We've been working hard to update our Shetland Jewellery branding and our social media imagery, to do this in an adequate manner we know we need decent images of our timeless pieces being worn.
It always feels like a battle to constantly have to update social media to keep ahead of things, does any one else feel like this?
Recently we've been using our own jewellers for our models, so our staff are literally the face of our company and we get to have a nice day out while doing so. I'm very lucky I have willing staff who are as enthusiastic with crazy ideas as I am, or maybe they just like a break from the bench now and again! Why would we not use them when they're all so photogenic? Mostly though I appreciate the team effort that goes into everything we do as a company. It's a massive part of our ethos and in line with our values.
We started with a small idea to use two of our jewellers Ashley and Shannon as models as they had their own wedding dresses available. Simple plan; head out in their wedding dresses and shoot some Shetland-feeling images with our jewellery.
As with most things at Shetland Jewellery, our excitement, and enthusiasm turn a small idea into a series of epic plans. Conversations of ‘Oooh but we could do this…’ and ‘yeah, but what about this?’ and obviously as all of our brains collectively spewed out ideas, one simple photoshoot then needed flowers and cake and dresses and a location and bridesmaids and a groom or two. When you've 11 creative humans in one space there are a whole lot of ideas to share.
Within half an hour we had contacted the wonderful Mags at Universal Stores, Julie and Emma at Da Wedding Shed, and Lynn at The Original but also the best Cake Fridge. Shetlanders are known for their massive generosity and sense of community, it's an important thing to us to be able to collab with other amazing female business owners.
Busta House Hotel is always our first choice of location, not only because of the beautiful space and setting but also because of Grant and Joel's incredible hospitality. By the end of the day, we were practically planning to stage a fake wedding, and there is nowhere better in Shetland to have a wedding than Busta, mostly because their homemade shortbread is delicious.
The new intention of the shoot was to showcase Shetland Jewellery in an entire wedding day setting. We are capable of far more at the workshop as customers often realise and we wanted to demonstrate this through our final images.
We will always have our regular stock of Celtic wedding rings but we also create a lot of bespoke pieces. This could be bespoke engagement rings or wedding rings, but we can also create special one-off pieces for bridal party members or for wedding day gifts. This spans from simple wedding bands to complex design ideas you may have. It's an exciting process to design your very own piece and is a very sentimental thing to do.
The prep work began for our shoot with organising which jewellery we’d like to photograph, but also prepping the giftware. In our retail store J.G.Rae we have a variety of items available for a wedding, from hip flasks and glassware to clocks and ornaments. In the Weisdale workshop, we have an engraving facility that can be used to personalise and of these items.
We engraved some whisky and Prosecco glasses with the Busta house logo on them which we then gifted to the boys for having us for the day. We were pretty chuffed with them even if we do say so ourselves.
At Weisdale glasses can be engraved with anything your imagination fancies. Ideas include; titles such as Mr and Mrs, or Bride and Groom, or with names and dates. We also had a hip flask engraved with a peerie quote for a best man.
The lasses went for a trip to Da Wedding Shed in Aith to choose some dresses for the shoot. They were lucky to have the use of a wedding dress each and a selection of bridesmaid dresses. Emma and Julie are just incredible and Da wedding shed is such a welcoming space for trying the dresses on. They have so much available and know perfectly how to dress a whole wedding party, not just the bride.
Once all of the ideas were finalised we actually had to make some jewellery. It was all hands on deck to prep enough stock to take with us, we particularly wanted to showcase that we also catered for men, with cufflinks, tie slides, and kilt pins.
We roped in a couple of male models by promising the gift of a free meal at Busta along with obviously a day filled with laughter hanging out with the Shetland Jewellery team. Who could say no to that?
The day we set off to complete the shoot followed a few days of heavy snow in Shetland. Winter is SO fun, huh? I can't remember the last winter there was so much snow mayhem in Shetland. The weather caused chaos that week, preventing us initially from being able to retrieve the beautiful “wedding” cake from the Original Cake Fridge. We delayed the shoot by a day ensuring that all of the plans came together at once to make the shoot what we hoped it would be. We also couldn't do anything without a cake!!
We set off tentatively that morning in the hope we made it the whole way to Busta safely, but also in the knowledge if we got stuck in the snow it wasn’t the worst place in the world to be stuck. Many times during the drive north I cursed myself. Luckily we all made it safely and the house grounds just looked stunning in the snow!
By the time we had made it to Busta all intact, it certainly felt like we’d battled through a lot to make the shoot work. This included snow days, but also broken engraving machines, cars that wouldn't drive, lack of childcare, and long hours prepping the work. It fully instilled in us that we wanted to make the most of it all.
Busta had very kindly given us Muckle Roe, their biggest room, to use for ‘Bridal prep’ The room has a beautiful sea view and a ton of room for a small bridal party. The perfect start to your wedding day. We hung the dresses up in the stunning room and set up some flat-lay images with all the pieces for our images while the lasses got into their incredible dresses.
We then spent the entire day capturing shots with our fake bridal party to feature all of our pieces while also showcasing the stunning items from the other suppliers. We laughed trying to recreate Pinterest inspiration photos, the more we try to capture jewellery the more hilarious it is looking at photos of hands.... it is also hilarious as a photographer trying to orally direct people into the poses you can see or imagine. We got there though and had a fun day doing it.
We stacked rings and rings and even more rings. We featured our favourite St Ninian's isle range, along with our Three Nones pieces which will always work well for a wedding day. We showcased our new Peerie Smoorikins pieces which can be made to match a colour scheme or bridesmaid dresses.
We are so grateful to everyone for supporting our crazy ideas and can’t thank everyone enough. We are delighted with the results of our shoot day and couldn’t have pulled it off without all of the teamwork.
Flowers - Universal Stores
Cake - The Original Cake Fridge
All Dresses - Da Wedding Shed
Location - Busta House Hotel, The long room, and Muckle Roe
Models - Shannon, Ali, Tenneka and Jon. (Thank you for always saying yeah!)
All jewellery and props - Shetland Jewellery
Photography - Sophie Sunshine Whitehead