As a photo editing service for wedding photographers, we see tons of stunning images that photographers submit to us every day. It is always wonderful to see the different types of images photographers take and how creative the shots are, especially when it comes to the lighting and posing! From natural lighting to off-camera flash, the possibilities are endless as to how you can create great photos.

How to Shoot Silhouettes

We have spent some sharing pro photographer tips with you on how to create sun-drenched images with natural light, dramatic images with off-camera flash, and several posing techniques – now we want to dive into tips and tricks for taking silhouettes! Silhouettes make for dynamic and compelling images that can help you tell a beautiful story about the wedding day. Here are some pro photographer tips on how to shoot silhouettes with your couples.

Eliminate distractions

As you are shooting, it is important to ensure that there are minimal distracting elements in the image so they do not blend into your couple. With silhouettes, you are exposing for the background, so everything in the foreground is going to be dark and in shadow. When setting up your image, ensure that every object within the frame is intentional, because it can end up competing with your main subject. If you do want to include other parts of the landscape or scenery in the image, frame your couple in a way that draws the attention to them so they clearly stand out against the other items that are silhouetted in the scene.

A silhouette wedding photography image with a couple leaning their foreheads together with trees and the background.

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Salt and Pine Photography

Related: Do you know how to shoot weddings when surrounded by guests’ cell phones?

Find the right light

Strong silhouette images are all about finding the right type of lighting situation. You want to focus on exposing for the brightest part of the background since this will allow your couple to become silhouetted. The backlight should be bright enough that it creates a strong contrast between the background and your couple. A great time to achieve a desirable silhouette is during sunset. By exposing for the sun, you will bring out all of the colors of the sky, creating a vibrant background for your couple to pose in front of!

A cloudy sky background for the silhouette wedding image of the couple standing face-to-face holding the bouquet, with the bride's veil flowing in the wind.

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, © Jorge Santiago

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

If you are in a location where there is no distinction between the light on your subjects in relation to the background, you can always place a flash behind the subject to create a rim light around them. This will help achieve a silhouetted look even when the natural lighting conditions are not ideal.

Create separation

Another important element to creating stunning silhouettes is to distinguish some separation between the bride and groom. This does not mean they can’t be close to one another (it is their wedding day, after all!), but you do want to make sure you can clearly see their outlines and understand their pose. Images that work well when light is casted on the bride and groom do not necessarily work as well as silhouettes, so choose your poses carefully. For example, if the couple is hugging really closely together, it can be difficult to know what they are doing. Stick to simple poses that create strong silhouettes, such as having your couple hold hands and lean in for a kiss. While they are leaning in to kiss one another, capture that moment!

The sun is setting low in the image of the wedding couple holding hands, walking together, as their reflection shows in the water below them.

Image by David West Photography

Adding wedding photography silhouettes to your shooting schedule is a great way to show off your creativity and passion for photography. To make sure that you implement the best poses to ensure that your couple looks their best, click the banner below to download our Posing Guide for Wedding Photographers!

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