Using Color and Composition to Craft Timeless Wedding Images

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Do you ever look through our galleries or the photos on my Instagram feed and wonder how we create the style you see? 

You might notice how all of the images embody a certain timelessness. We could have taken a photo in 2018 or yesterday, but you wouldn’t know because we strive for that enduring look.

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Crafting those kinds of images takes time, patience, passion, technique, and working with super cool couples like you. But in this post, I’m laying out two essential elements we use to create timeless wedding images – color and composition. 

Let’s take a look at how both contribute to the timeless style.  

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Using Color to Craft Timeless Wedding Images

We work with color in a few ways to achieve the look you see in our photos. 

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One way is as it’s presented to us. In other words, the colors in front of our camera, like the bridesmaids’ dresses, florals, and the background colors. The goal is to keep these true-to-life but bold at the same time, so you get that pop.

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Another way is through the use of light. We love when the sun filters through the trees because it lights up the leaves and makes for a rich, pleasant background.

We often tell clients during engagement sessions, “Don’t mind the crazy guy with the camera looking at the sun.” Staring at the sun isn’t usually a good thing, but you’ll typically find me scanning the sky, trying to find the best-lit spaces in terms of color, lines, and pattern. 

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When it comes to night photos, we ask clients if they like the background colors or the building behind them. If not, do they have a favorite color? We can always “cheat” a little and put a gel on our flash for the backlight. 

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Black and White Creates a Classic Look 

The absence of color is also an option, and there are a few reasons we would take a black-and-white photo over a colored one. 

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  • Variety – A few black and white photos in the mix give a gallery depth. 
  • Artistry – An image might look better in black and white, as the lack of color removes distracting elements, like lights or objects, and puts the focus on what’s important. 
  • Emotion – A certain psychological reaction comes with looking at a black-and-white image. They tend to feel more emotional and dramatic, maybe because many of the iconic photos of history are in black and white. 

WeI include a few black-and-white photos in each gallery unless a couple tells me they hate that style or don’t want those kinds of pictures. If a couple mentions they want black and white images because they feel it makes their photos more timeless, we will include a few extras.  

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Creating Timeless Images Using Composition

Composition is how things are arranged in a photo. It’s important because it helps direct the viewer’s attention and tell the story. 

Wedding images generally fall into two categories: traditional and candid. We like to provide both, giving the couple those traditional looking-at-the-camera images and the in-between moments.

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The traditional photos are the portraits and the family formals. They’re pretty standard as far as composition goes. But the candid moments we look for aren’t straight on; they’re usually side angles and things couples don’t get to see. It might be a kiddo sneaking a cookie from the dessert table or a mother crying during the vows or toasts. 

How we compose the elements of these moments (subject, objects, background, etc.) in the frame will ensure the emotion and story are expressed authentically. Through composition, I can emphasize the important parts of the photo.

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Creative Composition Can Be Timeless Too

Getting the traditional photos and typical angles is vital to any wedding gallery, but mixing in creative composition, like asymmetry and negative space, adds a little extra to the storytelling and a couple’s photo collection. 

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And even though these techniques are seen as creative, they don’t take away from the timeless, traditional style. In fact, one of the best compliments I’ve received from a bride’s mother was because of this mix of tradition and modernization. 

The couple was having a traditional Portuguese wedding. During the cocktail hour, they wanted to set up a light in the ballroom and get photos of everyone in the family. This was the traditional way and important for the family. 

When the bride’s mother saw the photos, she was blown away because we was able to both honor their traditions and elevate their gallery (and what she thought wedding photography was) through creative composition.

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If It’s Important to You, It’s Important to Us

People sometimes ask if they can send us a photo idea list, and the answer is always yes because we want to know what’s important to them. 

If you send us a Pinterest board of your favorite engagement session images, it’s not so that we can copy those poses or the technique. It’s so that we can get a feel for what you like, what inspires you, and what’s important for us to capture.   

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Want additional black-and-white images? A few more creative angles? Just let me know!

And in the end, know that we have your best interests at heart. We want you to walk away with a gallery that tells your story in timeless detail. Because your story is timeless. 

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mike zawadzki photography

is a New Jersey Wedding Photography Studio based out of Livingston, NJ.

take a select number of winter weddings on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and are available for travel world-wide!
info@mikezawadzki.com | 973-941-2940

is a New Jersey Wedding Photography Studio based out of Livingston, NJ. take a select number of winter weddings on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and are available for travel world-wide!
info@mikezawadzki.com | 973-941-2940

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