When my friend Isadora began to talk to me about inviting Madeline Stuart to come to Culpeper to meet her and invite her to star in a photo shoot, I was not surprised because Isadora has always celebrated the brides that don’t fit that “cookie cutter” image on the cover of every bridal magazine. Isadora had followed and admired Madeline for some time and had wanted to meet her and get to know her. I was excited to get to meet her as well. My job before this (which I loved as well!) was a photography and art teacher in high school and I have always loved working with our students with diversabilities. So I was pretty excited for both Madeline and Isadora when Rosanne and Madeline decided to come to Culpeper. I mean, what’s not to love about this area? I figured Rixey Manor would be a quiet and beautiful place for Madeline and her mum to relax and enjoy a break from the busy travels.
I was also thrilled to be able to share the opportunity with another photographer, Sarah Houston and for her to have the opportunity to do more of the shoot. I am excited to see the lovely images of this young lady grace the interenet. So I thought I would share a few insights into the actual time I spent with Madeline and her mum…the things you don’t see online unless you are one of my closer family or friends.
First, Madeline is so expressive and creative. She often used books, albums and other things around Rixey Manor to bring to me and express her wishes. She is incredibly observant! Second, she is so very compassionate. We were sharing animal stories after she fed the horses with Ben Rinder outside of Rixey Manor and when we talked about pets we loved and lost, I mentioned my sweet cat of 16 years who had passed and Madeline looked at me with these big eyes that were about to well up with tears and placed her arm around me and gave me a big hug. (:
Third, Madeline has a special and sweet relationship with her mum. She hugged her, joked with her, and even disagreed with her on something (I think it was bedtime!). Of course, she is a young woman just coming out of her teens, so to spend that much time with your mum at that age and traveling all over the world doing so much together while still hugging and cheering for each other…well, it shows how much they love each other. They have such a sweet relationship! Rosanne is funny, works incredibly hard and helps Madeline express things that otherwise might prove challenging. She gives her a good level of indpendence, challenging her to do what she loves and do it well.
Fourth, Madeline LOVES modeling. I mean, she could literally go all day. Ask her how to walk the runway and she demonstrates it with such poise and confidence that you’d think she was born into the industry. She could do it all day and never take a break. In fact when it was time for lunch she still wanted me to take another photo! The girl works hard. She also demonstrated her jump rope skills in the middle of it all!
Fifth, Madeline loves Rixey Manor. More than once she told Isadora and Ben that she loves them. She was liberal with her hugs and laughter and never ceased to put a smile on everyone’s face. She loved feeding the horses and petting the dogs (Snitch especially).
Finally, Madeline is a girl who works hard and smiles big. I am so thankful for the chance to work with her and her mum and to help Isadora get a few wedding professionals on board…all who donated time and talent to create an atmosphere that was inviting, lovely and made it easy for Madeline to share her love and talent. So when I remember this experience, I will always remember the people involved, the incredible wedding professionals (all here below) and the young woman who spreads sunshine wherever she goes.
Thank you everyone and thank you Madeline and Rosanne for giving me a chance to serve you in this way and to be blessed by the most beautiful and gracious redhead in Australia!
Check out Madeline’s latest adventures here:
And the instagram handle: @madelinesmodelling_
Here is the list of the people behind all of this who donated time, talent and beautiful goods to make Madeline’s experience incredible!
Venue/Styling: Rixey Manor (www.rixeymanor.com)
Fashion – Ava Laurenne (http://www.avalaurennebride.com)
Flowers – Good Earth Flowers (http://www.weddingfloristculpeper.com/)
Hair/Makeup – Sara Dodson and Casey Hargrove (www.saradodsonmakeup.com)
Jewelry – Suz Somersall (www.suzsomersall.com)
Cake – Gateau (www.1gateau.com)
Orchids -Color Orchids (www.colororchids.com)
Gift items -Southern Grown Vintage (www.southerngrownvintage.com)
Paper Flowers – Creations by DBG (www.facebook.com/creationsbydgb/)
Stationery – Farmstead Studio (www.homeonthefarmstead.com/)
Signage – Bella Love Letters (www.etsy.com/shop/bellaloveletters)
Thank you Madeline!