A windy late evening provided the backdrop for this dusk wedding portrait along a South Florida beach in the town of Hillsboro.
As South Florida wedding photographers we are frequently asked to capture our clients’ love for the beach and the state in general. Sandy beaches, the glistening blue ocean, and bright sunshine frequently help fill the frame, sometimes distracting from the couple and becoming more about where the photo was taken and less about the people in it. After we successfully nab a few of the expected and obligatory beach photos, we turn our attention back to the emotions and intimate moments shared between the couple. Capturing genuine connections during the wedding day gives our clients candid, real images they can cherish for years for years to come. Having a clue as to when and where an image was taken subtly brings them back to a specific place and time, so long those elements are noticed in the photo after the primary subject.
Having a detailed wedding timeline - and following it rigorously - removes unneeded stresses and variables from the day, frequently leading to ample amounts of portrait time. Scheduling a block of time to be set aside for portraits is a great idea and nearly all couples plan to set aside a generous portion of the day to utilize our services to the fullest extent. The reality is that since other parts of the day affect many, if not all of the people involved, they are given priority over the scheduled portrait time that involves just the four of us. This can be frustrating, but we are fully accustomed to working around such impediments to success. One way we can extend portrait time is to sneak in a couple of quick and controlled setup shots during a short lull in the festivities. One of us will stay in the middle of the action, prepared to document any events as they unfold. The other can go somewhere else with lighting gear and set the stage for a photo like the one shown here. Borrowing the couple for just a few minutes, we can guide them to a specific point and let them enjoy a few private moments before jumping back into the revelry.
Timing and location were both very important in terms of capturing this image, the staging of which we executed in under a minute. The last bit of blue was fading into black across the South Florida sky and the winds were beginning to taper off. The beacon of the lighthouse had been visible for only about a half hour and this time of day was the sweet spot in terms of getting all of those aspects into one shot. Controlling the intensity, direction, and dispersion of our lighting, we were able to expose for all of the elements at once. Bringing in the the dark blue color in the sky, the blowing palm tress are shown in silhouette, providing a sense of place and a clue to what the weather conditions were like. Waiting until the beacon was just out of frame kept the lighthouse and the warm glow of its fresnel lenses exposed properly without blasting the camera or lighting up the trees. Finally, the flash overpowers all the other sources of light while still playing off of them, giving us a layered feel while actually embracing mixed lighting.