Leica M3 Bridal Session – Ukraine

Leica M3 Bridal Session – Ukraine

Matthew Osborne Photography / MrLeica.com

October 2015

Leica M240 Wedding

Bridal Photography

Bridal session photography is quite possible my favourite type of photography.  A mix of model photography, wedding photography and fashion photography with the best bits from each.  By that I mean a nice model in a beautiful wedding dress and where we have all the time we need to create hopefully beautifully crafted images without the pressures and time constraints of an actual wedding day. To then shoot it all on a film camera is then icing on the cake for me.  I prefer the look of film and hope to shoot a higher percentage of film at every wedding I cover going forward.

Bridal Fashion

Leica Wedding Photography / Film Wedding Photography

If every couple allocated at least one hour of their wedding day for me capture stylised wedding photos like this I would be a very happy man and I think the resulting images would result in a happy bride (bride and groom too depending who was in the photos).  Posing two people is often easier than one and a real bride and groom are on their wedding day high so that normally results in nice smiley natural looking wedding photos. Posing does not need to be a dirty word. It merely lets me place my bride and groom in the best possible light.

Bridal Fashion

For this bridal shoot in Ukraine I shot with available light only to be able to work quickly. I was using both the digital Leica M 240 and the Leica M3. For the second roll of film in the M3 most of the photos were taken within a space of five minutes.  It was my fastest roll of 35mm film shot to date as I wanted to make the most of the situation.  Beautiful and willing models, the flowers, the dress, the location all in a remote woodland clearing one afternoon in Ukraine after a mini road trip.  The bride(s) spoke little / no english but we still managed to get some nice photos with me directing with my hands and using body language. The first of two bridal shoots was with model Evgenia and I used AGFA Vista 200 Plus colour film (below).  I then did the shoot again with model Olga in the same dress using Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film (not all scanned yet). Here is an example photo with model Olga in black and white.

Black and White Bridal Shoot

Hasselblad Wedding Photography

The Ukraine trip was pre-Hasselblad era so I had my Leica M3 35mm film camera, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 lens and was shooting 35mm AGFA Vista 200 plus budget film.  I really like AGFA Vista film at the moment and prefer the more saturated look to that of Kodak Portra that can look a little flat.  I wish there was a 120 AGFA Vista film for me to use in my Hasselblad as there seems a real gap in the colour film available for 400 speed saturated film.  I need a Kodak Ektar 400 film ideally as I love the saturation from Kodak Ektar 100. Going forward my new Hasselblad 501C medium format film camera will be with me at all my weddings. It is not as fast to use as the Leica M3 rangefinder for film photography but the results are just amazing.

Bridal Photos

Without further ado here are the AGFA Vista colour film photos from the first bridal photography session shot with my recalibrated Leica M3 and model Evgenia.

Related Posts

Ukraine Model Photography (II)


My Wedding Photography @ Ramada Solihull Hotel Wedding Fayre

My Wedding Photography + The Ramada Solihull Hotel Wedding Fayre


Leica Wedding Photography / Bridal Photography

As a UK Leica Wedding Photographer and also fashion photographer I enjoy bridal photography as it is the perfect mix of beautiful models and dresses without the rush and stress of the actual wedding day. I love my model photography as I am 100% in control of the location and impact the lighting has on the final image. I can move models exactly and pose perfectly to make the most of the available light or light from a videolight/ speedlight.

On a wedding day the location and couple can both look stunning but time is rarely available to stop proceedings for long so you must capture what you can when you can and get yourself in the right position to benefit from available light.

One of the best wedding photographers at shooting with available light is Jeff Ascough. I believe he now uses Canon Mark IIIs due to the high ISO capabilities but he used to use Leica. I try to do the same as he does with his full auto Canon with my manual Leica M9 and the light sucking Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii lens. I have a DSLR (Nikon D800) but found there was no real challenge in getting a nice photo. I then turned to film photography to challenge myself and used various old cameras for my paying client work, model photography fashion and beauty shoots and for weddings.

The Leica M9 is the best of both worlds. It feels and operates like my film cameras yet it produces digital images which speeds up my workflow.

The Wedding Market

The market is currently saturated with people calling themselves wedding photographers who own a mid range DSLR and want to make some extra cash. They put their camera on full auto mode, add TTL (auto) flash and shoot in excess of 1000-2000 images on the day. Light levels are no longer a factor as the camera will automatically correctly expose every photo regardless of ambient light. Hopefully the couple will be pleased with their photos and normally benefit from a low wedding photography cost as these guys normally undercut the ‘pros’.

