St Francis Hall Wedding
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St Francis Hall Wedding

In our opinions, speeches at a wedding reception can be the sources of some of the most meaningful images your DC wedding photographers take for you. The emotions during those moments are so real and genuine that they invariably look great on film. They are also extremely unpredictable and varied. What your maid of honor, best man, father or other family member says might cause you to burst out laughing. Or it could move you to tears. Either way, we strive to ensure that the photos we take of those moments will be ones that you will treasure forever.

Funny Maid of Honor Speeches

We have to admit that capturing the speeches on film can be a little challenging for a DC wedding photographer. We do not mean from a photographically technical point of view, of course. In that sense, photographing your best man, maid of honor or father speaking is the same as taking any other picture. A Washington DC wedding photographer needs to consider the same things as we do with any other shot. The lighting (whether ambient or from the photographer’s flash) must be right. The focal length of the lens selected must be appropriate for the story the picture is telling. The composition of the image must similarly give you a sense of what happened at that moment. Those same factors determine the quality of any photographs, be they wedding pictures or engagement photos.

The hard part in taking pictures of wedding speeches is actually finding the right moments to press the camera trigger. When photographing that part of a wedding reception, a Washington DC wedding photographer has a lot of subjects to consider. There is the person speaking — typically your maid of honor, best man or the father of the bride or groom. He or she is obviously “doing” the most in the scene. Those of us who take pictures of them will get more dynamism and movement in their images. However, you and your future spouse will also be also key figures. The speakers at a wedding reception are usually talking to or about you. Your reactions to the words are important and often meaningful. The best Washington DC wedding photography is often images of you laughing or crying during the speeches. Finally, a must be aware of a third potential subject at a wedding reception: the crowd. Though your bridesmaid/groomsman/father will mainly be addressing you, your wedding guests are also part of the intended audience. Their reactions can make for great wedding photos by themselves. They can also strengthen shots of the you when their emotions mirror the yours.

So how do we ensure that you get superlative shots of those moments for you? Wedding photographers who excel at photographing speeches are those who can bring all the subjects into the frame. With artful composition, your best man (for example), you and your wedding guests can all appear in the same image. The resulting photograph can then tell the whole story of what happened at your wedding reception. It can show your matron of honor, best man or father telling a touching/funny story about you and your beloved. The picture can also communicate your reactions to what your loved one is saying. Finally, inclusion of the wedding audience in the photo gives a sense of the mood in the reception hall. When you look at it in 20 years, you can relive the emotions you felt at those moments.

As Washington DC wedding photographers, we believe that this image achieves that goal. The first thing that draws your eye is the groom’s face in the center of the frame. He is laughing, obviously reacting to something. Because the maid of honor is prominent in the foreground of the photo, the what becomes clear. Though you cannot see her face, you know that she is speaking at a wedding reception. You then notice the area bride doubled over laughing at what the maid of honor is saying. Her reaction mirrors the groom’s, but her hand on his leg really communicates that they are connected in that moment. As your eye scans the rest of the image, you see the rest of the wedding guests sharing the mirth.

St Francis Hall Wedding

We took this picture at a St Francis Hall wedding reception. That space is one of the greatest Washington DC wedding venues for photography. Why? Partly because it gives you access to the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America next door. That venue offers settings for couples portraits that any DC engagement photographers would dream about. St Francis Hall is no slouch itself! It has a spacious and elegant ballroom with room for 250 wedding guests. Its layout also facilitates getting great shots like the one featured here. Thanks to a stage at one end of the hall, a wedding photographer can stand behind and above a speaker. That gives them the possibility of capturing the three subjects mentioned above in the same shot.

Location: St Francis Hall, 1340 Quincy St NE, Washington, DC 20017.

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