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Desert Botanical Garden |Bohemian Stylized Bridal Shoot {As Seen In Phoenix Bride & Groom}

Bridal, Styled

July 20, 2015

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Hi there! Welcome to the Fully Alive Photography blog, a journal about our clients, shoots, and my own personal life. Stay a while and say hello!

Hello, I'm Tracy

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This is the story

of how this shoot came to be,

and of all the new wonderful people I am blessed to call friends.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


It all started when I had the great privilege of meeting a wonderful lady by the name of Jeanne at the Phoenix Fashion Bridal Debut this past June. Jeanne was so kind to come over to my booth and give me thoughtful and encouraging words about my art.  She also asked if I’d ever be interested in working together with her business White Poppy Floral so of course I said “YES!” and that’s exactly what we did. We got together and had lunch a few times, discussing how much fun it will could be to collaborate to create a beautiful editorial styled shoot. We came up with four looks all together. We have high hopes of producing the other three looks in the future so keep an eye out! Once we picked a look for this go around, we started building a team of people that could help make this shoot come alive.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


I found some truly amazing vendors in the area that were more than excited to collaborate with us, let me tell you about them all…


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


I found a talented stylist and make-up artist by the name of Lidia at the Arizona Wedding Magazine mixer, her business is Bridal4theWin She was very interested in collaborating with us because our styles worked well together, and I am so fortunate to have met her.  Unfortunately, Lidia had a booking earlier in the afternoon we planned to shoot, so Jeanne graciously reached out to her personal  hairstylist Susan Kennedy to get on board for hair style! Susan is so much for to work with, and I’m very thankful to Jeanne for making that connection. I really enjoyed getting to know Susan as we worked together.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Next I met a wonderful lady by the name of Melanie at my church,  and she just happened to own a bridal shop called Brilliant Bridal, and ironically, we even did the same wedding show together earlier. It seemed it was meant to be!  We have become good friends and it’s been wonderful getting to know her and to be apart of her life! She was especially gracious to let me go through ALL the dresses in her shop and pick out what I wanted!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


As the organizing of the shoot grew more complex, I decided that it would be incredibly helpful to have an assistant. Fortunately, at the same time my new friend Esther Yoo (also from our beautiful church) asked if I needed help. She’s very gifted with organizing and planning and was a PERFECT fit! I am extremely grateful to her. An assistant makes all the world when you are planning, collaborating, organizing, and shooting! It’s hard to keep your thoughts straight.  


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Then we needed models! I found four beautiful women that I loved, which means we have a model lined up for each of the following shoots as well! We had to pick one that personified this style however, and we settled on the drop dead beautiful MaryKay , who I met through an old Illinois friend (thanks to you Tara for the intro)! MaryKay was the best match because she was essential to our look. She effortlessly exuded the bohemian style we were embracing , which as you will read, is what it’s all about! We even used some of her personal funky & chic jewelry!  I had picked out a metal headpiece on pinterest that I wanted and she showed the image to her talented friend TED LOVE, who proceeded to make it perfectly! It was identical. I was beyond thrilled. MaryKay’s style blended with mine, and my personal jewelry looked equally at home adorning her beautiful frame, a wonderful fit altogether. 


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Lastly, although we had built a team, we still needed a location. We were back-and-forth between a few venues that offered a space but we really had a specific landscape in mind for this style. I stumbled upon the Desert Botanical Gardens as an idea because I have a membership and love to be there for the peaceful atmosphere and wild beauty.  This relationship was also meant to be, it appears, because no less than a week in, I happened to be photographing an Arizona Wedding Magazine mixer and I was connected with Nicole, the wedding coordinator at Desert Botanical!


