Sal Cincotta – May 2015 How I Got The Shot


Sal Cincotta – May 2015 How I Got The Shot

It’s wedding month here at Shutter Magazine, and I am pumped. Why am I pumped? Well, first and foremost, I love shooting weddings. It truly is my passion. Photographing weddings is really one of the most incredible jobs in the world because clients are trusting us with one of the most important days of their lives. But this month, I am pumped because I got to be one of the first to play with the new lens from Lensbaby, the Velvet 56.

Here is the reality. In the world of wedding photography, everyone is a photographer. Everyone has a friend or a cousin who just thinks she can do it as a hobby. That’s fine, but the problem for us is that age-old question: How will you stand out from the crowd? Clients will continue to wonder why they should pay you more. What is your answer? Just because you are better? Well, that’s not going to work. Instead, we have to continuously look for ways to stand out from the crowd.

The Velvet 56 offers one of those ways.


I am constantly challenging myself to stand out from the crowd. So when I heard about the new Velvet 56, I wanted to challenge myself to shoot with it in studio to create an atypical bridal portrait, but something I am not known for at all: a high-key bridal portrait.


This was shot in my studio, but could easily be replicated in any hotel room. In fact, that’s the beauty of this lens. It really just adds a softness to the subject and the edge detail to create an extremely unique image. All too often, we are shooting brides in their hotel rooms, and those rooms are horrible most of the time: outdated, bad light, junk all over the room, etc. We have to make these locations look better than they really do to the naked eye.


The talented Aurora Lord was with us on this shoot. The goal was a pale look to match the high-key nature of the shot. We also wanted a matte-finish lip. Too glossy, and the shot just has a different look and feel. On a shot like this, get the makeup wrong, and it can ruin the entire shoot. So it’s important, as always, to work closely with your makeup artist.


The beauty of shooting in your studio is that you have complete control over the light. Again, this is something that can be replicated inside a hotel room. Trust me when I tell you, this will be something I do for my brides this year. This is not a normal shot for me, and I know my brides are going to go nuts for something like this.

To light this shot, we used the Profoto D1 with an Octabox for the main light. To light up the white backdrop, we used the Profoto B1 with no modifier.


Camera // Canon 1DX

Lens // Lensbaby Velvet 56

Settings // 1/200th @ f2.0, ISO100

Lights // Profoto B1 and D1

Modifier // Profoto Octabox


What will you do this year to stand out from the crowd? Every day, every week, every month, you should be challenging yourself to do something different. Get uncomfortable. Stop being so predictable. Your brides will go nuts and will be willing to spend more money on a photographer who presents himself as an artist versus one whose work is just like everyone else’s.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the May 2015 magazine.

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