Raïs De Weirdt

A bride and groom on top of a mountain, surrounded by jagged peaks and lit by the last of the day's sun. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 by Raïs De Weirdt.

Destination wedding photographer Raïs De Weirdt captured this breathtaking view over the Italian Dolomites after running uphill to capture the day's final throes of light. "I love how this image is delicate, yet powerful," she says. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/1000 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 200. © Raïs De Weirdt

From the sun-baked deserts of Dubai to the breathtaking peaks of the Dolomite Mountains, photography has taken Raïs De Weirdt all over the world.

"Whether it's photographing a Mexican wedding when there was just this incredible energy on the dancefloor or capturing the love between a lesbian couple on a smouldering volcano in Iceland – whenever I shoot a wedding, I am beyond excited," enthuses Raïs, when asked what it is she enjoys most about shooting destination weddings. "It is the pure joy that you get to witness – being able to capture the beautiful grand moments and the small, precious things. I truly think it is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world. Even during the long, long hours in front of my computer, I still think, 'this is everything I ever wanted to do'."

Cinematic, elegant, passionate and spontaneous – these are all elements of Raïs' dreamlike style, and her portfolio brims with softly-focused laughing brides or blissfully enamoured couples, set against majestic or exotic backdrops. She landed on her unique "dreamy" style after realising what she wanted for her own wedding photos. "I love beautiful imagery," she explains. "Mountainscapes and gorgeous elements of nature take a prominent role in my images and I always love the soft focus!"

While these may be the familiar hallmarks of a "Raïs De Weirdt", the Belgian photographer is not averse to experimentation. "Creativity is a muscle that needs to be trained. During a wedding, I always take some time to experiment with shape and light. These shots usually make up about 5% of the gallery, since the other images are very spontaneous," she explains. "But I like to provide my couples with a few very special images that offer something unique. It's these images that they often hang on their wall, and that means a lot to me."

A headshot of Canon Ambassador Raïs De Weirdt.
Location: Nazareth, Belgium (but regularly travels all over the world)

Specialist areas: Weddings, portraits

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R6
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
A bride and groom standing beneath a large weeping tree, its branches illuminated by red, blue and purple lights. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV by Raïs De Weirdt.

Raïs says this lone tree stole her attention the second she laid eyes on it. "After numerous tries with the light stands and different coloured gels, I settled for this vibrantly coloured look," she explains. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 28mm, 1/100 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 250. © Raïs De Weirdt

From the shallows of the Red Sea to climbing a 3,500m high glacier, Raïs will stop at nothing to get the shot she wants – and it's that tenacity and enthusiasm that has propelled her to where she is today. After years of disciplined self-learning, Raïs obtained a degree in photography from the University of Amsterdam, and later a master's in advertising and digital creation from the University of Brussels. Her work has appeared on numerous media platforms, including Vogue, Times Radio, the Daily Mail, Brigitte, NRJ, De Tijd and VRT News.

Shot from below, a bride in a long, white dress is thrown into the air by a circle of groomsmen. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV by Raïs De Weirdt.

Famed for her spontaneous attitude and love of creative images, Raïs found a bride who was happy to try this somewhat daring shot. "I often explore unconventional angles and positions in pursuit of the perfect photo," she says. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/1000 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 100. © Raïs De Weirdt

A newlywed couple stand facing a large window, their backs towards floor-to-ceiling shelves of library books. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV by Raïs De Weirdt.

Raïs captured this stunning shot in a library in the heart of Belgium. "The big window lets in beautiful, painterly-like light," she recalls. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/320 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 160. © Raïs De Weirdt

Raïs was named Young Photographer of the Year in 2021 by the Federation of European Professional Photographers but she says the most memorable moments of her career have been those she's witnessed behind the lens: "I relive moments like when the bride gets surprised by her dad who she hasn't seen in five years, or when the bride announces at the end of the day that she's pregnant.

"The sad, yet powerful stories stay with me too," she adds. "Like when the groom revealed during his speech that he had cancer, and his wedding would most likely be the last big party he'd throw. Those are the moments that I remember."

You are known for your dramatic but dreamlike images – how do you go about fusing these two very different themes?

