I should probably start this post by saying it might be the one that took me the longest to complete. Ever. My friend, Abby, did a blog post earlier this year about picking the five photos that best define her brand and encouraged others to do the same. I thought it was a great idea! Until I tried to do it myself. I decided about a week ago to do this post, and I’ve been working on it and thinking about it ever since!
It’s really hard to narrow your entire business into just five photos! I mean, are they my favorites? My best work? My most recognized photos? What I shoot the most? What I want to shoot more of? I can tell you it’s not really any one of those things. I also considered things like a photo’s color palette, composition, perspective, environment, what people are wearing, what they’re doing, and the intimacy of the photo – both how they’re connected and how close I am when I shoot.
My first batch of photos was just over 50. Then I got it down to about 20. Then to about 11, and I got stuck. I was able to group them similarly in a few ways, but what “one” group was best representative of my brand? Just what *is* my brand of photography? Well, it’s a lot of things, but this too I’ve also narrowed down and defined to be:
- Outdoor and natural
- Rich in color
- Elegant and timeless
- Fun and romantic
- Clean and classic
- Bonus: I like and prefer photos that are what I call “well-polished”, either in thoughtful detail, decor, or attire
So here’s a look at what I’ve selected as the epitome of Kelly Ewell Photography and why, using the elements above as guidelines:
- I’m starting with this photo because it’s one I knew would be included from the start. This shot is so representative of the way I like to capture couples – simply posed, natural, enjoying the moment, and emotionally connected with one another. It also has a glowing backlight from the sunset and elements from the environment (in this case, the fence) that enhance the composition of the photo.
- Like elegance? This is elegance! I love the classic and simple color palette and how it contrasts with the intricate detailed beading of the dress, dramatic smoky eye makeup, and flattering birdcage veil. It’s well lit, has a clean backgroud, and uses the lines of the staircase for visual interest in the composition. Lastly, the pose feels natural, like she’s simply ascending the stairs. There’s just so much I love about this, and I knew I would the second I first clicked the shutter on my camera.
- The shallow depth of field in this photo makes the winter trees and riverbank blur beautifully into a clean, neutral backdrop to show off this sweet, romantic snuggle between the bride and groom. The custom dress and black tux are so elegant and timeless, which of course I love. I also love contrast of light against dark, so their crisp black and white attire fits that perfectly. In the end, this photo is all about the moment though!
- As an engagement- or anniversary-style photo, I just love this one. I like, again, the simplicity of it, from the way the couple just falls into each other to the neutral uncluttered background of the trees that lets all the focus go to the people. I think it’s the simplicity that adds to making it have a powerful visual impact. Even their attire in simple shades of blue just work. (And let’s face it, a dress and statement necklace are always good choices!) It just feels like a natural moment I happened to walk upon and capture.
- I chose this last photo because I love meaningful details, and I also usually try to take a shot of the couple’s rings on their invitation at some point during the wedding. The photo, with the classic black and white invitation with elegant script calligraphy, is representative of the thoughtful styling, texture, and layers I like to see on a wedding day.
Overall, I like to showcase couples as connected, happy, and (of course) in love. When it comes to a wedding day, I want to be reflective of the celebration but also of the gravity their love and relationship. It’s a tough thing to balance when there is so much out there that I like. But after seven years of shooting weddings now, I think I’ve settled nicely into a style that I’ve made my own!
Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.