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Featured Asian Bridal Brochure Image

Discussion in 'Lighting Tutorials' started by MichaelSewell, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell

    Part of my work includes bridal brochure photography for some of the hotel groups, including the Marriott hotel group. This particular session came about after a discussion with their Events and Conferencing Manager at the Preston Marriott. They had a healthy number of wedding bookings, but there seemed an obvious lack of engagement with the Asian community. A review of their wedding marketing images quickly revealed why. There were no Asian* bridal images displayed anywhere.

    It's difficult to engage a target customer if they cannot see an established relationship with similar clients.

    When organising a bridal brochure shoot, I visit the venue beforehand, looking for locations that are unique to that particular venue. If a bride likes a particular image within the venue's brochure, and would like something similar in her own album, then she's already started her journey to booking that hotel.

    I've often found the hotel tend to focus on areas that have always been popular with wedding photographers, not realising they have locations dotted around their hotel that are hidden gems. Unusual staircases, quiet corners with unusual chairs and a nice standard lamp, or the really ornate columns found in the reception area. They all make wonderful, and unique imagery that can only be found at that particular venue.

    In this case, it's a beautiful room that has a lovely large bay window at one end, allowing a nice wash of light through. That end of the room is utilised for the ceremony, and it has a really nice ethereal feel to it. At the other end of the room, the walls are decorated in a nice deep red, with lovely warm lighting and long padded benches along the wall. It gets little natural light, although there is some from a glass doorway through to the bar area. Of course, there's a lot more natural light coming from the half of the room that is utilised for the ceremony, due to the aforementioned bay window.

    The above image, although it looks as if it was taken after dark, was actually taken at 1130hrs. Our bride is sat at the end of the bench that is pretty much equidistant from the bay window and the glass door, so it's the darkest area of the room. I wanted to capitalise on the warm ambience from the wall light, which necessitated a higher ISO than I would normally use for a brochure image. In this instance, after a couple of test shots, I settled on ISO800. Talking about the warmth from the wall light, I was conscious of the fact that once I introduce light, it could easily overpower and wash out that rather nice warm glow I wanted to preserve. To help mitigate any possible washout, I chose to use a 30x140cm stripbox with a fitted honeycomb. This was placed frame left, with the head at shoulder height and the stripbox angled down towards our bride.

    I had our bride turn her head towards the stripbox, allowing the light to nicely accentuate her wonderful cheekbones.

    Lighting wise, I used an ELB400 with a single Action head connected to the B port, and firing at an output of 1.0, which is equivalent to 12Ws. Because I was using such a low output, it could easily be reproduced with a single speedlight, although the main issue would be finding a suitable modifier.

    1/80th sec ISO800 f5.6

    Possibly one of my favourite brochure shoot images.


    * In the UK, the Indian community describe themselves as Asian.
    Completely different to America.
    The term Asian is very specific to the Indian community, and does not include Chinese etc.

    This is another bonnet/hood and boot/trunk thing.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  2. waday

    waday Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 8, 2017
    PA, USA
    Hi Michael, I just wanted to say: (1) absolutely stunning image and (2) I really appreciate your detailed discussions and backgrounds to your images. Not only is it interesting to read, it provides us readers those gory details that we love. I've learned so much from your work and your write-ups. Thank you for being an inspiration to push myself and create better images.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    Another great write up @MichaelSewell@MichaelSewell I'd be interested in seeing what other types of images got used in the final brochure in order to cater to a more diverse customer basis. As for the strip box for speedlight usage, they all feel like they have compromises, and a 4.5ft one is fairly large at that. I've been looking into a few different options for compact travel ones for a while now, as I live in tiny apartments and move around a lot =[
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Very nice image. I can see how this type of image would help connect with the people they are trying to connect with.
    Hopefully this leads to more work for you, especially if the client wanted the same style of photograph.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  5. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Right, a quick squiz through ebay, and I came up with these two. Not really by chance, as I've had my eye on these for a while.

    The first is the strobius, which I have, as I was sent a couple to review a while ago. The quality really is quite something (in a good way, I might add!).
    Strobius Strip Box 50 Slim Softbox Flash Speedlite Canon Sony Nikon Metz Nissin | eBay

    The above link is to the short one, as there are three sizes available.
    My review, if you're interested, is here:
    Review - Strobius StrobiStrip

    Now, this next strip really does interest me, because it's a completely "soft" setup, relying on the weight of the speedlight to straighten it all out. I bet it packs really small.
    I have to admit, I haven't a lot of faith in that honeycomb though.
    20x90cm Collapsible Flash Strip Diffuser Softbox Honeycomb Grid For Speedlite | eBay

    What do you think?
  6. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell

    As an example, with the Preston Marriott, I re-shoot their wedding brochure every two years.

    I enjoy this type of work, as I tend to have a little more autonomy.
  7. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I've looked at the stobius, just haven't convicned myself to pull the trigger on one yet. As the other problem with small apartments is white walls, so grid support is important. The 2nd on linked looks like a knock off of the Roundflash Strip, much like their much copied ring and dish (the roundflash dish is probably one of my favorite modifiers). But it looks like it will sway, turn, and be horrible outside.
  8. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Yeah. Outside will drive you nuts, unless you figure a way to tether the bottom corners.
    Tent ropes and pegs? I use them for tethering lightstands in windy conditions.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. DWS

    DWS Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2014
    Always a treat to view your images and commentaries, Michael. The lighting in this image is superb.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 2
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