This past weekend I had the good fortune of doing wedding portraits for a really nice couple. They were very friendly, photogenic and we were lucky enough to be able to shoot outside. The leaves were just starting to change and the temperature was perfect!
I really enjoy portraits that are done outside as the surroundings can really add to the overall feel of an image. The portrait above was no exception. I have the bride and groom standing in front of the church they were married in and you can just slightly make out the name of the church. Also, as luck would have it, there was one tree in the front that had just a slight splash of fall color. The front of the church was landscaped nicely too.
How to get this shot: I knew I wanted to show the front of the church in this portrait and I also knew that I wanted to capture some of the color the foliage outside was showing. So, in Manual mode, I set my camera to 1/250 sec. and the aperture to f/13 at ISO 400. This gave me an ambient only exposure that I liked however it left the bride and groom in complete shadow.... perfect!! My assistant (my girlfriend Jenn) was holding my Nikon SB-800 off to camera right and slightly higher than the bride and groom's heads. I dialed the flash down to 1/4 power and popped a test shot. This time, it was dead on. That's the great thing about LCD's!!! You don't need a light meter to get these kind of shots, simply "chimp" at the LCD and adjust exposure/flash settings until you got the shot you like. Also, by shooting like this, you will start to become very intuitive at what settings to use based on your available light. Could this have been done with on-camera flash? Sure it could! But, by using flash off camera, it gives you shadows that will create more of a three dimensional look. When using on camera flash, it generally will wash out your subject(s) and make them look flat and dull.
I really enjoyed creating this image and I hope you like it too!