As with most art forms, there are always good times to break rules. Whether it be lighting, composition, focus, movement, etc., it is sometimes a good idea to do something out of the ordinary to produce a photograph that is extraordinary. One of the tools in my bag is the silhouette and when the lighting allows for it, I do my best to use it. Silhouette photographs are strongly backlit with very little front lighting. The irony here is that this situation is typically considered problematic for photographers. Indeed, I long considered it the same until I had a personal breakthrough and began to use this “apparent” disadvantage to make an image that proved far more engaging and appealing than had I otherwise tried to shoehorn the scene into something that didn’t fit. What comes out of this approach is generally very artistic and interesting; not to mention that I absolutely LOVE turning a problem into its own solution
I don’t do it all the time as that would diminish the effect. But when given a strongly backlit environment that works in this manner, I find it to be icing on the cake of already enjoyable photography. Not to mention I love the “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” I get from my clients when I show them a wonderfully artsy silhouette shot when they weren’t expecting it.
With this in mind I think brides should pay as much attention as possible to how their event location will be lit if they are able. By bringing in colored wall lighting, you can change the entire look of a room. In some cases we will even use gel colored flashes to create this effect if desired. This will let the photographer work with the walls rather than fight them (nobody likes ugly walls) and the effect is fabulous:
Thanks for looking everybody.