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Silhouettes for Wedding and Portrait Photography

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.


Your friendly Austin wedding photographer – Eric Kotara

by Eric

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March 9, 2010 - 10:38 am Austin Wedding Blog - Love it! The hot pink background on that last pic is oh so chic!

March 9, 2010 - 10:44 am Austin Wedding Photographer - Thanks!!!! I can't begin to describe how happy I was when I first walked into their venue. The accent wall light added sooooo much to the equation and the clients were very pleased that we made a point of using that light creatively. It's amazing what a bit of strong color can do to a room :)

March 9, 2010 - 1:32 pm Francis Joseph - Very well said...and with lovely images to back it up.

March 9, 2010 - 6:10 pm Austin Wedding Photographer - Thanks a bunch Francis; that means a lot coming from you!!! -Eric-

March 9, 2010 - 7:19 pm Stefano Choi - Great post Eric and I love your perspective on turning problems into their own solutions. This post made me think about all these situations we encounter and have to deal with. Thanks for sharing.

March 10, 2010 - 11:08 am Lesley Pattinson - What fantastic images; I found this post from your tweet and really glad I took a look. Love the post and the images work so well, thanks for sharing!

March 10, 2010 - 12:31 pm ruslan - Indah di pandang mata!!!good good..

March 10, 2010 - 1:03 pm Austin Wedding Photographer - Stefano, thanks for stopping by and glad you like it! Let's do coffee next time you decide to head south again :) Lesley, thanks for looking and commenting. Ruslan, terima kasih!!! (I hope google translate got that right) -eric-

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