Four Dynamic Wedding Photographers: Image Galleries And Styles To Admire
Maybe it was the 17th Earl of Oxford (www.shakespeare-oxford.com) who really wrote the above line but it’s a nice thought nevertheless. The quote’s actual authorship was the concept proposed in the film Anonymous as well. (Look for a review of the film on my movie blog www.ihatepopcorn.com.) What’s for sure is that the creative endeavors of the four wedding photographers featured this month display work that transcends the genre, producing images of beauty, sensitivity, and love. And isn’t that what weddings are all about?
Deidre Lynn’s website, as the song goes, is the very model of what a wedding photographer’s site should be. The site showcases her work but more importantly is a marketing tool that integrates with a blog that itself is a masterpiece of design. All in all it highlights her vendors (many of whom return the favor) as well as social networking via all of the usual suspects, including Pinterest (http://pinterest.com). But it’s Lynn’s sweeping and unabashedly romantic photography that’s the glue that holds it all together, making the site more than the sum of its parts. Images are collected in seven galleries and like everything else have been designed within a millimeter of perfection.
The photographs in Engaged are fresh, contemporary, and go beyond the kind of cookie-cutter portraiture often passing for engagement portraits, producing a cinematic look that never fails to amaze. In Beauty, Lynn takes the same approach to bridal portraits but rather than just adapting her engagement portrait style, ramps it up to capture the mood of the wedding day in a filmic style that is often breathtaking. Together I and Together II contain the kinds of portraits every bride (and her mom) dream about and when we get to the reception she puts her own inimitable spin on traditional images, including group shots of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, while being sure to cover all the classic shots, often spun in ways that are uniquely her own. An interesting point and instructive for all photographers is Deidre Lynn’s Information page that, rather than just blowing her own horn, features glowing comments from clients about her skills and talents.
Peter Thurin is a Midwestern wedding photographer serving Illinois and Indiana whose elegant website not only looks great but is also functional and easy to navigate. His Portfolio contains six galleries, including one called Published Works that’s a collection of tear sheets while the others are Black & White, Color, Engagement, Details, and Album. The Album gallery shows his distinctive photographic approach that isn’t afraid to use really wide-angle images to create a dramatic look. Thurin’s style is one that combines an eye for the quiet moments along with high style that’s blended softly together with a dash of photojournalism to create a wonderful collection of memories. Just peek at those sample albums, where he takes clichéd dancing pictures—often nothing more than snapshots—and turns them on their heads to create remarkable mementos for the wedding couple, and you’ll see what I mean.
The images in the Black & White gallery, which includes a few color photos (for contrast), rather than seeming old-fashioned, appear more contemporary because of Thurin’s obvious rapport with his subjects, allowing him to create images that seem as spontaneous as they are artistic. The Color gallery includes images that instead of hitting you over the head with color feature a subtlety and quiet elegance that’s refreshing in both the honestly and realism they portray. Similarly, there is a directness and simplicity in his engagement portraits that revels in the classic style of portraying two people in love.
Melissa Jill is a young, Phoenix-based wedding photographer whose site exudes professionalism with a capital “P.” Her images are collected in three wedding-specific galleries and three general ones—Engagement Photos, Portraits, and Blog Favorites. They demonstrate a naturalness that many photographers try to achieve but few are successful at producing. Her engagement images are fun and full of joie de vivre, showing optimistic couples looking forward to a happy life together. Viewing any of the three weddings in her portfolio reveals a subtle blend of photojournalistic images combined with large doses of fashion, showing a photographer who’s sure of herself even when posing really large (25 people!) wedding groups.
Moving from the desert to Hawaii for David and Katie’s wedding, Jill combines a touch of monochrome photojournalism with a dab of the sweeping Wuthering Heights romantic style originally made popular by the late Rocky Gunn. Jill kicks the whole About concept up a notch with a video that not only shows her at work (along with examples of the images she’s making) but also includes client interviews, making me wonder why other photographers don’t do the same thing. Before you leave, don’t miss a blog that features recent images in that inimitable Melissa Jill style. It’s the perfect capper to a site showcasing dynamic images made by a hardworking photographer.
David Blair’s website is notable both in the high quality of its design and remarkable photography as well as how functional it is for users to find the wedding products and services that he offers. While I was impressed with his lineup of different types and styles of albums, it’s the photographs inside the albums that really count. His images are collected in a Portfolio that contains three collections, including Weddings, Engagements, and Albums and Books, which provides a detailed look at those beautifully crafted albums. Inside each collection there are subcollections. Engagements, for example, showcases sessions for specific couples as well as a “greatest hits” collection Blair calls Favorites, all highlighting his lushly romantic style. Favorites shows a variety of couples in many and often-dramatic settings, but Blair is the kind of photographer who can find drama in a cornfield.
Weddings contains full weddings as well as three subcollections, such as Comfortable Portraits, where his talents soar with beautiful images of loving—there’s lots of kissing going on—people in simple yet always eye-catching compositions (see “Bride with a Tractor”!) that define a style that goes beyond passionate. I guess to make these kinds of images you have to be a bit of an incurable romantic yourself, and David Blair’s empathetic images show an invisible touch in capturing the magical moments of a bride’s wedding day.