How to Capture Love in a Pandemic

Earlier this month, Lightyear Studio‘s Nathan and Thanh had the opportunity to photograph couple Rohini and Vatsal’s pre-wedding shoot at Dumbo Brooklyn Bridge, a location that is usually bustling with tourists. In this COVID-19 reality, though, the site was pretty empty. Nonetheless, the photo duo was tasked with capturing love in a pandemic, and they were definitely up for the challenge.

Capturing Love in a Pandemic, Dumbo Brooklyn Bridge.
This and other images from the shoot photographed with a Sony A9 and Sony a7R IV, 85mm f/1.8 and Sony 20mm f/1.8 lenses, and Sony HVL-F60RM Wireless Radio Flash. (View more images from the shoot in gallery at top.) © Lightyear Studio

In fact this time last year, Nathan and Thanh were covering the wedding of another couple, Bhavika and Jay, a blowout event that was also being featured in episode 1 of the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. “It was quite a challenging experience to work an event covered by the professional video crew at Netflix alongside our own team of photographers and cinematographers,” says Thanh.

[Read: An Elopement Photographer’s Guide to Business Amid Coronavirus]

Twelve months later, they had a very different obstacle to overcome. “The wedding industry has drastically changed during the pandemic,” says Thanh. “COVID-19 has affected photographers, wedding vendors and couples everywhere. Weddings have been cancelled; prospective events have scaled down. Since the outbreak, we’ve had to adapt during these extremely difficult times.”

For this July shoot, Nathan and Thanh had to endure 90-degree temps and make sure to have extra safety precautions because of COVID. “We wore masks and at times, in that kind of heat, it was hard to breathe and interact with our couples…but at least we were being safe.”

During posing, the photographers used more descriptive directions and maintained a safe social distance at all times. “Protecting the health of our couples and ourselves during this time is paramount, especially since we live with a large family at home,” says Thanh.

[Read: Pulling Off the Elevated Editorial Engagement Shoot]

That said, the photographers still made sure their couple had fun. “We are trying to bring as much personality and love to our sessions as we can, just as we’ve done in the past, prior to the pandemic.”

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