Halloween Wedding Shoot by Chris Denner

halloween wedding photos

This post is a big, beautiful, beast of imagery and ideas.

The concept and images below are all by alternative wedding photographer Chris Denner, but as you’re about to find out, this was a full-on team effort.

The Halloween wedding shoot was dreamt up by Chris, but every aspect was pieced together by a team of talented creatives. You’ll read more of Chris’ thinking below, but scroll a bit further and you’ll get insight from the entire team.

Give Chris a follow on Instagram, and learn more about him from a podcast we shared with him a short while back. Then rip right back over to this post and take in some serious imagination!

Words & Images by Chris Denner

I wanted to create a dark, gothic piece in time for Halloween – my fav time of the year. So much so that I’ve got the date tattooed on my hands.

My style is highly creative and a bit crazy, so this shoot indulged all my best qualities.

I knew this could not just be another shoot, this had to be something that captured the spirit and substance of Halloween. Dark, epic, and moody.

Halloween Wedding Shoot

Colour psychology was really important to me, so I dictated Autumnal tones to the stylists and keep those colours in mind with my lighting. I used contrasting colours on my flashguns to create tension and drama in the imagery.

I enjoyed using a lot of flash for this shoot, Godox`s are my weapon of choice when it comes to Off-camera flash and used up to four of them for each shot. Each of them was heavily gelled (CTO`s to change colour) and I shot using the tungsten colour balance setting to give the body of work a distinct colour tone.

Each flash head was gridded as well to control the spill of light, and I used a Joe McNally softbox for the majority of the portraits too as the main light on the couple. This is a great 40cmx40cm softbox that’s got an internal cream baffle and is gridded outside too, so it creates the most beautiful light.

If anybody is familiar with my work, this is a look I really love – just look at the self-portrait project I created to see this type of set up in a variety of different settings.

Whilst I do love natural light portraits, I really see myself pushing my flash work in my normal wedding shoots as I feel its just such a creative tool.

Styling was important for this shoot, as was the overall tone and I set this whole shoot up by putting out a casting call for creatives. I then directed the setup and overall themes and look of the shoot, and I am very pleased with the results.

I naturally find myself drawn to the odd and different, so this was a joy to create.

Words from the Stylist, The Wedding Alchemist

The idea for the shoot was to combine the Halloween theme with autumnal but to still give the styling a contemporary edge to contrast with the historic venue.

Working closely with the florist there is luxurious gold and darker tones as well as natural materials to create a stunning final outcome.

The archway is a contemporary shape and used to highlight the feature fireplace. As a stylist, I specialise in anything that is a little bit different making sure the outcome is still special enough for a wedding.

Words from the MUA, Alex Archer 

As an MUA, it’s always really important to me that I execute my style of makeup as directly as I can.

For me, I wanted the makeup to be bold but beautiful, with a hint of goth and darkness to meet the brief. I had already decided I wanted to use green for the look even before I saw Rosie’s hair as I absolutely love using colour in my looks, so when I met the models I realised I had made the right choice!

I was really happy with my final look for Rosie and can’t wait to throw this creative brief into my portfolio.

Words from the Dressmaker, Scarlett Tayla

When Chris put a post up on an alternative wedding suppliers page about a Halloween themed shoot I knew straight away it was definitely something I wanted to be involved in, he was also looking for an alternative couple and I knew my son and his girlfriend would be ideal, so i dropped a reply on his post about them and my work leaving my business page link for him to look at if he was interested.

When Chris contacted me I was so excited, straightaway I ordered a fabric I’d been eyeing up for some time (black on black Leopard print) once I knew my son and his girlfriend could get the time off work I took their measurements and got started, i love corsets so knew that i needed to make one for Rosie with a full skirt with High-Low hem (with pockets because all girls need pockets!), I couldn’t decide if I should make a standard blazer for Tyler or a tailcoat style so I let him decide (i think he picked right)

Words from the Florist, Amafloria

The floral design for this shoot has been inspired by a Victorian Gothic theme with a modern, geometric twist.

The colour scheme selected was autumn colours with hints of gold, copper and black to add a dark twist.

The flower choices represent the traditionalism of an old Victorian garden using Roses, Lilies and Carnations complemented by a range of traditional foliage such as Ivy, Quercus and purple Populus. This is accompanied by a number of topical blooms such as Palm, Cordyline and Leucadendron, to add a sophisticated modern/geometric edge.

Words from the hairstylist, Pin Up Curl

I specialise in vintage hairstyling from the 20s to the 60s, mainly for weddings and special occasions. My styling is usually a rather polished, elegant look, so when I had the chance to work on this amazingly creative shoot I jumped at the chance. The styling was more edgy, gothic with a good dose of rock, so I knew that that I wanted the finished styles to reflect this.

For Rosie, I went for a modern take on 50s waves that would work well with her short fringe and green tones in her hair and could be easily adapted into an updo. I don’t tend to style mens hair, so when our male model Ty hadn’t been able to have his styled in a mohawk, I thought on my feet and decided to give it a try. I used the same technique as for Rosie’s hair and applied volume powder for height and hold, along with some backcombing. It worked so well with the two-tone pastel colours and amazing skull face painting, and I have to say, I loved the final result! Sometimes taking a gamble pays off!

Words from the shoe provider, Love & Lace

There is something mysterious, compelling and even a bit haunting about this time of year which is why I love it so much, and this shoot was one of my favourite themes. I knew the shoes needed to be something outside the norm, conjuring an almost supernatural look and feel.

This brought to mind all the usual haunts that are associated with the time of year and I knew that skulls would play as the main theme, showcasing on the heels. I tied these in with skull charms draping over the front and on the zip along with utilising tones of black lace and green velvet to hint at the spookiest time of year, Halloween. I still wanted to keep them as stylish as possible so they can be worn all year round.

Part of this is played out with the addition of a ribbon ankle tie to cast out the entrapment of Halloween and provide a more edgy feel that allows them to cross over into everyday life.

The Team

Session Assistant – Arun Nagra

Stylist – The Wedding Alchemist

Dressmaker – Scarlett Tayla

Face painter – Go Glitter

Flowers – Amafloria

MUA – Alex Archer

Hair – Pin Up Curl

Venue – Abbots Oak Leicester

Shoes – Love & Lace

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