The Looks | The Bride

In the second edition of The Looks we're going to look at the styling behind our latest shoot; The Bride


Setting the Stage

The inception of this shoot actually goes a couple months back to a thrift store. (This is where @amandsbsanchez finds all her best costumes for shoots.) We stumbled across a $15 Dollar Wedding Dress that had only a marginal amount of odd yellow stains. 

Now first thought was it must be a sad story to have a wedding dress end up in a thrift store... but I soon got over this when we started throwing ideas around.

Right from the start we wanted to do something a little darker in tone we were thinking zombie or post apocalyptic at first so we sort of rolled with that.

The next elements came from some smoke bombs (or as I call them "photo realistic smoke effects" Fire works are mostly illegal in NY so we have to be careful with semantics.

The smoke bombs themselves were just a pack from a phantom fireworks. Six different colors for around $15 and it was BOGO!

The location I already had in my head too. The stone bridge of Delaware Park in Buffalo would provide the perfect grey and textured background with just enough creepiness to it.

Camera Setup

For just a quick briefing on setup, I shot with a Canon 5d III equipped with a Sigma Art 24-70mm lens.

I wanted to be sure I could get plenty of different shots in the short time we had with the smoke effect going.

The Shots!


But in all we were quite pleased with the results of the smoke! it really set up a certain mood and story to our subject. The background was looking very good and almost something out of fantasy.

So if you are shooting with smoke effects I would highly recommend getting a PA to hold and work the smoke. I had one hand on the camera and another with the canister, which means the auto focus got a little lost in the haze. I definitely would have rather had manual focus to keep the subject sharp.



In post processing there was a very distinct look I was aiming for. Plenty of desaturation and making the skin tones pale. I then really pulled the subject out with some masking and increase in the highlights and it almost gave it this angelic glow in some of the shots.

The only colors I left with any vibrance were the reds and magentas but desaturation was the key and specifically lowering the oranges in the skin tones with HSL really helped to pale the subject. This all came together with the elements of color with the smoke and working in tandem with the texture gave me exactly the look I was going for.