Creative off camera lighting
At every shoot I have I always try to do something different. Normally once the dancing has been going on for awhile its a perfect time to give the bride and groom a break and take them outside for a quick shoot. It also normally is nighttime so the perfect opportunity to get some amazing images. At a recent wedding I wanted to get a night photo of the bride and groom underneath a tree that was nearby. I thought I could have one light on them and then place 2 lights on each side of this tree cross lighting it to give some cool dimension to the tree and leaves.
Well as things never turn out the way you want them during a wedding one of my pocketwizards wasn’t in the bag I had with me but far away in my other bag. So I was stuck with only 2 lights and trying to do something cool to the tree with just 1 light wasn’t working right. I could try to light it somewhat from the front but that would have been flat and boring. I could have a dramatic side light on the tree but then the other 1/2 of the tree would be in total darkness, could have some possibilities but I really wasn’t feeling it. With the fast pace of a wedding this happens a lot, you get an idea in your mind and then for whatever reason that exact idea doesn’t work out. So I took a few minutes and just walked around this little area for ideas, I try to slow down a bit and really look hard at my surroundings. I picked this tree because it was close by and we didn’t have much time and also I liked the really cool braiding of the trunk. Then it hit me, the middle of the trunk was hollow so I could put the light in there and make it glow from the inside.
In the end it’s not the crazy, best image I was hoping for but it’s different. Looking at the shot now I am not too fond of the composition and would have moved them more to the right of the tree and shot from a slightly different angle. But it’s a shot you normally don’t see, it’s different and shows your clients that you can think creatively. Images like this are what makes your clients love you even more and also spread the word about you, they will tell their friends ‘Mark got this great shot with a light in the tree’ and remember the experience so much more.
Photography is a journey, keep exploring, keep trying to think new and creative every day. It’s a journey that I love and will always look for ways to keep improving my art and my vision one lesson at a time.
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