Would it be ridiculous for us to say that we love looking at wedding images? That we look to the best wedding photographers out there when we’re in need of some image inspiration? We don’t think so . . .
So, whether you’re in the thick of the final processing of some of your last events of 2016, whether you’re about to make an epic end to 2016 with a jam packed November and December because, like it is by us here in Arizona, the weather is grand and weddings are abundant, or whether you just want to look at some gorgeous images, read on friends! We asked SLR Lounge’s best wedding photographers in the U.S. & Canada and the World for their favorite images of 2016 (so far), and here we go!
Alex Beckett (Alex Beckett Photography)
14mm, ISO 2500, f/2.8, 1/3 sec.
Alex Beckett of Alex Beckett Photography is consistently ranked as one of the best wedding photographers in the United Kingdom, and he consistently delivers amazing images like this one which he managed on a post-wedding shoot in Iceland. He photographed the wedding and then followed the couple on a “mini-moon” to Iceland a few days later.
This was the “last shot” and was taken behind Seljalandsfoss, one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. Alex loves this image because not only does it have a gorgeous couple but also a waterfall and the northern lights! After clambering along a soaking wet path and getting his gear all soaked, he took advantage of the water that was all over his lens, and the fantastic location.
Andrea Bagnasco (Andrea Bagnasco Fotografie)
28mm, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/160 sec.
While it’s always tough for Andrea Bagnasco of Andrea Bagnasco Fotografie to pick a favorite image as a self-professed documentary-style wedding photographer, he tends to favor images that tell a great story. This image represents, for Andrea, all the elements that he looks for in an image:
It is a great moment, very poetic. The bride was about to enter the church with her father, and this little girl was sitting in awe, totally captured by the magic. I can still imagine what was going through her head. The composition is simple and direct, and the lines of the pews lead the eye from the girl in the foreground to the bride.
Crystal Stokes (Crystal Stokes Photography)
85mm, ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/1600 sec.
Crystal Stokes rocks! Her wedding photography captures the best moments of a wedding day. Do you follow her on Instagram? The above image is definitely one that she loves from this year, a recent “Fearless Photos of the Day” winner. Per Crystal,
This was in no way a preconceived idea. If anything, it was a happy accident. There just happened to be this really hard mid-day sun shining beautifully on my bride’s face, and my groom had his back to the sun, leaving his face in full shadow. I used her ‘lit’ face as a backdrop for his silhouette. I love this because it is unusual and something I hadn’t tried before! It has a bit of a yin and yang feel to it!
The second image is a legit “rain shot.” For Crystal this was an authentic moment:
After spending ten minutes backlighting rain, front lighting my couple, and using strobes in every way possible, we finally finished our bride and groom portraits. When I finally put down the light and let the natural light do its own thing, that is when the magic happened. They were just walking away since we were finished and something really beautiful & natural took place.
85mm, ISO 100, f/1.6, 1/160 sec.
Dallas and Sabrina Kolotylo (Dallas Kolotylo Photography)
35mm, ISO 400, f/1.4, 1/2000 sec. (Natural Light)
Dallas and Sabrina Kolotylo of Dallas Kolotylo Photography have been featured everywhere from Junebug to Rangefinder. This image from an engagement session in the Pacific Northwest, is the result of a day of crazy weather:
We love the connection these two have in this crazy storm. This day was the worst, weather-wise: stormy, intense winds, and a torrential downpour. Our couple was up for anything, however. We were stoked and climbed up on an ‘island’ jetting out into the ocean. The dark skies and wind created an incredible atmosphere complimenting this couple’s killer style.
Check out the Kolotylo’s blog from this particular engagement session, which is ripe with image inspiration!
15mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec.
Dee & Kris of Dee & Kris Photography know weddings. Just ask Brandsmash, Expertise, or, most importantly, their adoring brides and grooms. They snagged this beautiful image at the end of an engagement session in Carmel, California. For their favorite image of 2016, compliments of their trusty Canon EOS 5D Mark III, they used two speed lights: one was behind the couple (full power), and one was camera left (1/8 power, with a MagMod MagSphere).
