When it comes to creating stunning engagement and wedding pictures, one of the keys is helping the subjects to find a body language that narrates their story. Photography is obviously an artistic medium that cannot rely on words to tell the world how much two fiancés love each other and what it was that led them to the altar to exchange their marriage vows. That love and that connection need to be visible in order to show up on film, and the engagement and wedding photos that end up looking best are those in which the future spouses are looking at one another or holding each other or gently touching one another’s faces, thereby communicating clearly and unambiguously the way a bride- and groom-to-be feel about the person they love most in the world.
One look at this image we took during an engagement photo shoot in Washington, DC, and you know that this future bride and future groom are meant to spend a lifetime together. As with every unforgettable picture of two people in love, what makes this photograph special are the little things, the details that our brains register without realizing it, the small gestures and subtle positioning that create connection and tell this couple’s love story without saying a word. For example, the way the groom-to-be is gently resting his chin on the shoulder of the woman who will be his wife; the way his nose is lightly pressed against her cheek; the look of quiet joy on the future groom’s face as he whispers words of love in the ear of his intended; and the smile on her face as she hears about how much he cannot wait to marry her. Everything about how they are interacting speaks of their connection and compatibility.
The setting for this engagement photography session was perfect for highlighting the beautiful feelings that these spouses-to-be have for one another. On the day before their wedding, which took place at The Westin Georgetown, we brought them to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in downtown Washington, DC, for their engagement shoot. Located next to the National Mall and between the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the sculpture garden is home to a dozen fascinating art installations and a beautiful central fountain that is frozen into lovely rink for ice skating during the winter.
More importantly from the perspective of engagement photography, it also has lots of great spots in which couples can get the privacy they need to relax and feel at ease in front of the camera. Even though there are often a lot of visitors wandering around the garden (especially during the summer, which is when we captured this image), there are a lot of little nooks amid the trees and sculptures that are away from prying eyes and where two fiancés can cuddle, kiss and show their affection for one another. For instance, we took this particular picture on a bench behind the Sculpture Garden’s Pavilion Café. We asked the future spouses to get in close and think about they were going to feel being at the altar and tying the knot the following day. If this photo is any indication, they could not wait!