Your wedding photographs should be like your favourite film

Peckforton Castle makes a romatic backdrop for a wedding
A black and white with strong contrast and a black vignette to focus the eyes – Peckforton Castle

Like a favourite film which we can watch over and over again it would be wonderful to have wedding pictures that we also enjoy looking at repeatedly. One of my favourite films is ‘Casablanca‘, and recently we unusually watched a film twice at the cinema we enjoyed it so much, ‘The Shape of Water‘ . What these films have is a richness of atmosphere, artistic flare, and story, not to mention interesting characters which reward us emotionally and aesthetically. That description should apply to our wedding photographers too, a very high standard which we wedding photographers can aspire to. I have always been of a developmental frame of mind and it is important to always be searching to improve in whatever we do, in my case taking ever better wedding photographs.

Casablanca official trailer

Flower surround a bride
A beautiful bride in black and white with again high contrast

Of course there will always be a place in every photographer’s heart for black and white pictures and even attempting a little ‘Hollywood’ lighting. I love it when clients say they would like to see some of their wedding pictures in black and white, and I usually always include some conversions in every batch of proofs I publish for them on my website.

Silhouette Peckforton Castle newlywed image
In partial silhouette this high contrast image maintains the intimacy of the couple’s first few hours together as newlyweds – taken at Peckforton Castle in the bay window

The Shape of Water official trailer

I am sure there will be many out there who want that more saturated and contrasty side lit look to their images. I can do this in the studio and many a model and actor portfolio might want something along those lines.

Wrenbury Hall wedding, natural light bride and groom portrait
Spotlit in the window, this couple only have eyes for each other at their Wrenbury Hall wedding

In the real world people are often caught between the desire for beautiful wedding photographs and what their budget might allow. I believe that as with many things it is quality not quantity that really counts, and it would be better to book your photographer of choice for less time to get the best images than book another photographer offering longer coverage but possibly not producing the images that you like.

Bridal portrait in the bridal suite at Wrenbury Hall
This beautiful bride was so excited on her wedding day. It was a pleasure to photograph her emotion at Wrenbury Hall in the bridal suite as she got ready

By all means people should have very high expectations of their chosen wedding photographer in terms of style, and a list of things that they would like photographed. But make this two lists, one of essentials¬† and make sure these are included in whatever ‘package’ the photographer is offering. Pricing is not always transparent so ask lots of questions about inclusions and exclusions.

Evening disco lighting can add saturation and colour to the wedding images
Disco lights are the closest to Hollywood lighting at a wedding. This was Wrenbury Hall in Cheshire

So, have someone take your wedding pictures who you trust will take the time to make them works of art and objects you will treasure and look on fondly, remembering the moments as they flew by. Your wedding day was like a good film, full of excitement and interest and over too soon. Let the wedding photographs be like a reminder of the highlight and reflect the great things you still enjoy about being together.

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