• Cait O'Malley

Vibrant Red Winter Wedding Styled Shoot


"On the seventeenth of December, two-thousand and sixteen

Under the full moon, in the clearing of the forest

I will wait for you."

- Valerie


The Salt & Light Studio

Inspired by the 2011 fantasy/thriller, Red Riding Hood, featuring Amanda Seyfried, this winter styled shoot was a dark turn from my typical spring-like designs. With a broodier, more seductive approach, it was a far cry from the bright and happy, holiday themed shoots that were filling my feed at the time.


Charlotte Northrope Photography

I wanted to challenge myself personally, to move away from my comfort zone of soft, bright and fun and try something more dramatic, dark and serious. I also wanted to depict something a bit out of the ordinary and a bit off-beat from the cheery reds and greens that usually coincide with winter shoots.


Charlotte Northrope Photography

I started with the story-line inspired by Red Riding Hood, focusing on the secrecy of forbidden love and the quiet mystery surrounding them, and custom created a moody colour palette of onyx black, forest green, midnight blue and contrasting pops of claret red.

From there, the story-line was developed further: a note; a journey through the forest; him searching for her and; a secret meeting in the clearing.


The Venue: The shoot took place at Ale - Amberwood Lounge & Eatery in Stittsville, in their main dining area as well as outdoors where ceremonies take place in the warmer months. We trekked out in the cold with everything to stage a gorgeous tablescape and began shooting just as the flurries came on. They have a treeline along the edge of the property that was perfect for shooting the forest images, and I could help but bring in a real wolf for those shots.


Samantha Marie Photography


Hilary Elizabeth Photography


Samantha Marie Photography

The Capture: This shoot had so many emotive elements that the story could really be told many different ways. I wanted to capture all of those, so I brought in three talented photographers, each with a different style, and one talented videographer. The result was four incredible perspectives on one shoot from: Charlotte Northrope Photography, Hilary Elizabeth Photography; Samantha Marie Photography and; The Salt & Light Studio. On the one side, there was the dark and moody, on the other side was the bright, almost cheery, and then there were the varying middle grounds of vibrant yet dark and serious yet evocative.


Charlotte Northrope Photography


Hilary Elizabeth Photography


Samantha Marie Photography

The Florals: To me, florals are always one of the stars of a shoot. They help communicate the theme and vision, carry out your colour palette, and create lovely flow throughout your decorative elements. When I sat down with Trillium Floral Designs to create my vision she was super excited to do something a bit more dark and whimsical than the usual bridal order and what she came up with was better than anything I could have imagined.


Hilary Elizabeth Photography

The Look: Since part of the storyline featured both the bride and the groom walking through the forest, I wanted apparel that would really accentuate their movements and become more of an extension of their body than a separate piece to draw the eye away. For the bride I opted for a form fitting dress with lace details that crept up her arms and back, from La Maison Bridal. Adding in a custom made red cloak from Ele Bridal Alterations and the gray faux fur blanket for a subtle nod to the Red Riding Hood inspiration. For the groom I wanted the look to be a bit more modern and impacting, so we opted for a royal blue slim suit from L’Hexagone. It created a bold colour contrast that paired well with the bride, but also looked stunning in the groom’s standalone images.


Samantha Marie Photography


Samantha Marie Photography

Dazzling Faces Makeup Artistry created the perfect look for the bride with a smoky eye and bold red lip that gave her an intense, dramatic look. For the hair I wanted an almost messy updo that might create the look of someone who has been running through the woods. Liana Lacroix Beauty created an impeccable style and accented it with asparagus leaves scattered throughout for a bit of an untamed look. Then we finished off the look with unique, custom made jewellery from Stór Jewelry Co.


Hilary Elizabeth Photography


Charlotte Northrope Photography


Charlotte Northrope Photography

Jodie and Ben from Models International Management did an impeccable job as bride and groom for the day. I always try to have my shoots tell a story rather than just be beautifully curated images, and I was so impressed with how those two adapted characters to help bring life to the story rather than simply posing beautifully.


Charlotte Northroppe Photography

Decorative Elements: The decorative elements were really important for this shoot, to help convey the theme and set the tone for the images. Designing tablescapes is one of my favourites tasks and I really wanted to play around with structured chaos to communicate the dark, sort of wild vision. Rather than traditional flatware placing, I tied the set together with this bold, silk ribbon and let the ends run free in the wind. The matte black plates were the perfect base for the unique place cards that were actually hand written by the Happy Ever Crafter on shards of glass from a smashed wine bottle. The old silver accents like the candelabras that Ediblesins loaned me or the flatware and wine goblets were another subtle nod to the movie, while the gray table runner that Amy & Jen Décor loaned me helped pull all of the elements together for a consistent flow throughout the whole table.


Hilary Elizabeth Photography


Charlotte Northroppe Photography


Samantha Marie Photography

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