Partner Spotlight: Miss Madison Photo Props

Hello friends!  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am excited to highlight some of the fabulous people I have met along this photography journey.  This week I am thrilled to introduce you to Sunny Wells of Miss Madison Photo Props.

I honestly can’t remember where I originally came across Miss Madison Photo Props other than it was on Facebook.  I was able to join her preferred photographers group and just stalked at the beginning. I loved her beautiful gowns and was in awe of the talented photographers who were sharing just stunning images of their maternity sessions using her gowns.  I knew I wanted to offer that experience to my clients. I do remember the first gown I ordered however! Sunny sometimes does fun games in her groups where the winner gets an additional percentage off their purchase. As many of you know, I am a competitor so I was determined to win!  My persistence paid off and I was able to snag a discount code which was awesome for a photographer who was just starting out and didn’t have a huge client base yet! I decided to use my code to purchase a gown for a fundraising opportunity I was planning. My husband’s cousin had recently invited us to be a part of the Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s event.  We had agreed to be photographers the day of the walk but I also wanted to raise awareness for the event, disease, and caregivers in honor of my grandmother who battled dementia at the end of her life. I was offering photo sessions where a portion of the session proceeds would be donated as long as anyone in the photos wore the color purple to honor those fighting the disease.  So I ordered my first Miss Madison gown - her Anna design in lilac so I could offer a beautiful purple option to my clients and honor my grandmother (Violet Weller) at the same time.

Anna gown in Lilac

Anna gown in Lilac

I was thrilled with the gown and the outcome.  My client asked at the session where it was from as she had a black tie event coming up and the gown was so comfortable and it made her feel so pretty.  Combined with the high quality and wonderful customer service, that was enough for me to continue ordering from Sunny.

Sunny Wells grew up with 9 siblings and learned to sew from her mother, much like her mother had done before her (I love a good generational connection!).  Her father purchased her mother a Bernina sewing machine after opening up his own dental practice and her mother began teaching her sew at just 5 years old.  She found it boring and often left the sewing room to bake or climb trees with her brothers. Her mother eventually suggested that Sunny design her own dress for her 8th grade graduation and after that experience she was hooked on designing and sewing her own creations - even the bridesmaids gowns for her own wedding.  Life happened and she didn’t get back into sewing for 20 years until her own husband presented her with her own Bernina sewing machine. Then one day her oldest daughter called and asked her to make a gown for an upcoming maternity client she would be photographing soon. The idea of Miss Madison was born when her daughter asked her for 5 more gowns a week later.  Now 5 years after that phone call she has sourced her own textile companies to find the perfect laces, threads, and fabric. Her main fabric doesn’t wrinkle, it retains its shape even when it’s stretched to capacity. It has amazing recovery! You can wash AND dry it! Stickers and burrs don’t cling to it... it resists stains, but most of all, it hugs a woman's curves like magic!  She says it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows but that she loves what she does and is looking forward to the next 30 years!

I have been able to add several other gowns from Miss Madison to my studio closet since that first Anna gown purchase.  I consistently go back to her shop for several reasons. One is the amazing customer service she and her employees provide.  When you order a Miss Madison gown they provide an estimated timeline for your purchase to arrive. I love getting updates from them when my order is assigned to a seamstress, and then when it is finished and ready to be shipped.  I also get tracking information with every order. I love that I am able to know these details. It makes it much more personal and easier to connect with the women who are helping me to make beautiful images and memories for my clients.

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Another reason I continue to order from Sunny is the quality of her gowns and the attention to detail she provides.  I fell in love with her Piper gown (yes, partly because it is the name of my daughter!) and ordered one in moss green.  Once I had it on a client, I was even more enamored with it. I feel asleep one evening thinking about a couple of ideas I had for my next gown.  I messaged Sunny and was able to express my ideas about using a mesh fabric on my next gown. She responded just as excited as I was and created a gown that far exceeded my expectations.  Not only did she replace the lace in her original design with mesh, she custom dyed the chiffon to be a match to the new color that was created when the two fabrics were layered over one another.  I was blown away by her attention to detail that she demonstrated when creating this gown. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram @seenandhurdphotography to see images of the gown!)

Her designs and colors are also varied and meet the needs of so many of my clients.  One way this is evident is in her line of girls gowns. The versatility that this option adds to my sessions is so appreciated.  I have had several young girls wear my Charlie gown and they love how it makes them feel like a princess. The colors she offers are also beautiful - deep, rich, and luxurious.  But her women’s gowns are just amazing. I have her Everly design in Denim Blue. I love this gown and the mix of fabrics it offers. I think the sleeves are my favorite. I also recently acquired one of her newer designs - the Scarlett gown.  I selected her Mauve color for this purchase. I was also able to customize my purchase by adjusting the length of the sleeves. One of my favorite aspects of this gown is the full skirt - it adds so much drama to images and yet the gown is still comfortable to wear.  As I have already mentioned, Sunny makes customizing her gowns so easy. I ordered her Mia gown and it was so quick and easy to add sleeves to my order. The options are endless! Each gown that arrives from Miss Madison is just as well made and gorgeous as the last. And a little bonus is how good the box smells when you open it!  She adds a little extra touch when she finishes your order and I love how good her gowns smell and look fresh out of the box!

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

I am so excited to see what new designs she has in the works and am so looking forward to continuing building my client closet with Miss Madison.  If you are in the market for a gown for a special occasion, look her up! I cannot recommend her enough. And I love that I am also supporting a strong #bossbabe to boot!

If these gowns shared here strike your fancy and you would like to add them to your session with Seen & Hurd Photography, add them to your preferences when you book your session with me.


Getting Published

In the last year I have really started moving my photography journey forward. I have joined more groups, networked, participated in shootouts, and become more active in the photography community. After attending my first shoot out (with the amazing Sarah Lindsay Photography), she posted that she had been published and made the cover of a photography magazine. I was like, that was a thing? I went to check it out.

Now those of you that know me know that I have a huge competitive streak - maybe from growing up with a twin, who knows? But I love to win! So my goal after seeing those posts was to get my own image published. Shutter Scene Magazine (@shuscene) runs themes every week for their upcoming issues and has been publishing since September of last year. My first image was published in October of 2018. What a rush! Seeing your work selected, valued, and published by others is just amazing. Photography is an art and art is subjective. I know that there are some that don’t love my images or think they are “ok”. But I really put a bit of myself in each image.

The first image to be published was this maternity image taken last January. It was a last minute session as Denver didn’t get much snow last winter. I had just purchased my first gown from Sew Trendy Accessories and was itching to shoot it. I had this vision of sparkling snow, a serene mother, and a little winter magic. A friend of mine was able to pass along the ask for a model and we were able to capture this lovely image the following morning.

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The second image to be published was this beautiful violinist in the snow. (I really do like winter!) The vision for this image was created by my fabulous sister and part-time creative director, Liz Haan. She had seen my fabulous yellow gown, again by Sew Trendy Accessories, and wanted to get her niece in it. So we packed up all the kids and made the trek to Evergreen Lake to play for a bit in the snow. I love how it turned out - a little bit of Shakespeare’s MidSummer Night’s Dream meets Belle’s provincial french town.

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If you are interested in purchasing any issues from Shutter Scene Magazine, here is the link to purchase Issue 18. My new goal is to make the cover! Wish me luck!

 

If you are interested in gowns from Sew Trendy Accessories, here is a link for 15% off your purchase. They are a boss babe company that is by women, for women, and supports a community of women as well. Their gowns are stunning and they have gowns for maternity, non-maternity, girls, and newborns.