Continued from this week’s Driftless Journal interview with wedding photographer Alacia Adrienne.
What advice do you have for couples navigating wedding plans amidst the pandemic?
Walking through the changes brought on by COVID-19 has captivated a place within myself, as I became engaged on Nov. 19, 2019. Planning my own wedding day had just begun when the pandemic brought new challenges to our plate. We had planned for a date, photographer of course and had just begun choosing more details. For time, I paused all personal planning to be present for my couples as they navigated new waters.
Now I know I wouldn’t take back that pause for anything. That time taught me to dream differently. So dream differently. Wedding days don’t have to have traditional, step by step plans. No matter the guests or location, love is the most important factor. Your story can be as unique as you’d like. Let your dreams run wild.
Evaluate the most important aspects for the two of you and you alone. If your day looks like eloping to the mountains or beach, make it your reality. Remain open to capturing your evolving wedding dreams. If things are new and changing – change with them. Opt for no wedding party, non-matching dresses or just include all your friends. Wear your grandma’s dress, an upcycled vintage lace gown – or go out and purchase your dream dress. Have just a ceremony, get married on a Friday or simply just exchange rings. Get married on your family farm, or church, or somewhere entirely new. The point is: Since our planning pause, my fiancé and I have decided to get married in my family rock quarry overlooking the rolling hills in my home state of Wisconsin in August 2021. We dared to dream differently.
Dreams have a funny way of not always working out like we’d hoped. That’s why they’re called dreams. If this happens to you, know things are going to work out – I promise. Times are challenging. If you find yourself making a tough choice, a last-minute change or experience an unexpected issue, take a pause. Consider your options, even the ones that seem crazy. You may be making some of the most memorable life moments. Lastly, remember that your love story is yours alone. Think of each other while making choices surrounding your day and enjoy every second of it.
Do you have tips to prepare your clients for their session?
Kickstart your daydreams and make it all about your reality moving forward. Acknowledge your nerves. When you look back, don’t regret a single second of the experience. Embrace the mess and embrace new paths and perspectives.
Take a moment to dream about doing something different for an engagement photo session. 2020 had me on river sand bars, capturing skinny dipping, jumping from boats, shooting in abandoned locales, amidst the clouds in a tiny airplane, on rooftops, cliff faces and car hoods. Talk with your photographer about a possible adventure engagement photo session. Work with the photographer on mood board looks to work outfits into locations. Shop local: look into local eats to cater, thrift store or rental décor, local music and artists.
Mostly, don’t forget to continue living. On March 17, 2020, I wrote, “Most importantly in this time: embrace the mess; discover things that set your soul on fire; go out of your way to support society; adapt to change; reach out; create a ‘to do’ list and get it done; continue living; stay healthy and remember we’re all in this together.” I wish for myself and others to live by these words as 2021 unfolds.
What photographers inspire you? What else inspires your work?
Light-filled mood boards fill my pins. Australian photographers often take over my dreams. The old soul in me dreams of an authentic life on film. Love Her Wild Photography in New South Wales captures images that leave me inspired by the authenticity of an average day. Following work like hers has taught me that photography doesn’t need to be perfect. In all honestly, my biggest inspiration comes in work that feels as if it has been taken on vintage disposable film. For me, capturing a love story is like a movie unfolding within single frames. It’s all in the movement.
A visualization: Place yourself driving down an old country road. Your car windows are the scene that sets your world. Imagine your scene during the last hour of light in your day. Watch as the light pour in, filters through tree limbs, illuminates the dust of the day. Take note of the amber-colored fields and how they pair with cotton candy clouds. From time to time in real life moments, I find myself wishing I could capture a couple running through this light. I find so much inspiration in how light touches movement. Most times I’m not able to pull over a couple I’m shooting, throw them into the grass and capture this dream, but I take note of the inspiration for future opportunities.