I had an engagement shoot with Marisa at Matheson Hammock park. The day was overcast and perfect for images. A beautiful bride, a spectacular dress, and an amazing venue. We were there to make great images. Luckily, many years ago I studied photography at Miami Dade College and FIU working strictly in Black and White film until my final classes a couple of years later. What you are seeing in this image is a woman with very fair skin wearing a black dress. This is a nightmare for the automatic control systems of most, if not all cameras and flash systems. These automatic systems default to trying to average the lighting in the image. So there you are, bright white skin, a dark black dress and a light but neutral background. The tendency is for the automatic exposure system in the camera to turn the entire scene a mid tone of gray. Not what we want here. The only truly effective way to handle this extremely contrasty situation is to manually meter your camera and flash exposure. This is easy if you know what you are doing, but most people claiming to be photographers do not. This brings me to my main point. Everyone is now a photographer, or at least claims to be. I love the fact that so many people are enjoying the medium, however, with that comes some risk and responsibility. Many people who claim to be photographers would love to charge you to make your engagement and wedding images. While they may do a fine job in the average situation, it is situations like this that shooting in auto is just not going to hack it. So my advice is to ensure you trust the making of your most important memories to someone who is familiar with the technical aspects of photography. Did I say this is an awesome dress!