My Florida Wedding Bride Series continues . . . Photographing the bride getting ready might be my favorite part of photographing a wedding, or at least the most interesting to me personally because at the time I am totally relaxed just starting my photography day while the bride has all the nerves and anxious feelings. I like to see how people react in such situations. Some brides remain tense and nervous, really needing the help of her bridesmaids (or a wisecrack by me) to even show a hint of a smile, while other brides are totally laughing and showing no outward anxiety. Carie was in the latter category. It was like a comedy hour while she was getting ready with me doing a bit of my stand-up routine.
One photo tip for getting ready shots, if the makeup artist and the bride are not lining up in a way that makes for a good photograph, feel free to ask them to slightly move so you can get a shot, then resume their normal positions. That's what I did for the above shot, but it remained candid because of the light mood in the room.
I had an idea for a "demure" shot so we all attempted to calm things down for just a minute to see if I could make the shot I pre-envisioned. The above shot is the result and I was mostly able to get the results I wanted to. Carie was very good at switching moods from laughing to contemplative.
Soon it was time for the wedding ceremony. I have a new shot that I now like to do for every wedding. Using a long lens (my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D @ f/4 200mm) I isolate the bride's bouquet of flowers and ring in a tightly composed shot. I do not include the bride's face for several reasons. If you include a face in any photo, the mind's instinct to look at, read and identify a face, makes the face the automatic focal point of the shot. Therefore, not including the bride's face allows the viewer's eye to focus on the ring and the flowers.
Now for this shot, I did want the bride's face to be the focal point as it was a moment of emotion for the bride, but I included other elements as well to show context for that emotion. Once again using a long lens I was able to create a sense of 3-dimensions and depth putting in focus just what I wanted to be in focus (the bride). I was also careful to make sure none of the decorative strings covered the bride's face in my composition.
However, just like during the getting ready time, the wedding ceremony itself involved a lot of laughter. There was a pause of a good minute to let all parties involved get the giggles out, but I remained focused so that I could photograph everyone's reactions.
I had a very good time photographing Carie's wedding and was really pleased with the variety of shots we were able to make together showcasing her wedding in a full range of emotions.