36 : Wes Anderson Inspiration
Wes Anderson is known for his signature symmetrical compositions and square camera angles, his stoic characters, and his use of a restrained colour palette and warm light. His is a style that I’ve long admired. It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to photograph Emma and Alex’s Wes Anderson inspired wedding.
Needless to say, harnessing the Anderson aesthetic took a lot more preparation than weddings with my typical true-to-life editing approach. With the help of a carefully curated Pinterest board, Emma and I discussed and articulated the visual style we were targeting. I put in some hours watching Moonrise Kingdom, Hotel Budapest, and Darjeeling Limited, keeping a careful eye on colour palate, camera angles, and the vibe of the characters. Knowing that we only had a short time for the photo session, Emma and I worked out a careful shot list in advance. Some detailed location scouting ahead of the wedding meant that I knew exactly where I wanted to capture each shot and at what time of day.
The short shooting window meant that our photo session was focused. A solid brick building with a strip of teal on top provided a balanced backdrop for sober portraits. Using the front porch of a quaint cabin to set a scene of blue symmetry, I evenly arranged the wedding party on each side of the front ramp. A massive deciduous tree produced the perfect scenery for a wide group photo, each person facing square to the camera with impartial expressions.
A great cast of characters, the wedding party dove right into the world of Wes Anderson. With impeccable attention to detail, Emma sourced the perfect combinations of wardrobes and accessories. Donning a rainbow of pastels and decorated with elegant furs, the bride’s side harnessed the aloof and melancholic vibe with their cool gazes. Without hesitation, Alex embodied a Wes Anderson groom in a white suit, his best lady and gents sporting indomitable expressions with casual poses. Using my strengths as a portrait photographer, I elicited strong eyes and equipoise in each of my subjects.
Realizing Wes Anderson’s use of warm light and harmonized colour palette required work both while shooting and in post-production. I selected a narrow shady path with robust foliage for a series of portraits, placing the subjects in the perfect position for warm light to spill through the trees and onto their shoulders. In post-production I pushed my personal editing limits with a warm white balance and high level of contrast.
The end result is wedding photos that I am really quite pleased with. I greatly enjoyed the creative challenge of applying a specific visual aesthetic to a wedding project. Have a particular vibe you want to evoke? Pitch your idea to me. Star Trek themed wedding? I do that too.
On Thursday I'll be sharing a second blog post from Emma and Alex's wedding. This post about Wedding Photography was written and photographed by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. Video footage captured by Josh Ocampo. Video edited by Emma Corby. For availability and rates, please contact Selena here.