It is hard not to be inspired when you live in a place like Grand Junction where the Colorado National Monument is literally in your backyard. The location for this styled shoot is one that I walk often with visions of potential photography projects in my mind. For this shoot I wanted to embrace all of the things I love about this area, from the amazing local wines to the spectacular peaches grown in the neighboring town of Palisade. I had originally intended to center the theme of this shoot solely on succulents, but as I passed stand after stand of peaches on my drive to the shoot, I knew I had to stop and get a box to feature along with the amazing florals crafted by Country Elegance Florists. They looked especially delicious paired with the peach ombre cake and 2-tier cakes created by Cake Lady Creations in Grand Junction.
There is something so romantic about this intimate picnic setting with all of its charms. The setting was made even more welcoming with two beautiful window pane signs created by The Bohemian Farmhouse for this shoot. Country Elegance Florists provided an array of greenery from the bouquet to the centerpiece, and amazing accent pieces such as the beautiful lantern filled with flowers. The peaches were of course from a local stand, and the wine was from the wonderful Two Rivers Winery located just minutes from the featured location. I just happened to pick my very favorite wine of theirs, named “Tulip” for its beautiful color and delightful sparkling character.
I was so fortunate to have been able to have the amazing team of Aimee Ludwig and Erica Flint from Hair We Are lend their talents to this project. I had been hearing great things about Aimee for years before this project and was so glad to finally have an excuse to work with her. Aimee had such a great vision for two different hair looks that she achieved effortlessly using the fun hair accessories made by the local craft goddess at Chickadee Crafts. I loved watching Aimee work, and she was sweet enough to stay during the shoot and help with problematic lighting and making sure every detail looked its best.
The gown and tuxedo from Victoria Rose Bridal added a perfect touch of classic elegance to the shoot. I love that the model wanted to use her own dress from her wedding the previous year because it made the shoot very personal, and I could see she loved putting it on for a second time. We also featured their own wedding bands from Mesa Jewelers in the shoot. The groom looked equally great in his tuxedo, and I have to give him great credit for looking so relaxed when he had to have been melting from the ninety degree heat.
The week of the shoot was marked with evening rainstorms blowing through the monument at exactly the time I had planned the shoot. I obsessively checked the weather all week watching that 15% chance of rain creep up, and ran to the store in a panic to buy a clear umbrella just in case we needed it for a prop. Luckily the night was clear and there was no rain on our picnic, and the lighting was just perfect to give everything a wonderful peachy glow. The models were such an awesome couple and so fun to work with. I could not get enough of their genuine laughs and general sweetness toward each other. The two had been married over a year, but they had such a great connection you would never guess it wasn’t their wedding day. In fact, several hikers and passersby stopped to congratulate them as we navigated the path taking photos.
Other than working with the amazing models, my favorite part of this project was definitely creating the picnic scene. I really wanted to create something unique and intimately romantic all at the same time. My own husband laughed as I started accumulating mass quantities of succulent plants for this spread. I really got into visiting local nurseries and finding all sorts of different varieties of succulents to add dimension and interest to the picnic.
As I had everything laid out on my dining room table at home, I had no idea it would look so amazing paired with the ridiculous scenery behind it. Something amount the elegance among the natural landscape was magical to see. I hope brides who are looking for something unique and different will find inspiration here, maybe something to help them venture from the beaten path. I have nothing but gratitude from the amazing vendors who helped bring all of this together, it was such an amazing journey and one for which I am truly grateful.
From Jordan Perry, Owner of Carved Tree Photography