Bride at Prospect House on Princeton University Wedding
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Cindy DeSau Photography

Bride at Prospect House on Princeton University Wedding

Creating Symmetry with Environmental Elements

This environmental bridal portrait taken on the campus of Princeton University utilizes both balance and symmetry. My idea in creating this photo of the bride was to recreate the circular shape of the staircase with the train of her bridal gown. I also centered her perfectly with the two windows behind her. I love the sense of balance in this image. In photography we learn about the “rule of thirds” and how your subject should not be centered in order to achieve a good composition which would lead your eye around the image. The subject placed in the center of the frame would be considered “static”. By utilizing shape and line already in the environment such as the staircase with bride’s train placed perfectly creates the movement to take the viewer’s eye thru the image. I love creating beautifully balanced photos with complex composition.

I slightly opened the French doors of Prospect House and centered the bride in between them. She is also framed by a window on either side of her. I also wanted to use the lines of the staircase to accentuate her wedding gown. I pulled her bridal train carefully out and used the beautiful curves of the staircase to emulate her wedding dress.

Prospect House opened in 1851 and is the work of architect John Notman, who helped make Italianate architecture popular in America. It offers several main dining rooms, such as the Garden Room and the Presidential Dining Room.

Prospect Garden is a beautiful setting for bridal portraits and weddings. The flower garden was designed by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. She laid out the garden in the shape of of the Princeton University Seal. When viewed from above, the pathways define the outline of the shield.

Location: Princeton, New Jersey 08544.