Sunny Styled Bridal Portrait
“I love how the bride’s skin glowed in the bright sun,” says Kenisha Gill, a wedding photographer as well as a portrait, fashion and lifestyle photographer. While Gill refers to her as the bride, this was actually a styled shoot, held at Naked Eye Studio in Los Angeles, near Gill’s homebase. “I directed her to place her chin slightly upward to minimize the shadow lines and emphasize her natural glow.”
Putting on a styled wedding shoot, of course, is an ingenious way of testing out techniques and stretching your creative limits without the pressure of delivering key moments to couples. It’s also a great way to solidify vendor relationships and score referrals from them down the line—and if you can submit your photos to editors and get some editorials featured in magazines, all the better!
Sporty-Inspired Engagement Shoot
He’s an Olympic athlete; she’s a doctor specializing in sports medicine. So when they got engaged and hired Gabrielle Desmarchais for portraits, the photographer wanted to play to their athletic interests. They chose an apt location—the Olympic Stadium in Montréal (whose neutral background made their outfits pop)—but unfortunate conditions. It was -5 degrees Fahrenheit outside with blustery winds.
“The couple was really brave and didn’t mind staying out in the cold to get the shots,” Desmarchais recalls. “We were taking breaks often to warm up inside the stadium. After a few tries, we finally got that shot and we were all super excited about it! I just love when couples are so enthusiastic and inspired for a photo shoot and participate in the creative process.”
Animating a Couple’s Coolness
GIF version of the photo.
Jazreel Hong of Justrealle Photography was just wrapping up this couple’s portrait shoot when, suddenly, the wind began picking up. “It was impossible to miss the sound of rustling leaves,” Hong recalls, and, “looking around, I saw tree leaves raining down on us. While admiring the sight, it inspired me to create a GIF of it.” To focus on the motion of the leaves, he asked the couple to stay still.
How to Get Handsy
Seth Sanker of Seth and Co Photography says hands have always intrigued him for their ability to tell stories about a person, so when he’s photographing a couple who are particularly affectionate with their hands and fingertips, he doesn’t let that go unnoticed. “For this photo, I was laying on the ground underneath them,” he explains. “I told them to reach out for each other and tell each other how much they loved each other through their fingertips.”
Ending with a Splash
Always a fan of spontaneous and unposed photos, Elle Wildhagen of Kindred Wedding Storytellers was elated to hear rumors circulating the wedding party, who were celebrating at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, that people would be jumping in the pool. (It was a hot summer evening, after all.)
The groom, a Londoner, approached Wildhagen and let her know that the couple probably wouldn’t be jumping until much later, when almost everyone had left. “As he walked away from us, we were feeling bummed that we might miss the action, when all of a sudden three eager groomsmen cannonballed into the pool, creating a huge splash, quickly followed by a handful of bridesmaids and guests,” Wildhagen says. “The groom immediately turned around and walked back up to us and, in typical Brit humor said, ‘I’ve changed my mind. We’re going to jump in the pool now.’”
Wildhagen adjusted her Canon flash and dialed up her lens to 135mm (even though it was a 35mm), which, she says, “creates that perfect vignette and highlights the ‘flash’ quality of the image. After they jumped in, the whole pool, us included, cheered as they kissed.”
Dig into the Photo of the Day archives for more compelling imagery.
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