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How I Took It: August 2014
{The Sparkler Exit}

Leesburg Virginia wedding photographer
One of the things I love about photography is that a little change here, a little change there and you can completely change the look of your photo. Lighter, darker, moody, or airy. Sometimes a look is based on the time you have to set up or the equipment you have at any given moment, but good images are the result of good preparation usually.

We photographers never really stop learning or experimenting. A few weeks ago a group of us got together to play around with sparklers. Having a formal “sparkler exit” from a wedding reception is a popular choice for couples to make, but they are notorious difficult to photograph well. So we decided to play around.

Fortunately I’ve become familiar with how they usually work have shot a number of sparker exits, but I wanted to try some different options when I wasn’t under pressure to know I had to “make it work”. I would never want to experiment and fail during someone’s once-in-a-lifetime wedding! But anyway, it was fun to play and try different things.

Here are three different images taken three different ways, which you’ll see detailed underneath each one. I think my favorite is the last one since I did some new things and was really happy with the result!

Wedding-Sparkler-Exit-Leesburg-Virginia-Kelly-Ewell-Photography
Image 1: We started off with basic shooting. All in camera and no flash of any kind to enhance the image. I was using a 50mm lens and all manual settings of ISO 3200, f/1.4, 1/80, Auto WB.

Wedding-Sparkler-Exit-Leesburg-Virginia-Kelly-Ewell-Photography
Image 2: Time to introduce some off camera flash to see what it can do. ISO 1000, f/1.4, 1/80, one OCF high and to the right with a white shoot-through umbrella. Because I didn’t gel my flash, there was weird color balance between the flash and the sparklers. Therefore converting the image to B/W worked best for this one!

Wedding-Sparkler-Exit-Leesburg-Virginia-Kelly-Ewell-Photography
Image 3: The final image with even more adjustments. ISO 1250, f1.4, 1/100, WB Kelvin 3200, two flashes. One flash was set behind the couple at about chest level. It was just the bare flash on 1/16 power. You have to be careful here of how you frame up your image so that the flash stays blocked by the couple to give that nice glowing rim light around them. If they move enough so that the flash points directly at your camera, then your image will be severely overexposed. A second flash is on my camera, pointed up but with a white bounce wrap and a 1/2 CTO gel. Obviously pointing the flash up when you’re outside isn’t going to allow it to bounce off any kind of ceiling, but the white wrap I had around it was just enough to fill in the couple. I’m not sure what the power level on the on-camera flash was at. Maybe also around 1/16. If that was the case, looking at these I might have used 1/8 for a bit more light. It was good that we did used some really smoky sparklers about this time because the back light really highlights that nicely!

So that’s how I took it! Let me know what other things you want to hear or learn about and I’ll try to find some examples to blog about in future posts!

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Renee - August 12, 2014 - 11:06 pm

Yay for sparklers!!

Emilia Jane - August 12, 2014 - 3:29 pm

So fun!

Caitlin - August 12, 2014 - 2:22 pm

always love a good sparkler exit shot!! :)

Married: Kathleen and Charlie
{Leesburg VA Wedding Photographer}

Leesburg Virginia wedding at 48 Fields
Five years was how long they have been together. Five days was how long they were engaged.

Kathleen and Charlie met in college like so couples many do. While they enjoyed a year together at the same school, they soon found themselves in a long distance relationship when Charlie transferred to another school. The miles between them were no match for their determination though. They knew they would be married one day.

Planning a wedding was a whole other story though. Rather than wait many months before exchanging their vows, Kathleen and Charlie decided to simply elope. No fuss, no hassle, no complications. With a ceremony for just the two of them, it was so exciting to witness such an intimate ceremony. We met up a bit early to take some portraits of the two of them and then finished up with their vows to become husband and wife!

Enjoy some of the highlights from Kathleen and Charlie’s elopement ceremony!

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Ceremony: 48 Fields
Officiant: Dr. Soni Anderson
Photographer: Kelly Ewell Photography

Thanks for visiting the blog today! Let me know you were here by leaving a comment below telling me what your favorite image was from Kathleen and Charlie’s wedding!

