Spicy Love : Pepper Inspiration

One particular day I had this particular idea: to incorporate chili peppers into a bouquet and floral headpiece and style a shoot based on the beauty of peppers. So…I told my talented florist friend, Raquel, and R Love Floral Designs joined me on my collaboration. I had a white, bohemian dress I bought from Gypsy Warrior just waiting in my closet to be used in a styled shoot (though I’m planning on wearing it to future music festival festivities). After Raquel agreed, I started to really dive into my idea and do some more brainstorming. The lovely Rita from Rent My Dust is the queen of vintage furniture and unique one of a kind prop rentals. She is also a friend of mine and delightfully joined me on my vision. It was then I realized this shoot was becoming bigger than expected. And I was loving it.

Model and friend, Ashley Brannon, went to high school with me and modeled for me once before, waaaaay back when I was beginning college and starting out with photography…so I just had to have her for this shoot! Cake, hair/makeup and stationary were next to get and with the help of Layered Bake Shop, Tracy Melton Artistry and The Bees Knees Custom Design, my sweet dreams were becoming a spicy reality.

I originally was just planning on using a scenic nature spot, you know…the usual outdoor gorgeousness. Natural lighting is the best lighting to work with. But then I got to thinking realistically…it’s January…and it’s Texas, which means bi-polar weather. Aaaand Ashley will be wearing a short, thin dress. So to make it officially official and not have to worry about weather, I inquired Hickory Street Annex for us to use their awesome venue which has lots and lots of windows that photographers like me absolutely adore. This was truly happening. 


Why peppers? My inspiration for this “spicy” shoot was Philip, my darling, who does a lot of pickling now that we have our own backyard garden. It was my personal challenge to make chili peppers look beautiful, romantic and as the design element for a shoot. I love whimsy. This look is exactly what a bride needs who craves a vintage bell sleeve, the classic look of lace and the confidence of wearing a short dress, which allows her to show off her shoes (and gams), and wants something more than only flowers in her bouquet. This bouquet contains both flowers AND peppers, (which had an intriguing smell of sweet floral with a hint of spicy.

I admit, I was a little nervous the night before the shoot. And I NEVER get nervous while shooting weddings (only nervous on the “making sure I get there early and safely” portion). I just kept thinking about poses, lighting, styling, etc. and thinking, “Where am I going to hang this ‘hangable’ backdrop I made?”, “What if there is no ladder there?”, “What if the lighting isn’t right?”. There were a lot of “What if’s”. I woke up very early, showered, and prepared for my big day. Thankfully (and surprisingly) there was no Dallas traffic. I arrived early and feeling good. After unloading my own props and waiting on the other vendors to arrive, I plugged in my portable speakers and played my jams. I felt comfortable again and in my zone. Ready to photograph some spicy beauty.

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This styled shoot has been featured on Wedding Chicks!!!

Now, I don’t call myself a stylist or an event designer. I simply had an idea and went for it. This was my first time to gather local and extremely talented vendors to contribute to this styled shoot I kept dreaming about. I’m am just so honored that they joined me. I love these talented wedding artists!

Florist – R Love Floral Designs
Furniture & Prop Rentals – Rent My Dust
Cake –Layered Bake Shop
Hair & Makeup – Tracy Melton Artistry
Stationary – The Bees Knees Custom Design
Model – Ashley Brannon
Venue – Hickory Street Annex
Dress – For Love and Lemons (originally bought from Gypsy Warrior)
DIY – I built the backdrop from cheap wood that I stained and chicken wire found in my backyard. It’s my take on this DIY backdrop tutorial. My boyfriend made the pickled pepper favors. I added the twine. I also made the dried chili pepper backdrop.


Here are some behind the scenes images! I owe a HUGE thank you to Nicole Arnold for documenting the behind the scenes and capturing additional images! She is the girlfriend of my usual second shooter and she is awesome.

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This one makes me laugh…just doing some photographer lunges.

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That’s a wrap!


Thank you to everyone who helped out this day! I appreciate you! This shoot has been featured on Wedding Chicks. Check it out!

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