Wedding Photographer Poses Couple Near Kincade Fire, Surrealism Glows

Weddings are busy and stressful, but careful planning usually minimizes hiccups. Unfortunately, for a recently married Southern California couple, Mother Nature had her own plans.

Bay Area wedding photographer Karna Roa has created buzz with a recent wedding couple portrait taken during the Kincade fire that has been raging in Northern California since late October, spreading to 8,000 acres as of the time this article was written.

Single exposure with minimal editing. Equipment: two Godox AD200 lights, Nikon d750, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 35mm. Image by Karna Roa, used with permission.

While posing the couple in front of a vineyard outside of their wedding reception, Roa noticed the image's striking similarity to one of the most famous American paintings, "American Gothic." She went with it.

The photographer told us in an email:

This image was created in the style of the 1930s painting 'American Gothic.' The original painting by Grant Wood depicted the normal life in 1930 in the United States. As the couple stood in the vineyard with masks, I wondered if this was the ‘new normal’ for the California Wine Country in 2019.

The result is surreal, almost reminiscent of David Lachapelle's striking pop portrait work. The pose and stern expressions aren't commonplace in wedding photography, but they serve a strangely powerful purpose here. They capture a couple’s treasured occasion in a challenging atmosphere that they bravely bested. The image leaves us with an eerie, dreamlike feeling, the orange glow in the sky framing the glowing commitment of the just-married couple.

Excellent work, Ms. Roa.

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Jason Frels's picture

If I hadn't read that this was about the fires, I would not have known why they were wearing masks.

Jeff Walsh's picture

agreed. nothing about this image even remotely tells the viewer it has anything to do with the fires.

Rhonald Rose's picture

Where is the fire?

Anthony CHAPITEAU's picture

First picture of the article, the bait

Myrdwin Emrys's picture

So... how much did she pay for that "article" ?

marcgabor's picture

So stupid. The American Gothic reference is a stretch to say the least.

Carl Murray's picture

8,000 acres *laughs in Australian* that's a small fire, my friend. ONE of the fires in NSW hit 300,000 acres. Just ONE of the fires.

Michelle Maani's picture

That was a typo, it was 80,000 acres. And that is an old article, in spite of the date. But what is this, one-upmanship in the category of "my suffering is worse than your suffering?"