Laura Gordon Photography » Virginia Wedding Photographer

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Ask Laura

Pretty regularly, I get asked about my detail shots from weddings. I get asked how I have time for so many, what to do if you don’t have much to work with, and what if the lighting is bad?! Well, I actually deal with these problems on a regular basis! The first thing I do before shooting details, is scout out the location for a spot with great lighting. I find something near a window where light is coming in nice and even. I’m definitely not a pro when it comes to finding the perfect lighting, but I feel as you keep shooting you get a lot better at it.  I’ve used all kinds of spots for detail shots and if I’m shooting at a location where they really don’t have anything else, I try to make whatever I’ve found work over and over! For example…


I shot Anne and Chad’s wedding on 9-10-11 and she was getting ready in her church. Not that churches aren’t beautiful, but sometimes it can be tricky finding unique spots with great light. I found this random  cabinet in a hallway near a window and used it for the majority of her details. I opened the doors so I could use as much light as possible and positioned each object where the light was hitting it at an angle so it was illuminating it just enough and creating a little drama with shadows.

Here is an example of the types of shots I was getting from this cabinet!

Who knew?!


For Maggie and Stephen’s wedding, it wasn’t that her venue wasn’t incredible (it totally was) however, there was hardly anything I could actually sit the details on, besides the floor. Until I came across this cute little side table nestled in a corner next to a gigantic window! Score!! The walls of the venue were covered with dark moulding and the table was almost the exact color so it created a really dramatic, yet simple location for her details and they could really shine.


Sometimes brides like to get ready at home. And believe it or not, that is usually a lot more difficult than you think to find a great spot for details. For Erin and Johnny’s wedding I found a bedroom on the back of the house where the light was pouring in. It was perfect! It had 2 windows on either side of the bed and created the prefect lighting situation for her details! Here is Erin’s dress hanging from an armoire adjacent to the window next to her bed.

On the other side of the bed, there was a dresser. I placed her other accessories in various positions on that in front of the other window.

I like keeping uniform, so I love shooting the details in a similar situation. For example, the dress was hanging on an armoire that was the same color as the dresser where her jewelry was. And with the other 2 example above, they are all similar lighting situations with similar backgrounds. This makes for a more pleasing flow for their details!!

I hope that was helpful :) And keep practicing with that window light- it will become your best friend! I promise!

Melissa E Earle - September 19, 2011 - 9:05 pm

Oh Love, Laura, this DIY article is amazing AMAZING. Thank you-you are just full of wonderful talent!
-Melissa E Earle

Minh - September 19, 2011 - 6:49 pm

very informative, thanks Laura!

Heather L. - September 19, 2011 - 4:57 pm

You rock, LG… Love it!!!

Abby Grace - September 19, 2011 - 1:58 pm

I love your detail shots! I’m working to make mine flow more smoothly, aka shooting details in similar lighting and background situations.

Keilah Engstrom - September 19, 2011 - 1:53 pm

Wow, oh wow! Thank you for sharing! Your pictures are beautiful, and I LOVED reading this post.

Valerie - September 19, 2011 - 9:05 am

Laura, I always love your detail shots, you are so creative with them. I love this blog, because I know you can find a spot and with your amazing talent,come up with awesome shots for every wedding. As I have said before~~~~~~”You are a WONDERFUL photpgrapher”.

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