As a client, you should demand a lot of your Northern Virginia wedding photographers. When you add up all the costs of putting on a wedding, you typically end up with a pretty big number. And the portion of that that goes to photography is not insignificant. You have every right and every reason to expect to get more than your money’s worth from the persons you hire to capture you wedding on film. You should want wedding photography befitting the importance of the event, and your photographers need to deliver it to you.
But expecting a lot from your Northern Virginia wedding photographers is about more than just the dollars and cents. Your marriage celebration is one of the most significant events in your life. It is when you pledge your life to your soulmate, and they promise to be by your side forever. Your wedding is also a milestone in your life that also represents a turning point of sorts. It often marks the moment when people start taking on more adult responsibilities. After their wedding, many couples buy their first home and begin thinking about starting a family. An event this significant needs to be documented with care and skill. Average wedding photos are just not good enough. You need a collection of images that tells the story of your wedding. It should tell your children and grandchildren your love story. Your wedding album serve as a keepsake that is handed down from generation to generation.
Obviously, telling your love story photographically starts with great pictures. It is not rocket science, right? Everybody wants incredible photos of their wedding day! But how often do future spouses actually think about what constitutes fantastic wedding pictures? Everybody knows that they want them, but do they actually know specifically what they should expect from their wedding photographers?
It is tempting to believe that expecting wedding photography that makes the two of you look consistently good is enough. That is a very understandable point of view. Everybody is happy to get pictures of themselves in which they look beautiful/handsome! In our opinion, though, the best wedding photography needs to do more than that. Why? For starters, because, making you look great in pictures is easy. Your uncle could probably do a pretty decent job of making you look great with his cell phone! Your photographer just needs to get the lighting right and use camera settings that are flattering. So given what you will probably pay for wedding photography, you should definitely demand more than just nice photos. You should expect to get something spectacular.
What does that mean in real terms? What is a spectacular wedding photo? To us, it is an image that goes beyond looking great. It is a shot with emotional depth. It tells the story of a particularly significant moment and at the same time, contributes to the overall narrative of the event. Ideally, it also gives the viewer a taste of who the people depicted are. A memorable photo captures the emotional tenor of the moment and the personalities of the subjects. It should be both a window into your wedding and you as a couple. A person who has never met you should be able to tell a lot about you and your marriage celebration from just looking at the picture. They should say, “Ah, that couple seems very sweet/fun/loving/daring! It looks like their wedding was emotionally touching/crazy/all about family.”
The image featured here accomplishes both of those things, in our opinions. It captures just one moment, but still shows you what it was like to be at this wedding and what this bride and groom were like as a couple. Both of them are soldiers and members of military families. They were far from stuffy, though. The realities of military life made them flexible, adaptable and ready to go with the flow. We also discovered that they had also a very fun-loving side. For example, the groom had a dress shirt designed for the wedding with pictures of the couple’s beloved dogs on the sleeves and back. The bride had no idea, of course. Because he was wearing a tuxedo jacket during their ceremony at St. James Catholic Church, she never saw him without the jacket. So when they and their wedding party came to Alexandria’s African American Heritage Memorial Park for their portraits, he decided to surprise her. The groom pretended to need help making adjustments to his jacket and had his best man assist him in taking it off while the bride was nearby. As soon as she saw his dog-inspired, custom-made dress shirt, she started howling with joy and leapt a foot in the air (which was impressive given that she was in heels)!
After having seen and photographed this, we knew their reception was going to be a lot of fun. Sure enough, that same fun spirit was on display from the moment the Carlyle Club opened their doors to their wedding. During the mother-son dance, for example, the groom surprised the crowd by hoisting his mom off the ground and twirling her around. The cake-cutting was no different. As soon as the first piece was on a plate, the bride grabbed a chunk and smushed it in the groom’s face. Because we had already gotten a feel for this couple’s personality, we expected something like this to happen. So we were in the ideal position to get a perfect shot of the moment.
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