Blog Archive

Breakfast Blend: What Are We Thinking?!

Ever wonder what is going through a photographer's mind during a wedding shoot? When we are shooting a wedding -- which is really a series of portrait and candid sessions strung together in different weather conditions and lighting scenarios -- our minds are constantly evaluating our surroundings, seeking out light sources, playing with different camera settings in our head and eventually, pressing the shutter release. 

For example, take this image:

Believe it or not, I didn't pull over on the side of the road when I saw a beautiful bride sitting (posing) on a vintage bench, with a backdrop of our wondrous Connecticut forest behind her. We made this shot. Here's what had to happen:

  1. We were shooting inside a house, so step one was checking out the property to see what we had at our disposal for a bridal portrait session. 
  2. While documenting the getting ready process, I knew I would have about 5-10 minutes alone with the bride, so I started thinking about where we could shoot. Inside by a window? Outside in front of some trees? Wait...how about we exercise some creative freedom here...let's mix some natural surroundings with our own limited "props" to achieve a certain feel.
  3. Speaking of "feel", how did we know that we wanted an outdoorsy-chic shot? Well, for one, our wonderful bride (Shannon) is really laid back and was up for anything. Secondly, her dress was Anthropologie, which has an organic/natural style. Thirdly, the whole wedding was outdoors at a stunning lodge, so it just made sense.
  4. I saw the bench when taking detail images earlier in the morning, and with Anthropologie on my mind, I asked permission to bring it outdoors set it against this idyllic backdrop of a garden, fence and forest.
  5. Now we had to determine the shot...which lens? Lighting? What about posing? It doesn't just fall together. I wanted a normal angle of view, not too wide, not too close. So 50mm it is, shot fairly wide open. I wanted the background, but I didn't want to lose Shannon in it. I also didn't want to just blur the background out and lose the appeal of the green in contrast to the ivory/cream dress.
  6. Lighting: I opted not to use off-camera strobes for this image because it felt a bit counter to the whole "natural vibe" I was going for. 
  7. Pose: comfortable but stylish. Nothing extreme. Added some dynamics to the shot by giving her whole body a slant that has her looking off-frame. The pose prior to this, she was leaning forward and looking off the other side of the frame and it wasn't quite the feel I wanted. She crossed her legs on her own and I think it showed off the fabric of the dress perfectly.

So that's what it took to get the shot, in camera. Then we processed it in Lightroom with VSCO Kodak 100++ tweaked and added some light particles for texture. This isn't the exact image I gave her, because the light particles would have been over the top, but I added them later when doing some digital advertising, I felt like it added a nice touch without being gaudy. 

So there you have it...lots of though all going into one image! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments...

- Nate

Story Shoot: Rev. Laurel Scott

I love stories. By this, I mean I could sit for hours and listen to someone talk about their dreams, their struggles and their hopes. Today, I listened to a Methodist preacher, Laurel, talk about her childhood in Barbados and the transition to living in New York City. I learned that she had a period of time where she walked away from the church because the division was so counter to her understanding of Christianity, as it is for many. She told me about her mother who kept pushing Laurel to attend church, which resulted in her eventual ordination. There were many twists and turns but the path led to the pulpit. When she talks about her current church in Manchester, CT, you know she lives what she preaches. Every line is laced with a deep desire to see the community flourish, even after she leaves in June to head back to New York after fourteen years. "We need people in our church to be willing to take care of our sick and elderly, because there are a few of them who we need to look out for. We need people to call them, to check on them, and to take care of them." Those are the words of a woman who has an authentic concern for her people. She loves them.

I hope to be able to do more photo shoots like this- simply an hour of taking photos and learning a new story full of life and character.

RevLaurelScott
RevLaurelScott
RevLaurelScottHands
RevLaurelScottHands

An Engagement: Susan and Lucky

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Every once in a while, I meet a couple and know that we will soon be spending time together without a camera present. This was the case with Susan and Lucky. They are a dynamic couple and are the perfect compliment to one another. They smile easily and talk freely about their favorite memories and spots in their hometown. This entire day was a pleasure as they escorted us around Providence in search of their favorite spots. This shoot felt less like work and more like an adventure- so thanks Susan and Lucky, I can't wait for your wedding day! Also, a special thanks to Trinity Brewhouse for letting us use their bar before it opened and for featuring some of these images on their facebook page!