80s Inspired Fashion Shoot with Tori Radday

I have been traveling a lot... I mean a lot. Between Michigan, Richmond, vacation, and all work trips I have barely spent more than 10 days in one spot.  Between weddings and engagement shoots I have barely have had time to do some fashion blogger/content creating shoots. Not to mention that this constant travel has caused me to be a under the weather. Oh yeah, and I'm moving. What a fun time!

Thankfully I mustarded up the strength to go out and shoot with Tori Radday on Sunday. I fly back to Michigan on Wednesday so I wanted to make sure to shoot with her before I leave. I had her meet me at the new place off of Cary. We shot two different outfits around Carytown.

Below are photos of her second outfit. 

 

What to do at the Jersey Shore

Every year my boyfriend's family holds a family reunion in Seaside Park, New Jersey aka the Jersey Shore. When I first heard that we would be going on vacation to the shore, I immediately thought of GYM, TAN, LAUNDRY. To be fair,  most people in their mid to late twenties associate the Jersey Shore with the classic MTV show featuring the not so classy, party lifestyle. 

My experience was nothing like the TV show. In fact, the whole TV show takes place within a few blocks of Seaside Heights, which is a particularly trash part of the boardwalk. Just a quick bike ride south you'll hit Seaside Park. This is where we stayed. The beach was amazing. The sand was so soft and it was full New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians escaping the work week, sans blinged out t-shirts and blowouts. 

Here are somethings I would highly suggest doing if you are a blogger, Instagram lover, or just looking for new things to try:

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1. Walk along boardwalk

When you think of the boardwalk, you immediately think of games and shops. However, keep going south and you'll hit the boardwalk along the beach. I went for a run the first morning we were there and was taken back by how beautiful the morning sky looked. I highly suggest running (or walking) down the boardwalk bright and early. The temperature is cool enough to run or walk comfortably, plus there aren't a lot of people out. This photo was taken at about 6:30am. The light was so soft and I had to stop running just to take a picture.

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2. Hit up Park Bakery for breakfast sandwiches

After I went for a run down the boardwalk I was starving. Nick, my boyfriend, and I went to Park Bakery to pick up breakfast for the family. This place is tiny and gets packed in the morning so be ready to get close to other people. Their breakfast sandwiches are great. I got the sausage, egg, and cheese on a homemade everything bagel for $6. This filled me up the whole day. If you're more in the mood for a sweet breakfast, well it will take you 10 minutes to decide from all of their donuts, cinnamon rolls, and trays of pastries. 

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3. Lay out on the beach

Seaside Park had one of the prettiest beaches I've ever been too. There is so much soft sand that no one is really cramped together. You do need a beach pass to get on the beach. They have booths next to every access point to the beach so you don't have to go anywhere special to get it. Since the house we rented came with annual passes, we just had to clip them on our beach bag.

 The water was cold when you first stepped into it, but after five minutes you'll be good and it feels more refreshing than cold. When you go to the Jersey Shore or any beachy vacation, you need to remember you'll be on the beach most of the time. Get a new book, buy sunscreen, bring lots of water, and don't forget the beach chairs. It's time to relax. They do not allow alcohol on the beach and do check coolers (unfortunately). 

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4. Go to Beach Culture for lunch

Beach Culture is just down the street from Park Bakery and right next to Surf Taco. I can say I was mildly addicted to their Acai (AH - SA EYE - EEE) bowls. Fun fact: Get a punch card there the first day you go. This is great, especially if you have a big group that you can hand it off to. I got the BC bowl for breakfast/lunch four out of the seven days we were there. Not only did this taste fantastic, but their cold brew coffee was great too. They also have regular style smoothies, tea, and kombucha. Not to mention... how cute are these bowls?! Perfect for Intsagram

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5. Explore the shops in Seaside Heights

On the boardwalk in between the trashy t-shirt stores and psychic readers you will find some cute stores. For example, this store front was adorable and caught my eye. This was Lucky Leo's Sweet Shop which had a whole wall full of saltwater taffy. I ended up buying a whole box to bring home to my mom and dad as a gift. Not in the mood for a whole box? Each piece is only fifty cents. 

