Studio and On Location: Bridal Look Book Shoot for Sonique Stephens - Durham, NC


A look book is a commercial style photography session that is focused on selling a product. In this case, I was photographing two bridal gowns by designer Sonique Stephens. Because it is not an editorial where we would have in turn created a visual story, we opted for shooting in the studio with a simple background and went with a light blue seamless. Afterall, there's always "something blue" right?. Our light setup was pretty simple. We used a Paul C. Buff 37in Octabox with a boom arm set to be around the center of the image, a 2x3 Soft box on camera left and a makeshift foamboard reflector on the right. After taking some shots in the studio, we went ahead outside to a nearby trail and photographed our favorite of the two dresses. Eventhough it was not our initial idea, we figured we might as well shoot outside as it was really a perfect afternoon.

Now that we're outside, I decided to bring in a different setup but still keep it simple. For outside, we used a Canon 580 EXII Speedlite and an Impact Folding Umbrella with the front diffusor panel which makes it almost like a smaller octabox. Because the trail has areas where the sun shines through the trees, I was able to mix in some of the sunlight as my rim light and use the speedlite as my main light and balance the two for a nice balanced exposure between ambient and flash. In other areas of the trail where the background was darker, I simply played with my settings in order to have a somewhat shallow depth of field and maintain a good exposure.

Creative Team:
Dress Designer: Sonique Stephens
Hair and Makeup: Brandice Farrar of Attraction Makeup
Model: Sarah M.
Photo Assistant: Robin B.