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An Alice in Wonderland Engagement Session

For a long while, I had admired the movie-themed engagement sessions I had come across in the wedding world of blogs. Back in September, I had the idea to do one of my own and almost immediately thought of Erin and Matt. I’ll admit that, it being my first session of this kind, I went to this couple specifically because they had already had an engagement session with another photographer that they loved, and in the event the images came out completely tacky, they wouldn’t be entirely deprived of engagement photos. The other reason I thought of them, is because right off the bat Erin had already told me she wanted to do something unique with her engagement photos to contrast the ones she had previously done. Well it doesn't get more different than recreating a movie, in our case, one of Erin's absolute favorite movies: Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton version.

Of course, I’m still me, so I still see plenty of my usual fun/relaxed style in the photos, and as for the rest, I’d say we definitely achieved everything we were going for and then some. However, I could not have done any of it without my gifted husband who was not only my second shooter for this, but the driving force behind the bulk of the set creation, as well as my amazing wedding-industry friends who also donated their time and talents to making it all possible.

From day one, Wedding Coordinator Danielle Pasternak in particular has been involved in attire conception and large-scene setups. She has been a huge part of all the preparations required to create the photos and was present to ensure the shoot ran smoothly and put the finishing touches on the final appearance of some of the scenes. I’d also like to give a big hats off to hair and makeup for absolutely blowing me away with the way they were able to transform Erin and Matt into Alice and the Hatter, or as he would later come to be called: “The Matter!”

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Lots of love goes out to my hubby and Danielle for helping me drag our entire dining room table out deep into the woods for the tea party scene. Boy was it ever worth it though! Poor Erin and Matt were dying to help, but unfortunately it was dangerous enough just asking them to hike down, I could never have them do it carrying chairs and tabletops!

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Florist Lois Hahn of Stems was generous enough to supply all the florals for this shoot, and the centerpiece she created for the tea party images was just perfect! I also wanted to give a quick shout out to my kitty Nermal for volunteering for the role of the Cheshire cat and hitting it out of the park, haha!

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I give Erin a lot of credit, because it was literally lightly snowing for a good portion of this shoot and she toughed it out in just her cute little Alice dress and stockings, bad circulation and all!

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With daylight dwindling at a depressingly early 4pm we set up for our last outdoor scene. I think I started out focusing on the setup, but kept being drawn in closer by this beautiful couple. You literally could not take a bad picture of them.

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Just as darkness set in, we moved inside for the final scene, which proved to be the most work of all. Of all the scenes we created, I still can’t get over what we were truly able to achieve with regards to the little room at the bottom of the rabbit hole. I will admit, though, that one too many cold November nights out working on this sent me to the Emergency Room a week before the shoot. It was a valuable lesson in maybe just going a little bit easier on myself in the future.

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To Erin and the Matter, thank you SOOOO much for being my guinea pigs for my first-ever movie inspired engagement session! I am so grateful for the faith you have in my creative vision that you were willing to hand over your engagement shoot completely, and let me have some fun with it. It was wonderful getting to know the both of you so much better throughout the extensive planning that went into this, and I absolutely can’t wait for your wedding in October next year. Every single one of these pictures puts a smile on my face, especially this last one!

Show 13 Comments
  1. jenna
    Nov 28 2010

    Beautiful and so unique! The couple looks great! Amazing photos as usual

  2. Nov 28 2010

    I must say that this was one of the most lovely engagement sessions I have ever seen. I want more!! Make sure you´ll fulfill your next dream theme.

  3. Oh – my – goodness. Seeing these photos after months of hard work and prep is just amazing. Lauren, as usual, you are amazing and I’m soo happy to have been able to help you out with this shoot. I loved every second! (even when I almost fell down the cliff…)

  4. Nov 29 2010

    What an AMAZING photo shoot. These came out beautifully. The details are amazing!!!! LOVE IT. Lauren you should be so proud of all the hard work you put into this. I keep scrolling up and down to look at the photos over and over again. They have an amazing set of photos! Congratulations to the happy couple!

  5. Nov 29 2010

    Awesome session!

  6. Miranda
    Nov 29 2010

    WOW. Great job Lauren and Sean! These are spectacular! Truly, the best I’ve seen. What a creative idea! I almost want to print and frame some myself! Doesn’t hurt the couple could be models. :)

  7. Katie
    Nov 29 2010

    Omg I LOVE the one with the cat!!!! Amazing photos!

  8. Amanda
    Nov 29 2010

    WOW!!!!!! How original! I love love love the props…GREAT work!

  9. Lili Molina
    Nov 29 2010

    AMAZING! Can’t stop looking at them! The attention to detail & talent are incredible!

  10. laurenb4
    Nov 29 2010

    I don’t usually comment on my own blogs, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented so far! A lot of planning, prep work and love went into this shoot on all sides, and I couldn’t have asked for a better result!

  11. Gina
    Nov 30 2010

    These are truley incredible! God knows I am the queen of theme and you really out did yourself, but managed not to go overboard or lose the couple in the concept. You kept them the centerpiece as they should be. Congrats to all!

  12. Amy Diamond
    Nov 30 2010

    Super cute, Lauren!!! Love it! :O) Amy

  13. Sandra Gordon
    Dec 03 2010

    WOW! These are absolutely amazing!! So original! Congrats to all!