Barbara Box Capturing Wedding Day Emotion With Black and White Photography - part 1 of 1

Published 01/10/2002


Black and white photography has experienced a resurgence in popularity in the past few years. Its association with fine art and its classic elegance make it an excellent medium for wedding photographers who want to add distinction and a sense of timelessness to their images.

Barbara Box uses her artistic eye and intuitive skill to create riveting photographs of the most intimate moments and personal touches of a wedding. She started capturing images in 1997 and has since distinguished herself with her photojournalistic style. Barbara works with her husband Douglas Box and together they capture the very essence of every wedding. While Doug shoots the traditional group poses, portraits, and activities of the day, Barbara looks for the emotions, the special touches, and the minute details that make each wedding unique to the couple.


Barbara has a specific method of photographic awareness that she practices for every wedding. When she first arrives at a wedding, she stops everything else she is doing to take in all of the detail and gain a sense of everyone's emotions. She then looks for all of the finishing touches that make each wedding different. She also takes the time to listen carefully to what everyone involved is talking about, paying special attention to the bride and those surrounding her, to determine the mood and the spirit of the wedding. Lastly, she asks the bride what things she specifically wants photographed.

Babara BoxBarbara uses a Nikon F 100 set on auto-focus with autoexposure matrix metering. She says, "The quick focusing ability and accurate metering are major factors that make it my choice. There is no way I could capture what I do if I had to focus manually or wait on slow metering." Fast lenses are also extremely important to her. She primarily uses a 35-70 mm (f 2.8) Nikkor lens and an 80-200 mm (f 2.8) Nikkor lens. She also chooses to use Kodak TMZ 3200 film instead of the traditional 400-speed black and white film because it allows her to work easily in multiple lighting situations and still shoot at short exposures. This is very important because she always handholds the camera. For the best results, that gives the highest speed and finest grain, Barbara rates the film at ISO 1600 and processes the film at ISO 1600.

Barbara maintains that most of what she does is instinctive, but she offers some guidelines for those that would like to try her storytelling approach to wedding photography. She recommends that the photographer try to put him or herself into the bride's state of mind. She suggests actively looking for details that help give insight into the bride's style and attitude. Barbara also looks for unique compositions by looking at the details from every angle through the viewfinder. She also tries to mainly shoot with the main light source perpendicular to the camera because the side lighting provides the most flattering texture, although she also appreciates back lit effects.

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1st Published 01/10/2002
last update 07/04/2022 09:07:53

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