Sunset on the Waccamaw River Wachesaw Plantation

Wedding ceremony at a chapel with the reception at Kimbels in Wachesaw Plantation

This was my second wedding this year at the beautiful Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet, SC. Some of my favorite wedding pictures in my galleries have been from Wachesaw Plantation. Symmes, the bride, began her preparations at Stox & Co salon in Litchfield. I met them there to get some pictures of the hair and …

View post Wedding ceremony at a chapel with the reception at Kimbels in Wachesaw Plantation

Very happy couple walking to the ocean Grande Dunes Ocean Club

Beautiful summer wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach with my photo booth service

I have been keeping busy lately with weddings at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach. This wedding was the first of four weddings there just in the month of May! It’s always great working with the staff like Samantha Huff at the Ocean Club, I’ve gotten to know them very well and they …

View post Beautiful summer wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach with my photo booth service

Dip back for a kiss on the golf course River Ridge Golf Club

Spring wedding at River Ridge Golf Club in Raleigh, NC

This was my first time traveling to Raleigh, NC for a wedding. Even though the golf club was a 3 hour drive for me, it’s always nice to visit a new location for a wedding and to get to know new wedding vendors. I met the bride and groom, Ornelie and Matt, doing engagement pictures …

View post Spring wedding at River Ridge Golf Club in Raleigh, NC

Some random things from April and how to shoot backlit subjects.

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.

First kiss - Myrtle Beach State Park
First kiss - Myrtle Beach State Park
That's a lot of groomsmen -
That's a lot of groomsmen

View post Some random things from April and how to shoot backlit subjects.