Camilla’s Bridal

Let’s return to a photography assignment for a moment. Way back when (about three and a half months ago back when) I was in my documentary photography class, and we had a final assignment. This assignment is actually very similar to a three-week module I’ll do at photography school. And can we stop for a second to realize that I have ONE week left of work, and start photography school in just three and a half weeks???

Sorry, tangent, let’s return to the return to the photo assignment.

The final project for my documentary class was, well, to document something, in words and images. My classmates chose subjects as varied as a master potter and his apprentice, the disorganized but earnest “Foods, Not Bombs” group, the life of a tugboat crew in Boston Harbor, and the violent athleticism of a Dorchester boxing gym.

Girlie girl that I can be, and often am, I chose Camilla’s Bridal, the store where I bought my wedding dress. Since I want to shoot weddings professionally, I figured Camilla’s would be a good experience! Plus, I love the atmosphere of a wedding salon; there’s so much excitement in the air, and everything and everyone is always so happy and beautiful.

Camilla’s is a small, independently owned boutique in Arlington, just up the road from Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

I approached Camilla’s owner, Nivia, with the idea of using her store as the subject of my project. Luckily for me, she enthusiastically agreed to allow me to photograph her store and her brides (as long as they agreed to it, too), and to interview her.

Nivia’s entrepreneurial story was inspirational. She is under thirty with three young children and her own business! An amazing group of women support her at the store: her mother, a seamstress, and one assistant. The four of them make Camilla’s the most inviting wedding boutique I’ve ever been to, with some of the most gorgeous dresses, too.

Being at Camilla’s brought me back to being a bride (not that it was that long ago … we’re only up to nearly eleven months here). There is so much to planning a wedding, so much to picking a dress. I personally enjoy planning, spreadsheets, checklists and all, but I do understand why some people choose to elope!

Camilla’s Bridal is an ideal place to get a dress, as it is a very calm and welcoming place to play dress-up. They have none of the usual bridal boutique’s silly rules prohibiting personal photography, none of the inflated prices or snippy asides about your budget, no pushy salespeople.

Instead, everything is relaxed and lovely.

I’m a details person, and I spent a lot of time at Camilla’s photographing the precious details in evidence everywhere I glanced.

Like this sash on a bridesmaid’s dress …

… these buttons down the back of a dress …… the personalized Camilla’s hangers …… and the way Nivia would wind her pink measuring tape around her hand, letting her own rings poke through …

Oh, the lovely details!

I’ll post more Camilla’s pics from my project tomorrow, but that’s all for now, friends!



Filed under Boston, Personal, Photo Assignment

2 responses to “Camilla’s Bridal

  1. Pingback: Camilla’s Bridal #2 | Julie Sterling

  2. Mom

    Lovely pictures… Happy memories!

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