The classic, waist-up, smiling portrait of a couple on their wedding day.

It’s just the two of you. You’re holding each other close, proud as can be. Your happiness is self-evident, and your smiles are positively infectious as you look straight into the camera. Only it’s not just a camera that you’re looking at. It’s your Mom and Dad. It’s your children. It’s your children’s children. For you are immortal in this moment. Time will march on, but the two of you will peer out from your wooden frame on the shelf, forever perfect. Forever newlyweds on this, your wedding day. 

It’s almost too simple—you just take a close-up picture of the couple smiling, right? But, it’s because of its simplicity that a shot like this might not end up getting taken. 

Let’s face it, this isn’t the most modern type of wedding portrait—it’s not the one that your wedding photographer is going to win an award for having taken, and it might not be one that you even thought to put on your list of ‘must-have shots’—but this shot is one that I always do when I photograph a couple’s wedding. I take it because I know that out of the hundreds I take, it’s this picture that will get printed and framed, and a printed picture in a frame will end up outliving us all.


Thanks Adobe, with your new Lens Blur effect you’ve just made the iPhone a usable camera.

I, Ben Welland, can not believe that I created this photograph with a mobile phone. I've always felt that phone pictures are too clinical-looking for my taste, with everything being in focus in the picture from the foreground to the background, due to the teensy, tiny image sensor that smartphone manufacturers put into the cameras in our phones. I mean… @Apple made some definite strides towards making phone pictures look more like camera pictures, when they put 'portrait mode' into the iPhone back in 2016, and then other companies followed suit. But it never looked quite right. I could always tell when an image was shot with a phone.

Fast forward to 2024, though, and I think some hat-eating on my part is definitely in order. Cause this, to me, is pretty convincing. This photo was shot in RAW with my iPhone 12 using the Manual app and then edited using Adobe's new 'Lens Blur' effect that you can apply to RAW images in Photoshop, and I really have to say that I think the developers at @adobe have knocked it out of the park. 

Will I be selling all my wide-aperture prime lenses, and all my full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras? No. 

But in the case of this shoot, where I was just casually shooting my girlfriend in her new sweater that she'd knit, and my camera’s battery died and I hadn't brought a spare battery… I think she was right when she said "why don't you just shoot some more pics using your phone?" In the moment, I grumbled at the thought of it. But today, in hindsight, I'm glad I kept shooting, and I'm glad I had a phone in my pocket, and that’s all thanks to Adobe.

Prior to today, I would never have posted a 'phone picture' on my website. 


Reflecting on a candid photo of my dad and stepmom at a wedding

I was going through some of my older work today and came across this photo. This was shot back in 2011 at a wedding reception that was being held at the National Arts Centre, and what some of you who know me personally may notice is that it’s a photo of my dad, Tony, and my stepmom, Jane. They just so happened to be guests at this wedding.

But the thing is… I’ve taken hundreds of photos of them—at family dinners, birthdays, vacations, heck I even shot THEIR WEDDING—but I’ve never seen myself capture a more joyful and candid moment of the two of them than this one. 

I think I truly do put on a very different ‘hat’ when I go to work. I really don’t think the physical presence that Ben-the-family-member carries himself with when he spends time hanging out with his own family could have elicited these expressions out of these subjects. I think that Ben the professional wedding photographer must have showed up to work that day. 

Coming across this picture today reassures me that as a wedding photographer, I’m a master of my craft. Not even my own father (who hates having his picture taken and always puts on a rather uncomfortable-looking, fake smile) could get in the way of me just switching on autopilot and doing a great job at work that day.