Great Lengths Canada is working on a very exciting new project set to launch in February of the New Year. To help launch the project we were in need of some beautiful, fresh, bridal photography. Great Lengths stylist, Jessica Kurtz of Thrive Eco Salon, in Nanaimo, BC and a team of very talented people stepped up to the plate and came together to help us make it happen.
Jessica started her career as a hair stylist twelve years ago at The Cutting Room, in Nanaimo. It was there that she found her passion for working on photoshoots, winning Canadian Avant-Garde Stylist of the Year at the 2009 Mirror Awards. “I really felt like I found where I belonged in the avant-garde category,” says Jessica, where she embraced the fact that there were “no boundaries for creativity.” The experience grew her passion both for hair and for photoshoots . She has since placed as a finalist in the 2013 Mirror Awards; started a mobile Bridal hair and make-up service, “As You Wish Beauty”, in collaboration with her sister; and made the move to Thrive Eco Salon in Lantzville, BC.
Outside of the salon, Jessica continues to push herself creatively, collaborating with other talented creatives on photoshoots whenever possible. It was this creative drive, and a passion for extensions, that led her to pitch the Great Lengths team for a bridal photoshoot.
“I’ve been working with Great Lengths for ten years now, they are the only extensions I recommend and offer to my clients. I love them so much; the quality, the wearability, how well they blend, the versatility… the possibilities are endless. I’ve always loved doing bridal hair, so when the opportunity presented itself, I was beyond excited and grateful to put together a bridal collection for this amazing company! It’s a dream come true for me!”
Previous bridal shoots had Jessica using a non-traditional approach. One, inspired by the sentiment that “love is blind,” featured a bride and groom blindfolded for a statement that was beautiful and eye-catching.
“I love anything but ordinary,”
says Jessica. Photos from this shoot caught the Great Lengths Canada team’s attention and we couldn’t wait to see what she’d create for us.
“Simple Elegance” was Jessica’s inspiration for this Great Lengths bridal collection. Since the collection was for Great Lengths, Jessica “wanted to showcase the length and fullness of the Great Lengths extensions in an elegant and soft style, creating an editorial bride that relates to the modern real-world bride.” Jessica’s clean simplicity and less is more approach allows the hair to be the focal point. Jessica used six bundles of 24 inch Great Lengths bonded extensions in shade #59 to create a beautiful full head of blonde hair – bridal dream hair.
The team started with hair and makeup while the photographer set up. The dress was fluffed and it was time to shoot! A simple grey background was used in order to allow the hair to be the focus. “I wanted the hair to glow in a way that really caught the eye and would stand out on a page,” said Jessica, continuing on to say, “I’m so happy with the final result and the whole experience.”
We asked Jessica for some tips and tricks when approaching photoshoots and she had plenty of advice to offer. “First, really take the time to visualize what you want and choose a theme… and then do your research: find the right team to collaborate with to bring your vision to life.” When finding a photographer, “make sure their style of shooting works with your vision.” In selecting a model, be sure to find someone that embodies your vision. “From their look, their facial expressions, the way they present themselves and the way they connect with the camera.” Consider location; studio and outdoor locations offer different benefits. Studio shoots offer endless options when it comes to lighting and backgrounds, whereas on location you have the option of working with nature and multiple surroundings with natural light. She cited that finding the dream team can be the biggest challenge in photoshoots. “Choose your team wisely based on your overall vision for the shoot, but most importantly enjoy the process of working with a team of like-minded and creative people!”
Jessica’s passion for working together with a team of like-minded artists to bring an idea to life in photoshoots is something she says feeds her soul, allowing her to use a side of herself that she doesn’t get to use in the day to day at the salon. “I’m extremely grateful for the experiences and the amazing co-workers/mentors I’ve had, and the clients that make my career so fulfilling and enjoyable!” She hopes to continue to fuel her passion and push the limits in her work with more opportunities for collaboration with other creative individuals.
“I want to continue to tell stories through photoshoots, hopefully making a positive impact and encouraging others to push boundaries as well.”