Wedding Cinemagraphs

Animated Wedding Photography

What is a cinemagraph, you ask? It’s a traditional photograph that also contains animation. In other words, it’s a photo that moves (yet it’s not a video). They’re cool. And really beautiful. No wonder this photography style is gaining popularity in the wedding world. It’s an amazing way to “experience” a moment in time.

We asked award-winning wedding photographer, Jeffrey Lewis Bennett, whose GIFs have gotten international attention, to give us his take on this rising trend. Some photographers use video to create their GIFs but not Bennett, who takes still images and edits them together in Photoshop.

Jeffrey Lewis Bennett

Jeffrey Lewis Bennett

I think GIFs are amazing, I LOVE them, and they have brought a lot of extra attention to my photography. There is a disconnect though between the fans of my GIFs worldwide and most of the people who hire me for my photography services. It’s wonderful when my client happens to also be a fan of the GIFs. I’ll keep making them, even if there’s a time no one is left who cares.

An excellent cinemagraph contains the presence of a story, one where the movement enhances the narrative.

Delightful Accidents

Most of the GIFs have been the result of a plan, but there have been some delightful accidents. In some of those cases, I only see the potential for a GIF when I’m back at the office editing the session.
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

Light, Lines, Contrast and Color

I’m always looking for the most interesting light; second to that is the environment itself. I look for lines, contrast, and color wherever I’m working.
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

Jeffrey’s Favorite Wedding Cinemagraph

This couple and I had come to this spot at this moment hoping for a great sunset, but the sun was behind the clouds. At the last moment before the sun would disappear behind the trees, it came out and the wind picked up. I yelled for them to freeze and ran to set up the tripod. I got the shots needed for the GIF and then the sun receded. The entire event lasted just 10 seconds.

Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

Can’t Help But Share

Wedding couples will often post the GIFs to their own social media accounts and store them on their phones and tablets to share with friends and family.
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

Telling More Of The Story

Animated GIFs add so much to any story online. I’ve noticed them used for tech, business, sports and entertainment news. They also tell more of the story than any one still image—​while loading much quicker on our devices than a full video.

Style From Structure

Wedding couples often call it “photojournalistic” or “organic” and tell me they hate the “posed” photography out there. The opposite is true, since I’m very involved in subject placement, how they stand, their actions, etc. I call my style “art directed.” There ends up being so many REAL moments inside the structure I try to create and those images are attracting a lot of client interest.
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

Jeffrey Lewis Bennett: Telling Stories Through Slightly Moving Photos

Based in Detroit, MI Jeffrey Lewis Bennett specializes in art-directed sessions, unique color processing, animated GIF cinemagraphs, levitation, tilt-shift photography, and custom designed albums.

I started creating the GIFs because I found joy and an artistic outlet doing them. It’s just luck and a little bonus that other people are enjoying them, too.
Wedding Cinemagraphs - Animated Gif

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