At The River

I’ve had such a fun time guest blogging this week on Design Sponge and I’m so sad to see the week end. I really cannot thank Grace enough for this wonderful opportunity, and truly appreciate all the wonderful comments everyone left during the week. I am always amazed at the talent I get to feature on a daily basis, so when Joy Thigpen and Jose Villa recently collaborated I couldn’t resist ending my week here on Design Sponge with some images from their time together. Joy was also kind enough to send over a few details behind the shoot…

A few weeks ago I was so giddy to receive a call from none other than Jose Villa who was headed to my side of the continent and wanted to put together a little engagement-style shoot with me. Just for fun! We wanted to keep it laidback and I wanted to create an environment for it (of course) but I wanted it to be the kind of thing that someone could easily do for real and without breaking the bank. With the kind of love that surrounds an engagement, simple beauty and a little free-spirited fun are sometimes all you need. And achingly beautiful photography doesn’t hurt either. :)

CLICK HERE for the rest of the photos (including all 15 on one page) after the jump!



Photography Jose Villa

Art Direction Joy Thigpen

Stylist Matthew Johns

joy thigpen

oops! can we fix the credits? I wish I’d done the photography on this one! it was all jose…. but I have been so honored to be involved in the posts this week and really appreciate everyone’s kind an encouraging words.


If I had an engagement shoot, I would have wanted it to be just like this!! So care-free, fun and showing off the couple’s affection towards each other!
… plus that jumper she’s wearing in the pic with the yellow blanket is gorgeous!

great work

Anna/quilted giraffe

Oh, it’s so pretty!! May I ask where the white dress and bathing suits are from?


Absolutely stunning. Like Nikko said – you guys are hot hot hot. :)


Very beautiful! I think we are going to need some clothing info — I love that suit!


Good grief this looks like an ad campaign for some clothing company that I’m not nearly cool enough to shop at. =) Wow! Congrats on these amazing shots!


Stunning. But to clarify: this isn’t a real couple, right? (If they are, they’re going to have the most amazingly beautiful children…)


Hey Kristan!

Aren’t they adorable? You are correct though -they aren’t a couple. They are models. This shoot was just all about inspiration and having fun.




Okay whew I’m a little glad to hear theyre not a real couple…they were so picturesque and beautiful…it was almost too much! The shots are fantastic though.


Achingly beautiful photography of achingly beautiful people. Wow.


Wow! I really love, love, love these pictures! They are very nice! I featured them on my blog because they made my day…


Am I the only one who thinks this is incredibly cheesy? I am not sure what this could “inspire.” The subjects are rather plain and the pictures look straight out of stock photography. The Strawberry Summer post was much more beautiful and “inspired,” despite the plain subjects.


Wow, please post where that bathing suit is from because I could not be more in love with it! That rushing may mean that no one but me has to know about my cookie habit . . .


no really – where is that black swimsuit from?! it’s fabulous – as are these shots!


Where were these pictures taken at? Very beautiful location and pictures!


umm, so how many of us are running out to macy’s right now to get that swimsuit? ’cause i sure am.


I want that swimsuit very badly! I’m also glad to hear they aren’t a real couple because for some reason that makes them much less intimidating!


wow, I’m also thinking this is incredibly, painfully cheesy. reminds me a bit too much of the heidi montag / spencer pratt “natural photos.” weddings are getting a bit out of control. still, beautiful photos!


Beautiful shots…some of them would be perfect catalog cover shots…almost JCrew inspired?


her clothes are really cute but the headband/bathing suit/rubber boot combo should only be worn in the middle of the woods.


Love the styling and the fun feel of the entire shoot! I especially love the rain boots! Where are they from?


For those who asked about the suit — it’s made by Jantzen. I bought it a few years ago at a local store, but I think I’ve seen it recently in the Garnet Hill catalog.


wonderful pics, but c’mon….i love this site becuse it shows REAL PEOPLE, not models!! what;s so hard about getting models to look good…


hi guys,

it’s good to keep in mind that this is a site full of different types of ideas- we occasionally show professionally styled and designed houses, so i don’t think one post out of thousands that includes professional models should be a huge upset. we’ve shown a lot of weddings and events with real people that are just as attractive as models so i have a feeling that if these people weren’t revealed as models some people may not have said anything.



i partially agree with you grace, but who takes topless pictures at their wedding…. it was pretty obvious that they were models to me! I don’t mean to say that the pics aren’t admirable or inspirational, I just think that it would be much more inspirational to show how someone actually pulled off a wedding like this in real life. most of my favorite sneak peeks are the houses that seem like they are actually lived in. having that sense of reality makes the beautiful spaces/ weddings/ etc. that you feature seem more attainable.



i don’t know- “topless” makes the shoot seem a lot more racy than it actually is. if i looked that good in a swimsuit and wanted to do a non-traditional shoot i’d consider it. also, these are styled after engagement shoots, not wedding shots. i’ve seen a lot of pretty out-there engagement shots so i’ve come to expect the unexpected from these, which i love.

one thing to keep in mind though is that this is the only “styled” wedding shoot we’ve ever run. all the other weddings we’ve run have been “real” couples with “real weddings”. every now and then we like to include things that are in a different vein- but they’re by far the minority in terms of what we normally run.



wow!what fabulous shots.Where could I get the green rubber boots from?


WOW!! this stuff is beautiful and their website is so great! makes me want to get married!!


I love her rubber boots! Where are they from? All of the styling is so fun though! Love it :)


can you tell me the location of the shoot? i would love to go take pictures there myself, is it somewhere in georgia?


@TweetSmarter you any help with tweetdeck, keeps saying API can’t authenticate me but fine on twitter hmmmf