Laura and Omer’s wedding was a fun one! The location was beautiful and challenging at the same time. This is an old Los Angeles building and the bottom floor, where the wedding took place used to be a large bank. Now it’s mostly open areas that are used for large events, movie sets, etc. All the tables, chairs and decorations have to be brought in for every event. Because of this, shooting before the wedding was challenging with the large staff moving furniture around and walking back and forth.
First we photographed Laura. with her girls, family and alone. The images below are in 2 different areas, because there are few windows (only in the front of the building) and the ceiling is very high, we had low light levels to deal with. This is where the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger came in handy. This is a portable 400 watt unit that comes with lithium ion batteries pack and 2 heads. Here we’re using one head into a shoot through umbrella. As you can see below, I’m using a tripod so I can drag the shutter and avoid the “cave” effect. This is where your flash illuminates the subject but the background goes dark. In addition to the main light, our assistant Autumn is holding a 42″ silver reflector on the other side for most of these images.
These images were done in an empty mezzanine with great window light. This was the “first look”. We always appreciate it when our couples decide to see each other, and allow us to photograph them together before the ceremony. In this location it would have been very difficult to work with them after the ceremony, so everything worked out. Because we did not place our subjects right next to the large windows for the first look, the light fall off was not too severe.
After the first look, we had a few minutes to work with Laura and Omer in that great window light. We got one of the bridesmaids to help with the reflector for some of the images next to the window. Placing the groom in the darker outfit closest to the light helps balance out the image. In these situations I’m always ready to add a little bounce flash for fill if I need it, but I didn’t in this case.
The “real” bank vault is actually in the basement. We checked that area, but it’s currently in construction. They’re making a night club out of it. This one in the background is a replica made of wood. It looks fake close up. It was made for a movie that was shot there recently and left behind. The King’s table was set up in front of it. These group images were lit with the Elinchrom. A larger, off camera, light source worked out very well here.
This is door light at the entrance of the building. The bars behind Omer lead to a staircase to the basement, where the real vault and safety deposit boxes are.
Even low light is much better than uneven light. Here is the ceremony from a balcony. I think I was shooting from what must have been the bank president’s office.
Above are 2 images taken pretty much at the same time. The one from above is mine, and the B&W from eye level is Mirta’s. I like her’s much better! For walking shots in low light, we use high ISO. I prefer a little noise to movement. I think the B&W grainy look goes with the environment…
It’s always very important to produce good decor images. The bride and groom spent a great deal of time and resources creating this space and love to see the results. Also, if you hope to have your weddings published, good decor images, including special lighting, are a must.
The florist, linen and chair rentals, lighting company and all the other vendors will want to feature your images of their work in their sites. We always make these available to them, but, they have to agree in writing to leave our water mark and provide a link to our website. This is non-negotiable. We are happy to provide other vendors with the tools to book future weddings at no charge. Asking for proper credit is only fair.
We usually place one, two, or three off camera speedlights, like the one on the light stand above, around the room. They’re set on manual at about 1/8 power (depending on the space). These are fired remotely via PocketWizards from our cameras. This way we can still have our on-camera speedlight on TTL to act as a main or fill depending on the situation. We cover this technique and much more OCF (off camera flash) in our workshops.
The image below was done very early in the day, with an OCF behind the couple, but it looks like it was taken later in the evening and made a good “ending image”