This is one of my favorite shots from a wedding I was hired to shoot for a Japanese family. This was one of the bridal portraits. Since the wedding was to be an American church wedding, the Bride’s mom requested that we at least shoot one of the portraits in traditional Japanese attire. They had a family friend who lent us this authentic silk Kimono. According to the owner, it was worth the price of a decent luxury car. Upon close inspection of the craftsmanship I believe it’s worth every penny of that. It was a masterpiece of detail and perfection. Fortunately, we have a beautiful Japanese garden at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens within the campus of Duke University in Durham, NC. This made the perfect setting for this portrait. After the shoot, I loved how it looked as a photograph but I felt it was missing a special… something. I was itching to try out some large-format natural fiber water color paper I had purchased from an art store. Using brushes in Photoshop, I worked the photo into a watercolor appearance. The print was made 18″x24″ on that art paper and the final result was exactly what I was hoping for. The Bride, Mom, and owner of the Kimono were all pleased with the end result, and that is the final measuring stick for success or failure.
Shot under natural light with the shadows filled in using one pole-mounted 2’x2′ softbox on a battery operated studio flash. I used a Nikon D700 camera with 80-200mm f2.8 lens set to 80mm. Manual exposure mode – f11 and 1/250 sec.