A short while ago, the Venue Report talked all things fashion, design, and photography with creative female #bosses Allison Wagner and Jenna Bechtholt. Wagner, a graphic and web designer led creative direction, and Bechtholt, a lifestyle and wedding photographer snapped the shots. Together, they conceived one seriously iconic editorial in the sweet summer heat of Palm Springs, California.
The two ladies played off of one another’s ideas, conceptualizing where and what to shoot, knowing the valley setting offered the perfect aesthetic and backdrop for a heady mix of retro, colorful, contemporary and fabulous architectural design. The Pink Door House, Moorten Botanical Garden, the Saguaro, and the ultra-giant windmills, were ideal backdrops, allowing Wagner and Bechtholt’s "See You In the Desert" dreams to come alive.
Their vision of stylized spaces, inordinary structures and native plant props, in conjunction with apparel featuring bold prints and funky accessories made for one HOT editorial feature, (pun totally intended). We had a chance to sit down with them both to discuss theiir vision and of course, venues.
Tell us about how this shoot came together/inspiration and how you chose the venues:
See You in the Desert was a creative project by Jenna and I based in Palm Springs, California. We strived to achieve an editorial end-result with this collaboration that allowed us to step out of our personal comfort zones when it came to styling, photographing and the overall creative direction. Our focus for this shoot was on the bright colors and funky aesthetic of Palm Springs. We let this shine through the use of styling the models with bold prints and color and selecting locations with bright backdrops that encapsulated the area’s overall vibe.
Palm Springs is filled with inspiring places to shoot! We wanted to select iconic locations like the pink door house, Moorten Botanical Garden, the Saguaro and the windmills in the desert but transform these locations into stylized spaces for our project through the use of florals, props and outfit selection for each setting.
Did the venues influence your styling decisions?
Definitely – we found that each location had its unique qualities and we wanted to enhance this through the styling of each model. The shoot at the pink door was very stylized. I selected outfits with more color and bolder patterns like stripes, florals and even a flamingo accented dress! It was also fun to incorporate flower crowns and bouquets at the various locations since Palm Springs has so many unique desert plants and greenery we wanted to throw additional color into the mix.
What are the names of the locations you shot at? (I know you mentioned below, but let us know if you shot anywhere else)
Were there any special design features of the venues that you incorporated into the shoot?
We really played up the various design elements of Moorten Botanical Garden during our shoot. There is so much to work with in this space! The greenhouse alone has so many unique looking plants spilling out from pots and cascading from the ceiling, it made for an inspiring backdrop. Not to mention, the garden has winding trails of large succulents, cacti and trees that were fun to incorporate into the shoot by positioning the models amongst them and shooting through the leaves to add textures and shadow play.
Did you have a favorite venue/look and why:
My favorite outfit was at the monochrome house we shot at next to the pink door. It incorporated some of my favorite items of our shoot: a flowy, yellow silk skirt paired with a cut-out bralette, oversized sunnies and black slip-on shoes on our model Mel paired with our other model Ashlynn wearing a black and white striped two piece with a yellow leather jacket in the same yellow as Mel’s skirt! I also loved the metallic accents of her look with her sunglasses and statement necklace. I love how well these outfits tie in together but also how different they look when shot separately.
Why does Palm Springs make for a great girls getaway destination?
Palm Springs has pretty much everything a classic girls trip needs: the sun, great spas and pools for relaxing, amazing shopping, and delicious dinning. It’s the perfect place to unwind and relax with friends without breaking the bank.
Where did you stay?
We stayed at a house during our visit to Palm Springs but there are so many fun and funky hotels in the area worth visiting even if you don’t have a room booked there. We made our way to quite a few because each offers a unique flare and the décor is flawless! Our favorites were The Saguaro, The Parker and Korakia Pensione.
Did you have any memorable eats/drinks in the area?
Our top eats/drinks would have to be Norma’s at The Parker for brunch, Trio for an early dinner followed by Amigo Room at The Ace for cocktails and fun. Oh, and we can’t forget to mention In N Out, which is always a necessary stop when road tripping into the desert!
Palm Springs is a desert playground, the perfect juxtaposition where vintage meets modernity. It's where old-school Hollywood and new-age boho-chic play perfectly. Creative geniuses Allison Wagner and Jenna Bechtholt successfully fused these elements, yet still found a way to add their own personal vision. Keep killing it ladies!
Photography: Jenna Bechtholt Photography | Creative Director: Allison Wagner | Flowers: Violettes Flowers | Rentals: Circa Vintage Rentals | Hair/Makeup: Lauren Hendrix of Design Visage | Nancy Z Beauty | Models: Amberli: @amberlijahn, Mel: @melissaziegler, Ashlynn: @washedandworn, Cortney: @cortney.erin
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