I am always looking for what makes each couple and each bride, unique, extraordinary, and beautiful. This bride, SooJin, had a beautiful way of moving. At this point, she was illuminated by a soft light coming through a window (my absolute favorite kind of light!), and I was shooting with one of my favorite lenses, the Tamron 28-75, f/2.8. One of the big advantages to this lens for preparation shots is that you can zoom out to 75mm, and it has macro capabilities. I love to use it to get detail shots like this one.
This was a candid picture, as the bride was talking to and playing with the flowergirls before leaving her sister’s house to go to the park for formals. I like to capture natural action both because I think the client will more truly remember being in the moment and because her gestures will be more typical of HER.
I knew the picture I wanted to take, and framed it in camera. Thus, there was no cropping after the fact. The first post-processing I did was to convert it from RAW. My primary goal in the conversion was to retain the beautifully lighted texture of this image. My general philosophy of image editing is to enhance what is there, rather than manipulate it into something else.
After the conversion, I opened it in Photoshop CS2 and smoothed her skin wherever necessary with the healing brush. I wanted to keep a slight skin tone, so I did not want to go completely b&w or sepia on this one. However, I knew that I wanted to emphasize her lips. And so I put a sepia layer on top of the color one (my favorite way to do this is to use the Chocolate Syrup action by Kevin Kubota), and then brought the opacity down just a little, until just enough of her own skin tone shone through. Then, using the layer mask, I painted black on white to add back a little more color on to her lips. I did not want the effect to be too strong, so I started with a small brush at a very low opacity (about 8%), and went over her lips once or twice.
I did not do any contrast adjustments on this image– I wanted it to retain its softness, as the muted tones of the picture suited her expression and flowy veil.
Priscilla Rathbone is half of the husband and wife team that is Rathbone Images in Seattle, Washington. To find more information on Priscilla, Bob and Rathbone Images, visit them online at Rathbone Images!