"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
© David A. Ziser
I love this photograph. It's a simple backlit photograph of the bride dancing with her father. With my assistant positioned behind the bride and her father and with the both of them turned about 45° to the axis of the camera, the light from the backlight illuminates the father shirt which then becomes the light source for the bride's face. Utilizing a higher ISO guarantees a decent exposure on the bride's face letting me see her beaming expression as she enjoys this wonderful moment with her father.
This technique works equally well when the bride is dancing with her groom. The secret is to be sure to catch the couple at about a 45° from a line drawn from the camera to the flash behind the couple. As long as the flash has a clear view of the guy’s shirt – dad or groom, that shirt will become the light source giving you the illumination you want on the bride's face.
This is a great technique I've used over and over again. Once I've made a full-length exposure of the couple I’ll then zoom in and follow the action for several more minutes hoping to capture a close-up image of either the bride with the groom or dad beaning back at her.
Remember too, if we use the same technique with the bride’s back to the camera and the front of her gown oriented to the backlight, the light will bounce off of her white gown creating a light source for either the father’s or the groom's face and will get the same result is what we see right here. These new combo images are a perfect combination to the example we see here in today’s post.
Too many people settle for the simplest of photographs of this special moment - just a quick photograph of the bride and groom or the bride and her dad this looking directly back into the camera smiling. I think the image I'm showing today represents a bit more creative and exciting approach to that special moment of the evening. Again, it takes an auxiliary flash to pull it off but the results are worth it. And, that folks, is one of the big differences that makes a difference in wedding photography these days.
DAZNOTE: The question comes up, "Will this technique work with a remotely fired smaller shoe mount flash?" The answer is yes but once again you get a remember that you will be using high ISOs – probably any ISO 6400 or maybe even higher. You will have to use them at a power setting – maybe full power – to get the same result.
This image becomes part of a full page spread in the bridal album and is always a favorite for whomever is represented in the image.
Camera specs Canon 5D Mark three fitted with Tamron 28 – 300 mm lens at 28 mm, F5.6 @ 1/100th of a second, ISO 4000. Enjoy! – David