Photos of the Week


Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week for Sept. 11 

September 11, 2023

By Hillary Grigonis

Architecture often serves as creative fuel for wedding photographers. Sometimes, inspiration comes easily in from the building itself. Other times, the challenge of shooting in a tight space or a popular location pushes photographers to try something new. This week, we feature five wedding photographers who rose to the challenge and captured stunning shots that mix portraiture with architecture. Find inspiration in this week’s Photos of the Week from JoAnne Dunn, Sarah James Middleton, Ashley Biess, Nuno Frederico, Fátima Sampaio, and Christian Noble. 

JoAnne Dunn, JoAnne Dunn Photographer 

© JoAnne Dunn

The staircase outside the bride’s hotel room was just begging to be photographed, says photographer JoAnne Dunn (@joannedunnphoto). On the way out of the hotel, Dunn says, she asked the bride to stop at the staircase for a few portraits. She captured the image with the Canon EOS R5 and a 24mm lens. 

“Ravello, as a location, can be quite challenging to photograph, as only a small portion of it is accessible by car,” Dunn said. “However, the Graal Hotel, where this image was taken, was surprisingly easy to reach. I must admit that this particular shot unfolded effortlessly. I just had to notice the stairs and the white she was wearing. The rest happened quite naturally, as though the image manifested itself. All my best images call to me. My only talent is being able to hear them calling and heeding the call. Creativity is that quiet whisper that is so easy to ignore.” 

Sarah James Middleton, Ritual Unions 

© Sarah James Middleton

Wedding and elopement photographer Sarah James Middleton of Ritual Unions describes the Peabody Library as a secret gem. For this bridal portrait, she was inspired by the library’s existing lighting and the dreamy vibe of the room’s architecture. She captured the image using the Canon R6 and a 50mm f1.4 lens. 

“The library is fairly dark aside from string lights,” she said. “You can use flash, but you lose the quality of the light, so it has to be done with high ISO or low F stop.” 

Ashley Biess, Artistrie Co. 

© Ashley Biess

This picturesque location with the Chicago skyline is one that Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co. has photographed several times before. Determined to try a fresh take on the popular location, Biess found inspiration by switching up her usual gear. “When it’s a place you visit and photograph so frequently, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing the exact same thing each time,” she explained. “For this shoot, I was determined to see it all in a new light. To help with this, I switched up my gear from the usual DSLR and mirrorless bodies and shot quite a bit with my Fuji X100F. The lightness and quickness of the camera allowed me to move more freely and see everything with a fresh perspective.” 

Biess also worked to keep the image fresh by using minimal direction with a simple posing prompt and changing her perspective. “I wanted this to feel very minimally directed and natural, as if the couple were on a romantic date night and the moment was captured with the perspective of an onlooker nearby,” she said. “I asked my client to walk up and down this path several times and I changed my perspective each time. For a quick moment, I backed into a secluded garden and ended up loving how the hedges framed this photo.” 

Nuno Frederico and Fátima Sampaio, Detail Photography 

© Frederico and Fátima Sampaio

The staircase pillars and regal church architecture frame the bride and her parents in this candid image by Nuno Frederico and Fátima Sampaio of Detail Photography. The photographers were inspired by the contrast between the stone structures and the bride’s dress. The fog that morning gave the image an enchanting, nostalgic feel that works well with the classic black and white. The photograph was captured with the Sony a7 III and a 16-35mm lens. 

“When we’re photographing weddings, the main challenge is really the rapid pace with which the situations unfold, which makes us really think about the composition of the photo before taking it,” Frederico said. “I knew I wanted a picture of the bride going upstairs, with the framing of the towers, and church, and the rest just fell naturally into place.” 

Christian Noble, Noble Photo Co.

© Christian Noble

The historic framed portraits along the staircase make this moment between the bride and groom feel as if it, too, is a historic moment in this timeless image by Christian Noble of Noble Photo Co. However, capturing this iconic photo came with a risk, as it wasn’t a posed portrait but the moment the couple entered their reception. The risk paid off as the architecture and staircase highlighted the kiss and the bride’s dress. Noble captured the shot with the Canon R6 and a 28-70mm f2 lens. 

“Oxford Exchange is a beautiful but tight venue,” he said. “You really only have a few head on angles so trying new points-of-view is a rewarding challenge.” 

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.