Beyond any doubt what-so-ever some of the best Miami Wedding Photos I have taken happen after the wedding, on a shoot like this. A “post wedding session” is when the bride & groom pick another day to go out and shoot all the creative images, rather then trying to rush things too much on the wedding day itself. This can be a lifesaver, and the best way to have a stress free wedding while being able to achieve a much higher level of creativity in your wedding imagery.
Sessions like this make it possible to do so much more, have so much more time, and goto different locations that otherwise would be completely impossible on the wedding day.
I have talked at great length and detail in my article “wedding timeline + expectations” and in that article when I reference “seeing images that have been taken in several different locations” this is an example of what I mean.
I shot Danielle & Jareau’s wedding back in March (2015) and they purchased this “after session” as apart of their wedding contract with me. They did not see each other before the ceremony on the wedding day (“first look”), and their time table simply did not support much time for creative images to happen of just the two of them. Too much is going on. We talked about it before the wedding as apart of my planning, and they decided that the best thing would be to not even worry about trying to rush, and squeeze in shots of them.. rather, they wanted to enjoy the day, the party, and interact with their guests. I think this makes the most sense, as after all thats something you can’t “re-do”, and thats something you want to remember more then posing for creative images. Tell me I am wrong.. LOL 😉
So, we have been waiting for “cooler” weather for this session and finally decided to do it. Ironically it was a pretty hot day (what is going on this November, I don’t know!) and still very challenging to get the type of shots they wanted (beach, and various locations around Miami). Danielle & Jareau wanted their Miami Wedding Photos to reflect their love and passion for.. Miami. Before the shoot, we talked about all the different ideas and locations that they wanted and from there put together a solid “game plan”. It’s worth noting, that because of the amount of different locations, and challenges with logistics it only made sense for them to rent a van, with a driver (which they did), and everyone was in one car all day (myself, and my assistant as well). Otherwise, it would never have worked the way it did. In some places we were just pulling off the road, hopped out, and got the shot, and got back in the van.. moved on. This kept the pace going, and helped maintain energy all day long which was very important!
Danielle, Jareau… You both are rock stars. In all honesty, when I got word of all the locations that you wanted to shoot.. I honestly thought you were nuts. I think that if you told most Miami Wedding Photographers that you wanted to shoot at NINE different locations in one day, they would think the same thing LOL.. but, after seeing how much effort.. time.. and passion that you both had for the session and then thinking back to the wedding day (which I can’t wait to now post up), and all the little details that made it so unique and special at your mothers house.. it was something I too wanted to see if could be done. This was truly a “team” effort, and I could not have done it with your help, your mom, the van, the driver, AND.. a wonderful dinner with drinks after to celebrate! It was so nice sitting there, literally celebrating with you all from this incredalbe shoot. It felt like we ran a marathon (and in many ways we did). All of that hard word was so worth it, and the video along with images shows the world what is really possible!
I will always remember this session. It was so much fun.
Check out this incredible behind the scenes video from our session! This is a great recap of our day together, and will give all my clients a nice idea on how some of this all works 🙂 Please also remember to “subscribe” to my YouTube channel so that you can be updated when I release another!
Generally speaking, shooting in the “mid day” sun is not a good idea. You really need to have a plan, and “see the light” to understand what you can, and can’t do photographically speaking. In this shot (above), I am shooting with a lighting ratio of around 80/20, meaning that 80% of my light is coming from the sun, lighting the water, building, sand, Danielle, etc.. the other 20% is in fact coming from my small studio light just of of the frame camera left (aimed at Jareau).
It was incredibly important to pose, and find “excuses” for my client’s to not make eye contact in the harsh lighting conditions. This is one of the many challenges with shooting at the beach, during mid day. Here (above) you can see I have taken the difficult situation and made it into a “graphical” image by featuring my subjects inside of an otherwise nice shot of the lifeguard stand, flowing in the line of other stands in the far distance.
In this image (above) I have the sun to their back side, and now it becomes a bit more possible to work in the hard light conditions.
I loved how this image (above) came out. It is such a “real” moment between them, and was possible by me shooting a ton of frames, and also keeping a dialog going with them (see video). I have taken great care in terms of the positioning as it relates to the sun light, to ensure that they are well lit, as well as the water behind. I was able to “cheat” a bit and use some of the shadow from the structure to aid, in this.
