Black & white bridal portrait at Albert Shirley Library
Arnel Gonce Photography
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Black & white bridal portrait at Albert Shirley Library

Wedding photography and engagement pictures often take over formal Bridal portraits that used to be one of the hallmarks leading up to weddings and the wedding pictures of the day. However, a few brides are choosing to not forego the bridal portraits, and Heather decided to have her pre-wedding bridal portraits done at her college Alma Mater, the University of Virginia. Local photographers often take advantage of the architecture available at UVA as a backdrop for wedding portraits, engagement photography, and portrait photography. For this bridal photography session we chose The Albert and Shirley Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia as one of the locations. This location in Charlottesville Virginia has one of the most magnificent staircases and window combinations I've ever seen, and is a great addition to photography packages. I always thought the flower garden surrounding the entrance of the library that was the draw, but stepping inside the entrance I immediately saw the potential for this portrait location. The light floods in through the enormous windows, and the black highly polished wood railings on the staircase create a dynamic set of lines through the image. I think black and white suits this image much better than the color just making it pop and a much stronger, visually interesting photograph. This bride with short red hair is wearing a mermaid styled dress by Augusta Jones bridal. The dress has fabric covered buttons running down the back, and the sheath is covered with lace and beads of crystal and pearls. The bride is wearing a matching headband of satin with clusters of pearls and crystals, and a tail of pearls and crystals trailing down her back. She is facing the window so she is lit from one side. I used fill flash to be able to lower the ambient slightly but still get some dress detail. Image shot with a Canon 5DMIII and a canon 24-70mm f/2.8L with settings at ISO 640, at 31mm and aperature at f/2.8 and shutter speed at 1/400th of a second. Post processed in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, and Alien Skin Exposures.

Location: Albert and Shirley Special Collections.