When I learned that RENTING fabulous dresses for an affordable price was a thing, it honestly changed the photoshoot game and I KNEW it had to happen. I hit up a friend of mine who I knew would be so excited to be a princess for the day and we decided that it was the perfect moment to make art happen!
How did FAIRY PRINCESS come to life?
I was made aware that affordable dress rentals in Orange County was a thing through a giveaway on Instagram from a company called CaliGrowns. I followed them immediately and knew I had to find a reason to rent one. I was then reminded of a TikTok that my friend Vina sent me of a wall of flowers located in Santa Ana. The purples and the pinks really spoke to me and I knew it was the perfect location to make my dreams happen.
I reached out to my girl, Kelli immediately to ask her if she would be down to dress up for me. She was going to be in town from Arkansas for a couple weeks and she was so excited to get back into the photoshoot game with me! I reached out to rent a version of THIS dress which was available and ready for me to come pick up on the day of. They were super easy to work with and I will absolutely be renting from them again.
Luckily, for this shoot there were not many necessary materials.
The dress was rented from CaliGowns.
The inspiration for hair and makeup was pulled from Pinterest and done by Kelli herself. You can view my Pinterest board HERE.
The Actual Photoshoot Experience
I drove by the address provided in the TikTok about two weeks prior to the photoshoot just to make sure the flowers were still in bloom. It was the middle of summer so we were unsure if it was year around. Luckily, they seemed to be pretty enough. However, I am fairly confident it would have been more in bloom during spring.
The shoot was fairly simple and the majority of our "posing" was flinging the dress around and throwing the flower petals that were already on the ground in the air instead. We wanted to show that amazing spin as much as possible and since the dress had so many layers, it just looked incredible on camera. I had my friend, Jasmine, tag along to help throw flowers, fling the dress around, and shoot some behind the scenes footage you saw in the TikTok. Without her, this would have been nearly impossible.
We also drove to a park over in Laguna Niguel called the Niguel Botanical Preserve that had some GORGEOUS locations within in including archways and a gazebo. Unfortunately, the weather that day was cloudy so I had to do a lot of work in post production to make this area look warm and inviting. I HIGHLY recommend checking it out if you're a photographer looking to shoot couples or families in the area.
As I mentioned, the weather that day was cloudier than what I would have preferred and the flowers we threw were quite a disaster in the actual shots. However, through editing, I worked to add some warmth, color, sun, and my own flower petals to make my magical dreams happen.
A lot of my editing was adding sparkles and sun to the shots as I wanted to make it feel fantastical and unreal.
As you can see in these before & after shots, I added a lot of my own petals from other photos, sunshine, color, and flares of all kinds to add to the effects I wanted. Something I learned from this experience is that I'd like to learn more about sky replacement because some of my shots at the end at the gazebo seem empty to me and I tried to change the sky, but it unfortunately it looks kind of bad. This is something I will work on learning more about so I can eventually edit these photos the way I see them in my head.
This doesn't look real enough for me...
The Final Photo
This photoshoot was seriously so much fun. I will absolutely be renting more big, beautiful dresses for my future photoshoots so definitely look forward to that.
Please enjoy a full gallery of all of FAIRY PRINCESS. Some of these were never posted so here's your full behind the scenes look.