The Secret Garden

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Photography by: Anna Reagan Photography

Have you ever experienced unexpected magic? The kind that literally catches you off guard, but when you turn around and look you realize that something amazing just happened. Yeah, that kind. Let me tell you the story of how unexpected magic happened in this secret little garden…

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For the last couple of shoots, my photographer and I have had on the shoot day location scouting. What does that mean? It means that what would normally be planned, like a setting or location, hasn’t been. With COVID in the midst, our normal routine of having a designated shooting location hasn’t been the best, safest, or most practical option. So, we’ve been leading the shoots with genuine hope that we find the perfect spot. We took an easy ride around Rice Military Houston with our eyes peeled and pressed to every corner, wall, empty lot, restaurant, fence, and even someone’s home that could be used as our next backdrop. A lot of, “What do you think about this”, ” Hmmm…idk’s”, and “Let’s keep driving,” happens. Whatever we think may work, we pull over, get out, and start shooting. It is more time consuming than having a planned location ready. However, the happening of unexpected magic is more likely to occur. Sometimes we strike gold within the first ten minutes of riding, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes I have to end up changing into my next outfit because we’ve found a spot that suits it best. This happened to be exactly what happened this time.

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After shooting the first look, we pilled back into the car in search of our next spot. As we circled the block and rode up and down the streets, I started to feel a little less hopeful of finding the perfect backdrop for this look. I told Anna, my friend, and photographer, that we could shoot this look another day because I didn’t want to take any more of her time. She insisted that we keep looking, so we did. We turned the corner onto this side street, and on the left an office building with an open parking lot…no. On the right, a parking garage, and next to it, a brick wall with lush green plants, hmm I thought…maybe. As we pulled over, I then spotted a metal archway peeking over the brick wall. “What’s that over there?” I asked. Anna decided to go take a further look as I waited in the car. As she approached the area where the archway was, there was a small set of condos to the left of it. A man was outside on his porch seemingly working. She came back to report that the area with the archway was a small, tucked off garden. “I think that it may be his,” Anna said, speaking about the man that was outside seemingly working. “Maybe we should ask him if we can shoot over there,” I suggested. “Yeah, let me go ask,” Anna replied. His response, “As long as you don’t move anything.” Bet!

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I hopped out of the car, adjusted my clothes in the reflection of Anna’s SUV, and headed to feast my eyes on this secret little garden. Moderately kept, appeared to be rarely used, but we decided to take some shots to see what they would look like. As I entered into the garden, my heels sank into the bed of rocks. They began to gather under the heels of my feet, so I violently shook them to release them from my foot arch. We took a couple of shots under the archway, but those didn’t turn out so well. I decided to give my feet a break and take a few shots over in the grassy area where different types of plants and flowers encompassed the dead end of the garden. Stopped for a bit to take a look at some of the shots and I wasn’t impressed with myself, lol. As sweat collected in umcomfortable areas, it got late into the evening, and the heat surrounded us on every side, I started to feel my energy drop. Anna’s camera kept runing hot for some reason, which was really a rare occurence. It prevented her from taking any shots. So, as I waited, droplets of sweat ran down my legs. As the camera shutter flashed, I felt in my spirit that the shots were weren’t going to be good. It’s kind of hard to get a good shot when you’re uncomfortable, sweating, and sticky. You literally have to block out everything, relax your face and get into the mood. Phew, the struggle, lol!

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After exhausting the area, poses that I could think of at the moment, and time, we decided to call the evening. I was for sure that I only got maybe 2-3 good shots from this shoot, but to my surprise, magic happened. The moderately kept garden didn’t read that way through the photos. It looked almost like a garden scene in a vintage movie with old potted plants, rusted metal chairs, and decorative concrete elements. My face, although not at its best, didn’t render uncomfortable and hot. My foot arch didn’t play me and hide a few rocks underneath it, and we actually got more shots than I had expected. I had already planned in my head to use these pics as filler photos on my Instagram feed. Instead, I was able to tell the tale of The Secret Garden in today’s blog post. Unexpected magic!

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Today’s Garb, another rendition of a color-blocked combination. Tropical themed and easily styled. This skirt was apart of a set that I purchased a while back from New York & Co. Since purchasing, I only wore the top with it once. I like to break coordinates apart and style them multiple ways, obviously, lol. This blouse is another custom piece that I am totally in love with. I wanted a really big oversized blouse with large sleeves, tie strings, and here it is! Perfection! I look forward to styling this blouse in so many different ways. To accessorize, I went for a big and bold pair of statement earrings that were handcrafted to resemble a beautiful sunburst. They are absolutely stunning. A pair of simple nude heels completed the look.

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What do you guys think? Leave your comments in the comment section below. Thank you so much for joining me back on the blog today. I hope that today’s post inspired you in some way. If you’re seeking more personalized help on creating your photoshoot story, HGG offers a Visual Conceptualization package that allows me to serve as your creative director. I’ll create your photoshoot storyline from top to bottom. This package is really phenomenal. I actually just completed one for my client the other day. More details on that coming to my social media soon! Let’s schedule your FREE 15 min. Garb Chat here to see if this package is best fitted for your specific style situation. If you haven’t subscribed, you missed out on first look at this new outfit and The Garb Newsletter that goes out every Sunday. I share some of my favorite picks from curated brands, a specified style topic with 3 tips on how to kill it, a weekly recap, what’s new with HGG & More! Get on the list here! You’ll receive a FREE download just for joining me. Until next time, BE Guiltless about your Garb! Talk to you soon.

Style Tip of the day

Creating magic is personal. The way that we experience magic in our wardrobes and with our personal style is all relative to who we are as an individual. What sparks joy for you may not necessarily spark joy for someone else. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t matter. Bask in YOUR magic!

Her Guiltless Garb

Top: Custom / Skirt: New York & Co. / Earrings: Sole Store DR

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