Planning a three-week trip to Europe, as a wedding photographer, has some perks. For Canadian photographer, Kristyn Harder, it was about making a childhood dream come true. She set out to use the renowned city of love, Paris, as her backdrop for a classic and romantic anniversary styled shoot with designer Alvina Valenta as the focal point. Creating a magical photo session and trip to Paris with love in Alvina Valenta!
Styling of an Anniversary Photo Shoot
Kristyn’s home is Calgary, a beautiful Canadian city with the Rocky Mountains close by. While Calgary has amazing parks, rivers and majestic mountains, she still has visions for destination shoots to fulfill her passion for travel, photography and meeting new people. As Kristyn began making her return travel plans to France, she knew she wanted to cross this city off her “must do” for a bridal shoot. Fate took over as she began coordinating. An email from the brand manager of designer Alvina Valenta appeared in her inbox. As admirers of her work, the company suggested loaning a gown for her inspiration shoot. From there, the story came to life.
Coordinating with top wedding stylists in Paris, Kristyn secured a partnership with Allison of Modern Beauties. They then booked a real couple for their modeling needs, Izabella and JD. Married just one year ago and celebrating their first anniversary, this couple is also Canadian – just three hours away from her hometown and now living in Paris.
JD, who is studying at the local University, and his wife, took the team to many beautiful locations throughout Paris and around the Eiffel Tower. Izabella helped speak to the locals and translated for Kristyn, making communication much easier to achieve her look.
Macaroon Wedding Trend
They found a sweet little patisserie shop selling macaroons that they incorporated into the jewelry shots. Traditionally French-inspired, macaroons, especially pastels, are high on trend for weddings today. These popular desserts are beautifully colored and melt in your mouth with endless uses for your dream day. Think escort cardholders, cake décor, favors or great additions to the dessert table. In this styled shoot, the colorful treats became essential ingredients for to showcase the rings.
Kristyn also found a local floral shop where she selected the flowers and colors to be used in the shoot. She designed the bouquet herself picking out bold, fall colors that would pop against the ivory of the Alvina Valenta gown.
JLM Couture’s Alvina Valenta
Alvina Valenta, a JLM Couture label, consists of designs that evoke iconic elegance, dreamy romance, chic modernity and sensual, vintage-inspired glamour. The designer believes in awakening a sense of magic through layers of luxurious details, creating gowns that speak to a bride’s individual personality, story and dreams.
This particular Alvina Valenta gown is Style AV9503 in an opulent Ivory/Cashmere color. The skirt is a full tulle ball gown silhouette with a jaw-dropping embroidered and beaded bodice that moves into a natural waistline. But, it is the jewelry inspired cap sleeves that are accented by beaded chandelier strands draping over the shoulder and moving into a sheer jeweled T-back that gives any bride wearing this beauty a 360-degree view for her guests! Brides-to-be can revel in the joy of the eternal appeal this gown exudes. Certainly — the perfect romantic gown and focal point for this Paris shoot.
Fun in Paris
For a bit of whimsical appeal, Kristyn added an adorable white bunny, ice cream cones and a carousel to an already beautiful backdrop. She was able to accomplish her dream in a small amount of time, before sunset – traveling in and out of cabs, running down the paths by the Eiffel Tower, all while avoiding tourists being in her shots.
Destination Wedding Photographer
Fast-forward to today, Kristyn is back in Calgary busy with the wedding season. Her goal is to establish herself as a destination-wedding photographer, challenging herself to find beautiful new places to do what she loves the most – telling couple’s love story through her images.