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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens Wedding Portrait

We took this striking wedding portrait of a bride and groom by a vibrant yellow Chihuly glass sculpture of the sun in South Miami at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.


We love having private time set aside for couple portraits just after the ceremony, ands while we are driven by beautiful light and emotional connections, sometimes epic scenery simply cannot be ignored. This sunburst sculpture immediately grabs and holds your attention the instant you catch a glimpse of it from around a line of trees. It is in impressive piece of art in its own right, but the way it is situated between dark vegetation and lit from the ground allows the shades of yellow to scream even louder. This is one of many glass sculptures around the property and we integrated several of them into our images of the couple, most of which were in a more subtle manner then we did here. By the time we arrived back at this particular location nearly all of the natural light had left the sky, allowing us to fully control the light on the couple. We felt that the yellow glass tendrils were the anchoring point of the image, so we lit the couple in a similar fashion to the sculpture. By doing this, your eye still goes to the sculpture first, slowly trailing down the the couple who are neither brighter nor darker than the sunburst that is nearly filling the frame.

This is one of the signature pieces crafted by Dale Chihuly and his studio for his exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami. This massive installation is scattered across the entire garden and was sculpted between 2005 and 2007. “The Sun” is one of the more iconic sculptures Chihuly creates, as we have seen similar pieces when visiting collections of his in Denver, Seattle, Montreal, and Boston. The most photographed collection of Chihuly glass is in the ceiling of the Bellagio on the Las Vegas strip and some of his work is actually for sale just a few blocks away in the Crystals shopping center near the Cosmopolitan. These sculpture are just as delicate as they appear and require great care when moving them, a fact they you we be gently reminded of if you decide to purchase one of his smaller works of art, starting at about $5,000.

We have always loved this image and we have greatly enjoyed taking in other people’s reactions to it. This photo is featured on a sample wedding album and always seems to draw people into the book. We offer simple leather covers, some with multiple types of leathers, but we like having an image on the cover, either in a small cutout portion or as the entire cover as we have the option to print on a sheet of metal which then becomes the cover. We do not directly encourage our clients to put such a loud and attention grabbing image on the album cover, as every client is more than welcome to make their own decision about how their final heirloom wedding album looks, but we do like to convey that they have options and they are not limited to traditional or expected cover choices. 

Location: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156.

1/160; f/2.0; ISO 800; 85.0 mm.