Beautiful Wedding at the Old Stone Chapel St, Charles, MO
When I met Cierra and Travis back in December of 2016, I immediately knew I was going to look forward to shooting this wedding. As the date got closer, I got more and more excited as Cierra and I discussed her ideas/vision for the day. I was especially looking forward to doing some of the long exposure photos that we discussed using sparklers.
I had been getting a lot of questions about how I took the photos with “love” written with light and the bride and groom with light swirled around them, so I thought I would dedicate this blog to how I pulled those light photos off.
One of the challenges of long exposure photography is that the people being photographed must stand extremely still, which is especially difficult to do on cold winter nights. I always have a game plan on how I am going to do particularly difficult shots. This was my first time light painting with people, so I enlisted the wisdom of a well seasoned wedding photographer and instructor to help fine tune my ideas and ensure a successful first light painting shoot for Cierra and Travis. It was important to me to capture the light painting principles in the photography itself, as opposed to relying on the powers of Photoshop.
The big day arrived and got off to a great start, as the wedding party was so fun and pleasant to work with at Cierra’s house during her getting ready photos. After taking pictures at the Old Stone Chapel we went to Frontier Park and Old Town St. Charles. What an amazing experience we had in St. Charles after hailing a horse and carriage, where Cierra met her second prince charming, the horse Chief. Chief even got a special kiss from Cierra.
The ceremony progressed elegantly in the beautifully decorated Old Stone Chapel. The emotion Cierra and Travis expressed for each other was almost palpable. I love being able to capture the raw emotions of a couple on one of their most rewarding and memorable days of their lives. The end of this wedding was an extra exciting moment for me as a photographer, as we set off to the back patio of the Old Stone Chapel to work with sparklers for some light painting. Light painting involves work on the part of the photographer, those being photographed, and sometimes a “hidden” assistant. For this shot, the bridesmaids were the ones who had to enact the light painting and were wonderfully receptive to the instructions. It takes teamwork and patience from all who are involved, but the extra required time is well worth the reward.
Light painting with words can be a tricky task for those who are writing the letters because everything has to be written backwards. The bridesmaids who wrote the “o” and “v” lucked out since they are written the same forward and backwards. However, the “L” and the “e” take extra practice since they must be written backwards. I appropriately adjusted my camera settings and extended the exposure time to 10 seconds. This is a perfect example where as a photographer you need to allow for extra time for some practice shots so all who are involved are comfortable performing their task. The wedding party were such quick learners that the shot worked out perfectly on just the second try.
For the photo with the light trail, I used the same camera settings, however hid my assistant Sarah behind the couple. Sarah was “hidden” in the photograph because with the long exposure time and her constant motion circling around them the camera only picks up the light. After a couple of tries I got a great shot.
Thank you Cierra and Travis for including me in your big day and trusting me in trying out a new photography adventure with light paintings! Here are my favorite photos from the day.