• Barn
  • Light Beam
  • Window Light
  • Wide
  • Wedding Dress
  • symmetry
  • streak of light
  • Natural Light
  • Leading lines
  • Center Framed
  • Indoors
  • Indoor
  • hanging dress
  • Dress
  • dinner room
  • Detail
  • Wood

The story behind the image

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Right upon arriving I knew I had to nail the dress shot. After tracking down the dress, I took it out to the reception hall of the venue and started looking around. I noticed the light was pouring through the upper barn windows into the reception hall and I knew I found something amazing. The owner of this venue keeps plant hooks around for photographers to hang up wedding dresses, so I immediately tracked her down. After hanging the dress from the central chandelier (I LOVE symmetrical detail shots if I can manage them), I pulled out my magic… Atmosphere Aerosol. I sprayed as much as I could and let it settle. The effect began to bloom as the light rays were accentuated by the spray. I stepped back and grabbed my camera with my 35mm on it and stepped back. It was beautiful. I dialed into f/1.4 to give the image as much depth as possible and I adjusted my shutter to expose for the dress. I knew it was a money shot. I showed the bride the in camera shot immediately afterwards and she cried. I knew I had something special.
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When I saw the light pouring in from the side I knew I had to line up my shot to compliment it. Hanging the dress in a central location allowed for me to not only create a symmetrical image, but also to capture the light rays coming in from the side.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focus for this image was easy. I actually used the LCD screen to focus in on the dress using the touch screen. I had to hold the camera up higher, so the viewfinder was not an option.

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Focus Mode

Live View Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Front of the dress

Equipment &

Canon 5d Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
1/2000 @ f/1.4 ISO1600 WB-Cloudy

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

You can only nail this shot at this location if you arrive early enough. The light only appeared for a short window of time. Once we see good lighting, we don’t wait to come back to it, we shoot with it immediately! This was definitely a day I was racing against the clock as the light was changing rapidly. The direct light through the barn window was perfect for the atmosphere to illuminate.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I wanted to make sure all of the attention was on Amanda’s stunning dress. I started off with using a preset called “West” out of the preset package called “Cascade 02” because it is very versatile while at the same time not completely washing out the colors of the image. The shadows all around it were perfect for making a central subject. I used a radial filter to bring attention direction to her dress by inverting It and bringing down exposure, clarity, and sharpness. I then used a regular radial filter to increase the clarity and texture on the dress. Lastly, I added even more texture, clarity, and sharpness using a brush directly on the dress. I also used the healing tool to get rid of the exit signs hanging out in the shadows. They drew too much attention to themselves for sure.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


This image was a little challenging because I didn’t have a ton of time for the dress shot. I had to think fast and on my feet. I also ran into the issue of having people in my shot. I was shooting in the reception venue (on the grounds) during some of the setup.

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I usually go into a wedding day already looking ahead a places we can shoot a dress or even the couple. I ALWAYS keep my eyes open on the way in. In fact, I usually like showing up 30-45 minutes early just to get my bearings. For the issue with the people in my shot, I pretty much had to be patient and wait. Thankfully the staff was familiar with what I had to accomplish and tried to stay out of my way.

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Location Name

The Barn at Hamner Ridge

Location aDDRESS

6315 W Hucklebuck Ln, Edinburgh, IN 46124, United States

Loation Type



United States

If you’re looking to nail a dress shot, buy atmosphere aerosol and bring it everywhere you go. The way it illuminates light is absolutely stunning and it can transform an image faster than just about anything else.

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