Bridal portrait

The summer’s here with the wedding season in full flow, and every bride is hoping for a beautiful sunny day for their wedding. The couple have often spent a lot of money on a stunning location and of course they want their bridal portraits set against the magnificent backdrop of the building and surrounding gardens.
Recently I was photographing one such wedding in the amazing setting of Danesfield House. By the time the couple were ready for their bridal portraits to be photographed it was early evening with a glorious sun still beating down on them and filling a blue sky.


As a documentary wedding photographer most of my weddings are shot candidly as the day unfolds, capturing the emotions and key moments of the day to tell their individual story. But my couples still require some beautiful wedding shots of the two of them. I aim to do this as naturally as possible, making best use of their location and in the minimum amount of time.

Although the sunlight provides natural ambient light, I need to control the light to ensure my couple are lit so at to wrap them in a soft light that looks natural and is flattering. To do this I use the Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe 54 x 54cm softbox and Nikon flash unit.

Having taken the correct exposure of the sky I then reset to underexpose, and then use the softbox to direct the flash light onto my couple and create the correct lighting level.

The use of a softbox allows me to control the level of light and the direction of light onto my subject. In the first image of the couple I wanted to create a natural beautiful wedding portrait. But it also allows me to create dramatically lit shots as in the second image, where the light has been controlled and the sky has been changed to add a dark brooding quality, totally in contrast to the natural, realistic lighting, andmaking a real ‘wow’ shot.


The technicalities:

  • Nikon D4s
  • Nikon prime lens 35mm 1.4
  • Nikon SB10
  • 250 sec f/8
  • 100 ISO
  • Ezybox Hotshoe 54 x 54cm
  • Ambient Light 250 / f4
  • Light mounted on a Manfrotto light stand
  • Light put at 30 degree angle to subject to give a 3 d look and great shadows on the brides face

To find out more about our Light Modifiers, check Manfrotto Website

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