Wedding photographer Anna Gadalean of Ginger’s Eyes Photography, based in Barcelona, was photographing a beach session with a couple when she had a simple idea: to have them meditate on their experience together.
© Ginger’s Eyes Photography
“I asked them if they could lie on the sand together and just be present with each other, slowly breathing in and out while listening to the sound of crushing waves,” Gadalean says. “At some point, she started decorating his beard with the wildflower petals we picked up earlier. That moment felt like one from a movie. I asked her to give him tiny kisses on his face and caught this in-between moment.”
A few months ago, Brooklyn-based portrait and fine-art photographer Carly Zavala attended a conceptual photography class with award-winning photographer Kristina Varaksina. “I took the class with the hope of bringing a bit more structure into my process for creating shoots because I generally take an idea and just go with the flow from there,” Zavala explains.
Her class assignment was to shoot something traditional in an untraditional way. At first, Zavala pointed to a concept that wound up snowballing into a set “cluttered with props” she says, thinking she’d need them to convey her vision. As it turns out, she was making it more complicated for herself.
“I had a hard time getting a photo that fit with the assignment while still feeling like me,” says Zavala, whose used her sister, Ylimay, as a model. “After returning from a break, I decided to simplify the shoot, and the images I ended up with were the result of me returning to my natural process while incorporating what I learned from the class.”
© Carly Zavala
For Zavala, photography is rooted in intuition. Cluttering her concept dimmed the intuitive approach she had come to nurture over time, leaving her with work that didn’t sound like her creative voice. “I believe as an artist that it’s important to distill your own process, and as you grow and evolve in your art, add what feels right to you and only you.”
Myriam Ménard of Crémeux Photo in Montreal was digging this couple’s style.
“These guys are two super tall Germans living in Montreal and working in the cinema industry,” she says. “I connected so much with their personality, I think it’s the reason I got amazing shots from this wedding.”
© Cr´émeux Photo
“We played a lot and they were so willing to,” Ménard recalls, having photographed them running through the streets. Black and white fit best, she figured: “They wanted to have a vintage kind of wedding. They chose the best vendors in town and had this intimate wedding that was fitting so well with their vibe.”
Jimena Llamas, a wedding photographer based in Guadalajara, took part in a five-day workshop in Mexico earlier this year led by several Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography alumni. On day two, they led Llamas and the group to an abandoned house where they had set up five different shooting scenarios with real couples.
© Jimena Llamas Photography
At one, she says, “We saw an empty pool and decided to go inside and use the blue tiles” to add a pop of color in the background for a portrait with the “bride.” Llamas went in close, she explains, “since I really wanted her eyes to be the first thing that captured the attention of any person that saw this picture. Her gaze was expressing so much emotion. I loved how I didn’t need to look for a ‘perfect location; since her presence itself made the picture flawless.”
Hong Kong wedding photographer Hyggeland calls this photo “Transformer.”
“The couple is actually from different countries—it was a long-distance relationship,” Hyggeland explains. “They traveled abroad to see each other. This is the power of love, the good, loving, happy ending story. They finally got married and stay together, and it is just like a transformer. They become strong as one and nothing can separate them!”
Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more compelling imagery.
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