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 don’t typically do an many bridal portraits as other types of photography. A lot of people prefer to do engagement pictures with me and just do some bridal style pictures at the wedding. But it’s always a lot of fun when I get to. This is one of the best kinds of photography you can do, a bride all dressed up for a wedding, without the stress and limited time of the wedding itself. It’s pretty hard to go wrong as long as you have a pretty location to work with.
I thought I would post just a few pictures from recent bridal portraits at Pawleys Plantation area and from the Conway River Walk. Pawleys Plantation is a private area so you would probably have to be doing a wedding there to get to do this, but the Conway River Walk is freely open to everyone. It’s one of my favorite spots.
Bride walking toward to clubhouse – Pawley’s Plantation
Bridal portrait in the flowers behind the clubhouse – Pawley’s Plantation
I had a fun wedding reception a couple of weeks ago in the Conway River Walk area, specifically at the Peanut Warehouse. The Conway area is a small historic town about 20 minutes away from Myrtle Beach. Conway has a really pretty area on the river, with some nearby railroad tracks that are no longer used, that makes for a great photo location. This couple already had their wedding ceremony in Italy, they were just having a second reception for the family and friends that were not able to make the trip. I wouldn’t normally want to just photograph a reception only, but this couple had me do bridal and couple pictures before the reception. It was pretty much what I would do for any wedding except for the actual ceremony itself. I just know my pictures can’t really compete with the beautiful location they had for their wedding.
This turned out to be a lot of fun because the bride was not worried about her dress and we had lots of extra time for pictures of her and the couple, a lot more time than I would typically have at a wedding. Everyone was really relaxed as well. The couple even ventured out pretty far on the railroad tracks to a little bridge overlooking the water. I was actually surprised they were willing to do so much because the tracks are very difficult to walk on. I’m always up for anything, so if there are any adventurous couples that want to try something different please let me know.
The only problem with the pictures is it was a very overcast evening, which can be nice, but it was making for some flat kind of boring light. I’ve been experimenting more and more with using off camera flash aided by the new Pocket Wizards. I tried in a few shots to get some flash on a light stand behind the subject to simulate sunlight hitting from behind. I also used a second flash a lot at the reception itself to give some more interesting lighting. If you enjoy these pictures or have any comments about them please let me know below.
Light coming through the walls at Peanut Warehouse - Conway River Walk
A couple of weeks ago I was able to do some very pretty bridal portraits for a bride getting married this weekend. We set everything up on just a few weeks notice but I had the weekend open and was glad I was able to fit them in. This is a pretty unique location in a private home area a bit south of Pawleys Island, SC which is about 30 minutes south of the Myrtle Beach area. The wedding planner knew one of the residents in the area and they allowed us to do some pictures around their home as well as down near the Intracoastal Waterway. I thought they all turned out really beautifully and wanted to share some below. I especially liked some of the sunset pictures down near the water with the sun spilling through the oak trees. If properly exposed, shots backlit by the sun can be very beautiful. I hope you enjoy these below.