What is the one thing that makes a couple portrait unforgettable? What elements turn a pretty good picture of you and your beloved into something magical? What is it that makes an image of you the kind you will treasure forever and display on your mantel?
In our opinion, the key to unforgettable couples portraits is connection. The best pictures of people in love are those in which any viewer can intuit instantly the depths of the your feelings for one another. That is why our approach to your wedding photography emphasizes drawing out that connection and highlighting it on film. You can count on us to create pictures that show the world what it is that binds you and your intended together.
But why is revealing your connection so important? The answer has to do with photography as a medium of communication. A picture by your Washington, DC, wedding photographer offers no words to explain how you and your beloved feel about one another. So the visual impact alone must be sufficient to tell those elements of your story. If you and your future spouse look like strangers waiting for a bus in your couples portraits, what can a viewer discern about your relationship? If, however, DC wedding photographers successfully highlight the connection between you, the resulting images help tell an important part of your love story.
There are two main ways for DC wedding photographers to create and foster connection during your couples photography shoot. The first is to encourage you and your beloved to connect on a visual level. By this, we mean asking you to look one another directly in the eyes.
When two people maintain unbroken eye contact, it creates a very overt and obvious bond. It appears as though nobody and nothing else in the world matters but the person before them. And an outside observer will usually interpret the connection between them as romantic in nature. As humans, we rarely stare at each other directly in the eyes for prolonged periods of time. We generally only do so when aggressively confronting another person or when we share a deep emotional bond with them. The context of a wedding or engagement photograph should make it clear that the former is not happening. If a Washington, DC, wedding photographer makes you look confrontational, then there are some bigger issues at play!
The other nice thing about asking you and your intended to look directly at one another in portraiture is that in provokes lovely emotional responses. It is hard for someone to stare directly into their partner’s eyes and remain stone-faced. The vast majority either smile, laugh or look romantically at the person whom they love most in the world.
The other way to get you and your future spouse to connect on film is to encourage physical contact between the two of you. We typically do not touch strangers. An image of one person with their hands on another indicates a level of familiarity. And the more tender the touch, the closer the relationship. Two people shaking hands appear to be meeting each other for the first time. Two people hugging are clearly united more closely by blood or friendship. Two people touching each other’s faces obviously have an intimate romantic or familial relationship. So posing you such that you are in physical contact leads to images with lots of connection. You and your beloved do not even need to be looking at one another. Your eyes can be directed elsewhere, but if you are united by touch, the photo will always have the right look and feel.
For this particular engagement photo, we used a mixture of both techniques. We asked the DC bride-to-be to look directly at her future husband. This created the aforementioned visual connection. She is completely focused on the man she loves. As we mentioned previously, no one other than him matters at that moment.
The future groom is not looking at his spouse-to-be, but the second technique makes up for that. To put an additional layer of connection in the image, we asked the bride to gently stroke her man’s cheek. That established a physical connection that made it clear that they were lovers, even though he was looking in another direction.
We took this image during a trip to Certaldo, a charming town in Northern Italy. We were there attending a Fearless Photographers conference. We took advantage of our time in Italian wine country to schedule a couples shoot. We (and they) were thrilled with the results!
© 2019 Potok's World Photography - Husband & Wife Washington DC Wedding Photographers