Bridal photography: iconic brides of Herb Ritts
In Still Miracle we believe that wedding and bridal photography is art. And had we ever have to prove it, of Herb Ritts’ wedding photography alone would definitely suffice. One of the most influential photographers of the XX century developed his refined taste from the tender age on. He was born to a well-to-do Jewish family in California, his mother was an interior designer, and his father was a furniture business owner. During his young years Ritts was already acquainted with the bohemian circles. Once, one of its members, Richard Gere, asked Herb to take some pictures of him. The shooting gained a huge amount of attention from the fashion community – and the rest is history. Ritts shooted for the most prominent magazines, from Vogue to the Rolling Stones, immortalizing the famous characters of the epoch. With this unique style he created a new movement in photography. One can write volumes about his legendary approach to photographs, and today we invite you to look at the warmest of them – his bridal shots.
Madonna by Herbb Ritts on her wedding day to Sean Penn in August 1986
Ritts was a close friend of the young family, which allowed him to take several pictures of the intimate event, closed from the public eyes. In the picture young singer Madonna is drowning in lush tulle gown. She is standing in front of a sink in the kitchen, with a bucket of champagne on it, probably caught in the middle of preparations. “I go for the moment”, as Herb would say.
-“I do like large plains and areas of textures. I like deserts and oceans…”, confessed Ritts. We can clearly see it from this image from Vogue US: he captures the bride in front of an endless water with light ripples that go up until the low blue sky. The folds on breezy, minimalistic wet dress harmonize with sleek hairstyle, hypnotizing the viewer. Indeed, there is nothing extra in this image: just freshness of water, the beauty of the bride and the celebration of endless youth.
Demi Moore for Vogue US 1995
Herb was famous for striving to create a collaboration between him and the subject, to “make it like dance”. This photo, which was part of the shooting for the October issue in Vogue US in 1995, is very dynamic. Demi Moore as a bride is walking on a perfect lawn barefoot, slightly leaning to the left. Her decollete dress that is flawlessly following the movement of her body. The picture is elegant and relaxed at the same time.
Female bride and groom, 1985
The photographer would often play with the direct light and sharp shadows, making use of the Californian sun. This image of an unknown bride and the groom feature these distinctive characteristic of Hebb’s style. There is a lot of strength and energy in the image: the blowing wind is unfolding the bride’s long dress, her face is serious and concentrated. The groom with a naked torso Casually hugging his wife to be with a cigarette in his hand.
The second picture from the Female bride and groom series also shows how masterful he was in the storytelling. By not showing, just hinting the groom on the corner of the image, the photographer creates suspense. The bride’s luxurious dress, embordered with the fine lace fabric contrasts with the leaned back posture and a cigarette. Has something happened between the two? The viewer is left wondering. This is the magic of Herbb.
by Liza Lopatina