Susan Stripling Photography
Fairmount Orchid Wedding PhotographyEvery few years I notice trends in the wedding photography world. One of my favorite things to do is judge the WPPI 16x20 International Print Competition and it is an honor to be invited back yearly to take on this huge responsibility. A few years ago we, as judges, noticed a trend I like to call "little people, big scene" where photographers put a super tiny bride and groom in a huge, wide scenic shot and call it a day. While that sort of set-up can be graphically interesting it’s not something that I am going to do myself in my own work unless it helps me further the story that I am trying to tell. In this 2012 wedding image shot at the Fairmount Orchid on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii the bride and groom’s portrait session time was at sunset - an amazing time in Hawaii! Before heading to their wedding reception dinner at the Fairmount’s Browns Beach House restaurant we took a few moments to wander around the beautiful beaches for some portraits to supplement the images we took earlier in the day. I saw the gorgeous cloud line over the water and asked the bride and groom if they would mind walking out on some rocks for a few photographs. They quickly obliged the result is one of my favorite portraits I took in 2012. I specifically chose this location because I liked how the curve of the rocky ground mimicked not only the curve of the tree but the curve of the cloud line as well. I had the groom lead the bride out onto the rocks and I waited until the curve of their arms together and their bodies as they walked also mimicked those curves. I don’t ever really like to just have my subjects stand in a location and shoot, I’d rather the image have movement and purpose which is why I’ll often have brides and grooms walk in a scene or do some other type of movement. This results in a more natural-looking final photograph.