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Fantasy Day-After Session in South Florida

Amber and Mark were game for a day-after-session for their one year anniversary, and we found the perfect location to enhance the dreaminess of her fluffy princess ballgown. This is one of our most asked about sessions ever, primarily by other photographers who are desperate to capture the magic of this location! Unfortunately the magical "ivy" is actually Lygodium, which is a variant of Kudzu, an invasive species of climbing plant from Japan. This plant is actively sought out and eradicated by the state of Florida in locations like this, so the beautiful green carpet you see here didn't last long after these images were taken. If you are hoping to photograph a location like this all you need to look for is an empty lot or abandoned area that the state has yet to treat. (Please do not trespass in the name of photography!)

The second question we get about this image is, "What lens did you use?" This invariably prompts a second question, because the answer (Canon 85mm ƒ1.2) doesn't really make sense if you are knowledgable about lenses. This image is a composite, but not in the way that many people assume: this is a "bokehrama", or a panorama of many images stitched by computer software that is multilayered and shot specifically at a very shallow depth of field to maximize the dreamy, blurry effect you see in the receding ivy, while drawing your attention to the subject's face. This technique was popularized by Ryan Brenizer, a photographer in NYC, and has been called "The Brenizer Method" for many years (though we like the term "bokehrama" and generally use that, even when the bokeh is not strictly visible as with this image).

Compositionally we chose to accentuate the curve of Amber's wedding dress while keeping her face in the bottom right side of the non-traditional frame. The very simple coloring (green background, white dress, and creamy/blonde subject) reads as a graphic choice, and encourages the eye to keep moving around the image.

Location: Jupiter, Florida.

1/1600; f/2.0; ISO 400; 85.0 mm.