Photo of the Day

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week

September 19, 2022

By Jacqueline Tobin

This week, we take a look at five eye-catching portraits and photos that captured our attention with their compelling photo compositions and spontaneity. Get the back story on the following images by Uliana Yarets, Oshen Davidson, Kathleen Elizabeth and Jason Vinson.

Uliana Yarets of Yarets Studio, is a wedding photographer based in Kyiv, Ukraine, whose husband Yurii works with her as the wedding filmmaker of their brand. “I like to watch the emotions of people and capture them on my camera,” she explains. “Every wedding is a new interesting story and I always look forward to the wedding day.”

cool photo composition of bride's face.
© Yarets Studio

For this image (above) of a “gentle and happy bride,” in Lviv, Ukraine, Uliana used a Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 50mm f/1.2L lens. We are digging the texture and photo composition for sure!

[Read: 10 Ways to Create Stylized Light]

This next image (below), also by Uliana, is full of “feelings, light, emotions, grace and dynamics,” the photographer says. “It’s a great combination of reportage and artistic shooting where my subject’s emotions are captured in both light and shadow.”

© Yarets Studio

Oregon elopement photographer Oshen Davidson says that what she loves most about the two images below is that they each convey the feeling that, “despite how big this new journey of life is, we are all still so small in comparison to the vastness of the world around us.”

photo compositions that pop as bride and groom faced opposite directions.
© Oshen Davidson
bride and groom embrace on mountain top.
© Oshen Davidson

She continues: “This location was one that I had seen photographs of a handful of times before, yet I never knew exactly where it was or how to get there. We used coordinates to follow an unmarked road, and hiked several miles in the rain and fog to reach this location (we knew with the fog rolling in, it was up to nature to decide how the conditions for shooting would be for us). It was a chance my couple and I were willing to take and with us being the only ones here, when we finally made it to the top, it made it all the more magical.”

[Read: A Guide to Elopement Photography When Couples Downsize Weddings]

In terms of the posing, Davidson says she always starts out by having the couple stand side by side, looking in opposite directions as they looked away. “I have them close their eyes, take a couple deep breaths and reflect on their day and this new journey they’ve begun as a married couple,” she explains. “Then I tell them that whenever they were ready, to open their eyes and just take another 30 seconds or so to just take in everything around them and feel the space in which they’re in and how their love has brought them to the here and now. It gives my couples the time to reflect on their wedding day as individuals (even while they’re physically together), while still embracing the connection that they share.”

photo composition of bridal party during bride's first look.
© Kathleen Elizabeth Photography

When it comes to compelling photo compositions, sometimes simple is best. Kathleen Elizabeth says that every time she sees this image (above), she gets transported right back to the moment she took it. “The bride wanted to do a First Look with the groom’s family and surprise them with her wedding attire in this super neat turret feature of their Airbnb,” says Kathleen. “I just love how incredibly happy they all are to see her—each of their expressions is so wonderful. They couldn’t say enough how beautiful she looked and it was so clear how much they all loved one another, how excited they were to be ‘officially’ family and for them to get married. It was such a happy, intentional, beautiful day in whole and this one photo encapsulates so much of that feeling for me and makes me so happy!”

[Read: Knowing the Wedding Party’s Names: A Photographer’s Secret Weapon]

Kathleen explains that when she photographs a wedding, she wants to document the couple for who they truly are and for the moments that actually happen. “I want a couple to look back on their wedding photos and to be able to not only remember every part of their day, but truly re-experience it,” she explains. “I want my work to bring up all of the emotions they were feeling throughout the day, the emotions that their guests were feeling, and to capture the scenery around them. I want to provide the absolute best experience throughout the entire process. Not only do I want to be a resource throughout the planning process, but I want to be someone that they can trust that has their best interests in mind no matter what. I will do whatever I can to help my couples have the best elopement day possible.”

Jason Vinson of Vinson Images says this image below started out simply enough—a wedding guest took off his cummerbund and then two other guests held it while he started a limbo line.

wedding guest doing limbo under cummerbund.
© Vinson Images

What’s to love about this image? A lot! In terms of cool photo compositions, this one takes the cake! Adds Vinson: “You don’t always see the limbo from this perspective. You also don’t always see someone limbo in a crab walk. I also love that his upper body is nicely framed between his legs and there is a nice combination of front light and rim light.” The image recently won a “Collection 67 Fearless Award” because, says Vinson, its composition and lighting resonated with the current panel of judges.

Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more eye-catching portraits and photos that incorporate unique compositions and cool photo techniques. Submit your wedding portraits, editorial, documentary and commercial image submissions here: