A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing the beautiful Kayla and her dream man Jake. Jake is in the army, stationed in Korea, but he was back for a few weeks to marry the woman of his dreams. They were married at a beautiful church in Dayton, Ohio and I was lucky enough to be there to capture the entire event. The reception was held at the officer’s club at Wright Patterson Air force Base (also in Dayton, Ohio). Having never been to the officer’s club at Wright Pat, I was a little nervous about the photographic opportunities we had available to us. Luckily there is an amazing golf course that surrounds the club that we were able to make use of. While I was worried about the scenery, I was ecstatic about what I was seeing in the sky. One thing I always hope for as a photographer (at least when shooting outdoor portraits like this) is an overcast sky with clouds that have contrast and definition. We were very, very fortunate this day with our sky. We (the bride and myself) couldn’t have been happier. When you have a sky like this, you know two things. First, you know that it’s not going to take much power to light the subjects. Since the light levels are low, you’re usually shooting at a higher ISO which in turn allows you to bleed down the power on your lights, or allows you to use speed lights and work really quick and light. The second thing that pops into my head when I see a sky like this is the drama. My plan of attack when shooting against a sky like this is to underexpose the sky by 1 to 1-1/2 stops then using my flash to light the subject. By dropping the sky 1 stop underexposed, I allow it to become very saturated and very contrasty as in the image above. The One thing to look out for when doing this is your ratios. It’s not a set subject to background ratio, rather a “seat of your pants” judgement call. What you have to watch for, and avoid is making the background too dark. If you make the background too much darker than your subject, the viewer doesn’t know where to look. There are competing areas of the image for the viewers eyes to move to. You obviously want the subjects to be the focal point of the image, but your don’t want them to look like they are out of place either. You want the background and the foreground to look believable. As with anything, practice makes perfect and it takes a little while (and a lot of bad photos) to finally figure out where your sweet spot is. Check out a few more from that day below, and I hope to see you here again soon! Jason
It took a little finessing to get the light right under his hat in this shot.
A couple of sweeps to end the post…
I absolutely love the lines in this shot. The triangle that her arm is making, the Curve of her back with the contrast of the colors are just amazing. Thank you Kayla and Jake for letting me be a part of your day! Jason