All it took was a little window light and some close cropping for photographer Crystal Stokes to make this beautiful bridal portrait, captured at the Inn at Tranquility Farm in Waynesville, North Carolina. The bride only had a few moments with the photographer before she was supposed to walk down the aisle, so Stokes had to quickly assemble what she needed to capture a thoughtful portrait.
For starters, she moved a bench as close as she could to the window. Then, once the bride sat down, Stokes directed her to lean toward the light. "I was literally up against the wall in front of her to avoid any of the actual light source from entering the frame," the photographer recalls. "Because I had her so close to the light, the fall off was quite dramatic, making the rest of the room seem very dark."
Stokes burned down any other visible parts of the room in post, which was very little, she says. Ultimately it’s the softness and beauty of the final frame that stands out to her. "I also love that she trusted me to move quickly yet capture something truly special only moments before she exchanged vows."
(Captured using a Nikon D750 with a Sigma Art 35mm lens at f/2.8.)