One thing that should be clear from our portfolio is that we love colorful wedding photos! We find the world to be a bright beautiful place. And we want our images to reflect that. Of course, not every situation and setting is right for bold hues. We’ll get into when black-and-white pictures are a better fit below. And of course, the inverse is just as true. Sometimes a particular scene – or even an entire wedding! – just screams for full-color photography that jumps out at you. Night portraits, for example, look so gorgeous when we bring the colors out of the darkness. But don’t just take our word for it! This particular image shows it better than we could ever say it. This vivid evening wedding photo we took in Richmond Virginia dazzles the eye in ways a less colorful picture never could.
As much as we love bringing colors into our wedding photos, there are definitely times when a black-and-white image is better for telling your love story. Getting into all the different schools of thought on this issue that run through the wedding photography community would require us to write a book. And that’s not helpful to you! So let’s boil this down to one situation in which taking the colors out of an image is always a great idea. And that’s when the main point of the picture is to communicate emotional content.
In our opinion, every one of your wedding photos needs to tell some part of your love story. Naturally, each can do so in a different way. Some pictures really focus on the emotions that you, your family, your friends or your guests are feeling. And rendering those in black and white ups the punch someone experiences when looking at them. Why? Because stripping the colors removes a lot of potentially distracting elements from the frame. You just naturally focus on the faces and the emotions they’re conveying.
As we mentioned above, there are times when including as much color as possible is central to telling your love story. That was the case with this vivid evening wedding photo. The couple chose an absolutely magical venue for their wedding – the Carpenter Theater in the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond Virginia. It was unique and quirky and photogenic, and also a perfect fit for their offbeat, eclectic and highly personalized celebration. A celebration that was always in full color, from the blue of the bride’s hair to the purple of the groomspeople’s dress shirts to the red of the curtains on the stage.
Because all this personalization and color were such a big part of the event, we needed to make sure the photos we took showed that. So we opted for very few black-and-white images and leaned heavily into pictures with bright, bold colors. Like this one, which we took outside and underneath the Dominion Energy Center’s marquee. Which of course celebrated the couple’s wedding day!
Just like a black-and-white shot focuses your attention on certain elements, a colorful night wedding portrait simplifies an image and brings your eye right where it belongs. Because significant portions of the frame are black, the parts with colors stand out that much more. Where do you look when you first see this portrait? Because the edges are dark, your eye goes straight to the area of highest contrast – the marquee. That jumps out at you and grabs your attention. Which was exactly our intention and why vivid night wedding portraits are so effective!
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