JD Land (Two15 Photography)
35mm, ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/8000 sec. (Natural Light)
JD Land of Two15 Photography, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently won a “Fearless Award” (Collection 31) and is a huge fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson. You can tell he more than gets Cartier-Bresson’s photography because JD absolutely nails the concept of “decisive moments.” JD captured one such moment with his favorite image of 2016. At the exact moment he was framing up the bridal party, “the groom picked up his bride and spun her towards me.” He fired off a series of shots, and this was his favorite, which he got using his Nikon D5.
And you should really do yourself a favor and follow him on Instagram; JD’s feed is loaded with inspirational image after inspirational image. (Can we insert a “smiley emoticon” here?)
Ken Pak (Ken Pak Photography)
35mm, ISO 640, f/2.8, 1/125 sec.
Ken Pak of Ken Pak Photography (Instagram: @kenpakphotography) has one impressive résumé: multiple Fearless Awards and many ISPWP and WPPI awards. He captured this image using 3 Canon Speedlite 600EX-RTs. Two were gelled and placed on light stands behind the couple, and the other was above Ken’s head, mounted on a light stand with a softbox. When we asked Ken about the image, he said,
My clients wanted to celebrate the wedding at the end of the night by spraying all the leftover beer because they loved the creative, unique, dynamic, and party-crazy nature at the end of their wedding day. They are also big collegiate sports fans so I asked them to celebrate like their college team just won a national championship, which motivated them like crazy.
Paul Vincent (Paul Vincent Photography)
24mm, ISO LO 1, f2.2, 1/6,400 sec.
Based in the Philippines and photographing weddings worldwide, Paul Vincent of Paul Vincent Photography (Instagram: @paulvincentphotography) is always looking for the best angle, light, and composition. Two of his favorite images of 2016 definitely reflect this style. His first image (above) was shot on a bridge that he tested out first and that he described to us as “quite high”:
The bridge was quite high and high enough that there were no obstructions at the back. With those clouds as a backdrop, it gives the overall illusion of crossing above the clouds.
Paul captured his second favorite image with his D750 on an engagement shoot. It was getting dark and was starting to rain, but Paul “motivated his couple to push a little further so that he could still pull some emotions out of them and capture that moment where everything blends together”:
50mm, ISO 1000, f/1.8, 1/200 sec. (OCF: behind the couple, set to 85mm at 1/16)
Pavel Kritchko Pavel Kritchko Photography
24mm, ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/4000 sec.
Originally from Belarus, Pavel now travels all over Europe photographing weddings and has 3 Fearless Awards to his credit; he is also one of Wedding Photography Select’s Inspirational Wedding Photographers and an ISPWP photographer. One of his favorite images of 2016 is a simple, natural light image. Pavel “really likes the depth of field on this image, which also shows the beauty of the veil’s texture, a lovely silhouette of the couple, and a nice vintage car.” We also love Pavel’s Instagram feed and recommend checking it out!
Todd Laffler (Laffler Photography)
32mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/800 sec. (Natural Light at Dusk)
Todd Laffler of Laffler Photography has been racking up all kinds of awards and accolades for his fantastic wedding photography for years and years. And if you didn’t already know, he’s the “Top Fearless Photographer of All Time.” Todd’s favorite image of 2016? A silhouette of sword fighting newlyweds! Here’s why he loves it so much:
The inspiration for making this image came mostly from the couple. When it came time for them to cut their cake, the groom used a sword and the bride brandished a dagger. When I do silhouettes, I always strive to create something more than just two static figures staring at one another. In this case, coming fresh off the cake cutting, it hit me . . . Use the swords! Not only did this give them an activity to engage in and add a lot more visual interest to the silhouette because of the shapes of their weapons, but it also injects some of their own personality into the photo as well.
Which photographers inspire you? We’d love for you to comment below with a link! Do you have a personal, favorite image of 2016 (so far) that you shot? Post it below! We welcome all comments and images that are positively framed and add to the betterment of our community! And, as always, feel free to continue the conversation over at Facebook on our every-growing SLR Lounge Photography Community page.
Cover Image by Two15 Photography and images by Alex Beckett photography, Andrea Bagnasco Fotografie, Crystal Stokes Photography, Dallas Kolotylo Photography, Dee & Kris Photography, Two15 Photography, Ken Pak Photography, Paul Vincent Photography, Pavel Kritchko, and Laffler Photography, respectively, are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify, or re-post this article or its images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the respective photographers. (Share the heck out of it on social media though!)