I just invested in a new infrared camera, so I’m in the mood to talk about infrared wedding photography. IR photography is so unusual in the first place, but IR for weddings is truly different.
Infrared photography captures light that’s just outside our own visual spectrum. By it’s nature it’s primarily black and white, although you can get some interesting color photographs as well.
It’s most famous for rendering beautiful, gleaming white trees and grass, but it’s equally interesting for portraits where it creates porcelain smooth skin and strikingly dark eyes. Fabrics, too, are unique and exciting. For example, a tuxedo’s silky lapels appear white against the black cotton of the rest of the coat even though to the naked eye it all looks like a uniform black.
So, what’s the difference between a regular black and white photo and an infrared photo? It’s quite striking, actually.
On the left we see a normal B&W photo of the Daniel Boon Peace Chapel while on the right we see an infrared photo of the same. Just look at those trees! See how they’re rendered in white as opposed to the dark gray of the normal B&W photo? The infrared photo also shows us the drama in the sky. I have a 24×36 print of the photo on the right that I display at bridal shows and it never fails to get attention.
Although the IR effect is most pronounced outdoors in the sun, it can be used to great effect indoors or for more intimate storytelling moments. Think of it as a dedicated B&W camera that gives a far more interesting image than a traditional B&W photo would. Since I’m known for my black and white it’s a perfect match to my shooting style.
You probably wouldn’t want your entire wedding captured in IR, but a nice smattering throughout the day is a perfect addition to the story. (By the way, if anyone actually DOES feel artsy and wants the majority of their wedding photographed in IR, let’s talk. I’m dying to do it.)
Not just a conversion or a Photoshop effect, to truly get the infrared effect it needs to be captured with a specially modified camera. That means your photographer has to have one in the first place, then be willing to lug it around all day. Most don’t and wouldn’t, respectively. That’s actually why I invested in a new IR camera (my fourth, now). I wanted something that was going to give even better quality, but that was also small enough that I could carry with me to every wedding.
If you’re looking for something different than all your friends have and you want a unique artistic flair, consider adding some infrared photos to your wedding mix. It’s rare to find a wedding photographer who shoots IR, particularly in the Midwest area, but the results are striking.