The makings of a photo shoot

Since we opened in July 2011, The White Room has always strived to be creative, innovative, interesting and current and to showcase this to not only our brides but our peers and the industry as a whole, we do photo shoots. Inspirational, couture, real life and fantasy shoots to capture not only the spirit of The White Room but the creativity of the photographers, the design of the gowns and of course, the styling of the gowns so you can be inspired and brave with your bridal look too!

However as beautiful as the results are, there is a team of people behind everyone, a concept which grows over weeks, sometimes months to show off our bridal styling, looks and designs. We get together, we chat, we sketch, pin ideas back and forth (lots) via e-mail. We scroll though lots of ‘models’ (and feel like Tyra Banks on occassion) to get the right blend of look so we don’t look size-ist, so we translate to brides and so we can all resonate with the feeling the shoot is giving us. We get up at 6am on a Sunday and stand outside in the rain, we buy lots of coffee and get parking fines for stopping for 2 minutes to drop gowns off (Grrrr!) and then, beauty is edited and made and the shoot is born! So, to give you a little insight….

Shoot 1 – This was my 1st! I was nervous and had little idea of how to be an ‘art director’ (sounds posh doesn’t it!) but we had secured 3 beautiful, local models and Sheffield Cathedral which in itself is like a miracle!

I had the samples that would be in The White Room for our opening sent from my designers and an amazing team on board. They included India Hobson, Wigs & Warpaint, Swallows & Damsons  and Nicki Donohoe who very much kept me sane!

The shoot didn’t really have a concept as such, it was just about getting some ‘real’ imagery of our gowns on real women in a local setting. I wanted to show my brides even before I opened that it’s not all about being a lean, mean modelling machine to be a beautiful bride.

India captured some amazing shots and in the scurrying around in the 4 hour window we had before prayer, we did pretty well!

Shoot 2 – Had a totally different feel. This was to be real! Real women (mates I bribed!!), a Sheffield sunset and another great Sheffield photographer, Jon from S6 Photography. This was fuss-less. This was the girls having their make up done by my sister who was at the time, a mobile artist (and now works for Bare Minerals Make Up) and hair just as the girls do it themselves. Jo even turned up after a Thai Box class. This simply was about the dress and the backdrop (and climbing over a wall to get to the field before the sun set!)

We shot ‘Willow’ by Claire Pettibone (above & below), ‘Frankie’ by Stephanie Allin and ‘Saskia’ by Jenny Packham which we paired with her iconic Acacia II headdress.

Shoot 3 – TinyDancer (and probably my best achievement to date!). This shoot came I met Cat Hepple in February 2012 and it became evident we were from the same school of thought, we wanted to translate fashion in to bridal and capture the brilliance of The White Room designers and showcase the gowns in a unique and innovative way. Cat came to The White Room and was immediately inspired by our ability to take bridal wear and showcase this as a styled look; she loved the boutique, our ethos and our collection. I too was inspired by Cat’s fashion thinking and how she seamlessly applied this to her wedding photography. I loved that she didn’t do anything twee, that it was all about the bride and her groom and that her images made the brides look like a Vogue front cover, rather than a bog standard wedding shot.  We chatted for hours and we found ourselves saying “I am different”, “I am all about the bride”, “I am pushing the boundaries of the wedding industry and making this a memorable service”. It was then the idea of “I am” was born.

Again we had a great team which comprised of Cat Hepple, Dani from Wigs & Warpaint, Ashley Tyrell (make up) and Tracey Campbell from Campbells flowers. Emma Massey shot the whole thing for us which was amazing as not only is she a great video-grapher and presenter but has now started to do video-graphy for weddings too! We shot the whole thing at Sheffield Millennium Art Gallery too, bringing the true feel or Art, Culture and Sheffield together all in 1!

You can watch the video here:

Our inspiration for this shoot was very much focused around style, colour and individual gown personalities. Personalities, yes that’s right! All our gowns have them and when the bride finds hers and it complements the gown’s, love is made!! We wanted to show that how you style a gown can really change its look and we wanted to encapsulate the evident beauty of the fabric and construction of the gowns to show brides that a gown is so much more than just that, it is a personality, an inspiration and a feel. It is about being you, being comfortable in your own skin and allowing brides to translate themselves through their own individual and bespoke look on their wedding day. “I am unique”.

The results were amazing as you can see, incorporating dance and movement with soft pastels for our warm, apricot and softer look. We styled our gowns using accessories from Debbie Carlisle and House of Istria. As a Sheffield boutique, we pride ourselves on working with and supporting local businesses grow and our relationship with Debbie of DC Bouquets has done just that. Her pieces are amazing and our brides love all that she creates as she encapsulates vintage inspired elements with modern day glamour which just compliments rather than competes with the gown. We used her ‘Lana’ piece with Claire Pettibone’s ‘Norah’ gown and with Claire’s ‘Sophie’ gown, just to show how versatile our styling can be. We also used one of Debbie’s stronger pieces ‘Natalia’ with Aspen by Jenny Packham which really pulled out the 1930’s Hollywood starlet look we created with her. “I am glamour”

I have also been very lucky to be involved in many other shoots too, those where my dresses have been loaned or some styling and advice has been used to create a few other looks too! Here are some of my favourites…

When I actually look back, I wonder how I had the time! However it’s done out of love, creativity, desire to always be different and of course, collaborating with some of the industries biggest and best influences/suppliers/people. I really can’t wait to see what the next12 months hold… Keep an eye open as one will be happening very soon…

Thank you to all who were apart of my photo shoot madness! To book these amazing people for your wedding, check out the list of greatness below:


India Hobson –

Cat Hepple –

S6 Photography –

Jess Petrie –


Swallows & Damsons –

Campbells Flowers –


Victoria Made –

Hair & Make Up

Wigs and Warpaint –

Ashley Tyrell –

Nicki Donohoe –

All gowns and accessories at The White Room bridal boutique, Sheffield 0114 2722336


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A beautiful bridal boutique in the heart of Sheffield city centre. Styling brides since July 2011. Award winning boutique with designers including Suzanne Neville, Sassi Holford, Halfpenny London and Rosa Clara. Accessories by Debbie Carlisle and shoes by Rainbow Club. Bridesmaid gowns by Ghost and underwear and nightwear from a range of UK and international suppliers including Wonderbra 0114 2722336

2 thoughts on “The makings of a photo shoot

  1. Thank you so much for including our headdresses in your shoots, our elegant, bohemian pieces do seem to suit your dress designers so well, especially Claire Pettibone and Stephanie Allin. We love working with you and your lovely brides

    Charlie @ House of Istria x

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