A collage of an infographic and two shadow centric images
Noted photographer Ted Grant had once said, “Always shoot from the shadow side.” While that might be a bit too over the top, we definitely agree that shadow has its own part to play in photography. Just as light brings a photo to life, similarly darkness could be equally compelling. The hint of mystery that shadow lends to a photograph can turn a simple composition into a captivating image. The outline of a shadow, its distance from the camera, its angle, size, and intensity all work in unison in giving you the best results for your shadow photography. Shadows can be used to add contrast, a sense of balance, or dimensionality to images. They can also be used as subtle details in images, as well as by casting shadows on your subjects, you can also change their appearance. Now, if you’re excited about shadow photography and need some inspiration to ace this particular style, this blog features some stunning images taken by ShootDotEdit customers that explore the beauty of this genre of photography.

The Beauty of Combining Shadows, Reflections, & Silhouettes in Images

Infographic stating use shadows to enhance your compositions

Shadows allow you to experiment with textures and patterns, evoking a certain feeling or emotion in the viewers. And, the contours formed because of a person or object blocking the light from reaching an area or falling on a surface have the power to transform the whole essence of an image. When creating images, one can often mistake reflections and silhouettes for shadows. Similar to shadows, silhouettes are also created by restricted light, and reflections are formed as projections of objects on surfaces. These could be conceptually similar but in photography, they are all treated as independent subjects. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t be used together. When combined, the three phenomenons can be very effective and lead to some of the most mesmerizing and stunning images. How? Check out the images created by professional photographers who are also our customers.

Related Read: Silhouette Wedding Photography Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

4 Amazing Examples Of Shadow Photography From SDE Customers

1. Sara France Photography

Shadows of a bride and groom and the bridal party against a yellow colored wall
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @sarafrance

Just look at this incredible wedding image taken by SDE customer Sara France of Sara France Photography. In this image, the shadows are the main subject and even though you see these dark figures formed on a brightly lit wall, it’s easy to guess that it’s an image of the bride and the groom. The bride’s headpiece establishes that in the photo. The rest of the people in this image (possibly the bridal party) seem to be either sitting or standing on the stairs, creating these gorgeous shadows. What a unique example of shadow photography!

2. Erin Morrison Photography

A groom's portrait with his face half in the light and half in shadow
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography

This fantastic black-and-white groom portrait has been created by our customer Erin Morrison of Erin Morrison Photography. He’s used light and shadow technique here, and the negative space in the composition directly leads the viewer’s eye to the main subject in the image – the groom. This is not an image of an actual shadow, but he creatively uses some shadows to clearly hide parts of the image while highlighting the others.

3. Robb McCormick Photography

A monochrome photo of a bride sitting on a sofa
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @robbmccormickphotography

If you were looking for some shadow photography inspiration that includes lines, patterns, reflection, and depth, here it is! This incredible bridal portrait photographed by SDE customer Robb McCormick of Robb McCormick Photography incorporates all these elements, creating an ethereal image. The bride seems to be looking out of the window (a possible source of natural light here), with a glass table placed in front of her. The linear shadows in the image have not only created a gorgeous pattern but also added depth to the image.

4. IQ photo

A bridal portrait through the window with the reflection of the groom's shadow
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @iqphoto

This beautiful image of the gorgeous bride lovingly looking at her groom through the window glass has been photographed by SDE customer Josef Kohn of IQ Photo. With the creative usage of shadowed reflection, the photographer has created this fun image which, while focussing on the bride, her dress, and bouquet, is also clear enough to showcase details of the scene outside. From the suited groom who also seems to be looking at his bride from the other side to the amazing blue sky with a hint of clouds, this image has it all.

Suggested Read: Wedding Photo Ideas: Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

Quick Tips To Nail Shadow Photography

  1. Some mystery and a sense of space can work wonders when including shadows in your photography.
  2. Dramatic or harsh sunlight can help you create dark shadows, definite shapes, and interesting patterns. So, you may try to use a bright sunny day or harsh artificial lighting for shadow photography.
  3. Look for patterns in your surroundings such as shadows of railings, pillars, window partitions, or window blinds. If you don’t find them, get creative and make some using leaves, tableware, or even kitchen items if they are within your reach.
  4. If you are planning to include shadows in your photography, using manual mode can be a good idea. This way you would have more control over exposure and be able to create your desired image. In case you choose the automatic mode in your camera, you might get lighter shadows in images.
  5. To expose your images properly, you can use your camera’s LCD screen or histogram. Or, just use exposure value (EV) compensation to make adjustments. If you think your shot is very bright, you can decrease exposure to get deeper shadows in your image.

Further Read: Understanding Exposure In Photography: A Complete Guide

Shadows can very well alter the tone and mood of your image, convey an emotion, or help you creatively highlight some parts in your composition. All these inspiring images shared above just prove the point that just like the presence of light, sometimes, the absence of it is also important in photography. The way light and shadows interact in your shot can help you bring your clients’ story alive or give an understanding of a scene and with that give you the opportunity to impress your clients and other viewers. If you liked the images we shared and are looking for more photography inspiration, we have lots in store for you. Just check out our blog section and find everything from tips, ideas, humor quotes to inspiring features and images. 

At ShootDotEdit, we love sharing photography-related tips, tricks, and ideas with you to help wedding photographers like you hone their craft and also build their businesses. Another way we love to aid your business growth is by providing professional photo editing and color correction services. We take care of all the grunt work while you get the time to focus on your professional success as well as personal accomplishments. To learn how we do it for you, you can take a look at our pricing plans.

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