I like my photographs to look 'natural' and be unfussy and sharp.
By 'natural' I am refering to the colours, tones and contrasts contained within the final image. I want the values of each to be correct. If a wedding dress is white then I still want to see the details of lace and bows etc. rather than an undistinguishable blob of pure white in the photograph.
Many photographers capture a perfectly good image in the camera then proceed to desaturate the colours, increase the exposure, add film grain or otherwise carry out 'artistic' editing.
In much the same way that we can date a sepia photograph we will be able to look back in 10 and 20 years time and make a fairly accurate guess as to when some of todays wedding photographs and portraits were taken. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are stuffed with photographs all using the exact same editing techniques and presets.
I would rather the photos be natural and any dating of the period be done by studying the hairstyles, clothing etc. that are in fashion at the time.
Converting to Black & White........ why would you?
In some instances the conversion can help hide clutter - In a messy dressing room scene for instance where the bride is getting ready.
Some photographers seem to shoot in nothing but monochrome judging by my Instagram feed and even then the photos are 50 Shades of Grey instead of Black and White. If the Bride and Groom have taken time out of their evening entertainment in order to capture a sunset photograph then why would we want to lose all those fabulous colours?
The beautiful golden mirror below, which belongs to The Whitehall Hotel in Darwen, has been edited to add a supposed 'gritty' effect, giving the illusion of being captured using a film camera. Well, to me it looks like the colours have been washed out, the golden sheen has been edited to the point of being dull and the wooden bannister looks in need of a fresh coat of varnish. The chandelier now has a dimmed light to it rather tthan the bright tone in the original photo. That's not even mentioning the skin tones which make the bride look distinctly off colour and ill.
Want to make the wedding photograph appear light and airy? This gorgeous outdoor setting is just a small part of the extensive grounds belonging to The Best Western Mytton Fold at Whalley in Lancashire.
Go ahead and boost the exposure so that all detail in the bride's dress is lost along with that of the bridesmaids. Then desaturate selected colours and the beautiful blues of the sky are washed away. Follow up with more editing to dilute the contrast and the skin tones are 'flat'.
Taking desaturation of colours to the limit - you may as well stamp 'circa 2017' on the photograph.
Those gorgeous greens of the cypress trees are now a dirty grey. The vibrant colours of the bride's posy have simply vanished with one click of the mouse.
And did you ever see skin that colour on a nice sunny day. This photo was taken in the Sunshine State of Florida but you would never guess from the edited version
Hopefully you get an idea of my photography 'style' from the above observations and it is one which you like.
I take huge pleasure in capturing the story your special day and feel the only way to present it is by using natural, clean photographs with correct colour, tone and contrast.
This will leave you with timeless photographs of your day which can be treasured and looked at in years to come.
If, after reading the above article, you feel we could work together then please do get in touch
Let's take a look at the Official Photographs of the Royal Wedding.... Prince Harry and Meghan.
Totally natural colour, tone and contrast. Not a hint of desaturating of the colour or lowering of contrast. Details can be seen in the white of the dress and the dark clothing of the men - there are no intentionally 'blown highlights'. Classic wedding photography which is timeless.
photo credit: Alexi Lubomirski