Beautiful evening for bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, SC

I worked with a pretty bride the other evening doing bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Huntington State Park. The evening was great except for being a bit cold. Because of the 5:00 pm closing time of the Atalaya Castle, we had to stay outside the castle to catch the sunset. The poor bride almost froze to death by the end of the session, but I think it will be worth it to her when she sees the pictures. She did a pretty good job of not looking cold, at least as long as you don’t zoom in on the 36mp Nikon D800 images and see all the goosebumps.

I’ve been trying to get better at posing hands. With bridal portraits, you have much more time to try different hand positions than at the wedding. You will notice below that I have the bride doing many different things with her hands. Not everything worked that we tried, but that is how you get better at it. Another thing I’m working more with is off-camera speedlights. I put a Gary Fong Power Snoot on my second flash behind and to the bride’s left on a light stand. The power snoot creates a more concentrated light that hits where you aim it. You will notice it in several shots where you see a little separation light on the bride’s hair and her side. It just gives the pictures an extra pop when you can do that. Something a lot of beginning photographers don’t realize, taking a picture isn’t just having a good eye and being able to aim a camera and push a button. You have to get more technical and pull out some real equipment to take something that stands out. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below. Please like and comment on the post if you do!

Quick edit – I was playing around with some new Nik Software plugins. Google is now giving the complete collection free to anyone that purchased individual plugins before! I’ve never used some of the plugins like HDR Efex. I usually avoid strong effects, but after playing around, I thought the first image below looked cool! So I added it here. I’m still mostly keeping away from strong effects. They tend to look dated quickly.

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