Bridal portraits Weddings

Kayla, part 1 | Virginia Bridal & Wedding Photography

I know I’ve been writing post after post after post about our photography retreat.  But guys, it was awesome.  And I have to share.  Wedding season starts in 2 weeks anyway, so new material will be ABOUNDING before long (and I still have several shoots from 2012 I’m hoping to post).

The retreat worked like this: every photographer (there were 12 of us) was responsible for coming up with an idea for a shoot.  It could be a concept, or a skill they wanted to work on, or anything.  Mary Stafford (of Merry Studios) decided to tackle something we all struggle with at one time or another: shooting portraits in bad light.  Although we mostly only show the most beautifully lit photos on our websites, we are often challenged to create *magic* where there is… um… none.  Not every bride can step into a wheat field at the golden hour and have her hair perfectly sunlit and the breeze blowing just so.  Sometimes it’s dark.  Sometimes it’s raining.  Sometimes there is (gasp!) no wheat field.  In all those cases, it’s up to us to make sure she looks and feels beautiful.

So, we took the lovely Kayla into an ordinary hotel hallway with some off-camera flash equipment and tried our best.  I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the most challenging shoot at the retreat.  But tackling your weaknesses is something all photographers need to do in order to improve.  I’m hoping we can do this one again next year, or maybe every year.

My indoor shots turned out to be unusually moody.  Not my usual wedding M.O., but I like them.  I’ll put the happy sunny photos up next, and I think you’ll see a huge contrast.

Model: Kayla Lyons, Modelogic (Richmond)

Shoot concept, hair, and dress: Mary Pendleton Stafford, Merry Studios

Makeup: Rabiah Gohar


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  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I think the 3rd shot is gorgeous – the highlight on her face really defines her features beautifully!

  • Reply
    mathias fast
    April 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    turned out awesome =)

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