Mississippi Gardens Wedding Light Painting

Mississippi Gardens Wedding Light Painting

We have another pretty light painted wedding photo for you! It’s Corey and Ashley’s really cool Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting! After creating the stunning light painting below during their engagement portrait session in Stillwater, MN last year, I could only hope to create another light painted photo on their wedding day.

Corey & Ashley's Harley Davidson engagement light painting created in Stillwater, MN.

The “warm” version of Corey & Ashley’s light painting.

Last week, we shared Corey and Ashley’s pretty pre-wedding photos at Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens. Then, just a few days later, we showed off their stunning wedding ceremony photos on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi Gardens wedding ceremony photos from up above of the bride coming down the aisle.

A unique view of Ashley and her brother walking down the aisle.

Now, we have the story behind their really pretty fall color Mississippi Gardens light painted wedding photograph.

Location, Location, Location

As with most things in life, timing and location can make a big difference in how things turn out. Well, with creating light painted wedding photographs it couldn’t be truer! The decisions that went into choosing the spot for Corey and Ashley’s wedding light painting were based on three things.

The weather was the biggest factor. All day long it was very breezy and cool (some would say cold). We’re talking wind chill. So I decided to keep the location very close to Leopold’s so that they wouldn’t have to be away from warmth for very long.

The second factor in the spot’s selection was the time of year. It was near peak fall colors, so I felt that incorporating fall colors, rather than Leopold’s building, into the light painting was a must.

The final factor was all about Ashley (sorry Corey). She made it very clear earlier in the day that the cute swing hanging from a beautiful oak tree at Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens was indeed “her swing”. I’m not sure if Jordan and Jamie Leopold actually know that, but we’ll mention it to them next time we see them.

Mississippi Gardens wedding ceremony photos of the bride on a swing.

Corey gives Ashley a kiss while she’s on “her swing”.

So I made the decision that their Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting would be at “Ashley’s Swing”.

Rules Are Made To Be Broken

Rule #1 in light painting photography. The camera and subject never move. Well, we did have our tripod, so the camera part was fine. But Corey and Ashley would be sitting on a moving swing! Not that they were actually swinging on Ashley’s Swing, but there would naturally be some movement as you can see in our long exposure set-up shot below.

The location for a Leopold's Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting on a cold and windy October night.

The “base” shot for Corey and Ashley’s light painting. You can see the wind moving “Ashley’s Swing”.

Then, there was the wind. Just as it was all day long, the wind just would not settle down. Even though it was nighttime, it was still very breezy. That meant that capturing the pretty fall color part would involve movement (and a lot of it) in the leaves (that were left) on all of the trees.

If we were only able to use traditional light painting techniques with long exposures, Corey and Ashley’s Mississippi Gardens light painted wedding photo would have never happened. There would have been way too much movement everywhere in the photo.

But because we use high-powered strobes when we create our light paintings at weddings, we can use fast shutter speeds to freeze our wedding scenes. Yes, there certainly is movement in the trees and leaves between image captures, but it’s really not too bad considering how windy it was.

It Takes A Village

In order to pull off Corey and Ashley’s Mississippi Gardens light painted wedding photograph in those windy conditions, we would need some “voice activated light stands”, also known as “wedding guests”.

By now, you probably have figured out that I hate crappy lighting in wedding photos and portraits. So if I can use a large softbox to put a pleasing light on a bride and groom, I’m going to.

It was going to be a “simple five-light set-up” in the wind. No problem.

Enter Justin, Sid, Derick, and Cristal. These four “volunteers” really helped make it all happen.

The starting image of the bride and groom on a swing before creating the couple's Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting.

Behind-the-scenes photo of our newlyweds on “Ashley’s Swing”.

I don’t remember who held what, but one of them wrestled with our large 48-inch softbox in the wind (no small feat), and two others each had one of our “kicker lights” to create background separation on our newlyweds.

Joannie was in-charge of a “controlled fall” on Ashley’s pretty veil. Which, in and of itself, was no small challenge. Yes, we put a “moving” veil in their wedding light painting. Go big, or go home!

Cristal was helping to put the dress back in place whenever the wind got a hold of it (which was pretty much all of the time). If I remember right, I also think Cristal hand-held a fill light for us too!

Let’s just say that there was a lot going on to create this one-of-a-kind light painted wedding photograph!

It Is Finished

Once Corey and Ashley’s cameo was done, they and our helpers went back to the wedding dance. We had just a bit more work to do. While Joannie triggered the camera, I carefully walked all over the place in the dark with one of our WITSTRO MoLight AD360II-C’s on a 16-foot light stand to light the surroundings for their light painting.

Here’s the final image. Pretty cool isn’t it?

A beautiful fall color Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting.

Corey and Ashley’s pretty fall color light painted wedding photograph.

I’ve created a really short YouTube video with some of the steps involved in creating Corey and Ashley’s Mississippi Gardens wedding light painting. Please check it out. Please feel free to subscribe to our channel too. Corey and Ashley’s other wedding and engagement videos can be found there as well as many of our other light painting and portrait videos.

Thank you for reading our post and have a great one! – M&J

Mississippi Gardens Wedding Light Painting” – © 2018 Michael Anderson Photography.

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