 


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


I was really interested in having even more of a wild desert landscape for civil twilight so I decided that Papago Park (just on the other side of the gardens) would be an easy transfer from the Desert Botanical. Having spent some time hiking and scouting the park, I felt confident it would be fantastic for the second look I wanted.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


So the team was set, and I have to tell you, it had been a struggle for me to get all of it organized and planned, specifically juggling our diverse schedules. I had a few breakdowns, re-arranging, and cry fests that my hubster Nate, close friends Libby and Stephanie, and Jeanne encouraged me through. I might be gifted at strategy and administration but this was a reach for me and I do not plan on doing it the same way again. Next time we NEED a planner! It was a learning experience for sure, but eventually it all came together and it was time for the big shoot!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Let’s talk about the shoot.

Let’s talk about a theme. 

Let’s talk about my passion.

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


My  main focus for this shoot (and really all my art) is to offer up freedom and inspiration to my clients. To show them how beautiful it is to do exactly what they want to do for their wedding. To bring themselves fully, maybe their own china, their own cups, their own table (which I did), or really anything that is “them” to the core. To be fully present because this day publicly marks and celebrates the beginning of “them” and their story together. Their wedding style can be just this, an outward reflection of an inward reality, of who they are! We rarely think of weddings in this way. We forget what it’s all about. I say bring the elements that represent who you are; do that eclectic tablescape, order that unique arrangement of flowers together – it will look fantastic and the florist will love the creative freedom! Wear the jewelry you love, wear the dress/tux you adore, wear that headband you want, bring that tent you made!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


I think all too often society tends to push us towards doing what everybody else thinks is socially acceptable for a “wedding”, myself being one of them. I would have done many things differently if I knew I had the freedom to bring myself and Nate fully – we pushed many boundaries because that is who we are and were met with disapproval in a way. Yet I strongly believe people should be able to do something uniquely them and be loved for it!  I think that weddings are sacred, symbolic, and memorable times and spaces that are solely “us”, you + you, as a couple. Bringing all of that into this one day to show your friends and family the beauty of you. I want us free, not to be afraid to present who we are. I long to be met with acceptance, awe of the beauty of humanity, and respect for all our differences. We are seeing more of this being celebrated in the past few years and I yearn to echo it in my own little way – so that’s just what we did!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


So I say, do what is you and do what you love

… above all else, it is your wedding day, be free.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


For this first shoot we decided to do something very free and what you typically would not see together…along the lines of an elegant gypsy + garden style mashup. You might call it bohemian in a way. This could be a wonderful look to have if you’re wanting something smaller and more intimate. I was really looking for something along the lines of a garden tea party reception and I brought along my china dishes, some bowls, some lights, a tent, a cake tower, pillows, and vase.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Jeanne picked out some lovely linens and runners with BBJ and bought some super unique and adorable candles, goblets, vases, and she obviously created the most BREATHTAKING floral arrangements you have ever seen. She is superbly talented, I was beyond impressed with her lovely creations! I was thrilled to photograph them and smell them and take one home (which I dried and kept because I love it so much).  Jeanne had a perfect vision for elegance and simplicity, so she picked out some black starter plates, and laid out the table arrangement and super cute menus (by Celebrations in Paper) for her tablescape. (LOVE THOSE MENUS) She put the whole table together for us! I came over from scouting the location and BOOM she and Esther had the whole thing done!



Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


With my personality of beauty in chaos, I wanted to experiment with a dash of wild and eclectic, and after we captured everything Jeanne had laid out I swapped in some proper looking china and added Jeanne’s BBJ napkin linens. To complete the look, I set an old vase in front with Jeanne’s great header floral arrangement. Viola, new look, with great images from each! With just two styles, only slightly different, you get a sense of the numerous lovely varieties of the same layout that you could create at your event, adding your own dash of personal style to endlessly customize your look.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Tablescape completed, we invited MaryKay onto the scene, having been expertly styled and adorned by Susan, Lidia, and Melanie. She first wore a brilliant floral headpiece that Jeanne made, which subtly echoed the garden scene, and we softly segued from garden into desert from there.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


