I recently had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with the lovely Mrs. Lora Grady, one of Seattle’s finest wedding photographers. Originally from California, Lora fell in love with the unique contrast of light and dark of the Pacific Northwest, and has been using it to capture beautiful moments ever since. Her images are romantic, whimsical, and full of light. Her photos (raw talent and creative genius aside) somehow manage to capture the true essence of their subject in a manner that is both modern and timeless. Lora is primarily a traveling wedding photographer (engagement, bridal, wedding) but ventures in maternity, family, and lifestyle photography as well.
The intention of this shoot was really just creative inspiration. Lora’s longtime friend and fellow wedding photographer, Jenna Bechtholt, recently made the big move from L.A. to Seattle, thank goodness! Lucky girl, the sun has been shining so beautifully in the Pacific Northwest lately, we’ve almost forgotten that it’s not actually spring yet. So the two of them pulled together a few pieces, including a beautiful flowing white dress from Free People, a vintage-inspired head piece, and a gorgeous veil to complete the effortless bohemian bridal look.
I woke up bright and early on a Monday (President’s Day, actually), and made the hour and a half drive south from Bellingham to Alki Beach in Seattle. I wasn’t quite sure what the weather had in store, as the entire drive it was alternating between sunshine and dark fog (typical). The sun eventually prevailed. I arrived at Caffé Fiore in West Seattle a little before 10 a.m., a bit early due to the lack of traffic. I ordered a dirty vanilla chai (that’s my jam) and chatted with the baristas for a bit. One of them asked me if I was a stylist, as I was looking pretty cool, naturally, and had a big bag of clothes with me. I told her that I was actually the model, she asked me how I got into modeling, how I got my gigs, and we both groaned about being too short for the local agencies. Not long after, Lora, the little ray of sunshine that she is, arrived and we hopped in her car and were off to the beach where we met Jenna. I proceeded to use Jenna’s car as a dressing room, while the two of them attempt to shield me from the view of any passersby. As it turns out, the cozy sweater and favorite vintage Guess boots I was wearing were perfect for our bohemian beach vibe.
Probably my most, and least, favorite thing about location shoots is the fact that you don’t have a mirror. So you literally have nothing to go off of except your own judgment and that of the photographer, or stylist if there is one. However, that is also what makes the final images so special. I always tend to have low expectations as to how my photos will turn out, because I’m usually freezing, fairly uncomfortable, and have no idea what I look like, but when I see the final edits I’m always pleasantly surprised.
So there we were, on the beach, before the sun had the chance to warm the air. Needless to say, I was freezing (although I can’t say it’s the coldest I’ve ever been on a shoot), but our timing could not have been better. The soft orange glow of the rising sun made for the most beautiful natural lighting that captured our romantic bohemian vibe perfectly. Simple. Natural. Elegance in the details. My unruly bouquet of eucalyptus and wildflowers, and the morning sun setting my hair aglow – ethereal, almost angelic. Every cold shiver was worthwhile, and not just for the amazing photos to add to my portfolio, it was worth the experience. Getting out of my comfort zone and getting back to nature and exploring this amazing world we live in has become one of my top priorities. I’m also becoming acquainted with my inner creative that must make art, whether in the form of being photographed, taking photographs, writing articles, poems, songs, learning to play the guitar, or putting together a sickening outfit from the depths of my closet, I must create. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work with such lovely, talented young women on such a beautiful shoot, in hopes that these images, and these words, might inspire someone, somewhere – inspire to create, inspire to explore, inspire to get married! Whatever it may be. I hope to ignite a spark that might someday burn into something beautiful.