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Hippie Girls in Wedding Dresses



It’s three days after another Shoot Madness event with The Creative Duo, and there is no way I’ve managed to get to that editing pile yet. The amount of shots I took was just insane, but about standard for what I do.

About two weeks ago, I had a message from my friend and fellow photographer, Mark Keane. He, with his co-founder and model Treasa Tilt, run photography and modelling workshops through The Creative Duo, to help people of varying levels and experience develop skills and confidence in their chosen fields. I first worked with them in February at The Pit Studio in Nottingham, and since then, I’ve been on two workshops, each of them amazing, with some of my best work being created.


This time, it was going to be in the woods! The date being 11th June, I was really excited for it. I rounded up as many people as I could who might be interested, including Tom Staniforth, Ella Rainford, Blythe McIntyre, Shannon Crew, and Jord Cooper. It was set to be an awesome day, as I had worked with Ella, Tom, and Shannon before, so I knew what to expect from their work and level of experience.

I had a few shoots planned out with Shannon and Blythe, as well as a festival/hippie type group shoot at the end. Just a few more bits to get to make sure my shoots ended up nicely done!

However, whoever picked the date (I’m looking at you, Treasa..) had decided the best date to do a shoot outdoors would be… The middle of Download weekend. British weather is known for it’s temperment, but Download had managed to get it’s own hashtag trending on social media galore: #Drownload2016. And from the look of those photos of soggy tents, and videos of people trying to fight against streams of water, Download 2016 was set to follow in traditional fashion. However, my dad had suggested a idea, as a ‘just in case’: take a tent to the shoot. It’ll protect any kit anyone does not want to be using right away, as well as give models private space to get changed. This was the best idea I had heard so far, so this was being added to the shopping list before Saturday.


For those who aren’t aware (or those that haven’t cared about what I’ve posted until this blog post), I work in nightclubs. Well, one at the moment, but you get the jist. Now, one day this particular week, I had already woken up late. Bets on now to see if I had actually woken up on time for this shoot day!.... Oh.. None of you bet that I did..? Good, because you’d have lost. Meaning to be setting off for about 9am from Shannon’s house. I didn’t wake up until 9.52. Shit. So I jump off my bed, grabbed all of my stuff, chucked some crappy clothes on, then ran out to Blythe, who had been waiting for me for about an hour. Nice one, Tash! We grabbed Shannon, and off we went, grabbing a cheeky McDonald’s breakfast on the way. But shush, no-one else knows.. What do you mean, they’re going to read this?

We got there about an hour later than we had intended, after much scolding from the rest of the party, which was not cool, but I did deserve it, let’s be honest. Once we had everyone together, we trekked up to the first location of the day: It was a gorgeous little place, with lots of trees, field areas, and more importantly, space to set up my new tent! Win.

I started the day working with Shannon. I wanted to play around with mirrors and to get the ‘hole’ in the model, type shots. It worked fairly well, and then I just took lots of photos of her whenever she laughed, just as proof that she can! Then I worked with Jord, an experienced young woman, who started her modelling career at a very early age, as well as winning Miss Clipstone! So we did some cutesy floral/woodsy style photos. I’m not 100% about these photos at this point, but we will see what they are like when I have a good look at them later on this week. Just before lunch, I had to put the tent away. For a pop up tent, it was an absolute nightmare getting back in. As in, it wasn’t even funny. (I lied: it was.)

We stopped for a brief lunch, which turned into a comfy sitting session of just chatting away and avoiding Mark’s budgies from smacking into the sides of our heads while they fluttered around like madmen. Still cute as anything though..


A quick change of equipment (because I ain’t carrying a shedload of stuff up to the highest point in Leicester. Eff that.) Though, the tent still needed to come, so I ended up looking like a Ninja Turtle (totally Donatello, jus’ sayin’). Having to side-step though A-frames was a thing too.. It felt like the loooongest walk in my life. But hey, that’s what lack of cardio will do to you.. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now, and definitely not about to start after this trip.

We finally get to the top of the hill, after what felt like an age, and I popped the tent up again for changing, I sent Blythe to get ready for our bridal shoot. For some context, a little while ago, I had bought a gorgeous wedding dress from the charity shop my stepmum works at for £20. £20! It was an amazing bargain. And also a great way to scare my dad when he started asking why I was buying wedding dresses… However, it is stunning, and I couldn’t wait to use it in a shoot. Blythe had already took it home to try on, well ahead of the shoot, as a just-in-case type scenario. If it didn’t fit, we had plenty of time to find an outfit for our shoot. However, gloriously, it fit! Perfectly! *fist pump* I had the wonderful Treasa on hand to help me lay out the dress, and help me pose Blythe in the best way that showed the dress and the model’s features. The resulting images on camera looked pretty good. Hopefully, they will look just as good when I get them on the PC, and even better once editing has finished!


The last shoot of the day was meant to be with Ella. However, she and Blythe had discussed prior to the shoot day that they wanted to do a hippie-themed festival shoot together, so we had come to an agreement to shoot all four women together in one shoot. It was interesting to see how each photographer interacted with the models, from telling them how to pose, to framing and composing each shot. It was a pleasant way to end the day!

We started making our way home, tired but happy. We still had a good forty-five minute (to an hour!) trip to make before we could get home. Most of us who came from Mansfield had work that night, so it was time to see if we had enough time for food and a nap. (Short answer: no) We still made time for a McDonald’s though! Win.

To end this blog, I wish to say a massive thank-you to Mark and Treasa for organising it all, and to say that I can’t wait to work with you both again.


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© Tabitha Dreadful Photography 2020

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