I always try to make time in my day with my clients to ensure that they have an opportunity to get away from the party and all of the hustle and the stress, to just be alone together.  This is a great time for me to photograph my clients in the natural beauty and habitat of their location or a nearby spot that represents their personality in a way. I also try to plan these times at the ideal lighting of the day, close to sunset. These images speak volumes to the potency of a well timed session.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Now at Papago Park, Esther and I quickly set up this beautiful, fantastic tent that I had built with the help of my expert builder and two-year-old. Meanwhile, Susan and Melanie helped MaryKay into her second look. This was a really fun and free time to kick off our shoes and relax (literally). I was so excited for the gypsy look in the wild desert – it was probably the most “me” out of all of it. I love mastering natural light and taking advantage of each minute because it shifts so quickly from sunset to civil twilight and it’s the very best light of the day. If you follow my work and style you will see that I almost always schedule portraits at this time of the day. I will rarely take a lifestyle session outside of this time, and for weddings I will do everything possible to arrange the day so this is my scheduled portrait time as well. I think that this really embraces MaryKay’s freedom and style and her ability to enjoy the “wedding day”.


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style

Hey. See that? I made that tent. With a two-year-old carpenter. It was super fun and super easy.

Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


Without further ado, may I present the remaining photos of seriously hard, but exquisitely enriching work, from many wonderful people, all to create some breathtaking and beautiful art!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


The main goal of this shoot was threefold,

for Jeanne and I to build our relationship,

to form healthy relationships with other small businesses in the local wedding industry,

and to create beautiful things.

All three were accomplished beyond what we could have hoped. We have formed wonderful friendships and created a stunningly talented referral list for our clients! I am just waiting for the day when we all get the same wedding and ROCK IT!


Fully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian StyleFully Alive Photography Editorial Stylized Bridal Shoot Bohemian Style


A big, big thank you so all the vendors who so graciously gave to this project! This never would have been so unique without each of you! I am honored to present the team that collaborated to create an Editorial Stylized Bohemian Bridal Shoot!


Desert Botanical Gardens  {www.dbg.org} | Nicole McCall

Fully Alive Photography & Assistant  {www.fullyalivephotography.com} | Tracy Battaglia + Esther Yoo

White Poppy Floral {www.whitepoppy.com} | Jeanne Birmingham

Beauty by Lidia Win  {www.bridal4thewin.com} | Lidia Win

Brilliant Bridal    {www.brilliantbridal.com} | Melanie Little

BBJ Linens {www.bbjlinen.com}

Susan Kennedy {Hair Stylist}

Celebrations In Paper {www.celebrationsinpaper.com}

MaryKary {Model}


Also, please head over To Phoenix Bride & Groom Magazine for more on this shoot!

Publication version titled “Desert Flower” in Phoenix Bride & Groom HERE

Editorial blog “Bohemian Desert Style” post HERE


editorialgiveaway

TODAY you could enter to win a FREE mini lifestyle session + 10 free digitals*

Enter up to three times, follow these simple steps!

A.) SHARE this blog post from my Fully Alive Photography facebook page

(the contest post is pinned to the top of my page  Click HERE for Sharing Entry)

B.) TAG A FRIEND on the same facebook link comment section

C.) LOG IN & COMMENT here now!

1.) Did this featured post inspire you and how?

2.) What is your favorite elements about this shoot?

(ideas : the style, the concept, the lighting, the flowers, the content of the post etc.)

* First Illinois Drawing -Friday July 24th @5pm (MT) | Arizona Drawing next week!

Free sessions must be scheduled when available slots are open for your state, at the scheduled location, and they must be used in the current calendar year.

  1. Elisa Mitchell says:

    Loved the colors and the lighting was amazing. Very beautiful!!!

  2. Jill H says:

    More beautiful work Tracy! Your lighting and styling are impeccable. Keep up the great work!

  3. Carlie Newton says:

    Just did! Thanks!

