Written by Diana Vartanova,
Photographer and Creative Director @ Still Miracle
Wedding Photoshoot – Every Detail Matters
Being a wedding photographer for more than ten years, I understand how important it is to be inspired for a wedding photoshoot. There are a million ways of finding you inspiration, and they all can be very helpful and pushing the creativity forward. But I have found my own way of never repeating myself and not going in circles.
The closest word that can describe my method of creating elegant and jazzy photo sessions is “Watchfulness”.
I know, it might sound weird. Watchfulness means paying attention to little detail before, during and after the photoshoot. And yes, it means different things at each stage. Let’s go into detail 😉
Before the Wedding photoshoot
The time before the photoshoot is the most crucial stage, and it can be counted in years. I study different photographers. Save their most talented photographs. Composition, colour, skills, gear, styling and work with models – all of these certainly matter. I often share works of my favourite artists on my Instagram stories. Still, if it might be interesting, I am thinking of creating the list of the best wedding, fashion and street photographers you might want to follow even not being a professional in the art industry. Let me know if you feel like looking for some inspiration by commenting through the contact form in the bottom.
The sooner a photo session is, the more work is being directed into it. The must-do before each photoshoot is creating a mood board visualisation on Pinterest. At some point in my career, I didn’t think it is necessary, but after working with Vogue, Tatler and Conde Nast, I realised how much it means to look in the same direction. I have been creating Pinterest boards for each of my wedding photo session, and now both my couples and I know what we want to see as their dream wedding pictures. I can advise on style and timing. For example, if my couple are fine art fans, I recommend having an extra hour for an intimate session during a sunset, or if they want a photographer to blend with the day and be an unnoticed witness, we discuss how to add some spice and emotions to the event.
Brilliant pictures are a result of shrewd planning.
During the Wedding Photoshoot
The game is on. Watch out – the photographer is on its way! Composition, lighting styling, emotions – everything is essential. Even a small factor can affect photography, and everything can be helpful. My couples see me using wine glasses, climbing on furniture, joking to make them laugh and more creative tricks in the pursuit of the perfect picture.
But I think that the most important thing is to become friends with models. Unless a bride and a groom feel comfortable, nothing will work out. I am here to pass the shoes. Yes, I know where they are. I remember all the bridesmaids’ names. I can help to let the wedding planner know if the plans are slightly changed, and of course, I am the best group picture organiser. One! Two! Three! Woohoo!
The mood is the biggest of all the details I am taking care of.
After the photoshoot
Here comes the editing part. It is so contrasting to loud weddings’ moments, strobe lighting, speeches and fuss. Time to unwind, prepare the best white tea and upload your photographs to the Adobe Photoshop. Editing comes in three parts: selecting the shots for the series, colour correction and retouch.
I usually take around 3-4 thousand photos during the wedding day and know all the angles in selecting the best shots. I pay attention to facial expression, a phase of a pose, light and composition. In the final selection, you will be looking beautiful, sincere and in the best light.
While colour correcting I add a bit of colour flavour to photographs. Play with the contrast, make deep shadows softer, cut the colours which shouldn’t be there, for example, blue colours in the skin tones.
The retouch is the most time-consuming. Editing one picture might take up to 20 minutes, and imagine if there are 700 of them. I make your skin glow, hide spots, blur unnecessary shine, iron dress and shirt. And again, all details matter.
Of course, there are different approaches, but my “watchfulness” makes me feel I am 100% there, I am fully responsible, and I am inspired to depict the most special day in your life.