Dark and Moody Wedding Photography
Happy Halloween! To get you in the mood and set the tone for fall and winter, we are featuring some of the best examples of Dark and Moody wedding photography from our carefully curated galleries.
If you’re not already familiar with the style, Dark and Moody wedding photography is a much sought-after look that is both dramatic and rich. With a cinematic quality, it evokes strong emotions and a sense of mystery. Inspired by the chiaroscuro technique of Da Vinci and Caravaggio, with dramatic lights, shadows and shading to accentuate form, photographers who adopt this style create timeless works of art that can look like oil paintings, and that’s just one the reasons we love this approach.
Dark and moody wedding photography is wonderful when it comes to emphasizing couples against subdued backgrounds and can be striking in high-contrast lighting where sun creates streams of light or candles create shadows. This style can also make a wedding look like it’s from a different era, adding a sense of nostalgia and romance to the photos.
If you love the photos you’re seeing as much as we do and you want some of them in your collection, choose a talented and experienced photographer with dark and moody wedding photography in their portfolio. Then, help them with the creative process by following these tips for stunning photos.
For Couples: Dark and Moody Wedding Photography Tips
Select a wedding venue that complements the dark and moody aesthetic. Indoors, think dimly lit interiors, unique textures, and natural elements. Castles, caves and old-world villas with chandeliers are ideal. Outside, think thick forests, tunnels, and caverns with lanterns or candles to light the space. Keep in mind that cloudy days, starry nights, and even pouring rain can also look gorgeous in this style.
Choose light colors or rich jewel tones for you and your bridal party to wear so they stand out against dark backgrounds. Soft white and creams, rich reds, deep oranges, and lapis blues look beautiful while very bright colors (and anything neon) can feel a bit out of place.
Consider your lighting and use soft and warm options like candlelight or string lights indoors. For outdoor portraits, have them taken in the golden hour or find a deeply shadowed area with beams of light from windows or doorways.
Details and décor help emphasize dark and moody wedding photography. Vintage furniture, heirloom-style floral arrangements and candelabras are all ideal for these types of photographs.
For Photographers: How to Get the Look
If you’re an artist who wants to try your hand with this style, here are the basics behind dark and moody wedding photography.
Low-key lighting via indirect sunlight or artificial lighting with limited intensity. This creates deep shadows and a sense of mystery.
High contrast between light and shadow makes dark areas very dark, and the highlights are limited, creating a visually striking effect.
Deep shadows are emphasized, giving the image a sense of depth and drama, adding complexity to the overall composition.
Rich colors and earthy deep tones are commonly used to enhance the overall atmosphere.
Texture and details help evoke emotions and create a sense of depth.
Storytelling narratives are enhanced, making viewers feel as though they are witnessing a scene or moment in a larger narrative.
Lens choice ranges from 24mm and tops out around 85mm. The 35mm and 50m focal lengths, in particular, are great for the dark and moody aesthetic.
Visit our directory of the world’s best wedding photographers and discover the artistic style you love the most.