Though we are DC wedding photographers, we have done a lot of work in Hannover, Germany. Because Anji grew up near that European city, we have photographed several engagements and weddings there in the recent past. Pete has become more familiar with it, and it has started to become something of a second home for us. Our primary market will probably always be Washington, DC, but we have come to love Northern Germany.
One of the joys of getting to know a new place is sharing what you learn about it. Since we first moved to the Nation’s Capital, we have brought family and friends to just about every landmark. As longtime residents and DC wedding photographers, we know just about all of them! In our visits to Hannover, though, we have primarily photographed residents who know the city better than we do. So they were the ones showing us around, and not vice versa!
The couple featured in this particular engagement photo, however, was an exception. The bride- and groom-to-be hailed from Hamburg, a huge Northern German metropolis. Though Hannover is not part of Hamburg’s metro area, the two cities are only about an hour’s drive apart. That is about how long it takes to get from Washington to Baltimore, so we asked them to meet us in Hannover. These fiancés had never been to Hannover before and liked the idea of having pictures in a different place. So they made the trip down and spent an afternoon posing for engagement photos with us.
Hosting people who were new to Hannover made this engagement session one of the most enjoyable that we have done. It gave us a chance to introduce them to our adopted city and take pictures in settings that were fresh to them. We strove to give them a typical Hannover experience and their engagement photos a typical Hannover feel.
To do this, we decided to take them on a little photo tour of the city. That is what a Washington, DC, wedding photographer would do if fiancés from outside DC booked them for a Washington engagement session, after all. We started the betrothal shoot at Hannover’s Neues Rathaus (New City Hall), one of our favorite venues for engagement photography. As we have mentioned elsewhere on this site, this building is a Hannover landmark. It is a distinctive and easily recognizable part of the city’s skyline. Moreover, the Neues Rathaus is a great backdrop in front of which to pose future brides and grooms.
After getting stunning photos of these fiancés outside and inside the iconic building, we took them to the Staatsoper Hannover. That is the city’s main opera house and another gorgeous setting for capturing images of two people in love. We began in the beautiful building’s foyer. We got some lovely photos of the future bride and groom embracing near one of the Staatsoper Hannover’s huge windows. Next, we went outside to take pictures of the couple standing between some of the visually striking hedges that grow next to the opera house’s stunning Classical exterior.
The final stop on these future spouses’ photo tour of Hannover was another city landmark: the Hauptbahnhof (central train station). Though the building’s exterior was designed in a beautiful Romantic-Neoclassical style, that is not its most distinctive feature. The Hauptbahnhof is also host to one of the most recognizable structures in the city. Just outside the front door is a sizable statue of Ernst August I. He was an English Royal, one of the last kings of Hannover and a popular figure among city denizens. Because it is so famous, the sculpture of the monarch riding a horse is a common meeting point for locals. In fact, it is probably the location most frequently used by Hannoverites. A similar point of reference in Washington, DC, might be the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The statue’s utility as a meeting point comes not only from its proximity to Hannover’s main train station. It is also because the Ernst August statue has a distinctive feature that makes it easy to describe to others. That would be the tail of the horse Ernst August rides. For that reason, it is very common to hear Hannover residents talk of meeting “unter dem Schwanz” or under the horse’s tail.
Naturally, we wanted to take some pictures of this bride- and groom-to-be posing near this iconic Hannover memorial. However, we thought that posing them directly under the tail would provide an unusual view of the horse. Instead, we brought them to a set of steps that lead down to the Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-Promenade. That is an outdoor shopping promenade not far from the train station. Posing them on the stairs allowed us to achieve the exact look that we wanted for the photo. The angle and distance made it possible to include both the Ernst August statue and the Hauptbahnhof’s front side. We asked the future spouses to embrace and kiss, and then clicked the shutters on our cameras. As you can see in this photo, the resulting composition is fantastic.