It goes without saying that our first job as destination Washington, DC, wedding photographers is to make you and your beloved look great on film. When we pick up our cameras to take pictures of you, we will aim to produce images in which you and the person you love shine. We pledge to do whatever is necessary to capture you at your most beautiful/handsomest in these pictures. We will use every technique we have learned as DC wedding photographers to ensure you are bathed in favorable lighting and that your best features are emphasized.
Creating images in which you and your intended look fantastic requires more than that, though. It is not just about highlighting your outer beauty. In our experience, drawing out your inner radiance is equally if not more important. You and your future spouse should also look great on a deeper emotional level in your wedding and engagement photography. Happiness should beam out of you in the images we capture of the two of you. The photos should reveal how you feel in the arms of the person you will marry or have married. We want this to happen because when those emotions shine through on film, you and your beloved look that much more beautiful.
If we do this part of our jobs right, then the setting in which we photograph you barely matters. If our pictures successfully elicit the affection that you have for each other, then almost nothing can distract from that. The ugliest possible background is not enough to distract the viewer from how good you and your future spouse look. We could photograph you in a grimy DC alley, and no one would notice anything but the two of you. Not that we would ever do something like that, of course!
That is why we love engagement shoots and couples portraits in settings that can be integral part of the images we create. We do not just seek pretty backdrops in front of which to pose the couple. We want locations that are a vital component of the composition. Because when a Washington, DC, wedding photographer finds locations like that, we can make the surroundings feel like a part of your love story.
The Nikolaikapelle, one of the most famous and easily recognizable structures in Hannover, Germany, is exactly that sort of venue. The aforementioned type that allows destination DC weddings photographers to make the setting a key player in the tableau. The Nikolaikapelle is a hauntingly beautiful old church with a Gothic-style stone architecture. It was partially destroyed by Allied bombing raids over Hannover during World War II and never subsequently rebuilt. Because that wartime damage left several sides of the building open, it is ideal for producing dramatic images. A destination wedding photographer can use truly inventive angles during an engagement shoot or a couples portraits session. We also love that it is an Old World European structure. We do not really get a chance to photograph in places like that when we are working in Washington, DC.
We had all this in mind when we took this bride and groom to the Nikolaikapelle for their engagement shoot. We specifically asked them to meet us at sundown. We thought that the best way to incorporate the church into the portraits would be to light parts of it with our flashes. We also thought that the Nikolaikapelle’s location would make a night shoot preferable. The church is situated rather unusually, in that it is in the middle of Hannover’s main commercial district. Photographing couples there during the day can sometimes lead to incongruous distracting elements showing up in the background. Taking pictures of future spouses or newlyweds there at night would eliminate this problem.
Our plan was to use the aforementioned artificial lighting on the building’s walls to draw the focus to the couple and leave the background’s distractions in darkness. In this particular image, for example, we put one flash in the circular back chamber of the church. The lighting illuminated that area and turned the couple into a silhouette. We also aimed flashes covered by orange gels at the front side of the Nikolaikapelle. Thus was that portion of the building was illuminated by a color that complemented its brownish-red natural hue. We then asked the couple to practice their first dance as a married couple and took this picture. We loved the resulting image. More importantly, so did the spouses-to-be! And when that is the case, any Washington, DC, wedding photographer knows they have done things right!
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