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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:)


Annapolis Engagement Photos | Amanda + Bryan

This time of year tends to be the most popular for engagement sessions, and for good reason! It’s one of the prettiest times of year and even the most simple location turns into something spectacular as long as there’s a tree or two, thanks to the fall foliage. Amanda and Bryan were hoping to catch some of this for their session in downtown Annapolis (which is also where they got engaged!) and we lucked out with a beautiful warm Sunday afternoon!

One of my favorite things to learn about each couple we work with is how they met…Amanda and Bryan met while working at the same vet office. John and I met while we worked for Macy’s, so we loved hearing the story of how they came across one another and eventually fell in love! Years later, Bryan proposed to Amanda at her favorite restaurant, Charthouse, where we end our session! Enjoy a few of my favorites!




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Great pictures !

Alexandria Sneak Peeks

We wrapped up the 2015 wedding season this past weekend with a sweet bi-coastal couple who traveled to Baltimore for their wedding day at the spectacular George Peabody Library. I’ll only be sharing details from their wedding day, but I think you guys will still love their post because their details were so gorgeous! Can you say PEONIES IN NOVEMBER?? I almost stole the bride’s bouquet and just made a break for it at the end of the night. Ha!! Kidding, of course. A highlight of the evening was actually that our April bride, Darby, was our assistant! Talk about a full circle moment at the last wedding of the year!

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Though our wedding season is complete, we’ve still got a few engagement sessions left on the books through the end of the year, and Janine and Josh’s in Alexandria was one of them! I really enjoy this time of year because it means a lot of the next year’s couples are doing their engagement sessions with us, and getting to meet them and spend time with them gets me so excited for what’s to come in the next wedding season!

Here’s a peek from their session! Aren’t they sweet?


I have to say that I can’t believe that another season has already come to a close! Time flies by so fast, especially when you live somewhat week to week, or event to event like we do. Looking back on the 23 weddings we photographed this year, I feel so glad I got to be a part of each one of them. We made (and captured) so many memories over the past 11 months! This year was so great and I’m excited to find out what’s in store for our 2016 season! Thanks for following along with us throughout the year! We appreciate all of you!


Washington DC Wedding Photos | Kristine + Erik

There’s always SOMETHING that goes wrong on a wedding day…it’s just a law. You have to learn to roll with it though and remain focused on your priority for the day…getting married! In Kristine and Erik’s case, their wedding day mishap actually happened a week before the big day when Kristine sprained her ankle! She had a great attitude about it though and took her dress to get altered so she could wear glittery TOMs flats instead of the heels she’d picked out and even bedazzled her crutches! The way they both handled this with such ease and positive attitudes made me sure that they’ll be able to weather anything in their new marriage!

I loved celebrating with them at Hamilton Live, a really cool venue in DC that’s actually a concert space. So unique! We also enjoyed working alongside Katy Jeffrey Events, who made sure everything went smoothly!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from this DC wedding day!!



Venue: St Peter’s Cathedral & Hamilton Live // Planner: Katy Jeffrey Events // Flowers: Greenworks DC // Catering + Cake: The Hamilton // Music: Bachelor Boys Band // Makeup: Makeup by Shirin // Hair: Mandy Hollinger // Bridal gown + Bridesmaids attire: Soliloquy Bridal



I love these! And that bouquet! And now I want a new pair of Toms.

Sarah Bennett

Beautiful – you captured everything! So delighted to relive the day! Thank you.


Absolutely stunning! Thank you for capturing a wonderful day so beautifully!