We are always asking ourselves “How did they do that?!” whenever we see a photo that just blows us away, which is the idea behind our new Photobug series, Behind the Photo. In this series, we will get a behind the scenes look into the making of some of our favorite images. Today’s Behind the Photo is courtesy of the lovely Leah Huete of L Hewitt Photography in Washington D.C. Leah’s stunning bridal portrait at a recent South Beach wedding pushes the limits as to how much fun you can have photographing a beach wedding!
W South Beach, Miami, Florida
Nikon D4, Nikkor F 16-35mm F/4.0
1/2000 ISO 200 F 4.
I knew I wanted to get something that encapsulated the dreamy, color speckled landscape of the beach, and really gave you the sense for the spirit of the place. I took a few landscapes from inside the suite, but felt they were missing human interaction or didn’t have the full sense of story I wanted, which is one of the most important elements of my style. I included a couple of leading shots that informed my decision making process, since key images are typically an evolution or combination of things I’ve already tried.
I noticed there was a corner window in one of the rooms of the suite. We moved all of the furniture out of the shot on the balcony first. I then asked my bride to go outside and enjoy the view, taking my position in the far room, and relaying posing instructions through my co-shooter, Mantas. I underexposed my bride, to retain data in the highlights of the cloud. My goal isn’t to get everything perfect in the camera — since that wouldn’t have been possible without lighting my bride, which would have been technically difficult given her position on the balcony. Being a Nikon shooter with four stops of leeway in underexposure and often having LITTLE time to get the shots I need, I prefer to get an imperfect shot and make it sing in post.
I do everything in Lightroom. This photo became a key image for this wedding, so it got a little extra attention. It was warmed up by a thousand degrees kelvin, since that suited the sunny welcoming mood I wanted to portray. The contrast and highlights were pulled way down to preserve the details in the shadow and soften everything up. I added a little saturation in the clouds and brought exposure down there with a brush tool, to emphasize their big puffy shapes. I cleaned up the plane, and put it in a more compositionally interesting spot. And of course, perspective correction, because I like my lines straight.
Thanks so much to Leah of L Hewitt Photography for sharing her workflow with us! If you know of a photo that you want to see featured in Behind the Photo, leave a comment below and let us know! Happy Monday, all!