Who’s the big guy now?! Mr. Charles and his adoring parents spent the afternoon with me wandering about the scenic Meadowlark Gardens, in Vienna, Virginia for a family session. We struck it lucky with a warm spell, and even though we are in the late fall season, I knew that we could get brightness and warmth in the expressions and interactions, especially with the intention to use tighter compositions of the family for their holiday cards. We worked hard to get Charles smiling, but in the end, he just loved watching the camera and getting smooches from mom and dad.
After a year of planning out the itinerary, Nina and I (and her mum!) took the opportunity to visit our relatives on the other side of the world – seriously, it’s exactly 12 hours ahead of us. We started in the capital city of Taipei, enjoying many a good eats around the city and seeing the must-sees, including the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, the astounding Geological Park, and various night markets for specialty food. Then we headed south to Taixi to visit with the family and see the sights of rural Taiwan – include amazing seafood, the Sun Moon Lake area, and a coffee festival (!!!) for extra points. We then ended up over in the Hualien area and experienced the Taroko Gorge. AMAZING. Big clouds and fog added to the diving valleys and soaring mountains, and is definitely a place to experience firsthand. The trip was an amazing two weeks of easy travel and good times, and Taiwan should be on the list for anyone looking to experience Asia.
Know what was amazing? Being the only witness to Theresa and Richard’s intimate wedding and signing their certificate – even I was nervous, and my signature on their document definitely had some hand-shake to it. These two have some great plans ahead, and their approach to their courthouse wedding had all the tasty fixings to make it completely theirs. Theresa came prepared with a satchel of keepsakes from her family members, and Richard brought the great commentary keeping his new lady laughing the whole time. It was so easy to photograph them around the Jefferson and Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., and I know they will have a blast for their real wedding party coming up later next year.
Camille and TJ! What a perfect wedding to bring the the fall wedding season to a close. When I was editing their wedding photographs, I see two excited, fun-loving, and positive people who just wanted everyone to have a great time and throw-down on the dance floor. I just couldn’t help keeping the photos from being colorful and bright to reflect their personalities… Their wedding day hit several great spots in Leesburg, Virginia, starting off at the Landsdowne Resort, the ceremony at St John the Apostle Catholic Church, and ending up for a sunset reception start at the gorgeous Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, VA. The three of us spent some time exploring the different barns and fields around the manor as the sun did amazing lighting work. And it didn’t take long to get the reception party started (*cue the steel drum player!*), with some great dancing and reception photos filling up their collection. I hope the photos capture Camille and TJ at their finest – congrats!
Here the link to the Complete Gallery for Camille and TJ with Print and Download Orders.
There’s nothing like spending a gorgeous afternoon in the park with a great couple, their pup, and a camera in hand! Kerry and Walter brought me on to photograph their wedding next year, and asked if I minded if we did the photos with Ti, their large and in-charge dog… No way did I mind, “Let’s make it happen!” Even the name “Tiberius” carries authority! We ended up catching the Golden Hour at the Meridian Hill Park in NW DC, and having the huge drum circle going at the terrace above us definitely brought the energy and the crowds. The waterfall, fountains, and stairways never disappoint for posing options. Can’t wait until their wedding next August!
Jenny and Andy have to be the two nicest people I have ever met – seriously, it was so amazing watching these two tie the knot under the bright blue skies and gorgeous vineyard setting at the Bluemont Vineyards and Winery in Virginia! Their wedding party had so much positive energy and a well-timed silly side that brought the ‘party’ to the ‘party’. Jenny and Andy opted to do a First Look, and we followed up that with as much of the family photos as we could before the ceremony. I mean, the cocktail hour was especially fun to shoot under the golden hour of light, and as we moved into the reception time, the lighting and decorating of the winery made it so easy to photograph – plus, EVERYONE was throwing it down on the dance floor, so it was tough to not get swept up into the celebration. The sparklers were brought out to send these two lovebirds off to Hawaii – what a great night!
Here is a link to Jenny and Andy’s Wedding Gallery and Print Order Site.
I KNEW I would be in for treat with Bekah and Matt’s wedding… I’ve had the great opportunity to photograph Bekah’s lively family before at weddings, and their wedding would be no different! With their intricate and traditional Orthodox ceremony at the St. John Chrysostom Church in York, PA, the big window light brought life and detail into the front altar and the crowd of wedding guests. We photographed much of the family in this setting in front of the golden iconography and decorated altar area, and saved Bekah and Matt’s portraits for the gardens at the Swiss Woods Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lititz, PA. And yes, we could have been in Switzerland, it was so scenic! But do check out the second half of the photos in my collection – the reception was an absolute party. Dancing, craft brew, dancing, wedding pie, dancing, whiskey, dancing… All so good for a wedding celebration, and I know Bekah and Matt wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here is a link to Bekah and Matt’s Wedding Gallery and Print Order Site.
I really loved editing this HUGE wedding (in size AND in celebration) – I knew there would be so many hidden moments since the day seemed to go by so quickly for me. Jennifer looked amazing from the beginning, where we got some fun photos of her and the bridesmaids getting prepped and primed, and Jay was a great host to all of the wedding guests as they arrived at the church. The grandness of the church and the very traditional wedding ceremony led to some very detail-saturated images, and we ended up catching one of my favorite wedding party photos – bring on the tornado of bubbles! Yes, we dealt with the rain and drizzle, but Jennifer and Jay didn’t let anything get them down that day. The reception was full of life and color and dancing – and putting the bride and groom up on chairs, certainly one of my favorite series from the evening. And I was super-happy that we pulled off the sparkler shot… ;D Cheers to Jennifer and Jay!
Here is the link to Jennifer and Jay’s Wedding Gallery and Print Order Site.
Along with our two friends Irene and Greg getting married in Greece in August, Nina and I decided to make a trip around their wedding to the far-off lands of southern Europe! It was our first time in Greece, and Nina’s first time in Europe – needless to say, we had a few things on our agenda. 1) Find the good food. 2) Find the GREAT food. 3) See the sights and the ruins of the birthplace of democracy. 4) Find the AMAZING food! All that said, we made our way through Athens, seeing the Acropolis and hiking up Lycabettus Hill (little known attraction compared to the islands, but a must-do!) for the sunset, and then headed down to Petalidi along the south-western coast of Greece.
We were greeted by a group of excellent hosts and townspeople, always friendly and helpful especially when it came to navigating the town and the restaurants’ menus. We spent a lot of time with the visiting friends and families of Irene and Greg, and we shared mucho ouzo on the terrace overlook of our hosts’ house. The wedding came and went by so fast, and we found ourselves recovering on one of the nearby beaches for the next few days, with a quick jaunt to the ancient Polilimnio Waterfalls for a swim in the shockingly cold water. Athens welcomed us back for a few days, seeing the ruins and the original Olympic Stadium. HUGE.
So as a photographer in a very new and very foreign (and already highly photographed) place, I wanted to create images that not only took a small amount of time/equipment and were different from most of what I had seen. And I wanted to stay engaged to the place, not be burdened with lots of equipment and spending a terrible amount of time making photos. You’ll see a mix of techniques and lenses and lighting – all of which will somehow filter into how I document weddings and events. It was fun and challenging to keep the gear simplified and the results different.
And yeah, the food was incredible. Ask for the sardines and the grilled seafood and the cucumber/tomato/feta salad and the figs and the lamb… I could go on and on, but I will let the photos take it from here. So my advice for Greece: GET THERE. You won’t want to come back.