Wedding Photography: Casting Shadows

Shadows can be a wedding photographer's worst nightmare, but capturing the intentional shadow can make for a beautiful and unique photograph. 

Wedding photography is an art that requires strategy and practice.  One of the biggest aspects photographers need to plan for and practice with is lighting.  Lighting is an important part of photography.  In wedding photography, lighting is paramount in creating and capturing fantastic images, especially natural light.   When relying on natural light to capture timeless images on your special day, we know the times of day that have the tendency to cast unwanted shadows and the times of day that cast the wanted shadows. 

If the surroundings of the wedding venue don't offer much for photography (or even if they do) shadows cast on walls can serve as a brilliant substitute.  Look at the photograph below.  The beautiful use of the shadows cast by the bride and groom serve as an echo; the shadows of their silhouettes duplicate their image and allow us to see the other angle of their embrace.  

Photo courtesy of Damien Lovegrove

Another beautiful use of shadows is to create contrast in order to produce a dramatic effect.  The photograph below is a great example as attention is automatically drawn to areas of high tonal contrast in the shadow behind the bride and groom.  Tonal contrast cannot occur without the shadows cast upon the wall behind them.  The contrast creates a beautiful combination of light and shadows that, consequently, creates the attention grabbing image in a photo like the one below.

Photo courtesy of Michael Candid

Interplay between highlight and shadow, can make for a brilliant wedding photo.  This next photo, similar to the previous two photos, uses a light-colored wall to cast the shadow of the bride and groom.  This time, however, the bride and groom are not actually pictured--only their shadows are.  The shadows themselves serve as great photo subjects.  By only capturing the shadows of the newlyweds, and not revealing the bride and groom plainly, the photo creates edge of mystery and gives rise to the question:  what do the bride and groom really look like?

Photo courtesy of Santorini Weddings

Shadows cast on walls make for beautiful wedding photos, but so do shadows cast on the ground.  The photo below is, somewhat, similar to the previous one as it does not fully picture the bride and groom.  Though we only see the lower half of the couple, their shadows cast on the ground allow us to see what they are doing with the top half of their bodies.  It's a very playful image.

Photo courtesy of Esther Gibbons

Photographers tend to pay a lot of attention to light.  In fact, light is often thought to be one of the most important aspects of photography.  Along with light, come shadows.  Although shadows may be simply regarded as a lack of light, they can help imagine and create beautiful images for wedding photos.

Photo courtesy of Chris Keep