Welcome! I'm so stoked to be working with ya'll!

This page is to help guide you through the wedding photography process. I'll talk a bit about my philosophy as a wedding photographer, what it's like to work with me, and how you can prepare so that your big-day images are created with authenticity + intimacy. My job as your wedding photographer is to create images that represent your unique relationship as a couple. Throughout your engagement session and your wedding (basically any time you're in front of my lens) I'm going to be constantly reminding you why you're having your photo taken in the first place; you've found the person you can’t live without and that is worth documenting. 

georgetown-waterfront-washington-dc-engagement-photography-3.jpg

MY PHILOSOPHY

I'm interested in documenting your story, not directing it.

I'm interested in the authenticity of your relationship with the person you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

I'm interested in capturing the intimate interactions between the two of you without being intrusive. 

I'm interested in prompting you, rather than posing you. 

I'm interested in getting to know you.

Some of the best images I've taken were created out of an understanding of my couple's unique relationship with one another and a mutual trust between myself and the couple. The more I know who you are and your reason for joining together in marriage, the more I'm able to anticipate your emotions + movements throughout the day. From the first e-mail exchange to your engagement session to your portraits as husband + wife, I'll be reminding you the reason for hiring me as your photographer; that you have found the one person you can't live without and you have chosen to spend your life together. And if that isn't a reason to document your love; if that isn't a reason to get lost in one another and allow me to document your authentic, true relationship, than I don't know what is. 

 

Washington DC wedding engagement photography -38.jpg

YOUR EXPERIENCE

This section is an overview of our time together from the day you hire me as your wedding photographer to the delivery of your wedding day images. 

1. Phone Chat

Remember how I told you I like to get to know my couples? I really really do. We'll chat on the phone about the two of you as a couple, your wedding plans, and the investment. 

2. Engagement Session

If you'd like to schedule an engagement session (which you you totally should!) we'll decide on a date that works best for all of us. I usually suggest choosing a location or doing an activity that means something to the both of you, even if that means hanging at out at your apartment. I like to meet up beforehand for a drink or a cup of coffee first, especially since this is usually the first time we're meeting. I want ya'll to feel comfortable enough to snuggle in front of me, and usually a beer (or two) does the trick. 

3. Timeline

When it comes time to choosing a time for your ceremony, please reach out to me for my suggestions. Because the best photographs will be taken during the best light, it's important that we plan your day around light, as well. As I always tell my couples, if you love what you see on my website, you'll want to plan some of the important moments (ceremony and portraits) around the best lighting.

Once we've chosen on a ceremony and reception time, and most of your wedding day plans are set, you'll fill out the timeline questionnaire. When this is finished, let me know, and I'll begin to create your wedding photography timeline for you! We'll then discuss it together and make any necessary adjustments. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, please connect us, as well, so that we can all work together. 

4. Travel

If I’m traveling from out of state to photograph your wedding, I always arrive at least one day before the wedding. I spend the extra time scouting the venue and looking for interesting places to shoot your portraits. 

5. Your Wedding

I photograph. I cry. I dance.

6. Post Production + Delivery

It takes about 6-8 weeks to finish hand-editing all of your images. When I'm finished, a call will be scheduled to go over your album design and online gallery. You'll be able to share this gallery with friends and family who will be able to purchase prints there, as well!

washington_dc_wedding_photography-32.jpg

THE PREPARATION

In order to get the most out of your wedding photography, I've compiled a short list of things to think about while you continue your wedding planning. Since you've hired me for my specific style and vision, it's important that I communicate what I need from you in order to achieve this. Since you are trusting me to create the best possible images of your day, I feel it is my job to help you create the setting in order for this to happen. If you have any questions about any of the information below, just ask! I am happy to jump in and help. 

GETTING READY

Photographing the preparations and the "getting ready" part of your wedding is my favorite, and these images are what set the tone for the rest of the day. But be careful that the genuine energy this part of the day creates isn't ruined by the aesthetic. A cluttered, messy, dark room can really take away from the beautiful moments unfolding. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Clutter // Try to keep clutter hidden and to a minimum. Keep bags, suitcases, and food in another room, if possible. If not, please be sure things are picked up and the room is tidy before I arrive. If I need to do a sweep before I begin shooting, I might miss some important moments. 

Light // Getting ready in a room with lots of window light, where we won’t need to use lamps or artificial light, is key to beautiful, genuine images. Believe it or not, artificial light mixed in with window light is not ideal for color so I always prefer to turn all lights off and rely only on window light whenever possible.

