Creating Impactful Wedding Portraits

Creating Impactful Wedding Portraits

Creating Impactful Wedding Portraits with Jesse Rinka

No matter what your style of wedding photography is—photojournalistic, editorial, etc.—creating images with high impact should always be your goal. Question is, what makes an image impactful?

Although opinions will vary, there are a few key elements that stand out to me when it comes to separating the most memorable images in a client’s gallery from the normal ones. These elements include great lighting (natural or artificial), strong composition and genuine emotion. Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these elements along with some samples.


It goes without saying that lighting is pretty much the most important element to consider when creating any type of photograph, let alone one that jumps out at your viewer. Whether on the technical or creative side, lighting drives every decision you make as a wedding photographer, from the moment you arrive at the bride’s location right up to the final shot of the day.

Your ability to find the good light, correct the bad, or simply create your own within moments will likely dictate how well your day goes and how great of an experience your clients will have. In the two sets of images below, I am using one of my favorite techniques, compositing, to achieve my preferred light placement while still including more of the environment. At ShutterFest in April, I will be doing a live demonstration regarding this exact method and the steps that I take to achieve my desired result.

When focusing on natural light portraits, I try to look for ways to put my couples in motion or have some sort of motion involved (think veil in the wind). I feel the presence of motion can encourage the viewer to connect more closely to what was happening in that moment, bringing additional impact to the image.

Creating Impactful Wedding Portraits

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the March 2022 magazine.

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