5 Tips for Stunning Urban Photography


Before the wedding day, the bride and groom spend months picking out the perfect location for their ceremony, reception, and couple portraits. In some situations, they decide to take their portraits in an outdoor setting. Whether it is in the middle of a busy East Coast city street, a scenic park in Southern California, or outside of a historical landmark in a southern town, there are many chances for you to capture stunning wedding images for your couple. Since an outdoor setting can be unpredictable, and there are many ways you can shoot your couple, we’ve put together five simple tips for shooting stunning urban photography.

1. Include Different Architectural Styles and Locations

One of the benefits of shooting in an outdoor location is you can incorporate gorgeous scenery, landmarks, and skylines. Take advantage of the various materials and colors of the structures when shooting your couple.

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Image Compliments of Bōm Photography

If you are shooting the bride and groom near a famous or historical place, such as Central Park in New York City, be sure to include the details of the location. In every major city, there are impressive skylines your couple can pose in front of to create a dramatic image. Additionally, many outdoor shoots may have beautiful parks with fountains you can feature in the background. When you incorporate memorable landscapes into your shoot, and pose your couples with them, you create interesting photos that will enhance the story of the wedding day.


Learn Posing From the Pros

Related: We’ve pulled 26 key tips from Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Lighting – use them to advance your lighting knowledge!

2. Find the Right Light

When you are shooting outdoors, especially in the city, finding the right light can be unpredictable. There are times you may have to handle many lighting challenges at once. Not only do you need to work with the natural light coming from the sun, but there also may be street lights, car headlights, and additional unpredictable sources. This does not mean you have to move your location; rather, you just need to know how to shoot through any situation. If you learn how to shoot in all types of lighting, city lights can actually help your images (especially if the shoot is at night). Try placing the bride and groom in front of a simple background, and bounce the light from a surrounding building. This can help avoid harsh lines and shadows on the bride and groom, and will ensure your images stay consistent.

3. Shoot Wide

Since your couple may be surrounded by skyscraper buildings or unique structures, take advantage of this! Place your them in front of the tall structure, and be sure to document the way the lights reflect off the building and on to your couple. If you are shooting in a park, and it is a bright and sunny day, let your couple have fun together; this will help create a light mood for the images. If you are near an impressive structure, such as the Oheka Castle in Long Island, or a gorgeous southern-style mansion, place the bride and groom to an end of the structure and position yourself further away. Shooting wide allows you to show the gorgeous background that your couple chose to pose in front of, and gives a different perspective to the images.

Related: Learn how to quickly create a Signature Style for your images with Lightroom Presets

4. Shoot in the Evening

When you shoot in the city, you have the benefit of using the surrounding lights to create great photos. Shooting at night allows you to capture the ambience of the city, which will translate through the images. If it is possible to access, have your couple stand on a rooftop of a taller building in the city. Take a few shots of them with their backs facing the skyline, and then have them face the camera to capture a few more. Although you can shoot in the same locations during the day, shooting in the evening gives you a chance to take great photos and turn them into gorgeous images. Much of this is because it is likely that there are additional sources of light available that were not during the day time. The bright city lights shine at night, allowing you to utilize them and create stunning photos. Images you shot on a bridge during the day look completely different when that bridge is illuminated in the evening.

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Image Compliments of Bōm Photography

5. Look for Different Perspectives

Unlike shooting an indoor wedding, the city gives you the opportunity to take photos from any angle or perspective. Mix up your images and pose the bride and groom in diverse locations. Try placing the couple under a nearby bridge; they should be all the way to one side so it creates a dramatic effect for the image. Once you take those images, have them stand on top of the bridge, while you are below them. When you finish shooting on the bridge, try posing your couple on the street as you take a few close-ups. This will allow you to capture candid moments, and positioning yourself further away from them will include the rest of the city in the background. Include as many versatile locations as possible to create stunning images your clients will love.

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Image Compliments of Bōm Photography

Tip: Outsource your images to a wedding photography post processing company to ensure they stay consistent and enhance the story of the day.

Working with the bride and groom in the city can be an exciting opportunity for you to be creative with your images. Understanding how to pose your couple in any scenario can be a crucial part of the overall story of the images. To learn more about posing during the wedding day, download our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide!


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