When we take photographs of your destination wedding, our aim is to go as natural as possible. Whenever possible, we prefer to let natural light illuminate you and your intended. Every moment that we capture on film on your wedding day should look as natural and authentic as possible. That is because our goal is to help you relive every emotion that you felt on that day when you look back at your photo album in 20 years. For the photos to be able to communicate those feelings effectively, they must look and feel realistic. The moments they depict have to appear exactly as they do in your mind’s eye.
This is not to suggest that there is anything wrong with using flashes or other artificial lights. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact! Using those tools when we are taking your wedding or engagement photos can lead to some stunning results. Artificial lighting greatly broadens the range of what is photographically possible.
This is especially true when it comes to the couples portraits that we take of you and your beloved. By illuminating the two of you with a separate light, we can take stunning pictures of you and your beloved in just about any setting. We can capture portraits of you with a sky full of stars as the backdrop. We can create images of the two of you with dramatic differences between light and shadow. We can even keep you perfectly illuminated in the darkest church or in the brightest midday sun.
We can also use artificial lighting to inject creativity into the portraiture we create for you. We can create interesting and distinctive patterns in the background, for example. Or we can add new and radiant colors to the tableau, like we did with these two spouses-to-be.
For their destination engagement session, took them to the Nikolaikapelle in downtown Hannover, Germany, in the late evening. Originally constructed between 1250 and 1284, the church was hit by Allied bombs during World War II and was never subsequently repaired. As a result, one exterior wall is missing and all of the building’s large windows are empty. We thought that this relative openness would give us some interesting angles of the fiancés.
We also thought the venue would be a nice place to take night engagement photos. We found the stone walls particularly appealing because of their relative blankness. In our estimation, that made them good surfaces to illuminate with colored lights. Doing this gave us some beautiful portraits of the couple silhouetted against the front of the Nikolaikapelle.
Our favorite shot of the evening, however, was one in which we illuminated the future bride and groom instead of the church wall. We set up our flash behind the couple and aimed it at them, so that the edges of their bodies would be illuminated but their fronts would stay dark. To make the picture more memorable and striking, we put a “gel” (a fancy photographer’s word for a piece of colored plastic) on the light to change its hue. The bride-to-be had blazing red hair, so we decided to accentuate that by turning the light from the flash to a similarly bright shade of red.
We asked the future bride and future groom to lean in and kiss each other gently, and then we pressed the trigger on our camera. What we particularly like about the resulting image is that their lips are only just touching. As romantic as a kiss between lovers is, it can sometimes look awkward on film if their faces are pressed together too tightly. More importantly for this particular photo, a full kiss would have meant that the contours of their faces would not be illuminated so sharply and clearly, rendering the photo much less impactful. This is one reason why we often ask our wedding and engagement clients to almost kiss when we are taking portraits of them. Gently touching lips also works, as this picture proves.
Location: Nikolaikapelle, 30159 Hannover, Germany.
© 2020 Potok's World Photography -- Husband & Wife Washington, DC, Wedding Photographers