After many stormy evenings out on Pinellas County's Gulf of Mexico beaches, Maria and Michael's wedding night weather was tranquil, as was everything about their wedding. On a week day evening Sunset Beach on Treasure Island is largely empty, save for shore birds and a passing dolphin or two.
All this was a relief to me not having to worry about having the wedding ceremony and time for photography cut short by an imposing thunderstorm. The nearly empty beach also allowed me to choose backgrounds at will. I could concentrate more on the lighting and composition. I even had time to wait for the wind to catch Maria's dress.
I really like to have negative space in portraits when shooting them in either landscape or portrait orientation, especially when there are two people in the portrait. Filling the frame is great for portraits as well, but when shooting on location at the beach, I think in a vast majority of the shots showing the beach as the background is best. I could crop in on the above shot to create perhaps a more personal image, but then who would know they were at the beach?
Having the portrait subject not looking into the lens directly, or having the subject's face not visible at all is a shot I like to include in any portrait session to help create in the future a sense of wonder. Not wonder in like Wizard of Oz wonder, but rather in making the subject wonder what they were thinking as they looked upon the vast sea, holding her/his wedded partner's hand for the first time. If they can remember, how does it compare to the present?
Thanks to Maria and Michael for a calm, creative evening of photography.