When we photograph your Washington-area marriage celebrations, we want to give you the best and most efficient experience possible. For that reason, we prefer to work as light as we can. What we mean by that is that we bring and use as little equipment as possible. This approach has several advantages for you and your future spouse.
For starters, it forces us to use natural light more frequently in the pictures we take of you on your wedding day. In our experience as Northern Virginia wedding photographers, it is hard to improve on the way the light of the sun makes you look! Natural light is a great resource, and it always makes sense to take advantage of it.
Us carrying minimal equipment also benefits you in more practical ways as well. Weddings can be pretty hectic. Things move pretty quickly. For that reason, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer needs to be agile and free to follow the action. Mobility is absolutely critical. Having bulky lights set up can potentially limit the ground we can cover. If there are moments happening outside the reach of the lights, then they are lost forever.
In the same vein, there is almost certainly not going to be a lot of extra time on your wedding day. To fit in everything you want to do, you will probably have to pack the schedule as tightly as possible. Because of this, any small delays will throw things off. When that happens, your wedding planner will be looking for ways to catch back up. The easiest way to do this is often to cut into the family formals and couples portraits. The wedding reception usually needs to start on time so that it can finish on schedule. Because we want your wedding day to run as smoothly as possible, we do what we can to accommodate any changes. So we just work quickly to create treasured family formals and unforgettable couples portraits. And that means we do not have the time to mess with complex lighting setups. We need to be able to pose you, your intended and your families, light you and fire away.
With all these challenges on a wedding day, you can imagine how excited we were to get a handheld apparatus that delivers clients like you studio-quality lighting. The MagMod MagBox is a new product that recently came on the market, and it has revolutionized our approach to portraiture. It has allowed us to make you and your beloved look like professional models with minimal setup time. The MagBox is basically an umbrella that is two feet in diameter at its widest. It has an attachment that we can affix to a stand or use as a handle. We attach our flash(es) to the back of the apparatus with a magnet. A white cloth then covers the opening. The latter diffuses the light emitted from the flashes, illuminating couples like you in a soft, flattering manner.
The image posted here is a great example of what the MagBox is capable of. We took it during an engagement photo shoot at Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia. One of the future brides had proposed to the other at that famous natural landmark, so they wanted it in the background of their engagement photos. They particularly liked the idea of a sunset shoot, so we knew we would need to bring artificial lighting. Without it, it would not have been possible to get both the sunset-lit sky and the brides exposed properly. The former requires fairly dark exposure settings. There is not a lot of ambient light at dusk, so people typically require lighter exposures. Unless a Washington, DC, wedding photographer wants all of the shots to be silhouettes, they need to use dark settings and illuminate the couple with a flash.
We got the brides-to-be in position on Olmsted Island just as the sun was sinking below the hills on the Virginia side of the falls. We started by posing them in a very flattering and romantic way. We asked them to both face the camera. That works well when there is a considerable height difference between the fiancés. As you can see, the taller bride was able to hug her future spouse from behind without obscuring her own face. Then we set our camera exposure to the correct level for the sky and water behind them. Finally, we aimed the MagBox at the brides. We stood a bit to the left of them, so that the shorter woman’s shadow did not fall on her partner’s face. Once all of this was set, we took the picture.
The result, as you can see, was beautiful. The spouses-to-be are lit perfectly. The light falling on them is soft and flattering, and not harsh in any way. Though it is clear that we used artificial light, said light is not jarring or unnatural. It looks like the light that falls on people’s faces at dusk. At the same time, the exposure levels of the sky and falls are just right. It makes the glow of the setting sun a deep orange and the water a pale blue. Because those colors are complementary, the backdrop for this photo could not look any more lovely. It is the kind of portrait we know the brides will remember forever. And it would not have been possible without our newest piece of equipment!
© 2020 Potok's World Photography -- Husband & Wife Washington, DC, Wedding Photographers