St. Louis photographer Ashley Gieseking was recently contacted by St. Louis Magazine Art Director Tom White about working on a bakery themed bridal shoot. Since Ashley is well-versed in food and lifestyle photography and has a great relationship with Pastry Chef Simone Faure, she happily accepted.
The concept was about how different food ingredients can be combined to make the perfect “marriage.” Think flowers, sugar, spices, etc. Each shot was meant to subtly convey this union.
The shoot took place at Simone’s bakery called La Patisserie Chouquette. Ashley knew she needed to work on location to have access to the necessary props and pastry items, but she didn’t want the pictures to feel too environmental or repetitive.
To tackle this problem, she created a few backdrops using a technique called “ice dying.” This process involved melting large quantities of ice sprinkled with fabric dye on top of huge pieces of fabric, which then drained into buckets. Although it’s similar to tie-dying, the process yields more organic patterns that form as the ice melts.
I think it added a modern feel to the shots and really suited the bakery theme. Unfortunately, I burned my skin off in the process, but hey… no pain no gain.
The shot list for the shoot day was a bit ambitious, so Ashley knew she needed to work fast. There were many shots to get through; plus it was October, so the days were shorter, and the location was going to kick Ashley and her assistant out at five.
When we hadn’t started the last and most complicated shot at four, we went into complete panic mode. Somehow we managed to get a camera 20 feet up to the ceiling and set the scene in less than 20 minutes. Crazy how things just work sometimes, it ended up being my favorite shot of the series.
In the end, Ashley and the client were very pleased with her pictures. Despite Ashley’s personal feelings about doing wedding styled shoots, she had a great time.
I’m not a wedding person AT ALL, so at first this project seemed like a mismatch or at least limited in how much I could connect with it, but the concept was great and it motivated me to bring it to life. I think these images fit right in with the rest of my work, despite the subject matter.
See more of Ashley at agieseking.com!