Back when my parents got married, bridal portrait sessions with your photographer before the wedding were the norm. My mom even used one of the photographs from her session in the newspaper along with her wedding announcement. They aren't nearly as popular nowadays, with Molly only having done a handful in the entire time she's been in business. Then, Jenny came along! She wanted to do a bridal portrait session so she could choose a print to surprise her groom with on their wedding day. To say we were excited is an understatement!
While considering locations, Molly and I met Mike from Cincinnati's newest wedding venue, Hauck Mansion. He mentioned that since the mansion is so new, he was welcoming photographers to schedule photography sessions to help spread the word that they were open. (When you least expect it, everything seems to fall into place--know what I mean?) Anyway, we scheduled the session for a day in late March to meet Jenny and her mom at Hauck Mansion for her bridal shoot. Going into it, we had absolutely NO idea what her dress looked like and what a perfect match her style was for the old mansion location! We had So Much Fun playing 'dress up' with Jenny! A beautiful bride in a gorgeous dress, no stress or wedding day time-crunches, and plenty of time for Molly to 'play' with photography styles? Amazing! Molly and I came out of this wanting ALL of our clients to schedule bridal portrait sessions! Without further adieu, on to our 5 favorites!
Photograph 1: The Formal Foyer
Jenny couldn't have chosen a more flattering, intricate dress for her wedding dress! What I love about this photograph are a few things: first, what a unique pose! Taking a picture of the back of the bride and her dress is unusual, but doing so in this setting and pose is especially different. Looking at this picture is like taking a step back in time, the dress, the sleeves, the glass in the door...absolutely lovely! Also, I love that you can make out the side of Jenny's face and the elegant way she is holding up her skirt shows off not only the ribbon on the bottom of her skirt, but the beading and stitching on her sleeve as well. Finally, the lighting of this photograph is spot on! It perfectly illuminates not only the layers of the dress, but the entire photograph.
Photograph 2: Matchy-Matchy Details!
How often do you see a photograph cropped of a bride from the waist up without a bouquet or some other focus of the photograph? That was one of the first things that caught my eye about this picture. The composition of it: Molly framed Jenny perfectly a little to the right of center with the candelabra being a secondary focus. This picture also highlights Jenny's face and light from the left of the frame, softening her features and highlighting all of the stitching and beading on her dress. Those fabulous details are reflected in the setting of this picture: the candelabra, the tablecloth, even the chandelier in the room behind her. All of these small details and Molly adjusting the frame make for one strong, beautiful portrait!
Photograph 3: The Story Behind the Picture
Again, this picture is absolutely gorgeous. But in this instance, we love the story behind the picture almost as much! Jenny's mom wanted a photograph of Jenny reading a bible that has been in her family for generations. Molly knew the chair, table, and candelabra lamp would be the perfect setting for this shot. As we got everything properly situated, we asked the manager, Mike, if the lamp worked. He responded it's a little finicky, and that it only stays lit with pressure on the plug. No matter what we did, we couldn't get it to stay lit! This led to Mike crawling between the chair and table (and under quite a few layers of Jenny's dress) to reach the outlet and jiggling the plug until the lamp stayed lit just long enough for Molly to click the shutter. Judging from the peaceful calm that seems to radiate from this photograph, would you ever imagine all of that was going on behind the scenes?! No! As Mike said, "Anything for the perfect shot!"
Photograph 4: The Profile Picture
You know that we not only love pictures for the way they make us feel, but Molly also loves pictures for the technical aspects of them. Take this one for example: a gorgeous photograph of Jenny gazing out a window, her hand perfectly supporting her flowing veil. Beautiful portrait, right? Molly has a "healthy obsession" as she says with the technical aspects of this picture. The line of light from the nearby window can be traced all the way from the top of Jenny's head to the base of her neck, and again from the top of her shoulder down. Jenny was sitting on a window seat, so the light from the window behind her gave additional lighting to the back of her head and veil. This also made it easier for Molly to have correct exposure and made Jenny, and all of the intricate details of her dress, the entire focus of the image.
Photograph 5: Save the Best for Last!
What we can say about this breath-taking picture except for "WOW!" The stair case wraps around Jenny adding depth to the image but maintains her as the primary focus. Her dress is on full display with the perfect posing of her hand gathering her skirt as if she were going upstairs to greet her groom. Her gaze pointed toward the top of the stairs...a truly classic portrait that you could simply continue to stare at to absorb all of the details. There almost aren't any words for how much I love this picture; what do you think?
Jenny, thank you for choosing a bridal portrait session and allowing us the opportunity to be relaxed and creative in creating these photographs!
Readers: which one is your favorite? Would you ever consider doing a separate photography session in your wedding dress?