Mandeville, Abita Springs, and Covington, Louisiana, located on the northshore not too far from New Orleans, feature several great wedding reception venues, such as the Abita Quail Farm, Vintage Court, the Fleur de Lis Event Center, Maison Lafitte, and the Lake House. This delightful couple's wedding ceremony took place on a pleasantly mild January afternoon at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Mandeville, with the reception being held in downtown Covington's Southern Hotel.
This particular photograph was captured in what is perhaps my favorite way of shooting portraits of the bride and groom when time and the location allow. Rather than precisely directing the couple as to exactly how they should position themselves, I instead place them in a situation with good light and a pleasing background, and loosely instruct them to simply be themselves. In this case, I had them stroll down this gently winding brick-paved walkway in the hotel's courtyard and pool area, with the main direction given being to not look at the camera but instead just pretend that I was not there.
I love the overall look of this picture. The use of a large-aperture telephoto lens creates that attractive background blur that focuses the viewer's attention right to the couple. And we had great light to work with, thanks to the pre-wedding discussions the three of us had about the ideal timing of these portraits.
Obviously there's no mistaking that it's a wedding photograph, but the way the couple is strolling along in such a relaxed manner while holding hands and looking happily and lovingly at each other, makes for a much more natural image that connects with the viewer more than an intricately posed shot would. And it serves as a great example of what I love most about photographing weddings, knowing that whenever the couple looks at this picture, it will instantly take them back to this joyous day and remind them of how happy of an occasion it was.
These kinds of wonderful portrait images generally don't just happen by accident. Sometimes an impromptu portrait outing during the reception will yield similarly memorable photographs, but it's best to give some thought and consideration to this during the planning stages if these kinds of pictures are important to you. I usually like to plan on doing portraits as early into the reception as possible, before the party really kicks into high gear. But because this couple's wedding took place in the early afternoon, I suggested that we instead plan to wait until a bit later to do these pictures, when the light in the courtyard would be better, and with both of them being in the television news industry, they understood this perfectly.
Location: 428 E Boston St., Covington, LA 70433.