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Maddie + John | Gaithersburg, md engagement photography

I had such a great time shooting Maddie and John’s engagement session out in Gaithersburg, Maryland this past weekend. They were nice enough to meet up during the holiday weekend, since we were already in town. For the first part of the session they invited us over and cooked a delicious stir fry to share. They love cooking together and experimenting with recipes! I absolutely love it when couples incorporate things that are “them” into their session.

After we finished eating, we drove over to John’s elementary school for a few pictures on the soccer field…Maddie and John are both really into sports…they met playing kickball and actually both play soccer now! Fun fact: Maddie and John (my John) actually ran track together in high school, while Maddie’s John attended the rival high school.


These are awesome!!! Love! 🙂


Thank you for all the terrific pictures! You are fantastic–and not to mention a lot of fun to work with.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I know you are busy celebrating and being thankful with your families today, so if you have taken a second to read this post, THANK YOU. Yes, you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of my clients for your support, trust, and most importantly, your friendship. I love this job so much and wouldn’t have the opportunity to do it if it weren’t for the amazing clients who were willing to trust this photographer in her first year of business. I am beyond grateful to have gotten to know so many awesome people this year. I’ve laughed with you guys, stood in your windowsills, cried at your weddings, and very honestly had the time of my life.

Savor this day and eat lots of turkey and green bean casserole for me! I will be in Maryland enjoying my in-laws company, shopping, stuffing my face,  and shooting an engagement session for one of my 2012 couples 🙂 See you all next week!


Just be yourself

Figuring out who Katie Nesbitt is has been a huge part of this past year as well as a big part of developing my business and coming up with a vision for my brand. I’m one of those people that has always felt out of place and really struggled to find myself. I have spent most of my life wondering where I belong and what I’m supposed to be doing. Becoming a photographer has given me purpose though, and has forced me to examine exactly who I am and what makes me tick. And more importantly to accept it and get along with it. The hardest part has been not just learning to love myself, but to be at peace with who I am and to OWN it.

I got Jasmine Star’s magazine, EXPOSED in the mail this week and have been devouring it ever since. Some of it I have already read on her blog, but it was still perfect for me to read right now. Jasmine is so positive and vulnerable with her own story. Her attitude is infectious and her story is so easy to relate to. When she talks about wanting to quit, I know exactly where she’s coming from because I feel that way all the time. When she talks about passion and wanting it more than anything, I know that feeling too because that’s what keeps me going. And somehow on a day when I am feeling totally down in the dumps about myself and wondering how I will ever make it as a photographer, I can look at her blog and there is something totally positive and uplifting to inspire me. She is kind of like my Oprah. Is that weird? Yeah, it probably is. Reading Jasmine’s magazine has inspired me that much more to focus on myself, my brand, and my craft and know that there is nothing better I can provide to my clients other than myself. There are tens of  thousands of photographers all over the country, but there is only one Katie Nesbitt. There is nothing that I can do to set myself apart except to just be Katie. It sounds totally weird to say this out loud (you know what I mean) but Jasmine has almost given me the permission to accept myself and be okay with just being me. I am so grateful to Jasmine, a woman who does not even know I exist, for giving me the courage to GO THERE with myself.



Preach on, sister friend. I consumed that magazine like it was going out of style. I need to read it again, though- I think the first time through I was just so excited about what was coming next that I wasn’t able to fully process the whole thing.

May twenty-first, two-thousand eleven

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

I have been wanting to write about our wedding for a while, but have yet to find the time. Plus I’m already terrible enough at writing without trying to describe such an incredible day within the space of a blog post. Today is cold and rainy so I am kind of tethered to my couch/computer for the afternoon and figured this was probably as good a time as any. So here goes nothing! All of the pretty pictures in this post are by the talented Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography.

It was Saturday, May 21st,  and I woke up in my childhood home to one of those perfect 80 degree days with the sun shining so hard that clouds don’t stand a chance. Perfect day for a rapture wedding. The best part of waking up in my old home was opening my eyes and seeing my sister/arch-nemeis/bff sleeping on the opposite side of the room. She was supposed to be attending Army AIT training in Texas and not able to fly home to be my maid of honor, but due to a small miracle my family secretly put together for me, she was able to convince her superiors she needed to be at the wedding and fly home to surprise me just in the nick of time. It was very sweet and even a little poetic for me to be able to spend my last morning as a single girl  in the house where I grew up, surrounded by my little family.

After we got up, we went to get our hairs did, delivered the decor to the reception venue, got in a Hardees breakfast (my fave) and pretty much just hung out while we had our makeup done by my friend Candi. There was very little crazy drama…just one small freak out when I picked up my handmade bouquet and realized some of the peonies were looking a little worse for the wear.

Before I knew it, the time had come to put on my gown!

While all this was going on at my parents house,  John and his groomsmen got ready at the nearby City Center Marriott.

I handmade all of the boutonnieres using a little tutorial I will be sharing with you guys sometime soon. I really wanted our bouts and corsages to be something that could be saved and kept as a keepsake. Plus making them saved us a little bit of money we’d have spent on fresh flowers and saving money never hurts.

