Friday, June 13, 2014

Unveiling One of my Favorite Photos

Last month, I worked a beautiful wedding at Yesterday Spaces just outside of Asheville. It was my first wedding of the season, and with almost a year of photography practice under my belt (literally - at this wedding I got to use my new camera belt!) I was very excited to see what I could capture. I couldn't be happier with the results: The 9 hours of photography granted me a resounding 500 "good captures" to edit.

Out of all of them, this sweet shot of the happy couple kissing, in their own little world under her veil, is by far my favorite. While I will post a longer blog next week talking about my wonderful experience in general, I'd like to dedicate a post solely to this one beautiful image.

A day or so before each wedding, I typically spend a couple hours scouring the web "studying" so to speak, compiling a shot list of ideas that I think fit the couple's personality. This involves a exploring a variety of work from exclusive wedding photographers to magazine tears of local weddings, albums of my Asheville colleagues' work to creative photos on Pinterest. One of the ideas I came across more than once during my latest pre-wedding cram session was that of the couple kissing or smiling under the bride's veil. I thought the idea was creative and interesting, not the same old couple's shot, and knew that I had to try it with Katie and Ethan.

Of course, I wanted to put my own spin on the shot. Most of the other photographers' images were dramatically wide-angled, which was certainly beautiful, but to me appeared editorial. In my own work I prefer intimate - often close-up - shots catching the emotion of my subjects, especially in wedding photography. This image proved the perfect shot for the intimate style, and I've fallen in love with its personal and private quality, the couple's pure happiness raw and open, as though we the viewers are intruding on their jubilant moment. To me, this photograph epitomizes my style of photography, capturing genuine emotion so that the couple can remember for decades to come how happy their wedding day was.

I'm a one-woman wedding photographer, and since I cannot grow any more limbs, I typically don't have the ability to hold a reflector. Luckily, nature decided to be on my side the day of the wedding, thank goodness, and the light yet cloudy day provided this beautiful natural glow. With front light streaming in to highlight the couple's heartwarming kiss, and enough fill light to subtly fill out any harsh shadows, my natural lamp helped me create this quality capture. Even better, the light lent itself well to classic black and white. In general, I favor boldly colorful photos, but in this instance the black and white softens the scene slightly, bringing the focus directly to the couple's kiss, while making it more dynamic because of the timeless factor.

I take hundreds (sometimes thousands) of photos per week and am typically happy with little more than a handful each batch. Even less often am I so pleased with an image I write a whole blog post on just one shot. But this is one of the few times I've made a photograph that I would say epitomizes my style.

For more images from Katie and Ethan's wedding, click here.