Michael and I love photographing weddings especially the dresses, so when we get an opportunity to photograph just dresses we jump at it! When you are in the wedding industry you meet a lot of other vendors, and some you take to right away and they become friends outside of the industry. Such is the case with our dear friends Armando and Donnie from Elegant Designs in downtown Elkhart, Indiana. They have some of the most lovely dresses we have ever photographed. They carry the lines from Mori Lee, Christina Wu, Adrianna Papell Platinum, and White One. In addition to carrying: bridesmaid, mother-of-the bride and quinceanera dresses.
When Armando asked us if we were interested in photographing some dresses for their marketing and inside banners we said: “Of course we are, silly! Just tell us when and where and we will be there!” We selected a summer weekend day and scouted for locations and found just the perfect one for this occasion; the backyard gardens of our close friends. Our location was just not any ol’ gardens in someone’s backyard, these were magnificently groomed and well kept gardens. We love photographing there and try to get there whenever we can! The location is about 45 minutes from our studio in downtown Elkhart, IN and on a small lake. Getting there is part of the fun as we get to drive through the Amish country and see all the horse drawn buggies and farms. Michael actually works with a lot of the Amish photographing their miniature and standard goldendoodle puppies. (You can see those on our other blog at Digital Mitchell.)
We have a list of models that we can select from and we also like to bring in a new one every now and then, as we always want to be bringing up the new models. We selected Yesenia, Paulina and Christina to model for us for this photoshoot. The first two have worked with us before, but Christina was a new and upcoming model for us, she did a great job. She was married last year, not in one of the wedding dresses you see below but in a Quinceanera ball gown that Elegant Designs also sells, they are gorgeous!! As usual as Michael was busey setting up lights and getting his camera settings dialed in, I worked with the ladies to get them staged, posed and any last minute prepping, that is my job as the “model wrangler.” I have gotten very good at “quafting” the long trains, Donnie, the master, taught me well!
The images you see below are all a combination of ambient (natural) light and strobe light. We bring our flashes to every shoot, even when photographing outside, where there is plenty of available light, we augment that light with our strobe light. This allows the model and dress to “pop” from the surroundings. We do the exact same thing with our brides on their wedding day. Michael has gotten very quick at dialing in the correct settings to make our brides stand out! And you have to be quick because on the wedding day that timeline must be followed so that the wedding party can get to the party on time!