The Story Behind the Photo | A Dark and Rainy Day Gaze

Today I’m starting a new series on my blog where I share the story and details behind a particular photo. Many times my favorite images are not always the crowd favorites–though I love the classic pictures, too. A photo may be particularly meaningful to me because I know the story behind it…what lead up to it, how the moment unfolded, where I had to be to get the shot, and so forth.

My hope is that this will be both interesting to brides and to photographers who read my blog. Feel free to share your favorite images from my past weddings, too. I would love to know what photo really caught your eye.

Today’s photo is from Erin and Zack’s wedding last June. The morning started off with cloudy weather and intermittent rain, but it mostly cleared up while we were taking group photos before the ceremony. Everyone was hopeful that we’d make it through the day without anymore rain showers. However, about five minutes before the ceremony ended, it seemed the heavens opened up, and it literally started pouring outside. And I mean pouring.

We debated about whether or not we should make a run to the car. In the end, Erin bravely took off her shoes and we all dashed to the limo, at which point I got this photo…another favorite.

bride and groom running to car in rain on wedding day

But the image I wanted to highlight today transpired a few minutes after we got into the car. Erin and Zack were bundled in the back seat with Jay on Zack’s other side (who held an umbrella over me while we ran to the car). I was crammed between the front seat and floor between them, as a cooler was taking up space in the front seat. I actually took several frames from this position, with earlier ones showing more of the excitement from running to the car in the rain.

This moment, however, is much quieter, more mysterious. I purposely exposed the image to highlight the raindrops on the window to portray the feeling of how dark and gloomy it was outside. We don’t normally think of wedding days as dark and gloomy (and hopefully they’re aren’t usually gloomy!), but sometimes you may have a quiet, unexpected moment like that on your wedding day. That is part of the story, too. I didn’t prompt Erin to look out the window–she just did.

I took several frames of this moment, hoping to get one that best conveyed the mood. I focused on Erin’s face using a wide open aperture, purposely leaving Zack’s face underexposed and out of focus. This was my favorite image, and I particularly like how we only see Erin’s profile–it makes the expression on her face less discernible and more open for personal interpretation. It reveals how even on very public days of our lives we have many private thoughts and feelings. Maybe she is thinking something deep…or maybe she’s just looking at the rain falling from the sky. Only Erin knows.

bride stares out car windo on rainy ride to reception

Camera info:
Canon 5D Mark II
ISO: 1250
Shutter: 1/125th
Lens: Canon 24 1.4L mark II
Aperture: 1.4
Manual exposure, no flash used

Katia - Mary!!This is awesome!I also LOVE the image…and I love the last sentence “Only Erin knows”, this line makes it even better, if that is possible. Great post!

Milla - Love this idea Mary!

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