Eirik Halvorsen: “Your Last Photo Is the Most Important”

Revolutionize your wedding photography in less than 30 minutes! Discover how one Norwegian photographer turns the Last Photo into a lasting impression. (Featuring EIRIK HALVORSEN)


Wedding photographer Eirik Halvorsen’s stunning body of work is built on a simple premise: every wedding is a story. This approach isn’t groundbreaking. Most modern wedding photographers, in particular, prefer a narrative approach to image-making.

What sets Eirik’s work apart is his passionate focus on one outstanding element: the Last Photo.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important"
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

“I think of the wedding day as a feature film, with the couple as the main characters, and their friends and family as the rest of the cast. Anyone who didn’t attend the wedding should be able to look at the photos and understand where things took place, who was there, and what happened.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Based in Norway with his wife Jessica, Eirik Halvorsen describes himself as a “forever student.” His passion for new creative processes has earned him recognition as one of the best photographers in the industry – but he doesn’t brag. Eirik gives back at every opportunity, through workshops, mentoring, and beginner courses. He also co-founded Blikkfangerne, a collective of the very best wedding photographers in Norway.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Double Exposure Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

This holistic view of creativity and community comprise the core of Eirik’s Last Photo technique. Eirik believes each image should be more than beautiful. It should say more than one thing. Every photograph should hold a story. Even the Last Photo.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important"
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


What IS the Last Photo?

The Last Photo is more than the final photo on your memory card (or roll of film) at the end of a wedding.

An impactful Last Photo is:

  • intentional
  • personal
  • experimental

“I dreamed up the Last Photo concept while designing albums. I needed a photo to end the album – a closing shot. So I started experimenting. “

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Creative Shadows Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


How Eirik Develops Each Last Photo

As he moves through a wedding day, Eirik forms his concept for his clients’ Last Photo:

“There are three words I’m constantly repeating in my head when photographing. Where? Who? What?”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important"
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Here, Eirik breaks down his process for crafting a visual story that eventually leads him to a powerful Last Photo.

Where?

“I try to always start a new scene or location with an establishing shot. Are we in a city? In the mountains? Is the bride getting ready in a hotel? A cabin? I always start there, then move inside.” 

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Aurora Borealis Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Who?

“Who is here? I photograph and introduce the characters in the story – not portraits, but close-up shots of the main people who are there. I also try to show what the room or area looks like with the people in it.”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Dance Floor Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

What?

“What’s happening? If the groom is getting ready, I photograph that. But I also look for sub-stories. Maybe his father-in-law is from another country, and he gave him a special watch as a gift. Or maybe the bride designed and sewed the traditional national attire the groom is getting married in.

“Aside from obvious shots like the bride putting on makeup, the first kiss, the first dance, etc., the exceptional stories are what I’m looking for.

“Those are what make every wedding truly unique.”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Dancing With Light
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


PRO TIP: A Cohesive Story Requires Consistent Editing

After comparing his wedding clients to leads in a film, Eirik references movies as his inspiration for post-production, as well.

“I want all the photos from a wedding day to look like they came from the same movie. If you watch The Lord of The Rings, it has a unique look and feel to it. The color tones and contrast don’t dramatically change from scene to scene.” – Eirik Halvorsen


Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Black & White Wedding Portrait with Color Magic
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Three Powerful Last Photo Examples

According to Eirik, a strong Last Photo should be personal. Yes, it offers an artistic ending for a wedding album, or a stunning wall hanging selection. But the best Last Photo interweaves personal elements that will attract the eye and resonate deeply with your clients.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Sunflowers & Silhouettes Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Eirik Explains: The Sunflowers Last Photo

“Gyda and Philip had sunflowers as their floral theme. The whole venue was covered in sunflowers!

“Before I finished photographing their wedding, I took them outside for a Last Photo, and made a silhouette portrait in a tunnel just outside their venue. When I came back inside, I got the idea for a sunflower double exposure.

“Before we hugged and said goodbye, I showed Gyda and Philip their Last Photo on the back of my camera. They were both mind-blown over it, and it’s now on the last page of their album.”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Mossy Silhouette Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Eirik Explains: The Forest Last Photo

“Silje and Alex got married in a forest. The theme was quite woodsy, with logs and moss.

“I made a silhouette portrait of them in front of a blue wall (mainly because I liked the color), and I thought I had my Last Photo. 

“But as I threw my stuff in the car, I saw the V-shaped horizon over the forest where they got married. I thought, if I hold my camera upside-down, I can create a double exposure and make the forest canopy appear inside their silhouettes!

“This photo shows their love and connection, and it commemorates the forest where they said yes to each other.”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Rainy Night Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Eirik Explains: The Nighttime Rain Last Photo

“Erica and Håkon got married on an island, in her parents’ garden. Here in Norway, we have ever-changing weather, and on the morning of her wedding, Erica worried about the heavy clouds rolling in.

