Certain techniques in photography stand the test of time, and capturing silhouettes is undoubtedly one of them. The resulting dance between light and shadow in wedding images is nothing short of a creative marvel. This week, our quest for exceptional imagery brings us to one of the best wedding photographers who master the art of silhouettes. We're thrilled to feature the expert insights of Baltimore's own Bradley Zisow, the talented force behind Bradley Images.
An award-winning wedding photographer, Bradley has a keen eye for transforming light and shadow into breathtaking works of art. In this blog, he takes us behind-the-scenes of his captivating silhouette wedding photos, offering a glimpse into his process and sharing his expert tips and photography ideas. So sit back, relax, and let Bradley Images take you on a journey into captivating silhouette wedding photography!
Silhouette Photography By Bradley Images
1. Behind-The-Scene At The Belvedere
The Belvedere is a historic hotel and venue in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. This wedding silhouette image was taken at night from the street below. The silhouette worked best here as it allowed us to expose both the backlight from the chandelier and the light from the hotel's sign out front.
The texture of the building was nice to show and not be too dark by making the shutter speed too quick.
Creating shape is the most essential component when capturing silhouette shots like with this wedding couple. We introduce a fun and whimsical feeling for the photo by asking the bride to lift her leg. The posing has functionality, creating more shape that contrasts the couple's silhouette from the background. This creates a more dynamic image by adding more lines and curvature to the formation of their silhouette.
Suggested Read: 4 Breathtaking Wedding Silhouette Images You Need To See
2. Photography Scenes At The National Museum Of Women In The Arts
This wedding photo was taken at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in our nation’s capital. The venue is covered in beautiful marble, with grand chandeliers acting as the room's centerpieces. We loved the intricate design of the chandeliers and wanted to capture those details while also bringing focus to the couple.
A Flashpoint 360 Ws flash was placed directly behind the couple, firing at ½ power to create a silhouette. We chose 5.6 aperture, so the middle of the chandelier and the railing were in focus to show the details of the building.
Exposing to the light of the chandeliers was the first step.
The second step was adjusting the power of the speedlight behind the couple to cast just enough light to create this soft silhouette around the couple's head and not overpower the bride's veil.
Once again, posing was of the utmost importance when creating these silhouettes. The bride and groom were instructed to lean forward and kiss each other, leaving that space gap between their torsos. Using empty space to create lines and separation from the subject and the background leads to a more three-dimensional image.
Suggested Read: How To Shoot Silhouettes: A Guide For Wedding Photographers
3. Behind-The-Scene Of A Photograph At Celebrations At The Bay
This image was taken outside Celebrations at the Bay venue in Pasadena, Maryland. We wanted to capture the dark blue sky at dusk. The process for this photo is similar to the other silhouette shots, yet the initial exposure was taken to showcase the sky instead of a darker silhouette.
A single speedlight was used at full power and was placed behind the couple, which gave them an even glow around their bodies. The posing for this photo was more intimate and did not use empty space between the subjects. They were exposed relatively well enough for us to see the contrast between the dark suit and white dress.
It is vital to ensure the light doesn't poke through the stomach or shoulders on this shot from an elevated angle.
Suggested Read: Flash Photography Tips: A Brief Intro To Artificial Lighting
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Thank you so much to Bradley Zisow for sharing your insight on the behind-the-scenes for each of these stunning silhouette images. We hope your reading has given you a few wedding photography ideas to stage your next silhouette shot. If you’d like to check out more of Bradley’s work, check out Bradley Imaging.
Silhouettes possess a unique charm that can be elusive, especially if you're navigating the early stages of your photography journey and grappling with the nuances of posing. But take heart, for just like any artistic endeavor, mastering the art of silhouette wedding photography is rewarding and improves with practice. Bradley Zisow's journey and insights showcase that every shot, every experiment, and every moment of practice paves the way for your growth and success.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we help you grow your wedding photography business by taking the heavy load off your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.