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.
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.
The wedding I’m featuring this week was from the Litchfield Country Club in Pawleys Island. It’s actually been a couple of years since I have done a wedding at this location. I was a little worried about the pictures because they wanted to do a first look and then do all the family and couple pictures before the ceremony. This means that we had to start the pictures around 2 pm when the sun was still very much overhead in the sky. If this would have been at an open sky location like the beach, not only is everyone going to be squinting, but it’s almost impossible to avoid harsh shadows and raccoon eyes.
Thankfully, at a location with lots of large trees, you can usually find plenty of shade to do family pictures. I still have to be careful to make sure in the shade pictures look good, but that will have to be for another post. Actually you can get a pretty cool look, like you see in some of the pictures below, if you have the subject in the shade but the sun hitting foliage in the background. For the ceremony itself it was at the ideal time of day. It was just beautiful with the sunset going down behind the trees during the ceremony. You really can’t get better light than that.
You might notice I’ve made a couple of changes to the blog. The blog is now super wide, however if you are viewing on a narrower browser window or smaller device it will just scale to whatever you have. I’m trying out a new storyboard layout for pictures this time, I got this pretty expensive Photoshop plugin called Storyboard that makes it easy to put together all the pictures automatically. Let me know if you like the pictures and the new layout!
This is the first time I’ve been up to Holden Beach in NC for a wedding. This wedding was for a couple that was bringing together their two families with adult children. Everyone just seemed really happy and got along great. That always makes things easier for me. The wedding was held at a really pretty private home on the ocean. It was quite a long walk from the beach house down to the actual ocean. The area behind the house was huge and just full of dunes and sea oats, as well as a small lake surrounded by tall grass. This was actually one of the prettiest beach spots I think I’ve seen. It makes you realize how much they have ruined the Myrtle Beach area. All the houses and hotels are stuck almost on the ocean, it has just ruined the beach and dunes. I guess there is nothing that can be done about it now except occasional beach re-nourishment when they pump sand out of the ocean. I decided for this post to highlight just one part of the wedding, pictures of the couple that we did at sunset. The whole afternoon I had been looking at spots and thinking about what it would look like at sunset. After spending some time at the reception the couple walked back down to the beach with me right around sunset time, like usual we only had a few minutes. The angle of the sun to the ocean is different here than it is in Myrtle Beach. That is why there are a lot of cool shots with the sun going down over the ocean. There is only a brief time during the winter when the sun’s angle will be like that here. I just love in the pictures below the way the sunset reflects off the edge of the water, as well as the ones of it going down behind the lake. If you like these pictures please comment and ‘like’ the post, it encourages me to post more often. A couple of these shots have been touched up, but most have not. I hope you enjoy them.