Festive, vibrant, and full of heritage, today’s styled shoot was inspired by Frida Kahlo; a Mexican painter, an artist admired by photographer Darien Photography. To showcase her Mexican roots with a Nashville flair, Darien headed to Mexico, blending color and culture in the prettiest of ways! The elopement inspiration proves that part of telling your story is about where you come from and the love you share. Learn more from Darien in the interview below and enjoy the beautiful photos she captured!
Darien: I am so excited to share with you this styled shoot that focuses on what is important: the couple’s beginning their life together, celebrating their love and their heritage surrounded by travel treasures and family heirlooms in lieu of guests. Very fitting to our times of COVID19 pandemic, when couples are opting for intimate weddings, smaller affairs and elopements.
As a Mexican photographer living in Nashville, I am committed to show diversity, equality and inclusion in my body of work. This couple’s elopement was shoot entirely in Mexico City, before the pandemic hit, but it could inspire any couple that identifies with the blending of cultures and loving both their birth place and the place in which they choose to live. There is no need to travel to Mexico City, this look can be accomplished here in Nashville too.
Darien: These photographs are an invitation for couples with Mexican heritage as much as couples that love the colorful, festive and elegant vibe that the Frida Kahlo’s style brings to any occasion. I want to inspire couples to celebrate their love surrounded with items that showcase what’s important to them: their current city (Nashville, TN in this case); their family (represented with a collection of heirloom items); items collected on their travels; Mexican culture and art; all along with admiration of Frida Kahlo’s style, which managed to be both traditional and unconventional at the same time.
In the spirit of the latter, these photos offer an alternative to the white wedding dress and the novelty of using original pieces from Mexican designer Áurea Bucio’s collection. Bucio transforms “rebozos,” handmade shawls that are possibly the most iconic pieces of traditional Mexican clothing, into modern fashionable ones. Frida Kahlo used to wear “rebozos” almost everywhere, elevating them to a more cosmopolitan status. The versatility of these pieces is shown in this shoot by using a “rebozo” as a table runner, and as a scarf used by the groom in one of the images.
Darien: The venue is the former home of renowned Mexican artist Chucho Reyes, recently reinvented as this quaint restaurant. Reyes used his courtyard as a painting studio and opened his home to writers, intellectuals, and artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The couple’s table setting in the courtyard of today showcases milk-glass lamps and cups; colored, cut-glass wineglasses; Limonges’ porcelain; Cyndi Nelson Hummingbird plates; and with a touch of Nashville’s details, such as “The Spirit of Nashville” candles and cards, along with some Jack Daniels whiskey.
We also seized the opportunity to walk by and take photographs at Frida’s own home, “Casa Azul,” and at other locations around her neighborhood of Coyoacán. Her “presence” is the only witness to this couple’s destination elopement (obvious in some of the frames).
Darien: (On the story behind this styled shoot): I was born and raised in Mexico City, but I have lived in the States for more than half my life, most of this time in Nashville, so you can say that I am Mexican/Nashvillian. In fact, this dual citizenship is evident in my work, and specifically in this personal project.
After witnessing a very positive impact of the Mexican culture in Nashville, when The Frist Art Museum hosted the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (the artists I grew up admiring), and seeing how Nashvillians loved Frida’s visit to Music City, it occurred to me that I could bring Nashville to Frida in Mexico and create imagery to make a full circle. So I brought “The spirit of Nashville” to Coyoacán—the cards and candles from the Anderson Design Group—along with the iconic Jack Daniels Whiskey. The cake and calligraphy (Frida Kahlo’s quotes handwritten in English and Spanish) were also featured work by talented Nashvillians.
Darien: Fun fact! I got to create this work with one of my brides (art director) and one of her bridesmaids (Frida). When I met Beatriz at Annie’s wedding in Cancún 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to photograph her. The idea of an intimate, destination-elopement styled shoot, evolved from a Frida Kahlo inspired portrait session I was planning with Beatriz. Annie came along to style the shoot. Beatriz and Annie worked on the logistics of finding the perfect location, wardrobe and talented floral designers and hair and makeup artists. I loved creating magic with every one of them.
We love the creativity, beauty and meaning behind this styled shoot! Huge thank you to Darien Photography for sharing this Frida Kahlo inspired, eclectic and colorful elopement with us!
Also! Darien is partnering with Modern Vintage Events and Mary Love Richardson to host a physically distanced prosecco + a mini session in the beautiful courtyard of the Germantown Inn with an ah-mazing floral install from Rosemary & Finch as your backdrop. Be sure to sign up here to reserver your time slot!