How I Took It: April 2015 Tips for Photographers

You may remember seeing Kate’s gorgeous Belmont Country Club bridal portraits the other week! If you look through them, I hope you saw that light was used in several different ways. I used a combination of natural light when it was of good quality, but I also used a lot of off camera flash since we were indoors. In the middle of winter. While it was snowing outside! Needless to say, even window light wasn’t very bright that day!


So these photos of Kate on one of the grand staircases were a couple of my favorites! The stairs are located off a couple of adjoining rooms and a hallway that leads to the front door. I can safely say there was no natural light around! Here are some key elements for creating these photos:

  • I was using my 50mm 1.2 lens, but even shooting wide open and with a high ISO would not have worked.
  • Instead I have an off camera flash mounted to a light stand, which is just out of the frame and set on a low power for being so close.
  • It was set to be about even with Kate’s face and sat at a 45-degree angle from me for the photo on the left. As I moved around to the left also for the photo on the right, the angle of the flash increased to more of a side light.
  • A more important element was that I used a white umbrella to modify the light and make for much softer shadows and contrast.
  • Because we had the neutral stone walls right next to us, they acted as a great reflector to fill in light too.

As a side note, it was actually a pretty narrow space from this angle. I moved a table out of the way and was pressed up against the wall to be back far enough! It must have been a funny visual when so much elegance was standing in front of me!

So let me know what you think! Are there other types of photos you want me to explain? Leave a comment below and let me know. Or better yet, sign up for my newsletter below and get free photography tips sent right to your inbox! The next one comes out next week!

Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

  • Lauren Swann - She is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your BTS tips!

  • Renee - Beautiful! Love all these tips for creating this image!

  • Caitlin - awesome! love seeing how you took this beautiful photo- it’s gorgeous!

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