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

Masthead header

Tips for Including your Pets in your Photos

We are totally “those people” when it comes to pets. Our cat, Lucy is an important member of our family, which is why we included her in our promo film a couple of years ago! While Lucy doesn’t leave the house very often for photo sessions, we work with a lot of couples who have a pup they want to include in their photos. After shooting lots of sessions with dogs included, I decided to share a few tips for including pets in photos!

Know your pet’s personality
Some pets are just not going to do well in photos. If you have a pet that’s very anxious or is aggressive around new people, they may not do well with having their photo taken. If your pet doesn’t like other animals (you never know when there might be some other animals in the vicinity…especially outdoors!) it might not go well either. Does your pet tend to be really wild and unruly? Or is your pet pretty calm and easy going? Knowing your pets personality and making decisions based on that will help set you up for success!

Pack all of your pet’s necessities
While you’re packing up the essentials for your shoot (lipstick or gloss for touch ups, props, etc) you should think about packing your pet’s necessities too! This might include treats, a favorite toy, poop bags, or any other extras that might help put your pet at ease or enhance the session.

Wear them out before the shoot
This is especially helpful if you have a puppy or a pet that’s very hyper. The day of the photos be sure to take them to the park or get them out on a run ahead of time so that you can help get some of their energy out!

Bring along a pet sitter
We like to suggest bringing along an additional set of hands to help out with your pet. This person can walk your pet while we are shooting without it, can carry treats, and can help me catch your pets attention if I need it in the photos. They can even take your pet home after we’ve shot some photos with him or her if you prefer! In general, bringing along a “pet sitter” makes things much less stressful for you and less stress = a better photo experience.


For Photographers: Being an Introvert

If I had to guess, I’d venture to say that the majority of wedding photographers out there are extroverts at heart. Our job is one that requires us to spend a good amount of time interacting with all kinds of different people, so it seems only natural that someone who is outgoing would thrive in a job like this! On the other hand, I think introverts also have a big advantage since much of what we do is done behind the scenes, often solo. I’m an introvert myself and deal with shyness (not as much so on the internet, where it is way easier to be bold!) so I wanted to share some things I’ve learned that will hopefully help other introvert photographers!

The first, and possibly most important thing to remember is: Be genuine and true to yourself in all of your interactions.
If you aren’t loud and outgoing, don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not, even if you wish that’s how you were! If people can’t 100 percent see through the facade you’re trying to create, they’ll still be able to tell something’s a little off. Authenticity is so huge for creating real and genuine interactions. Whoever you are, and whatever your personality, own it! On wedding days I’ve gotten so many compliments from our clients and their friends and family for being a calming influence on the wedding day because my voice is more quiet and calm rather than bold and loud. Find your strengths and use them to your advantage!

Use the Internet and social media to interact
Sometimes if you deal with shyness like I do, it can be hard to approach people in public, especially if you can’t think of something really good to say right away. So much of our communication these days is based on social media, it’s much more acceptable to “break the ice” so to speak using the internet. That can make it a little more comfortable for you to reach out to people! By interacting on Instagram, FB, Snapchat, etc, you’ll start to get to know people, which will make it easier when it comes to in-person interactions! Interacting online (and having a great blog for people to read!) really helps people get a sense for YOU, too, which helps put them at ease. That’s a win/win!

Focus on developing relationships
This is SO huge. I’m not really big into networking myself because I don’t like what it stands for. I don’t want to get to know people just in case they can do something for me in the future or vice versa. I want to create real relationships with people that I really connect with. I focus on creating relationships with my clients and other wedding professionals in a way I’d nurture any other relationships in my life, by showing genuine interest in them! This has proved to be so much more valuable to me over time than it would be to spend a lot of my time working on networking. I think this is huge for developing relationships with clients as well because getting to know them will help you provide them with an experience that really speaks to who they are!

Work with people you mesh well with
I have learned over the years that it really helps to work with couples (and wedding pros!) who get you. I tend to ask a few questions of each couple early on into the potential booking process to gauge whether or not I’m the photographer they’re looking for. I really love to work with people who consider John and I trusted friends who have their best interests at heart (and are also wedding professionals!) rather than hired hands, so looking for “my people” helps immensely because our interactions never feel stiff or weird, because we’re on the same page in more ways than one. I also work well with vendors who all feel that we’re working on the same team (for the bride and groom) rather than working against each other’s interests.

Create a list of  icebreaker questions
I love to ask our couples things about how they met, how they got engaged, and what they like to do for fun. Not only do I love hearing about them and getting to know them, it helps me find common ground, which makes it easier to chat easily!

Put yourself out there
I think for me, many of the best things in my life have happened because I just put myself out there and went for it. Sometimes life is about getting outside of your comfort zone and for introverts that might not always come as naturally as it would to other personality types. The times when I raised my hand to ask questions at a workshop I’ve attended or gone out of my way to meet someone new at an event, etc were the things that have really helped broaden my circle and put myself out there!

There are so many pros and cons to running a business with any kind of personality type, but I think as introverts it can be challenging to not give in to being shy or wanting to stay more behind the scenes. I hope that this post helps you put yourself out there in a new situation!!!


Albums – Maggie and Taylor

Wrapping up an album is one of those things that can be a little bit bittersweet. It means that my time working with the couple has truly come to an end! I still wouldn’t trade doing albums for anything, though, because I strongly believe they are the best way to preserve your wedding photos for generations to come! Yes, of course, you can always create your own photo books (I’ve been known to put them together using our iPhone photos) but your wedding photos deserve something a little more special! After all, they’re probably likely the biggest investment you will ever make as far as photos go…so you should invest in preserving them in a way that will allow you to enjoy them for many years to come!

