Photos of the Week

Wedding Photos and Portraits of the Week

November 23, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

Have you seen our most recent Photos of the Day on social media? Each day on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, we feature a wedding photo or portrait that strikes us as one of the most interesting in its genre, and we ask the creatives behind the photos to detail the image’s backstory and their technical approach. Here’s what caught our attention this week.

Finding Peace in Harsh Sunlight

Ana Galloway photographed this wedding in her hometown—Nelson, New Zealand—where the bride also grew up. The couple was currently living in Denmark, Galloway explains, where the groom’s family lives, so while the bride and her family were hosting the groom and his loved ones, the photographer decided to take them to local places that represent “so many fond memories for us Nelsonians.” One such location was Tahunanui Beach.

“There is a section between the main beach and the road that is quite hidden away and very few people know that it is there,” Galloway says. “It’s like a secret wonderland with these cute bobbly seagrasses, soft white sand and spiky cabbage trees dotted around the landscape.”

They were scheduled to take portraits in the middle of the day when the sun was at its highest and hottest. “The sun in New Zealand is particularly harsh,” Galloway notes, “there’s no avoiding it so you just have to embrace it.” She placed the bride between two trees, facing the sun with her veil over her face, and as she stood back to frame the shot, Galloway asked her to close her eyes and softly place with the lace on her veil. “She looks so calm, pensive and at peace on her beautiful wedding day,” she says.

Composited Portraits of Couple as Tiny Toys

Wedding photography Oli Sansom of Briars Atlas (please check out his incredible web design!) has always been a fan of Where’s Waldo? and isometric video games, wherein the field of view for player is at a downward angle and from the side of a scene, rather than a directly flat or bird’s-eye view, to create the feeling of three dimensions. Give it a Google if you can’t picture it. “Exploring this has always been a part of my practice from a personal work perspective,” Sansom says, “and I’ve wanted to integrate it into my wedding work for a while as I haven’t seen it done.” We haven’t either.

The idea stemmed from Sansom’s desire to flip the idea of what connection means in a wedding or portrait photo—that is, challenge the idea that it’s the photographer’s job to dictate what a couple’s connection looks like. “It isn’t,” Sansom adds. “Connection is a really personal thing, and there are so many other tools to convey connection and bring people’s personalities out that don’t involve them running through a sunlit field or grasping at each other.”

For this experiment on “finding different characters in my couples and just creating art with them,” Sansom enlisted the help of a fellow photographer, Joel Alston of Barefoot and Bearded and his partner, Ash. “We’d been talking about doing a couples shoot anyway,” Sansom says. “My idea for them was to represent the couple in a set of standard ‘relationship things’ so that they almost appeared as icons, or toys, and then stitch them all together.”

Sansom needed a studio space with a very specific lighting setup that would allow him to imitate the “fairly strict rules of isometric design, which I have always been a huge fan of.” He needed to be very specific when directing Joel and Ash, and he needed to make marks in the studio to ensure he was following the rules of isometry correctly.

“From there, I had a mental bucket list of specific actions to capture, and outside of that, given we had a relatively short period of time in the studio, we riffed together on some other scenarios to capture with what was available to us in the studio,” says Sansom (check out some of them below). That included rolls of toilet paper, “which was really timely as the great Coronavirus Toiletpaper Heist had just begun to happen in full swing.”

Given the complexity, Sansom is considering the idea of producing a tutorial to explain how he put all of this together in more detail. “The skinny of it is, use a long lens so the subjects are as flat as possible,” Sansom says. “The more distance we have from the subject, the better. Basic rules of isometry also require that as much as possible is done in 90-degree angles. And of course, every single image needs to then be deep-etched.”

A Bonfire Portrait at Sunset

“Summer weddings in Oregon are often accompanied by smoke-filled skies from the yearly forest fires,” says Benjamin Edwards. “While, of course, a tragedy for the trees, it can make for some pretty spectacular sunsets. In this case, I placed the bride and groom on a wall just above the fire pit and framed it so the flames looked as though they were touching her dress, with the setting sun growing faint on the horizon.”

Gentle Light for a Bride Getting Ready

Elena Lazuli was in the bride’s bedroom as she got ready. Noticing the sunlight gently filling the room, the photographer says, it was the perfect moment to begin the getting-ready photos. “I was amazed by the bride’s beautiful hair so I knew that had to be shown, as well as the way her hair and the details on the dress complemented her skin. I just loved that color palette!”

A Spotlight on a Stormy Night

The weather was not cooperating for photographer Jazreel Hong, and given that it was towards the end of the day (5 p.m.) and they were indoors (at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore), that meant Hong had very little light to work with. “It was pouring very heavily, dark clouds blanketed the skies and I was desperately looking for a spot that was suitable to shoot,” Hong explains.

A natural light shooter, she explored the inside of the hotel looking for a spot of natural light but to no avail. Ambient light would have to do. “That’s was when I found a spotlight,” Hong says. “Located in the middle of an empty walkway, it was an opportunity I knew I had to seize. I invited the couple to share a small dance together while I tried my best to capture their intimate moment. They were the stars, and nothing could dampen their love—not even the weather that day.”

Dig into the Photo of the Day archives for more compelling imagery.