As someone who often gathers photographers together in the same place to shoot, I find it endlessly fascinating to see how differently people will interpret a scene. It’s one of my very favourite things about our Thrive conference – when everyone goes out on the Day Two shoots.
So it is interesting to see another image shot at the Dunglass Estate in Scotland. If you follow our Images Of The Week, you might recall Euan Robertson’s shot from a couple of weeks ago. This week’s one is by the wonderful Jen Owens who has a passion for continuing the creative process with image manipulation in Photoshop.
What I love about the way that Jen does this is that it shows a great use of the environment. So although the images are artificial, the scene is natural. Where many wedding photographers are looking for something that feels of the moment, Jen is about controlling the elements with an intention of a piece finished in post-production. They must be fun for the couple to participate in and fun for Jen to create. I imagine that her couples get excited about seeing the end results of their ‘silly posing’.
What Jen Said…
“I’d been wanting to create this image with a bride and groom for a while.
I’m really into Photoshop and creating images that have a conceptual background and I’d actually already done a similar image as a self-portrait and posted it on my Photoshop Instagram (@jenowens.edits) way back in 2020. This stretch of coast is near where I live, where I took the original photo and also, luckily, near the wedding venue where Fabienne and Dan got married – the wonderful Dunglass Estate in East Lothian.
As we were coming away from the beach we had a quick spare minute or two to jump into the grass and get the images I needed for the shot – essentially a photo of each of them reaching up for each other, with Fabienne holding ‘a rose’ (that I photoshopped in later). I took a few different angles and asked them to hold their heads in different positions as well just to be sure I had options when I brought everything into Photoshop.
We’d had such a brilliant trip to the beach for couples photos and Fabienne and Dan were so lovely, trusting me posing them in silly positions!
After that it was a case of bringing the separate images into PS, flipping one upside down, blending it all together, and adding in the rose.
The light that evening was beautiful so I just stuck to my settings from the couples shoot we’d just had on the beach. Usually, for Photoshop images, I’d look to have my aperture a bit higher to minimise any risk of parts of the image being out of focus, but for this, it was fine at f2.8.
Most of the image was fairly straightforward to create with just a couple of layers for the bride and groom each, a bit of extra sky, all pulled in place using masking.
The trickiest part was making the rose look realistic. I used a stock image for it so finding the right contrast/exposure level and cutting it out well enough to sit in Fabienne’s hand took a bit of time. Though after adding shadows using layers in PS, it all came together.