virginia weddingsWedding Inspiration

Styled Shoot with Photographer Kara Ardron – Real Life Couple, Stacie and Jason

Virginia Bride features weddings weekly here on the blog. Being featured in the blog does not necessarily mean they are featured in the print magazine.

I recently had the privilege of talking with Kara Ardron about Virginia weddings, stylized shoots, photography, and more.

Rita: As a photographer, what is it like creating these stylized shoots?

Kara: Styled shoots are an incredible opportunity for vendors to create without the pressure of client expectations. It provides us the space to play, try new things, and provides us with inspiration. We want to show couples what is possible for their wedding day utilizing our combined years of experience and artistic eye while also creating for creation’s sake. It’s almost fuel for the soul. While we love working with couples (obviously!) doing work that has no goal other than collaboration and artistry is such an important part of growing and staying fresh with our craft. 

Rita: Do you recommend doing this type of shoot for couples getting married (i.e., stylized, rather than solely at the wedding)? What are the benefits of doing one?

Absolutely! Doing a more styled engagement session is super fun and creates more of an editorial style vibe for your photos. You could have a picnic, plan a themed shoot or simply dress up and walk around downtown with an ice cream cone.

Note: General “styled shoots” aren’t really a thing for couples, but when you reach out to your photographer, check with them for ideas on how to do a special shoot apart from just the wedding day.

Rita: How did this particular shoot come about?

When Adorn Collective first launched I reached out to Holly about doing a collaboration to showcase her new items. One of the wedding trends the industry is seeing for 2023 is color and personalization. And honestly after the past few years I could use as much color as possible in my life. So, my vision for this shoot was romantic, garden, whimsical, colorful. I wanted it to feel light and represent spring. I reached out to all of the other vendors asking if they wanted to participate and it very quickly came together! 

Rita: In your own words, tell us a little about the fact that it is a dating couple who did the shoot.

The piece I had the hardest time finding for this shoot were the models. I reached out to several people and posted a model call on Instagram. Holly did the same on her page. Finally, I asked my husband to ask his friend (Jason) if he and his girlfriend might be interested in modeling. They were down for it. I always try to find a real-life couple for these types of shoots when possible because they are comfortable with one another, and I look for intimacy and organic interactions with my work.

Tip: If you’re interested in your own styled shoot as a couple, do some scrolling through social media to look for model calls!

Rita: What do you most enjoy about doing these kinds of shoots?

The freedom to create! When I’m working with a client, I’m focused on providing them with the best experience possible and getting all the shots I know they need to tell the story of their day. Styled shoots are super low pressure and are just about collaboration, bringing ideas to life and trying new things.

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The author: rita

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.