Before & Ta-Dahhh | The Big Reveal

April 24, 2020

This photo of Kate coming down the stairs and making her debut in her dress is one of my all-time favourite wedding photos!⁣

I originally had something different in mind but one of Kate’s bridesmaids went upstairs while I was waiting in the hall and their reflection in the glass of a frame on the wall caught my eye. ⁣

It was tricky finding an angle with enough reflection to make it work but I just had time to take a couple of test shots to find the best position before Kate came bouncing into the photo with an excited scream! ⁣

It was one of those photos where observation, preparation and an open-mind came together with a brilliant moment. Kate knew nothing about what I had in mind but by being her fun bubbly self she totally brought the picture together.

But the photo needed a helping a hand to make it extra magical. Here’s the ‘before’ image – or straight out of camera (or SOOC) as us photographers call it…

SVP Likes: Kate’s expression is priceless. And the reflection in the glass adds an interesting layer.

SVP Dislikes: The overall exposure is okay but Kate’s face is a little dark. There’s a lot of ceiling showing which doesn’t add anything to the photo (I deliberately shoot moments like this extra-wide, to give me flexibility as the moment unfolds, knowing I can crop later). The colour is cold and there are some distracting elements, especially on the right-hand side, drawing attention away from Kate.

SVP TLC: 1/ The image was colour corrected, adding warm tones to match the image to the original scene. 2/ Areas of the image were lightened, especially Kate herself, putting the radiance back. 3/ The curtain edge, incomplete painting, bannister top and thermostat on the wall were carefully removed … not forgetting the curtain reflected in the painting! And finally, 4/ the photo was cropped improving the composition and making Kate the star of the show.


  1. Angela on April 25, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Clever this. No longer, “what you see you get”.

  2. Sarah Vivienne on April 26, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Very time consuming though!

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