Washington, DC, is a city filled with great wedding venues and beautiful spots for wedding photography. It has spaces to fit the tastes and individual needs of every future bride and groom. Spouses-to-be can feel assured that they can tie the knot in a facility that is perfect for them. They can also head to the altar confident that their couples portraits are going to look fabulous. Their DC wedding photographers are sure to find a backdrop that complements the newlyweds beautifully.
When it comes to couples or engagement photos in Washington, the city’s Smithsonian museums are a tremendous asset. They offer a Washington, DC, wedding photographer a wealth of different canvases upon which to create portraiture of their clients. Every Smithsonian building has a different design, different architecture and different focus.
That means dramatically different couples portraits in each location. For example, the artwork displayed in the American Art Museum is offbeat and quirky. Photos there will obviously have that look and feel. Installations in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, in contrast, are a representative sampling of the country’s cultural background. Couples portraits taken there are obviously going to feature those elements more. The National Gallery of Art has a very distinctive set of escalators that make a fun setting for creative pictures.
The best part about making use of the Smithsonian museums for couples portraits is the cost. Entrance to nearly every one of those DC institutions is completely free! Photographing newlyweds or fiancés in those spaces also requires no permit. In fact, the Smithsonian encourages all visitors to bring cameras and use them as much as possible! Obviously, these photography-friendly policies are a boon to DC brides and grooms, as well as their photographers. A Washington wedding day can easily include stops at one or more Smithsonian museum for some breathtaking shots.
We took this pair of fiancés to the aforementioned American Art Museum during part of their engagement shoot. That particular part of the Smithsonian network is located in the heart of DC’s historic Chinatown neighborhood. The museum occupies half of the Old Patent Office Building, which is just steps from the area’s primary Metro stop. The second half of the building belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, another Smithsonian museum. As such, the venue offers a great selection of diverse spots of portraiture. A Washington, DC, wedding photographer can get unique shots on one side and more traditional pictures on the other.
As we wandered through the American Art Museum side of the building, we were struck by one particular exhibit. More specifically, we were intrigued by its potential as a location for memorable couples portraiture. That artwork was Gene Davis’s Hot Beat, a piece famous for its vibrant stripes and rich colors. We thought it would be the perfect backdrop for one of the shots we had in mind. It is colorful and interesting enough to jazz up any couples portrait. At the same time, its design is simple enough not to distract attention away from the picture’s main subjects.
The need for a visually interesting background was even greater, considering the shot we had in mind. The spouses-to-be had wanted a portrait that emphasized their engagement ring. To really focus on that piece of jewelry, we posed the fiancés such that their faces were obscured. We had the bride-to-be stand with her back to Hot Beat. Her future husband stood facing her. We then asked her to wrap her arm around him and place her left hand on his head. We felt that this would do a great job of showcasing her diamond ring. The resulting image did this, in our opinion. And thanks to the great backdrop, the picture was also fresh, fun and creative!