Excited to hopefully bring a fun twist to this blog. I already kind of did a post that pertained to how I created a specific image but I want to make this a series. Therefore the first official image in the Snap Shot Series should be my most well-known wedding image. I’ll take you step by step how I photographed this image, how I used the lighting and the location to achieve the look I wanted.
If you follow me at all you have at one time or another seen this image. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck and I would have to agree. Brent and Krystal now have two lovely little kiddo’s running around the house. Back in 2014 November 8th to be exact, they were just about to tie the knot. The wedding was at The Oaks At Windsong. A really cool wedding venue. The ceremony takes place with the couple and the bridal party on a small tiered dock. The guests are across the pond. This really allows for unique shots. One downside to the location is they have no backup plan for rain. When I got to the hotel where Krystal was getting ready I found out from Caitlin, one of her bridesmaids and the day of planner, that they got a tent for the reception the day before or something crazy like that. It wasn’t a question of IF it was going to rain but WHEN and for how long. I managed to get all of the groomsmen pictures done and a most of the bride and bridesmaids images done before the rains came.
The ceremony was quite beautiful even with all the umbrellas up in the crowd. My assistant for the day was my buddy, and stellar wedding photographer himself, Marc. Nikki couldn’t help me for some reason this day. Marc got some great shots from across the pond while I hung out in the trees behind the couple to get close-ups of the ceremony. The rain persisted for what wound up being the rest of the night. I will say Brent and Krystal handled the weather like champs. I knew the weather was most likely going to play a role in the day so I broke out all the camera weather gear. I have these bags for the camera that are made specifically for shooting in in-climate weather. That took care of the camera but I needed to protect my light. I lucked out with this. My mother is a nurse at a hospital and they have these giant, and I mean giant. Nearly 10 feet long clear bags that they use to keep all the instruments sterile. They generally get thrown away right after that. I started to have mom stockpile some of these for me as they can slide right over my entire light setup. This came in handy later in the night.
The rain persisted all night but was between a drizzle and a light rain until shortly after we got family photos done. I knew I needed to get some more shots of Brent and Krystal by themselves. This is where being friends with the couple since elementary school helps. I didn’t really ask them to take this photo in the rain but kind of told them we were going to do it. I knew I needed to show the rain in the photos. It was a part of the day, a big part of the day. My job is not to take pretty pictures, it is to tell a story through my pictures. Knowing I wanted to incorporate the rain I knew I needed to back light them. This would show all of the rain. I also knew I wanted to show off the pond. It is the focal point of the venue. As far as most pictures go, this one wasn’t very complex to set up. Executing everything to get a usable image, that is a different story. I put my tripod down on the far side of the pond with the camera bag over the camera and walked with Brent and Krystal to the other side. I put them on the dock where I thought they would be framed by the railing and the tree behind them. Then I put the light behind them so that they are now between the light and the camera. Before I walked back over to the camera I told them the basic pose idea. Hide under the umbrella and look at each other like you love each other. Simple enough.
When I got back to the camera the rain was coming down the hardest it had all day. I was lined up to take the shot at 5:10pm. Sunset on that day was 5:42pm. It might as well have been 11:45pm because I could not see a damn thing. Looking through the camera was pointless. I had my glasses on, because I am blind without them. They had water drops on them. The back of the camera bag is a clear plastic, it too, covered in water drops. Then out through the end of the lens was another 40ish feet of rain before I even got to where Brent and Krystal were standing. All I could do was hit the button and hope everything was close. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. For the most part everything was really close to perfect. I guessed on a light power and just about nailed it. I did make a small tweak to the aperture from 7.1 to 5.6 to let in a little more light. I also slowed down the shutter speed for two reasons. One that brought a little bit more ambient light back into the image, and it gave the rain a little bit of motion. I only took 8 shots of this set and got really lucky to get such a great image. I wish I could have seen more of the image because there are two things I wish I could have fixed. One you can see the light coming through them just a little bit. You can also see the bag covering the light if you look very closely. It became white because of the flash so it might look like a shirt or the dress. I got away with one there. The other change I wanted to make was to have Brent lean in towards Krystal a little more. That is me being very nit picky. All in all I got a fantastic shot. 4 and a half years later and people still talk about this photo to me more than any other image. What made it work was being able to handle that situation and know what I wanted and how to get it. The biggest part was having Brent and Krystal be willing to do it. Also it was great having Marc there knowing I could leave him to cover the reception while I took Brent and Krystal away to get the shot. Settings:
Nikon D800 70-200mm @112mm f/5 1/40th ISO 640
As always thanks for taking time out of your day to check out the blog. If you liked this post, check out some of the other ones and give the blog a follow. Also follow me on social media. Billy D Photography (facebook) Billydphotography (instagram)