Dreamy, soft, and quiet are the words that come to mind when I think of Sullivans Island at sunset. I have been coming to this beach at least once a week since I moved to Charleston almost a decade ago. Each visit feels different from the last; this beach is a magical and ever changing environment, perfect for bold and beautiful portraiture. Because of this, I had always wanted to photograph a Sullivans Island bridal session.
When I inherited my grandmother’s wedding dress from my Mom a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to bring the 1930s gown to life again by photographing it in this whimsical location.
Finally, I had the perfect opportunity to photograph a Sullivans Island bridal session.
My grandma has always been a kind soul; when I was younger, she would babysit me while my parents were working. She fueled my artistic side and inspired me to be a creative individual. When we would spend those hot Georgia summer days together, she would teach me how to draw, sew, and paint. We would make paper dolls and knit clothes for my stuffed animals. She made my childhood a very memorable and exciting experience.
About eight years ago, we found out that my grandma has dementia. It was not easy to hear those words or to begin to process what that meant for her. Witnessing her mentally recede is something my whole family and I struggle with greatly.
I often look through my grandmother’s old albums, cherishing memories that aren’t mine. There is so much you can learn about a person while looking through their photos; that’s one of the main reasons why I love photography. It’s a craft that preserves.
Our pictures become our legacies.
Photographs are teaching tools for our loved ones to learn more about us and to remember us as we were.
Since my Grandma has been moved to a home in Florida, I do not often get the chance to see her as much anymore. Taking her wedding dress out of its neatly preserved bag was like a breath of fresh air. Seeing it on Emily Jo, the model, brought an abundance of warmth to my heart.
My favorite part about this photoshoot was sharing the images with my family.
It meant the world to them to see the dress resurrected from storage. When receiving the uplifting feedback on my imagery, I also learned that my aunt had worn this dress on her wedding day, too. How wonderful is that?
I decided that I did not want to put my Grandmother’s dress back into storage. Instead, I am sharing this heirloom dress with the world. I have made her dress available to rent for photoshoots on my wedding dress rental site that can be found here. In honor of my Grandmother, I named the dress “The Beverly”.