't have done any of it without you guys! <3

Stephanie Kotaniemi