Architecture, Art, Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography

Experimenting on a Bride and a Groom

A couple of weeks ago I showed you some of the photos I took at a wedding I photographed in October, here is a link back if you would like to look again, or see for the first time, With this Ring.  I was pretty certain after I did the photos that I would want to do more things to the images, and experiment more with them.

One of the concerns the couple had, was that while they liked my work, they didn’t want the wedding images to be too dark.  I knew that was going to be a challenge, so I have been playing and trying some new things I have seen and worked out.  So today I thought I would show you those images.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0045-2I worked on this one a lot.  I hope it looks a lot better than the original one.  I didn’t show the original the first time, so you will have to take my word for it, and I know the couple loved it.

I also used the images with them to make my first composite.  Before the wedding, I met them, we wandered around where they wanted their images, and had planned everything, so we thought.  Then a week before the wedding, we found out the Melbourne Marathon would be on the same day, and all those places we were going to photograph would be a “no go” zone for us.  We had to think quickly.  We decided on the other end of the city, but there was no opportunity to get in there to check it out and see what was possible.

On the day, what we thought we could do, we couldn’t, there were things in the way, and so winging it became the order of the day.  I can’t stress how important it is to check out places before hand.  Make sure you go over them, look at all angles.  Google search the day and make sure there are no events on that day that you need to be aware of.  What happens if it is raining, is there a wet weather plan.  So many things to consider.


We took some photos around a lovely old fountain in Spring Street with the Treasury Building in the background, you can see in the above image.  Though I was happy with the Treasury building, the other buildings in the background were ugly.  Very 1960’s, with their square shape and no lovely design features.  I realised after that if we had gone to the other side of the fountain, we could have got the Windsor Hotel in the background, a very old, very classy hotel.

So I went into the city a couple of weeks ago on a day that was similar to the wedding, so overcast, and took some shots of the hotel.  I didn’t have anyone with me to focus on, so I used the tourists to focus on, set my camera on manual focus and took the shots I wanted.  This helped with the depth of field.

LeanneCole-windsor-0447This is one of the ones I got.  I know it is out of focus, it is meant to be.  Helps with that idea that they were all taken at the same time.  Then I took one of the photos of the two of them in front of the other building and put them in this one.

LeanneCole-sashbee-0447-2It is my first real attempt at compositing, but I am happy with it.  There are mistakes I made and there are things I probably need to fix up, but I think it is all stuff I can work on.  Makes me think this is possible.  Maybe I can do a lot more of this.  I hope it looks like the image was really taken in this spot.

LeanneCole-sashbee-20131013-0891-1I am not so sure about this one, but I wanted to show you because there were a whole heap of yellow taxis parked out the front and I had to do some work to get rid of them, and all the people at the entrance of the hotel.  Again, not perfect, but it does excite me and I love fixing these kinds of problems.

I have some more photos, I will put those above and the others in a gallery for you to look at.


  1. oh my gosh – these are simply beautiful, Leanne!! Great job! The bride is so beautiful. :)

  2. WanderingVagrant says

    I LOVE this post! What makes it great (other than your beautiful pictures of course!) is your honesty when you write about learning new techniques. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you, that is fantastic to know, I do try to be honest with how I do things and how I find my own images. I don’t think everything I do is fantastic.

  3. Overall very good results Leanne, You should press on, I think it will be worthwhile. It must take so much time. Best wishes, MM 🍀

    • Thank you MM, I love the idea, and I know there are things I need to work on, but I would love to keep trying this sort of thing.

  4. I like your compositing work, Leanne. One thing you might be interested in: you mentioned you were concerned about the image being too dark. Have you considered using a flash unit in conjunction with a shoot-through umbrella? That would provide ample yet soft lighting that you can configure yourself. Combined with your compositing work, it might take some of the guesswork out of the light levels.

    • Thank you, I haven’t thought of using a flash in that manner, I do often, well sometimes use a flash but tend to diffuse the light anyway I can.

  5. The image in front of the Windsor bothers me. It doesn’t feel as if the picture of the hotel is straight. I love the toning and tinting you did, though. This is with Photoshop?

  6. Lovely work,, and I agree,, you have to be ready to wing it,, because even with ultimate planning and scoping out ahead of time life and (family) usually get in the way!! I find that keeping an even demeanor and a positive approach goes a long way to making their day special!! When I photographed up in NJ the other weekend I only had the day before to scope out the church and reception venue… which I did, but still had to dodge some road blocks that came up… I find it is essential to do an engagement shoot with the couple before hand , so they are comfortable with you, and you know how they respond to your direction… etc… that has helped me alot… but that said,,, love these images…….. nice job!

    • I did a couple of shoots with them before the day, she wasn’t comfortable having her photo taken, so I had to find some ways to make sure she was comfortable. I think she really appreciated that. I was also very calm and positive on the day, I took it all in my stride, and I think she was very grateful for that as well. I wasn’t stressed, nothing was too much trouble and I just went with it. I know what you mean, so many things to consider. Thank you so much Sally.

  7. Compositing is a lot more difficult than you would think – so many things to check and then double check – image mask feathering is helpful to avoid the hard edge, but still takes a wole lot of time and effort. Good work on these.

    • It is Robert, so many things can make an image look terrible. I am using a lot of my art experience in these, from drawing and stuff, so I am finding that helps. Thank you.

  8. sandlera says

    Beautiful images Leanne and not dark at all. Great job on the composite.

  9. The first and fourth portraits are superb. They should like these tremendously.

    I’ve run into that myself; people fearing that their wedding shots will look too dark. It isn’r enough to post prod for colours that pop but to also get pleasing brightness in.

    • Thank you.
      It is funny that they asked me to do images because they loved what I did, but then they didn’t want them dark, that is usually what I do. It was a great challenge though.

    • I tried very hard to get rid of them, or make them disappear, so it is good to hear that you can’t tell. Thank you.

  10. WendyJC says

    It’s so lovely to bring joy through photography for couples special days …
    Lovely photo’s and a beautiful couple!

    • What a lovely way of putting it Wendy, I love that.
      Thank you so much, they were a great couple to photograph.

  11. The composite results are really nice …. I am sure it took a lot of time to do it … Thank you for sharing Leanne …

  12. Not so fan… I prefer your original pictures they are more striking. It does not mean these are not good pictures but bridal pictures need to show emotions and I don’t feel so much emotion or originality here.

    • I thought about what you said in the other comment, which I won’t publish, but thought I would address this, I know the couple loved the first photo, since the rest are similar there is no reason to think they wouldn’t love the rest. There are always going to be some that show emotion and some that don’t. They also want photos that remind them of how happy they were, and I think these photos show that. They still get all the other ones, but the thing for me in these ones was the processing, to see if I could do different things, so just because they are posing and smiling at the camera is not what the point was meant to be. It was about how the images were processed and what I did to them. I do hope there is something there. I hope you did actually read the post and haven’t made some assumptions, I apologise if that isn’t the case.

    • Thank you, that is great to hear, I like doing the composite, I did stuff up a couple of things, but all experience I hope.

    • Thanks Richard, it was a challenge, but I actually really liked that, so not bothered by it all. I like that one as well.

  13. Pingback: The Evolving Continues | Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

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