I was able to work with a really pretty bride the other evening doing bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in the Huntington State Park. The evening was great except for being a bit cold. Because of the 5:00pm closing time of the Atalaya Castle, we had to stay outside the castle to be able to catch the sunset. The poor bride almost froze to death by the end of the session, but I think it will be worth it to her when she sees the pictures. She did a pretty good job of not looking cold, at least as long as you don’t zoom in on the 36mp Nikon D800 images and see all the goose bumps.
I’ve been trying to get better at posing hands, with bridal portraits you have a lot more time than at the wedding for trying different hand positions. You will notice below I have the bride doing a lot of different things with her hands, not everything worked that we tried, but that is how you get better at it. Another thing I’m working more with is off camera speedlights. I put a Gary Fong Power Snoot on my second flash behind and to the left of the bride on a lightstand. The power snoot creates a more concentrated light that pretty much just hits where you aim it. You will notice it in a number of shots where you see a separation light on the brides hair and her side a bit. It just gives the pictures an extra pop when you can do that. Something a lot of beginning photographers don’t realize, taking a picture isn’t just having a good eye and being able to aim a camera and push a button. You have to get more technical and pull out some real equipment if you want to take something that really stands out. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, please like and comment on the post if you do!
Quick edit – I was playing around with some new Nik Software plugins. Google is now giving the complete collection free to anyone that purchased individual plugins before! I’ve never used some of the plugins like HDR Efex. I usually stay away from any strong effects, but after playing around I thought the first image below looked cool! So I added it here. I’m still mostly keeping away from strong effects though, they tend to look dated quickly.
I really made a big storyboard for this couple’s recent engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park. They looked great in so many pictures I just kept making selections. The way I do a blog post, when I’m going through the pictures in Lightroom, I put a flag on every picture that I think might be good for my blog. The nice thing about Lightroom, there are star ratings, color ratings, and flags. So you can have multiple different ways of marking images for different uses. I use star ratings (use keyboard keys 1-5) to pick the actual pictures that will be delivered to a client, which is usually well more than half of what I took. I use color ratings (keyboard keys 6-0) for things like separating a wedding ceremony from a reception, usually for marking large groups of pictures. Then I use the picks flag (push the p key for pick, u for un-pick) for my favorites that I might use in a blog post.
I always seem to find something to talk about in my posts, I hope some of the things are helpful. Back to this couple, I saw the light was perfect in one of my favorite spots around the oak trees. I really love when you can get a real power from the sunlight coming through the trees. I hope the engaged guys appreciate that they have a girl that will smiling at them like you see in every picture here. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please like and comment if you do! As with all my recent posts, these are fully retina display ready, so to fully view these you need a new iPad or other high dpi device.
This is my second blog post to fully support the iPad with Retina display. Sadly, the images for all my older posts are not high enough resolution to support a high dpi display like the Retina iPad without having to upload everything again. Most people that use the 3rd or 4th generation iPad probably don’t understand how it supports image viewing on the web, they just know that sometimes pictures look really fantastic on it. In fact very few websites actually fully support it. Basically what happens now on my blog, if it detects a retina display, it will serve up a double resolution image. For example, on a normal display you will see a 1250px wide image, on an iPad Retina you will get a 2500px wide image, however the image will still fit the same space on the screen, it will be the same relative size as on any other display. The pixels are just more densely packed together so the image will look extra sharp and clear. I actually haven’t seen any other wedding photographers online that support the retina displays on their websites. If you have good eyesight and you look closely, you will notice how much clearer the images in this post look compared to most websites.
Anyway, enough about that. This was a great session I had with this couple at the Georgetown Harbor Walk. They saw pictures of the last couple I photographed at this spot and they wanted to do something similar. The sun had changed position a bit so I had to change some angles from what I did last time. I think everything turned out really nice, let me know in the comments below if you enjoy the pictures!
This was the first time I’ve been to the Magnolia Plantation area in Charleston for a wedding. I’ve done some engagement pictures here, but never a full wedding. The first time to a new site is always exciting, I do a lot of looking around trying to find some spots with good lighting and background details. We also had a golf cart driver that took us around to some popular spots.
The reception was in the conservatory which is a really cool spot. It’s an indoor garden area with a small section with tables for the guests. The couple was pretty flexible so we even spent a few minutes experimenting with a few nighttime, off camera lighting shots in the garden area. I was putting a flash with umbrella in the background to give some highlights to the foliage behind them. Experimenting is always fun if there is a little extra time. I’m looking forward to my wedding in a couple of weeks at this location and I hope I get some in the future as well. As always please comment below if you enjoy these pictures.