I used to look at pictures like this one, with a distressed (read: totally stressed, crumbling, paint-peeling, close to unstable) barn in the background and think: “How charming!” And unless you own said crumbling, paint-peeling, close to unstable barn you probably think it’s charming too. And I have to admit -in this photo, it is REALLY CHARMING. Even the sections of missing wood are charming. Even the giant weed-bush that’s growing out of the corner. CHARMING. That’s good enough for me. That’ll keep me from cursing this barn for… I don’t know… maybe a week.
Back in June we hosted this photoshoot at The Kirk Estate, but the idea had been rolling around in our collective brains since January. The team came out here at the end of March to scout potential locations and it was funny to me, traipsing everyone around the property in our winter boots and hats and mittens. We trudged through the snow while I pointed to sticks poking out of the ground and saying things like “those twigs on the arbor are a giant wisteria that is in bloom in May, but the foliage is pretty all year long,” and “this plot of snow right here is filled with peonies and irises, so that’s good for early June.” It was difficult to imagine things living and thriving in this frozen tundra. Difficult I think to really imagine what the best locations would be to shoot -even for me. So we had a lot of ideas, but once June rolled around a lot of those changed.
This pretty little reception shot was only possible because the morning of the shoot Eric and I cleared away a giant pile of metal scrap that had been collecting there -just as any good farm should have a pile of metal scrap. We tossed aside a mound of bricks and hunks of concrete. We picked up glass shards and then took the tractor mower and mowed it all down. Poof. Instant wedding reception site. Neatly cropped out of the left of this shot is all of that metal and all of those bricks.
Even our dining room ceiling in the middle of construction looks charming.
My favorite moment, and ultimately my favorite shot of the day came unscripted. We had a list of beautiful moments we wanted to capture ranging from the tennis racket backdrop to the vintage pizza truck, but this one was somewhat improvised. It started when Colie put down her clippers and wire and stepped away from her buckets of flowers in our hastily arranged flower staging area in the garage. From the back of her pick up truck she’d pulled out some beautiful geometric quilts her mother had made in bright colors, along with a wall hanging made by a friend.
Someone had the idea of hanging them on the clothesline as a backdrop for a romantic shot of the couple. Colie started clipping them to the line. “Jenny, go get more” Eric said to me, referencing my obscene collection of blankets supplied to me mostly by my mother. Though my Grandmother was a prolific quilter she was equally as generous. I have only a few of her quilts, but I grabbed my favorite of them knowing it would fit perfectly with Colie’s mom’s designs.
By the time I got back, Colie had been called back to the flowers. A new bouquet was needed or a new arrangement, or some group of flowers needed to be transformed in to something else. I tucked in my favorite quilt of Grandma’s to the far right of the ones Colie’s mom made.
Then to balance Colie’s small wallhanging I’d draped on the right, I added a throw I’d received from a doll and puppet maker named Olivia who doubled as venue owner while I was on tour in 2009. After our set Olivia brought Donna and I back into her studio, which is where I saw the dismembered dolls she used to make her own. There were shelves filled with doll heads, bags of random doll arms and doll legs made from different fabrics in different colors. There were boxes of buttons, fabric, thread, yarn. There were reassembled dolls made from the collected parts. A little girl doll head with teddy bear legs and blue fuzzy arms. A smartly dressed walrus with wings stitched to his back. Then I noticed a piece of fabric that was attached to the lower half of a desk, hiding whatever was stored beneath it. “I used to have a doll made of that fabric when I was a little girl.” I told her. Olivia grabbed the fabric and ripped it from the desk. The staples that held it in place popped out and tinkled to the floor. “Take it,” she said, thrusting it into my chest. So I did. Now it’s in this photo.
This is my bed, dressed in an afghan my mom crocheted for me.
I can’t think of a more awesome idea than hiring this gorgeous 1946 custom Chevrolet Truck, with 3 beer taps, refrigeration, lighting, music, custom built rustic tables and an Italian wood fired oven. And the owners are just the sweetest people. It was a pleasure watching them set up this beauty.
You can find more photos from the shoot on Green Wedding Shoes.
And lets not forget the six models who graciously donated their time to this shoot.