How Creative Enhancements Can Transform an Ordinary Wedding Photo into a Work of Art 

As a Nova Scotia wedding photographer, I always have two things in mind when I’m photographing a wedding. One is to document the candid moments and events of the day, to help the couple relive their wedding day every time they look through their album. The other is to create artistic pieces that the couple will be able to hang on their walls at home, so that they will be able to enjoy their favourite photos each and every day.

Creating photographic artwork during a wedding day involves more than just snapping a photo and doing a quick edit. Modern technologies in digital photography make it possible to create stunning scenes from ordinary backdrops. Here are some behind-the-scenes looks at creating two of my favourite wedding photos from 2016.

Behind-the-scenes Wedding Photo #1: The Old Barn

This photo was taken by an old barn on Second Peninsula in Lunenburg during a November sunset. With using natural light only, here’s how the scene looked:

old barn on Second Peninsula in Lunenburg

Without using off-camera lighting, this is how the setting appeared just before sunset

By changing the camera settings to create a darker image, and using a remote-controlled portable flash to illuminate the couple, a much different look can be achieved:

newlyweds lit with off-camera lighting

A remote-controlled light illuminates the couple, but the barn is still in darkness.

By combining the two photos and removing my assistant from the photo, here is the finished result:

newlyweds posing near barn in Bridgewater Nova Scotia

By combining the first and second images, a composite image is created with rich colours and balanced tones.

Behind-the-scenes Wedding Photo #2: The Boardwalk

This photo was taken at Petersfield Provincial Park in Sydney, Cape Breton. The park featured a long boardwalk next to some dense trees and shrubs. I thought it would be a perfect spot to capture the newlyweds walking off into the distance:

newlyweds walking on boardwalk in Cape Breton

The boardwalk in this image is perfect for drawing the eyes toward the couple, but the left side of the image is a bit too distracting.

The problem with this image is that the eyes are drawn to the gravel parking lot on the left. By filling in the left side of the image with some greenery “borrowed” from the right side, a final panoramic image is created:

wedding photo of a married couple walking on boardwalk

By filling in the left side of the image and adding a light leak, an ethereal look is achieved.

As a wedding photographer, these are always my favourite photos to create. The couple is always surprised to see them, since they often look very different from how the setting appeared in person. Not surprisingly, they are most often chosen as the photos to have printed as a wall print.

For a complimentary guide packed full of useful information for planning your wedding photography experience, head over to this page to access your free download.

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