Tips & Techniques for High Fashion Wedding Photography
written by: Angelique de la Morreaux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/19/2011
Art meets fashion in high fashion wedding photography. Transform yourself into a high fashion model and learn artistic poses that convey an emotional story within one wedding image. Transform yourself into the photo perfect bridal model that looks like she stepped out from a bridal magazine shoot.
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High fashion wedding photography captures a mood as it conveys a story with one look. It is less about the bride or groom, although they become part of the picture, and more about the feelings displayed. Although you may take these yourself, they are best taken by commercial photographers, as these types of photographs require a multitude of skills, such as an in-depth knowledge of lighting; photography software programs; composition and an eye for perfectionism and details.
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Artistic Bridal Poses
A picture of the bride smiling at you may be pretty, but it is also mundane. However, a picture of the bride standing by a window, looking out into a courtyard watching a little girl play gets you wondering. Is she wishing she was the little girl and for a return to her carefree youth or is she thinking I wonder if our children will be as beautiful when we have them? The latter is what makes a high fashion wedding picture. It is artistic and causes the viewer to think.
The bridal photograph to the left illustrates a good example of high fashion wedding photography. The picture resembles a perfume advertisement with its ethereal quality and artistic pose, yet it captures the bride and the quality of the dress to perfection.
Photo Credit: Giorgos Gotsis
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High Fashion Couple Poses
Much like the fairy tale, this picture brings you to a simple kiss. Like in Sleeping Beauty, the groom awakens his princess bride for a life of eternal happiness. This picture evokes much more feeling than standing the bride and groom together and snapping a picture. This photograph illustrates the photo essay aspect of the photojournalism as it conveys your wedding story.
Another high fashion pose to consider is one where she sits sideways on the grooms lap while he faces forward. With artistic draping of the lower half of the wedding dress, her lower legs and shoeless feet are revealed, although the dress covers the grooms clothing. Set the two before a massive stone fireplace to give the impression of the two relaxing after the wedding. Slide the dress around the middle of her thighs; slip his hand on the outer thigh just above the garter and under the dress. Have her lean into his body as they both face each other ready to kiss.
Photo Credit: Jason Bache
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Black and White Photography
Although you could shoot high fashion photographs in black and white with a digital camera, the better option is to shoot in raw and transform them through software. This technique allows the option to print either a color photograph or remove the color to create a black & white version, without damaging or detracting from the original photograph. You can also achieve more control over your fashion wedding picture as you crop, control color saturation and apply art techniques. One advantage to black and white photography is the striking contrasts. Without color, the human figure becomes a central focus in the picture with the expression displayed.
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Trash the Dress
A new trend in artistic wedding photography includes trash the dress. This type of high fashion wedding photography destroys your wedding gown in the pursuit of an artistic picture. The pure white virginal quality of the wedding dress and symbolic experience contrasts against the cold wet sand of an ocean wave or the slushy mud of a farm. It is unexpected to see the wedding dress in these locations, which creates an exotic and artistic wedding photograph. Other scenes include lying outdoors in a park with your dress spread like a fan or running through the streets barefoot with the dress trailing along the dirty city streets.
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Lighting takes center stage in fashion photography and a photography light meter will assist you in planning the lighting for a shot. Ideally, the light should enhance the elements of the design and the shot. It can be kept minimal to create silhouettes or mood, or bright to increase the contrast. Some pictures may require a fill light added when shooting into the sun, while others prefer the effect without. An outdoor shoot during an overcast day assists in creating a mood and allows the shadows to play across her skin which adds interest to the shot.
Photo Credit: Danny O
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As you review high fashion wedding photography pictures, you will notice the picture contains only one or two people. Normally this type of artistic photograph is reserved for the bride with maybe several pictures of the groom included. As the group increases to family, friends and the bridal party, it becomes more difficult to set up and the photographer will need to revert to event photography, which carries its own set of artistic wedding poses.
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Similar to glamour shots, high fashion wedding pictures require a complete attention to detail. The hair, makeup, lighting and location must be set for optimum advantage. Poses must be thought out and prepared as the bride and her finery are encased within an artistic shot. And each photograph should convey emotion, yet convey a story when grouped together in an album.