Maggie and Taylor’s linen album came out beautifully! They chose the light gray linen, which is one of my favorite choices because it’s so timeless and chic! Working with them on this was a dream because they’ve got such great taste…all of the revisions they’d email over were things that I thought looked so great!

Here’s a little peek into their book:

To see more of Maggie and Taylor’s beautiful wedding at the Comus Inn, view their blog post here!


Valentine’s Number 9

Today is our ninth Valentine’s Day together. Can you believe that? Nine years! It’s flown by faster than I could have imagined it would. Nine years ago I couldn’t have imagined our life today. I wouldn’t have pictured myself as a wedding photographer…much less with my husband as my part time employee! I couldn’t have dreamed up the incredible trips we’ve taken, the adventures we’ve had. I don’t think I would have known it would take me a lot longer to get pregnant or that so much distance and drama would materialize in my own family. Nine years has been a long time, but also a short one. We’ve both grown into people who I both do and do not recognize. Like me, hitting the gym 6 days a week…what is that even?

Couple at Lanikai Beach

The other day I was avoiding some kind of chore around the house and thinking back on past Valentine’s Days. My mind wandered back to our first. We’d been living together for about a week and a half at that point and I was so sure that my boyfriend (haven’t used that word to refer to John in some time…ha!!!) wasn’t going to make plans and that I was going to be pissed. Being proactive as always, I told him in no uncertain words that I not only wanted him to make plans for us, but I wanted him to make sure we did NOT go to Plaza, OR somewhere else we always went. The pressure was on for him to make it a great, memorable first Valentine’s Day! I think it’s so funny looking back at that memory for two reasons:

  1. I realized that John as a husband way outshines John as a boyfriend. John is dedicated to me in a way that I’ve struggled to feel that I deserve. If you’ve seen This is Us, you’ve probably cried over how sweet Jack is to Rebecca, who in my opinion is kind of a jerk sometimes. I have legit bawled over them because I see in that character my sweet, generous husband, who goes out of his way to show love to me, who does not always deserve it. John the boyfriend took me to Carrabba’s that Valentine’s Day (which is hilarious…apparently I thought that Carrabba’s was really fancy when I was 20, obviously further evidence that things change over time!!). John the husband moved across town last year from a home that he loved to an old home neither one of us really loved all that much because I wanted a new chapter even if I wasn’t going to have a baby. It’s not that John wasn’t a good boyfriend…I think it’s just that he has grown and matured into someone who loves very deeply and has gotten a lot better at showing it. Which leads me to my second realization:
  2. My second realization was “WOW, we have really grown up a lot since that first Valentine’s Day!”. Sometimes when I tell people that I’ve been with John for almost ten years they give me an odd look. I’m still (only) 29, so I guess the idea that I could have spent nearly a decade loving one person is strange to a lot of people. But I think it’s worked out because the core of our relationship is really our friendship. We were friends before anything else, and even when our marriage has gone through some of the less fun parts of a marriage, I still enjoy being around him no matter what because we are best friends. We have both changed SO much in the past nine (almost ten!) years of being together and I am just so grateful that we grew together and not apart.

I remember when I was a kid, my mom looking at me and telling me “You really have no idea what love really is just yet”. I was probably ten or eleven at the time and I swore that I did. How could I not? Love seems like one of the easiest, most natural things in the world. “But, I do know because I love you!” I said to her. Little did I know how much truth there really was in her words! Love is the best, but it’s just not up to par without lots of hard work. At least, that’s how I see it now, at 29. Who knows what my take will be ten, twenty, or even thirty more years from now?

Lots of people think that Valentine’s Day is cheesy, or that it’s an excuse to go out to eat (I’ve been guilty of both the former the latter), but I think what it really is, is a good day to reflect on the love you have in your life and to be intentionally grateful for it. It’s also a really good day to eat a heart shaped pizza, which is what we will be doing tonight! See, I wanted a fancy dinner out when I was twenty years old…but at twenty-nine I prefer to avoid crowds on big holidays like this and a $12 pizza is just fine by me. Times change, people change. The only thing that doesn’t change is that we all need a little love in our lives to get by 😉


I really love this post and the way you express your love and gratitude for your husband. We’re celebrating our 14th Valentine’s Day together, and our relationship has evolved so much since we met when I was 19. It’s really amazing sometimes to look back on the years we’ve spent together.

P.S. We’re also ordering in tonight, because really, who wants to spend such a romantic night squeezed into a restaurant with a hundred other people?

2016 Wedding Favorites

After over 800 blog posts in almost six years, my yearly wrap up posts are always the hardest to write! The truth is, I have about a hundred favorite images from each of our 23 weddings from last year. Sadly, no one would want to look at a blog post with 2300 images (and it probably would take about an hour and a half to fully load anyway…) so I’m given the task of trying to narrow things down into a very small selection of our work from last year.

Having a lot of wonderful photos to narrow down is one of the best problems and it’s a great indicator of a good season! We’re so grateful for all of the people we got to work with last year and to their friends and families for letting us be a part of their weddings. Looking through the photos I chose for this post makes me so excited for what’s to come in the year ahead! I can’t wait for the 2017 season to kick off!

If you’re interested in working with us, we have a select few 2017 dates left and are currently booking for 2018! Please contact us for more information!


Katie!!! What a beautiful year! I also love how many of your brides had flower crowns. So beautiful. It definitely seems like you’ve found your ideal client, there’s so much consistency here not only in your work but their style. I can’t wait to see what this year brings for you!

Oh my, what a beautiful year!! So many pretty brides and bouquets! Your work is absolutely dreamy!

What a lovely roundup and year of weddings, Katie! I’m excited to see more of your beautiful captures from 2017. <3