Gareth and Ramona have a love story worthy of a novel. Ramona hails from Poland. While working as an Au Pair in the United States, her path crossed with Gareth. It was practically love at first site, they said. Over the next two years, they dated across continents and time zones. When Gareth proposed, Ramona never hesitated, but getting a United States Visa would be a challenge. For over a year, they filled out forms and filed paperwork. They never dared set a wedding date. Finally, Ramona received her Visa! Now the flurry of paperwork has become a flurry of wedding planning, as they have to be married within 90 days!
Gareth contacted me a few weeks before Ramona's flight landed in DC. He knew that she would want to celebrate their engagement, so he wanted to surprise her with a photo session! He choose Washington DC's National Arboretum as their backdrop, quite the quintessential location with the towering Corinthian Columns. I was excited to meet them both and hear more about their exciting love story!
The day was warm and gorgeous when we met in front of the columns. Unfortunately, they were under construction, the columns surrounded by bright orange fencing. Nothing deterred them, however. We took advantage of the weather and sunlight and first photographed among the Bonsai trees. We chatted as we walked to other beautiful locations, a grassy field, a cherry blossom tree, a marble fountain. They were so in love and excited to be together at last!
The cherry red Chevy Impala pulled up to the curb. My heart revved along with the 8-cylnder engine.
It was a warm Fall day and the people of Baltimore were just waking up on an early Saturday morning. The Senator Theatre marque announced movies now playing...and the impending nuptials of Courtney and Benjamin. We photographed in the warm sun. My couple were dressed to kill in red plaid and a killer leather jacket, that complemented the theatre and Impala impeccably. The couple's daughter, sweet and outspoken, joined us for some cute family shots.
I was excited to photograph inside the classic Art Deco theater. We began at the stainless steel candy display, with its lights and bright colors, then made our way throughout the classic interior. In the screening room, Courtney and Benjamin displayed their acting chops. "You're watching a sweet film," I prompted as they looked at the dark screen. “Now it's horror " They aren't just pretty faces, fans. I sense an Oscar Nomination on the horizon.
We finished the session in the grand foyer, taking advantage of the architecture, colors and natural light. If how the couple relished the spotlight this much during just their engagement session, their June wedding is sure to be a box office smash!
It was a cold day in January. Our previous session attempt had been thwarted by single digit temperatures, but this day had promise. The sun was filtering warmly through the clouds, reflecting off the water of Alexandria’s harbor. Anton and Toni were adorable. Bundled in stylish, yet warm jackets, they were ready and willing to bare the cold and make some amazing photographs.
We began photographing along the docks, with small boats and the grand Cherry Blossom paddle boat as a backdrop. We chatted about Toni’s classroom (she is a 2nd grade teacher), and their vision for their upcoming wedding day. I caught the light of the setting sun, as well as their smiles. We continued along the water, stopping at brick stairs behind the Torpedo Factory, and spending a good deal of time on one of the piers.
Old Town Alexandria is one of my favorite locations to photograph portraits, and no session is complete without posing on the amazing pre-revolution era cobble stones of “Captains Row”.
As the session came to an end, our fingers were growing colder. We popped into Pops Old Fashioned Ice Cream shop to warm up. The heart shaped chairs, checkerboard floor, and bright red doors made for an amazing backdrop as we said our goodbyes.
I cannot wait to photograph their wedding day in August of this year!
The day was warm and bright, almost as bright as Vanna's smile. Her wedding was planned to perfection, with personalized DIY details at every glance. A paper pinwheel photo booth backdrop graced the corner of the gleaming white tent. Pastel fabric pennants hung from the ceiling. Memories of their dating and engagement history were told through framed photographs. The ambiance was cheerful and full of homespun charm.
The ladies gathered in an upper room of the house, drinking champagne and doing their hair and makeup. The men, in a warm wood study. Friends, family and vendors, laughed as they set-up the reception and ceremony sites.
Vanna and Patrick saw each other for the first time, on a secluded walkway in the blooming garden. Patrick could hardly stand still, as he waited, back to his future bride. Vanna could not help but gasp and laugh when she saw him standing at the bottom of the stone steps. When he turned, however, it was Patrick's turn to gasp. After a few moments alone, we began to walk among the flowers around the grounds, photographing and laughing. The bridal party joined us shortly thereafter.
The ceremony took place on an expanse of vibrant green lawn. Patrick and Vanna were framed by a sculptured hedge as they exchanged rings and kissed for the first time as husband and wife.
The reception was lively, with heartfelt speeches, a dollar dance, and twirling circles of laughing guests.
I met Melissa at her hotel room teeming with robed women, mimosas, and energy. It was her wedding day. The room was chaotic, as most wedding day hotel rooms are, but the bride was all smiles and laughter. She took time to include her flower girls and share special moments with each of her bridesmaids. Almost complete, her veil was placed in her hair and a silence fell over the room. It was time. She was gorgeous. The silence only lasted a few moments, however, as we boarded a bus and a toast was raised.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church was stunning even without adornment. I settled into place among the pews and waited for the reveal: the moment the groom sees his bride. Not being able to help herself, Melissa peeked around the corner of the entryway. The ceremony was classic and filled with tradition. With a kiss, they became man and wife, and after family photographs, you could tell Melissa and Ben were ready to celebrate. Again we boarded the bus, with immediate family in toe. At the Jefferson Memorial, the party hit full swing when the bride and groom shook and sprayed champagne along the shore of the tidal basin. The drops were bright in the sun and the laughter was heard all around the monument.
The night ended with music and laughter and family all around at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. What a beautiful day.