Do you ever wonder how much work a Washington, DC, wedding photographer has put into creating an award-winning portrait? Does seeing creative use of color and light make you ask yourself how they did it? When a portrait’s visual effects thrill your eye, are you curious about what it took to pull them off? If something about the image blows you away, do you want to know more about what went into setting it up?
The short answer to these questions is that DC wedding photographers almost always put a lot of effort into creating stunning portraits. The more visually delightful the image, the harder it probably was to set up. Great art is not usually simple or easy. It takes work and sacrifice on the part of the artist. And often a bit of patience from the subjects!
If we can offer you a bit of advice, though, it would be to not worry to much about this. Sure, you might be curious about a Washington, DC, wedding photographer’s creative process. It is only natural! But if a particular photographer’s portfolio demonstrates their ability to create unforgettable portraits, then you can trust that they are capable. You hire us to worry about taking beautiful pictures of you. Let us do that so that you can just focus on enjoying your marriage celebrations!
The better question to ask yourself (and any DC wedding photographers you are considering hiring) is about time. Like we said, if a photographer has shown they can set up an award-winning shot, then they can do it. But how long will it take them? Sure they can do it, but can they do it in a high-pressure environment without a lot of time to get set up?
In our experience, wedding-day schedules tend to be pretty packed. It goes without saying that a marriage celebration is an important event. Because it is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, couples like you want to make sure you do not leave anything out. There is so much that you want to do to make your nuptials truly unforgettable. Which means that the temptation to add more and more to your schedule will be strong. And that is ok! It is your day, and it should be exactly how you have always imagined it.
What this means, however, is that time pressure is often a reality on your wedding day. The more things you have planned for you and your guests, the more likely it is that you will find yourself hurrying from one part of the day to the next. The good news is that you will have hired professionals like us to help you navigate those challenges. And we will absolutely do whatever is necessary to keep things on track! But unfortunately, sometimes things run late. Your ceremony might not start exactly on time, for example. Or the speeches during your reception could take longer than anticipated. Or members of your wedding party could decide to hit the cocktail hour before formal portraits are finished. There are a million little things that could cause delays.
Fortunately none of this matters all that much at the end of the day. Regardless of what happens, your wedding day will still be one of the best memories of your life. Any small hiccups will soon become things that you look back at and laugh about.
Delays, particularly during the earlier portions of the day, however, will force your photographers to react and adapt. This is because the part of a wedding that typically gets squeezed when time is short is the couples portraits. The end time of the ceremony and start time of the reception are usually nonnegotiable. The respective venues set them, and it is hard for you to adjust them. So any time lost at the beginning of the day typically needs to be made up between those two events. Sometimes we can get through the family formals more quickly than anticipated. But most of the time, those take all the time allotted for them. Which means your photographers have to be quick with your couples portraits.
This brings us back to our point earlier about the time it takes a photographer to set up a killer portrait. The realities of a wedding day often mean that we cannot spend 20 minutes preparing for one shot. As stunning as that more complex image might be, it will not be worth that amount of effort. Because every minute we spend putting up lights or making adjustments to the background is less time spent producing portraiture for you. Would you be happy with the most creatively inspired picture of the two of you if it was the only portrait your photographer was able to take and give to you? We certainly would not! And we are betting that you feel the same.
Fortunately, we create a lot of magic for you with even a few minutes at our disposal. We have spent long hours perfecting our craft, learning how to create beautiful pictures. Like world-class athletes, we have practiced and practiced, over and over again. We have made mistakes and then drilled them out of our systems. We have gotten to know our equipment inside and out, and become capable of assessing a setting in moments. We are now at the point where we do not need to spend much time thinking when we are photographing a wedding. As we are taking pictures you and your future spouse, our brains are processing information independently. All we are doing is seeing, reacting and shooting. So we do not need much time to set up and take stunning portraits of you on your wedding day. We can see the scene, put together the necessary equipment and get the shot within just a few minutes.
That is exactly what we did when we captured this particular image. The bride and groom’s wedding ceremony at the National United Methodist Church ran a little long. Naturally, they were eager to get to their reception and start celebrating. And they also wanted to spend some time getting some “typical DC” portraits in Georgetown. So even though the church had some really cool places for portraiture, we did not have a lot of time to get them done. As we said above, though, that is not a problem for us. We had already identified a spot with a lot of potential a. It was a garden that was in a sunken alcove round the side of the church. We brought the newlyweds down there and got to work setting up our equipment. The color of the wall behind them was neutral, so we decided to splash that up a bit. We pointed one flash with a purple gel at one spot and another with a yellow gel at a different area. We really wanted those colors to pop, so we intentionally left the couple dark and silhouetted. The resulting image is one that is both bold and ghostly. It is bright and dark simultaneously. It is creative and beautiful. Most importantly, it is a portrait that they (and hopefully you) love!
© 2020 Potok's World Photography -- Husband & Wife Washington, DC, Wedding Photographers