This was a special session with model Heidi Moijanen and assisted by make up artist Cemille Nismetdin. She is wearing her mother’s hand sewn wedding dress – a sweet bit of vintage and a special present for her family.
When Heidi contacted me about doing the shoot, I was very eager. She was looking for a magical, nostalgic type of feel using her mother’s hand sewn wedding dress from four decades previous. Now, usually I would be very apprehensive to shoot a wedding dress – they tend to be shiney satin and reflect light back heavily – making it difficult to keep the whites of the dress in good tonality for the rest of the image. But Heidi reassured me the dress was not made of satin and would photograph beautifully. And she was right!
Typically, with models I prefer to bring a lighting rig and really control all aspects of the tonality of the image. But in this instance, I didn’t want to be limited to 2-3 locations and having to set up the rig for each location. I wanted to get much more natural shots and use the location’s fantastic lighting sources to bring the drama and mystery to the images.
To really create drama within the images, I did go for very directional lighting, avoiding flat lighting for the most part and letting the light play across each scene and enhance the subject and let her stand out from the busy-ness of a forest. One challenge was to keep white birch bark from glowing unnaturally and distracting from my subject. And some areas we used meant climbing through areas off the paths and a bit difficult to get to without hiking boots!
For the water shots, I am standing in the water up to my knees. The bottom of the lake is strewn with mossy covered slippery small and large rocks. It makes navigating and moving difficult for both the model and the photographer. I am very lucky that Heidi is such a pro and was able to navigate along the lake bed without slipping and falling in! The rocks don’t feel too nice to step on either. I’m fortunate that in all the times I’ve shot in lakes, I still haven’t go in with the equipment!
For the lake shots, we did have to do them at the very end of the shoot after the sun had set. When the sun is in the sky, it blasts the area with full sun that is very difficult t shoot in. So if you see Heidi in the water, it is after sunset and I ended up having to use a rather high ISO due to the lack of light.
We finished the shoot with some images in a gorgeous red dress Heidi had bought from Thailand. It was a great way to highlight the hair work done by MUA Cemille.
The one drawback of not having the lighting rig is that there was no way to get all the colors of the beautiful sunset in the image. But in all, I was quite pleased with the end result. I thank Heidi and Cemille for the 2 hours in hair/makeup and then also for trooping all over the forest and lake to get those unique locations!
And from earlier in the evening:
It is so incredibly beautiful right now – more snow than Finland has seen in 40 years has meant white dusted forests and soft blue skies. And what a sweet family to shoot! These are four quick preview images – I can’t wait to go through the rest of the session!
I love the moment here – everyone having fun together. I have more formal images, of course, but this one just speaks to me!
The sun is finally setting late enough for some sunset portraiture work and it was a sincere pleasure to return to Finland from all the traveling and just shoot the nature here I love.
Here, again, my favorite model being patient with me as always for my personal photography.
This was a fun and casual shoot – 3 siblings ready to get their feet wet and make the most of the beautiful Finnish scenery. For these shoots, I shot very wide so they can pick their favorite image and make it into a canvas as a present for their parents. When they pick the size of their canvas, I’ll crop it to perfect dimensions and leave enough wrapping room so the final present is perfect.
They want a black and white – but perhaps I can convince them to get a color, too!
This was such a peaceful and lovely day in the forests of Kirkkonummi. The sun didn’t come out for us but we had two sunshine personalities to make up for them. Thank you for a wonderful session!
Here are the first few. I’ll add a couple more shortly.
A break in the rain this afternoon meant a lovely sunset for once – even if it is at 3:30 in the afternoon. These were all shot around various lakes in Kirkkonummi.
They were really troopers – it was dark, cold and windy – not to mention it rained on us. But when you have a great family – nothing worries them and they get into the portrait spirit. My thanks to the J family! And congratulations on 20 years of marriage – you’re an inspiration to all of us.
Here are the first ones I’ve proofed:
Here are the first images From a recent wedding in the lovely city of Kirkkonummi.
The 200 year old windmill
The bride’s lovely hair
Their kids are so cute!
I have to admit, it can be really refreshing to shoot adults now and then. This is Mari – and she is every inch the naturalist and environmentalist. I wanted these images to reflect that beautiful nature of hers – both inside and out.