Wedding Brochure Photography Preston Marriott

February 21st, 2024

Wedding Brochure Photography Preston Marriott

asian bridal portrait

This particular image was part of a bridal brochure shoot for the Marriott hotel group. They had a healthy number of wedding bookings, but there seemed an obvious lack of engagement with the Asian community. A review of their wedding brochure and image database quickly revealed why. There were no Asian bridal images displayed anywhere.
It’s difficult to engage a target customer if they cannot see an established relationship with similar clients.

When organising a bridal brochure shoot, I visit the venue beforehand, looking for locations that are unique to that particular venue. If a bride likes a particular image within the venue’s brochure, and would like something similar in her own album, then she’s already started her journey to booking that hotel.

I’ve often found hotels tend to focus on areas that have always been popular with wedding photographers, not realising they have locations dotted around their hotel that are hidden gems. Unusual staircases, quiet corners with unusual chairs and a nice standard lamp, or the really ornate columns found in the reception area. They all make wonderful, and unique imagery that can only be found at that particular venue.

In this case, it’s a beautiful room that has a lovely large bay window at one end, allowing a nice wash of light through. That end of the room is utilised for the ceremony, and it has a really nice ethereal feel to it. At the other end of the room, the walls are decorated in a nice deep red, with lovely warm lighting and long padded benches along the wall. It gets little natural light, although there is some from a glass doorway through to the bar area. Of course, there’s a lot more natural light coming from the half of the room that is utilised for the ceremony, due to the mentioned bay window.

The above image, although it looks as if it was taken after dark, was actually taken at 11:30hrs. Our bride is sat at the end of the bench that is pretty much equidistant from the bay window and the glass door, so it’s the darkest area of the room. I wanted to capitalise on the warm ambience from the wall light, which necessitated a higher ISO than I would normally use for a brochure image. In this instance, after a couple of test shots, I settled on ISO800. Talking about the warmth from the wall light, I was conscious of the fact that once I introduce light, it could easily overpower and washout that rather nice warm glow I wanted to preserve. To help mitigate any possible washout, I chose to use a 30x140cm stripbox with a fitted honeycomb [Potentially link to the Phottix Strip]. This was placed frame left, with the head at shoulder height and the stripbox angled down towards our bride. I had our bride turn her head towards the stripbox, allowing the light to nicely accentuate her wonderful cheekbones.

Lighting wise, I used an ELB400 with a single Action head connected to the B port, and firing at an output of 1.0 , which is equivalent to 12Ws.

Given that the output is so low, this shoot could easily be managed with a single speedlight set to an output of around 1/8th to ΒΌ output. There are plenty of mount adaptors allowing you to use speedlights with studio softboxes.

1/80th sec ISO800 f5.6

Wedding Brochure Photography Preston Marriott

This was taken at Cragwood Country House Hotel, Ambleside. I was after something a little different, and I particularly like the overhead shots I’ve obtained at other venues. This time, I had our bride, Lauren, rotate on the spot, which I feel gave the image perhaps a little surreal feel to it. The straight edges of the dress and veil, compared to the circular movement around the darker circle of hair. Or, I may just be romanticising a bit.

Regarding the lighting, I had the key light frame right, on a small landing where the stairs made a left turn. I was using a Phottix Raja 105cm hexa aoftbox, with honeycomb attached. It was coupled to an ELB500 firing at an output of 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws). The stand it was on was about as low as it could go, bearing in mind it was already quite high due to the stairs.

The accent light is affective bottom left corner and placed in the room that the stairs descend into. I think there is only three, possibly four steps from where Lauren is standing, down into the room. This is another ELB500, firing through a Phottix Raja 30x140cm stripbox with honeycomb. The output was set to 2.0 (Equivalent to 25Ws). The light is actually about half the distance to Lauren, when compared to the keylight.

The camera was held out over the bannister above Lauren, and I made use of the articulated rear screen to compose the shot.

1/125th sec ISO 200 f5.6

I’ve previously written about the specific requirements for bridal brochures

My wedding work can be found at www.weddingsbymichael.co.uk