If you thought that wedding photography had fallen into a rut, then you need to take a look at the work of Ekkachai Saelow. Gone are all the old clichés of gazing into each other’s eyes, staring wistfully across a lake. Indeed, this photographer has re-written the wedding photo rulebook.
Based in Thailand, Saelow is giving wedding photography an entirely new vision. In fact, as his subjects prepare for a whole new world of married life, he is creating a whole new world in their wedding photos.
Saelow, then, applies his talent to creating wedding photos with a difference. Certainly, by utilising various techniques, the clever lensman is able to create the illusion that the bride and groom are tiny.
And his stunning images are capturing the attention of internet users across the globe. In the mind-bending photos, the bride and groom are shrunken down and appear to be living in an over-sized world.
Saelow creates these works under his business name, which means “Small Person.” He creates scenes unique for each couple he photographs, with breathtaking results that are often as unusual and funny as they are stunning.
A technique he uses to help him create these miniature people is one that he has been experimenting with for several years. It’s called tilt-shift and doesn’t, sadly, involve any exclamations of “Honey, I shrunk the bride!”
First, Saelow will take a photo of the couple in his desired pose. This may sometimes involve props in order to capture precise positioning, such as placement of hands, to recreate some of his more imaginative scenes.
Then, he will create a miniature world or scene in which the couple can appear. With each set-up unique to every couple, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Indeed, his pictures include anything from ducks to birdhouses, and pot plants to toy cars.
The couple from the first photo is then cut out and placed into the staged scene. It creates the illusion of a real-life scenario in which the couple have been miniaturized or transported to a larger-than-life world.
The realism of his photos is enhanced with the use of the tilt-shift effect. Certainly, by keeping a portion of the photograph sharp and parts of the foreground or background out of focus, the lines between fantasy and reality become blurred.
By using a simple tilt-shift lens, then, it’s easy to turn miniature worlds into a reality. What’s more, by shooting from a certain angle, an element of depth is added to the photo that makes the real world look a whole lot smaller.
And so, although these couples are very much the real thing, their subsequent placement into a giant world is no more than an optical illusion. However, these particular results are jaw-dropping and have understandably captured many people’s imaginations.
The best results, it seems, are often achieved by shooting from up high, but Saelow also succeeds in the effect by shooting objects up close with a deep background. And the spectacular results are as dramatic as they are amusing.
As mentioned previously, it’s a technique that the photographer has been experimenting with for several years. His early efforts, for example, depict a man clearing up a sugar spillage on a kitchen work surface and in turn relaxing in a hot cup of tea.
Subsequently, Saelow experimented with a tiny groom offering flowers to a life-sized bride and a miniature bride placing a kiss on the cheek of a groom. There was also an image of a baby emerging from a nest of eggs.
Some time later, then, he began applying the technique to wedding photos with a difference. For example, an early shoot depicts a scene in which the bride and groom are running hand in hand away from what appears to be a Transformer.
Naturally, though, each shoot, whether it’s for a wedding or an engagement, is designed individually for each couple. Indeed, the concepts are intended to represent the unique characteristics of each couple and tell the story of their relationship.
The more staid concepts, for instance, include romantic walks by a stream or stealing private moments sitting in trees. But then there are completely off-the-wall ideas, such as a couple seemingly being chased by an Angry Birds character.
Clearly, Saelow is an incredibly accomplished lensman of more traditional wedding shoots as well as standard portrait photography. However, it’s the quirky bride-and-groom setups that have captured the attention of more than 200,000 Facebook fans.
Indeed, Saelow has struck upon a technique that breathes new life into wedding photos for fun and adventurous couples. It’s a unique style in which the worlds he creates are as hopelessly romantic as they are quirky and surreal.