Engagement Session at the Nikolaikapelle in Hannover
Potok's World Photography

Engagement Session at the Nikolaikapelle in Hannover

When we take photographs of your wedding, we generally prefer to use natural light when we can. We want every moment that we capture on film to look as natural and authentic as possible. Because our goal is to help you relive every emotion that you felt on your wedding day when you look back at your photo album in 20 years, we feel that it is important for the images to look realistic. We want them to look exactly how they do in your mind’s eye.

That said, we also love what can be achieved by incorporating flashes or other artificial lights into the wedding photographs that we take. It broadens the range of what is possible, especially when we are taking couples portraits of you and your fiancé. By illuminating the two of you with a separate light, we can take pictures of you and your beloved with a sky full of stars as the backdrop, to capture images with dramatic differences between light and shadow even in the midday sun and to get on film photos of you backlit with radiant colors, like we did with these two spouses-to-be.

For their 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 suggested the venue as a nice place to take night engagement photos, because we felt that its stone walls would be good surfaces to illuminate with our artificial 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, Hanover, 30159 Hanover.

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