This is one of my favourite portraits I ever took on a special day. Before heading to the wedding ceremony at Chateau Le Parc, as usual, I took a series of grooms portraits. This is outstanding!
Why is this image such a breathtaking portrait of the groom?
First, the direction of light and the quality are impeccable. I asked the groom to look out the window so that the soft beautiful lights chiselled his powerful face. In postproduction, I eliminated a lot of distractions in the background and spent about one hour to create a natural looking dark backdrop. The figure to ground ratio makes the groom the brightest part of the frame. He's also the largest in the only element in focus. All the above make the groom the clear subject of my image.
Second, I shot from a lower angle to give the groom power. Now, as a side note, I have to confess I have rarely seen a more fit individual. However, I'm a tall wedding photographer and that sometimes could be a disadvantage as I often shoot down on my subjects. Still, this time, I shot from the chest level up to create what's called in photography as the hero shot. This is a technique borrowed from cinematography whereby, in order to increase the subject's power and dominance, the artist lowers his stance and shoots upwards. Now, this is time to know to that the artist has to strike a balance between creating a power pose and shooting from such a low angle that is unflattering. For example, this type of photograph should not be taken if the subject is slightly overweight. Shooting from a lower angle makes the abdomen become the closest to the camera, which creates distortion in makes the belly the bigger than it actually is.
Next, I tilted the camera clockwise to create a more dynamic image using a technique called the Dutch tilt. Also, I left plenty of negative space in front of the groom to create this illusion that he's looking into the future.
Even more important, the position of the subject relative to the light source creates a pattern called Rembrandt lighting, namely an inverted triangle on the subject's cheek. Few people know that Rembrandt created his work in a basement so that the light was coming from a 45° angle through a window. The same type of light pattern was used by Leonardo Da Vinci. The beauty of this lighting pattern is that it creates a sparkle or catch light in the subject eyes, it shapes the human face in a flattering manner and it looks very natural.
Finally, I cropped the image in a very creative way that makes the groom even more imposing.
To create this shot, I used a Canon 85 mm F1.2 mounted on a 5D Mark III camera. As a side note, after this special event, I started using more and more my Fuji XT2 equipment. The sharpness of the lenses, the low weight, high image quality and low price point make the Fuji cameras a no-brainer in wedding photography.
On the big day, instead of carrying a monster camera, I would rather be fast, fresh and able to capture special moments of love and happiness displayed by the couple and their guests.
In his works in his works
Location: 1745 Langstaff Rd, Concord, ON L4K 2H2.