"I almost always shoot as wide open as possible – f/1.2 on my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM and f/2.8 on my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. I prefer backlit sunlight; in fact, I almost always try to have natural lighting behind my subjects. If I can't have the light the way I like it, I set up lights to make it work – but usually, I make it work without. I have many accessories such as veils, coloured gels for flashes, glass shapes to hold in front of my lenses, smoke grenades, mirrors, even creams to put on my lenses for special effects – anything that I think might add creativity. My eyes are always open for creative opportunities."

Your subjects all look so blissful – how do you put them at ease?

"I'm so happy you picked up on this. This is something I'm very proud of. I'm an extremely enthusiastic and easy-going person. I always say, 'I can make everybody laugh!', and during the shoot, I make sure it's as much fun as it can be. I always tell the couple that it's a beautiful moment of quality time, just for the two of them; a moment during this incredibly busy day when they can escape."

How important is printing for you and your business?

"I absolutely love printing images at home. There is nothing like images on paper; nothing comes close. Being able to physically touch your photographs, and seeing them come alive, is truly the most incredible feeling.

"Also, for my couples! The printed images are in my 'thank you' box, always on fine art paper, and it always hits me when I see how the couples handle them so delicately when they take them out of the box, how they're so gentle when they touch them. Like I said, nothing comes close to it – both for the photographer and the client."

One thing I know

Raïs De Weirdt

"At every single workshop, I would hear the same thing: moment – composition – light. But for me, it's the other way around. I will position myself based on the light. Only when the light is perfect will I look for composition and moment – I am obsessed with it. I won't even shoot an image that has bad lighting – except, of course, if it's a must-have shot, such as a kiss, or the big moment with the ring. Light is what crafts my imagery, the rest follows. A beautiful moment in that beautiful light? That's when the magic truly happens."

Facebook: @raisdeweirdtphotography

Instagram: @raisdeweirdtwedding


Raïs De Weirdt's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Raïs De Weirdt's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Breakneck speed, class-leading performance and professional filmmaking features let you master your craft – however you like to shoot. "I am absolutely in love with this camera for its incredible speed, face tracking, image quality, and the ability to shoot in the dark," says Raïs. "It is also light and versatile. It has been an absolute game-changer for me."

Canon EOS R6

With a full-frame 20MP sensor offering powerful low-light performance, the EOS R6 enables Raïs to shoot in any situation. "I bought this incredible camera as soon as it came out, and after using it for some time, I bought another one," she says. "They are the perfect cameras for weddings and are with me everywhere I go."


Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Exceptional image quality with a consistently fast f/2.8 aperture across its entire zoom range. "I use this lens all the time," says Raïs. "I love its versatility: I can use it to shoot a couple's wedding kiss, both wide-angle and up close, in just a matter of seconds. It comes with me everywhere."

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

A high-performance L-series telephoto lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture, ideal for low-light and action. Raïs says: "Many of my images on mountaintops have been shot with this lens. The way it separates couples from the background is unparalleled."

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

With an f/1.2 maximum aperture, this lens delivers exceptional performance in low-light. "I absolutely love dreamy images, so this is my go-to lens for golden hour sessions with couples and delicate 'getting ready' details," Raïs says. "I also use it during the evening when I want to capture natural light without flash. Small and light, I can put this lens in any bag, and know I have a gorgeous, dreamy cinematic shot waiting for me."

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

A high-performance full-frame macro lens with f/2.8 aperture, that's also great for portraits. "I use this for the rings, for a delicate close-up of the mascara wand against the bride's eyelashes when getting ready and, rather unusually, for some incredible close-ups of the couple, with the focus on their eyes."


Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

This mount adapter enables Raïs to use her EF lenses with EOS R System cameras such as the EOS R6. "At first, I thought I wouldn't be able to use my EF lenses anymore, but this mount adapter is truly a game-changer! Laser-fast focusing, no loss in quality – just the ability to use my lenses in the same way as I did before."

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

Featuring a sophisticated 12-ink system, this professional printer offers an expanded colour gamut, ensuring vibrant, true-to-life reproductions. "I have been using this for years and fell in love with it from the start," says Raïs. "It's in my home office, next to my cutting and gift packing station, and I smile every time I walk past it. I would urge every photographer, not just wedding photographers, to get an incredible printer and start experiencing how it feels to merge your beautiful work with paper. Your images are tangible – nothing comes close to that. The burst of excitement I experience when I print is incomparable."

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