The lovely photographer Katie Rogers nominated this one as a Farmers Image of the Week. I love when our members nominate each other as I often miss great shots if they are not using our hashtag #photographyfarmer. What Katie said about this shot is that she loved the use of the mirror and the light.
It’s interested to hear Lena talk about shooting in a not so inspiring room. Sometimes we don’t get handed a beautiful setting and she’s right, that can be when you are more creative – because you have to be. It can be case of pulling attention to the positive space by eliminating anything in the negative space. This is when hotel curtains can help you out a lot. By taking the light down to just a sliver that illuminates your subject and conceals what you do not wish to show, you can make a strong portrait in any room.
By adding in that additional element of the mirror, Lena has elevated this portrait into something quite special and given us a lesson in chiaroscuro lighting.
What Lena Said…
“I took this picture during bridal preparations at Dakota Hotel in Edinburgh. It was a typical hotel room, with not too much space around the bed, but luckily with dark walls, which I truly love! They’re such an easy backdrop making any portrait very Caravaggio-like.
I was recently chatting with one fellow photographer about the perfect venues, and I have a theory that the more demanding the place is, the more creative you have to get to deliver, so… I love to take pictures in those not ‘picture perfect’ locations, just to boost my creativity and I feel like these preparations were the ones when I had to think a bit more. How to use good window light, how to close the frame without showing the room around etc
So here’s how this photo came to life – the bride sitting on the armchair in the corner of the room, the window was on her left, in between me and the bride was a dressing table with a mirror on top. I framed the bride using the rule of thirds to make the flowers on the table look like a two times bigger bouquet and to hide the hair sprays and all the mess on the table… Nice and easy.
I remember saying to the bride that I took a photo of her looking like a two-headed dragon, so she’s strong and ready for a battle and she shouldn’t be nervous anymore. I say very weird things from time to time!”