Descanso Gardens Bride & Groom at Japanese Pavilion
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Descanso Gardens Bride & Groom at Japanese Pavilion

One of my earliest weddings was photographed at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge and at that wedding I discovered this interesting angle where I was able to position the bride and groom with the blue roof in the background. 

Since then, every time that I have returned to this Descanso Gardens, I've tried to improve on that first image. In 2014, during my latest attempt, I was able to achieve these results. I particularly love the texture and light filtered to the leaves and branches of the trees towering overhead. Using the roof of the Japanese pavilion to isolate the couple from the busy background proved to be very effective. The story here is a simple one. The bride and groom are simply sharing a moment alone — a quiet time just before their ceremony begins.

Although I'm very happy with this image, I'm not fully satisfied and will continue to try and improve it. One of my greatest honors is that each year I am asked to judge the WPPI Print, Album & Filmmaking Competition in Las Vegas. As part of that process I look at thousands of photographs from photographers around the world. The best of the best compete there and as part of the judging process, someone on the panel must comment critically on every image. With that experience comes the natural criticism of my own work when I view it in the comfort of my home studio. 

For this image, although I find the bride and groom's faces completely believable, I wish that I would have asked the bride to further relax her right hand and maybe even bring it higher on the groom's bicep. And, if given even more time to work on this photograph, I might have asked the bride to move her hand even higher on the groom's neck. Although those comments may seem highly critical, I always strive to improve my images as I review them after every single wedding. No photograph is ever perfect. And if I always strive to achieve more, then my clients will always benefit.

Descanso Gardens is located in La Cañada Flintridge, California. Phone: (818) 949-4291. Website: http://www.descansogardens.org/. Contact Person: Susan Armstrong, (818) 949-4204.

Location: 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011.

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