Destination Engagement Session in Germany
Potok's World Photography

Destination Engagement Session in Germany

Whenever possible, we try to make nature a part of our Washington wedding photography. There is so much beauty in nature that can be used to enhance the quality of portraiture. To destination DC wedding photographers like us, it almost seems a waste not to take advantage of it. So no matter where your wedding is, we will look to incorporate something from Mother Nature into your photos. Even if you are getting married in the heart of the District, we will try to find some little bit of green to liven up your pictures.

Nature has always featured quite prominently in the work we do as destination DC wedding photographers. A lot of the pictures we took prior to opening a wedding photography business used nature as a subject. In his first few years as a Washington, DC, wedding photographer, Pete honed his camera skills by taking sunrise pictures. Nearly every morning, he would get up before dawn and head to the Netherlands Carillon. That monument in Arlington, Virginia, has the best view of the sun as it rises over DC. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol are clearly visible in the morning light.

Wedding photography has us busy enough now that we do not have a lot of time to take nature pictures. But we still have a fondness for nature and try to incorporate it into our wedding and engagement images when possible. If you and your intended are open to the idea, we will come prepared with suggested outdoor locations for your couples portraits.

The challenge to using nature in wedding photography is how unpredictable the natural world can be. We have scheduled couples portrait sessions for dawn, only to be disappointed when the sunrise was less than spectacular. The problem is that we often cannot predict when Mother Nature will give us something dazzling.

When we can anticipate natural phenomena that will look fantastic in photos, we try to make the most of the opportunity. We frequently schedule engagement sessions around significant astronomical events, for example. Last summer, we knew about an upcoming “blood moon” eclipse. So we had two fiancés pose for their engagement pictures that evening. The images of the spouses-to-be embracing with a red-tinged Earth’s satellite in the background. That unique element made the photos we took of the couple really stand out.

Destination Engagement Session in Northern Germany

A few weeks later, we had another opportunity to use a known astronomical event in a wedding photography session. It was not in Washington, DC, but rather in Hannover, Germany. The Perseids meteor shower is visible every year in late July and early August. In the summer of 2018, though, they were particularly evident in the sky above Northern Europe.

We are normally DC wedding photographers, but we found ourselves in Germany for a destination wedding during that particular timeframe. So we found spouses-to-be who were looking for an engagement shoot and scheduled one when the weather was cooperative.

The lights of Hannover are bright enough to make it difficult to see stars in the night sky. With that in mind, we asked the future bride and groom to meet us in the outskirts of Hannover. We picked the town of Kirchhorst, a semi-rural community at the outer edge of the metro area. A similar area in the DC metro area would probably be the wine country of Northern Virginia.

We brought the spouses-to-be to the Oldhorster Moor, a spot far from the light pollution of more populated areas. We felt quite confident that we would get untainted views of the meteor shower in that area. Sure enough, the sky was clear and bright. Every few minutes, meteors would streak past. We knew the stage was set for some epic couples portraits!

The process of getting pictures of the couple with the Perseids in the background was a bit complicated. Because we could not anticipate when the next meteor would flash across the sky, we had to use unconventional techniques. We had to take long-exposure shots to increase our chances of getting the meteors on film. That particular photographic approach also addressed the fact that the night sky is not all that bright. Even without light pollution, stars will not show up in pictures taken at higher shutter speeds.

Bringing the sky into the pictures using longer exposures was not a problem. But the slower shutter speeds meant that our clients needed to be extra patient. We needed them to hold extremely still for the duration of each shot — as much as three seconds in most cases. If they did not, they would appear blurry in the final images.

Fortunately, the future spouses were extremely good sports and more than willing to remain motionless to ensure great pictures. That their efforts were worth it is obvious from the resulting images. Every couple wants engagement pictures that are as unique as their relationship is. This sort of photograph is the kind gives them exactly that.

Location: Kirchhorst, 30916 Isernhagen, Germany.

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