Brisbane, Australia wedding shoot in honor of Pulse Nightclub
From hair and makeup artist, Brenna Drury: On June 12, 2016 I was in Brisbane, Australia. I had been traveling since December, 2015 after leaving all of my friends and family in NYC. Since I was bouncing around to different cities, I was having trouble fitting in to a new LGBT community. When I heard about the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, I felt particularly alone. I was in complete disbelief that something so devastating could happen in the country I’m so proud to call home. All I wanted was to be there, helping out in any way I could. To be honest, a long hug from someone would have been nice too. That week, I attended the Pulse Vigil in Brisbane and I found it extremely comforting to be surrounded by hundreds of people who shared my pain and still had so much pride. It truly really inspired me.
My job as a Freelance Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist provides me the opportunity to inspire woman (+ men) to feel accepted and confident in their skin. This is what makes me happy. To give back the best way I know how, I wanted to use this photo shoot to represent the LGBT community of Brisbane and their fight for marriage equality, worldwide pride, femmes, love, and the victims of Pulse, who had their lives stolen from them doing what made them happy.
I previously worked with dress designer, Lisa Grace, on my last project, a NYC-themed Bridal photoshoot. Because of the amazing job she did, it was an obvious choice to reach out to her. We decided together that our goal was to portray modern brides with a love for fashion, accessorizing, and being feminine but with an edge. As she explains here, “I aimed to change the traditional rules of dress design from just cleavage or just legs as focal points of the gown. I achieved this by creating one high neck full-length gown which would then be complemented by the counter dress being the v-neck gown with the white tulle over the short black dress. This concept, although out of the traditional rules, allows balance, form, and contemporary style aesthetics. These gowns were designed with the photo shoot in mind; just like the topical relationship of same-sex couples my dresses aim to evoke conversation and show that no matter how different your ideas, beliefs or designs maybe if you bring balance, harmony and passion anything is possible.”
After seeing Lisa’s designs, our photographer Renee Heit, “immediately imagined an inner city location with natural light, lots of shadowing, and rough textured backgrounds that would highlight the femininity of the dresses.” From there, we quickly decided on the Fortitude Valley location. The exposed brick, industrial, gritty alleys, and roof tops reminded me of Brooklyn and I loved it.Although we had not worked together before I liked Renee’s style and ideas immediately.
For each bride that sits in my chair, I strive to enhance her natural beauty while keeping a creative edge. Along with creating a look that fits their personality, considering all locations, colors, and themes is crucial to achieving balanced wedding images. We were lucky to have a beautiful couple Ashleigh Hughes and Amy Totham who were willing to model for our shoot and were the final piece of the puzzle in bringing everything together!
With the beautiful design and styling in the back of Ashleigh’s dress I chose a sleek, low, centered bun with volume and some texture. For makeup, I decided to accentuate her beautiful brown eyes with black smoky eyes. I added light contouring, soft blush, and finished with a nude gloss. Inspired by the flowy tulle on Amy’s dress and her pretty, long hair, I chose to go with uniformed, side swept waves, allowing the wind mess them up a bit. Since she has light eyes like myself, I used one of my favorite techniques to make them pop by adding contrast with a heavy, black, winged liner, and lashes for days. Generally, Amy wears minimal makeup so I kept the shadow under her eyes soft, blushed her cheeks, and applied a tinted lip balm.
The opportunity to collaborate with such a talented crew of woman on the other side of the world, was an extremely empowering experience. As Renee put it, “our styles ended up complimenting each other so well I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing team of creatives to work with”. I couldn’t agree more. After this photo shoot, I am eager to arrive back in NYC to rejoin my fellow LGBT community and continue to share my visions and support within my own country.