Downtown Winston-Salem, a city in North Carolina, has a way of looking like a bigger city when you have Scott Stockton behind the lens. He photographed an engagement session around the industrial city with a couple who loved the city, so Stockton knew he wanted the surroundings to play a part in the photos. He came across a bridge that could be framed by the buildings around it with the right composition, so he placed the couple in the center.
© Scott Stockton
“I had to back up a good bit as I chose to use a telephoto lens to pull and compress some of the background into Sean and Chase,” Stockton explains. He had to run out into the street, with assistants to watch his back. Stockton exposed for the highlights in the sky, which then underexposed his couple, so he used a Godox AD200 pocket flash with a MagMod sphere. “This is one of my favorite photos,” Stockton says, “because while we were in a smaller city in North Carolina, it gives the vibe of being in a metropolis like Gotham City.”
In photographing gowns for Moemo’s, a brand in Mexico City, Mauricio D’Rugama‘s goal was to make the dress pop. He’s a digital photographer, but D’Rugama has also photographed with black-and-white film with filters to up the contrast.
“As soon as I saw the green leaves and grass with some blueish tint, matching almost exactly the tonal value, I knew that it would be perfect in that spot,” D’Rugama says, “but also notice that this has to be done in post-production.”
© Mauricio D’Rugama
Anna Gadalean of Ginger’s Eyes Photography had the opportunity to art-direct and photograph a bridal editorial shoot. She wasn’t interested in creating something stagnant.
© Ginger’s Eyes Photography
“The two assistants were moving a big material cloth behind the model while she was moving as well,” Gadalean says. “I needed a clear sky background for this shot without trees or hills—we were shooting in a field—and I wanted to add some texture, which is why I used the cloth.”
Nina and Arno of A Bear Photography got lucky when the rain let up for a few minutes at this wedding in November. “We rushed the whole bridal party up to this amazing terrace, we put on some jams, and we had a great time.”
© A Bear Photography
To get the bridal party to look relaxed and joyful, they have a trick: they ask them to lock arms and tell them, “Okay guys, while you are walking, we are going to look at each other and laugh at our steps because our steps are so funny,” then “give a very sarcastic laugh and shout for them to go for it. It is pretty cheesy but it always works like a bomb. We found that if we are willing to put ourselves out there and laugh at ourselves, the bridal party usually follows suit and we all have a great time together.”
Photographing a fashion editorial with someone who indicates that she is awkward in front of the camera is something that Nardia, one half of the photo duo behind Foolishly Rushing In, strangely loves, she says. “I mean, every girl wants and deserves to feel pretty. So much of my job, as the photographer, is to create a space where the girl can feel she is beautiful in her own authentic way so that her natural confidence comes out.”
Nardia doesn’t want to force directions or poses, so to get to know what feels natural to her subjects, she and her husband Dan try to get to know them as friends. “We like to understand what makes them who they are,” she explains. “Then when it comes time to imagining how they would naturally want to express themselves, the emotion and creativity just seems to fit and the shoot flows naturally.”
© Foolishly Rushing In
A couple had reached out to Nardia and Dan for a non-traditional engagement shoot. “Jessica loved our editorial style, and we knew right away the emotion and style she imagined in her head.” They chose to go to Le Chacuel, a spa in Joshua Tree, California, as their location when they knew they’d be able to have some privacy.
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