Wedding photography special effects, vignettes, crops, fades, sparkes, digital options - web page updated May 3, 2010

Wedding Photography Answers


What are
VIGNETTES and other special effects in wedding pictures?

Wedding location shown above: Old Sacramento on the Sacramento River.



Q. What is a vignette?  

A. Vignetting is a photo effect invented in the 19th century. It means to show a smaller slice of an original photo, and historically, it was done by framing a photo in an oval shape; or by "feathering" the edges of the photo.

The wedding rings photo above feathers the edges of the picture gently down to white. Digitally we can feather down to black, gray, white or any other color. We can feather in an oval shape, a rectangular shape, or vignette by using blurring effects through computer software.

The above photo also incorporates a second effect - feathering the color saturation from normal down to black and white.

Rachel's wedding ring shows a flash of light reflecting from her diamond. This was not a digitial effect - but a genuine reflection which Doug captured in the camera. When shooting ring photos, we like to shoot about ten in a row. With careful lighting and a little luck, we'll catch a genuine diamond reflection in one or two of the frames.

It is also possible to feather a photo's edges and to composite (or "drop") an image on top of another background image in an aratistic fashion. Composited images are used by graphic designers who produce high end versions of coffee table albums.



Below: A white oval vignette frames the classic portrait of Richard and MaryAnn at the state capitol grounds...


Wedding portrait location: Sacramento state capitol's front lawn.

More examples below. This is a junior bridesmaid's portrait taken in the lobby, two versions: 

Original photo before modification...

Same photo with vignette effect applied to make it a more formal portrait...

Wedding photo location above: Lobby of Marriott hotel on Point East Way in Rancho Cordova, California.

Although amateur photographers can apply special effects to photos using modern software, it's not practical when amateurs photograph a wedding. It takes amateurs many months to deliver their photos because they'll keep fussing with them. But professional photographers (like Doug) have been using these techniques every day for years. We make technical decisions quickly and deliver the final pictures more quickly than an amateur photographer ever could.



Original version: Debbie dances with her dad at her Lake Tahoe reception. Be sure to look below this picture to see the FINAL version.

Final version below: Debbie and her dad cropped closer, then vignette effect added, faded to white and enlarged.

Wedding location shown above: Event center at King's Beach at Lake Tahoe.




One of my most memorable ring shots ever, Shanon and Vaughn held their rings & hands over a Bible. The couple sat on the church's carpeted altar for this shot during the portrait session. The pose took maybe 1 minute. In post processing later, I vignette feathered the photo's edges darker. The ring's spakle is clearly visible in an enlargement.

Photographed at Faith Baptist Tabernacle, 3501 Q Street, North Highlands, CA




More special effects info...






Doug's photography makes available copyright cleared, printable images on archival CD or DVD disks. Click here to see what's included:
Booking deposit is $350. Phone or e-mail Doug to confirm availability of your date.
We perform photography in Sacramento, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Placer County, Elk Grove, Lake Tahoe, Dixon, Vacaville , Chico, Paradise , San Rafeel --- no travel charge within 100 miles of Sacramento.





Wedding tips!