A few weeks before Hannah’s wedding, she had her test hair and makeup, brought her dress and earrings to our friend’s studio in Germantown, and I took her bridal photos on two rolls of film: one black and white, and one color. I love bridal sessions because they give us a chance to capture the beauty of your dress but also of you and your heart. This gives us extra time away from the timeline and crowds of a wedding day to create beautiful images to include in your gallery. They’re so much fun.
Here are some of my favorites from Hannah’s session, with a little bit about how we created them below.
How I capture movement and motion blur in a film photograph.
When thinking about how I wanted Hannah’s bridal session to feel, I was envisioning an elevated and carefree look. I wanted them to be simple and perfectly imperfect, capturing the lightness that embodies Hannah and the timeless feel of film. So one of the immediate thoughts I had was to capture movement. I love playing with slower shutters and light in portraiture, especially indoor portraiture, so here are a few tips on how to capture movement and blur in a film photograph.
How I lit the bridal session::
We chose a studio that is predominantly natural light. It has a floor to ceiling window with wood floor and light grey walls, so it was everything that we needed. For some of the closer portraits I mounted a silver reflector on a small tripod stand do light Hannah’s face from underneath.
How I kept my camera stable:
I have a Neewer tripod that has proven very stable and reliable over the years. I mounted my camera, tilted the tripod head to a 90 degree angle for her vertical bridal portraits. I used a 2 second timer after the shutter so my hand didn’t accidentally shake the camera.
What settings I used:
My film is rated at an ISO of 400, both Kodak Portra and Kodak Tri-x, and we met on a fairly cloudy day. On film you have two variables instead of three, just shutter speed and aperture. Generally aperture is more of my constant, to capture bridal portraits with a narrow depth of field, but for the movement, I needed more control over the shutter speed. I tried a few different options to catch the best light and the best subtle movement, and I believe most of these were shot at 1/15s with an aperture of at least f2.
After this, we just had fun with it. I asked Hannah to move her dress, or to walk across the room, and the results were everything I had hoped for.
I love the freedom that bridal sessions offer. Extra time to create and capture this moment in your story. Have questions? I’d love to talk with you.