After everyone was all prettified, we all headed over to the Ceremony site so John and I could meet up for our first look. Choosing a first look was hands down one of the best wedding decisions we made. It was an incredibly emotional and intimate moment shared between the just the two of us. Something I doubt we would have had if we hadn’t done a first look. Both John and I tend to be very private people, so I knew that we would want our first time seeing each other on our wedding day to be intimate, rather than shared with all of our guests. We were also able to get more pictures because since we had already seen each other, we could carve out some time for just the two of us right before the ceremony.

As I crept up behind my soon to be HUSBAND, it was all I could do  just to try and keep it together. I was shaking like a leaf and felt like I might throw up. When I tapped him on the shoulder, I could feel hot tears welling up in my eyes and  tried to remember to breathe. When he turned around, I could see he was already crying and I started to do the same.  It was so surreal…after years of planning, our wedding day had finally arrived!

We chose to hold our ceremony at the historic Nelson House in Yorktown. The house played an important role in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. There is actually a cannonball embedded in the side from where it was bombed during the Civil War!

Lynn Lindsay made these chair decorations. She also was kind enough to bring a vintage desk that she had in her home for us to use as our altar.

My mom and stepmom helped me put together all of the flower arrangements a few days before the wedding.

Before I knew it, the time had come for the ceremony to begin. My mom, my friends, and I lined up to walk down the aisle and then everything started happening really fast.

Surprisingly I didn’t cry. Not one tear. I had always pictured myself as a mess going down the aisle but I kept it together and smiled the whole way. In fact, I didn’t cry again until my sister got up and gave e.e cummings “i carry your heart” as the reading. *tear. I kind of tear up thinking about it. About how much that poem really means to me and how it applies to the love I have for not only John, but for my sister as well.  And my sister, who is not even an emotional person, cried while she gave her reading. The three of us stood there together underneath the clear blue sky on a warm May afternoon and just cried. Because sometimes when you love, it can be overwhelming.

Immediately after the ceremony we invited all of our friends and family to join us in a celebratory wedding parade. Ashly, our coordinator, had suggested the parade years and years ago (kidding…sort of) when we first started planning the wedding. Best. Idea. Ever. I kind of laughed at the idea when she first brought it up, but she was so right! The parade was festive and fun. There was just an excited energy and John and I were so relieved to finally be married and get to relax a little. Plus the parade pictures are some of my favorites!

I made ribbon wands and bought kazoos online to pass out to our parade-goers. Lynn made the cute “Just Married” sign Avery carried. Lynn is so good at what she does!

John and I put together all of the burlap runners using no-sew hemtape! I love that we can now decorate our dining table with a handmade remnant from our wedding.

We had Rita’s Ice at our reception! Probably the best 50 dollars spent. People are still talking about how cool it was. I mean, it was so cool it was ICE COLD…hahaha.

Here we are getting our Cupid’s Shuffle on. The Cupid’s Shuffle is MY JAM. Like you have no idea how hard it is for me to not Cupid’s Shuffle when I’m shooting a wedding. It practically goes against who I am.

By the end of the night I was overwhelmed by emotions as well as the enormity of the day. Like how can you be so, so happy. How did I even deserve all that happiness? Oh and I’m a wife now! And then saying goodbye not just to my old life but also to my sister, yet again. Goodbyes are rough on me. Even as a little kid I would always say I love you and Be Careful to my parents before they left because I was so scared that might be the last time I saw them. At the end of the night I said goodbye and Be Careful to my little sister, then held her and sobbed.

When I look back on our day I feel such a range of emotions. There was joy, a little bit of sadness, and a lot of love. Yes, there are some things I might have changed about the day if I had a wedding do-over. Hindsight is always 20/20.  But ultimately the goal of the day was to marry the sweetest man I’ve ever known and to share that with the people who made me who I am today.

Mission accomplished.

Venue: Yorktown Freight Shed
Catering: Green Leafe Catering
Coordinator: Ashly of Coast Couture
Photography: Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography
Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Banks
Cupcakes: Sam’s Club
Hair: Animare Aveda Salon
Makeup: Candi Valentine
Stylist: Lynn Lindsay
Officiant: Dawn Kenny

P.S. Keep an eye out for a budget breakdown coming to the blog sometime soon…I am famously cheap and will share some of my secrets as well as a list of DIY projects.


I just now read this post and it’s SO sweet and well written. I can’t wait to feel all those emotions on my wedding day!! WHENEVER THAT IS hahaha

Katie Hill-Nesbitt

Aw thank you! You will be such a gorgeous bride!! I

I love that you labeled the last image “mission accomplished.” That’s adorable! Your hair flower is adorable, and your bridesmaids’ dresses are so chic! I actually bought that same dress from David’s for my rehearsal dinner- it’s SO classy. good choice 🙂


Katie Hill-Nesbitt

Thank you!!! I really hope my friends will wear their dresses again…Like I will be beyond excited. Haha.


hey katie. I was wondering who you used for a dj. I am having a hard time finding someone reasonable. HELP!!


I’m over from Katelyn James’s blog and I’m hooked – love your open and honest heart

Katie Hill-Nesbitt

Oh gosh you are so sweet! Thanks for the comment, it was so nice to wake up and read it first thing!

Pamela Snodgrass

Congratulations on an absolutely beautiful fun wedding! I loved the idea of a wedding on the grounds of the Nelson house so much, I am attempting to copy it. Thanks again for sharing your special day.