When it comes to taking formal pictures of a Philly bride and her bridesmaids, location is everything. The right spot in the City of Brotherly Love can mean the difference between an ok photo and an unforgettable one. That is true of every shot a Philadelphia wedding photographer takes, to a degree. A beautiful backdrop can enhance a picture of two newlyweds, making them look their absolute best on their wedding day.
But the reality is that a stunning setting is not necessary for a beautiful couples portrait in the Quaker City. The best Philadelphia wedding photographers can create magical images in any location. We have photographed brides and grooms in places that are nothing to write home about. You would never know that from the photos, though. We have composed them in such a way that the entire focus is on the Philly newlyweds. By using lenses with long focal lengths, we can nearly eliminate an unflattering background entirely. Alternatively, we can open the apertures on our cameras, which blurs whatever is behind the subjects. That turns the backdrop into an abstract pattern of shapes and colors that can look very beautiful.
Formal photos of a bridal party in the City of Brotherly Love are a very different matter. There are too many subjects for a Philadelphia wedding photographer to use a long-focal-length lens consistently. If we can get back far enough, it is possible to use such equipment. But we cannot focus on just their faces, the way we can with Philly couples portraits. So using such a lens to eliminate unflattering elements behind seven or more bridesmaids in a full-length photo is challenging.
The same is true for wider-aperture photos. Settings that blur the background of a picture also reduce its depth of field. In layman’s terms, that means that only a small part of the image ends up being in focus. It is not a problem in a photo of two newlyweds, but it is in images of larger groups. Bridesmaids on either end of the line will not be tack sharp at wider apertures.
So that means that finding a beautiful and flattering location for family formals and wedding party photos is vital. In the case of the wedding featured here, that spot was Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. We brought the bride and her bridesmaids to the beautiful gardens outside the wedding venue’s front door. It was there that we posed them for this lovely bridal party portrait.
The Philadelphia museum’s lush gardens were also a perfect place for the first look portion of the wedding day. In fact, it was photographing that moment that led us to choose the gardens for the portraiture. We took pictures of the groom waiting with nervous excitement to see his future wife in her wedding dress for the first time. We also photographed the tears he wiped from his eyes when he turned to look at her. The Penn Museum’s outdoor spaces were a perfect setting for those moments, and we knew it would be great for wedding party portraits. The ornate mosaics from the Tiffany Glass Company did not hurt either!
The interior of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is no less impressive. It has numerous spaces that are great for nearly every part of a wedding day. The Upper and Lower Egyptian Galleries, for example, are great locations for marriage ceremonies. The pharaohs and mummies exhibited there can serve as silent witnesses to your exchange of vows. The Chinese Rotunda on the top floor is home to some extremely rare artifacts from that part of the world. It is also the Penn Museum’s largest wedding and event space. The room can accommodate a huge number of wedding guests for a sumptuous dinner.Philadelphia Wedding Photographers (6).