Future brides and grooms from Washington, DC, frequently ask us to define our style of wedding and engagement photography. For starters, we strive to give our DC newlyweds-to-be images that are timeless. Wedding and engagement photos should feel as fresh on the couple’s 20th anniversary as they did on their wedding day. That is one reason why we love Washington as a location for wedding and engagement photography. The monuments, memorials and museums in the Nation’s Capital feel enduring and eternal. Pictures of newlyweds with the Lincoln Memorial in the background could be from today, 30 years ago or 30 years from now.
We also want Washington, DC, area brides and grooms to get matrimonial photos that are elegant. No matter the budget, every spouses-to-be want their marriage celebration to look like a million dollars. We aim to give DC brides and grooms photos that makes their dream wedding look like a fairytale.
Finally, we believe that wedding photography is about capturing on film the feel of every moment that occurs on a wedding day. Every image should tell a piece of the newlyweds’ love story. Not just what happened on the day they tied the knot in Washington, DC, but also how each moment felt.
Preserving these memories with our cameras is one reason why we generally prefer taking unscripted and candid pictures. It is difficult to stage images of DC brides and grooms that look genuinely emotional. We want the reactions on their to be real. That said, there are a lot of photographs on a wedding day that need to be posed. Couples portraits and family formals both require a bit of staging on the parts of the wedding photographers.
To create real emotions in posed photos of our Washington, DC, brides and grooms, we often inject a bit of spontaneity into the scene. While taking pictures of a couple by the Washington Monument, we might ask the groom to make his bride laugh. Likewise, during a session at a Smithsonian museum, we might have fiancés react to a piece of art. When taking couples portraits outside the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, we once had the bride toss the train of her wedding dress in the air.
We often do similar things while photographing family formals at DC marriage celebrations. Pictures of bridesmaids and groomsmen standing in a row and looking at the camera can be extremely dull. The best DC wedding and engagement photographers find ways to make those pictures more dynamic. We try to create more genuine moments by asking the friends and family to interact with the bride and groom. Sometimes that can be as simple as turning to look at the newlyweds. That often makes the entire wedding party laugh. In other instances, we inject some movement into the picture.
We did the latter at this particular Washington, DC, area matrimonial celebration. We posed the newly-married couple on the porch of the bride’s father’s farmhouse in suburban Washington. We arranged their wedding party around them and asked the bridesmaids to cheer as the couple kissed. Finally, we put the flower girls and ring bearer in the foreground of the image. Just before we press our camera shutter, we had them toss their flowers into the air. The result was a family formal picture with dynamism and emotion.