I have recently developed a love affair with harsh, dramatic sunlight, something most wedding photographers shy away from in favor of open shade. Shade is softer, and easier to photograph, but also can be flat and uninteresting. Often in the course of a wedding, you’re shooting at a country club or city street, where there is no option to shield your clients from the light, and it’s important to know how to harness that light. Learning to photograph harsh light in the most flattering way possible is crucial to avoid harsh shadows under the eyes while creating a higher contrast image, full of mood and drama. Katie and Clayton’s bridal portraits on a country club tree line at the sun’s harshest time of day was a perfect time to hone my lighting skills.
Their romantic, rustic wedding in Clark’s Summit was a perfect mix of family traditions, and casual elegance. Bustling pre-ceremony preparations in the family home, surrounded by Katie’s beautiful bridemaids, with hand painted wine glasses for each girl made by Katie, and 3 generations of wedding dresses hanging by the fireplace. Home made details were everywhere, including garter belt and ring pillow and slices of personalized tree trunks as place settings. Themes of pale pinks and crisp greens created a timeless, vintage feel to the day. It was important to the couple that the first time Clayton saw his bride on their wedding day would be as she walked down the aisle at The Church of Saint Gregory, a stunningly beautiful church filled with the greenery where Katie’s parents also wed. Then on to Glen Oak Country Club, where Katie worked as a teenager for a beautiful evening surrounded by friends and family.
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