When it comes to wedding portraits, there are basically two camps here: cute, whimsical or retro-themed pictures, or glammed up, high-style fashion editorial type visuals – rarely do these two ‘camps’ merge together to produce a cohesive whole.  And that is where Lu Chen (or Liu Qian)’s wedding portrait is the perfect example of how you can meld two very different themes into one gorgeous picture – it’s whimsical, romantic, glamorous and very fashion forward!

When I first saw the wedding portrait, I was so taken by the utter simplicity, and romanticism of the picture. It was basically the darkened silhouettes of the magician and his wife; but it was the unexpected idea of infusing his ‘talents’ and their emotion in the picture that made the portrait so fascinating. The poses were spot on, the lighting played up the mystery and romantic ambience of the shoot and most of all, the unseen expressions of the couple managed to convey more feeling that a full on face shot. Executed in stark black and white and cropped along such precise proportions, the portrait was also beautifully modern.

Every couple needs the standard wedding portrait as a keepsake. But if you yearn for more, then here are some pointers to help you create an inspiring and memorable picture:

Most of the great visual ideas are already online for your reference. Even if you have a unique concept, its good to have reference tear sheets that give an idea of the lighting, poses, props and background of your shoot. With digital imaging and special effects, you can even create an otherworldly bridal fantasy! Just remember to edit your ideas and come up with one strong cohesive concept that is easier to explain and understand clearly.

Every photographer has their own style. Don’t expect every photographer to be able to realise the concept you have in mind. A wedding photographer who prefers journalistic-styled shots would most likely not be able to create studio based, propped up shoots; he or she would also not feel comfortable doing something that is not his or her forte.

So do your research and view as many portfolios as you can. Reference the portfolio pics to your tear sheets and see which lensman is best for you.

Tear sheets are for reference only. It’s not possible to create the exact pictures in your tear sheets – same model, same lighting, same location, outfits and angle? Some of my best work came not from copying directly from reference tear sheets; they happened when the team adapted the concept and came up with new ideas of their own. This creates something totally new that is still based on the overarching theme you wanted.

You need to work closely with your photographer and trust him or her to adapt your concept to the situation and available resources. Most importantly, your team has to have fun working on this project together, so it’s important to develop a give-and-take attitude and be open to ideas you may not have thought of.

Got any wedding-related questions? We’re happy to help! Please drop us an e-mail at should you wish to submit your queries. Please note that your queries and our responses may be featured in the magazine, or on the website.