LOVE/HATE: The Artsy-Fartsy Edition

When it comes to portraits of moi, I’m a huge fan of post-production image processing, and I’m not just talking about zapping a few blemishes or erasing eyelid crinkles. In the past, I’ve tinted myself pink and green, dabbled in bad porno lighting styles, and made it so colors just about scream at you. Did I mention that I have almost zero Photoshop skills? So think of what a pro could do with your wedding photos. A professional wedding photographer with post-production image processing chops could, for example, do this:

artistic wedding photos 2

Photo by katialo

artistic wedding photos 1

Photo by Jason Lavengood Photography

artistic wedding photos 4

Photo by Cristobal Perez of Azul Photography

artistic wedding photos 3

Photo by Christopher Chan

The question is, do you like those wedding photos that are retouched to within an inch of their lives? My answer is some yes, some no. I’m not a fan of the bridal portraits that look like they were taken through a Vaseline smeared lens or of the wedding portraits that are all in black and white except the bridal bouquet, which has suddenly morphed into some alien color. But I love the dramatic sepia and the extreme hues seen in the photos above, and the washed out black and white photo is also none-to-shabby.

What say you? Would you rather your wedding photos be true to life or a little more artistic than not?

4 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The Artsy-Fartsy Edition”

  1. MissPinkKate says:

    One thing I looked for in a photographer was someone who was processing his images realisitically. Really, all I want in my wedding photos (and this is morbid) is a nice photo of the two of us to put on my coffin when I’m dead. I feel like all the “artsy-fartsy” stuff will go out of style as quickly as it came in (look at 80s wedding photos if you don’t believe me).

  2. Twistie says:

    I think this is purely a matter of personal taste. Me? I wanted most of the pictures to look like just really good snapshots. I wanted them as simple and down-to-earth as the wedding was. After all, what’s simpler or more down-to-earth than a picnic in the woods?

    We had a few formal, posed shots, but most of our photographer’s work was melding into the background and catching people being themselves. I love my photos.

    If, however, I had been having a wildly dramatic wedding some of these more dramatic looking processed shots might have appealed. I’m just not really that sort of person. OTOH, I can appreciate how well these are done and I’ve known brides whose wedding albums would have looked very odd without something super OTT. These sorts of photos are perfect for that sort of bride and that sort of wedding.

    I don’t worry about weddings or their permanent records being ‘dated’ because they eventually will be anyway. There’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Even if you’re deliberately doing things differently, there will still be clues left behind just because of what’s available and how it’s recorded. And you know what? That’s okay. In fact, it’s part of the charm to me of old wedding photos. They’re a record of a moment in time, and that time will seep through. Don’t worry about dated. Worry about whether you love what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

    Height of fashion for the moment? Cool. Deliberately anti-fashion? Equally cool. Somewhere in between? Hey, that’s what most of us do and it’s great, too.

    In short, not my thing, but I’ve known women (and men) for whom nothing else would be nearly as appropriate.

  3. Toni says:

    You mention Photoshop, but a lot of the beauty and skill of these images is from setting up and taking the shot initially. I think it’s a shame when people pay out the nose for wedding photography and then hide the results away in an album. Shots like this are great for hanging on the wall without it simply being a huge closeup portrait of the bride and groom. (Full disclosure, I have a huge-ass headshot-style “signature” portrait hanging in my living room, as well as more artsy shots in the vein of this post in the rest of the house, so I’m a fan of displaying photography in general.)

    I wouldn’t want my entire album processed in this way, and most of the shots in our album were low key and traditional, but I few special shots are nice to have. Even if you’re getting married in the woods, you could have a dramatic and lovely shot of the bride and groom set against a large panoramic of the landscape, which could easily be created with a minimum of post production work.

  4. Raven1025 says:

    When we were looking for a wedding photographer, we wanted someone who would get cool shots, not run-of-the-mill, overly posed pictures or what are, in my opinion, cheesy poses that are trying to be clever, but a lot of people do.
    We also didn’t want any of the soft focus, or strangley superimposed photos that I’ve seen in some wedding albums (like the couple looking down on the ceremony). It may work for some people, but it so not our style. When we met our photographer, we totally knew he was exactly what we wanted. He started as a fashion photographer, but now does weddings, headshots, etc. We got two full photographers, and they shot in four types of film: Color, black & white, cross processed, and infrared. There were a nice combo of artsy shots, and more traditional shots, but not at all posed. He got all the moments as they were happening, and lots of really cool shots that look like they came from a magazine. While some of them look like they may have been touched up, none of them were. The infrared ones look a lot like that top photo. even though the sky looked pretty normal in person, the infrared film made it come out really dramatic.

    Now, had the digital phenomenon existed as it does now, we may have had some crazy photoshopping done, but I rather like how dramatic ours are while capturing the reality of the day (if that makes any sense).