Using The Landscape To Frame Your Subjects – Image of the Week #428

It’s been a tumultuous few years in weddings, it’s been like a storm that ripped through everything and each time that it looked to be dying down, it just started blowing up again. Storms can be destructive but they can also be cathartic. They leave behind that which was most firmly rooted and now that the dust has settled in our industry, we are seeing what remains.

One of my very favourite things is Elopements. This is a trend that’s going nowhere and it’s easy to see why. If times are still uncertain, then eliminating a guest list and potentially also a venue sure does cut down on the risk factor with hosting a wedding.

Elopements allow couples to focus on each other and their emotions rather than seating plans and creating menus that will cater to everyone. They are all about romance and for photographers, they allow more time for portraits.

Raini carefully planned her time with this couple so that they had a great experience and great images. She worked with the elements, the landscape, and the other people using the location to ensure that they could be present in the space and at that point in time. This allowed for a carefully framed composition that reflects their strong connection first and that incredible landscape second.

It can be easy to get carried away in these beautiful places but Raini has taken her time to compose this shot so that the hill frames them and the elements are not competing with the subjects. This is what makes it a masterpiece.

Nikon D780 | Nikkor 35mm F1.4 | f2.2 | ISO 140 | 1/250
Own Preset

What Raini said…

“Meghan + Katie couldn’t decide between their fairytale castle elopement with a handful of family + friends or escaping to the mountains by themselves. I gently suggested ‘why not do both?’ (Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?)

They saved their personal vows to share privately during an adventure on the Isle of Skye. Splitting their ceremony in this way allowed them to be more flexible about when and where they would say their vows. They wanted to be guided by the feeling of finding the ‘right spot’ at the ‘right time’. This is really freeing but from an elopement photographer perspective, the timeline of the day was still very important. We outlined the day to maximise the chances of them being in a location they would love, at a time when the light would be good and the areas would be quiet.

I knew, from getting to know Meghan + Katie, that the Quiraing was a strong contender for the vow spot and arranged to head there just before golden hour. It had been a typically turbulent weather day on Skye – rain, blinding sun, fog, rain, sun… We were lucky to get a calm break in the ever-changing weather as we were walking along the Quiraing. Seeing storm clouds looming in the far-off distance, they agreed that this spot was The One for saying their vows.

The moment pictured here is them sharing a kiss after finishing reading their vows. (And about 5 mins before we got pelted by a flash hailstorm!)”

The Tech Talk

“It’s a fairly simple image from a technical POV… I asked the couple to head down the slope, away from the path to give them more privacy. This also meant I could comfortably frame them within the outline of the hills in the background. I love having slopes or landscape features to change heights (I’m always looking for rocks to stand on!) as it makes it easier to play with composition.”