The Making of an Image

Here’s a little secret. For every artistic-ish photograph you see, there are about 50 shots before it. That’s how long it takes for me to get to the picture I have in my head. I’m not the type who shows up and knows what will work immediately. I have to come at it from numerous angles. (When I was shooting for news, someone once told me — you aren’t done until you’ve walked around the scene 360 degrees and taken a shot every few steps. It is so true!)

Anyway, here are behind the scenes thoughts of what goes down in my night shots!

I knew right away I had to use these lanterns the couple lined up to the property. When people were dancing, I wandered around to see what I could find. (Sometimes I don’t have this luxury, but, the second shooter was grabbing dancing pics)

I laid on the ground getting these, deciding if I wanted to make the lanterns big or small in the photo…

Right away I noticed the lanterns were different colors and I had to pick one that looked the best. (Purple didn’t make the cut!)
After scouting, I went back to shooting dancing for an hour. When the reception ends, I typically only get five minutes with the couple. They’re exhausted and I have to be ready to go. I had one shot lined up with the greenish yellow lanterns but didn’t like it.
I had a backup shot picked out with the orange lanterns. The second shooter lit them up with an Ice Light (buy one here, I LOVE it), which is the beam you see above the couple. This is strictly so my camera can focus in the dark. Then, one easy pose for a nice silhouette.
The second shooter puts a pink gel on the flash behind them to match the lantern’s color. This was the final image. While twenty minutes went into prepping for the shot, the couple stood there for only 2 minutes because we had done so much legwork beforehand!

Same situation with these next series of pictures. People were dancing and I wandered outside to see what I could work with. I noticed immediately that flood lights on the building were in a weird position.

Luckily, when I approached the building the lights were actually just nestled on the ground so I could easily rearrange the light pattern on the wall.
After some back and forth tweaking, I got the lights how I wanted! (Yes, guests noticed me rooting around in the bushes, hazards of the job)
Final image with the couple, this barely took a minute and they were on their way!

There you have it! Thanks for reading this special Friday Random!

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