Mastering Silhouette Photography

Mastering Silhouette Photography


Mirlah Richardson

Mastering Silhouette Photography

Mirlah Richardson has certainly delivered a narrative punch with this one, mastering silhouette photography at a recent couple session. I’ve crowned it as our ‘Image of the Week’ as it’s the kind of photograph that could be more than one genre. It could be a book cover – it could easily depict a love story or a mystery. It inspires me to consider engagement sessions designed to mimic the intrigue of novel covers.

There’s an enigmatic quality here. This isn’t your typical engagement photograph; it’s steeped in a moody ambience that entices you to look closer. The couple, silhouetted within the tunnel’s frame, are caught in an embrace but they are in darkness so the mood is more mystery than romance. It’s this duality that makes it stand out.

What I particularly admire is Mirlah’s play with light and shadow. The silhouette technique isn’t just a clever trick of the light; it’s a storytelling device. It leaves room for the viewer’s imagination, inviting us to fill in the details. Who are they? What are they saying? The scene is set; the plot is ours to write.

Choosing this photo as the ‘Image of the Week’ is a nod to Mirlah’s creativity, that willingness to step away from her comfort zone. It’s a celebration of how intimacy can be both obvious and enigmatic, and how an engagement session can reveal more layers than just a happy couple.

The beauty of this image – is it doesn’t tell you what to feel, it simply presents a scene that is yours to interpret.


CAMERA: Sony A7IV 35mm GM 1.4

SETTINGS: ISO 64 | F1.6 | 1/640

PRESET: Phil Chester Presets – Daydreamer BW+


“I always love an engagement shoot as you never really know the surroundings and it often allows me to get creative and think on the spot. “

I always love an engagement shoot as you never really know the surroundings and it often allows me to get creative and think on the spot.

My gorgeous couple Alicia & Sam had chosen an old railway track and on the face of it it was just a simple tree lined path but turns out there was so much to squeeze out of this location. From the graffiti covered bridges, blossoms tress and cool tunnels we were able create a really varied and creative gallery from our lovely stroll. The weather was unapologetically British and our session started out in gorgeous sunshine and ended in an almighty downpour. I’m actually glad it did through, as it’s great show couples what still can be created with less favourable weather.

Along our walk we were approaching an old tunnel and I could just see this blinding light at the end of it which was calling out for the couples to take a moment and capture them in silhouette. After the obligatory “echo echooo echoooos” and letting a few dog walkers pass by, I just asked them to turn to each other and take a moment. Sam gave Alicia a gorgeous kiss on the forehead and I knew we had the shot.


Mastering Silhouette Photography

I love framing and symmetry in photography and so I wanted to play around with the circular shape that was already framing them from above but bring it full circle below. Using my battered iPhone, I used that under my lens to create a reflection of them, the tunnel and trees. I’m chuffed with the result.

In their gallery I played with colour, black & white, portrait and landscape but this image just had to be black and white. A little tinker with some of the highlights and contrast and this image was complete. Alicia is an author and I think subconsciously I was imagining I was shooting a book cover for a romantic novel of some sort.



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