Australian Carnival Inspiration Shoot

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration


Carnivals, or shows as we call them in Australia are such a mark of fun, of childhood. I still remember going to the show as a tiny tot – with my dad sometimes on the rides that almost made him puke and me giggle. So when I received this brightly coloured fun inspiration shoot from Lea at Willow Tree Creative I knew it was right for today.

Ryan Jorgensen and Stephanie Rodriguez were up for the challenge and acted as the bride and groom for the 50’s style carnival inspiration shoot which took place at Aussie World.

Lea tells of her inspiration behind today’s shoot. “The idea for the carnival shoot actually started off as an idea for a 1940’s/1950’s circus themed shoot. It just so happened that the circus was in town and they were going to allow us to shoot there but there were too many restrictions on the times etc, so I changed the idea after approaching Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast in QLD and them giving us permission to shoot there.

I basically started with my colour board and worked from there. I knew that I wanted a very classic 50’s look with a little bit of a twist and popping colour! I love classic fashion and beauty and really wanted it to reflect in this shoot. I also wanted that popping colour to show up on camera.  I had Sashay Bridal on board to use one of their dresses and when we took our model for a fitting I was hoping for a 50’s shorter hemmed dress but as soon as I saw the vintage lace full length dress I just knew that it would work.

The brooch bouquet was a last minute addition to our shoot. Bella from Design Me Vintage, literally emailed me a week before our shoot, introducing herself and her art to me which I instantly fell in love with. I asked her if she would custom make a bouquet for the shoot and gave her the colours she needed to work with and you can see the end result was just amazing.

I collaborated with Jodi from Big Dream Photography on the shoot and co-directed with her on the day. She did an amazing job shooting on the day as the conditions weren’t favourable being very hot and humid and in between rain showers. She has also edited the photos beautifully. And of course yours truly, Willow Tree Creative Services developed and styled the shoot and was creative co-director on the day.”

“For the groom I really wanted a carnival character look hence the braces and white button down shirt without the jacket. Both our make-up artist Rebecca Kate Make Up Artistry and hairstylist Libby from Be Liberated hit the nail on the head when I sent them images for references. I wanted a real silver screen glamour for both the hair and makeup and actually had fabulous inspiration from some pictures I had seen of Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and more recent pics of Drew Barrymore.”

Rebecca Kate Make-Up Artistry styled the makeup for the session,  Be Liberated styled the hair and Sashay provided the lace bridal gown. Lea created the veil herself.

“When it came to finding props, I really wanted to use things with popping colour, especially to stand out against the gorgeous white gown. The love heart lollypop was a coincidental find as we did the shoot very close to Valentine’s day so I came across it and wasn’t even looking for it. I handmade the birdcage veil and finished it off with a powder blue tissue paper flower and some red and white feathers. I believe the veil added to the classic look I was going for.”

Photographic Styling and Direction by Willow Tree Creative Services Photography by Big Dream Photography


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  • Moonlight & Whimsy says:
    March 31, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    How much do we ADORE this shoot!! The colours are just incredible – and that dress – WOW!

  • Big Dream Photography says:
    April 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

    So excited and honored to be featured on Polka Dot Bride!! I LOVE this blog!! What a blessing to have our images shared on here!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

    Thanks Moonlight and Whimsy. We absolutely love this shoot! Thanks to all who were part of it!! 🙂

  • Rebecca Kate Makeup Artistry says:
    April 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I agree it’s so exciting to be featured on Polka Dot Bride. What a gorgeous blog!
    This was such a fun shoot to be a part of.. everyone was so involved and what an amazing team of people to bring it all together. Lea is incredible and Big Dream Photography really captured the whole theme. Looking at the photos makes me feel happy.
    It was an absolute delight to be part of such a great shoot.
    I cannot wait to see what ideas Lea comes up with next!:-)

  • Eunice says:
    June 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I love this photo shoot. I saw it on borrowed and bleu too .. its really cool idea! .

  • Athletic Blog says:
    January 22, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Dress Your Tiny Tot In Polka

    […] herself and her art to me which I instantly fell in love with. I asked her if sh […]



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