When the Stars Align

Rustic. Elegant. These two words can seem slanted against each other until they are blended by a creative vision into an unforgettable wedding setting. I had an opportunity to experience just that when I was asked by Kristina Hathaway to photograph an editorial for New Hampshire Wedding Magazine.

The scene: Moody Mountain Farm nestled on the Wolfeboro-Ossipee, NH line perched in New Hampshire’s scenic lakes region. We worked with our lovely model Kayla who contributed her talent to the shoot.

I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a talented cast, and of course, am excited to see one of my photos from the shoot on the the cover of the 2013 issue of New Hampshire Wedding Magazine (below). The editorial cover story, “Rustic Elegance”, is a great piece detailing the approach to creating a beautiful wedding theme centered around a farm and barn setting.

The Team

The talent of the team helped create the images you see below.

    The Imagery

    I began photographing the incredible (and surprising) table designed by Amy featuring the florals  from Dandelions. Lakes Region lent the wooden table and chairs while Be Our Guest provided items on the table settings.

    The sky was clouding and a threatening tempest was brewing to our east (more on that below), but when I started, cloud cover provided soft natural light through the barn doors and windows. I complemented the natural light with a touch of warmth from a strobe above.

    The place settings were studded by crystal and elegant flatware. 

    The lush centerpiece from Dandelions held a surprise or two.

    Of course I thought it was beautiful in its color and form, but it wasn’t till I took a closer gander that I realized its true diversity. Fruits and vegetables found their places nestled into the bright floral array. The piece was accented by halved kiwi, broccoli, mini tomatoes, red grapes and more.

    An artichoke crowned the opposite side.

    By this time our model, Kayla, was ready with her first wedding dress and I wanted to capture the feeling of the barn’s exterior (especially before the weather fulfilled its apparent course).

    The barn is lit with incandescent fixtures for evening events and of course, daylight pours in through the wide doors. From the outside, though, the inside was a bit dark. I wanted the warm glow of the incandescent to be evident so I positioned a small, remotely controlled strobe with a warming gel inside the barn to add a glow of warmth and depth to the shot.

    The finished shot included Kalya along the hay field and stone wall. The opening in the stone wall invites the eye to follow back to the barn and through the open door. With the lighting tuned just right, a warm glow can be seen through the door and windows.

     The rolling grounds are spacious and scenic. Lee Mountain on the northeast side of Lake Winnipesaukee would be visible over the tree line in this shot in clear conditions.

    This same scene served as the backdrop for the magazine cover shot.

    The shots in the grass were the last that mother nature would allow us. Our model and gowns needed to be brought under cover. It poured! Wisdom precludes standing outside holding metal light stands with forked lightning shooting across the sky. A tremendous display of lightning, thunder, and torrential downpour brought our creative energies to bear on the barn interior.

    If you follow my work, you know I love texture. Stone, brick, and wood continually find their way into my photos. The barn surfaces offered rich texture that constructed the rustic motif we come to expect from these surroundings.

    When I took this next shot, the lightning had passed (mostly), but I was standing in outright downpour outside the barn, shooting back through the open end door of the barn.

    Kayla brought her own boots and had some fun with the short Justin Alexander design.

    Working with such an awesome team made this shoot a pleasure and I am delighted that it worked so well on the cover of New Hampshire Wedding Magazine. Thanks to Kristina for asking me.

    I am also glad that I had the chance to work with Amy Piper. Amy and I will be working together for a wonderful orchard wedding this August in Henniker, NH. 

    An incredible year is ahead! I hope you enjoy this little behind-the-scenes narrative of the shoot. Be sure to pick up a print copy of the magazine for the entire rustic wedding article.

    2 replies
    1. Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Great shots! Did you use a lot of strobes for the great mood lighting behind the model as she stood framed center in the barn hall with her left arm on her hip? I just love the warmth of this shot.
      This must have been so much fun working for a magazine cover, great job!

      -Christina B.

      • Ron Kolias Studios
        Ron Kolias Studios says:

        Thanks, Christina! Definitely a lot of fun. That shot you asked about used 2 speedlights, remotely controlled with RadioPoppers. The one that lit the model was off camera right behind a 4×8 translucent Westcott panel to light the whole dress softly. The second was a bare flash in the back, with its head aimed and zoomed to just fire up into the rafters of the barn. My only fear was electrocution using all the gear in the pouring rain 🙂

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