Rustic Virginia weddings are my jam. Not burlap or hay bales. Think natural, rolling Virginia hills. Chandeliers. Warm wood floors.
Every year, I try take a workshop to learn new tips and tricks, experiment, and slow down to be very intentional about what and how I shoot. When I saw Elisa Bricker was hosting a workshop in Loudon County with a beautiful rustic Virginia weddings vibe, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity to learn from her.
The workshop was hosted at The Retreat at Cool Springs. The Retreat at Cool Springs is a VRBO and a perfect getting ready location if you are getting married at Bluemont Vineyard, Whitehall Manor, The Thomas Birkby House, Goodstone Inn, Shadow Creek, Tranquillity Farm, Silverbrook Farm B&B, Kalero Vineyard, or Breaux Vineyard. — And from an insider’s view, these are the best places to get married in Northern Virginia.
Elisa Bricker’s workshop on rustic Virginia weddings pushed me in a number of ways. When you are a new photographer, you are in such a rush to capture everything. Everything should be happy, fun, covered, and safe. Elisa pushed us to take the time to create art and find beauty. A dangerous step. A bride maybe hesitant to have editorial-style photos. She’s not ready to “model” or feels silly stepping into that elevated roll. It’s been my goal, however, to show women it’s okay. It’s okay to pull out your Vogue, show how beautiful you are, at least to me.
Many of my brides are now stepping into this editorial roll– you? How do you feel about editorial images?
On that note, do you see this backdrop??!! I love it, and it’s perfect for rustic Virginia weddings. This backdrop was painted by Christine Olmstead. I love this backdrop for bridal portraits. If you are worried about rainy weather or cold winters, a backdrop is an amazing option. We can use it to shoot your bridal, bridal party, family, and couple’s portraits. A backdrop is also a great way of hiding things like exit signs behind your wedding cake. I highly recommend speaking to Christine about a commission for your wedding. I ended up buying copies of the artwork you see here.
Additionally, I learned about movement and shooting film indoors when it is darker that I have been comfortable shooting. Shooting movement on film instead of digital continues to be nerve wrecking for me. Digitally, I’m never shooting with a shutter speed below 1/160 of a second unless I am experimenting. Shooting with a fast shutter speed stops motion and ensures the point that you focused on is in focus when the shutter closes. With film, however, I might shoot with a shutter speed as slow as 1/15 of a second. Usually not below 1/30th of a second, but still that is 5 times slower than what I am used to digitally.
Elisa and this very patient model walked us through techniques for sharper focus at lower shutter speeds and beautiful movement without that tack-sharp focus. I am loving the results! Perfect for that beautiful light common to rustic Virginia weddings.
Finally, I learned about working with a planner. Type A Society planned the styled shoots. Most planners with whom I’ve worked leave the creative direction completely up to me. Type A Society, however, had suggestions on how to shoot, what to shoot, and how to work with the model. I loved this because it helped change what I see and experiment with how shoot– opening me up to another perspective. It also got me thinking about the planner/ photographer relationship. Your final gallery will be art work created by the two- photographer and designer/ planner.
If you’re hiring Type A Society, I would love to be your photographer! I really love the collaboration that can come out of our partnership.
Vendors for this workshop include:
Flowers: Holly Chapple
Styling: Type A Society
Backdrop: Christine Olmstead
Veil: Girl and a Serious Dream