Friday, June 13, 2008

002 - Pre-wedding at the house

So, you've arrived at the bride's or the groom's location. You are looking for ideas and trying to get the creative juices flowing. Don't even think about taking pictures, at least not immediately.

Let's assume that you are at the bride's location (not to worry, a similar thought process works if you are the one covering the groom).

Take a quick walk around, study the rooms where you will be shooting, especially the lighting conditions. You are looking for prime places to get the best shots in and how to use the ambient or artificial light to your advantage. Start thinking like the mindset of the bride (or groom if thats where you are). Ask yourself things like:
- What makes this day special for them?
- What are they feeling?
- What little things are happening that are going to stick in their mind 20 years later?

These are things you should look for, because these you need to capture... these feelings, these images.

Suggestions of pictures that you may consider getting:

- The wedding dress hanging from a hanger hung on a door or wall..
- The wedding dress hung in front of a window, light streaming through or around it
- The wedding dress as the bride holds it up in front of her
- The bride's wedding shoes... place them in various locations/lighting situations
- The bride as she puts on make-up, her reflection in the mirror
- The bride as she puts on make-up, the maid of honor's reflection in the mirror (or mother, father or someone else)
- The bride getting dressed (be tasteful here, people!)
- A window with light streaming through it is amazing at many levels!
- The bride fully dressed and ready to go, but use those wonderful places in and around the house to get some beautiful shots like her walking down the stairs from her bedroom to the downstairs part of the house. How about their behind the house gardens, patio, walkway to the car that will take her to the church and other similar places? How about in the garage (I did that one... she was a Mercedes owner and loved to have her pics taken when in her car)?

- Use your imagination... find the "interesting" places!
- Use different lighting... "properly exposed" photos are always nice, but we can display emotions like being sultry or concerned or other "darker" base emotions by using techniques like vignetting or small amounts of underexposure.

In this scenario, judicial usage of the flash is recommended. I would prefer using ambient mostly or adding a flash for effect, not so much for lighting the subject directly. Hair-lights or halos behind them are a couple of things that jump out at me when I think about those moments.

Our goal here is to display the joy, fear, trepidation, excitement and happiness that the bride is experiencing.

Next: Driving to the Ceremony (not started)