If you hire us to photograph your wedding, you are getting two experienced documentary wedding photographers. That means you appreciate images that show the real feelings couples and their guests experience at a marriage celebration. You are less interested in staged photos and more captivated by pictures with depth and meaning. You want images from your wedding day that tell your story on an emotional level. And for reasons we get into below, your first dance as a married couple is full of the kind of beautiful moments you will want preserved on film forever.
Why is your first dance full of such emotion? Partly because it is one of the first things you do as newlyweds, of course. But let’s dig a little deeper. In our experience, a couple’s first dance is when they finally feel relaxed and ready to fully enjoy their day. And when people are in that mind state, really beautiful emotions come out.
Wedding days can be stressful. There is no way to sugarcoat that. Even with the best planning in the world, you might still worry about everything going right. And family and friends making demands of you will probably distract you at various points during the day. The good news is that most of all this happens in the leadup to your wedding ceremony. Once you are walking down the aisle, all of that fades into the background. The ceremony itself will not be stressful, but you will not be fully relaxed during it either. You might have some butterflies in your stomach. Or maybe even be a little nervous that you will forget your lines! But relaxed? Probably not.
But once you reach your wedding reception, all of that is in the rearview mirror. All the stress is gone. All the nervousness has disappeared. Just look at the two brides in this photo from their wedding reception at the City Club of Washington. They are just happy, excited and in the mood to really celebrate one of the best days of their lives. And all of that is plain on their faces. When we photograph you and your new spouse taking your first turns on the dance floor, we will see nothing but that same joy and love. And trust when we say photos of those emotions are nothing but beautiful.
One of the secret elements in unforgettable wedding photography is motion. Why? The short answer is because it creates images that you cannot take your eyes off of. The dynamism of those shots is captivating. It grabs your attention and holds it in a way that pictures of stationary people do not.
Why is that exactly? It has to do with how our brains are wired. Our eyes are attracted to movement, especially when it is happening against a static background. When people are moving and everything else is standing still, we cannot help but take notice. Our brains want to fill in the blanks and anticipate what is going to happen next.
We experience that effect when looking at the picture featured here. Though these two brides are frozen in time in the image, our brains instinctively know that they are about to move. And based on the way that one is beckoning, we can anticipate that they are going to come closer to each other and embrace. And that anticipation of the romantic moment about to happen makes the image very visually compelling.
The last reason why you will love the pictures of your first dance is because of what they show. No, we are not just talking about beautiful photos of the two of you looking deeply into each other’s eyes as you twirl around the dance floor. Which you will get, of course! But actually, we are talking here about something a little deeper. Done right, your first dance wedding photographs will also reveal something profound about who you are as a couple. And that starts with how you choose to do your first dance as a married couple.
Some newlyweds opt for a very traditional first dance. They choose a romantic song that reminds them of significant moments during their courtship. They cuddle in close and slowly sway back and forth. Maybe they even shed a few tears of happiness. Other couples, like the ones pictured here, choose a choreographed dance with a bit of fun sprinkled in amid the romance. They feel that something more lighthearted better reflects what makes their relationship work.
In both cases, the choice of first dance (and resulting images of it) tell you a lot about the people in it. Similarly, the way you choose to celebrate one of your first activities as a married couple is going to tell the world volumes about who you are. And for that reason, if you love wedding photography that tells your love story, then you are definitely going to love pictures of your first dance.
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