Event Spotlight: Light + Melanin Workshop

In July, we had the exciting opportunity to partner with Erica Benson of SoCal Standard to host the Light + Melanin Workshop, an “online photo and editing workshop dedicated to the education of diversification in the photography industry.” This was such a special event because it promoted and encouraged diversity and inclusivity, things we’re always trying to work towards at Flora.

Capturing Magic

This four-day event brought much-needed attention to the lack of diversity in the photography industry. The small group workshop was inspiring and uplifting and created a space for photographers to learn and grow. Workshops tackled important topics ranging from capturing and editing different skin tones and how to develop a portfolio to advice about race, diversity, and tokenism in the photography industry. The workshops were led by the vivacious and talented photographer, Erica.

Light + Melanin workshop

We’re honored to have been able to hold days three and four at Flora. There were two different design concepts for these shoots: vibrant, neon, and colorful and a modern take on the classic black and white scheme.

Light + Melanin Workshop photoshoot

Day 3: Playing with Light and Color

This day was a styled shoot that included many local San Diego vendors, and photographers from all over the country came to participate in this incredible workshop. The models for these shoots were two married couples. Flora provided the perfect clean backdrop to style each shoot in a unique and varied way.

The first couple, Anisett and Jason, were placed in a colorful ceremony backdrop that screamed fun, maximalist rainbow wedding. This micro wedding set was complete with neon lights, geometric cutouts in pinks, oranges, and yellows, velvet chairs in rich tones, and vibrant flowers to match the bright color palette. Anisett wore a stunning modern twist on a traditional wedding gown from Rue de Seine’s new collection Golden Rhapsody to add a touch of boho glamour. This shoot wasn’t only about wedding photography though, Jason’s birthday was only a few days after the photo shoot, so they made sure to take individual photos of him for the occasion.

Light + Melanin workshop

Light + Melanin workshop

The second couple featured, Crowne and Kris, have been together for more than half a decade. Erica placed them in an elegant black, white, and gold ceremony space. She intentionally set Crowne and Kris with the black and white backdrop to avoid any stereotypes surrounding LGBTQAI+ couples. Their theme was an elegant, bohemian twist on a traditional black and white wedding. Flora was decorated with a black backdrop accented by a white geometric pattern and wheat fans, gilded metal chairs, and white, tropical flowers mixed with gold palm fronds. Kris wore a sleek black jumpsuit from ASOS, and Crowne wore the white lace gown from Rue de Seine.

Light + Melanin workshop

The varied ceremony locations and color schemes were placed in areas that created uneven lighting so that the photographers could practice with styling in more challenging situations. Each photographer was given an allotted amount of time with the couples to style and move them to get their perfect shots. Both couples were such a joy to photograph because their love and effervescent spirits shone through in every image.

Day 4: Learning and Growing

Day four of the Light + Melanin workshop was about taking what attendees learned from their photography sessions to create something magical. It included lessons in editing photos with POC and an open discussion Q&A about race, diversity, marketing, tokenism, and more.

The event ended with Erica doing an important and educational Livestream talking about BIPOC couples and how to give them the absolute best service in the industry.

Light + Melanin workshop

Light + Melanin workshop

A massive thank you to the incredibly talented Erica, all the attendees, and wonderful vendors who helped to make the Light + Melanin Workshop possible. We’re so happy that we’re part of this groundbreaking and fun event promoting diversity in the industry. If you’re looking for a beautiful space to host a gathering or workshop, contact us to schedule a tour. Our team can’t wait to help you plan your next event.

Venue: @florathevenue 

Designer & Instructor: SoCal Standard @socal.standard 

Florals: A.H.R. Florals @ahrflorals 

Furniture Rentals: Adore Folklore @adorefolklore 

Tablescape: Catalog Atelier @catalogatelier  

Backdrop Neon: Wild Heart Events @wild_heart_events 

Backdrop BW: Back Up Backdrops @backupbackdrops 

Ribbons: The Lesser Bear @thelesserbear 

Cake: Nicole Bakes Cakes @nicolebakescakes 

Videographer: This Rad Love  

Dress: Rue de Seine @ruedeseinebridal 

Suit & Jumper: ASOS @asos 

Makeup: Lindsey Jones Makeup Artistry @lindseymaureenjones 

Couple:  Anisett @anisett Jason @j_vvill 

Crowne @crownexo__ Kris @kris.ofalltrades 

Featured Photos by:

SoCal Standard @socal.standard 

Madeline Barr Photo @madelinebarrphoto 

Laura McMullin Photography @lauramcmullinphotography 

Students who participated in the workshop:

Alexandria Monette @alexandriamonette 

Kami Olavarria @kamiolavarria 

Madeline Barr Photo @madelinebarrphoto 

Honey Photographs @honeyphotographs 

Marissa Hyland @marissahyland 

Renoda Campbell Photography @renodacampbellphoto 

Laura McMullin Photography @lauramcmullinphotography 

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