April 24, 2011 / Wedding
Jennifer & Mark's Midtown Atlanta Wedding - My Favorite Shot | Atlanta Wedding Photographer
So, I just got the good news tonight that I was rejected from the LeahandMark Season 5 internship! Why is this good news you may ask? Zac, are you just being sarcastic and funny like you usually are? No – this really is good news! While I do feel I still have a long way to go in this crazy world of a fulltime wedding photographer and thought I could learn some things from Leah and Mark Tioxon; this just means I get to become a better person by discovering it on my own! Maybe I was rejected because I already know my “f-stop from a bus-stop” (quote from Bambi Cantrell) or because I botched the essay questions on the application – sorry, I honestly do not follow any artists except photographers. Even my musical artist choices are old stuff from college (go Daft Punk!)… sigh.
Sorry, this post is not my “Anything Goes Wednesday” post where I talk about random stuff, Monday posts are all about P-H-O-T-O-S! This post is actually one of the application questions for the internship! The question asked what is your favorite photo, and to me my next photo is always my favorite. I am never satisfied with my own work and feel their is always somewhere to improve, because during each and every photo shoot I learn something new – guaranteed. Even if I’m just shooting pictures of Miles I am practicing manual mode, understanding the play of light better, etc etc. My most recent favorite photo is from last weekend’s wedding with Jennifer and Mark! I will be posting many many more photos (and hopefully by next week because this coming weekend I have another wedding on both Saturday and Sunday!)
LeahandMark Round 2, Question 1 – Write a blog entry about your favorite photo in your portfolio.
Reflections on a Rooftop Photoshoot at Ventanas and my Favorite Image of the Day
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow”
How do you top a wedding that has already spanned three locations from bridal preparations at Helmet Hairworx in Midtown to a fabulous ceremony at Peachtree Christian Church and then a bridal portrait session at the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House Mansion? The perfect compliment to the Jennifer and Mark’s Ultra Modern wedding – a killer reception at Ventanas Atlanta.
Ventanas is known for it’s sweeping views of the Downtown Atlanta skyline and everyone in the wedding party was clearly not disappointed! Side note, our condo sits right on the other side of Centennial Olympic Park but nothing could have compared us for the view from this side of the Park! With floor to ceiling windows during the evening reception all guests were treated to views of the Atlanta skyline while they partied and celebrated Jennifer & Mark’s union. Just before Jennifer & Mark sat down for the first meal I asked them if we could sneak them away for 30 minutes just as the sun was setting. Just as the last bits of light left the night sky, their was a break in the action and our Maid of Honor, Angelique, found me in the crowd and told me everyone was getting ready so let’s make a break for the… wait for it… HELICOPTER PAD ON THE ROOF!
Despite the chilly air and slight breeze, the view and the company were simply breathtaking. The entire bridal party of groomsmen and bridesmaids couldn’t stop smiling and saying what a great view they were having and how this was the icing on the cake to an already fantastic wedding. Having shot in similar situations before I began quickly taking test exposures to dial in the background city lights as the revelry continued. I knew in my head I would be setting the exposure for the background and then illuminating the subject with my on camera flash and external flash to give dimensionality to the photo as a cross light. With the vision in my mind I asked Jennifer and Mark to come stand near the edge while I finished adjusting the power from the external flash down from 1/16 to 1/32 power to give the photo just enough kick in the final light of the day.
“Hey Jennifer, do you mind standing over here alone for some quick photos?” Mark was more than willing to oblige, as he knew that Jennifer was the star of the day. As Jennifer adjusted her bouquet I fired off a couple of quick test shots before directing Jennifer to first put her hand on her hip and look out towards the city… then to glance at me over her shoulder. Click click click, the photos were amazing and I couldn’t help but show Mark and then Jennifer the kind of shots we were getting.
“Ok girls, I know it’s cold out” I tell them as they are currently wearing the groomsmen’s jackets, “let’s get a few shots of just the girls and then you ladies can go back inside.” The girls gather around Jennifer and give us a few quick poses as I start talking to them and snap a few candid shots of them having a great time. The last set of photos were a bit dark for my liking so I turned on my on-camera flash and dropped the diffuser flap to spread the light across the group, choosing ETTL -3 for just a bit of fill flash to brighten the shadows. Click click click… even better than before from a lighting point of view!
“Alright we’re done here!” As the girls walk off the wind really starts whipping up blowing Jennifer’s dress in the wind… “Hey Jenn!” the groomsman says “You’re like Marilyn Monroe!” and I quickly move the light stand slightly and have Jennifer try to keep her dress down in front – mimicking the iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe over a steam vent.
The boys were just hanging out being boys at this point, so I gathered them up and took a few shots of everyone before finally getting Jennifer & Mark alone… and that’s when my favorite shot of the day happened. With such a breathtaking view, Jennifer & Mark stood there on the edge of the roof and soaked in the view and reflected on everything that happened in the past 8 hours. To me this is my favorite time of any wedding, all of the craziness of the day is done and the ceremony is behind them. The bridal portrait session is the one chance the new couple gets to spend some time alone before heading back into the chaos of the reception and seeing family and friends for the rest of the night. Now even though we did a separate photo session at the Swan House, we had the entire wedding party with us just as with this rooftop session, however even the couple got lost in the moment and felt like they were the only two people in the world as they looked out over the magical nighttime skyline of Atlanta.
Back to the shot, the photo was taken using the settings that I had slowly tweaked over the last couple of shoots – off camera flash on a stand camera right with the on camera flash providing a bit of fill light. While I prefer the landscape composition I took in one of the shots right after this when Jennifer & Mark are posing for the camera, but this photos sums up the feeling of relief as the newlywed couple looks out over the city and soaks in the day. Completely unaware of the other groomsmen, the videographer, or the photographer that were on the helipad with them, this is raw emotion, Jennifer and Mark in the moment on their wedding day.