Any standout Washington DC wedding photographer can tell you the recipe for a beautiful couples portrait. As with any genre of photography, it begins with great lighting. Photography is, after all, the process of capturing light on film (or an electronic sensor in modern times). It is right there in the name! Photo comes from the Greek word for light, and -graph is an ending that adds an element of drawing, writing or recording. So in some respects, a photograph of a couple is something DC wedding photographers create by painting a picture of them with light.
With that in mind, great lighting is clearly vital no matter the type of photography. But it is even more essential to a fantastic couples portrait. Why? Because everyone, no matter who they are, wants to look great in their engagement and wedding photos. And lighting that is soft and flattering is critical to achieving that. Harsh shadows can turn an otherwise stunning portrait into something you and your future spouse hate. The image featured above, however, shows you what the opposite of that looks like. The couple is bathed in the kind of beautiful lighting that can set your portraiture apart. It lights them fully and evenly, but without creating any deep shadowing on any parts of their faces.
Composition is another element that your DC wedding photographers need to nail to give you the kind of couples portrait you will treasure forever. The way they arrange things in the frame can be the difference between an average photo and one that you will print and put on your mantel. We have brought this up several times on other parts of this website and will repeat it here. The other objects in the picture, be they people, animals or elements of the scenery, should improve the overall look and feel of the image. At the same time, though, they should subtly draw the viewer’s eye back to the most important part of the photo: you and your future spouse. The image above is again a great example of how excellent composition can make an unforgettable portrait. Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery’s flowers and plants look lovely in the foreground of the shot, giving it a beautiful, rustic vibe. However, they do not obscure the faces of the couple. Instead, those natural elements create a ring around the spouses-to-be, pulling your attention to them. The relatively uniformity of the yellow and green pattern then leads your eye to seek out what is visually incongruous in the shot.
Great lighting and perfect composition will give you a lovely picture, but they are not usually enough to make an image unforgettable. For a photo to be so beautiful it brings a tear to your eye, it needs a little something extra. The photographer must also capture a moment that gives the image meaning. It can be a small gesture that highlights the connection between the two people. Or it can be sparks of genuine emotions in their eyes when they look at one another. Alternatively, it can be their reaction to something happening elsewhere in the frame or off-camera. It just needs to be something that injects a bit of life and meaning into the shot. Something that makes the image more than just a picture of two people standing there. In the case of this photograph, that little extra element is the kiss that the groom is putting on his bride’s shoulder. The tenderness with which he is doing that shows how much he cares about his new wife. By doing that, it gives the entire portrait more emotional depth and heart. And a picture with that is the kind that you will want to have for the rest of your life.
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