Brochure Shoot for the Marriott

Discussion in 'Lighting Tutorials' started by MichaelSewell, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Real Name:
    Michael A. Sewell

    This is one of the images for the Preston Marriott wedding brochure. The lighting provided by the table lamps gave a really warm and homely feel to the room, and would make a welcoming image for any bride thinking of booking the Marriott for their wedding.

    This is the crux of any wedding brochure. It has to evoke an emotional response in the prospective bride, to the point where she feels a sense of loss if she should contemplate looking at another venue. They have to want their photography in this hotel, inspired by the images they have seen. For this reason, I look for areas and locations that are unique to that particular venue.

    Here, I was conscious of the rather gorgeous lighting around the very large mirror, and how it played on the wall. There were French doors to the right of the frame, which spilled daylight across the area, giving a nice lift to Lisa's dress, but also creating harsh shadows frame left, along her side and in the folds of the dress.

    I placed a Godox Witstro 360 firing through a gridded beauty dish frame right, at about 1/64th output, and aiming to cover the dress, rather than Lisa's face. (I wanted the dress detail to be picked up, along with the folds etc.).

    I also used a Witstro 180 to frame left, firing through a custom (ok, it's another word for “bodged”!) folding 70cm Octa, providing a gentle overall fill to the dress and Lisa's face. It was firing at 1/32nd output.

    I used an ISO of 800 and a fairly slow shutter speed of 1/50th sec to ensure I captured the ambience of the setting provided by the desk lamps. The Witstros were fired on rear curtain sync, which is my default setting TBH.

    1/50th sec ISO800 f3.5


    This image was taken in the same room used for ceremonies, but with chairs and registrar's table removed to allow access to the bay window. I wanted to ensure the view through the window was maintained, and not blown to white. This basically meant I had to carefully balance the external ambient light with the flash I was using indoors.

    I set a Witstro 360 firing t 1/32 through a gridded beauty dish just outside the right of the frame, with the head at about 6.5 feet. I had the dish angled downward, and basically aimed at Lisa's midriff. This would essentially provide an accent light the full length of the dress, without lighting the floor unnecessarily. In fact, you can see where the light actually starts at the bottom of Lisa's dress, just above the floor. There was enough feather from the light to illuminate her face, and provide the rather nice light skipping across her cheekbone.

    The main light was a Witstro 180, firing at 1/16 through a custom (ok, I mean bodged) folding 70cm folding Octa, again at a height of around 6.5 feet and just out of frame left. I had it aimed a little higher to illuminate Lisa's face, and allow for a gradual falloff towards her feet.

    1/100th sec ISO100 f5.6


    This was a bit of a challenge if I were to be honest. It's an image I had carried around as an idea for several years. In fact, ever since I shot the previous wedding brochure for the hotel in 2011. I initially tried to capture the ambience of this little snug by shooting a very long exposure and firing a single speedlight through a softbox on second curtain sync. However, the available light was so low, I found my ISO was creeping up to 3200 and was starting to look like I may need to go beyond.

    Using the D4 is fine at that kind of level, but personally, I just wasn't happy with the idea of creating an image that may be used as a large print within the hotel, with the possibility of visible noise. Yeah, I know the D4 is basically physically restrained pixie dust at these kind of ISO levels, but these images just had to be bang on. The only way out was to recreate the ambience using speedlights completely. I carry half a dozen tiny speedlights with me, similar in size to the Nikon SB400, but mine have full manual control. They're manufactured by Meike but often pop up under different guises after rebranding. Their main drawback is the fact you can make a coffee in the time it takes to recharge after a full discharge. But then again, you can shoehorn these guys into the tiniest of spaces :)

    I put one inside the lamp that can be seen to the left of the frame, set it to 1/32nd and gel'd it with a CTO to give it the warmth normally originating from the tungsten type bulbs seen in the snug. A second of these tiny guys was also gel'd and balanced very, very carefully inside the shade seen in the right of the frame. This was a little trickier, as the one on the left just hooked over the supporting wires within the shade, whereas the one on the right just wouldn't stay put. I had to carefully balance it on top of the energy saving bulb in the lamp.

    The main light was provided by a non gel'd speedlight firing at 1/32 through an umbrella with a diffusion panel.

    I'm happy with the final result, but it took three times longer than it should have done to get the image.

    1/80th sec ISO800 f5.6

    Budget Version:

    All images could be reproduced with speedlights, as the power levels used were very low. The main problem would be finding modifiers that would suit the situation. Obviously, the last image is all speedlights anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
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