It was a privilege to be apart of Ashley & Kyle’s wedding day. Their wedding was held at Hidden Creek Country Club in Reston, VA. Though our time together was short, and it was about 90 degrees (!) outside, Ashley and Kyle were awesome to work with! They were so easy going and relaxed. It was a completely stress free day. With under 40 guests, I loved the intimate feel to this wedding. I’m pretty sure everyone got in at least one family photo! Portrait time with Ashley and Kyle was such a breeze! I love to work with couples who aren’t afraid to laugh at each other, and are completely at ease with one another! Their connection was evident, and I couldn’t be more happy for them! Also, note that their meal was breakfast food. Best wedding meal ever!
I had such a great time at the wedding of Alex & Ian. I really loved how simple, yet awesome this wedding was. You can really tell that Alex and Ian have the right kind of relationship. One of mutual respect, honesty, and truly complementing each other. The wedding was so laid back and stress free. Nobody was nervous about anything; everyone just knew that this wedding day was meant to happen for a long time. I absolutely loved Jefferson Patterson Park; the reception was held in an open barn with lawn games off to the side. The ceremony was situated right at the shore of a little beach overlooking the Patuxent River. The ceremony was beautiful, complete with a fitting love poem by James Cavanaugh. The ceremony was located about a half mile from the barn, and so after the ceremony was over, the newly married couple, bridal party, and guests strolled to the reception carrying balloons that were decorating the ceremony, in a little parade. After some appetizers and lunch, the games began! This wedding didn’t include a first dance, in fact, it barely included any dancing at all! This wedding reception was all about competition and games. I loved it because it was so true to the couple, and what they like. I didn’t expect to get a shot of the bride losing in Jenga, but I guess I should have expected it!
Thank you to Alex & Ian for letting me be apart of your day, and to all the vendors who participated in making this day awesome! Thank you also to Melodie Ann Photography for being my shooting buddy. You’ll see some of her shots in this post
How to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot:
Not all photographers are like this, but here’s what you can expect at an engagement session with me. I’ve found this style of shooting yields the best results!
1. Prepare to be yourself! The most important thing for both of you is to come prepared to be yourselves. Don’t worry about whether or not you look stiff, or whether or not I’m shooting your good side. Also, I’ll give you lots of direction, so don’t worry about being told to “Act natural!” repeatedly 😛 And most of all, don’t be afraid to make a pose your own. Sounds silly, but what I mean is don’t be afraid to relax and laugh at each other An engagement shoot is all about capturing the love you two have created, and I want to see that! I promise the best photos will come when you aren’t worrying about how you look.
2. Prepare to shoot at “golden hour!” If you’ve seen my blog, you know I’m a fan of shooting when the sun is about to set. I just love the effect that “golden hour” has on my images. That and, after the sun has set, there’s a 30 minute period where the diffused light really brings out colors and vibrancy. Soft, post-sunset light produces incredible images. It’s not all about sun flare, and certainly not about shooting in direct light! Some people don’t think I can shoot once the sun has set, but they couldn’t be more wrong. My equipment allows me to easily shoot up to an hour after the sun has set because the camera’s sensor is much more sensitive to light than typical point and shoots. Shooting before, during, and after golden hour is a great way to create a wide variety of images. Also, if I can’t have golden hour, I love getting creative with umbrellas or an indoor space with window light :). The first 3 images here are shot at golden hour, and the last 2 were shot at least 15 minutes after the sun had set.
3. Prepare to go on a fun adventure, preferably outdoors. I am a natural light photographer, which certainly means I am not a fan of studios, backdrops and lots of artificial lighting. That doesn’t mean I can’t shoot indoors. It means I like to use the available light around me, and be as creative as possible, while still traveling light! This means I can shoot almost anywhere! I would love to go to shoot you at any place that is special to you, such as your hometown, where he proposed, where you met, etc. The following 3 images were shot at the Katie & Chris’ build site for their new home, Amanda & Daniel’s hometown and where they met, and Main Street Station, where Sarah & Chris would have their wedding ceremony.
What to Wear for your Engagement Shoot:
One of the main reasons I did this blog post is because of how many couples ask about clothing advice! I don’t claim to be a fashion expert, of course, but here are some tips (and some photos!) on how to be comfortable and look great for your engagement shoot:
1. Bring 2 outfits! If you’re not sure what to wear, bring one casual outfit, and one more dressy/formal outfit. If you have a different idea of what you want to wear, then go with it! I’m up for anything!
2. Pick something you feel comfortable in! There is no point in wearing something you don’t feel confident in! If you’re constantly needing to adjust your dress because its not quite fitting right or you’re not feeling 100% sure about that shirt…don’t wear it. Pick something you know fits well and is comfortable to move around in because when the photos come out, you’ll be even more critical!
3. Avoid wearing small patterns or matching clothes. The no-matching rule excludes matching clothes with a specific purpose, such as, for example, showing off a sports team you both like! Otherwise matching clothes without a purpose just looks cheesy. Small patterns tend to simply look unflattering in photos. This is not always the case, but it’s worth considering when choosing your outfits.
4. Coordinate! The best “word” of advice I can give to couples preparing for their engagement shoot is to coordinate.
5. Wearing matching colors but in different SHADES looks great!
6. Matching accessories are a great way to look as though you belong together without looking cheesy together 😛
7. Contrast your colors: If one of you is wearing a bright colors or patterns, the other will coordinate well in a solid, more neutral color.
2015 is off to a great start! A couple weekends ago I met up with Grace & Mark for their engagement shoot in DC. We met at the Vienna metro and headed to the Smithsonian stop right next to the Capital and all the museums. It was a cold, but sunny Saturday in January. One of my favorite moments was when we spontaneously decided to take some photos of them on a Merry-go-round! Such a fun idea! I had recently been in DC so I had scouted out some great spots for photos. It was nice to have a planned route for the shoot! We even had time to take a quick coffee break and change clothes before heading over to the monuments for some sunset shots! I also LOVED their outfits! They did the perfect job coordinating! What I loved about the WWII shots is that it was the exact spot that Mark proposed to Grace! I have to say I’m so grateful for what great sports Grace & Mark were. It was cold and I know they were not fans of when the fountain sprayed them with water!! :O. It made for a cute photo though! They kept taking their jackets on and off for each spot and I imagine that was annoying. When we finished up they bundled up in hats and scarfs! Overall I think all our trekking around DC was worth it! Enjoy these beautiful engagement shots!
Choosing my favorites from this years photos was tough. 2014 turned out to be much better than I thought it would be. I had a personal goal of booking 6 weddings for this year and I was lucky enough to book 8. I was so fortunate to get the most awesome clients as well! I’m really excited to get into 2015 and see what the New Year brings. I’m so excited to share my favorite wedding, engagement, and portrait shots with you! Each shoot includes a link to a full blog post of the event Enjoy!
My Instagrams from 2014.
I’m a huge Instagram user and I used to have a series on this blog called “Camera Phone Friday.” I’m going to be bringing this series back in 2015, so I thought I’d share my Instagram shots from this past year, in an attempt to catch up. I love the convenience of having a camera on my phone, and end up using it a lot! The blog tends to show only my clients and professional work, but a lot of my personal life is captured on my phone. I’m planning on blogging more, and sharing more next year! You’ll see this past year I photographed mostly cats, food, restaurants, and sunsets…and a few other things. Also towards the end of the year I got an iPhone 6 Plus, and the camera was worlds better than my previous iPhone 4s. So I started photographing a lot more, and thats what prompted me to finally share some more personal photos. It’s amazing how good camera phones are nowadays, and they are great personal storytelling devices.