  4. fullyalive says:

    Thanks Jamie! I hope you WIN! I’d love to see your beautiful family 🙂

  5. fullyalive says:

    Thanks Lee-Anne! Still hoping for You & Nate so model it up for the next one!!!!!

  6. fullyalive says:

    Thanks Carlie! Actually I made a mini one for Mateo! Email me if you want to know how to do it! Super fun!

  7. Carlie Newton says:

    I cannot believe how BEAUTIFUL the colors are in this shoot. SO MANY COLORS! Then you go to the darker, mountain background and it is still beautiful! Love it! Plus I really want a tipee/tent for Myca just like that!

  8. Lee-Anne Allman says:

    The sunset pic with your model looking down over her shoulder is my fave. The colours are spectacular! Beautiful beautiful shoot Trace

  9. Jamie Hadady says:

    Gorgeous! Seriously stunning. Great work, Tracy! And, of course, we would love to have a shoot with you 🙂

  10. Emily Ferraro says:

    Beautiful photos like always! The vivid colors and life to each photo are incredible. Love all the details with flowers, and accessories. Photos are defiantly worth publication!

  11. Charis La Forge says:

    I love your use of natural light and getting the shots at just the right time for a magical and glowy look! That, combined with the setting and accessories, create such a unique and beautiful style that reflects you as the photographer and the personality of the model. She looks comfortable/relaxed and the photos make me want to be where she is. So stunning!

  12. Katie Weber says:

    Tracy, these shots are so beautiful! I love the bohemian and eclectic elements both on the bride and in the setting. The best part about it is she looks so at ease in your shots. You have a great way of making everyone comfortable when they are around you; especially when they are in front of your camera!

  13. Courtney Griggs says:

    What’s not to love with what you did here?! The colors are amazing – especially the pink. It looks elegant, but comfortable at the same time. Your comments about creating a wedding that is truly reflective of a couple rather than what is expected from a society’s stand-point is inspiring. We should think this way about everything we do. 🙂 Congratulations!

  14. fullyalive says:

    thanks!!!!!! It was pretty easy to make & Mateo totally helped!

  15. Eric says:

    That teepee is awesome!

  16. fullyalive says:

    That is so fantastic @Christine Wainscott ! I would love to be on board & have the opportunity to photograph her wedding! I could help plan it too apparently! lol.

  17. Christine Wainscott says:

    Almost forgot! I absolutely love how you focused the model and framed each photograph. The balance with the lighting and the attention to the various details of the bridal ensemble are exquisite!

  18. Christine Wainscott says:

    So beautiful! My best friend of fifteen years is planning her wedding with her soul mate of ten years! Her theme is bohemian chic. This would be perfect for her and would love this opportunity for one of the most beautiful, charismatic persons I know!

  19. fullyalive says:

    Thanks Jamie! Yes I was so happy to do several looks for one bride. It was challenging figuring out how that was all going to work so I’m glad to know someone enjoyed it!

  20. fullyalive says:

    Thank you Karen! I am pretty good at making chaos beautiful haha. it’s rare I feel something has too much going on. lol.

  21. fullyalive says:

    Thank you Coartney! Jeanne did such an amazing job with the amazing florals! I can’t wait to do another wedding with her! And your wedding was SO rocking. The other day Katie & I were talking about how awesome you wedding was!

  22. Coartney Zimmerman says:

    The lighting for all shoots enhanced each look perfectly! I absolutely adore the floral pieces (flower crown, bouquet) and this makes me wish I wore more turquoise at my wedding! Another fabulous shoot 🙂

  23. Karen Reisinger says:

    I love the mixture of very elegant pieces with the more rustic pieces (those chairs!!!! LOVE!). The lighting and colors are gorgeous- warmth is just radiating from the photos. I also really liked how you managed to organize so many elements without a cluttered look.

  24. Jamie Gustafson says:

    I LOVE how you created so many different “looks” for the “bride” using different accessories, decor, and the setting of your shoot!

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