This bookstore-themed styled shoot 50’s styled bridal shoot brought together some amazingly talented wedding professionals from the East Bay!

It was also an amazingly entertaining and productive shoot and just so much fun to get together and create.

Concept of the vintage bookstore theme

I first came up with the idea of a bookstore shoot because of my jaunts to some of the quaint old bookstores of Oakland!

To my mind, there was something magical about them. It’s a shame that more people don’t use these spaces for events like weddings!

Think: a repository of millions of words penned by brilliant minds. Combine with that the visual aesthetic of piles of books, shelves receding into the distance!

You’ve also got the beautiful old wood from floor to ceiling and the silence & reverence of these museums of words.

Owl & Co, Piedmont Ave

I immediately thought of Owl & Company Bookshop on Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA.

I’d seen a few great, old bookstores around Oakland but I remembered Owl & Co which happens to be around the corner from my home.

Michael, who has been the owner for the past five years, was kind enough to let us use the unique space.

Jerry Thompson, editor of recently published Oakland Noir was there to greet us.

2020 edit to this 2017 blog post

A year after we did this shoot, Lauren reached out to me. The bride-to-be had plans to marry her beau, Scott, at Owl & Co! 

She had just moved to Oakland from Atlanta, GA and wandered into Owl & Co one day on a whim. ‘Why don’t I get married here?’ she thought! 

Random, I know! Lauren chatted with Jerry, who remembered that ‘some photographer did a photoshoot here last year’, so Lauren took matters into her own hands. 

She Googled, found me, and I ended up photographing her real wedding at Owl & Company

Just goes to show, what you put out there… 

Quirky vintage bookstore wedding at Owl & Co Piedmont Ave

Lauren dabbles in the wedding industry as an officiant as she is a pastor, so I’ve been able to work with her again!

I’ve recommended her services as officiant to other clients and we’ve come to develop a relationship as photographer-client and vendor-to-vendor!

The creative team behind this bookstore themed shoot

The creative team was a small, electric group.

Dress design and couture was courtesy of Christina Molcillo of Black Lotus Clothing. She takes vintage items and repurposes and embellishes them to suit and fit the modern woman.

Christina made a one-of-a-kind dress for the shoot. The 50’s styled wedding dress was based on a repurposed item. The project was a first for Christina in her 15 years of making bridal gowns and costumes!

Our model was the stunning Lauralee whose modeling has a specific vintage direction.

Her look complemented the sophistication and timelessness of the surroundings.

Hair and airbrush make-up was provided by award-winning Lacee Deniz. Lacee is a bridal make-up artist and hair aficionado.

She created a beautiful 50’s style ’do with flawless and classic make-up. Victory rolls for the win!

Floral design was masterminded by Steph Price. Florals for her are a passion and a part of her wedding planning services.

One of my favorite parts of her design was the owl pins in the bridal bouquet.

Together we created a look that was unique and modern with a timeless 1950’s retro beauty.

Thank you to everyone for your time and talent that made this shoot possible!

This shoot was featured on Offbeat Bride

Featured on Offbeat Bride | Zoe Larkin Photography

Vendor love //

Model: Lauralee Poe

Photography & Concept: Zoe Larkin Photography / More about my wedding photography services here.

Dress Design & Couture: Christina Molcillo, Black Lotus Clothing

Makeup & Hair Styling: Lacee Deniz

Floral Design & Wedding Planning Services: Steph Price Productions

Venue: Owl & Company Books

Editor note: Now, in 2020 as I revamp my old content, I find that none of the vendors are still open for business except Owl & Co. That’s why there are no live hyperlinks for the vendors’ websites.

However, I wanted to keep this post up as a testament to what we all achieved a couple of years ago! 

Pin this graphic to your styled shoot inspiration Pinterest board!

This quirky styled shoot was set in a vintage bookstore and had a 1950's theme! Victory rolls galore! Inspiration for your bookstore wedding or next styled shoot? Our bridal styled shoot was featured on Offbeat Bride - but get this! A real bride who was getting married in this bookstore booked me for her wedding after seeing this styled shoot! Owl & Co on Oakland's Piedmont Ave in the Bay Area was our unique venue. #styledshoot #1950s #bayareawedding #weddingphotography | Zoe Larkin Photography

Bookshop-themed 50's styled bridal shoot oakland 50's style bride reclining in chair in vintage bookstore vintage bookstore themed wedding in oakland ca owl & co piedmont avenue vintage bookshop bridal shoot styled shoot bride standing outside owl & company bookstore details from 50s themed bridal shoot tattooed model featured on offbeat bride with 50's themed bridal shoot details


a bride in a 1950s styled shoot holding a copy of a magazine for housewives in owl and company vintage bookstore oakland

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Vintage bookstore-themed 50’s styled bridal shoot

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