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Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week | Rangefinder

This month, we are celebrating eye-catching portraits and photos that were awarded in WPPI’s Second Half competition. Discover the entire gallery of winners, and take a look at our weekly featured photo series.

Last week, we began spotlighting our Photos of the Week series on Second Half winners (read the stories behind those highlighted images here), and this week, we continue with five more photos that caught our eyes from the competition.

John Hellström, a wedding and portrait photographer based in Stockholm, claimed first prize for the “Couple Together: Wedding Day” category within Second Half’s Wedding Division. On a summer day in Stockholm’s archipelago, the bride and groom were mingling with their guests when, filing inside for dinner, Hellström asked if he could steal a few minutes with the couple for portraits. He wanted to experiment with a drone for their photo album.

[Read: Upselling Albums to Wedding Clients and Playing the Long Game]

“I started the drone from a safe distance from the people and looked for visually interesting perspectives,” Hellström explains. “The DJI Mavic Pro 2 camera was set to ISO 100 to get maximum dynamic range, aperture f/5.6 and then adjusted the shutter speed to get it as bright as possible without clipping the highlights, at 1/200th of a second.” Hellström asked the couple to walk toward the sun together, hand in hand, “from left to right to get light on their faces, to look slightly upwards so their faces were slightly visible from above without looking unnatural, and to look toward the bottom right of the image to create a circular motion around the pool.”

Hellström clicked when he saw the couple entering the brightest part of the scene. “The couples’ own shadows were then also pointing diagonally down toward the pool bar bottom left, leading the viewer down to its heart-shaped shadow,” he notes. “The photograph makes me think of the time that we’ll come together again after the pandemic, when it will be easier to enjoy the summer, be close and to feel love again.”

[Read: The Rule of Thirds—How to Use It and When to Break It]

Sky Simone, an Australian photographer based in Atlanta, took home first prize in the Wedding Division’s “Bridal Party/Family and Friends” category for her photo “Heidi and Peter Do Vegas.” The couple had eloped from Switzerland to Las Vegas for a very small celebration with family. No matter the size of the wedding party, Simone says, she likes to shoot for big-impact, “epic wedding art” for her couples. So when Heidi told her that she liked the Arts District in Las Vegas, Simone had an idea for a portrait at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

“I love this location,” Simone says. “It’s so big and spacious and obviously has lots of lines. There are limitless possibilities to both couple shots and group shots.”

Of the limitless possibilities, a jumping photo was in order. “Whenever I do jumping shots of a bridal party, I always get them to jump five to ten times,” Simone says. “I always explain to my couples that the LIFE magazine cover of Marilyn Monroe jumping took several hundred jumps to get the shot, so five to ten is more than a reasonable request.” The clients were fully game for it, which hardly came as a surprise—after all, Simone’s work chiefly speaks to the “offbeat, fun and quirky couple.”

[Read: How to Photograph City Weddings (and Embrace the Space)]

Mike Chien, a Taiwanese wedding photographer, won first place in the “Couple Together: Non-Wedding Day” category of the Pre-Wedding Division for his engagement photo “Joy of Love.” Taiwan has caused many local wedding photographers headaches for the summer rain that can throw a wrench into shoots—in fact, Chien says, they often ask couples to bring umbrellas with them.

It did not wind up raining on this day, but Chien did manage to find a wall with design elements that looked like raindrops—so he could still incorporate the umbrellas. “Many people asked about this photo, how to set the light,” Chien says. “This is a photo taken with natural light! Near the evening.”

[Read: The Art of Photographing With Natural Light]

Check out other worthwhile mentions this week from Calvin Cheung (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) and Natasha Ince (“In Her Mother’s Arms”).

The post Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week appeared first on Rangefinder.

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