Why Photographers Should Arrive At A Wedding ‘Empty’ – Image of the Week #451

A little while ago I was listening to a podcast featuring the wonderful US photographer John Dolan. He was talking about arriving at a wedding ’empty’ with no pre-conceived ideas or photos already planned out in your mind. Letting the circumstances and the environments inspire you once you are there. It’s something that’s stuck in my mind.

We are very much in times where trends are very visible and it’s natural to let them infiltrate your thinking and influence what you bring with you to weddings. But if we do that, are we making images that are more about us than our couples, more about our desire to be fashionable than the actual wedding days?

What struck me about this stunning image from the wonderful Alline Beatrici is the extraordinary use of the location. As Alline explained this idea came to her when she saw the wall and realised that it would mirror the hues of the bride’s incredible dress perfectly.

When she said that she only had a very short window in which to achieve the image, it is remarkable that she managed to create such a brilliant frame within a frame. If we isolated the section containing the frame behind the subject’s head and upper body, it could be a beautiful painting.

The light falls very pleasingly onto her face and also the bouquet letting us know that this is a bridal portrait although it most definitely could be from a gorgeous fashion spread in a magazine.

I believe that this level of creative thinking comes when you are ‘arriving empty’ and letting the combination of your subject, the environment, the light, and the emotion all drive your decision-making and what you do to produce the final images. This is a masterpiece of a photo from Alline.

Canon EOS R | 50mm 1.4
ISO 1250 | F/1.8 | 1/640
own preset

What Alline said…

“The bride was standing on one leg balancing like a ballerina on some pretty tall high heels and the curvature of the bath only allowed us 10 seconds to take this snap while the groom was ready to lift her outside the frame the moment this was shot.”

The Tech Talk

“I knew I wanted to take this shot immediately as I entered the room – I just love how the wall paint matched her beige tones on her dress and intentionally placed her in the center of the frame behind her so that her beautiful face pops out a little more like a painting as she glances toward the light.”