This bookshop-themed 50’s styled bridal shoot brought together some amazingly talented and well-established professionals from Oakland, the East Bay and surrounding area. It was also an amazingly entertaining and productive shoot and as always a great opportunity to get to know wedding professionals, local businesses and service providers in my area.
I first came up with the idea of a bookshop shoot because of my jaunts to some of the quaint old bookshops of Oakland, where I am based. I realized there was something magical and often overlooked in the sheer beauty of these places, not just as a repository of millions of words penned by brilliants minds, but also the visual aesthetic of myriad piles of books, shelves receding into the distance, old wood from floor to ceiling, the evocative dusty smells and silence of these museums of words.
The idea behind the shoot was to use an old fashioned bookstore as an unusual backdrop for a bridal shoot. I immediately thought of Owl & Company Bookshop located at 3941 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA. I’d seen a few great, old bookshops around Oakland when I remembered Owl & Co, right around the corner from my home, I knew that was the place! 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 Oakland Noir which has just been published on April 4th, let the merry troupe in!
The creative team was a small but electric grouping of people – a real powerhouse of well-honed talent. 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. Her one-of-a-kind creation for the shoot was a custom-made 50’s styled wedding dress – a first for Christina in her decade and a half of making bridal gowns and costumes for a wide variety of purposes.
Our model was the beautiful and highly talented Lauralee Poe who does modeling that has a specific vintage direction. Her elegant, feminine look and ample height complemented the sophistication and timelessness of the surroundings. Hair and airbrush make-up was provided by award-winning Lacee Deniz, bridal make-up artist and hair aficionado who created a beautiful 50’s style ’do with flawless and classic make-up.
Floral design was masterminded by Steph Price who has a wedding planning business which does floral, web design and graphic design services as part of the offering. Florals for her are a passion and just one part of the wide range of wedding planning services she offers for brides. One of my favorite parts of her floral design was the owl pins she included in the bridal bouquet, a nod to the name of the bookstore.
Together we created a look that was sublimely stylish, unique, modern yet with a classic and timeless and wonderfully feminine beauty about it. I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the amazing vendors for the unique services they all provided, for their positive attitudes, their energy, passion, unique talents and time.
If you like any of the ideas and styles showcased in this post, please check out the respective vendors’ socials below. As the concept designer & coordinator of this shoot, I provide contemporary wedding photography mixing photodocumentary and editorial styles. I specialize in vintage, artistic & alternative Bay Area weddings. Please visit the contact page for ways to get in touch – I’d love to hear your ideas and provide a custom quote for artistic, stylish wedding and engagement photography in the SF Bay Area and Northern California.
Model: Lauralee Poe / www.instagram.com/lauraleevintagedoll