The interaction of light and subject help to make an image come alive with emotion. When considering the concept of this editorial with Carrie Moe of Type A Society, we wrote the schedule for each vignette according to the available light at Great Marsh Estate. Inspired by celestial light and the contrast between light and dark, we used a combination of digital and film with ambient light from sun-up until well after dusk, never setting up off-camera lighting as I typically would for a wedding reception in the same conditions. This was an opportunity I took as an artist to be stretched and learn what my mediums were capable of in these lighting scenarios (one of the benefits of investing in personal work!).
For the portraits of our model alone, we chose to use directional light from a window against a dark corner, using a veil speckled with delicate jewels to represent the night sky. The technique used to create the vibe this image portrays is known as “Rembrandt Lighting,” which creates an inverted triangle of light under our model’s eye on the shadow side of the image. This intentional drama created by contrast can change the entire mood of the photo. The night sky is full of mystery, wonder, and in looking at it, we contemplate our own existence. We wanted to mirror these concepts, particularly the contrast between light and dark, and the mystery of the celestial, within these images.
Turning her slightly and angling her shoulders so the window was positioned behind her changed both the light and the emotion in the image. In those particular images, the backlighting helped to soften her look as a whole, the rays from the sun pouring through the window filling the space around her head as light danced within the transparent fabric of her veil. While equally as beautiful, this look is much less bold as the light is diffused rather than direct.
The crescendo of this editorial concept was also the most difficult to execute. The elements were against us on this particular day. Winter light is much less abundant than other seasons, and the bitter wind less forgiving. We wanted to portray a constellation-like design on the front lawn of our venue using votive candles. This required the timing to be perfectly executed as the set-up was labor-intensive and took a whole team. For every five candles we lit, the wind extinguished one, so it was literally a race to the finish to complete the design as the sun was setting.
As seen on: Belle Lumiere
Photographer: Nikki Santerre | Film Lab: Photovision | Stylist/Planner: Carrie Moe, Type A Society | Floral Designer: Wild Pollen | Rentals: DC Rentals | Bridal Gowns : Carine’s Bridal, featuring designers Oscar de la Renta, Shop Gossamer, and Vera Wang | Makeup: Makeup By Kevan | Hair: Brianna B Adams | Headpieces: Erica Elizabeth Designs | Robe: Girl With A Serious Dream | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka Bride | Invitations: Isidore & Augustine | Cake: Fleur and Flour | Wedding Rings: Trumpet and Horn | Styling Mat: Locust Collection and JRD Art Shop | Videographer: Rachel Curry Films | Venue: Great Marsh Estate Model: Tyra Faith, Kingsley Management | Photography Assistants: Sierra Phillips and Carrie Coleman