Wedding Reception at Cravens Estate in Pasadena
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Wedding Reception at Cravens Estate in Pasadena

As a wedding photographer, I believe that it's our job to capture "normal" photographs during our events. 

And I take that responsibility quite seriously. However, as time permits, I am sometimes lead to create images that are unexpected — like this one at Cravens Estate in Pasadena. For me, candid, storytelling images that feature unique compositions are most memorable for clients.

One way to create a unique composition is to find a position that is not at eye level. In other words, I will often crouch or lay down in order to create a different perspective on a scene. Likewise, if I can find a high vantage point that also the perspective. In this example, the sweetheart table was located near the eave of the Cravens Estate building. After visualizing this photograph, I went inside, found the site manager, and asked him if he would let me go out onto the roof of the building. He agreed, and I found the appropriate position. Looking down, I saw the bride and groom looking out at their guests. I wanted more interaction from the both of them and so I called down and asked them to look at each other and I took my first photograph. Then I wanted a little bit more so I asked them to kiss. But there was still something missing. And so I asked the groom to pick up his glass of wine with his left hand and hold it in front of him. This action and pose then gives the appearance that the kiss was not directed since it appears that the groom was lifting his class and then spontaneously leaned over to kiss his new wife. This kind of basic direction is typical in many of my photographs because it allows me to create exceptional images for my clients that are highly memorable. Perhaps ironically, as time passes, my clients forget that I directed the moments and instead revel in the feeling that they had when I created the photograph.

Cravens Estate (American Red Cross) is located in Pasadena, California. Contact Person: Tim MacDonaugh, (626) 720-3544.

Location: 430 Madeline Dr, Pasadena, CA 91105.

1/125; f/9.0; ISO 400; 70.0 mm.