Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston is another
place I love to shoot bridal portraits. I really like the simple and modern look of the art in the sculpture garden. This portrait includes part of the sculpture
“Houston Triptych” by Ellsworth Kelly.
There is a beautiful simplicity to this photo which makes it one of my favorites. There are several elements of design that I really like about this photo including shape, pattern, and texture. To have a central subject composition that is visually interesting requires good use of symmetry and balance. In this case everything in the frame is vertically symmetrical
except the sculpture piece and the placement of Kimberly’s arms and head. The sculpture lends a lot of weight to the left side of the frame but is not distracting because it is featureless. Her bent arm mimics the triangular shape of the sculpture and helps to visually connect her to the artwork. The rounded part of the sculpture and the round train of the dress similarly help connect her to the sculpture. There is a lot of different textures in the portrait and I love how the hard and angular metal and stone of the sculpture garden contrasts with the soft gentle quality of Kimberly’s back and dress.
I also love the tonal contrast in this photo. It reminds me of when I shot with Ilford HP5 plus 400 high contrast black and white film in my college darkroom class. The strong contrasts of both shades and textures creates some tension in the piece but I think the mood is really nicely controlled by Kimberly’s confident and elegant stance.
We have so much fun shooting bridal portraits! When else do you get to walk around the city in a bridal gown looking like a princess? Tell me what you think in the comments below.