At times, wedding photographers choose to step outside the traditional norms and create unique portraits that tell a different kind of story. One such approach is excluding faces from the frame, a technique that gives the viewer a different perspective. The photographer’s deliberate exclusions within the scene hold significant sway over the narrative, at times exceeding the impact of what they choose to include in the frame. Excluding faces also allows other elements to take center stage, highlighting various aspects of the scene, such as the wedding dress, bouquet, hands, or shoes. In this article, we will explore 40 stunning examples of wedding portraits without faces, showcasing the creativity and storytelling possibilities within this interesting technique.
Below are the editor’s choices for the best photos submitted to this challenge by our photographers.
Portraits Cropped at the Neck or Shoulders
In these intimate portraits, the story is in the unseen elements that are not kept in the frame. By cropping the images at the neck or shoulders, these portraits leave the viewer with the freedom to imagine and interpret the image as they choose. The also emphasizes the intricate details of wardrobes or the beauty of the location.
Portraits that Focus on the Hands or Rings
By emphasizing the hands or wedding rings, photographers capture the symbolic significance of the union and the intimate connection between the couple. In some of the photos below, you’ll also see that by cropping into just the hands, the message and story are simplified. Without facial expressions, the message can be hyper focused to express themes like “embrace” or “cherish.”
Photo by Kivus and Camera (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at The Cookery in Durham, North Carolina United States
Photo by PMC Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Whispering Oaks Terrace in Pala, California United States
Photo by The Hazel Club (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at The River Room in Wilmington, NC USA
Photo by Nicole Amanda (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Stonefields Estate in Beckwith, ON Canada
Photo by BridgetQ Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at The Schooner Aquidneck in Newport, RI USA
Photo by Sonju Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Villa Woodbine in Miami, Florida USA
Portraits of the Backs of Couples
Photographing the backs of couples can create a sense of mystery and anticipation, allowing viewers to imagine the emotions and the journey ahead for the newlyweds.
Photo by We The Light (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Private Residence in Idledale, CO USA
Photo by Laura Skebba Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Felt Mansion in Holland, MI USA
Photo by Andreas Pollok (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at somewhere in the fields in Baden Württemberg Germany
Portraits with a Focus on the Feet or Shoes
Shifting the focus to the feet or shoes adds a touch of whimsy and romance to wedding portraits, symbolizing the path the couple will walk together. It also highlights the shoes, which can be unique expressions of the couple’s personalities.
Photo by Natasha Lamalle (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Belmond Country Club in Virginia USA
Photo by Picturist Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) in Santa Cruz, California United States
Photo by Images by Nic (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Northern Stacks in Fridley, Minnesota United States
Photo by Party of Two (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Twickenham House in Jefferson, NC USA
Photo by Zack Bradley (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Forever View Farm in Powhatan, VA United States
Photo by Danni Lea Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Dove Ridge Vineyard in Weatherford, TX United States
Photo by Matlai Photography (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Estes Park in Colorado USA
Photo by Shukhrat Kamalov (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Delamar – Greenwich in Greenwich, CT USA
Portraits that Showcase the Wedding Dress or Bouquet
Highlighting the wedding dress or the bouquet in portraits emphasizes the beauty, elegance, and significance of these elements within the context of the wedding day.
Portraits that Conceal with Flares and Reflections
By utilizing flares or reflections strategically, photographers can create images that partially conceal the couple’s faces, adding an artistic and dreamlike quality to the portraits.
Photo by Michelle Arlotta (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes in New Jersey United States
Photo by Jorge Santiago (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA USA
Storytelling Portraits without Faces
Storytelling portraits without faces often capture meaningful gestures, interactions, or scenes that invite viewers to fill in the emotional nuances and imagine their own narrative.
Silhouette portraits against beautiful backdrops, such as sunsets or vibrant skies, create visually striking and romantic images that evoke emotions and highlight the couple’s unity.
Photo by Matthias Richter (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at Canada Lake Lodge Cardiff South Wales in Cardiff South Wales
Photo by Dino Jeram (Website | Wedding Maps Profile) at North Mymms Park in Hatfield UK
Portraits with the Wedding Couple Wearing Masks
Of course, another way to create portraits without faces is to use masks, which can be an interesting and fun way to capture the theme of the wedding, an inside joke, or the personalities of the group.
Wedding photography is an art form that continuously evolves, allowing photographers to experiment with unconventional techniques and compositions. Excluding faces from wedding portraits opens up a realm of creative possibilities, where photographers can emphasize other elements, evoke emotions, and tell unique stories. The 40 examples of wedding portraits without faces showcased in this article demonstrate the diversity and creativity within this genre, adding depth and intrigue to the visual representation of love and celebration.