Wedding photos should be a reflection of the time, place and culture in which they are taken. At the same time, they should also be timeless enough to be shared and enjoyed for generations to come. Are you in search of some techniques to use for capturing wedding photos in a way that’s fresh and contemporary — yet you don’t want the pictures to look outdated several decades from now? If so, these top 5 trends in wedding photography are worth considering.

5 Top Trends In Wedding Photography

1. Dodging and Burning

Dodging and Burning are two related photo retouching techniques that are far from new, but they are being newly discovered and utilized by some of the world’s best digital wedding photographers. These are carryover techniques from times past, when photographers were limited by film and darkroom technologies.

5 Top Trends In Wedding Photography

Dodging and burning are methods for decreasing or increasing the amounts of exposure present in areas of a picture where the desired outcome is lighter or darker than the original image available straight out of the camera.

These techniques are often utilized by Darin Collison, one of the best wedding photographer in Melbourne; you’ll also see dodging and burning pop up in the portfolios of noteworthy wedding photographers such as Nathan Young of Christchurch, New Zealand and Ashley Fisher of Saint Louis, Missouri.

2. Panoramic Stitching

If you’re looking for a low-budget way to achieve spectacular panoramic photography, panoramic stitching is a worthwhile technique to investigate.

5 Top Trends In Wedding Photography

You’d want to use this technique to capture memorable photos of the bride and groom enjoying the setting on their special day. This would be an enchanting way to present photos of the entire wedding party seated at the head table; or use it to showcase a couple dancing under a starlit sky, or the bride making her grand entrance into a flower-filled garden setting.

Consider using this technique in any situation where you want to employ a shallow depth of field to focus on the human subjects, yet show off an impressive amount of the background scenery as well.

This technique is also known as the “Brenizer Method,” because it was popularized by Ryan Brenizer, one of New York’s top wedding photographers.

3. Barely-There Vignettes

Want to put subtle emphasis on the subject of the photo, while de-emphasizing the corners and background? If so, applying a vignette could be the way to go.

These days, heavy vignettes are old news; it’s passé to make a vignette so noticeable that the corners and edges of the photograph are darkened to the point of blackness. What you want to do instead: subtly apply a bit of depth around the edges to provide some distraction-free emphasis on the main subject of the picture.

4. Vintage Processing

These days, many couples are opting for weddings inspired in some way by times past. Perhaps the nuptials will be taking place at a historic location, or the bride and her attendants will be wearing vintage gowns. At times when it suits the mood to do so, vintage-style processing can be applied to wedding photographs. This sort of processing often requires subtle manipulation of the colors in the photographs — perhaps de-saturating, or adding tones such as sepia, red, or yellow. It can also incorporate the use of warming or other filters.

5. Light Painting

Light painting is a technique that the bride and groom, wedding party members, or wedding attendees can utilize to create additions to a photo — perhaps captions or artwork — that would not ordinarily be part of the picture. This technique requires a team effort between the subject(s) and photographer, and it requires pre-planning. You’ll need a shady or dark environment, plus props such as glow sticks, LED flashlights, lighters or other light sources. The subject(s) then use the light sources to “paint” in the air with the light, and the photographer captures the action using long exposure times.

This technique is ideal for using at engagement shoots, where it’s expected that the photos will be posed. It’s less ideal for the wedding night, particularly in cases where the couple prefers that the majority of their pictures be spontaneous or candid shots.

So there you have it; a roundup of the top 5 trends in wedding photography that will give you fresh-looking, relevant photos this year, yet not be cringe-worthy decades into the future.