Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Styling: Jami Leavitt Photography, Wedding Show Booth

Jami Leavitt is a Tulsa based photographer. You may have heard her name before, not only is she one of the most popular photographers at Weddings of Tulsa, but she took the casual portraits of me as well as the Christmas still life pics that are on this blog...she contacted me and said, "Why don't you let me take your picture? I mean, you have a life style blog about you and your house, and you don't have any pictures of you or your house on it, right?" Right. And she exceeded my expectations for the photographs that she took of me for Commona-my House.  She specializes in weddings.  She is amazingly creative and she's a doll.

Jami approached me about helping her put together her booth for a HUGE Wedding/Bridal Show that was happening at an arena in the Tulsa area a couple of weekends ago. She had an idea of what she wanted to do, but needed a partner in crime, if you will, to help her pull it all off.  So, I signed on as her stylist/creative consultant/the-person-lifting-the-other-end-of-the-table, and we had about 3 weeks to get things figured out and a small but reasonable budget to work from.

So, obviously, I'm not sharing this for just 'would-be' photographers and their wedding show booths, I'm sharing it with you to show you that whatever your design project may be, a living room, a bedroom, a party reception...and yes, a photography booth, you can achieve your look by following this step by step approach.

Jami and I discussed a few things over the phone and then met together, and started pinning ideas of things that would be our "inspiration" pieces {in order to get a feel for a style, color scheme, direction}. Jami kept in mind the feel and colors that she has in her logo {see above}.
Cream, yellow, gray.
Cream, Yellow and Gray bouquet = Lovely

All Neutral Dress
Sweet cream and embelished discs dress= Feminine, quirky  layers.
bmaid dress and simple bouquet
Gold, gray, yellow, burlap, geo designs= CLASSIC
Rustic headboard, mustard, gray accents and  again
with the reflective circles {chandelier}= clean rustic
Step 2: Gather core elements 
To create a sort of living room area, we gathered items from a thrift store shopping trip and what we both have in our homes in order to recreate the Rustic Feminine Vintage {Gray, Cream and Mustard} look Jami had decided on.  In this stage it's pretty important to get the main pieces/elements bolted down. If you have to make any changes to your design scheme due to not being able to find things and substitutions, then that will dictate which direction you go in. For example, we were able to use a few of my own pieces, which dictated a more rustic, vintage look, so that is the direction that we headed in. BEWARE: just because we settled on gray, cream and yellow color scheme doesn't mean that anything gray, cream or yellow would work...lots of people make this mistake in decorating...oh my colors are turquoise and rust, so anything that is turquoise and rust will work...not so. Just because something is 'the right color' doesn't mean that it is THE RIGHT STYLE. Keep that in mind, just saying.
Gray chair, similar to one I have in my home that she could use for the day.
put photos in frame/w/burlap use as tray on large coffee table
Vintage window, purchased from thrift store. 
my old door coffee table
Rustic {enormous} coffee table I have and will lend for the day.

Tolix® Marais A Chair (1934 - France) ... My new kitchen nook dining chairs!
Tolix chairs, to break up the woods and painted pieces , but still keep vibe Vintage.
Mine that she could use for the day.

for biz card display?
Simple cake stand works with WEDDING SHOW THEME,
for displaying her business cards.
gray painted sofa table
Gray buffett/sofa table, purchased from Thrift Store.
metal cart/ cream! The cream one we found is PERFECT!
Vintage cart in gray or cream= another functional vintage element,
useful for sign in, business cards, etc. 
Fresh yellow flowers= pop of freshness and color
Vintage Camera = Perfect Prop
Step 3: Create
Jami needed a backdrop.  The wedding show organizers had offered to provide black sheeting to hang from rods for a $25 fee, but Jami had her own 9' high rods, and decided to go for it with a feminine fabric backdrop.
cream muslin and gold dot strands
We both fell in love with the idea of hanging torn strips of muslin to the rods and adding a layer of gold paper dots over the muslin. Muslin was marked down to $2 per yard and the space was 9' high,  10' wide, so she purchased  9 yards of muslin, knowing that the affect would spread the strips out a bit. And she spent less than what her alternative black fabric rental would have been at $25.
We thought there needed to be a design element on the floor. This would add a pop of pattern and color, as well as lead people into walking around the booth, getting up close to Jami's photography. Rugs were pretty much out of the budget, so I came up with a MAT option to achieve the look of a rug.

The result:
The day before the big day came! We got to get in to set up the space for a few hours the night before the wedding show and we had so much fun putting our layers together in order to achieve the look that Jami had wanted. We made the decision not to hang the gold circles with the muslin strips because it was just too busy with the other accessories going on. If we had cut back on accessories then the gold circles would have been fabulous...but just like with accessorizing an outfit, sometimes you have to choose one or the other.
Obviously, we wanted Jami's photography to stand out, and be the main attraction at her booth, but by creating a warm, friendly area, we invited potential clients in to meet Jami and feel her creative vibe, getting to know her through the space that represented her at the show.

For more on my DIY Mat, click here!
Photo: Such a fun afternoon!!  So proud of Photography by Jami Leavitt!!!
Jami, center, with her two assistants, during the wedding show.
And we had a fantastic time...she was Lucy, I was Ethel...or maybe we were Laverne and Shirley, either way, we achieved the look she was going for and it was a successful show for her, helping her continue to build her presence here in Tulsa and make her mark in the wedding photography market.


  1. So fun! You both did a great job! Love you both!

  2. I am sure this booth attracted so many brides to come in and check out Jami's amazing photography. It wouldn't surprise me if they wanted you to design their weddings as well.

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