With a Bit More Time on My Hands During the COVID-19 Quarantine, I Took a Trip to the Past to Revisit, and Re-Edit, My Very First Wedding
Rarely does a photographer ever have the time to take a deep dive back into their Lightroom catalogs to not only reminisce about their first wedding gigs, but also to give the edit a fresh new style. I started creating presets right away in my wedding photography career, testing the waters for how bold and vibrant I wanted the colors and tones of my images to be. How dark could I push those black tones? How deep the shadows? Should I mute or illuminate the highlights? And this was all before I moved from Manhattan up to the Hudson Valley, which definitely influenced my style and unique artistic eye. Location played a huge part in creating my "look".
Kelly and James got married on a perfectly overcast spring day in Connecticut in 2014, in a church so old it didn't have electricity. Their portrait session was perfect. Just outside the front doors of the church was a stone pathway leading into deep green hedge lined gardens (it was private property but we did what he had to do ;) They were a beautiful couple (high school sweethearts) and they were surrounded by a boisterous bunch of family and friends who loved to party and celebrated their marriage with vigor on the dance floor. I applied my signature preset edit on images from 6 years ago, my personal favorites from their gallery, and I was floored. I can definitely surprise myself in my photographic endeavors, but this one really took the cake. I edited furiously as if this was the first time looking through the photos I'd taken that wedding day.
I had started off a bit lighter and airier back then, and I think that mentality came from a fear of underexposing. Camera technology has also played a huge factor as well. I shot this wedding primarily on the Canon 5D Mark 3, and have since graduated to the 5D Mark 4 now paired with revolutionary the Canon EOS R mirrorless system. These newer cameras can push the boundaries of how dark you can shoot without compromising details hidden within the shadows. Truly a marvel. My edit style is now much bolder, with richer shadows and contrast. I believe this to be more how we see color and shape in daily life with the naked eye, and it really makes photos pop! There's so much color in life, and so much MORE color involved with a wedding, and my style of editing aimed to capture exactly that.
I had a BLAST reworking this wedding which will always hold a special place in my heart. Check out the results: