Looking for examples of wedding photography done differently
June 26, 2014 2:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm shooting a friend's wedding this weekend and I'm looking for inspiration and ideas for non-standard wedding photography. NOT 'the happy couple's beautiful day' but something different. I'm not the primary shooter so I was thinking of doing something more 'fine arts', perhaps even dark... but I'm not yet sure where to take it.

I'm going to be using my usual setup (28mm, BW, sometimes flash) so I have some constraints.

One idea I had was asking people to look serious/apathetic instead of smiling, which might yield some interesting results.

Any other thoughts or good examples of where something like this has been done?

posted by scrm to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Small whiteboard with a few pens - get people to write a message and hold it up. This is a more interesting version of the usual guestbook - and since you'd be prompting people to write something you might get more coverage than an actual guestbook which not everyone remembers/bothers with.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:25 AM on June 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Are the bride and groom on board for "dark" unsmiling shots? I ask because even as the second shooter, it's entirely possible that the only shot they get of treasured Great Aunt Milicent is your snap of her looking dour and disapproving. "Apathetic" was not the emotion I wanted to remember from my guests. Also, not all brides appreciate being told not to smile.

I would consider using the shape of the ceremony and reception location architecturally, and match it to wedding details. You could also play with capturing shadows/silhouettes or interesting plays of the light. Consider using unusual angles - can you get up high, or frame the shot from an interesting vantage point?
posted by fermezporte at 4:56 AM on June 26, 2014 [10 favorites]

I'd like to see wedding photos that give a feel of old master's paintings. Like Nina Katchadourian did in airplane lavs.

Another thought would be to pose people like those in famous paintings.

The Betrothed

The Awakening Conscience (not really wedding, but it would be a fun nod.)

American Gothic

Roman de la Rose
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:32 AM on June 26, 2014

Since the principal photographer will be capturing the "big moments" you should be getting reaction shots as they are happening (mother of the bride when she kisses the groom etc). Find out from the couple who they are close to and try to get shots of those family members/friends at the key points. Also, close up of details (on her dress, the centrepieces, the cake) - where ever she has spent money/time on quality.
posted by saucysault at 7:08 AM on June 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

Agree on reflecting the architecture and capturing details (there are some good ones of shoes from my wedding). Candid shots of children are also good as they are usually off message and doing something against the general tone.
posted by ninebelow at 7:59 AM on June 26, 2014

check out Felix's work at felixrust.com. Note: he also does some boudoir work so some parts may be nsfw. He works in the documentary style.
posted by Gungho at 8:32 AM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

The one thing I really wish our photographer had captured was MORE great shots of our family and friends. Take beautiful photographs of them together and we will all treasure them forever. Dreamy, natural lighting and great angles. You could almost do a "natural photobooth" situation - find the side of the building with great ambient lighting and figure out your best angles and camera settings. Invite groups of folks over to take some nice shots together, and then wander around and take more shots of other folks in natural settings.

If you have time to get a chalkboard bubble, they often go over extremely well. People write really sweet things on them and the photographs end up being a guestbook.

+1 to reaction shots. Coordinate with the couple and the primary photographer to make sure you've got a plan. I wouldn't really want my secondary photographer deciding to go goth & dark without talking it over first.

Take a look at Offbeat Bride. There are some very talented photographers there whose work isn't the typical "dreamy wedding photography" but don't make their guests look bored or apathetic.
posted by barnone at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2014

Unless your friends have allowed you to photograph their wedding as a way of adding to your portfolio -- that is, they're specifically doing you a favor -- please discuss any ideas you have with the couple and with the main photographer.
posted by jaguar at 8:04 PM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

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