Iceland elopement photographer Stephanie Zakas was thrilled to have this image taken at Hotel Búðir work out so well because, she says, it captures so much of what Iceland elopements are about: nature, rain, rainbows, and the bride getting ready on her own terms.
© Zakas Photography
“The rainbow I saw slowly got brighter through the window as the bride was getting ready,” says Zakas. “She was at the window using the window light to illuminate her face in the little handheld mirror she was using while applying her makeup. I moved myself to set up the shot compositionally the way I wanted, adjusted my settings so the light looked how I envisioned it, and just started taking the photos. This rainbow was actually super unique and lasted for 4 hours! It was so bright and neon, absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime moment the couple got as an elopement present from Iceland.”
[Read: How to Survive an Underwater Wedding]
Underwater and portrait photographer Tomasz Rossa took this image in in a private pool in Las Vegas.
© Tomasz Rossa
“This is from a series of images that I was working on with model Kanako Kitao, an Olympic medalist and ex Cirque du Soleil performer,” says Rossa. “I have been working with Kanako for a few years now and our sessions always produce quite fascinating images. There was a tragedy in her life connected with water so the concept here was all about letting go of the past. It’s always almost like a therapy session when we work together in the water.”
One challenge Rossa had on this shoot was working with such a big dress underwater. “It was very heavy and cumbersome to swim with it,” he explains. “It took a lot of patience and calmness while working in a deep pool without a breathing apparatus. In this instance it was just Kanako and me, without any assistance. The light patterns on the walls are created by the waves on top of the water. It took us a few tries to get it right.”
This image was taken by photographer Chris Zielecki of Sturmsucht in Hamburg, Germany, at a private home situated right near the wedding venue.
© Chris Zielecki/Sturmsucht
“When I approached the wedding venue, I noticed this backyard right in front of the venue,” says Zielecki. “The home owners were drying their white clothes outside in the sun and also had industrial shipping containers in their garden. It was a great spot. I liked the all-white-clothes pattern forming in front of an industrial building and was more than happy when the property owners gave us permission to shoot some wedding images there.”
[Read: How to Photograph City Weddings (and Embrace the Space)]
Zielecki continues: “When shooting in an urban environment, I’m always searching for “ugly” or very contrasty places to place my couples in (I give a workshop—called the “ugly neighbourhood” on this topic to train wedding photographers to deal with the real conditions of an everyday wedding.) Here, I saw the lines of white clothes that instantly formed a black-and-white image in my mind. I’m always searching for layers when taking portraits and the bright sun highlighted the scene and supported the calmness I try to always create with my portraits—’Take a breath, close your eyes, enjoy the sun. Click.’ “
Taken on the beautiful Indonesian island Java in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, this image by Vienna-based wedding and elopement photographer Mati was a true study in light and shadow.
© Mati Photography
Mati explains that after enjoying the sunrise on top of a mountain, he and the couple decided to drive down to the valley, where this portrait of the bride was finally taken. He can still remember how strong the sun was already at 7 a.m. “It should also be noted that the light in Indonesia is simply different than in Europe. As a photographer, you usually prefer to wait for the softer evening/sunset mood, so it was a bit of a challenge to work with this harsh light. But I still used it to my advantage.”
The photographer asked the bride to hold her bridal bouquet in front of her face and look towards the sun. “I was so convinced that we could use it to create unique shadow and light effects on her face. The bright light also intensified this desired effect. I just told her to close her eyes and enjoy the sun rays on her face. It was a wonderful, quiet moment that she will surely remember from her special day.”
© Jonathan Banks
Jonathan Banks was commissioned by the lighting design company FLOS to photograph Cypriot-born, London-based designer Michael Anastassiades, known for his lithe yet commanding lighting structures.
Here, a portrait of Michael and his new light sculpture, Ama. “I had previously photographed Ama in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and it is quite spectacular,” says Banks. “Made from hand-blown opaline glass and brass, the band of spherical lights was placed on the floor to emit a soft, ambient glow. The translucency of the white glass provides a gentle luminosity, creating a magical illusion of pearl-like orbs.” (Inspiration for the piece comes from a group of female free divers in Japan called Ama women, who dangerously venture to the depths of the ocean bed to collect pearls.)
Banks wanted Anastassiades to have a connection with the lighting and appear to be completely illuminated by it. “This meant he had to come down to the level of the light sculpture by sitting, crouching or even laying next to it,” says Banks. “This is a portrait about Michael and his connection with light and space. I wanted the photograph to show that everything we see in the picture is because of Michael’s light design.”
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