Hair/Makeup // Your hair and/or makeup artist prefers natural light, too, so set up a chair next to a window or door, if possible. 

And don’t forget about the groom! Sometimes the groom gets left with the dark, tiny room. He is just as important, and his photos will look way better in a well lit room.

Typical hotel rooms often don’t provide the best light or setting for prep. If you can, I recommend looking into other options, like a well lit AirBnB. This option is often times more affordable than a hotel and will provide you with a room full of character and light! 

A FIRST LOOK

A "first look" is when the couple sees each other for the first time privately before their ceremony. I prefer a first look because I am able to capture intimate, raw emotion. A First Look also...

Calms the nerves. // There is nothing that relaxes nervous brides and grooms more than finally seeing each other and enjoying a few moments alone before the official events begin.

Gives you time to take it all in. // You can share what you’re feeling, you can hug, you can actually say “you look amazing!”– all things you can’t do when you’re at the front of the alter with everyone watching.

Makes the timeline easier to work with. // If you can see each other before the ceremony, we can do all family portraits and bridal party photos before, too. Your family will also be able to enjoy the cocktail hour right after the ceremony, and we can get to the couple portraits right away. 

Of course, if you’ve always dreamed of the walk down the aisle as the first glimpse of each other, then that is exactly what we'll do!

GROUP PORTRAITS 

The best time for family and bridal party portraits is before the ceremony since everyone is ready to go and no one will miss any of the cocktail hour or reception time. I recommend keeping the formal family portrait list to immediate family only, and to save the extended, less formal family portraits during the reception. There will be a space for you to create a family portrait list when you fill out the timeline questionnaire, so we don't miss anything. 

COUPLE PORTRAITS

I recommend two portrait time slots for portraits of just you two together: right after the ceremony for 20 minutes, and at sunset for about 20 minutes.

Why after the ceremony? Because the pressure is off, and you’re ecstatic, giddy, in love, and ready to party. I’ve gotten some of the best, most genuine, joyful moments at this time. Why before sunset? Because it's when we get the best light. At sunset we'll get the most flattering, golden light that you see in my portfolio. 

If your ceremony is later in the day, close to sunset, we will just merge these two into one, for about 40 minutes total. The most important thing to ensure we get great photos is trust. If you trust me to create the photos you’ll love, I’ll be able to do my thing and guide and direct you well. It’s all about collaboration and trust!

UNPLUGGED

An unplugged ceremony is when you ask your guests to refrain from taking any photos. Asking your guests not to use cameras or cell phones allows all guests to really take in your ceremony, without fussing with cell phones and flashes.

If you don’t want to entirely unplug, I would at least recommend that guests take photos from their seat, without getting up into the aisles. If anyone is in the aisles during any part of the ceremony it will definitely affect the photos I am able to take.

Also, please remember that our agreement includes that no other photographer (this includes Uncle Bob with his big fancy camera) is allowed to be taking photographs at any time during your wedding. Please talk to your guests about this beforehand. 

RECEPTION LIGHTING

Capturing the mood of your event is very important to me. This is why I don’t use flash for anything other than party/dancefloor time. For a romantic mood, market lights and candles are great, and if you use enough, they provide great light for photos. Just try to stay away from using only candles, or super dim lighting, which will make focusing trickier for me. If you’re unsure about your setup, just ask me and I’ll help!

DJ Lights: While colored/flashy lights that your DJ provides might be fun for party time, they can destroy the romantic mood of your first dance and special dances. If you are having colorful lights, I ask that they be turned off for special dances. For party time, go crazy with them! This will make my images super interesting and fun!

YOUR RAIN PLAN

No one wants to think it's going to rain on their wedding day, but having a plan can help to relieve the stress if it does. I suggest purchasing these clear, vintage-looking umbrellas from Amazon so that we can shoot outside, even if the weather isn't perfect. They're $12 a piece and come in just two days using Amazon Prime (yay for free, 2 day shipping!) I also suggest purchasing one for each couple in your wedding party so that their bridal party portraits can be outside, too. These specific umbrellas are great because they act as a natural diffuser and help to make skin tones even and soft. Try staying away from colored or black umbrellas as those tend to take away from the portraits and can become distracting. 

To learn more about planning your rain plan, I've written a blog post you can find here!

