Tag Archives: portraits

Getting Great Wedding Photos, Tip #17: Be Enthralled!

10 | 13 | 2010

I’m wading through the ever-increasing volume of images we’re making this wedding season, and certain things do stand out: like the rapture of a couple completely enthralled with one another.  They forget about me and the veil (between the presentation of themselves to the world and how they actually are when the rest of the world isn’t watching) disappears, if only for a second.

photo: Gia Canali


Low-Fi Love

10 | 08 | 2010

In weddings, the imperfections are part of what makes everything so real and vibrant, so personal, so particularly you. The same could be said of wedding photos.  We like to give our clients lots of “perfect” pictures. But these sort of messy, imperfect ones always melt me, which is why I will continue to bring my crappy toy cameras with me everywhere.  Even to “work.” Even when I am frustrated with their unsolvable probably-part-of-the-charm limitations.

Low-fi photos bear a keen link to memory.  Other photos, the refined ones, show the wedding more perfectly than we can remember.  Lenses on fancy cameras are more perfect than the human eye … and the human memory.  But not these.

(p.s. This couple fantasized about all their guests shooting the wedding on their iPhones with Hipstamatic.  I think that would have been fantastic: like cameras-on-the-reception-tables v 2.0).

photo: Gia Canali


Things I Really Like: Encaustic Paint + Wedding Photographs

02 | 22 | 2010

encaustic wedding photos

Some of you might wonder where I’ve been, and the answer—at least in part—is that I’ve been locked up in my studio cooking up new things. (I’ve also been fixing my computer, hence the blog-neglect, but that is another story altogether).  Anyway,  I have been drunkenly in love with encaustic painting (and the idea of encaustic painting over photographs) since I first heard the word “encaustic” two years ago in an oil painting class, and even more so since I’ve seen them in real life.  Then I saw some pieces by the ever-innovative Starn twins, I knew I had to figure out how to incorporate encaustic into my commissioned work. Over the summer I finally got a chance to take a workshop in encaustic painting and planned to get working on a series of encaustic photographs right away.  But summer and wedding season are what they are, so refining the process and presentation has taken longer than I’d hoped.  Encaustic paint is made from beeswax and resin, and because it can be both clear and cloudy in places, it’s very dreamy.  I am not the only wedding photographer experimenting in this medium; both Elizabeth Messina and One Love Photo are also working in wax.  I think these luminous little paintings are going to be one of the next big trends in handmade photographic prints.  The tactile quality of the prints shows best in person, but I couldn’t resist sharing a few images anyway.  And I promise to share more soon, as I complete new pieces.

{click any image to enlarge}


encaustic1021 encaustic1116 encaustic1033 encaustic1163 encaustic1147 encaustic1189

photographs by Gia Canali


Things I Like: A Flower Girl With Attitude

08 | 15 | 2009


I realize that this isn’t artsy or pretty as far as portraits go (and for these reasons, probably, it’s never made a portfolio cut).  But I just remembered this five year-old flower girl, all that (glaring!) attitude, hot pink nail polish, a child’s purse, and a halo of stunning orchids.  She makes me happy, with all her glamour and grit, so I thought I’d share.

photo: Gia Canali


Collaborating With Your Photographer 101: Plan a Wedding Day Itinerary That (Really) Works For You, iii. Sample Portrait Session

02 | 16 | 2009
Or “Getting The Most of Your Portrait Time!”

giacanali-081There’s no need to tell nice people to be nice or smart people to be smart (of course!), so let’s just say I’m stating the obvious: We all work harder and perform better when we feel appreciated. On your wedding day, you want what I’ll call “inspired” performances from your photographer—and all your vendors.  The running-to-get-more-portraits couple from last week’s post is a good model.  We didn’t have a ton of time together, but Dara and Dan really wanted to take advantage of whatever time we could get.  Their enthusiasm made me want to go out of my way to make their portrait time even better.  We had a great time together, and are happy to share a few of the images from their sessions.

Click on any photograph to enlarge.

At Dara and Dan’s welcome party, we took about fifteen minutes to take photographs on the beach …

giacanali-031 giacanali-041 giacanali-051

giacanali-07 giacanali-021 giacanali-091

At the wedding, Dara and Dan decided not to see each other before the ceremony.  So we photographed them each separately before the ceremony, and then took about thirty minutes—just before dark—to take photographs on the beach, in lounging huts, on the wooden paths that led to the beach and the reception. Taking a few minutes here and there in a variety of different locations can make a big impact.

giacanali-10 giacanali-121 giacanali-11

giacanali-14 giacanali-151 giacanali-24

Here are some in the last pink light before the sun set …

giacanali-20 giacanali-191 giacanali-21

giacanali-26 giacanali-27 giacanali-29

We were running in the sweltering heat to get these photographs, and the sun had just set as we took the last few frames.  Even so, I couldn’t resist getting one more image on a toy camera:


It proved logistically impossible to schedule the photographs they wanted in this “domino hut” on their wedding day, but because their enthusiasm to work for good pictures was so contagious, I volunteered to meet them the morning after the wedding for a few more portraits.

giacanali-311 giacanali-331 giacanali-35

giacanali-34 giacanali-43 giacanali-37

The nice thing about a day-after-the-wedding session, or a respect-the-dress-post-nuptial-portrait-session, as one of my clients calls them, is that the session can be both more intimate and less formal. I love the balance between sexy and playful.  Both bride and groom are much more relaxed.

giacanali-381 giacanali-39 giacanali-401

To view more of Dara and Dan’s wedding, please feel free to visit their gallery on my website {here}.

sources: Monique Lhuillier for both gowns.  The one Dara wore to the welcome party and post-nuptial portraits was a shortened version of that lovely gray tulle one from Lhuillier’s spring 2008 collection. Venue was Parrot Cay Resort.  Thanks to Yifat Oren and her fantastic crew for helping Dara and Dan make so much time for portraits!

photo credit: Gia Canali