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colorado trash the dress
I have been looking forward to this shoot ever since Melissa and I started emailing back and forth. She and Ivan got married just over a year ago, and when she heard I was coming down to St. Croix, we scheduled a Trash the Dress shoot immediately. Having lived there for many years, she knows the island so well, and she was kind enough to drive us all over to scout out locations, get ideas, and introduce us to St. Croix. What a fabulous tour guide, and what a beautiful, beautiful bride!
One of the many things I loved about St. Croix is all the old sugar mill ruins from the sugar plantation days. The one that we used in this shoot is just down the road from her house! Incredible. I was surprised to find that they used bricks made of coral, along with regular stone blocks, to build the mills. How cool. And the very last shots with the pool... um, yeah. That's the view from Melissa's house. Not only does she have an incredible ocean view, but you can see the sugar mill and pretty much the whole island, too. What? Jealous? Nooo, not at all...
Because there's such an abundance of stunning locations, this post is only part one. Oh my holy color... seriously, from the sky to the water to the green lushness everywhere to the pinkish sand at sunset.. I'm so in love with shooting in the Caribbean. Part two, with her horse Tempe, is coming soon soon soon! And a huge thanks to Zach for being the best flash /gear holder ever!
Leslie and I had this whole grandiose scheme for part two of her EPIC trash the dress session. We'd been talking about it forever (since before the Dia de los Muertos epiphany), and we were going to do it. We were going to somehow get goats to eat her wedding dress. Only two problems: first, we had to find some goats. Second, we had to try to get them to munch on the dress. So, I networked away and found a friend willing to lend us not only some goats, but a burro, too! This is one of the parts of my job that I absolutely adore: the randomness. Who else gets such random text messages?Just to make sure, I talked to Shanell, friend and goat-owner. "They'll eat anything, right?"
"Well, yeah. They're goats. They'll eat tin cans if you let them."
Leslie and I had discussed various methods of enticing the goats to eat the dress. Butter-flavored cooking spray? Peanut butter smeared on the hem of the dress? Maybe we wouldn't need to do any of this! Maybe they'd just be destructively ravenous to begin with! I was also secretly beginning to worry that, if they'd eat anything, they'd bite Leslie. When the time came, Shanell wasn't able to be there, but her gracious mom helped us get things rolling. The goats came bounding out of the house like puppies. I tried to explain to Shanell's mom what we wanted to do, and she laughed.
"Oh, they won't eat the dress."
"Uh-oh... really? I though they'd eat anything."
"Well, anything but fabric. They don't like fabric. Here, look." She grabbed the bottom edge of her shirt and stuffed it into the goat's mouth. Sure enough, it was like trying to feed a kid cough syrup, or broccoli. Mr. Goat was not having it.
"What... what about some peanut butter?" I asked tentatively. "Or butter spray?"
"They don't like butter either. But, Leslie can try to feed them. Maybe if we sprinkle some goat food on the edge of her dress, it'll LOOK like they're eating it."
So, the goat part didn't go quite as I had envisioned it. There was far less fabric-ripping and goat-chewing than I had expected. But, as it turns out, goats love cheese-flavored crackers. From there, we headed on to an amazing little grove of trees where Brian painted "I LOVE YOU" all over Leslie's dress. The light was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thanks, you two, and THANK YOU THANK YOU to Shanell for letting me borrow her goats.
Yayayayayay! I love Leslie and Brian so much, it's hard to believe they were clients before they were friends. Earlier this summer, a friend sent me a link to this Sick Jacken video, and immediately my mind started spinning. Hmmm... I love Dia de Los Muertos. It reminds me of my childhood in Santa Fe. Which of my clients would ever be down with a Dia de los Muertos - themed shoot? Of course - Leslie and Brian! The bride and groom with the zombie cake topper and stars of this awesome engagement session! So then, my mind was overwhelmed with a hundred ideas, and I've been looking forward to this shoot for what felt like forever. We had an amazing fall day with luscious light and during the shoot, I kept repeating, "OMG, I'm so excited right now, " like a mantra. This has definitely been one of my favorites. If you're a little creeped out... good, that was the goal. Thanks, Dad, for the ristras - you're right, they did come in handy. Thanks, Matt, for the inspirational vid, and thanks to the lovely Rachelle for her makeup talents. But mostly- Leslie & Brian - overwhelming, overflowing, mass quantities of gratitude. Oh yeah... did I mention this is just part one? :)
Last week, Rachelle and I trashed her wedding dress! I'm pretty convinced that Rachelle is Mariah Carey's stunt double. Plus, she's amazing at hair and makeup (as you will see) and has offered to help out any of my clients who want to do something similar! She brought all kinds of fun flowers and feathers and shoes...we had so so so much fun, and we got honked at on a regular basis. I guess it would look kind of odd if you were just driving by... and a big thanks to Sarah and Nate for letting us use their crop sprinklers and horses, and to Mr. Pikul for the Bronco. Love you Rachelle, and thanks for being so damn hot!