Bride gets ready in reflection of a room mirror at La Cantera Resort Wedding Photography Philip Thomas

Here's an image captured a few years ago for Alex and Kristina. As the bride dressed, I noticed these beautiful photographs of cowboys riding horses and couldn't help myself using the shapes to frame her in the reflection. In this instance, the composition works. Weddings are very fluid, and if a composed scene doesn't, I move onto something else. I shoot in real-time with no interruptions.

I've been fortunate to photograph many venues all over Texas, and rarely come back to shoot twice. However, there are, of course, locations in my home city of San Antonio, Texas, that I return to every year. One of them is La Cantera Resort, be it for a family staycation, or a wedding party getting ready, or a combination of a wedding ceremony and reception. A couple of years ago, I visited the same resort twice in a month. I like the challenge of not repeating the same shots and avoid the slippery slope of mediocrity. Always think out of the box and look out for an interesting perspective that tells a story. 

What I like about this image is the little flower girl looking up to Kristina, the bride. Without the little girl, the image would not hold together so well. The bride's mother is on the left of the frame, although the contrast is low, so she's hard to see. I have a lovely image of the family, one to them to cherish forever. I love working with shadows and light, and I have both here. The eye settles on the brightest of the image first, the reflection in the glass of the girl before following the dark shadows and ending on the bride's face in the lower contrast. It was a fun image to capture. I didn't realize the bride was looking at me in the reflection as I squeezed the shutter. Glass plates in picture frames can be used, so can television screens, hotel room windows, or even shiny coffee tables. Sometimes, there may not be an interesting image to capture, and that's fine. Be prepared to walk away from a scene and find something else. Don't forget to look behind you. It could be a grandparent crying or just a loving look waiting to be captured. Better to wait, anticipate or react for the subject eyes to meet the camera, a confrontation technique like this image. As a photographer, you have to deliver exceptional images to your client, not just snapshots of the circumstances. You have to focus all day, be vigilant, and is as much a mental game as is physical.

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