B & B is another popular clothing destination. There is one in Seaside Park and I believe the other is in Seaside Heights, but I could be wrong. When I was told about the local "B & B" I was pretty skeptical. I was pretty shocked to find that they actually had cute clothes! Not cheap, but cute!

Shopping not your thing? The people watching on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights is pretty.... unique.

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6. Grab a quick drink at Playa bowls

Can you tell I was on a smoothie kick my week at the shore? This is because they were SO GOOD. Playa bowls is located on the southern end of the board walk. It's cute, pop-up-like stand is right off the beach and no pants are required. I had the strawberry banana smoothie and it was very good. I would love to try the waffles or any of their bowls next time I am at the shore. There is definitely something for everyone at this stand. 

Check out there website and full menu here.

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7. Go to the beach during sunset

Every night, without fail, the sunsets at the Jersey Shore were amazing. Pinks, purples, and oranges always filled the sky. I've never seen such consistency with pastel colors. After 6pm you do not need to have a beach pass to walk along the beach. The beach clears out and just a few people remain around 7:00pm. Grab your significant other, a beach blanket, and a water bottle full of whatever liquid you want... hint hint... and just enjoy yourself. The most relaxing part of this whole trip was when Nick and I would walk along the water at sunset. It's truly an amazing site every night. The sun sets on the bay side of the island, but I highly suggest staying on the ocean side. This way you'll get nice, soft photos without the harshness of the light.

 

Overall the Jersey Shore was NOTHING like what I expected. I went in expecting Guidos and bumpits, but experienced smoothies and sunsets. I would highly suggest renting out a house in Seaside heights with family or friends. It was definitely must for anyone looking for a low key, stress free vacation.

 

 

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Metro Detroit Engagement Shoot

Photographers worst nightmare: thunder and lightening an hour before your 8am shoot is scheduled. 

Yup. I would be lying if I didn't say that I was kind of nervous for this shoot. It was scheduled at 8am at the Ford Yacht Club on Grosse Ile in Michigan. At about 5am and then again at 6am I woke up from the sound of thunder roaring through my window. Great.

As I got up and looked out side, I noticed that the ground was soaked. So Great. Well... it's time like this where you really become a professional photographer and you just have to make it work. The rain stopped, but became this misty wetness in the air, aka a hair nightmare. Good lighting is everything... or so they say. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

It worked. I met Erica and Terry shortly after 8am and the rain had (for the most part) stopped. We immediately starting shooting at the beach front of the Ford Yacht Club. Cute Fact: Erica and Terry met here, so it is a very symbolic place for them. I love when couples add their own personal touches like this to the engagement shoots. There are no signs or props, but just a place. This to me is the best way to really love and connect with your photos. Can you tell I'm not a fan of props?

Fun BTS (Behind the Scenes) fact #1: It was almost rained out. Fun BTS Fact #2: There was Goose poop everywhere. When I say everywhere. I mean e v e r y w h e r e. Romantic, right? As Erica and Terry got into their first outfits I went over to the beach and literally moved sand around with my feet to clear a spot for them to stand and move a little bit. You don't see it in the photos because that is editing magic. Big props to Erica and Terry for being such troopers. Without their good humor and spirits, this would have been a lot harder. New Lightroom ad campaign: Remove Goose Poop and Much, Much More! New RD Photography campaign: I literally will remove Goose Shit for you.

Anyway, back to the not-so-gross stuff. Erica and Terry's beach outfit is a great example of how you can still wear patterns in photos as long as both outfits are cohesive. I absolutely hate photos where everyone is wearing khaki pants and a white tee shirt. You do not have to match completely. The colors just need to work together.

