Sometimes the most beautiful and meaningful moments can be found in unlikely places. This Renaissance-inspired portrait, for example, was captured while the couple was sitting in the powder room of the Ebell Club of Long Beach in Los Angeles, California, while photographer Marlies Hartmann of M. Hart Photography crouched down across the way in the bathroom. Says Hartmann, "I had never shot at the Ebell prior to their wedding, so I quickly scouted the venue and fell in love with this bathroom!"
First, Hartmann had to ensure that no human reflections would be visible in the mirror (and with two videographers and a second shooter in proximity, that wasn't easy). Next, she wanted to make sure that the groom's face wouldn't be entirely hidden in shadow. "It is typical for couples to tilt their heads to the right when they kiss, so I needed her nose to be on the left of his but for the moment to still feel relaxed and natural," she says. "I probably took 30 frames of this one pose (having them move slowly in and out of the kiss quite a few times) to get this single frame."
It was worth the effort, Hartmann asserts, because the photo not only reminds her of her favorite artist, Caravaggio, but it also has a special meaning for the couple. "Carmen is Filipino and Adam is Jewish, so the wedding was a beautiful blending of their cultures and background, and in this moment, their symmetry came together as the merging of two families, balanced and as equals."
(Captured with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens.)