One of the fun things about spending an extended amount of time in a new place (at least for us as wedding and engagement photographers) is the opportunity to use a different setting to take the portraits that we create in novel directions. In the years that we have spent helping brides and grooms in the Washington, DC, metro area document their love photographically, we have developed and refined our vision of what a typically “Washingtonian” engagement photograph or couples portrait looks like. Perhaps it has a famous landmark such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the US Capitol building or the Smithsonian castle in the background. Or maybe it incorporates Washington in more subtle ways, for example, by showing fiancés or newlyweds in less obvious but no less Washingtonian settings like the Georgetown Waterfront or Dupont Circle.
Since coming to Hannover, Germany, though, we have had to go through the process of discovering what makes that city tick and how we could use its charms and eccentricities to help tell a couple’s love story with our cameras. And as we have always found during our careers as wedding and engagement photographers, walking down that path is a lot of fun! Wandering around a new place with our cameras is a great way to get one’s creative juices flowing and to push us as photographers to find inventive new approaches to our photographs.
In the various wanderings, photo tours and portrait sessions that we have done in Hannover, we have (as we have mentioned elsewhere on this website) spent a lot of time posing fiancés and newlyweds in iconic Hannover venues such as the city’s Neues Rathaus (New City Hall), Herrenhäuser Gärten and Aegidienkirche. We believe that all of those historical settings give our wedding and engagement photographs a typically “Hannover” feel, but just as Washington’s famous monuments and memorials do not fully define America’s capital, Hannover’s best-known landmarks are only part of the nature of that city.
In addition to having numerous sites that are steeped in Northern Germany’s history, Hannover also has a gritty side, which contrasts very interestingly with the general German tidiness of most of the city. The Linden neighborhood, in particular, is filled with walls on which graffiti and artistic murals blend together rather seamlessly and in front of which we have posed fiancés and newlyweds several times with unforgettable results.
Another part of Hannover that offers this kind of gritty urban reality is the canal that passes through much of the northern half of the city, a fact that we discovered entirely by accident during a recent engagement photography shoot. Our original plan was to bring the two future spouses to Noltemeyerbrücke, a well-known bridge that allows Podbielskistraße (the main road running from downtown Hannover to the city’s northeastern suburbs) to cross the canal, for some night photos. As we explored the area, however, we learned that the paths from the bridge down to and along the water were painted with some brilliantly colored graffiti. Never ones to pass up an opportunity to create unforgettable images, we took the couple down to those areas for some portraiture. To highlight the colors painted on the wall, we decided to use our flashes to illuminate the backdrop and to simultaneously silhouette the fiancés. We love how the resulting images turned out and how they well they highlight what is an important part of the character of the city of Hannover.
Location: Noltemeyer Bridge, Hannover, Germany.