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  • Writer's picturerachel leintz

drama with flash

A few weekends back, I had the chance to shoot Kathy and Bill’s wedding at the Wrigley Mansion. For this particular wedding, I had the chance to shoot in a space I was familiar with (Kathy and Bill had be take their engagement shots here as well). Going into this wedding, I had to very clear goals in mind:

1. Keep the bridal portraits soft

2. Use a new backlighting technique with my flash during the first dance.

Specifically, I wanted to be sure that the bridal portraits were soft and feminine because the Wrigley, while it’s a beautiful old building, is jus that … old. It was built in a time when “open concept” wasn’t really a design aesthetic. So while it has several rooms and a large open indoor areas for the ceremony and reception, the prep rooms are somewhat small, and the corridors are a bit cramped, and dark. The drama of the space is amazing, but photographically speaking, I knew I wasn’t going to have some of the ideal lighting I always try to seek out. After all, it was the July, well into the hundreds outdoors, and threatening to storm the entire evening!

I succeeded in created the soft gorgeous light I was looking for in the bridal suite using a piece of pink organza, which was draped across one of the windows in the room. I’ve shared several of these images already, but here is a stunning black and white image I created of Kathy during the bridal prep phase. Even without any of the saturated warm colors, you can see how softly the light hits her skin.

But my biggest triumph of the night was the backlighting technique I learned and attempted during the couple’s first dance. As I typically don’t shoot with a second, this technique took some planning and some timing. I used a transmitter on the hot-shoe of my Canon 6D and actually snagged the flash off of the hotshot and placed it on a lighting stand on the other side of the couple during the first dance! It took some juggling, but I really love the dramatic ring light it created. Stay tuned for more fun reception shots, as this will be my prime focus for growth over the next several months as wedding season here in Arizona revs up!

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