How I Got The Shot!
Creative Wedding Photography Albany NY
By Jeffrey House Photography
"How did you get that shot?"
Recently, I photographed a wedding celebration at the Italian American Community Center located in Albany, NY. On the night of the event, a light snow moved through the area. By no means was it the most impressive snowstorm, but it certainly made for some creative wedding photography. After sharing these photos on Facebook, several people reached out to me and asked, "How did you get that shot?" So, I thought I would write an article and share a look behind the scenes at how some of these images were captured.
Creative Wedding photography
This first image is referred to as a "back lit" photograph. As you can tell from the photo, the front of the couple does not have any light being placed on them other than the already existing light which is minimal. If you look inside the gazebo towards the ceiling, you can see spot lights; however, none of the lights actually built into the gazebo were on - we wanted them off to create our own lighting.
This particular lighting set up is pretty straight forward and it required the use of one external light source - a flash.
I simply placed this flash on the ground, directly behind the couple and I have it pointed straight up towards the ceiling of the gazebo. On my camera, I have a radio trigger that signals to the flash when to fire and poof - we have light! Firing the flash into the ceiling of the gazebo accomplishes two things:
1. It lights up the gazbo perfectly and creates separation between the gazebo and our couple which adds depth to our image, and makes it far more interesting
2. It lights up the back side of our couple and as you can see from their faces, it creates a nice "edge" or "rim light" to provide further separation from the background AND it gives us a little more detail in their faces.
This style of image is meant to reveal enough detail so you understand what you're viewing, while maintaining a moody and intriguing feel. I think this image does that perfectly!
This image is similar to the first photo, but a few more elements were added making the photo a bit more complex. The above photo is referred to as a "composite" image. Believe it or not, this particular image was made by merging two separate photos together.
I still wanted the light behind the couple to illuminate the gazebo, but in this photo I wanted clear detail of the couple; therefore, I needed to have a light source placed on them. This is how it all comes together!
In the photo above, you'll notice there is no light on the front of our couple. This image was captured solely to have an image of the illuminated gazebo without my assistant in the frame. But, take a look at the second image when I added light to the couple.
You can now clearly see my assistant. In order to get enough light on our couple, she had to be in the frame of the photo; therefore, I had to take two images so I could remove her and have a photo with light on the couple and inside the gazebo. If you scroll back up to the first image - that's the final shot!
These next couple of images are grouped together because they were captured using the same technique. let's take a quick look at the photos!
Again, we are using two light sources here - One on the ground behind the couple firing light back towards the camera, and one being held by my assistant lighting the front of the couple. With these particular images, my assistant was able to place enough light on the couple and remain out of the camera's frame. Because of this, we could capture the scene with just one image.
Whether this was snow or rain, the set up would essentially be the same. The light that is on the ground, again, serves a couple of purposes.
1. You can see the nice edge or rim light on the couple which creates that separation from the background and gives the photo depth
2. It enhances the snow flakes. If it wasn't for this backlight, the snow would not look anything like this. The flakes would look blurry since we're shooting at night and they wouldn't be nearly as visible.
Let's take a look at our final image.
All of the photos we've discussed so far were captured shooting in the complete opposite direction. In other words, when the photos were taken, the lights you see in the above photo would have been at my back. But, in this photo I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful stone wall and lights we see in the background. I simply turned my back to the gazebo and captured this wonderful image.
There's one big detail you can't tell from this image - directly in front of the couple is a parking lot. However, the pose and camera angle I used eliminated any parking lot distractions from appearing in the photo. One thing I'd like to point out is the word "pose." Yes, this is a "posed" photo. So often today, we hear the word "pose" and we automatically attach negative results. But, when I say pose, this is the type of image I'm speaking about. I simply asked our couple to turn their heads and bring them together at the forehead and voilà - a beautiful, romantic, and candid looking photograph.
How about lighting? In this image, I only used one light that was being held by my assistant and as you can see, we placed the light on the camera side of the couple . I did this for two reasons.
1. I wanted to see detail in our couple
2. I wanted to retain the integrity of the ambiance created by the lights in the background - I didn't want light spilling onto the wall int the background lighting that area of the photo at all.
That's how they're created
There you have it - four different techniques used to capture a variety of images. These photos were taken no more than 50 feet apart, but by using different lighting methods and camera angels, I'm able to give my couples a diverse set of photographs to treasure for years to come.
what do you think about these images? were you surprised to learn how they were created?