Are you a fan of documentary wedding pictures? Hopefully so, given that this is the portfolio of a Virginia-based photojournalistic team! Jokes aside, if this style of wedding photography appeals to you, then you’ll love the pictures we take of the toasts and speeches during your wedding reception. Why? Because of the emotions we’ll capture! That part of a wedding day has everything that makes marriage celebrations special. Joy, humor, love, maybe a touch of wistfulness. You might find yourself wiping tears from your eyes one moment and roaring with laughter the next. When a maid of honor or best man makes a toast, you never know what’s going to happen next. Which also makes these wedding photos dramatic. And dramatic photos like this one of a maid of honor toasting her sister at a Virginia wedding are the kind that stick with you forever.
When it comes to your wedding photos, we love a little drama! Before you start worrying, though, let us clarify what we mean by that. We don’t mean fighting and backstabbing, of course. We’re not hoping for trouble on your wedding day just so we can get pictures of people arguing! No, what we love are artistically dramatic wedding pictures. Images that capture your attention. Photos you just can’t look away from. Pictures that stay in your mind for years.
In our experience, there are three ways to create dramatic wedding photos of the unstaged moments of a marriage celebration:
When taking this particular photo of a maid of honor speech at a wedding in Virginia, we leaned heavily into the second way. The space where this reception took place – The Diplomat room at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City in Arlington VA– was quite dark during the toasts. So clearly we needed to add some lighting.
Brightening the entire room, however, would not have made the photos very dramatic. So instead, we set up a flash to the side of the maid of honor. And then we positioned ourselves so that the speaker’s head was between us and the light. This created the lovely rim lighting you can see in this image and kept the background quite dark. And this difference between light and shadow gave the entire picture a very dramatic look and feel!
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