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Wedding Photographer Le Havre, France. Jacques Mateos shares a wedding photography technique.

At Wedding Photography Select, we don't just want to show you the best images from the best wedding photographers around the world. We want to tell you a little story behind them as well. The idea, the execution, the result. As this section grows, we want to give you an in depth description of each of the shots taken by some of the very best wedding photographers. We hope it proves to be inspiring and insightful.

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This shot was taken during the bride and groom portrait session just after the wedding ceremony. A very nice sunny day during June in Le Havre, France. It was in a garden, actually I didn't like the garden so much and I was looking for something different. When we arrived I have saw a very long brick wall close the garden. I made a note to use it but not immediately, I prefer to start the session with something easy, very few directions on the couple to let them get comfortable and take time to warm up. After maybe 45 mins of shooting I decided to go to the left part of the wall, I started to shoot some poses to see the Adeline's tattoos (left shoulder and arm) with the light coming from the left (their right) allowing to make some fancy flairs and a little back light.

Suddenly just looking a few meters to the side of the wall I saw a very narrow sunshine in diagonal on a gate. I asked them to move to that spot to and had them face so they were just in the light, same pose as we did before. I asked Guillaume to move his head vertically in order to have the eyes in a black hole, staying straight, and Adeline to look on her right to have her profile shaped by the sunshine.

Next point was to meter the light for the high exposure on the face, in manual mode and spot, as usual for my couple sessions. I took the time to compose with the couple at the 30% up and 30% to the right for a stronger composition. The couple is on the right to draw you into the image and the Adeline head turned to the left. We see she closes her eyes but Guillaume stays in the shadows adding mystery. The fact she closes his eyes reinforced the feeling of the shot.

The raw file showed some flowers in the darkness on the left and a part of the gate in the upper right, the final touch was the post processing to increase the darkness level and the dramatic expression on the faces. A bit of warm colors and desaturation, 100% done with Lightroom.


Adeline and Guillaume trusted me at 100%, they like the photo and it's in the wedding book. I am not sure the couple, in general, are in love with this kind of image but they respect the wedding photographers work and his freedom and it's really important for me to be able to go above their expectations. I always keep a space during the session (or the wedding in general) for shooting 'my' pictures.

The session was during in afternoon with strong light from the sun, you have to be creative when you use it and not always shooting in the shadow or only back lighting, looking for strong light can be challenging but always interesting.

When I saw how strong the sunshine was, this photo popped into my mind exactly as I have shot it, the only question for me was between color or black and white. I had a award in Wedding Photography Select gave me an awards for the black and white version but I actually prefer the color one. I shot it with a 5DMKIII and 50 1.2 lens.





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