Happy bride toasts with her groom in Palm Beach Gardens
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Happy bride toasts with her groom in Palm Beach Gardens

An unusual but striking choice for venue decor is dark velvet draping; while a challenge for a new or inexperienced photographer, studios who have been around the block a few times know to use a combination of off camera flash, bounced flash, and snooted flash to create a unique ambiance for this sexy and dark theme. This feels almost like a toast alone, though there were many people surrounding the bride and groom; the crop, just above her grinning mouth, is purposeful, drawing the viewer's attention to the textured champagne toasting flutes, and her hand positions feel natural and excited. We’ve been asked if this image was staged, but it was actually a completely candid moment during the course of the wedding reception’s events. Using a snooted flash reflected off the white ceiling panels keeps the light directional and dramatic, highlighting the bride’s beautiful smile and letting the second toasting glass fall out of focus in the foreground. This image speaks of youth, exuberance, celebration, and old Hollywood glamour, leaving the rest of the story up to the imagination of the viewer. Where was this image photographed? It hardly matters: much like other challenging venues and lighting scenarios, our experience with flash and how to manipulate our equipment and lights is what’s important.

Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

1/200; f/4.0; ISO 2000; 100.0 mm.

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