Due to popular demand I'm re-posting this with the photos. I'd like to ask everyone to talk about the techniques, but NO COMMENTS about the bride(s) please. I pulled the photos last time because of some potentially offensive comments. This is a public forums and my clients do find these posts. Thanks
I had the privilege of photographing this beautiful bride last summer. She and her husband were really cool to spend time with my for a portrait session after the ceremony even though it was raining! I know that many of you also have to photograph brides that are bigger than a size 6 from time to time so I thought I'd use the rest of the shots to share a few of the techniques I used for maximizing her beauty.
First let's start with a shot from a bad angle:
Even though I shot down and used a telephoto lens (for it's compression abilities), I should have turned her side more to the camera. With this angle I made her midsection look larger than I could have. Nonetheless, It give you an idea of the brides' body type.
So here's what I did to make her look her best:
In this photo, I shot from a high angle. That made her look up, which stretches the neck and the skin on her face. I also shot from her side (I never shoot a heavier bride straight on if I can help it), and I used his hands to de-emphasize her shoulders.
In this photo, I shot from higher again, and cropped tight so that most of her body is cut off. She is stretching her neck out to kiss him, which has a flattering effect on her face and neck. As a side note, they're not a sharp as I usually like, but I was using 1/15 at 200mm (equiv) on my 70-200 and it was about the limit of the IS. I wanted to capture the motion of the water raging past.
For these next two shots, I used his body to block hers, positioning him in front of her.
On this one I also had her bring her arms up around him to minimize her arms and shoulders.
Finally, I used a little PS trickery. For this last shot, I took 10 pounds off by using the free transform tool to thin the entire photo by about 2-3% (select the entire photo with the rectangle marquee, click ctrl+T, type "97" in the width box at the top, double click the photo, crop it back to 4x6). The lighting (from a window to my right - her back was to a stucco column) also helped thin her face, by adding shadows to her cheeks.
I'll add a part two with some more photos of a different bride as soon as I have a few extra minutes to pull it together...