Words by Holly from Holly Honour Photography
The inspiration behind this shoot was to highlight a 2SLGBTQIA+ couple in a moody, styled adventure elopement session. I wanted to demonstrate that couples can elope in unique places and spaces and curate a beautiful and unique experience with intentional yet simple styling.
Bringing this creative vision to life was essential to the team and me as we are all queer and/or queer-inclusive vendors that want to bring genuine representation and visibility to the wedding industry. I am a queer photographer, and one of my main motivators for starting my business was to directly address inequities and lack of representation in the industry by curating safe and inclusive spaces and experiences for ALL couples!
What are the key styling elements of the styled inspiration, and who brought them to life?
My vision for this session was a moody, romantic, non-traditional styled elopement, and I think it’s safe to say with the assistance of some truly amazing vendors, we accomplished exactly that! I provided our vendors with a color scheme of black, burgundy, white, black and gold. Discussing the overall aesthetic I was trying to accomplish but otherwise provided them the opportunity to have creative freedom to highlight their individuality and skills! I thrifted both dresses for the session, knowing that I wanted both a black and white dress and the models wore borrowed boots to wander around the Badlands in!
Heather from Orange Trunk Rentals brought together the styling for the session – she provided a list of her inventory and even curated visual mood boards of pieces she thought would work well for the session. We selected various items that we both loved, and she came out early to help find the perfect spot in the Drumheller Badlands for staging! She set up the styled pieces and tore them down at the end of the session and I cannot recommend her enough!
Matt from Hue Florals also provided two gorgeous bouquets for the shoot on short notice! I reached out to Matt just a few days before the session as my other florist fell through, and he was SO kind to accommodate us (despite working another event on the same day!) and completely surpassed my expectations with the florals for the session!
Sheena of Sheena Rae Beauty provided hair and makeup services for both models on the day of the session and completely accomplished the bold, romantic vibes I was hoping for! In addition, Sheena went out of her way to accompany us during the entire session not only to touch up hair and makeup but also to take behind the scenes, lend a helping hand when needed, and assist with the tear down of the staging.
Last but definitely not least, I have to acknowledge my lovely models, Mellaa and Jess. I reached out to them after connecting on Instagram and gave them an overview of what I was hoping to accomplish, and they enthusiastically agreed to take on this project with me! Not only are they SUCH a beautiful couple, but they were so genuinely sweet and affectionate with one another throughout the entire session – the immense amount of love these two have for one another is just so apparent. You can see that through their photos as well.
Words by Mellaa & Jess
Our favorite memory together is probably our first date! It was just so magical from the moment we laid eyes on each other. We met at a local restaurant and sat together, talking side by side all night. We were the last ones in the restaurant and never wanted to leave each other. I remember feeling like she was home from the minute I met her!
What would you say if you could give your younger selves a pep talk for the future?
Oh gosh, I would tell her not to listen to the homophobic comments in high school and that being gay isn’t an insult!
I’d tell her that a fairytale kind of love can be a reality.
You just have to find the right human willing to care for that compassionate heart! Initially, it might be a little crappy, and your family might not support you, but it will ENTIRELY be worth it. Living your most authentic self and the freedom and happiness that comes is beyond worth the coming out experience.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
My favorite thing about Jess is that she is beyond compassionate and kind. She takes care of me better than I ever could. She supports me in every aspect of my life. She’s also goofy as ever and forever makes me smile with all her mannerisms.
My favorite thing about Mellaa is she provides me with all the affection and love I need and never gets sick of it! She sings to me daily, making up her own lyrics about how much she loves me. It’s one of my favorite things.
We are both so very needy and it works perfectly because our love language is the exact same.
Photography by Holly Honour Photography