Leandra of Leandra Creative Co. may have been photographing a styled shoot and not a real wedding here, but she says the admiration between the two models, a real couple, was palpable. “I strive to make all of my styled shoots and collaborations feel like a real authentic experience for the models,” she says. “While we were shooting inside I asked them both, ‘If you were to say your vows on the spot right now, what would they be?’ They both giggled and looked at me, then at each other. Thinking Lexi would chime in first, before she could, Ethan looked her right in the eyes and said, ‘That I don’t have to pretend for any of this because you’re the love of my life and this all feels natural.’”
Shortly after, they were on their way to the venue in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. “These two were troopers because it was a chilly November evening, even for my upstate New York blood.” Lexi, the more adventurous of them, was ready to race through the street to take photos next to an Irish pub painted dark blue. Ethan, the more quiet one, was behind her. “Before stepping into the road, Lexi looked back at Ethan, and as she swung her hair around, he had reached out to grab the train of her dress for her, and in one movement, leaned into her to warm her up,” Leandra explains. “I saw her goosebumps appear, partly from the cold and partly from the connection they saw in each other’s eyes in that intimate moment.”
[Read: How to Become One of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography]
We’ve been talking a lot about how the pandemic has caused such a dilemma for photographers, but when you really think about it, it’s the couples who are trying to have a dream day that face this dilemma—and it’s up to the photographers to fix it as best they can. Mikayla and Luke of Agape Photography did just that for Nathan and Jordan, in more ways than one.
During their consult with the photo duo, the couple had spoken about their love of travel, which was obviously drastically affected by COVID-19, but nonetheless, it remained their wedding theme. And Nathan and Jordan decided to embrace this by focusing on everyone’s safety. Everyone wore masks and were socially distanced throughout the wedding, Luke says. It helped that the venue was wide open with huge windows, so there was no need to clutter the space with extra lights. The couple also decided to keep their 18-person wedding party, so when it came to group photos, Mikayla and Luke needed to think outside the box.
[Read: Reimagining the Aesthetics and Logistics of Formal Family Wedding Portraits]
“Mikayla and I looked at each other and brainstormed a few ideas and bam, instantly thought of the Brady Bunch.”
Still, the duo wanted to do the iconic group wedding photo. “I had the idea to pose every single person separately,” Luke says, “placing them where they would stand if they were all standing next to each other in a large group. So we shot every single person individually and Photoshopped them together to create this epic portrait. This way, they didn’t have to do a group shot of everyone wearing masks, because that kind of feels a bit morbid, doesn’t it?”
They wound up photographing 19 separate photos to make the composite. “This is the beauty of what we can create as artists,” Luke reflects. “Though they weren’t all standing there, it’s a photo like this that Nathan and Jordan can look back at in 20-plus years and remember who was all there still having an amazing time celebrating their marriage. We were so happy to do this for them and would 100,000% do it again.”
After photographing one couple’s wedding, Codi Villalobos was hired to document an in-home family session with their newborn. Recalling how supportive the couple’s extended families were for their nuptials, Villalobos was hardly surprised to see the baby girl’s cousins happily involved in the shoot.
[Read: The Next Natural Step—Branching Out From Wedding to Newborn Photography]
“I couldn’t resist getting a shot of them all together,” she says, “and it ended up being a favorite from this day. So much love and wonderment in their faces.”
The room was fairly dark save for a wall of windows, so she asked the oldest cousin to sit and hold the baby next to them. “I was taking a picture of just the two of them originally,” she says. “The other kids were prompted to gather around and all look at her. There was no direction on where to stand or whether to smile or not.” It just turned out perfect.
The bride in this photo by Shelby Stewart hadn’t let her father nor her bridesmaids see her dress before her wedding day, and to keep it a reveal, Stewart set her up in a getting-ready room that only her mother was allowed to access.
Stewart wanted a portrait of her alone, so once she was all ready, she had her stand by the sliding glass door to get all that good natural light. She was next going to have a first look with her father, who was standing outside on the property’s dock waiting for her. “As I snapped this photo, she looked out and saw her father standing on the dock where he was waiting to see her for the first time,” Stewart says. “She took a step back towards the wall and just looked out and started to tear up.”
Nigerian photographer Emmanuel Oyeleke photographed this portrait of the multi-talented Daala, a model, influencer, YouTuber and visual artist who is commonly known as the “Goddess of Skillz.”
[Read: How to Harmonize Hues in Creative Portrait Photography]
“It wasn’t my first time shooting Daala,” Oyeleke says, “however, this time I really wanted to make a play for her alias. The stylist had picked out a really fabulous dress and I really wanted a bit of drama, so I decided to put some gypsum boards on the floor from a recent renovation site.” Then he made a few choice lighting decision: “I gelled the fill light red, and with the help of an optical snoot, I focused some light on her upper body. Everything came together perfectly.”
Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more compelling imagery.
The post Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week appeared first on Rangefinder.
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