Modern & Fun Virginia Wedding Photographer » Creative and fun Virginia Wedding Photography

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San Diego Travel Photos

Confession time: when I travel, I sometimes don’t even pack my camera! Maybe half of the trips I’ve been on, I didn’t take it with me. Shocking, for a photographer to do such a crazy thing, right? Wouldn’t you imagine that a photographer would bring her camera everywhere she went? I think there are some photographers who are like that, but I don’t think I’ve ever really counted myself as one of them.

The truth is that sometimes I really just want to be able to see the world without my camera in front of my face…especially when I’m visiting a new place for the first time. I like to be able to see and smell and experience and enjoy without having to worry about an expensive piece of equipment…that I also use for work. Plus, if you’ve ever held a 5D Mark III and an L lens, you know they’re super freaking heavy and not fun to sightsee with!

On some travels I’ll bring my film camera, which is a lot smaller and easier to handle (plus getting back film scans later is always so much fun!), but this time I actually packed my DSLR!  I LOVE California and I actually have a wall of California photos in my master bathroom…so I wanted to be able to add a few photos to that.

This was my first visit to San Diego, but like the rest of California that I’ve seen (LA and San Francisco), I really REALLY loved it. There’s something about the west coast that I just love…maybe it’s the warm(er) weather or the more laid back attitudes, but I’m just all over that California vibe!!

Here are a just a few photos I took while visiting:


Breaking Down the Wedding Day – Part 1

After photographing nearly 150 weddings, I’ve developed a really good sense of what works for me and what doesn’t. Although every wedding is a unique event with a story of its own, I’ve come up with a really great system that helps ensure that things run smoothly (both on my end and for the couple, too!) and makes sure I have the time necessary to get all of the shots that I need.

Breaking down the ideal timeline for a fine art wedding photographer

I thought it would be fun to pull back the curtain so to speak and share a little bit about how I manage each part of the day, starting with the “getting ready” portion, which begins shortly after I arrive to start shooting for the day!

I typically arrive at a wedding about an hour before the bride is ready to get into her dress. This allows me time to start shooting details (bridal gown, rings, stationery suite, shoes, etc) and gives me a chance to warm up for the day. I spend about 40 minutes or so on details…I’ll style the bride’s details (and the groom’s if they’re available to me) before shooting them and often will shoot several arrangements of things (like the rings with the stationery, the flowers with the stationery, etc) for variety. Styling each little vignette that ends up in the photos usually takes a little bit of time, which is why shooting the details typically takes me about 40 minutes or so.

(Tip – Having all of your details ready to go in one spot before I arrive helps expedite the process.)

By the time I’m wrapped up with details, it’s usually right about the time for the bride to get into her dress! I usually select the location where I will want to photograph this when I arrive the day of the wedding. I look for something fairly neutral and clutter free, but the most important thing about the spot I chose is the light! The bridal suite at the venue or the hotel room where the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready may seem like the logical choice to most people, but sometimes I’ll pick something different…that could mean we’re shooting in a vestibule, a hallway, or even outside on a patio depending on the situation.

A good example of this is the bridal suite at King Family Vineyards. Their bridal suite is nice, but the overhead, fluorescent lighting isn’t great for photos, so I have had my brides have their dress photos taken out in the entry area (We always make sure that the groom and groomsmen aren’t in the vicinity before bringing the bride out to have her photos here). I think this spot is so much nicer because the window light is a lot more flattering and natural looking. The overall vibe of this spot also reflects that of the venue and the wedding day and will help the final gallery have a cohesive feel to it.

Note: It’s very rare for the bride to actually get fully dressed out in the spot I choose for the “getting dressed” photos. Usually, she’s entirely in the dress before stepping out for the photos and we have someone she chooses to help her zip or button it for the shots we need.

After this, we do accessories (jewelry, shoes, veil) and a few bridal portrait type shots (time permitting). Once this is all done we usually move on to the first look, which I’ll get into in more detail next time!

I hope this series will be helpful to those of you who are currently planning a wedding, but also entertaining to anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to work with me to see a peek behind the scenes! Thanks for reading and be sure to stop by again for the next chapter in the series!



2017 Wedding Favorites

It’s hard to believe that not only has another year of shooting weddings has come to a close, a new one has already begun! I may have photographed my first 2018 wedding a couple of weeks ago, but it’s still taken me almost an entire month to go through all of the images I delivered last year picking out a few favorites to share a wrap-up. Every year I find it harder and harder to narrow down my favorite images into a cohesive post, but I think this year was especially tough! I photographed so many places I’ve always wanted to work, from the always beautiful Pippin Hill Farms to MEXICO, and made so many lasting memories with my 2017 couples I know it will be a difficult year to top!

To my dear clients, thank you so much for letting me into your lives and for letting me become a part of your wedding day stories! I have loved every minute of it:)

Here are a few of my favorite images from 2017!


Washington DC Engagement Photos

When it comes to scheduling a winter engagement session you never really know what you’re going to get as far as weather, but we lucked out for Brittany and Alexander’s DC session just a little while back! Although the past January has been one of the coldest I can remember, we were surprised with an unseasonably mild day for their photos, which is always a welcome treat!

One of the things I really love about shooting in the winter is how different the light is this time of year…there’s something really cozy and inviting about it that I can’t quite explain. And DC is always so much fun, but this tends to be a great time of year for sessions there, since it’s a lot less busy!

I loved Brittany and Alexander’s crisp, classic style and how at ease they were in front of the camera…they were so much fun to work with! Here are a few of my favorite images with them:)


Albums – Mary & Simon

I’ve been working on wrapping up a few albums and I realized that I’d yet to share Mary and Simon’s wedding album! When they booked their wedding, they chose to order not just an album for themselves, but two parent albums as well. The parent albums are copies of the couple’s album and are a perfect way for them to relive and enjoy the day. Parent albums make wonderful gifts and are a great way to say thank you!

Mary and Simon chose the gray linen cover that seems to be most popular among my couples…no surprise there…it’s my favorite too! It’s a timeless color that won’t go out of style anytime soon…and it goes pretty well with everything and looks great on a living room coffee table!

Here’s a little peek inside of their album!