I was talking with a Toronto wedding photographer who was complaining about a phenomenon apparently common in the local community. He called it end of wedding season burn out. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues shoot too many weddings, which causes them to be burnt out at the beginning of fall. Fortunately, touch wood, I never experienced this issue thank to my brides and grooms who often have the most or original ideas for their wedding day. During this Evergreen Brick Work wedding, around the sunset, the bride and groom decided to step out and drive to Scarborough Bluffs to the point where the groom proposed to take night shots of them. Usually, I'm not a big fan of driving around and would rather photograph the wedding to deliver my clients, but this time I knew it would be worth it.
Once we arrived at they are preferred photography location, I noticed the gorgeous backdrop. Despite the fact that the sun already set, the sky and Ontario Lake looked very dramatic. On the negative side, the temperature was around 15°C on this August evening and the strong breeze was giving us some trouble when we try to set up the softboxes. We decided to use bare bulb strobes for this shoot and proceeded quickly because the bride was freezing.
First, we used a few smoke bombs which gave us a beautiful contrast between the backdrop and the newlywed couple. However, because of the breeze the smoke was dissipating quickly and I did not achieve the photo I wanted. However, I noticed that the bride has a shawl in the limo and I immediately saw the opportunity to incorporate it in this wedding photo. I am a big fan of using veils in such situations, but the bride would not wear one. As such I use the veil to add an element of interest in this image. The red shawl flying in the air immediately draws attention into the couple. However, because of the cold, the bride's expression was not believable as she was shivering. I asked the couple to go into the limo and warm-up and also have a drink. As it is usually the case, that did the trick. They came out, followed my directions and I started yelling, which made the bride erupt in a hilarious laughter. My second shooter was holding the Profoto B1 in his hands and that was shooting like a madman praying that the shawl would look great in this photo. Once I looked at the back of the camera and showed the couple the result we all high-fived and drove back to the reception.
What makes this a unique wedding photograph? First, the circumstances are totally unique. Second, there dramatic view of the Lake Ontario and the sky prompted the couple to order a large canvas that is hanging on their wall. Finally, to make the sky this intense blue, I applied a photography technique called colour shift. In essence, by adding a CTO filter onto my main light and setting the white balance to tungsten, I was able to give the sky a twilight blue colour.
To create this image I used a 24 to 70 lens shot around 35 mm. I positioned the bride and groom towards the right side of the frame to create tension and negative space on the left, which balances the subjects in the picture.