A wedding is one of the most magical, momentous, and beautiful days of your life. A celebration of love, commitment, and emotion. Wedding photographers are tasked with documenting the festivities for decades to come.
Sometimes the best way to capture such a day is by thinking outside of the box. This is where fine art wedding photography fills the gap for those that want their day to be represented with more story to it.
CAN YOU DEFINE “FINE ART”?
The definition of “fine art” is a contentious topic in the art world? What defines it? In all honesty, for the most part, fine art is one of those situations in which “you know it when you see it, but can’t quite point out why”.
Some even go as far as to believe the term is a gimmick to increase shooting costs (not always true!). There is a general guideline on how you can discern fine art photography from just a regular photoshoot.
Throughout the history of photography, the medium was initially used as a means of documenting life. It actually took a tremendous amount of time for photography to even be recognized as a type of art!
Fine art steps further into the realm of art than documentary. The images need to have an element of artistic intent rather than just capturing what is right in front of you. Artistic inclination stems from unique composition, new perspectives, and having a strong storytelling element in the photographs. As much of fine art is about the artist as it is about the subject of the photograph. Letting your own voice sing loudly is key.
Fine art photography goes beyond displaying the subject. It expresses the emotion and feeling behind it all.
HOW DOES FINE ART TIE INTO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
Fine art plays into wedding photography wonderfully. Think of it this way, a wedding is a grand tale of romance. From the beautiful decor to the fairytale dance, capturing a more artistic side of this already visually enthralling endeavor just works together. When the details of a wedding are paramount to its fruition, fine art photography is the missing piece.
Fine art wedding photographers capture images that are intended to be appreciated as art, not just a documentation of the event. Many fine art wedding photographs are well-planned, putting great care into the detail of the scene. Photographers often use very soft and creamy lenses, creating an almost whimsical aesthetic to it all. It’s the emotion that lasts when the day has long past.
As well as this, not everyone has a traditional wedding. Non-traditional weddings can’t always be captured properly in a photojournalistic way. The clients who fancy more artistic images tend to be a lot more fun, and their wedding days reflect this!
TIPS FOR FINE ART WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
We can’t tell you how to capture fine art without a shadow of a doubt. That is such a personal artistic choice. No one can provide a true how-to guide on your inner thoughts, only inspiration.
What we can do is provide you with some tips. These can help creatively motivate you to create lasting memories at your next wedding booking!
1. Detail Shots Are Everything: The details are the glue of every story, tying it all together. Weddings tend to have an influx of beautifully subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) details in its decor, in its attire, and in its portrayal. Detail shots make up the core of fine art wedding photography. Lenses (especially macro lenses) can bring to life even the smallest of details.
Capture all of the details, from the cakes to the silverware. Try looking at a variety of angles and macro effects, zooming in on the intricacies of lace to the beautiful flower arrangement. Don’t be afraid to pose your details a bit as well, and really focus on great composition and framing. The composition is the arrangement of elements in a frame, and this will make or break your photograph. Detail shots tend to be still life images. It isn’t a bad idea to check out some manual focus effects lenses from brands such as Lensbaby. These can add a unique and new touch to the photographs.
2. Think Outside the Box: Following in suit with the previous notion, thinking outside of the box is what will really set you apart as a fine art photographer.
Creativity is tied to who we are people. Let your personality shine through in all of the images you capture. Go as far as shooting through, say, a prism or a crystal ball to create a cool effect! Thinking outside of the box doesn’t just stop at the shutter click. This progresses into the editing room as well. Don’t be wary about adding effects or altering colors in editing. This can definitely enhance your image (not detriment it)!
3. Let Personality Shine Bright!: It’s not just your personality that makes the image. It’s the personality of your bride, groom, and their wedding party!
Fine art photography allows us to narrate the images more. They’re no longer just photographic evidence – they are a story. So go ahead, make your couple laugh, make your bridesmaids jump in the air, make your groomsmen run! Direct your clients and suggest prompts that bring out their true personalities. The smiles, the quirkiness, all of that makes the most precious memories. Besides, this also allows you to ensure that your photography experience is one that leaves the client with nothing but warm feelings and happy thoughts.
4. Find the Story: I keep reiterating the story aspect of fine art wedding photography. That really is the root of it all. Even if you don’t see a clear story on its face, create one.
Make the most spectacular novel in a series of images. That’s really the heart of it all. Storytelling is often comprised of deliberate compositions and a good arrangement of the photo order.
5. Always Experiment and Always Push Yourself: The day that we stop experimenting and pushing ourselves as artists, we are no longer effective creators. Each photo session, each time you have a camera and lens in hand, you need to find ways to top your previous work and keep improving as an artist.
Fine art photography opens the door for more experimentation and deeper endeavors. Take advantage of that opportunity!
Fine art is truly the best representation of who you are as a person. And it has the added bonus of creating unique memories that will last through time. Don’t be afraid to be different, use effects lenses, take an angle you wouldn’t have otherwise captured, and tell that story how it deserves to be told!