Creating a community in order to create
Photographer Tawny Horton is mixing chic with click.
She has been arranging wild and whimsical photoshoots around Utah, bringing together Salt Lake City shutterbugs, models, designers, makeup artists, and hair stylists for a chance to create a unique vision.
“I wanted to do more high fashion and avant-garde photos, but they cost money because you have to rent locations and get wardrobe,” Horton says. “So I decided to create a [Meetup.com] group so all of us photographers could share the cost.”
Her first group project took place in California nine years ago. When Horton moved to Utah, she brought the concept with her.
“It was a thing that Utah needed,” she says. “A lot of photographers here try to create, but they also work 9–5. With this option, they just show up and shoot. They are happy because it’s not work for them. They get to come out, create, relax, and have fun.”
Salt Lake City photographers have fun shooting fashion; whimsical Shoots
Horton has fostered relationships with brands, designers, models, hair stylists, and makeup artists that she brings together for each shoot, usually around a theme inspired by the clothing or location.
“My husband and I are always location scouting,” Horton says. “We’ve shot at the Salt Flats, Fantasy Canyon, Arches National Park, hot springs, local studios around downtown, and at the Spiral Jetty.”
The group has photographed Parisian-inspired wares in a lavender field, Game of Thrones-esque outfits in the snow with live owls, African threads in the Salt Flats, and glitzy gowns against Salt Lake City’s night skyline, to name a few.
“It’s fashion with drama and dreaminess tied in,” Horton says, whose high-fashion photography has appeared in local publications, including Utah Bride and Utah Stories, as well as international magazines based in Dubai and Russia.
Horton limits each meetup to two photographers per model so that everyone can easily get their shots. Photographers pay anywhere from $10–100 to participate in the shoot, which Horton books and arranges once or twice a month.
The wardrobe is usually donated in exchange for photos taken by the group.
The Facebook group, Salt Lake City Fashion Photoshoots, has grown to nearly 2,800 people. Horton estimates about half are photographers, while the rest are models, designers, and others affiliated with the shoots.
Horton never imagined the group would grow to the size it has, but she’s happy it has—and she hopes it continues that way.
“If people are working on their portfolios, or just want to get out to meet people who share their same hobby, they should come join us,” Horton says.
To find out more about the next photographers meetup, visit Meetup.com/SLC-Fashion-Photoshoots