A bridal wear commercial photography shoot for Caru Brides, Caerphilly
As a photographer it’s nice to have a balance of work and a range of challenges to stimulate creativity. The opportunity to shoot wedding gowns and bridesmaids without the pressure of a full on wedding is always a joy as it allows me to experiment with ideas which can then inform my wedding photography. A local wedding dress vendor Caru Brides needed some promotional images for their website and so a couple of wedding fairs locally gave us the chance to plan some commercial photography shoots to showcase examples of the stunning gowns they offer.
Doing a commercial photography shoot is also a great opportunity for me to experiment with different lighting techniques. Whilst much of a typical wedding is shot using natural light, it’s important that when I’m working as a wedding photographer I am able to quickly adapt to the varying and different light conditions that are presented throughout the day and to be able to quickly use additional light where appropriate. In the two shoots featured here I used both natural light and flash – using a lighting assistant to make that task easier. As I’ve done here in this commercial photography shoot, I also like to take a lighting assistant with me on a wedding shoot – this way I can have greater flexibility to overcome what might in other ways be quite challenging conditions. In the images in this collection you’ll clearly see some images that have used directional off-camera lighting – what you may not notice is that even in the outdoors shots, in some I have used additional lighting to balance the level of light and shade.
Indeed, what many people won’t realise unless they’re photographers themselves, is that shooting a white wedding dress and being able to capture details is quite a challenge which is why much of the wedding photography you see leaves the dress blown out and detail lost – especially if the bride is outdoors. By being able to add flash or have an assistant use a reflector to throw light into shadow areas means the picture can be more balanced. And yeah, sometimes I’ll deliberately want to blow the details by choice to create a very white high-key image, but other times I can choose to use additional lighting from my assistant to create a range of images. For me its about having artistic choice: and there’s no getting away from the fact that bright sunshine and white dresses are challenge for even the most expensive cameras!
Commercial photography is about showcasing the product and helping potential customers see themselves related to the image. In this commercial photography shoot, I’ve worked with this local business owner to create a selection of images that are predominantly focused on the how the dresses might look in a wedding setting and using models we hope potential clients can relate well to. We like to use natural models rather than the ubiquitous size 8 so that real women with real bodies can see how good the dress can actually look rather than seeing a dress advertised on a size 8 model and feeling excluded. Indeed, it’s a common complaint that even in plus size wedding dress images the models are seldom above a size 12.