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Vintage Wedding Photography: How To Do It Right

Vintage is a word that can mean so many different things to different people, mainly depending on the year they were born. The term, which is associated with everything retro and the eras that have passed, refers to a sense of nostalgia. And some wedding photographers have mastered the art of bringing that into weddings. When it comes to vintage wedding photography, wedding photographers continue to give their own spin to the concept – it could be the recreation of an iconic vintage photograph with their couple or editing wedding photos in a way that makes them look like they are from another time. This style of photography is increasingly in demand by couples who want to give their modern-day wedding an old-school feel and even those whose weddings are an ode to another era. If you love the idea of taking vintage-inspired wedding photos or want to improve on that style, here are some tips for how to make something new look old in a good way.

Top Tips for Creating Vintage Wedding Photos

Just like other wedding photography styles, you have to be cautious when you set out to create vintage wedding photos. Below are some tips that can help you improve and ace vintage wedding photography.

1. Add Vintage Effect During Post-Production

Close up shot of a wedding ring placed on top of an artificial white color flower
Image Credit @brandiallysephoto

You can easily create a vintage effect in your wedding photos in Lightroom. If you are not well-versed in Lightroom, then the sepia or black and white tones can be added to wedding photos using any other photo editing software too. However, the trick is to create a balance. Try not to go overboard with the effect as you strive to get that perfect vintage-inspired wedding photo of your couple during post-production. To enhance the vintage effect, you could also add grain or vignette to your photographs.

2. Get Inspired by Brides and Other Photographers

As a wedding photographer, the learning never stops. Draw inspiration from what brides or other photographers do when they prepare for a vintage wedding. Focus on the small details the bride plans for – this could be anything from her dress (look for lace) to the glassware she picks. If it’s a wedding that’s based on an era – the 60s, 70s, 80s – then that’s a vintage wedding right there! So, if you do happen to have a bride who is all about going retro, she might just give you some photography tips herself. You could also get inspired by what other wedding photographers are doing. Check out their composition techniques, lighting, and even how they pose their couples.

3. Put Your Researcher Hat On

Infographic stating research on Pinterest and look for actual vintage photos to use as inspiration

If Pinterest and Instagram can be a bride’s holy grail for wedding planning, why can’t they be yours? You could dive deep into vintage wedding photography and look for actual vintage wedding photos from real weddings in the past. If you want to do something different than what other photographers are doing with this wedding photography style in current times, then your best bet may be to go all the way back and get inspired by original photos.

Alternatively, if you want to leave your couples immensely impressed by this wedding photography style, you could also go to an art gallery and get inspired by poses used back then. Check out any shows near you, and get ready to immerse yourself in the vintage wedding photography experience. From how the couples were posed back then to ideas for incorporating the bridal party in this photography style, you may be able to get a great deal of information from photo exhibitions.

4. Pay Attention To Colors

Infographic stating soft and muted brown tones give a vintage vibe to wedding photos

Colors play a significant role in how your wedding photos look. No matter what the wedding photography style, there’s always a specific color scheme that goes with it. For vintage wedding photography, you’d want to focus on soft, muted browns. These are more of a classic vintage. If you are going to experiment a little, you could even try going for blues and pinks, which also tend to communicate the same vibe. Instead of going with the darker tones, which are better suited for mood wedding photography, vintage style is all about the pastels.

5. Organize Styled Shoots

Infographic stating look for antique chairs and couches to create a vintage set

Organizing styled shoots is one of the best ways to get better when looking to work on a particular wedding photography style. You have the freedom to photograph however you want, and you can let your creativity take over. How can organizing styled shoots help you get better at vintage wedding photography? For starters, you can add props such as vintage cars in the background. The bridal gown could also be inspired by vintage fashion. Think long lace sleeves, intricate necklines with lace embroidery, satin skirts, and even dramatic lace veils. The bridal bouquet could also complement your theme. Since vintage wedding photos are all about soft pastels, fresh flowers in pastel colors would complement your theme.

If you are photographing outdoors, try to look for open-wide spaces or spots where natural elements enhance your images. If you are indoors, try to find vintage-looking dressers or chairs or other props such as old suitcases, record players, or typewriters that can be a part of your photographs. And there you have it. Just put your set together and start practicing!

Further Read: Black and White Wedding Photos: Why They Are Timeless

Every wedding photographer has his or her photography style. You could create your own, or you could work on perfecting one. If you have been getting requests about vintage wedding photography or have chosen this style to be your go-to, then with some patience and skills that you will develop over time with practice, taking vintage style wedding photos will get easier.

At ShootDotEdit, we strive to help you learn new skills to impress your couples. We also help to lessen your post-production workload by taking editing off your plate. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.


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