I always love getting to take bridal portraits before a wedding. The bride, in her wedding dress, is always a favorite subject of photographers. This southern tradition is really great idea, because of the rush of the wedding day itself, I’m lucky to get a few great shots of the bride by herself. It’s great to have some time to make sure a wedding dress is arranged perfectly, and pose and setup shots without the stress of the wedding day.
The bride Shannon and her groom Lawrence were able to get married last weekend in a private home ceremony. Because of this, I’m finally able to post some of these beautiful bridal portraits from Pine Lakes Country Club from earlier this year. Sadly, their dream wedding ceremony and reception at the Pine Lakes Country Club will have to be rescheduled to later in the year because of the coronavirus social distancing requirements.
Bridal portraits inside the Pike Lakes clubhouse
I started out taking pictures of Shannon inside the elegant front foyer and ballroom inside the Pine Lakes clubhouse. I loved some of the shots of the bride from overhead, with her dress flowing out around her. There are some convenient steps on the side of the foyer area that I used to get these overhead shots. These steps also made a great spot for portraits of the bride walking down them, like she will do at her future second wedding day.
We also took some amazing pictures of Shannon standing and looking out the main windows in the ballroom. One thing that makes these look so great is the amazing quality of the new Tamron 35mm f/1.4 lens I recently reviewed. It has almost no chromatic aberration or purple fringing in bright backlit conditions. The only problem is the very noticeable black lock bars on these ballroom doors. I took them out using photoshop in a couple of the pictures below. Sometimes, the only way to get a perfect picture, is with a little (or lot) of Photoshop work.
Midday portraits in the harsh sun using fill flash
I was worried about how these bridal portraits would turn out because of the time of day. Normally, I like to always shoot close to sunset when the light is soft. However, we had to take these around midday when the sun was very high in the sky. Using powerful flash really can make a difference when fighting the midday sun. A normal Nikon Speedlight type flash can do very little against the bright sun. However, I have a dual Godox AD200 flash setup with a Cheetah Quick Soupbowl Softbox. I talked more about this new setup in a previous blog post here. This gives me portable lighting that is more like what you would get inside a photo studio and about 6 times the power of a normal flash.
For most of the outside pictures, I tried to place the sun so it was behind and to the side of the bride. This way it’s not blinding her and also not making harsh shadows on her face. Then I used some flash to fill in the shadows and make a nice catch light in her eye. It’s still not ideal lighting, but I was really surprised how beautiful I could get the pictures to look, even out in the harsh overhead sun. Even the pictures in front of the fountain turned out great with the bright sunlight filtering through the veil.
Let me know how you enjoyed the pictures, if you are having a wedding at Pine Lakes Country Club please let me know! I would be happy to give any suggestions for some great picture spots.