We all run out of imagination, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of. Whether you gather inspiration from social media, peers in the industry, or walking on the street, there is always something new to learn and attempt. With wedding season in full swing, we wanted to round up some of our favorite images and offer 6 tips to spark some inspiration for your next wedding!
This article was inspired by a recent episode of Community Critique featuring the incredible work of photographers from our Master Wedding Photography Facebook Group with Community Leader Jason Vinson. In case you missed that episode you can watch it here!
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #1: Find Natural Light Direction
Don’t be afraid of hard light. With the right posing and positioning, you can make hard, afternoon light work in your favor. Like all scenes, first, start by analyzing your direction of light. Then place your subjects in an area where the shadows aren’t too harsh. Focus on finding a background that helps chisel out your subject.
No additional light modification is necessary when you find the right kind of light and positioning for your scene. Be careful of how you place your subjects on the same focal plane, watching for how they cast shadows on each other.
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #2: Bring Out the Detail in the Scene
Look at the scene in which you’ll be shooting and think of how you want the background to look, without paying as much attention to how the subject will be exposed. Now that you’ve dialed in a proper exposure to bring out the detail in your scene, pump in enough flash to make your subjects pop so they don’t blend in or fall into shadow.
It’s important to pay close attention to light direction and light spill when trying this technique because you want to create as flattering of a light as possible.
This is not only a great technique to underexpose to bring out the detail in the sky, but in your overall frame. The image above took almost a year of planning “as the stag is part of a wild deer herd in the highlands of Scotland. and we needed to make sure they were okay with flash going off”. After a couple of hours working around the deer and weather, “I finally got the shot I had in my head, without Photoshop”. You can see BTS on how he shot it here!
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #3: Use Objects to Frame Your Subjects
Utilize your surroundings to draw attention to your couple via leading lines, geometric shapes, or interesting foreground objects. Before even picking up your camera, scan the scene and find shapes within your image that can be used to frame your couple.
Nik came across a park in Europe with people playing chess and the wheels started to turn as to how to incorporate them in the shot. He placed a light to camera left to illuminate the chess pieces and players, and another light to camera left to bring out the couple in the frame. He then “waited for that perfect moment to get all three hands moving simultaneously” to a dynamic feel to the scene.
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #4: Create a Spotlight Effect
This technique is derived from stage performances that utilize spotlights to help draw attention to certain actors on stage. Using a grid or a snoot, you can create the same type of effect with a simple pocket flash.
This is a great lighting technique for wedding reception photos when you get to sneak the couple in before guests get seated. Make sure to watch where the light spills because the goal is light up just the couple and darken everything else around them.
Double exposures are simply layering images on top of each other, and while this technique can be done in Photoshop, most cameras have the ability to accomplish this within the menu system. Read more here in order to learn how to achieve this look.
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #6: Add a Backlight for Interest
Backlighting is one of the simplest techniques with one of the highest rewards. Although photographers may shrug off the idea of silhouettes for being “too basic”, they are always a major hit with clients. Adding a strong light behind your subjects turns a scene that looks completely ordinary into something absolutely extraordinary.
You can even add some Atmosphere Aerosol to the image to create an added depth to the scene. Adding colored gels to your backlight can help draw the viewer into the image and can also complement colors found in the wedding venue or decor.
Creative Wedding Photography Tip #6: Add Color To Your Scene
Often times wedding photographers are faced with venues that may not have aesthetically pleasing backdrops or many options for couples portraits. This is a great opportunity to kill your ambient light and create something out of nothing.
We mentioned colored gels in our previous tip as a way to add interest to the scene. For this shot, David “placed a groomsman on each side and gave them two champagne bottles” to add some action into the scene and to compliment the pouring rain. By cross lighting with a blue gel and a rose-colored gel, he was able to come out with a dynamic image.
There you have it, 6 different ways to shake things up and get creative in time for your next wedding! What are some other types of tools or techniques you like to utilize on wedding days when the odds are stacked against you? Let us know in the comments below!