Photos of the Week

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week for April 2

April 2, 2024

By Hillary Grigonis

Style differentiates one photographer from the next. But for beginners, identifying your photography style is often a major hurdle after mastering the technical skills. Style can influence anything from posing and lighting to colors and wardrobe. This week, we asked five of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography for insight on developing a unique photography style. Find inspiration (and advice) from these stunning photographs of the week by Mikalynn Amos, Christopher Akpokodje, Kim Assheuer, Mariana Barbosa, and Brjánn Batista Bettencourt.

Mikalynn Amos, Venturing Vows

© Venturing Vows

As an elopement photographer who specializes in the Oregon Coast, Mikalynn Amos of Venturing Vows can often predict which tides will create amazing reflections on the sand. Lanterns are also part of her signature photography style, as she uses them to add some warmth to blue hour. While this shot was inspired by the reflection, the gull was a surprise — Amos took a rapid burst with her Canon EOS R6 and RF 28-70mm f2 as soon as she saw it enter the frame.

“While discovering my style, my lifelong love for nature played a huge role,” Amos explains. “For editing, I wanted the natural colors of nature to pop. For composition, I frequently take wide angle images that feature the landscape as a co-subject. My detail photos in galleries often include photos of the local flora and fauna we saw along the way. I focused on what I was drawn to as an individual and through that, I’ve found people who are drawn to my art. If you’re creating art that speaks to you, you’ll find your people. No need to stress about what other folks are doing with their own photography style.”

Christopher Akpokodje, Zeal Photography

© Zeal Photography

Having the bride and groom drive their car helped the photo session feel more like a date, says Christopher Akpokodje of Zeal Photography. The photographer explained that the location with the arched trees helped center the car and couple as the focal point. He took the shot with the Sony a7 IV and a Sigma 85mm f1.4.

“I think it is very important to define your style by listing all the photographers that inspire you and you love the work of and pinpoint why you love their work,” Akpokodje says. “Once that is done, then try and replicate that in your own shots. Over time, you will begin to add your own flavor and look to your shots by simply learning from the photographers you love.”

Kim Assheuer, Kim Wilfriedsson

© Kim Wilfriedsson

The location for this bridal portrait inspired Kim Assheuer of Kim Wilfriedsson to capture a timeless, romantic photo true to her style. Because the background was so busy, she posed the bride in a relaxed, almost lazy pose for balance. She captured the shot with a Nikon D850 and the Nikkor 35mm f1.4 lens.

“It’s tough to nail down your own style when you’re constantly surrounded by other photographers’ work,” Assheuer says. “I’d always recommend to unfollow some accounts, or if you find someone’s work mesmerizing, ask yourself why. Is it the colors? The posing? The angle? Play around while shooting and editing and (in my case) you’ll automatically fall back on one way that’s true to you.”

Mariana Barbosa

© Mariana Barbosa

Inspired by the venue’s flowers and the timeless “something blue” tradition, Mariana Barbosa (@Marianabarbosa_photo) captured this stunning wedding portrait. Barbosa’s style shows her love of color, as this shot exemplifies. Because the background already made a big statement, she opted for a more relaxed pose for the couple for balance. She captured the shot with a Nikon D850 and 50mm lens.

“Follow your heart,” Barbosa says on defining your own photography style. “I have always been a hopeless romantic. I firmly believe that my photographs are based on my personality. I also love colors, and I love using them and highlighting them in my photography. So, in conclusion, if you are true to who you are, your photographs will speak for you.”

Brjánn Batista Bettencourt, 3B Photography

© 3B Photography

When the bride and groom shared their vision of riding their vintage motorcycles on their wedding day, Brjánn Batista Bettencourt of 3B Photography knew he had to capture the fleeting feeling of that moment. The photographer often draws inspiration from music and movies, including A Place Beyond the Pines, for this particular shot. But, ultimately, he says, his work is often a collaboration between his own vision and personal experiences and that of the subjects’. Bettencourt favors analog gear for all his work — these particular images were captured with the 16mm Kodak 500T motion picture film, scanned by lab Frame Discreet.

“I know a lot of photographers struggle with the concept of having a personal style and I think a lot of that stems from the constant need to compare ourselves to our peers or idols. We’re never good enough for some reason, we’re never cool enough for another reason, or we’re just not satisfied with the result of a particular shoot or project because it fell short of what we had in our heads. I genuinely believe that style is something that should naturally be inherent in how you creatively process your surroundings, emotions and thoughts, and what that looks like might change over time because as an artist or creative you should be in a constant state of evolution and growth.”

“I think it’s not only important to find inspiration beyond the artwork you practice,” he adds, “but it’s actually an inherently necessary element of artistic growth. Whether it be watching movies, listening to music or doodling, do what you can to attach your own feelings and experiences to other art forms that inspire you and channel that internal awareness into the things you create. And let it come naturally, if possible. I think the wedding photography community is plagued by the fact that people are constantly trying to recreate and re-do what others are already doing, and you’re essentially chasing shadows if you do that. You’ll never find satisfaction or happiness in your creative practice if don’t carve out your own path, but remember it takes time, a long time, to get to a place where you can intentionally create a vision that is innate to who you are. Remember that people can see and sense inauthenticity from a mile away. You might as well lean into who you are and like I always say to myself, let yourself be huge.”

Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more timeless photoseye-catching wedding photos and portraits. Submit your wedding, editorial, documentary and other interesting imagery (up to 5 images at a time) to:

Photographing Couples In Love by Kristina Wikle
Family Lifestyle Photography by Elena Blair
Couples Digital Posing Cards by Sue Bryce
The Location Lighting Series
Editing from Start to Finish