This is also a great example of using your space. GET CREATIVE. This space was not big. The beach itself was only about 15 feet wide. So minus the goose poop area, we only had about 4 feet to work with. As a photographer, move around your subjects. Take it from all different angles to add variety to the shots. This makes 4ft radius sans goose poop look bigger and more interesting. We moved over again and I had them stand on a rock because it was the only part not covered in poop. IT WORKS. The best part of digital photography is that you can take a lot of photos and just delete the ones that don't work. 

Overall, this shoot challenged me to be creative and work with what I've got. This is the key to all photo shoots and it's great to have this struggle every now and then to remember how to adapt. If I can do it, you can too.

Retro Summer Shoot with Tori Radday

I finally took a break from editing all of my weddings and engagement images to do a shoot with Tori Radday. Tori and I have been working together for a while now and she is always one of my favorite people to photograph. As a blogger, you really should know the importance of good photography. If you want to make your blog look profession, it has to have quality images. 

Tori and I work together once or twice a month doing about 2 or 3 outfits every time. This is a great way to optimize time and your money with a photographer. She also switches out different glasses for looks which really creates a nice diversity in her Instagram posts while wearing the same outfit.

This is one of my favorite looks she has done. It is such a retro and frankly, a much more sexy look, than I am used to shooting. She rocks it too. I always say my job would be too shoot for Free People or Urban... or really any female-based brand. I think these last few images really show that off. 

 

Model/Stylist - Tori Radday

Photographer - Me! Rachel Dwyer

 

Michelle and Kevin's Windsor, Ontario Engagement Shoot

This was my first international (if you can call it that? My mom is from Canada. When I'm back on Grosse Ile, we go all of the time. International sounds fancy, so I'm going to use it... but honestly I think most people assume that I mean far away, when I mean 35 minutes from my parent's house in the USA) photoshoot. I have known Michelle for a while now. I used to go to Canada to get my hair cut and colored because she did a great job and charged the right price. She moved to Toronto a few years ago and studied hair and makeup at a really well known school. She works on TV shows, weddings, and anything you can think of that needs hair or makeup. 

It is so easy to shoot a couple that is passionately in love. Michelle lives in Toronto and Kevin lives somewhere in Indiana. It's notable feature is that it is an hour away from Chicago. Just kidding, I'm sure it has other notable features... But I was very impressed by Kevin. He owns two (or three?) stores that create hearing aids. He also works for the corporate office in Phoenix. So basically he lives on a plane between Indiana and Phoenix, Phoenix and Toronto, Toronto and Indiana. Because of this, Michelle and Kevin don't get to see each other as half as much as they want to.

Michelle drove in from Toronto for this shoot and Kevin flew in from Phoenix the night before. I'm so honored to have photographed this shoot after all of the traveling to make it happen. Michelle grew up in Windsor and wanted to go to Reaume Park. I had never been and the gardens were amazing. We got there around 6:30/7pm and the lighting was perfect. This a great place and it's FREE! It's a public park and absolutely beautiful. 

Next we went to Riverside and Parent streets and pulled into the park there to get the photos of the Detroit skyline at sunset. This is kind of a special picture features both an American and a Canadian, while standing on Canadian soil before they get married and move over to the US. 

Location: Windsor, Ontario

Couple: Michelle and Kevin

Photographer: ME! Rachel Dwyer

 

Boho Inspired Fashion Shoot

After my trip to Georgia and Michigan, I got together with Richmond's own Tori Radday. When she first sent me a picture of this dress, I immediately thought of this pink... I want to say barn door? but that's not right.. this big pink door, whatever its nature may be. After taking some full length shots at this location we just walked around Church Hill, RVA. 

Pro tip for bloggers: Same outfit, different glasses or accessories. This can go a long way in creating diversity throughout your shoot, especially if you only get one outfit with the photographer. Photos are expensive, so make all of them count! This little bit of variety is great for Instagram feeds. They change just enough to make the photos new and interesting. Another great tip is to scout out a few different locations within walking distance. Changing the background and accessories can make it look like a whole new outfit or a completely different day in which you shot this "new" look.

 

Model: Tori Radday

Photographer: Me! Rachel Dwyer

 

Editorial at High School

On Memorial Day weekend I went home to visit my parents on Grosse Ile. I reached out to Alba (Instagram - @albaslyf) via Instagram to see if she wanted to collaborate on a shoot while I was there. She was down and we decided to meet up at my old high school. Lately I've been feeling very uninspired and feeling like my shoots have been very similar. The only images that I could find that I found interesting were at a tennis court. I'm not usually one for chainlink fences, but I'm very happy with the results.

I graduated from this high school in 2008 and I really haven't been to the property since. I'm happy to see that not much has changed and that I was able to remember where to go for these separate locations. With such a sporty location, we wanted to go for more a relaxed look. We did not want to use gym clothes, but we wanted the attire to look appropriate in the location. Alba woke up early and ran to Target and bought the clothes. She kept the tags on so she could return them after. LOL

I had originally planned the shoot to be around 9:30am, but it didn't start until about 11:00am. This made it extremely difficult to shoot. The light was almost directly above us so I had to make sure she was turned away from the light in a lot of the photos to get the right lighting. Always shoot in the morning or at night. Even 11:00am in late May is too harsh. (Yeah, I know, I can put the model in the shadows, but it's way more fun to play with the light)

  • Location: Grosse Ile High School
  • Model: Abla 
    • Instagram - @Albaslyf
    • Gmail - albaslyf@gmail.com
  • Photographer: Me! Rachel Dwyer
    • Instagram - @rrrachel08
    • Website - www.racheldwyer-photography.com
    • Gmail - rrracheldwyer@gmail.com
  • Clothing: Target
    • Website: www.target.com

 

Valentine's Day Fashion Blog Shoot with LiveAmongChic

So I know Valentine's Day was... well let's see here, 3 months ago? Oh well, better late than never.

Here are the photos from a shoot with LiveAmongChic. I work with them to provide content for their website, blog, and social media pages. Sun and Selene provided pieces of their jewelry to be featured. 

Sun & Selene Instagram - @sunandselene

LiveAmongChic Instagram - @liveamongchic

Rachel Dwyer Photography - @rrrachel08

Tropical Editorial Shoot with Tori Radday

It is almost June and that means summer shoots are in full swing. I absolutely love this look styled by Tori Radday. Her use of color, texture, and pattern is always a joy to photograph. 

Tori Radday Instagram - @toriradday

Rachel Dwyer Instagram - @rrrachel08

 

Grunge Editorial Shoot with Elissa

I've met so many people through Instagram since I've moved to Richmond, VA. Thankfully everyone has been awesome to work with and I easy to photograph. This time I teamed up with Elissa Rumford. Elissa is talented model as well as experimental photographer. Check out her work on Instagram.

Elissa's Instagram - @elissarummy

Rachel Dwyer Photography's Instagram - rrrachel08

Dee from LiveAmongChic

Fun collab with Dee Hayala from LiveAmongChic in Richmond, VA. This shoot was challenging because of the super bright sun in the early afternoon. Shooting RAW always helps bring back the background.

Blog Instagram - @liveamongchic 

Personal Instagram - @deyalalaa

Rachel Dwyer Photography  Instagram - @rrrachel08

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Vintage Fashion Shoot in Carytown. Richmond, Va.

I teamed up with Tori Radday from Fashion Trends & More to collaborate on a fashion inspired photoshoot. This was my first real shoot in Richmond, VA so I was very excited to see what Tori had in mind. She suggested that we meet up in Carytown. This was such a great idea. Carytown is filled with murals and colorful walls that make the perfect backdrop for any fashion shoot. 

Tori was so great to work with and I'm so excited to work with her again on future shoots. She has such an inviting personality and feels very comfortable in front of the camera. I believe our styles blended perfectly together. 

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