I've been enamored with the manicured lawns and Spanish-tile roofs of Palm Beach since I was a child, growing up in a less luxurious city 20 minutes north. Socialites like C.Z. Guest and the Kennedy clan captured by photo legend Slim Aarons only added to the allure of The Island.
So when I saw Jess Barfield's Palm Beach wedding pop up in my Google alerts, I said, "Yes. Yes, I will click on that."
Barfield isn't actually a Floridian, she's based in Dallas, Texas. The couple—Alex and Whitney (wedding videographers themselves)—met Barfield when they were all shooting a wedding together on a ranch in Southeast Texas a couple of years ago. "I admired their dedication to bringing the honesty and beauty of a wedding day to film," Barfield says. "Once they were engaged, they contacted me and we've been planning for Palm Beach since."
Barfield says one challenge of this wedding was too many perfect backdrops. "In locations like Palm Beach (where every building, view, wall, etc.) is perfectly manicured, I really have to focus on finding the best locations that also fit the style of the bride and groom I am working with," she says.
In order to properly capture the nuptials, Barfield used a Canon 5D Mark III, and lenses including: 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 35mm f/1.4, 24mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2.8, and a Canon 580EX II Speedlite. "Also, we did all of the portrait work prior to the ceremony when the sun was high and hot. Knowing where the sun is, where the shadows are and how to utilize them to your benefit is a necessity when you're doing portraits in the afternoon before ceremonies."
One of my favorite parts of this wedding is the reception, which was held in railroad mogul Henry Flagler's beaux arts mansion, Whitehall, now a museum open to the public. Flagler's Railcar No. 91 is even exhibited within the pavilion.