My Wedding Photography Style

I like to be different so use my manual Leica M9 for wedding photography both in the UK and across Europe. It means I have to think more and work fast but I like the challenge. I favour black and white photography but couples have the option of colour photos too. I hope my B&W photos look more like black and white fine art images than standard colour wedding shots. They often look more organic (to me)(that being less sharp and more textured) and have a timeless quality.


Looking ahead to 2014

In advance of 2014 i’ll be a attending the Ramada Solihull Hotel Wedding Fayre on Sunday 29th September 2013. I will have a small stand and will also cover the event and capture the bridal catwalk. Show starts at 11am through til 3pm, with free car parking & 10% off a Sunday lunch on the day.

Extra info – Exhibitors ranging from Florists, Wedding Stationary to Hog Roasts & Wedding Singers.

Venue Location – Ramada Solihull Hotel, The Square, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 3RF

Contact – Samantha Morgan / 0121 711 5482 / http://www.ramadasolihullhotel.co.uk

Hope to see you there! 🙂

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica M9 Wedding Photographer

Related Links:

For wedding photography / bridal photography / engagement shoots see here for more details – http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Wedding-Photographer.html

Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic – Review & Sample Images

lensbby edge 80 opticI bought the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic to use as a tilt shift lens for my Nikon D800.  The Edge 80 optic can be mounted on any Lensbaby body. I have used it on a Lensbaby Composer Pro body and the Lensbaby Spark body.  The Composer Pro is a better construction and easier to use but the Spark provides a very economical and light alternative.

Here are a few more manufacturer details:

“The Edge 80 Optic is a 80mm, flat field of focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture and is compatible with all Lensbaby lens bodies*.  When tilted, the Edge 80 delivers a slice of tack sharp focus through the image, bordered by soft blur.  When pointed straight ahead, the Edge 80 can be used just like a high-quality straight lens. When tilted, the size of that slice of focus depends upon the aperture used, and the placement of the slice of focus depends upon the degree and direction of tilt. Rotating the aperture dial on the front of the optic changes between apertures from f/2.8 through f/22”

Full spec can be found here: http://store.lensbaby.com/products/edge-80-optic.html

Unlike many people who buy tilt shift lenses, I didn’t buy it for miniaturised cityscapes.  I bought it to use as a model photographer and wedding photographer.  It allows me change the plane of focus to create unique straight from the camera photoshop’d look images that my clients love and I appreciate as I like to be different.

Here are some samples of the Lensbaby Edge 80 in action:

Bridal photography with Lensbaby Edge 80:
Bridal Photography
Engagement shoot with Lensbaby Edge 80:
Alyona & Robert Engagement Shoot (2)
Model photography with Lensbaby Edge 80:
Yulya, Pre-Coffee
Yuliya, Ukraine
Roxana by Arri Light ;) - SOOC
Lensbaby Edge 80
Lensbaby Edge 80
Katie Candid - Lensbaby Edge 80

The Lensbaby Edge 80 is compact and lightweight so rarely leaves my camera bag. I like it! 🙂

Bridal Photography on Film

Bridal Photography on Film
Photo by MatthewOsbornePhotography_ on Flickr.

Shot with Contax 645 for the The Bridal Room, Broadway on Fuji Neopan.

More B&W Film Bridal Photography examples from the day –
Film Photography - Bridal Shoot
B&W Film Photography - Bridal Shoot
Bridal Photography on Film (2)
Film Photography - Bridal Shoot (4)

I’m looking forward to my first B&W wedding photography wedding in July shooting medium format film and B&W digital with the D800. See website for more details – http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Wedding-Photographer.html

Digital Bridal Photography

Bridal Photography – Sneak preview from a series taken yesterday in Broadway for ‘The Bridal Room’ shop.  This shot was taken with a Nikon D800 & Lensbaby Edge 80.

Here are some more Nikon D800 Bridal Photography examples:

Bridal Photography (6)

Bridal Photography (2)

A Polaroid Wedding

Bridal Photography (3)

Bridal Photography (4)

Bridal Photography (5)

Full Bridal Photography blog post with film photographs to follow once the negatives have been hand developed.  I covered the shoot using colour 120 Kodak Portra 400 film in the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and in B&W using 120 Kodak T-Max 400 in my Contax 645 medium format film cameras.