Goblin Market Wedding

Goblin Market Wedding

Special thanks to Events by Merida’s very own Merida for crafting this treasure trove of words.

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is a dark fairytale, replete with small, tempting creatures, erotic phrasing, and a simple message:

Don’t eat strange fruit.

I’d been wanting to create this styled shoot for over a year, but I kept shelving it for various reasons. Finally, I sprung it on Chris of That Werks Photography– an incredibly talented photog out of the Art Factory in Paterson- with a, “this might seem weird…” His response?

“Count me in!”

I gathered some favorite vendors (and improv-ed a little) to bring my vision to life. A favorite MUA of Chris’s, Raen, came in to do the makeup, and she brought along two models from northern NJ, Rebecca and Natasha. A model I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the stars align on was able to come down for the shoot as well.

What never fails to astound me is the talent that these vendors bring to the table. Hair was by Jaimee of William Jean Salon, and she was also kind enough to loan us Maven, her darling mini-me, to be our “goblin”. She used the natural texture of Rebecca’s hair to create a gorgeous boho style, woven with greens. There was the same greenery in Natasha and Angeline’s hair. Fun coincidence: both Maven and Natasha have part of their heads shaved!

For makeup, I asked Raen for deep, rich colors on the lips. After that, I just let her go wild. Metallics came popping out on eyelids in addition to daring lip colors. The blue on Rebecca is probably my favorite, but I’ve always been a fan of dark lipsticks.

As for the “bouquets”, I wanted to do something slightly different. Lanterns have been in style for awhile as both centerpieces and to carry down the aisle (and pretty much everywhere in-between). I think they’re great for bouquets because they’re more natural to hold, and easier on the Person of Honor that has to hold two of them during the ceremony. I even managed to sneak some fruit in there with the candle!

Finally, the tablescape. Chris (the photographer) and I went out about a week before the shoot to take a look at locations in the park. The visitor center there does do receptions, FYI. However, we wanted it outdoors. What complicated things was that up until a few days before, it looked like it was going to rain! Luckily, we ended up having beautiful weather!

We came down a rather steep hill to an area by the Delaware that had a semi-circle of stone pavers. The backdrop was an island in the middle of the river. I initially planned a thick runner of eucalyptus or ferns, but I had so much moss that we covered the table in it. I dotted with the table with vintage (and vintage looking) pieces, and tons of fruit. We broke open a few pomegranates (and thankfully there were geeks abounding that got my Persephone jokes), and threw bundles of odd-looking grapes around to create a lush, but wild, feel.

When it came to create the dynamics of the group, I knew I wanted to have two women. It would have been disingenuous to the author to have it otherwise. Christina Rossetti’s work is complicated and influenced by many themes, but given the vivid imagery of her poetry, many people speculate that she was likely a closeted lesbian- which at the time, was the only way you could be a lesbian and not get into serious trouble. I knew we needed kids in the shoot to be the little folk, and I wanted a bridesmaid to bring together the colors of the shoot.

Dressing them was fun! BHLDN was kind enough to loan us two gorgeous dresses, and the bridesmaid’s dress was a burgundy convertible dress.

As for the cake- we shot this in the depth of wedding season, so all of the bakers are keeping up with their clients! This where some improv came in- and it’s a great DIY option. I found a pretty little buttercream cake at Wegman’s, and we surrounded it with greenery and fruit. I set the table up against a stone pillar overgrown with ivy- it seemed fitting for the theme, and I’m always a fan of using the elements around you. I used a scarlet tablecloth and hung copper twinkle lights behind the table to give it depth.

What was funny was as the girls were doing their cake cutting, a group of fishers came down to the river to join us! Apparently we interrupted their nightly routine. They were extremely kind as we finished up. It seemed like such a quaint ending to the shoot.

At the end of the day, all of the elements came together beautifully. I’m just glad we could do justice to Rossetti’s work.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed making them!

Merida Alexander
+1 215.527.5344
@eventsbymerida
As seen on: 
NBC Philadelphia, The Knot,
WeddingWire, Green Wedding Shoes,
Offbeat Bride, and Philly in Love
Styled Wedding by Events by Merida with photography by That Werks (Christopher John Sztybel)
Tate McRae “Pure Knit” Capezio photo and video shoot

Tate McRae “Pure Knit” Capezio photo and video shoot

Tate McRae “Pure Knit” FINAL CUT from That Werks on Vimeo.

There was one day I got to work with an amazing crew and talented dancer in a blowout extravaganza not only filming a dance video, but also doing a photo shoot on that very same day. We filmed the video with playback of Tate McRae’s original song “Hung Up On You” and choreography she came up with from scratch.

You can purchase the shoes featured in this content through the following link to Capezio’s web site.

Credits:

“Hung Up On You” – Music & Lyrics: Tate McRae
Choreography: Tate McRae
Artistic Director: Felicia Panchame
Cinematography & Post-Production: Christopher Sztybel
Executive Producer: Bernadette Vitale
Second camera: Alexa Werrlein
Grips: Lew Montalvo and Taheera Cochran
H/MU: Kelsey Harker
Special Thanks: Art Factory Studios

#CompletelyCAPEZIO #HungUpOnYou#tateXcapezio #CapezioFAMILY #capezio #thatwerks#thatwerksphotography #artfactorystudios #paterson#njphotographer #nyphotographer #dance #ballet#pointe

 

Tate McRae for Capezio photographed by Christopher John Sztybel of That Werks Photography
Tate McRae for Capezio photographed by Christopher John Sztybel of That Werks Photography
Exploring Wawayanda State Park

Exploring Wawayanda State Park

If you are looking for a vast location to explore then I’d recommend taking a trip to Wawayanda State Park in Sussex County. There are trails, an abandoned building that formerly made iron and a beautiful lake and beach. I went for a walk to unwind and I really was blown away by the textures I was finding at my feet. The sun was giving me brilliant shimmering sand and nice harsh shadows on the surrounding buildings. It’s a cool place to get some exercise and experience some peace of mind.

Exploring Wawayanda State Park

Brianne for Cleri Models

Brianne for Cleri Models

Here’s a fun shoot I did with Brianne from Cleri Models in the studio. I’ve been digging the Savage backdrops lately. They really are perfect for giving me the pop needed for modeling work. I like a nice crisp directional light, drop shadow and a vibrant backdrop and their seamless paper fits the bill for that aesthetic. We also employed a little bit of haze for the environment.

Location: The Art Factory
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Model: Brianne M. for Cleri Models
Hair & Makeup: Araena Sanchez
Assistant: Katie Aklian

To view more of my work and to book me please visit my photography web site.

Brianne for Cleri Models photographed by That Werks Photography at Art Factory Studios

Alchemy Mind & Body in Princeton, New Jersey

Alchemy Mind & Body in Princeton, New Jersey

There’s nothing quite like getting a call that a spa needs photographs. You know you’re in for a serene environment to work in and people who remain calm all day long unlike most of the workforce. I also got to use three of my favorite lenses for this shoot. The Iawoa 15mm, tilt-shift Nikon 24mm and Mamiya 55mm.

Here is what I did at Alchemy Mind & Body:

  • Breathed in
  • Breathed out
  • Took photos
  • Moved some lights
  • Drank some cucumber water
  • Flew the drone
  • Listened to soothing music
  • Walked down a path surrounded by bamboo

To view more of my work and to book me please visit my photography web site.

Alchemy Mind & Body in Princeton, New Jersey

Isabella for Cleri Models

Isabella for Cleri Models

We got some amazing natural light for quite a few of the images captured of Isabella for Cleri Models. Pockets of super golden sunlight poured in quite a few of the windows and Isabella managed to keep her eyes open without fail even with such bright conditions. Every time I have a session with someone I am looking to deliver new to satisfy the client and further my own style. There is always a new spin on an old technique to be found.

Model: Isabella from Cleri Models
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Hair and Makeup Artist: Araena Sanchez
Assistant: Katie Aklian

Isabella for Cleri Models photographed at Art Factory Studios