National Portrait Gallery Couple's Portraits
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National Portrait Gallery Couple's Portraits

Wedding and engagement photography awards do more than just recognize the best photos and photographers in the wedding industry. That is a very important part of what these awards are meant to do, of course. Competing for the recognition of their fellow wedding and engagement photographers encourages those who take pictures of marriage celebrations for a living to keep striving to create the sort of images that make newlyweds look as beautiful as they feel on the day on which they tie the knot. Vying to win wedding photography awards keeps all of us working harder on our craft, which is something that directly benefits our clients on their wedding days.

But future brides and grooms benefit from their photographers participating in wedding and engagement photography contests in other ways as well. Some professional associations, such as the Masters of Wedding Photography Germany, for example, use their photo competitions to help fiancés differentiate between the many wedding and engagement photographers plying their trade in Germany. Membership in this prestigious organization is a stamp of approval all by itself, but prospective clients can regard those photographers who are fortunate enough win Masters of Wedding Photography Germany awards as ranking among the best photographers serving the German market.

Once every three months, the Masters of Wedding Photography Germany convenes a jury of three internationally recognized wedding and engagement photographers to evaluate and rate the photos submitted. The jury then separates out the very best images from the rest based on the picture’s impact, how well it captures the emotion of the moment, the overall atmosphere of the photograph, how well the photographer used light, the effectiveness of the composition and the quality of the post-processing.

Creative Wedding Photo Ideas

We were fortunate enough to win a Masters of Wedding Photography Germany award for this particular photo, which we took during and engagement session for two of our clients in Washington DC. As part of a multi-stop photo tour in the downtown Washington DC area, we brought them to the American Art Museum, a famously quirky institution dedicated to displaying the most daring and ambitious works of art created by Americans. Colocated with the equally iconic National Portrait Gallery, the American Art Museum is a great place to do engagement shoots and couples portraits, because the abstractness of the art installations makes for fantastic backdrops in the pictures and inspires us to push our own creativity to new heights.

The artwork in the background of this portrait, for example, is so visually striking that we spent a good ten minutes posing the fiancés in front of it and experimenting with different positioning. The composition we liked best was obviously this one. What works particularly well, in our professional opinion as wedding and engagement photographers, is the way that the picture engages the viewer and forces them to contemplate the portrait on multiple levels. The eye is drawn immediately the multicolored background and then to the couple via the vertical lines in the painting. The next thing that most notice is the unusual posing of the couple. Namely, that neither the future bride’s nor the future groom’s faces can be seen, making them appear to be one united entity instead of two separate beings. Finally, viewers see the way that the bride’s hands are wrapped around the back of her fiancé’s head, creating an extra visually compelling element and adding a much-needed layer of connection between the two subjects.

Location: National Portrait Gallery, 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001.

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