Again, like the other image above.. it was all about getting “candid” moments from them. I feel it’s good to balance out the posed / styled shots with nice images like this. Here I am using the full 200mm of my telephoto lens, and have them walking to the camera.
Check out this stunning image (above). Here, I used the vail, the wind, and the sun and brought them all together. Notice, she is not making contact with the camera… this is because she is facing the sun, and because of that.. I was able to expose her, the water, and the sand all at the same time. This was great, and led to this vibrant capture. While there are many limitations working at the beach in direct sun light, there are also some unique benefits. The key is understanding what is possible, and going with what works.
For this next location, we went downtown near one of the bridges. I instantly saw the lines from the bridge, and knew I wanted to use this as part of my composition. Lucky for me, the sun as exactly where I wanted it, and I did not need to use any of my own lighting to produce this shot (above). I did however, need to shoot this from across the street, and if you watch the “behind the scenes” video I talk about it.
Now, we are actually under the bridge and I am loving all the wonderful lines that I had to work with. Here I am using natural light, along with my own studio light to get the results I was after. I wanted a “pure white” effect for all of the images taken in this section, and I absolutely loved how each of them came out!
This image (above) has a bit of a “dreamy” feeling to it, and this was by design as I am actually picking up some light from my off camera strobe directly into the lens. This causes this to happen, and further amplified the “pure white” effect I was wanting to create at the point of capture.
I just had to get a shot of Danielle alone. I think it came out incredible. I moved the lighting for this shot (see video above), so that it came from the camera left position, and now became a hair light / seperation light.
Before we left this location, I wanted to try something different… and get a shot looking more “up”, and into the lines of the underside of that bridge. The video really shows the type of interaction that I had with them, and exactly how I got this shot.
We went to the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami next. Somehow the sun was even hotter now then it was at the beach, and Danielle’s feet were taking a toll from those beautiful Christian Louboutin’s. This image (above) was lit with both the sun, and my studio light.
Hands down, one of my favorite images from the session. I loved this composition so much, I just feel how much she loves Jareau and it screams “Maimi” with that larger then life Freedom Tower in the background!
I think apart of me wanted to kinda create a little story with this shoot, and apart of that would have been having Jareau “leading” Danielle from one location to another, I am not sure. I just knew that I wanted to feature the front of the AAA in a unique way, and also have a “pose” that made sense.
Now we are talking some powerful light. The image (above) was a full power 400watt studio light camera left, just out of frame. I used this to turn the sky very dark, and to almost get the city in silhouette. I have used a wide lens to capture lots of sky, and the sun (that is real by the way), and the other “star” camera left is actually from my own light. The video shows the making of this image very well.
Crazy enough they wanted to get some images in the middle of the road. I was not able to bring the proper lighting with us (cars coming by), so I decided to stay safe on the side lines and instead use a very slow shutter (1/10) to capture some motion from the cars going by. This, in a way compensates for the lack of perfect lighting and yet makes an images that speaks for itself.
The image (above, and below) are all natural light, and was spotted on the way back to the car. I wanted to “feature” each of them and took turns having fun with the camera.
Strolling back to the car, I also saw this image (in my head) and wanted to see if I could do it.
We were just looking for another pose, and “excuse” to show the shoes (above), This famous part of Miami worked well, with the domino floor and colored walls!
I think we all needed some coffee at this point, and while it was very hot outside somehow it tasted great LOL. It also made for some nice candid images of them enjoying something that they love to do 🙂
The last location was in the design district, and I saw this little house just after sun down and it was perfect! The video talks about the setup I had, but I just wanted to play off the colors of Danielle’s makeup with the wall colors, and also let the color of Jareau’s socks shine… all the while making a “romantic” image. Check this out. I captured three people here! Bob Marley’s face was the inspiration for this shot. I wanted to try and replicate the feelings that he had in that image in the background with my clients in the foreground. Walking, laughing, free, it really reminds me of peace, love, and just being happy. A little drama here for the last image. Completely back lit from my studio light camera right, just out of frame. Here it was all about shoes, texture, romance, etc.