In life, both personally and professionally, I realize more and more, that we intuitively just know
what we need next, that is if we listen. The knowing is reassuring, as it only asks that you quiet
yourself enough to hear your own voice. The acting on it is the true challenge be it creating the time, finding the energy, or making it a priority, for without this motivation, the idea or the knowing
never really has a chance to become more than a thought.
Last year, a seed of a conversation started between me and a colleague and friend, Monika founder of Boston of Boston & Burke Florals. We both knew it was time to shoot a unique wedding in an industrial space. Both of us typically gravitate toward more natural venues and our wedding couples seem to hire us for just that reason. Yet, the time had come to show another side of our talents, but how?
What I truly love about the next steps that led us to seeing this idea to fruition, is how during this time of challenge, we wanted so desperately to be physically together with others in our industry, to collaborate, to create with other talent. Last year left us flat without the ability to gather and work at what we love. Those of us that had clients willing to go “micro” and celebrate anyway, were few and far between. So suddenly the idea of creating a styled shoot in an industrial space became so much more poignant and significant. It gave cause and reason to seek out others that were willing to unite, who could share this vision and come together with their skills and a lot of pent-up energy and open schedules.
The timing and our mindsets led us to the perfect space for success—the Senate Garage in Kingston, New York. From this point on, all the parts, people and bits fell into natural order. I reached out and connected with those I knew who could bring a unique quality to what we were trying to achieve and through this initial vendor team, met new talent, made new friends and finally, at the very last moment, met our two gorgeous models who happened to be exactly spot-on for what we had always intended for our lead characters. The fact that they were a real life in-love couple solidified in that moment that this all fell into the exact order that it was intended to.
For me, collaboration is where the joy truly happens. Working alongside others and realizing that it takes more than myself to create a setting or event, is the energy that drives. True satisfaction comes from inspiring and supporting others. Gratitude comes from witnessing their talent and commitment and how their process evolves and then suddenly dovetails into mine. The fellowship of it all really feeds my soul. Nothing feels better about my event work than when I am standing shoulder to shoulder
to see the end result as well as the contented smiles that we share,
and in knowing that we all put our best feet forward together and it all worked out.
This styled shoot was indeed the perfect alignment of talent at the perfect space and time.
It felt like our coming out party and the fuel we needed to feel renewed and ready for the season ahead.
I'm honored to share thoughts on what this collaboration
meant to some of my colleagues, and now friends:
Monika Boston • Boston and Burke Florals
A styled shoot allows creatives to draw from the wide variety of their professional experiences, as well
as a bank of emerging ideas they would like to explore, to create a product that is more than the sum of its parts. Working among a team of creative professionals, we can share the support and encouragement of colleagues
in the industry. Using the common themes as a launching point, each professional contributes their specialized skills
with their interpretation of the theme. The collaborative environment allows for creative freedom,
while providing the trusted foundation necessary for exploration.
Cappy Hotchkiss • Cappy Hotchkiss Photography
Collaboration as a photographer is a must for me. Working with other people who I respect and admire
is so motivating and invigorating. It is often hard for a photographer to relinquish control and this forces us to do so. Bouncing ideas around and seeing a vision from other talented peoples’ viewpoint can inspire and excite.
Nothing gives me greater joy and inspiration than becoming a team for a day with the vendors at a wedding.
It makes the job go so smoothly and the results truly pay off for the couple.
Judy Tallerman • The Senate Garage
When Paula Smith from Your Event contacted me during the pandemic to do a photoshoot at our venue
it was a breath of fresh air; it was a coming to life again; it was a collaboration with others in an industry
that was virtually shut down by the pandemic.
Each professional that works in our space brings their own unique style.
The 10' Chesterfield couch became a centerpiece of a pop-up lounge in the middle of the space—never done before. Our fireplace mantle was covered in a gorgeous cascading flower arrangement that showed off the brick
and the beautiful steel casement windows—never done before.
The day brought everyone together that had never met before, to contribute their talents to make
Senate Garage come alive in ways that have never been done before.
The beauty of a photoshoot is that you can really have fun in ways that are not possible during a wedding.
You can have the bride sit on the bar or pose lying on the concrete floor.
The photographer can climb ladders to get the perfect shot from up high.
It really was a special time and a great way to break back to being NORMAL again.
Bea Rue • Upstate Jamboree
Something incredible happens when people work together towards a collective vision.
That is exactly what we experienced during this shoot, and that is the ultimate mission behind our games--
to bring people together in connection and celebration.
Paula, as always, went above and beyond with this event, curating a gorgeous shoot and catering to every vendor
and detail along the way. We left feeling uplifted after a difficult year of cancellations,
and inspired for a fruitful and creative year ahead!
Marjorie Politi • Marjorie’s Letters
As a graphic designer and calligrapher, it’s so important to have a clear vision before I start creating.
I was able to conceptualize a wedding suite that drew from the seeds that Paula planted.
She welcomed collaboration and contribution to her ideas, and came up with details that were one of a kind
(and even had them engineered and built!). She choreographed all the contributing vendors to create a beautiful, seamless and cohesive event that just blew me away! It’s so rewarding to see all of this come together.
Paula’s positive and creative energy is infectious…she is such a joy to work with!
I want to thank this team of talented artisans for a great out of the starting gate effort and for coming together
to create a beautiful setting. This shoot was a labor of love, a very proud moment and in the end, the inspiration
and the spark that seemed to snap us gleefully back to our reality as event makers and celebration masters.
Please take a moment to explore their websites and social media!
Support them, spread the word!
Make the time to celebrate, and please call on us when you do!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cappy Hotchkiss Photography
EVENT PLANNING + CREATIVE: Your Event | Paula Smith Designs, Inc.
VENUE: Senate Garage
FLORAL DESIGN: Boston and Burke Floral Design
LIGHTING DESIGN: Stortz Lighting
RENTALS: Events Unlimited Tent & Party Rental Company, Inc.
BRIDE: Rasheeda Riddick
BRIDAL GOWNS: Blush Bridal Boutique
HAIR + MAKEUP: Artisan Beauty Bar
JEWELRY: Elizabeth's Jewelry and Fine Gifts
GAME RENTALS: Upstate Jamboree Game Rentals
WEDDING CAKE: Nine Cakes
CALLIGRAPHY + GRAPHICS: Marjorie’s Letters
METAL WORK: Jeffrey Green Metal Designs
MENU: The Farmer's Wife
VIDEOGRAPHY: Atma Cornelius
Event Planner & Designer