Ashley’s Getting Ready Portraits, Riveredge Nature Center Wedding, West Bend

Ashley’s getting ready portraits at Riveredge Nature Center West Bend are a great example of my mission to make great portraits regardless of location or conditions.

The location was authentic to Ashley and Chris, who love the outdoors and nature. Bridal portraits took place in a small shed called the chicken coop. However, it’s not a place for brides, just a place where the center stores stuff and has some children’s activities.

With creative photography, it became a beautiful setting for intimate and fun wedding portraits.

Above I simply cover the maid of honor buttoning up the bride bringing in some light from the left. You can already see some of the detail of the dress.

As soon as I saw the standing floor mirror Ashley brought from home, my heart swelled with joy. I knew I had an element for some cool portraits. My assistant Jasmine held an Ice Light from the side.

Isn’t Ashley glamorous? So beautiful and happy, what a precious moment now etched in her personal family history.

If I have time, I do like to photograph details off-figure, if the bride wants it. But you’ve seen those a hundred times, so instead below are some details with a heartbeat.

So you can guess what’s more interesting: a shot of the purse by itself on a chair, or a shot of it in the bride’s hands. I’m not putting together a catalog. I’m making personal history into a photographic story.

Above is an even more cool and artistic, high-key portrait of Ashley featuring her bridal comb. Of course, I have off-figure shots of the comb on a wooden chair, but I still think this is more likely to end up in the album than a catalog shot of an accessory.

What you don’t see: My assistant and I moved some tables and chairs out of the way so we had some clean backgrounds for portraits. I’m not afraid of anything that takes time.

And rest assured many documentarians wouldn’t touch a scene for fear of “contaminating the purity of the photojournalism” (bleck).

The time taken making sure I have clean backgrounds and good light pays off in spades especially when the location to begin with offers next to nothing for portrait opportunities.

Photojournalism, schmotojournalism. I’d rather fix the image before it goes into the camera, not after.

Joel Nisleit photographs people from all walks of life who would like their wedding photographed as a fairy tale instead of a documentary. Contact me today so I can serve the aesthetic and historical significance of your wedding.

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