Chelsey + Tanner | Styled Shoot at Vulture Culture at the Factory
I have a fascination with forgotten things. I think on some level, we all do. So many questions run through my mind. Passing vacant houses on the street. Who lived there? Where are they now? Are they happy? Purchasing old items at the flea market: Did someone treasure this? How did it come to be sold next to dusty Raggedy Ann memorabilia and Nascar coffee mugs, three for a dollar. Driving past abandoned factories. What did they make there? How many people supported their families while working inside those walls? Why did they shut down? Even as I sit and type this at my thrift store desk, painted blue and given new life by my husband and I - I wonder about it's former owner. Were there endless nights of studying done by lamplight at this desk? Or did it set in a corner, covered in newspapers and tv guides? Perhaps I'm drawn to these items because these things, these forgotten things, seem to tangibly connect us to the past. And there's beauty in that.
So when my friend Angie of Ead's Vision by Angie reached out and asked if would be interested in putting together a couple little shoots of our own at this really cool old factory in Muncie, I was immediately onboard! Right away images of a bride and groom popped into my head. The striking difference between the delicate beauty of a wedding dress mixed with the raw allure of an abandoned factory - it needed to happen. I reached out for models and was pleasantly surprised at what an incredible response I received. But Chelsey and Tanner's story caught my attention. I won't go into detail, but as soon as I read Chelsey's message I knew in my heart that she was the bride I had envisioned when Angie first asked me about this shoot. Chelsey and Tanner were perfect for this!
As we pulled up to Vulture Culture at the Factory I grinned ear to ear when I saw someone's Honda motorcycle parked in the empty lot. But as soon as I stepped out of the car and through the open garage style door into the factory, my jaw dropped. Natural light pours in unapologetically through clear and molasses colored windows and across cement floors. On the other side of the weed filled parking lot, another structure - this one missing an entire wall and a it's doors - is covered in the most amazing multicolored tile I've ever seen. It is a beautiful ghost of something from before. And I loved it instantly.
The owners of Vulture Culture at the Factory only add to it's amazing vibe. Michelle and Steven warmly greeted Angie, myself and the whole crew, and welcomed us with huge smiles and excitement. As we chatted I learned that they own several businesses and bought the factory a few months ago to have a hub spot of sorts for their endeavors. Some of those businesses include Vulture Culture Vintage and Super Mannequin. (Please do yourselves a huge favor and go check them out!) They are down to earth and easy going, while also being really excited about all of the creative possibilities their new space holds. Seriously people, these two are fantastic and so great to work with!
We wasted no time getting set up so that we could start shooting! Angie took her two models to the far building while I started with Chelsey and Tanner in the main building. One of my favorite things about this session was that it paid tribute to their actual wedding in many ways. One of those ways was that Chelsey's hair and makeup artist for her wedding was our shared friend, Sharon Zimmer of Medusa Hair Design. Sharon offered to do Chelsey's hair and makeup and my goodness - she hit it out of the park! Chelsey was stunning as always and Tanner looked as dapper as can be, right down to his awesome wooden bowtie. Chelsey carried a handmade bouquet with her grandmother's brooch pinned to the front. Another family brooch could be found on Tanner's boutonnière. Their wedding colors of maroon, gold and navy wove in and out of the session.
As the session went on I pulled my camera into focus on Chelsey and Tanner. Standing facing one another, bathed in the gorgeous afternoon light pouring in the windows, Tanner said something to make Chelsey laugh. A smile trickled across her face and she buried her nose in his chest, just beneath his beard, her arms wrapped around his waist. They were just shy of six months of marriage as they stood there, but in that moment -they were newlyweds. What Tanner and Chelsey don't know is that I had noticed them before. They have been guests at two weddings I photographed this summer and I'd seen them dancing together during both receptions. Laser focused on one another, totally in the moment and so in love. Being able to truly capture the connection they have was something I consider to be an honor. These two have a love that is magic and I am so happy they allowed me to photograph it.
*Full vendor list below*
- Location: Vulture Culture at the Factory
- Hair and Makeup: Sharon Zimmer
- Models: Chelsey and Tanner Sizemore
- Concept: Angie Eads and Alison Stevenson
- Decor: Angie Eads and Alison Stevenson
- Dress: David's Bridal
- Her Shoes: Maurice's
- Headpiece: Charming Charlie
- Necklace: Charming Charlie
- Small Pearl Bracelet - Chelsey's Great Grandmothers
- Broaches- Both from Chelsey's Grandmother
- Rings: His - Kay Jewelers, Hers - Neil Lane
- His Bow Tie- Amazon
- His Shoes: Nunn Bush
- Pants- Apt9
- Shirt- Strafford
- Vest- J.Ferrar