This was my first time doing photography at the Rosewood Manor Bed & Breakfast in Marion, SC. I understand this is a popular bridal portraits location, in fact there was another bride finishing up her portraits right before we arrived. I actually shot these pictures a few months ago, but as always with bridal portraits, …
I don’t typically do an many bridal portraits as other types of photography. A lot of people prefer to do engagement pictures with me and just do some bridal style pictures at the wedding. But it’s always a lot of fun when I get to. This is one of the best kinds of photography you can do, a bride all dressed up for a wedding, without the stress and limited time of the wedding itself. It’s pretty hard to go wrong as long as you have a pretty location to work with.
I thought I would post just a few pictures from recent bridal portraits at Pawleys Plantation area and from the Conway River Walk. Pawleys Plantation is a private area so you would probably have to be doing a wedding there to get to do this, but the Conway River Walk is freely open to everyone. It’s one of my favorite spots.
I always have trouble making blog posts when things start to get busier. So I just wanted to post a few random pictures from this month. I decided to talk mostly about the first picture I highlighted below. This was a very difficult situation, as soon as I saw where they were having the ceremony I knew it was going to be a problem. The sun was very bright outside, almost fully up in the sky. The ceremony was held under a beach shelter right on the edge of the bright sunlight. If you have ever tried to photograph something like this before, you might know what would happen. If you let the camera make the decisions, the couple would be almost completely dark because it’s trying to adjust for the bright background light.
I long ago started shooting on manual, so I would expose for the couple and not the background. This way the camera’s own adjustments would not cause the subject to come out really dark. However, there is still a problem. If you just expose the couple properly, the background would then be completely blown out, it would just be a very bright glow behind the couple. The couple would have kind of a flat, lifeless light on them with an annoyingly glowing background.
So how do you fix this? Well it really comes down to having the proper equipment. I have these things called Pocket Wizards, they allow me to have a flash on the camera and also another flash off of the camera that is controlled by radio. You can control another flash through the built in infrared in the Nikon flashes, but it never works very well. The Pocket Wizards work the same way, but they are much more reliable especially in sunlight. Although you can let the flashes decide how much power they need to put out on their own, under this difficult lighting, I thought manual would be better. I set my on camera flash (that had a tiny Lumiquest softbox on it) and my external flash both to 1/2 power, that seem to be a pretty good compensation for the outside ambient light without overdoing it. If you notice in this picture, there is a nice light coming from the side of the couple that makes them look more three dimensional. You can see some shadows from his hand and her arm, these are not from the sun but are from my external flash.
If this sounds too complicated, to make it more simple. If you are trying to photograph a backlit subject in the shade, use whatever flash you have available, even just the little one on the camera. Set your camera to manual and keep taking shots until you see the couple is as bright as they need to be. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.
A couple of weeks ago I was able to do some very pretty bridal portraits for a bride getting married this weekend. We set everything up on just a few weeks notice but I had the weekend open and was glad I was able to fit them in. This is a pretty unique location in a private home area a bit south of Pawleys Island, SC which is about 30 minutes south of the Myrtle Beach area. The wedding planner knew one of the residents in the area and they allowed us to do some pictures around their home as well as down near the Intracoastal Waterway. I thought they all turned out really beautifully and wanted to share some below. I especially liked some of the sunset pictures down near the water with the sun spilling through the oak trees. If properly exposed, shots backlit by the sun can be very beautiful. I hope you enjoy these below.