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The 2011 peak wedding season is now officially over, so it’s time to share our favourite Wedding Photos of the season with you. It’s never an easy choice, especially when you’ve photographed your sister’s wedding in the period, to objectively choose the best photo rather than the one that stirs my emotions!
I have divided up the categories into Speeches, Bride and Groom Portrait, Bride Portrait, Groom Portrait, Guest Candid, First Dance and From My Beautiful Assistant. I will shed some light on each one below.
Why this one? Firstly, I love the emotion, it’s all laughter, proof that the Groom getting his cue cards mixed up makes for a great story-telling photo. Secondly it’s a great example of handling difficult lighting conditions, inside a tipee with the sun beating down on the canvas behind the top table, it made metering impossible and therefore rendering the auto (Tv and Av) modes on the SLRs useless. Switching to full-manual aided our plight and made it possible to avoid using too much flash.
Bride and Groom Portrait:
Not only my favourite in this category, but my favourite of the season. It’s a technique I have tried and tested and get’s great results almost every time. The portrait itself is relaxed and romantic with a fashion edge, the sunlight keeps it warm and soft. The technique is reasonably simple, deliberately catch sun flare by keeping it just out of the frame and use a reflector to balance the shadows on the model’s faces. This couple were so relaxed with us and each-other that the pose was natural and easy, it is as much this as the technique that makes this Wedding photo great. You can even see both of their new wedding rings.
This was a tricky category for me, but this choice was clear. This bride was suprisingly relaxed just before her ceremony, she had the hottest October day I can remember and a room with a view, this view is what she was taking in when I took this from ground level. The composition and the pose work brilliantly, I love the bottom-left positioning of the balcony in the textured black wall, it’s clean and the emotion registers in the bride’s face and pose.
Again a difficult choice, but this one says a lot, has a clean, editorial feel and shows the stress and anxiety of the groom preparing for the marriage ceremony. The black and white treatment makes the image stand out. It’s composed to the right and this makes the image strong and the background follows the rule of 3rds compounding this strength. With our black and white conversions we tweak the contrast using colour sliders in Lightroom 3 and/or Photoshop CS5 to make the conversion more powerful, evening skin tones and lifting shadows. This was shot in a grey and rainy day and so the conversion has gone very smoothly due to the diffuse incident light.
The oldest and youngest guests sat as if they are having a great conversation. I always love the contrast between the young and old and it has been my firm favourite since i took it. Compositionally they sit on opposite 3rds and so it is visually strong and the black and white treatment helps highlight the skin textures on young and old and thus the contrasting ages.
I love this shot and have done from the second I took it. It pulls on the strengths of the Bride & Groom protrait winner above and has the editorial, composed to the right strength of the Groom Portrait. The light was hard as it was cast by strong magenta disco lights, the shot was acheived without fill-in flash or a reflector thanks to the white walls in the venue. My No2 favourite of the whole year and of my Sister’s wedding – I’m made up about this one.
From My Beautiful Assistant:
My favourite shot by my Wife and assistant Judy, of my Sister. If that wasn’t enough, Judy has chosen a great spot to take the shot, it’s a dramatic angle and great light cast by the window to the Bride’s left. Thanks to the light colours on the walls the light is even enough to be complimentary and contrasty enough not to be flat. Well done honey!