Photos of the Week


Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week for Oct. 16 

October 16, 2023

By Hillary Grigonis

Wedding receptions are often fast-paced and dimly lit. But, for photographers ready as moments unfold, the wedding reception is an opportunity to capture the images that really highlight the emotion of the day. This week, we feature five stunning wedding reception images from weddings around the world, captured by Francis Fraioli, Katie Harmsworth, Kristine and Charles Lopez, Ollie Baines, and Iain Irwin.  

Francis Fraioli 

© Francis Fraioli

Capturing genuine emotions typically requires being ready for that split second moment, like in this image by Francis Fraioli (@Francisfraioli). Fraioli captured the image during a wedding reception that took place on a boat in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. He captured the shot with the Canon R6 Mark II and a 28-70mm f2.0 lens. 

It was an epic night, and the party was crazy. The shoot was not planned. It just happened that everyone gathered together, and he popped the champagne toward me,” he said. “With only that one picture, it can tell the story of the night.”  

Katie Harmsworth 

© Katie Harmsworth

Anticipating the movement of the first dance can be a challenge, but this shot by Katie Harmsworth (@katie_harmsworth) highlights both the couple, the venue’s architecture, and the wedding guests. An off-camera Profoto A1 and Profoto Air remote adds a pop of light to draw the eye to the couple and the bride’s flowing dress. She captured the image with the Canon R5 and the RF 15-35mm f2.8 lens. 

Harmsworth says the challenge to capturing a shot like this is the number of different variables at work. “Even with the first dance at a wedding, you have to anticipate their position and choreography, your composition, lighting and where you’ve positioned yourself in hopes that you capture the exact type of image you have in your mind.” 

Kristine and Charles Lopez, Kristine and Charles 

© Kristine and Charles Lopez

Photographing a crowded dance floor at a wedding reception while highlighting the bride and groom is often a challenge, but in this shot by Kristine and Charles Lopez of Kristine and Charles, the couple is perfectly lit while the guests blur around them. The photographers were inspired by the way the couple swayed together on the dance floor while the guests continued to energetically dance around them. The shot was captured with a Sony a7 IV and a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens. 

“It was a challenge to capture this moment at a distance while guests were constantly moving around them on the dance floor,” Kristine and Charles said. “At times, the couple was facing away from me, or they would get blocked or hidden behind guests, but I knew I wanted them framed in the middle while still capturing the sweetness of the moment. A lot of the challenge was in observing, moving around to compose them in the center amid guests, and acting quickly to take the photo when all the right factors fell into place.” 

Ollie Baines, Ollie Baines Photography 

© Ollie Baines

Ollie Baines of Ollie Baines Photography says he loves photographing hands because they say so much about connection. Baines captured this image during the couple’s first dance, and intentionally waited until he could only see the bride’s hands to highlight how she was holding onto her new husband. He captured the image with the Canon R6 and Sigma 85mm f1.4 lens. 

“There’s a tendency to just get a safety shot of the first dance, but I knew that if I could wait for the moment to line up, it would be worth it,” Baines said. “I’d actually anticipated the moment as they started dancing with the way they were holding one another, but when the moment lined up perfectly, I knew it would be one of my favorite images of their day. Worth the wait!” 

Iain Irwin, Iain Irwin Photography 

© Iain Irwin

Sparkler exits can make stunning images, but the challenge is to freeze the motion of the couple without interfering with the light from the sparklers. When Iain Irwin of Iain Irwin Photography saw this out-of-the-way alley, he knew it would be the ideal setting for the sendoff. He captured the image with the Canon R6 and the RF 28-70mm f2. 

“The key challenge for this shot was using the available light in the area to get the clearest and highest quality image possible directly from the camera without maxing out my iso and compromising on the impact of the sparklers themselves,” Irwin said. “This is why the sparkler sendoff was set up down this cobbled street. Firstly, it was a stunning backdrop that hadn’t been fully utilized during the wedding day but also because I knew the hanging lights would complement the light available from the sparklers without compromising on the impact of them. This allowed me to capture a high-quality sparkler shot without having any unnecessary noise in the final image delivered.” 

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 to: hillary.grigonis@emeraldx.com.