Brixton East 1871 - The rainbow photo shoot - Alternative wedding inspiration

The concept

Why rainbow? The rainbow signifies unity, the suns of the different energy. In this particular case it symbolises the fact that the choice in colour scheme in a wedding can be different, like the six different colours of the bridesmaids that we have. But ultimately, these six colours are there to help support the bride, or if you want it's the union of all the rainbow colours, that then produce white, the bride. I am particularly interested in holistic therapy like aromatherapy, and colour therapy. It's a complementary therapy dating back to ancient Egypt, China and India. A well-balanced body chakra is a healthy one. With a reference to the body chakra, the colour red relates to the base, the core. Yellow is the plexus, green the heart, blue the throat, indigo the head (sometimes referred to as the third eye), and violet is the crown chakra. “When thinking of the "Rainbow Shoot", we (Lauren from FrenchMade and myself) wanted to give it a deeper meaning, another dimension, not just a collection of pretty colours. The idea was to have bridesmaids in six different colours. They all presented a gift to the bride. We decided to use these colours, red, orange, yellow. We decided to use these colours, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, blue  and white.

Meaning of the colours

Red is associated with rose essential oil, which decreases tiredness. Orange is an aphrodisiac. Yellow (lemon) is a booster. We chose rosemary for Green which elevates mental activities and cornflower for Blue, which is refreshing and a skin toner. Purple (Lavender) has calming properties. The white is Jasmine which is uplifting and invigorating.’ I asked the rest of the team to give me a feedback about this project. This is what they had to say. Each supplier was allocated with one or two colours.

Lesa from I Heart Buttons

She had the green and white. "After reading the design brief my green bouquet was created using shades of green along with glass and bakelite vintage buttons.  It was finished off using artificial rosemary. The white/cream bouquet was made in a vintage style finished off with a beautiful lace collar and a stunning brooch centrepiece."

Cathy from the Origami boutique

"I got assigned the colours purple and blue. Immediately I knew I wanted to do a paper flower backdrop. To contrast with the oversized backdrop of flowers, I made small roses for the purple bridesmaid jewellery. In the blue theme as the backdrop was quite simple, flowing ribbons of paper that made the scene quite playful I decided to go a bit OTT with the hanging bouquet. The whole result is amazing and Lauren's idea combined with Paola's artistic eye makes it a pleasure to collaborate with everyone."

Lou from Beyond vintage

The stationery for the shoot was created using watercolour and resistance technique. Taking the colour inspiration from the third eye chakra starting with an indigo and blending through to the violet of the crown chakra. I loved the spiritual undertone of the shoot, tying in the rainbow colours to the 7 chakras was such a nice twist and a unique touch, I'd have loved to have used this in my own wedding and hope brides can take inspiration from what the team put together.

The girls at Team Glam make-up

The idea of a rainbow as the inspiration for the shoot was very exciting from both hair and make-up perspective as it gave us the opportunity to get really creative with colour. As we thought about the brief of using both bright and pastel shades in each tableau, we decided that elements of the work should display a sense of ‘Avant-Garde’  especially in the orange and the green, where no head-dress was being used and the hair and make-up would be the main focus. For the make-up, our artists used techniques of contouring and highlighting:  lightly blended shades of pastel through to strong with an occasional pop of bright colour for contrast and definition. The striking  ‘Ombre’ lips and brows on the blue and green model were created using M.A.C colour pigments and shade sticks, and the illuminated skin effect on the ivory model was created by mixing M.A.C. Strobe Cream to the foundation. For the hair, our stylists incorporated some brightly coloured hair weft to create a flash of pigment and add texture and movement to the styling. In the orange, green and ivory models we also added foundation padding to create some fun and interesting shapes. On the green model we introduced a contrast of textures from high shine to matt, which was achieved using a crimping iron.

Myriam from La Dame au beret

"The shoot took place in early Spring and Lauren and Paola’s visions made me think of a communion between women and Mother Nature - like the rebirth of femininity and nature, glowing under the warm sunlight. I imagined the brides and bridesmaids as beautiful flowers in full bloom. I was asked for two headpieces - the blue one is a burst of buds and petals, made of tulle and netting, vintage flowers and a feathered butterfly; As for the bride’s headdress, I used some antique sequined textile, which is embellished with roses, vintage ribbons and veiling, in different shades of ivory.

Melissa from The sweet Hostess

For the mint background we used clusters of mint paper tissue fans, tissue bunting and large honeycomb balls scattered on the floor to create more impact. For the peach backdrop we wanted to create something more subtle and let our amazing model shine. So we used an ivory sequin backdrop which just added a little bit of shimmer. We went for clear balloons with peach coloured tissue confetti along with some tassel garlands. For the red backdrop we wanted something a little bit more vibrant so we went for a bright red sequin backdrop which contrasted nicely with our model’s dress.

Lau from French Made

The dessert table also reflected both the chosen colours and their meaning. It displayed a selection of homemade jams and cakes such as lemon curd and tartlets and orange marmalade. I also created 2 white wedding cakes which were decorated with lace and ribbon to match our bride.

Emma from Ladybird

The second I heard from Lau and heard that we were working on a rainbow shoot, I couldn't wait to get colour creative!  We decided that red and yellow would work best with fresh flowers and so I created a bright floral head crown and bouquets for both.  For the yellow model we decided to push the boundaries even more with popping lemons in the head crown which I think looked very effective, fresh and juicy!  For the red model I wanted to create an ombre style crown, with a larger wild bouquet.

Loz from Loz Morgan Films

To do justice to the rainbow theme and to encompass the essential details of the day's shoot, a creative approach to the filming was required. In order to reflect the vibe and atmosphere, preconceived ideas and an array of technical equipment were quickly abandoned, in favour of more natural, organic, free-flowing techniques. The footage was then shot hand held from a variety of non-traditional angles. Refreshing colours and the energy of the shoot demanded that the next stage, being the editing, would be dynamic and innovative. The challenge was to unify the beauty of the images of all seven models. Having chosen an upbeat sound track to reflect the energising mood, I was inspired to craft, cut and blend the images into an explosive extravaganza. After effects and editing techniques, such as overlaying and multiple exposures, were utilised to achieve contrast, richness and depth. Then followed the painstaking process of matching the visual movement to the musical rhythms and beats. As an oil painting is created on canvas by many incessant strokes of the artist's brush, so this film was polished over and over again to eventually achieve the final edit.

This shoot was featured in Rock ’n Roll Bride 

To view the video click here

Visit this page to see more pictures


Photos: Paola De Paola Photography

Video: Loz Morgan Films

Cakes and Coordination: frenchmade

Styling and Stationery: Beyond Vintage

Bride's Dress: Olwen Bourke Studio

Bridesmaids dresses: Maids to Measure

Headpieces: La dame au béret - Millinery

Hair & Make Up: Team-Glam

Shoes: ART and SOLE: Custom Painted Shoes

Props: The Sweet Hostess

Button Bouquets: I Heart Buttons Bouquets

Flowers: Ladybird

Paper Backdrops and Origami: The Origami Boutique

Venue: Brixton East 1871

Models: Sarah Rayner, Ruby Lorcan, Ruby Fortune, Rachael Ashton, Kitty Devereux, Lucy Lorraine Scarfe, Frances Lane