“Immediately after the ceremony, the rain started. Slowly, at first – during portraits; then it got heavier and heavier. By the time all the guests were under the tent, it was pouring outside. And it didn’t stop. When it was time to leave, I knew I needed one photo to showcase how much it actually rained.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Rainy Nighttime Wedding Photo
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

“I asked the couple if they would come outside into the rain for a Last Photo portrait. ‘Hell no!’ they said simultaneously. But after a little convincing, they were outside under umbrellas!

“I checked my focus while Erica lit Håkon’s face with my iPhone light. A Ziploc bag protected my flash, and my jacket acted as an umbrella for my camera.

“I counted: ‘1 – 2 – 3 – DROP YOUR UMBRELLAS AND GET INTO EACH OTHER!’

**CLICK**CLICK**CLICK**CLICK**

“I held the shutter down for about five seconds to be sure I got the shot, then told them to grab their umbrellas and run inside.

“To me, this photo tells the story of Erica and Håkon’s love for each other – and the constant rain on their wedding day!”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Glowing Aura Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Define Your Brand With the Last Photo

“The Last Photo is an important artist’s statement. It encompasses my photographic style and explains me as a creative person.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

It’s easy to create the same photos over and over at every wedding. Ad nauseam. Not that repetition is wrong! After all, knowing what works for you and your dream clients is critical to delivering consistent results and meeting expectations.

The magic of a statement image like the Last Photo is that it allows you to craft a body of work that reveals you at your most creative, collaborative, and intuitive.

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Wedding Rings Silhouette
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


PRO TIP: Find Your Last Photo Alternative

If you don’t photograph weddings, or if the whole Last Photo concept simply doesn’t resonate with you, consider what else you could pursue as a statement series. What do you love photographing the most? At a workshop many years ago, ShootProof pro Susan Stripling described how her photographs of wedding shoes had become iconic to her loyal brides.

No matter what your “thing” is, embrace it and showcase it!


Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Genius iPhone Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


How One Last Photo Helps Eirik Book New Clients

As Eirik’s Last Photo project grew, his followers began to associate his name with these one-of-a-kind portraits. One image, in particular, became iconic. It’s a seaside photograph featuring a bride and groom, small and flash-limned at the bottom of the frame. But the truly breathtaking feature of the image is the deep blue, star-filled sky that looms above the newlyweds.

“I’ve lost count of how many couples have contacted me because they saw this photo somewhere, and they wanted me for their wedding.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Starry Night Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Eirik Explains: The Starry Sky Last Photo

“This photo was taken after a 17-hour wedding day. It was freezing outside, but I convinced the couple to walk down to the beach so I could photograph them under the amazing starry sky. They didn’t much enjoy it at the time, but they thanked me afterward. It turned out to be their favorite photo from their wedding day.”

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Flames & Off-Camera Flash Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

“A little gem for my clients…”

These days, all of Eirik’s wedding clients know to expect a Last Photo as part of their photography experience with him. They express a blend of awe and pride at being part of the creative process, and no one hesitates when Eirik invites them outside for some experimental image-making.

No Last Photo is exactly like another, and Eirik is constantly revising and evolving his approach.

“I look at the Last Photo as a little gem for my clients – something that is special and just for them.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Cityscape & Silhouette Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


PRO TIP: Put That Last Photo To Work!

The Last Photo is the perfect header image on your client’s ShootProof gallery, and a sure-fire seller – especially if you offer wall prints and canvases. To prevent just anyone from downloading photos from a gallery, customize downloading only for a Linked Contact at a single client email address. You can also set unique downloading permissions per visitor or album, determining download quantity and quality.

“It’s always awesome to see my clients share their galleries with family and friends. ShootProof has given me complete control over how I show and deliver photos to my clients.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Magical Mirrors Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN


Ready To Create Your Own Last Photo?

Eirik shares a phrase he learned from another incredible ShootProof pro, Jeff Newsom:

“Hey, I have a crazy idea. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but will you come with me and try?”

– Jeff Newsom

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Ring of Light Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

Eirik loves approaching clients with this phrase, because it’s collaborative and pressure-free. His clients feel special because he’s thought up a creative concept just for them, but he isn’t bound to deliver a specific result because he’s already acknowledged that it may not work.

Once you’ve built a portfolio well-stocked with experimental images, your clients will be even more willing to try something new and unexpected!

“Try. Play. Crash. Mess it up. Your clients will love you for it and brag about you to all their friends.”

– Eirik Halvorsen

Eirik Halvorsen: "Your Last Photo Is the Most Important": Graffiti & Silhouette Wedding Portrait
Photo by EIRIK HALVORSEN

“The most important thing is to have fun, and don’t be afraid to fail. Good things are waiting for you outside your comfort zone!”

– Eirik Halvorsen


Share Your Story!

Comment below and tell us about your Last Photo or statement series!


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Video by CASSIA REYNOLDS | Featuring EIRIK HALVORSEN | Special Thanks to SUSAN STRIPLING and JEFF NEWSOM


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