This styled shoot on Cape Fiolent in Crimea, Russia, is the story of the swan princess from Alexander Pushkin’s “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” brought to life. It shows the majestic transformation of a swan emerging from the ocean to become a beautiful princess bride, evoking femininity and regality all through the use of styling and imagination.
The jagged and energetic coastline is a mesmerizing location, symbolic of the importance of the ocean to Pushkin’s tale. It’s through these waters that the tender swan appears. She dons a simple white dress with thin straps and flowing skirt. Her makeup is natural and her hair is soaked from the ocean.
She wraps her shoulders in light pink fabric and holds onto a small pink sash, watching it as it flutters in the breeze. Standing on the edge of the cliff, she looks as if she is can fly, weightless and free.
But then, her transformation into a royal bride begins. A soft pink dress features striking gold embellishments on the front, along with a flowing layered skirt. To match, a gold coronet with oak leaves and feathers and a thin panel of netting holds her long veil in place.
Standing next to the tide, she is a sight to behold. As the veil flies, she takes on a whole new appearance – a quiet swan transitioning to a glorious bride.
Her bouquet is a pink and white creation, tied with long silk ribbons.
In a traditional sense, her veil covers her face as she has yet to be revealed to her husband. But her soft and delicate silhouette offers an eye-catching contrast to the rocky shore around her.
Then, her face is revealed and her noble appearance is breathtaking. Striking gold eyes and a wispy braided updo take her natural swan look from modest to magnificent.
All of the gold details for the bride’s style bounce off one another in radiant fashion, catching the sunlight in a most stunning way.
With her veil now gone, she clutches her bouquet and emits brilliance on the shore. She’s now a confident, and sophisticated bride. Her transformation from swan to princess is complete.
This styled shoot is a creative twist on wedding style, one that is also relatable for many brides as they navigate the wedding waters. You go through transformations and experiences and eventually find yourself at this incredible place in life. But always remember, while you were once a lovely swan, you, too, are now someone’s chosen princess.
Photography: Alexander and Marina Santi
Location: Russia, Crimea, Fiolent
planner: Igor Kovchegin & Santi Wedding
concept and styling: Anna Romanova
flowers: Green May
princess hair: Vita Petrenko
princess make up: Kristina Karpova
dresses and veil: Zhanna Salatova
swan hair accessory: Evgeniya Lebedeva
princess hair accessory: Beretk!Ah
silk ribbons and textile: Bark and Berry
calligraphy: Alina Iliyna
model: Alexandra Panchenko