A Live Mood Board

A Live Mood Board

New Orleans wedding photographer, Lance Nicoll, talks with us about how to bring a fine art edge to styled wedding shoots. Read on to learn more about Lance's approach to photography and post-processing.

Tell us about yourself, both personally and professionally. How long have you been making photos? How did you get started?

I’m both an educator and photographer. I started teaching in 2008 and started shooting professionally in 2012. Now in the 4th year of my wedding photography business, I have just started to really find my voice as a wedding photographer. I live and am a native of New Orleans. I was introduced to film photography as a fine art undergrad at Tulane University. In 2010, I was asked to transition to the photography program at the college where I teach. My graduate studies in Graphic Design included a personal focus in branding, something that has served me well in business and a topic I am personally very intrigued by.

What are your favorite subjects to photograph? What types of images are you drawn to?

I personally love people, it’s a big part of why wedding photography has been the perfect genre for me. Not only does it provide a creative outlet, but also allows me to connect with people on one of the most emotional and beautiful times in their life. I also love telling a story that not only shows the players but provides a feel and a sense of that story. The editorial and artistic approach that I take is all about creating images that feel, not just look, like the wedding day experience. Detail shots and vignettes are a big part of that.

What I’m draw to within wedding photography is bright, airy, ethereal images that are at the same time subtle, quite, and emotionally charged.

How do you approach styled shoots? How is this different than the way you approach photographing an actual wedding?

Styled Shoots are a live mood board. They are inspiration and reference for brides and grooms looking to style and design their wedding day. That is a huge consideration when approaching a styled shoot and deciding what to photograph. Its essential to show every concept, every idea and to truly editorialize the shoot. The bride’s hair style, dress, accessories, the place settings, floral arrangements, cake design, invitation design,every aesthetic detail has to be compressed into one shoot. Weddings are almost like two or three shoots at once.

It's essential to get those “styled shoot” images and show all of the details and design choices, but to also show the venue, the people, the moments, the emotions, the marquee events and more. There is much more control on a styled shoot a bit more predictability. On a wedding day you need to be prepared for anything both mentally and from a gear and preparation stand point.

The images you’ve shared with us are edited using Replichrome. Can you walk us through your approach to post-processing?

I start with one of the Noritsu clean presets. Lately the Fuji 400h has been my favorite. I then add “fade shadows” and Grain +(160s). That is pretty much it. The beauty with Replichrome is that it has decreased my post-production time by hours and allowed me to be much more consistent. After completing my batch edits I go through and make adjustments to exposure if needed. I do almost no Photoshop work, unless there are dress clamps or other distracting elements in the images.

* indicates required