Though we are documentary wedding photographers, we do pose couples for their portraits. There are several reasons why (which we get into here). But long story short, posing gives you photos you’re more likely to love. We can control the conditions to ensure you look great in your pictures together. In addition, it allows us to get more creative with your wedding or engagement portraits. Introducing dramatic light and color usually requires that we position you in very specific ways. (Don’t worry, though, we’re still going to be paying attention to how you look!) And in some cases, we can introduce innovation and creativity into your pictures just with the posing itself. A creative pose can sometimes turn an ordinary shot into something unforgettable. Like it did in this Richmond Virginia engagement portrait.
This image is a great example of how innovative posing can make your engagement photos stand out. If you examine it closely, you’ll see that we haven’t added anything photographically special. For example, we didn’t use any artificial lights or colors. At heart, it’s a relatively simple photo. But it’s still quite unique. (At least in our humble opinion!) And that is due entirely to the creative pose.
So what did we do and why? First, we positioned the couple very intentionally within the space. Though we didn’t use any external lighting, we did want to take advantage of the late afternoon sun. It was low in the sky and shining in through the open side of the building. We saw this and realized we could create a shot of the couple with their own shadow rising on the wall behind them. So we placed them in a spot where that would line up perfectly.
Doing engagement portraits with shadows or silhouettes is somewhat challenging. Without any details visible inside the dark areas, the outlines need to be crisp and distinct. Blobby shapes don’t really look very good. So we use creative posing to pull our couples’ limbs away from their bodies. That’s why the bride-to-be in this image has her foot kicked up and her arm draped over her future husband’s shoulder. That slight tweak away from a traditional pose makes the shadow on the wall more distinct and visually appealing.
What really sets the photo apart is probably the cheeky “thumbs-up” that the bride-to-be is making. And we’d love to take credit for it! But that was actually just her letting us know she understood our posing instructions. And perhaps it’s a lesson that sometimes the most creative poses come from you!
A key element to this unique engagement portrait was the setting. Without such a unique space, we wouldn’t have been able to “paint” the couple’s shadow on the wall. And the image wouldn’t have been half as creative.
We took it at Byrd Park Pump House, a charming old structure on the banks of the James River in Richmond. Also known as the New Pump-House, the building has a unique and interesting architecture. On its top floor is a long, patio-like area with a very open wall on one side. That’s what allows the late-afternoon sun to light up the back wall. As you can see in this picture, there are also large arches along its length. Those add a little extra definition to the scene and are perfect for framing the couple.
Interested in learning more about our services? Please visit our Wedding Photography FAQ page for answers to all your questions! Ready to inquire about our availability on your wedding date? Contact us now to get the conversation started!
Location: Byrd Park Pump House, 1708 Pump House Dr, Richmond, VA 23221, United States.
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