If you are out shopping for the holidays this month, take a look at the back cover of Shutterbug magazine. Your first reaction might be ‘I didn’t think you shot weddings’, and your reaction would be totally correct. But that was the point of this shoot. What would an adventure guy do if he photographed a wedding?
This concept came about working with the amazingly creative folks at Mac Group (who distribute Elinchrom in the US). I love to light rock climbers on vertical faces using my ‘vertical studio’ cross lighting technique. Why not apply this to a wedding? Of course that meant I needed to find two climbers who could be ‘married’ on the side of a cliff. Our two friends Zach and Korie were up for it. But you have to read the end of this blog to see what really happened!!
It is almost certain every time you plan a shoot, something always goes a little crazy. In this case, we had 30MPH winds during the first part of the shoot. Imagine trying to position a large softbox off a big cliff with people right below…we had to clip carabiners into the soft box so if it blew off the flash head it didn’t land on someone. But luckily as the day progressed, the wind died down.
We spent the entire day, from sunrise to sunset, working on this shoot. I wanted to try a variety of different lighting styles using the amazing ELB 400s. These packs weigh six pounds and are very small. Easy to carry in a backpack, or on my next travel shoot in some distant country. And with the new Skyport, I can shoot at 1/8000 for freezing action and using F1.4 in midday light.
So how did this shoot end? For starters, we got some incredible images. Korie looked absolutely stunning with her elegant dress draped down the cliff. And Zach did multiple ascents to get a fantastic shot of him climbing up to his ‘bride’. With a successful shoot complete, we started to pack up our gear. And then I looked over my shoulder, and saw Zach proposing to Korie for real! Wow…does it get any better than that!? In the end we were really photographing a future wedding, we just didn’t know it.