Every photographer dreams of finding their ideal clients – those who perfectly align with their artistic vision and personality. For Matoli Keely, a talented wedding photographer in San Diego looking to elevate her business, that dream became a reality after collaborating on a breathtaking high-fashion editorial. The result? Matoli now has a calendar filled with bookings from couples who desire her to be their photographer. Let’s dive into the production behind this transformative project, which took place at the stunning Sunset Cliff Beach State Park.
Once I heard everything Matoli envisioned, I created a mood board to bring our visions to life. I knew that the San Diego landscape by the sea would look incredible as a backdrop. One of the most exciting aspects of bringing an editorial to life is collaborating with a team of talented vendors.
The image above is the mood board I created for our very first look of the day. In this part, I wanted to create an object our model could sit or stand on. We brought the white wooden block out (that I made!) and put it with the cliffs so it would stand out. In addition to creating movement and stillness, we dressed our model in an outfit that could be worn for weddings and fashion. Her outfit consisted of a white blazer and white pants, with the blazer open without any underclothing. This made our model appear powerful. We had her wear a hat with a bridal birdcage for some photos. The makeup artist used blue eyeliner, making the model’s eyes pop like the color of the ocean.
In contrast to look one, we wanted look two to be completely different. For this, I envisioned the model to be placed with the water behind her and create movement with the fabric of her dress. There’s nothing more magical than when a photographer captures the nature of the wind blowing hair or fabric. The dress we put her in had a very flowy train, so it would be easy for her to pick up and hold. We put a fun textured blue headband in her hair, making her look like a Greek goddess. We included a modern cutout design for a few pictures that gave the photos an extra element.
For our last look, I knew it would be towards sunset, so I envisioned this set of photos glowing. I wanted something fun for her dress, and the ruffles really made that happen. We brought the green door frame so that it felt like it was opening through the sea. This element added some mystery to these photos, as your eye goes to the model through the door, to the water, and to sunset. As the light started getting softer, the sandstone rock looked glowing and magical. We put the model’s hair into a sleek updo so that the focus could be on the ruffled dress around her face rather than her hair.
As a wedding stylist, I will always go the extra mile to ensure my clients have an unforgettable experience. In this photo shoot in San Diego, I hauled all of the props up and down several flights of stairs leading us to the beach. It is my mission to let my clients focus on what they love doing most, which in Matoli’s case, was creating beautiful imagery! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the behind-the-scenes mood boards and enjoy scrolling through some of my favorite images. This incredible high-fashion editorial was featured in California Wedding Day!
San Diego High-Fashion Editorial
Do you feel like you’re in a place in your business like Matoli was? If you answered yes, then feel free to contact me here, and we can chat about how things in your business can start changing! From charging more to working with your ideal clients, I will help you build a dream portfolio. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Photographer: Matoli Keely Photography
Prop and Wardrobe Stylist: Carrie Moe, Type A Society
Hair and Makeup Artist: Triplow Beauty
Talent: Ambers Flowers
Florist: Siren Floral Co
Film Lab: Photo Vision Prints
Looks Pulled From: CLD PR
Jumpsuit and Cape: Rita Vinieris
Hat and Headband: Jennifer Behr
Jewelry: Ariel Taub Accessories
Gown: Dan Jones
Silk Dress: Ivan Young