As much as we love photographing weddings and engagements in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, taking pictures primarily in and around the Nation’s Capital means that we do not often get to use our DJI Mavic Pro drone. Unfortunately, security regulations prohibit flying drones within 15 miles of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Though we do sometimes get to take beautiful pictures of fiancés and newlyweds from above when they choose wedding venues or engagement photo session locales in areas at the edges of the Washington metro area (such as Northern Virginia’s wine country, a beautiful region full of lovely and rustic wedding venues within an hour’s drive of downtown Washington), our drone must sit idle during the majority of the matrimonial celebrations of our Washington-based brides and grooms.
We understand the need for greater security in the city we call home, of course, but drone photography opens up a whole new world of possibilities for us as wedding photographers. It allows us to document the love that has brought two people to the altar from completely different angles than the ones we get with our cameras. As a result, being able to use our DJI Mavic Pro to take stunning aerial pictures of our wedding and engagement clients is one of many reasons why we love to travel to photograph out-of-town marriage events. When the bride and groom in this particular image hired us to take pictures of their nuptials near St. Louis, Missouri, for example, we could not wait for the opportunity to pose them in ways that would make for some great pictures when taken from above.
As it turned out, this was not actually the first drone photo that we took during their marriage celebrations. After the conclusion of their lovely ceremony at St. Rose Catholic Church in St. Rose, Illinois, the newly married couple asked us to take a picture of everyone in attendance gathered in one big group outside the church. However, without a big staircase at our disposal, we were unable to get all of the approximately 100 wedding guests in the frame when photographing from the ground, so we decided to use our drone to get an angle in which no one was blocking anyone else.
As much fun as it was taking those pictures, however, the beautiful image featured here was our favorite drone shot of the day. The bride and groom chose to have their couples portraits taken at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which is located about 20 miles from St. Louis. They met while studying there, which made it an integral part of their love story. After capturing some stunning images of them embracing and kissing under some cherry blossom trees in full spring bloom, we asked them to lie down in the middle of a brick ellipse located near the university’s main entrance. One of the things we have learned from experience is that couples look best in drone photos when posed lying on the ground, because their faces (and the love and emotions visible on them) can be seen more clearly.
There are two things that we particularly like about the pictures that we took of these newlyweds. The first is the way that the shape of the oval, the paths radiating out from it and the deep green of the surrounding grass make the image so visually appealing. The ellipse framing them perfectly and the walkways effectively pointing to them make the couple the center of attention, and the color of the grass contrasts beautifully with the red-orange of the bricks. The second is the way that the bride is establishing a physical connection with her new husband by stroking his cheek. Little elements like that do such a great job of showing (without words, of course) the way that a newly married couple feel about one another.