In case you need more wedding relevant examples of my 3 tips to improve your composition, here are 5 of some of the most pinned images that have been published on Once Wed.

 

Notice in every case how simple each image is, most have strong
repetition with variation, and how they avoid tangents.

I will expand a little on each image below.

 
 
Brumley and Wells

Brumley and Wells

Isn’t this encouraging to see that this is one of the most pinned images?
It’s beautiful and 
it’s wonderfully simple. Yes, it’s fun to push yourself to play with more complex compositions but this is a good reminder that the classics are classic for good reason.

This shot is so timeless. It’s not full of props or elements that will quickly date an image and distract from the focal point, the couple. The photographer simply placed the couple in front of a clean backdrop of green (in good light), and more specifically, located them so that the trees worked with the composition instead of against it. Often trees in the background end up creating antlers or other bad tangents coming out of a subject’s head, but here the photographer used them to create a subtle arching frame around them, and was able to keep a nice amount of breathing room around the couple.

 
 
Jose Villa

Jose Villa

 
 

Again, a relatively simple shot, right? This one happens to be a wedding I was involved in. Notice how we chose the plates and glassware to mimic each other, kept the color palette very tight, and kept the whole spread quite simple.

That sets the photographer up for success by handing them a lot of repetition with variation and a limited color palette to work with. Jose then took the ingredients and framed them beautifully (of course). He kept his frame simple by letting the plate/menu dominate and be the clear focal point, and just gave us enough of the surrounding setting to give us some context without competing with the plate. The diagonal line of the repeating glasses moves us in a more dynamic path through the frame to the mirrored place setting at the top. When you can keep the basics this solid you don’t have to rely on gimmicks to make something beautiful.

Bryce Covey

Bryce Covey

This image happens to be another one I was involved with. I’m kind of surprised to see this is the shot from this wedding with the most hits but on the other hand, I shouldn’t be - it is really simple and beautiful.

The light is exceptionally beautiful, the color palette is tight. I think people probably pin this kind of image more, too, because it’s easier to imagine themselves in it.

Bryce did a really good job of making a very clear subject with a little context but very little distractions, no bad tangents, and beautiful exposure and focus. I also remember quickly adjusting her veil so that all the folds would create more clean leading lines up to the olive branch head piece.

Rylee Hitchner

Rylee Hitchner

Again, a very simple shot! A limited color palette, nice light and exposure, strong leading lines and multiple layers of framing directing us toward a focal point.

(Where brides on Pinterest could imagine themselves standing). My guess is that Rylee probably tried several iterations of this shot, trying to make the composition more “interesting”, but sure enough, this eye-level, straightforward one is the winner.

Jose Villa

Jose Villa

Talk about repetition with variation! It’s a very limited color palette again with a very focused subject (all distractions have been cropped out). But look at all of those tones of blush, all the variations of lace, all the long vertical lines with all of the gentle movement of the wind and even in the organic, graceful path of the bouquets across the frame...such strong composition. Also note that the bouquets are not going through the middle of the frame, they are even above the top third line. This causes our eyes to move more and emphasizes all of the long lines of the dresses and ribbon.

 
 

I hope these top-pinned images are an encouragement to you that you don’t have to do all kinds of crazy or difficult things to get good images. Yes, they all are beautifully lit and exposed, but I find it very striking how simple all of these images really are. You can totally produce images like this! Hone your technical skills and follow basic rules of composition and you’ll be good to go. Learn 40 rules of Composition with our newest course, Composition 101.

 

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