CEW-09012021

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Two brides walk towards each other after their wedding ceremony in a library

This was the brides’ exit after their ceremony in a historic library. I don’t shoot many indoor ceremonies these days and we hadn’t discussed how the ceremony would end, since it had been written by their friend and was a surprise for them too. But at the end, they turned to exit before their guests, so I ran out to catch the shot of them leaving as a newly married couple.

Before the ceremony, I had asked them to walk extra slowly into the ceremony, but by the time the ceremony was over, they were back to normal walking speed. I would have loved to have been able to ask them to slow down a little, but this was a pure documentary shot. I was walking backward and just capturing them as they walked towards me.

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How did you compose your image?

This location was an important part of their wedding story, so it was important to capture a wide shot of the room. This was a perfect opportunity to not only capture the room in all its glory but also to tell a story about what had just happened inside it.

In terms of the framing, with classical architecture like this, I’m looking for leading lines, symmetry, and frames within my frame. I wanted to make sure I was standing in the middle of the frame (in the end I was slightly off but close enough) and I knew I wanted to catch them an equal distance apart from one another as they walked out, not too far that there was no connection between them but not too close that they became one subject. I also wanted to make sure you could still see the scene that they were leaving behind them – their family and friends still emotional after their ceremony.

How and what did you focus on?

For Jamie and Liz’s exit, I switched my focus to AF-C (continuous) with face detection but kept it on a single point as I wanted to make sure that the focus didn’t get pulled to one of the guests instead of one of the brides, especially since they were moving towards me and into the shadow, as I was standing in the entrance doorway. Because of the relatively slow shutter speed I was using (1/250), I didn’t want to use burst mode as they exited, so while I took a few shots of them as they walked out, I was shooting single frames, so I pretty much had one or two attempts at getting the timing right

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How did you use the light in your image?

The only light sources were coming from the windows around the outsides of the room, with the brightest area at the back of the room where they had just come from and to the right. Being winter in the Alps, and with slightly overcast skies that day, the light was fairly even but the room was pretty dark which was a challenge for shooting moving subjects.

Two brides walk towards each other after their wedding ceremony in a library

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Fujifilm X-T3

Lens

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/250

Aperture

f/f/2

ISO

800

White Balance

7150K

Two brides walk towards each other after their wedding ceremony in a library

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

I used the “Basecamp” presets and profiles from Archipelago for this wedding, as I love how they add some extra punchiness to the image.

The main adjustments that I made after adding preset:
– Exposure +0.10
-Temperature to 6160K
– Highlights -68 (to reduce the glare from the windows)
– Shadows +73
– Whites +30
– Blacks – 10
– Vibrance +5

I also made small adjustments to the HSL sliders in red and orange to get the skin tones how I wanted them.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

Because of the relative low-light in the room, I had to compromise for their entrance and exit, since I knew they would be moving. I would need a high ISO but not too high that it would be too noisy, slow enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur (hoping they would walk slowly), and a wide enough aperture to let in as much light as possible but still have them both in focus.

How did you solve them?

I choose to stay with ISO 800, 1/250 and f/2 as at the time I hoped this would be enough. I definitely did lose some sharpness with this compromise, and the image in my eyes is far from perfect, but it still captures the moment, is well exposed and tells the story beautifully.

Two brides walk towards each other after their wedding ceremony in a library

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

This type of image definitely isn’t the type of photography I’m known for and isn’t the sort of thing you see much in my portfolio. But that doesn’t mean that when I’m in a situation like this, I’m not going to try and challenge myself to create amazing images just because it’s not a couple standing on a mountain. It might sound super cliche, but wherever you are shooting with your couple, whatever location you find yourself in, try to find ways to capture the location in a way that reflects why the couple chose it. Look for ways to use the scene to enhance the story that is happening in front of you. Have your eyes open and anticipate timings, such as people stepping into frames or pockets of light. Play through the scene in your head and think about the shots before and after. If you’ve only got one shot, anticipate it, get yourself in the position you want to be in, and be ready to press the shutter.

Cat Ekkelboom-White

Shooting since

2015

Current Home

Austria

Website

Instagram

After working a ski season in the Alps, I never wanted to leave. So I didn’t. I first picked up a camera after my own wedding in 2014 and when I started my wedding photography business, my goal was always to bring my love of adventure into my business and connect with couples who wanted to get married in the mountains in a way that felt more genuine to them than a big traditional wedding.

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