I was thrilled when my wedding photograph entitled "Our Love Is Evergreen" won best-in-show honors in the wedding category at a recent Maryland Professional Photographers Association (MDPPA) photography competition, but I was not surprised.
What a fantastic landscape! Its natural beauty offers a wonderful setting for an environmental portrait of a bride and groom.
The portrait had its origins when I first met Lynn and Robert for a complimentary wedding photography consultation. Like me, they loved their venue, the Rust Manor House, in Leesburg, Virginia, where both their ceremony and wedding reception would be held. We bonded over how awesome the Manor's immense evergreens are.
"We'll HAVE to do a wedding day portrait that includes those trees," I urged.
"They're so huge I don't see how you're going to be able to do that," said Robert.
"I have my ways!", I said.
Their summer wedding was beautiful: the manor house was lovely and the weather was picture perfect.
After the ceremony and family portraits were done, we set off to do a series of romantic portraits on the grounds.
Our "wedding couple with the trees" was the first portrait idea. As expected, the cloud-decorated blue sky and the sun-splotched greenery had created a wonderful setting to show off the couple and the evergreens in all their finery. But where to place the couple in the scene was not immediately obvious.
Analyzing the scene, I noted that the late day shadows from other trees on the property pointed to a small patch of direct sunlight---a perfect spotlight for the couple! Ordinarily, I would try to avoid direct sunlight, but here it was the solution. Placed there, the couple balances the magnificent evergreen on the right for a strong composition. The small cross at the end of the stone pathway provides another visual treat.
My last trick to make this image work was to stand far back, letting Lynn and Robert forget about everything but each other for a moment. Their sweet interaction completes this award-winning image.
I am honored by the Best-in-Show award. Even more so, I am honored to have been Lynn and Robert's wedding photographer, privileged to share such moments of love, blessed to be able to capture them in works of art.
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My Northern Virginia wedding and portrait photography studio is conveniently located in Ashburn, Virginia, just west of Dulles International Airport and north of the Brambleton shopping center.