Valentine’s Styled Shoot

Valentine Photo Shoot | Inspired by Zen Pencils | © Moriah Riona 2015 Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m thrilled to finally be sharing this styled shoot I created which was inspired by THIS AMAZING CARTOON by Gavin Aung Than.

Several months ago I came across the cartoon by artist Gavin Aung Than that centered around a C.S. Lewis quote, which begins “To love at all is to be vulnerable.” If you read this blog regularly, you may know that I went through a very painful divorce several years ago so I immediately connected with the female character in the comic (and of course also because she has RED HAIR!). I texted it to my boyfriend, Matthew, and said “This is you and me.” He wrote back mentioning how he noticed a likeness to us as well (including Matthew’s fondness of bow ties). Suddenly I was inspired to create a shoot based on this cartoon and quote.

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ABOUT THIS SHOOT // Having owned a wedding photography business for the last five years, I’ve orchestrated several “styled shoots” and loved the process. However, I of course always played the role of the photographer, and found models to work with. I knew for this shoot that I needed to be IN the photographs with Matthew, though. This posed quite the conundrum.

My best friend, Heather, who had never used a DSLR camera before, graciously volunteered to assist with the shoot. I typically just shoot sessions as they naturally unfold but I knew that this shoot needed to be meticulously planned as I would be in front of and behind the camera. I ended up storyboarding the entire session, sketching out each shot I wanted. Then, during the shoot, I metered and set up my camera for each shot and explained to Heather the composition I wanted. She snapped the images as I struggled to pose myself.

Although incredibly challenging, this experience has left me with a new perspective as a photographer. My comfort zone is definitely behind the lens and this shoot reminded me how nerve-wracking it can be in front of a camera. I also have a gained a deeper understanding of what my work means to my clients. Being a photographer, I will always approach my work as an artist but when I look at these images I cherish them not because they are art but because they are pictures of me with my Love.

Following Gavin Aung Than’s blog, I found out his characters’ love story doesn’t have a happy ending. But I’m not worried 😉 It was such a beautifully trying and rewarding experience to create this shoot and I am so thankful to have come across the brilliant and inspiring work of Than. If you are as smitten with his illustrations as I am, check out his framed prints. I also need to express my deep gratitude for Heather’s incredible assistance. This project obviously would not have been possible without her. Thank you to Matthew as well, who eagerly jumped on board with my crazy plan and supported me through out the entire process. You are such a blessing. I love you.

To all my wonderful readers, Happy Valentine’s. I hope your day is filled with LOVE.
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xoxo

moriah

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Comments

  1. Amanda

    February 14th, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Moriah,

    You are a truly beautiful person. It is, in my opinion, a rare gift to be able to express yourself so completely through something more than words and you definitely have it! As you know, I went through a similar divorce around the same time that you did. Since then, I have been on a similar journey. That comic (and your photo shoot) spoke to me on a soulful level. Absolutely, without a doubt, perfect for my Valentine’s Day this year.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us!!

    Amanda

  2. moriahriona

    February 15th, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Amanda, I am overwhelmed by your kind words. Thank you so much. It was scary to get so personal with this particular project but I’m happy that people have felt such a strong connection to it. I think this cartoon/photo shoot is something that many can relate to.

    I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! xoxo

  3. jeremiahcorder

    February 19th, 2014 at 11:49 am

    This is SO wonderful! I am happy to see that you are in front of the camera again, and you three did such a great job! LOVE love love this photoshoot! <3

  4. moriahriona

    February 19th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks you so much JJ!! <3

  5. the author

    February 27th, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Beautiful set of photos! I learned of this through an email from Zen Pencils. And in reading the email, his work and yours, I realize that I am indeed the one with my heart in a chest. Ulp. Now what?

  6. Behind The Scenes | Moriah

    April 22nd, 2014 at 8:10 am

    […] Valentine’s Styled Shoot […]

  7. Behind the Scenes // Modern Whimsical Wedding Shoot | Moriah

    October 1st, 2014 at 10:30 am

    […] very poor ROI, I still credit the event with two important connections: meeting Emily, and meeting Matthew (but that story is for a later […]

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