“All good things are wild and free.” -Henry David Thoreau
I absolutely love collaborating with other artists. It sharpens your skills and opens creative doors you never thought could be opened. I personally came across Joi’s work not too long ago and was blown away. I had been talking with Geoffrey for some time about collaborating with another artist to get the creative juices flowing, but I wanted to find someone’s work that inspired me personally to shoot differently than I normally would. When I came across Wild Azalea, I stopped dead in my tracks. I love vintage dresses, but this was next level. Joi searches high and low for dresses that would easily be overlooked in the first place, and brings them to her shop to add on to them and put her personal touch to it. Each piece is unique and there are no replicas. Everything is truly original. I had to officially meet this girl. After several weeks, I actually ran into her on a shoot downtown Lafayette and from that point on, I knew I needed to reach out to her about collaborating. I’m so glad I did, and from there, we began putting the pieces together for this shoot.
We originally planned to do the session last fall, but with wedding season being in full force for both of us, plus it feeling like we were on the surface of the sun in mid October (gotta love fall in Louisiana), we opted to wait for when things cooled off a good bit. We definitely got what we wished for. We went back and forth about a location but I had been dying to try something different so we agreed to make an afternoon of it all and drive out to Fontainbleu State Park in Mandeville, LA. Gosh, I’m so glad we opted for it.
In the past, I’ve given shoots like these so much thought ahead of time, planning all the locations, timing of it all, all the details, etc. But I wanted to see everything differently this go around, truly reacting to everything when I saw it in person. The trick was to not plan anything shooting wise, which is really hard to do when you’re super pumped for a shoot in the first place. But I’m so thrilled I held back from overthinking it. We all arrived to the park about 30 min early, so we could meet everyone officially and just chat for a bit. We got to meet all the beautiful ladies who came out to model for us in the chilly weather and finally met the oh-so-talented Destiny with Poppy and Mint, and of course hung out with an old friend, Aaron with Apercu Films. We all hit it off and took our time wandering around the park for a bit before heading out to the beach to watch the most beautiful colors stretch across that Louisiana sky, a perfect ending to a perfect shoot. I am immensely thrilled to be sharing these images with you, and they just don’t do justice to all the talent involved. Check out Wild Azalea y’all. Joi’s work is truly one of a kind.
Thanks to all who helped make this happen!
Models: Riki Shaw, Mie Turegano, Sarah Roberts and Amiel Robinson
Bridal Dresses: Wild Azalea Wild Azalea
Florist: Poppy and Mint Floral Company Poppy and Mint Floral Company
Video: Aperçu Films Aperçu Films