My friend Sirisha happens to be a stunning former model with incredible creative and fashion instincts. Over lunch one day we had the idea of doing an Indian-American fusion bridal shoot. The idea was to take Western dresses and add Indian pieces until we achieved a truly fused look complete with jewelry and flash-tattoo hand henna. From our base in Charleston, West Virginia, we collaborated with the Boutique by B. Belle Events who provided the dresses and flowers, Beauty by Kearston who did Sirisha's makeup, and Kellie Ann Lilly who did her hair. We shot at J.Q. Dickinson Saltworks.
The day of the shoot, it was beautiful – perfect even. But we found ourselves rushing to shoot against the fading daylight. The first images you see were taken at "golden hour," which is usually when I stop shooting. But by the time we finished that first dress, we still had three outfits to go! Being a mostly natural light photographer, I usually hang up my hat when the end-of-day light disappears (unless I'm shooting inside at a reception).
But Sirisha changed her outfits in a rush and we kept going. You'll see throughout the shoot that the light changed dramatically. We used reflected light from the sides of hothouses, cell phones, street lamps, and fairy (Christmas) lights already hanging at the Saltworks to finish off the shoot. Despite the challenges, these ended up being some of my favorite photographs ever; they certainly stretched me to use creative solutions. We never got to the fourth outfit – the "most Indian" one. But I'm ok with that – it just means we'll have an excuse to do it again.