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Sonya Lowe - August 14, 2014 - 12:25 am

Brings tears to my eyes how beautiful the bride looks and how much they love each other! We love these two people more than words can say!!

Amy Showalter - August 7, 2014 - 9:47 pm

The picture with the silo in the background and they are walking hand in hand was my favorite but they are all beautiful pictures. Well done!

Nichols Portraits - August 7, 2014 - 1:58 pm

Beautiful portraits! Beautiful couple! Well done!

Natalie - August 7, 2014 - 12:44 pm

That dress is stunning! What a gorgeous couple and these images are some of your best! Love!

Married: Eileen and Dave
{Vienna VA Wedding Photographer}

Vienna Virginia wedding at Meadowlark Gardens
When I arrived to meet Eileen, she was sitting calmly in her bedroom while finishing touches were being made to her hair and makeup. She seemed to be in an oasis of contentment as her friends and family ran around the house getting ready themselves.

When I arrived at the church to meet Dave, he was pacing around the waiting room waiting for the ceremony to begin. Family members would come in to chat a few at a time and laughs were shared with his groomsmen. He had been ready and waiting for a while in there, but suddenly guests started to arrive. It was time.

Eileen wore a wide smile to match her stunningly classic and beautiful gown. With all the bridesmaids and all the groomsmen having walked down the aisle to the front of the church, it was her time to walk to meet Dave. Among the blessing of all those closest to them, the exchanged vows and rings and became husband and wife.

It was my absolute pleasure to work with these two and share in their commitment to one another. Enjoy some of the highlights from Eileen and Dave’s wedding!

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Ceremony: St. John Neumann Catholic Church
Reception: Meadowlark Gardens
Caterer: Great Blue Heron Catering
Cake Bakery: Amphora
DJ: Party Up Entertainment
Flowers: Tabletoppers by Cathy
Invitation: Will Semonco
Dress: Tiffany’s Bridal
Hair and Make Up Artist: Jenny Rice and Elisabetta
Photographer: Kelly Ewell Photography

Friends and family can see the whole collection by visiting www.kellyewellphotography.com/eileenanddave and entering your password.

Thanks for visiting the blog today! Let me know you were here by leaving a comment below telling me what your favorite image was from Eileen and Dave’s wedding!

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My Favorite Image: July 2014
{Leesburg VA Wedding Photographer}

Leesburg Virginia Wedding at Morven Park
With July wrapping up on the calendar, I’m also marking the half way point of wedding season. There’s been so much excitement and so much celebration that I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing, but there is so much still to come as fall is soon approaching. (I can’t believe I actually just wrote that!) One of my recent weddings was one of the biggest parties and all the guests tore up the dance floor! It was so much fun and so many of my favorite images this past month were from that wedding. But I wanted to narrow it down to just one. This isn’t one of the crazy party photos that were so much fun, but I think this is my favorite:

Fiorella-Kyle-Morven-Park-Wedding-Leesburg-VA Washington DC Northern Virginia Loudoun Kelly Ewell Photography

So why did I pick it? This photo says so much to me with so much emotion. Kyle is just seeing his bride for the first time as she rounded the corner and started down the aisle. He’s happy and excited but fighting back the tears while his dad (who is also Best Man) leaning in to see Fiorella as well. With the angle of the photo, it also looks like dad is leaning in sharing the moment with his son. The focus is all on the men lined up, but it’s really a moment all about the bride.

So did I make the right choice? Check out more of Fiorella and Kyle’s wedding, and in case you missed some of my recent sessions, here is a quick recap of my posts from the past month:

Engaged: Brianna and Grant
Engaged: Kate and Chris
Engaged: Lisa and Neal
Engaged: Norma and Randy
First Anniversary: Rebecca and Chris
Married: Heather and Jeremy
Married: Megan and TJ
Need Feed Heed: July 2014
Portraits: The Martinez Family

Thanks for visiting the blog today! Let me know you were here by leaving a comment below telling me what your favorite image was from the past month!

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