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Libby Hill Park Couples Session | Kim + Michael

This fall ended up being too crazy to fit in a full day of mini sessions like we normally do…wedding season went later than it sometimes ends AND I decided to host a workshop literally the day before we head out on our honeymoon. There’s nothing like keeping yourself busy to get time to fly by, right?

Anyway, even though I couldn’t do a full day of minis, I still wanted to offer them to friends, especially my friend Kim, who’s Christmas card photos are becoming a tradition for me late Fall/early Winter! She and her pug and her boyfriend, Michael hung out with us on one of the first chilly days of the season and we took some fun photos for them at her favorite RVA park. I love Libby Hill Park too…it was where John and I actually had our engagement session five years ago!

Enjoy a few favorites from our quick session! I know I am biased because they’re my friends, but I think they are so adorable!

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Washington DC Engagement Photos | Beth + Mike

Over the past few weeks we have gotten to photograph several of our 2016 couples for their engagement sessions and I’m loving it! I think this time spent getting to know each couple a little better is so valuable to the experience, both for them and for us. Its fun to chat with them and hear about what they’re into, how they met, etc and it’s also really neat to see how they interact with each other!

Beth and Mike chose to have their session in the Chinatown neighborhood of DC and at the gorgeous Union Station. I always advocate for choosing a spot that has meaning to you personally for engagement photos, and this fit them to a tee!  They love hanging out in Chinatown and having date nights there together, so we kind of tagged along with them to some of their favorite spots around town.

I could have hung out with Beth and Mike all day! I think the one thing I’ve taken away from this busy Fall of shooting engagement sessions almost every weekend is that we seriously have the best clients booked for next year. I mean, I love all of our past clients, but it just seems like next year’s group are all so much fun! I think if anything, doing our promo film with Josh is helping the right people find us:)

Enjoy a few of my favorites!!
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Alexandria Engagement Photos | Janine + Josh

It was such a treat to spend the evening with Janine and Josh a little over a week ago! They are getting married next year in Northern Virginia! Janine lives in Maryland and Josh lives in Virginia, so they spend a lot of date nights meeting halfway in Old Town Alexandria, which, if you’ve never been there in the Fall, is pretty perfect for photos! We saw at least three other photographrs during our session! I love shooting in Old Town because there’s always a new little nook to explore and it just doesn’t get old. It’s not hard to see this place with fresh eyes each time we visit.

Janine and Josh are absolute sweethearts! They were such good sports and were truly up for anything, which always makes me so happy! I can’t wait for their wedding next year!

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So gorgeous!Love her dress :)

Richmond Half Marathon Recap

There aren’t many photos of my race this time, but I still wanted to share a recap…even if it’s just for me to look back on and remember everything! I didn’t talk about it as much as I talked about my first half marathon just two years ago (time really flies!!), but you may have heard me mention that I was running the American Family Fitness Half Marathon in Richmond over the weekend. I’ve been wanting to run this race since I started running about two and a half years ago and it didn’t work out for me to participate until this year. I’m so glad I waited and did it now because I really think all of the weight training I’ve been doing in preparation for our Hawaii trip helped with sone of the hills!! Where we live is very flat, so there are not many options for hills during training for long runs.

I honestly didn’t really think about the race much at all until Thursday, when I was two days out. I’ve been training, yes, but I’ve also been focusing more on weight lifting, HIIT workouts, and kettlebell classes than just running alone. Instead of running being my main focus this year, I have been more or less working towards my overall goal of getting in my best shape for our Hawaii photos. I think this approach worked really well for me! I had a lot more trouble running my first half because my legs and back weren’t strong enough to handle the long distance.

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Last Thursday was the start of carb loading (best part of training if you ask me!) and also when it first set in that I was about to do another half in just a couple more sleeps. The anxiety really started to get to me on Friday…for some reason I was SO nervous! Even more nervous than before I ran my very first half, or my full marathon last year. I have no idea where that came from! I would have thought I would have been really chill about it since I’d done it before, but maybe that actually made me more nervous since I had more of an idea of what to expect. I kept trying to convince myself that it wasn’t any different from any other workout, and I was just going to wake up and run like it was any other day, and that helped calm me down a little bit.

Race morning was so cold, but actually warmer than the two other races I’ve run, so not too big of a deal. I ate some simple carbs (rice crispy treat) and had half of a sugar free red bull and was good to go! This was the first time I ever signed up to run with a pace group, and I actually really enjoyed it! I wish I could run with a group more often during training! I joined the 2:15 pace group after hopping out of our UBER near the starting line and ran with them for the majority of the time. It was great being able to chat with some of the other runners and also ask the pace leader any questions I had (like were there any other hills, etc). It was also really fun to feel like I was sort of on a team since I always run by myself during training and it can get really isolating and lonely.

It was the PERFECT day to run a half marathon. A little bit of chill in the air, but not too windy or cold. I ditched my cheap gloves within about two miles and had to pin my bib to the shirt underneath my jacket when I started getting too warm. Re-pinning your race bib while you are running is no joke in case you were thinking about trying it….

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I ran with the pace group until separating from them around the 10 mile mark. Once I hit the 10 mile mark I felt confident enough to pick up my speed a little bit since there were only 3 miles left. I run a three mile loop around my neighborhood pretty regularly so I felt like 3 miles was nothing! I kept telling myself I could run three miles in my sleep! Obviously a huge exaggeration, but I knew I would be able to finish strong when I made it to ten miles and still felt okay.

