MARIA & JERRY: WEDDING DAY PORTRAITS DISPLAYED AT WEST BELMONT PLACE
For Visit Loudoun's first self-guided wedding tour, I was privileged to partner with West Belmont Place, a premiere wedding venue in Leesburg, Virginia. I had a great time that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday working with Gian Carattini, the Director of Catering, and his assistant Shelby Fischer. Just outside the Grand Ballroom, my wedding photography exhibit helped Mr. Carattini and Ms. Fischer welcome visitors to West Belmont Place. And I was thrilled to discuss the lovely images I had taken at the venue with our visitors as part of their tour.
My exhibit included two portraits of Maria and Jerry, shown above, taken at their West Belmont Place wedding reception in early October, 2014. Consistent with my style, I selected one environmental portrait, to show the couple amid the signature surroundings of West Belmont Place, and one close-up portrait in which the background contributes to the story but is very subtle. The portraits were presented as 20" x 24" lacquered canvas wrap giclees. Absolutely gorgeous!
The architectural style of West Belmont Place is "Brutalist" which was all the rage in the 1970s when the main buildings were built. The term "Brutalist" derives from the French "beton brut" meaning "raw concrete."
In the portrait on the left, I showcase the beautiful aspects of this design aesthetic by placing Maria and Jerry at the focal point of a raw concrete staircase. I loved the graphic nature of this location, with its interesting geometrical shapes, converging lines, and different textures. To me, this portrait provides a signature look unique to West Belmont Place. I enjoy how the hardness of the beton brut contrasts with the softness of the loving embrace and the bridal regalia.
In the portrait on the right, I use the beautiful grounds just outside the lobby to softly frame a romantic close-up of Maria and Jerry. I use selective focus to separate the couple from the background, thereby minimizing the building behind them. The greenery is softly present, while the building with its beton brut exterior fades gently into the background. Your eyes go directly to the couple and their embrace. You feel the newlywed pride in their faces. And I love the way Maria's veil is draped so alluringly. (Thanks, Mother Nature, for the fortuitous "just right" breeze!)
The grounds of West Belmont Place are extensive -- including wooded trails frequented by deer -- but these portraits show that, with attractive surroundings in every direction, you don't have to travel very far to get beautiful results.