Styled Shoot — Belvedere Hotel — Baltimore wedding photography

I was thrilled and honored when hair and make-up expert extraordinaire Amie Decker, of Amie Decker Beauty, asked whether I’d be interested in participating in a styled shoot that she was planning. Hoping to get more portfolio images to showcase the talents of some of the women on her magnificent team of hair stylists and make-up artists, Amie arranged to take over the beautiful and historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore for an entire day with a gaggle of mostly recent brides serving as models. It was extraordinarily fun to be able to shoot at a venue that I love and be able to focus on fun, gorgeous portraits without the schedule pressures or location constraints that accompany a typical wedding day. I’ve never, for instance, been able to ask a bride to climb onto this one particular window ledge in one of the 12th floor ballrooms before because, well, few brides want to climb five feet off the ground in their gown and heels on their actual wedding day *and* the catering staff with The Belvedere often sets up a bar in front of those gorgeous windows, providing an additional barricade. Likewise, I’ve never had the right light in one parlor area — or the lack of guests enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, to be honest! — to create some of the images that I had a chance to make during this shoot. The models — mostly recent brides showing off their own wedding gowns paired with extraordinary styling, hair and make-up by Amie’s team — did a magnificent job, especially considering the cold temperatures they braved outside and all the clambering around they did to be poised just so for my fellow photographers and myself on some less-than-comfortable surfaces!

Here are some of my favorites from the day:

A few getting ready shots.

I started with Amanda, who remarkably was married in this very dress 13 years ago (if I remember correctly!). She looked spectacularly lovely — so vintage and simple and understated. Just beautiful.

Stephanie had some ultra fabulous eye make-up going on paired with one of the hottest hot pink lip glosses I’ve ever seen in real life. It was an amazing combination! As each of the women emerged from hair and make-up to be photographed, I couldn’t believe the eight starkly different looks that Amie and her team had created.

I love love this next image of Paige, who looked to me like she had just stepped out of the 1950s with her old-school glamor. I should mention here that this shoot occurred well before the recent burst of springtime-in-January weather that we’ve been experiencing. Paige had goosebumps out there in her strapless gown.

One of my fellow photographers, Carly, had the great idea of asking Paige to pose with the N. Lovegrove Street sign — an alley I’ve loved the name of ever since I lived near Read and N. Lovegrove streets a decade ago! Carly and I took turns working with Paige by the sign post.

I love these next two black and white images. Both are photos I had always wanted to make when shooting at The Belvedere but was never able to do so because of time constraints, a lack of open space and uncooperative lighting conditions. Thank you, Paige, for helping me get that elevator shot just right!

Ava Marie has the most extraordinary eyes. She also has a mischievous little smile. It was very fun to photograph her! I wish I could pull off this kind of hair and make-up. I fear, however, that I’d not only botch it if I tried it myself but that I also wouldn’t know where to go after I was all dolled up!

Ashley was one of the brave souls who climbed — in killer heels and a floor-length gown — up onto a window ledge for me. I think it was totally worth it!

I loved Kaytlin’s very edgy, high-fashion look. I also loved her willingness to hop up on the bar during Friday happy hour to help me get a couple shots that I hoped would match the edginess of her styling.

Wearing her sister’s wedding dress and an unbelievable fringe of eyelashes, my second-to-last bride of the day was refined and sophisticated.

I only had a few minutes to work with Kate, since it was nearing the end of the day, we were plum out of natural light and everyone was getting tired. But I love loved her elegance, her eyelashes and jewelry, and the delicate rosettes on her wedding dress. So beautiful!

Thank you so much, Amie, for including me on such a fun day!


Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Hair and Make-up: Amie Decker Beauty

Venue: Truffles Catering at The Belvedere

Bridal attire: Provided by the models and by Gamberdella Bridal Salon

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