It was also at this point i started noticing other runners on the sidelines stretching and thought to myself “What are they doing?? They need to get going! Who has time for that??” and just kept running. I was able to pass people and passing people feels SO awesome. I just felt like I was KILLING. IT. Then, I started to feel it. Or them. CRAMPS. Right at the 12 mile mark I noticed my right leg cramping up a little bit. I’ve never had leg cramps before during training….never had them during my first half or the full marathon either, so I didn’t really know what to do. I just kept running because I wasn’t going to let that stop me….not so close to the finish! I kept going. This part of the race was on a slight incline, which REALLY started to aggravate the cramps before I knew it, they were so intense in both legs that I could barely bend my legs. I’m sure I looked ridiculous! I finally got to a flat area and they subsided a little bit. Enough at least for me to get through the last half mile.

Before I knew it I was at the hill that leads down to the finish line! It happened SO fast, but this was my favorite part of the entire race. The other half I ran, the finish area was a lot smaller and not very many people were out there at all. Other than my friends being there at the finish, it would have been VERY anti-climactic, especially after training for months to get to that moment. At the Richmond half, the finish line is the dramatic, exciting scene you picture in your head with crowds of screaming people and a shit ton of excitement all around. You’re also running downhill, so you’re flying and the sun is on your face and you feel like the most badass person of all time. I like to save up enough energy to sprint at the end of my workouts and this one wasn’t any different. Sprinting down the hill I just felt so powerful and athletic and I could hear people cheering (though, probably for their friends and not necessarily me, but still). I almost wanted to go slower to soak it all in, but sprinting at the end just feels so awesome, so I flew across the finish line and looked up to see that I beat my last half time AND the time goal I set for myself!

I felt so emotional after I finished. I couldn’t believe that I did it AGAIN, and that I did even better this time! One of the reasons I (sometimes) love running so much is because I think there is nothing that feels quite like beating yourself. I don’t like competing with other people, but I love competing with myself. I think that’s one of my favorite things about running. At a half marathon (or any other race like that), my times are my competition and the other runners out on the course are my teammates, striving to beat their own past times, too. That is, unless you are an actual athlete who is running competitively for money, in which case, you are definitely still not my competition because, I run as fast as you walk.

All in all, I can’t really believe that in just two years time I’ve now run TWO half marathons and a full marathon in between. I must be crazy!! I only just decided I wanted to run a marathon a couple of years ago and decided to take the steps to make it happen. I think this whole thing has taught me that if there’s something you really want to do, you CAN really just do it as long as you are willing to do the work. People have asked me how I do it and have said to me that they never could. That’s really not true. Anyone can look at someone crossing the finish line after 5, 10, 13, 26 miles, etc and think that it seems so impossible, but it’s not when you remember that they woke up every day for months and put in the work. If you are willing to put in the work, you can do whatever you want to do and I am living proof of that.

Thank you to everyone who supported me as I was training and sent me well wishes! It means so much to me to have such a great tribe in my corner, especially John for uber-ing all over RVA to cheer me on and my friends Kim and Michael for taking me to brunch and putting a pitcher of mimosas in my face afterward.


I am so proud of you for finishing this weekend!! I’m sorry the city of Richmond was a mess and kept us from making it to the finish line but we were so glad to have you guys for the weekend!

Great job! I ran the Richmond Half a few years ago- what an awesome experience. Loved reliving parts of it by reading your post :)

Washington DC Engagement Sneak Peeks

This month so far feels like it’s been a whirlwind. How did it get to be more than halfway through November already?? Part of me is excited that time is going by so fast since that means our trip to Hawaii will be here before we know it (just three weeks now!), but I have so much left to do that I’m kind of freaking out! I’m glad to be staying busy though! Being busy is always a good thing:)

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A peek at Christmas photos for a friend at Libby Hill Park! 

Speaking of being busy, I hate to admit it, but I’ve let the blogging fall behind a little bit over the past week or so. I normally pride myself in keeping it as up to date as possible, but with my computer getting stolen and subsequently not being able to work for two full days, I had to prioritize what was most important and taking care of our clients topped the list. The silver lining, though, is that I have a lot to share this week AND next! I have two engagement sessions, a mini session I photographed for a close friend, details from our last wedding of the year and a half marathon recap!

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Hanging out with our new friends & 2016 bride and groom Beth and Mike in one of their favorite DC neighborhoods.

In other news, we are also three weeks out from the THIRD workshop! Yes, I planned a workshop for the day before I leave on my honeymoon. Yes, I am crazy. I’m currently in the midst of looking for a few sponsors who would be interested in contributing something fun for the attendees! If you or someone you know makes or sells lotions, soaps, lip balm, handmade note cards, or other small gifts/trinkets, have them email me at katie @!

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Janine and Josh and their Alexandria e-session will be on the blog Wednesday!!

Last little tidbit for this Monday before I leave you guys…we are so excited to be 75 percent booked for next season! If you have been thinking about working with us, now’s the time to snag your date. Fall and Spring dates are always the first to go, so keep that in mind.  I thought I’d mention it here since we’ve been turning away a lot of couples due to being booked already for their date.

Hope you guys have an excellent Monday! I will be in my office just catching up and enjoying the sun streaming through the windows:)