Posing, Light And Selective Composition – Getting The Best Out Of A “Nowhere” Location


Today we are hosting a tip from Neil van Niekerk who also runs the excellent tangents blog.

Framing very selectively in-camera, you can very often pull out quite a surprising image out of “nowhere”.

With Julia and Luis’ wedding, I roamed around the reception venue – a bed & breakfast on the Jersey shore, for interesting spots. There were interesting nooks and crannies that would work for the romantic portrait session. But I also like adding variety, especially unexpected variety.

I went through a back-gate, and into a parking lot behind the venue. This gate was the delivery entrance for the venue’s kitchen, and the parking lot was, well, just a parking lot.

But, I loved the texture of tye wooden fence and gate, and the late afternoon sun really brought out the texture. I hurried back inside and asked Julia and Luis to join me – I think I may have a great idea! I shot it using the following settings: 1/250 @ f/5.6 @ 200 ISO – available light only Nikon D4: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

You really have to compare the final image with the pull-back shot to see what was “rescued” from a “nowhere” location. The tight composition eliminated all the clutter. Julia is standing on a ramp for the deliveries – this helps bring her up to Luis’ height. It was easier now to have her snuggle into him from behind.


An interesting observation here with the pose as in the following photograph – if Julia had been in front, her dress would’ve been very white, and Luis’ suit would’ve blended in more with the shadow areas behind. But in positioning them like this, with the white dress now “sandwhiched” between the darker suit and the shadows, balances the image better, and draws more attention to their faces.


About the Author

Neil van Niekerk is a photographer and an educator based in northern New Jersey, USA, specializing in weddings. You cna read more of his thoughts on the excellent tangents blog, and take his classes over at Craftsy.


  • BLSS

    Great tip to always keep your eyes open! Thank you