As we’re leading you around your venue taking your couples portraits on your wedding day, you might notice that we’re also searching here and there. And you might wonder what it is we’re looking for. Beyond the next spot for a portrait, of course! For starters, we’re looking for good lighting and interesting backgrounds. Because those are what we need for our first priority – making you look fantastic! But we also want to give you something as unique as your love story. So we’re also looking for something we can use to create something new. To invent. To innovate. We’re searching for unique elements that transform a portrait from ordinary to unforgettable. Something like the pool of water in this picture from a wedding at Virginia House in Richmond. By using that to create a reflection of the couple, we turned an ordinary wedding image into something innovative.
As we just mentioned, we created this image at Virginia House, a really cool wedding venue down in Richmond. The building itself is a gorgeous reconstructed English manor house that is now a museum of sorts. It is beautiful, of course, but the real attraction is the space behind it. Down the hill from the house are 28 acres of lovingly landscaped gardens. The main terrace at the foot of the stairs is the principal location for outdoor wedding ceremonies at Virginia House. You couldn’t ask for a more picturesque place for an intimate celebration!
Every part of the gardens seems tailor-made for innovative wedding images. For example, there is a large retaining wall overlooking the terrace. From the top, your wedding photographers can get shots of your ceremony from a steep angle. Because of that, the pictures are quite unique, somehow close and expansive at the same time.
The rest of the gardens offer similarly awesome creative possibilities. There are cozy little nooks where we can use the leaves of the surrounding shrubs to frame the two of you. There is also a steep slope where we can pose you for wide-angle shots with the sky soaring above you. And there is a pool that we can use to create innovative reflection portraits of you.
Said pool, which sits at the opposite end of the terrace from the aforementioned retaining wall, is a truly unique and unusual element. And as such, we could probably spend all day coming up with new ways to use it in creative couples portraits. The main part of it is a large rectangle with a small statue rising from the middle of the water. It sits at the opposite end of the terrace from the main ceremony area. Because of the width of the pool in that area, it’s a great spot for reflection portraits. Those shots are especially cool in the autumn, when we took this picture. The leaves that fall in the water add a bit of extra texture and color to the reflection.
Even more interesting, though, is the part of the pool in the main terrace area. As it passes through that space, it narrows to a channel. Fortunately, it has two elements that make it ideal for innovative reflection portraits. First, the channel is just wide enough that a couple can pose at the end of it and still be reflected in the water. (In the same vein, your wedding photographer should be able to stand with one foot on either side. That way, they can center you in the reflective surface without getting wet!)
The second thing that makes for perfect reflections is the “bridge” the water flows under before ending up in a circular fountain. (We put that in quotes because it doesn’t actually rise up from the tiles of the terrace. The water just passes under it, so it doesn’t feel like a bridge.) That allows you to stand right up next to the reflective surface and be centered exactly in it.
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Location: Virginia House, 4301 Sulgrave Rd, Richmond, VA 23221, United States.
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