The Belle Époch - Styled Shoot with the HB Collective


As part of the Hawke’s Bay Wedding Collective, my awesome day job is to turn other people’s dreams into reality. Once in a while, though, it’s fun to do the same thing with my own dreams. This shoot was inspired by a desire to photograph a wedding creative session which celebrated the freedom and wildness of love in off-grid locations without any of the limitations which, for a variety of good reasons, come with a typical wedding day.

The ‘Eva Bradley Photography’ wedding style is classic, especially when it comes to editing. We believe that’s the best way to ensure you’ll still love your photos when you show them to the grandkids 50 years from now. But for this shoot I wanted to be a little ‘circa 2018 and create a dark, dreamy, ethereal sense of romance deep in the native New Zealand bush at a beautiful place called Tongoio Falls. With my friends Abby Schofield (hair), Candice Dear (makeup), Kim McMillan (florals), Andrew Caldwell (photographer) and models Stella and Ruby, we put on our gumboots and went for a trek. Hawke’s Bay is famous for its vineyards and orchards but there is so much more just off the beaten path.

Our shoot was also inspired by the golden age of the 'Belle Époch', an exciting era in history at the turn of the 19th century, when women were beginning to break out of the man-made-moulds that had bound them for so long to embrace a new freedom that was of their own making. We have seen this same theme in wedding stying in recent years and wanted to celebrate a modern bride's freedom to do as she pleases, her way...for her day.

Miss Frou Frou stylsist extraodinarie, Suzanne Beaumont, joined us later to create a wedding table setup to match our theme. For this, we were closer to civilization at The Orchard Store and a cactus grove growing on a vacant lot just around the corner from my home and studio in Bay View. The best bit was sitting down together to enjoy our set afterward. Hawke’s Bay has some of New Zealand’s most talented wedding stylists and although it’s always great to work with them, it’s even better to share a wine with them!


Photographer: Eva Bradley / Makeup: Candice Dear / Hair: Abby Schofield / Florals: Lushka / Table styling: Miss Frou Frou / Furniture Hire: Mardigras Events / Treats: The Picnic & Monsieur Macaron / Dresses: Foraged from costume theatres and our own wedding trunks.