Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Allie Atkisson Imagine |
Boldly Beautiful: An empowering message of self-love inspired this bright and beautiful styled shoot
Elizabeth Salazar, Bri’Ana Meriweather, Christina Gu, and Nathalie Carney
Every woman should feel beautiful in her own skin. This was the core belief behind wedding videographer Olivia King’s desire to create a styled shoot celebrating a diverse group of women. “It stuck with me that when I’d be scrolling through Instagram, I didn’t see a lot of diversity in wedding editorials,” she says. “As a wedding vendor myself, I shoot so many brides who all look different. I know there are beautiful brides in all shapes and sizes, and I want to celebrate that.”
Olivia envisioned a wedding-inspired shoot—with bridal gowns, bouquets, and table settings—but instead of centering the theme around romantic love, she shifted the lens to capture self-love and titled the shoot “We All Slay.” She called on a group of vendors she knew would be invested in the concept as well as women representing a variety of skin tones, backgrounds, sizes, and shapes to serve as models. Many of the women Olivia already knew from their connection in the industry, such as photographer Elizabeth Salazar. “Her work is incredible. Everything she does encourages women to love themselves,” Olivia says.
In addition to tailoring the four models’ looks to their individual styles and personalities, creating a fun, colorful atmosphere was a priority for Olivia. “We see so many styled shoots that are soft and whimsical, so I wanted something more bold and in your face. I thought since our idea was bold, the palette should be, too.”
To Each Her Own
Samantha’s Garden designed floral installations and bouquets using roses and ranunculus in a vibrant citrus palette. Though the bouquets coordinate, each is different and beautiful in its own way—just like the women who hold them.
See behind-the-scenes outtakes and interviews with some of the vendors from “We All Slay” on Olivia’s Instagram (@olikingfilm).
Yes to the Dress
Olivia wanted the women to feel their best in the dress selections, so she arranged a try-on day before the shoot. “It was a styled shoot, but at the same time, we wanted each of them to feel comfortable and beautiful,” she says. “It was all about putting them in dresses they could envision themselves in on their real wedding days.”
“I know there are beautiful brides in all shapes and sizes, and I want to celebrate that.” —Olivia King
Hair and makeup artist Lavonne Anthony worked with each model to achieve a look suited to her dress as well as her personality. For example, she gave Elizabeth (above) a sophisticated “Old Hollywood meets Rockabilly” style, and she was inspired by Nathalie’s neon-hued pixie cut to create a colorful eye in complementary colors. Jewel-encrusted hair accessories by Hair Comes the Bride (below) complete each look.
Bride’s gowns She Said Yes Bridal Cake and macarons Community Bakery Floral design Samantha’s Garden Hair and makeup Lavonne Anthony Paper goods Love Letters by Leah Photographer Allie Atkisson, Allie Atkisson Imaging Planning and design Carol DePriest, DePriest Events Rentals HOST Rentals Venue The Brick Ballroom Videographer Olivia King, Oli King Film