Ironically, despite the fact that I am a wedding photographer based in Toronto, one of my most recognizable pictures was captured in Mexico at a wedding on the Mayan Riviera. Even more interesting, a few of my most important wedding photography words were granted to pictures taken at another Barcelo Maya Palas Deluxe wedding. There has to be something about this resort that triggers my creative juices.
I remember the circumstances under which I created this photograph as if it was yesterday. During the wedding reception, as usually, I surrounded the perimeter searching for a perfect backdrop. Fortunately, I quickly found the perfect spot at this beach wedding flawlessly decorated and lit with intense blue up lighting.
Immediately I set up the lights and took a few test shots to make sure everything was working from a technical and composition standpoint. When I was happy with the result I asked the the bride and groom to join me for a quick photo shoot. It is one of my capital rules as a Toronto wedding photographer not to steal the bride and groom during the dinner for more than five minutes.
As such, I brought the bride and groom onto the set and gave them instructions on how to pose. I find it crucial for my clients to know what I have in mind so that they are part of the creating process as opposed to just subjects. Once I explained them my vision, the bride and groom were ecstatic. I took this particular image on the white beach next to the Coco Bar. In the middle of the frame, the bride and groom are holding each other and their foreheads are touching. Around them, a sparklers spiral stars from their feet and ends right above the brides had. Finding sparklers in Mexico was another challenge I will probably address in a separate article. For now let's focus on this picture. In the background, we can see the guests stables flooded in blue lights and a palm tree wrapped in blue Christmas lights. The background looks like a scene from a fairytale and it is easy to see why my clients asked me repeatedly to re-create this wedding picture back home in Toronto.
This environmental portrait of the bride and groom is symmetrical. By placing the newlywed couple in the centre of the frame I decided to break the rules. Usually, I position my subjects according to the rule of thirds or the Golden spiral rule but this time I chose a central composition. To me, this denotes stability, so important in a marriage.
The colour palette features orange and blue tones, one of the most appealing colour schemes to the human eye.
In post production, one of the biggest challenges I had was to set the proper white balance. Despite the fact I used a tungsten white balance in camera, to me, the brides dress looked a bit blue no matter what I did. It was the reflection of the blueback lights onto the wedding gown that was contaminating the colour. As such, I had to alter the wedding dress colour in post production. Besides that, I applied some basic beauty retouching and a vignette to emphasize the couple.