JUST A FEW OTHER THINGS

Receiving lines: They can be very time consuming, especially for a medium/large wedding guest list. They can also get very exhausting and they take away from the burst of excitement right after the ceremony. However, I do love the energy right after you walk down the aisle, and your wedding party or family walks out and greets you, hugs you, kisses you, etc. So having a few minutes there to laugh and love is great. I just recommend that it not become a 20-40 minute event. 

Dinner: It is ideal for me to be served as soon as dinner begins so that I can eat quickly while guests are eating and be done in time for any toasts or dances that might happen during or at the end of dinner. The easiest way to do this is for me to be considered a “guest” as opposed to a “vendor.”  Some caterers insist on serving vendors at the end of the meal, so please make sure you speak to your caterer about this so I don’t miss anything! If you have a buffet, I’m happy to go through it and grab my own food. 

washington-dc-wedding-photography-1.jpg

THE FAQS

Here's a list of questions that most couples have asked me in the past. Don't see your question? No problem! Just shoot me an email or give me a call. 

DO WE GET ALL OF THE PHOTOS? 

Yes! Well, almost. You get all of the images that make you look good.  If an image wasn't included in the final gallery, there was a reason; maybe your eyes were closed or I metered incorrectly for the shot and had to re-take the image. I promise an average of 500 images from your wedding day although I have delivered upwards of 1000 images to some of my couples. This number will depend on the size of your wedding party, the amount of details and moments you've included during the day, and how much fun your guests are having at the reception. The images you receive will be large enough to create regular sized prints, up to an 8x10. 

DO YOU EDIT YOUR IMAGES? 

Yes! Every last image you receive from me will be carefully and creatively edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. Please be wary of “shoot and burn” photographers (photographers that show up and hand you the images without any post-production!) I spend more time editing your images than I spend physically at your wedding. Post production is what makes my style unique. You will receive your edited JPEG files via an online gallery for you to download and for your guests to purchase prints. 

CAN I EDIT THE IMAGES MYSELF?

When you are paying for my services, you're paying for the final edited images, much like the cake you're having made for your wedding. Asking for pictures that weren't edited or in the final delivery would be like asking the baker for the egg shells from your wedding cake. It's the finished product that makes it the artist's work. Hours and hours go into perfecting each image to jive with the style of my brand and the reason you hired me. Applying Instagram filters or desaturating everything but the colors of your shoes takes away from the finished product. When someone sees the altered image, they aren't seeing work that represents my vision. It is important that the images I create for you remain authentic.

CAN MY UNCLE BOB BRING HIS FANCY CAMERA AND SHOOT ALONG SIDE YOU?

The short answer? No. The long answer is this: it's faux-pas for someone to hover over the hired photographer with their fancy camera, whether professional or otherwise. There's no stopping Aunt Joan from throwing her gigantic iPad into the middle of the aisle (although I do ask that you ask your guests not to do this!), but there can't be anyone with a professional camera or other equipment on the day of your wedding. I take pride in my brand and the style of my photography. Since most of my work comes from referrals, it's important that the end-product from your wedding day is a true representation of my brand and not another professional who has posted work from your wedding. Also, lots of other photographers shoot differently! They might shoot with a flash on a sunny day, which, while totally unnecessary, has the ability to ruin and overexpose my shot. Having another photographer that isn't the hired person also ruins the intimate moments I so tirelessly work to capture. If you're not sure where to look, or your feeling uncomfortable by someone else intruding on your special time together, this can take away from and have a negative impact on the images I create. It's also a pretty safe bet that since this is industry standard, the person who has decided to bring their fancy camera to their wedding isn't actually a professional. The last thing you want is Uncle Bob in the background of every one of your pictures with his ginormous flash. In the contract you signed, it states that I am to be the sole professional photographer hired for your wedding day. This includes guests and other vendors. 

HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR WEDDINGS?

I like to blend in as much as possible so I usually dress nicely, as if I were a guest, but comfortable enough so that I can photograph you and your guests without worrying about accidentally flashing anyone! 

HAVE YOU BEEN FEATURED ANYWHERE?

Yes! My most recent feature was on one of my favorite wedding websites, Junebug Weddings. See a list of our featured work here.

HAVE YOU WON ANY AWARDS?

Yes! We were just named Junebug Weddings' Best of the Best Photographer for 2016 out of 9000 submissions! 

DOES THE PHOTOGRAPHER OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE PHOTOS?

Yes, but this doesn't mean that you can’t print your digital copies or post them to social media! It only means that you can't sell the photos for profit or use them for personal branding without permission. 

washington_dc_blagden_alley_engagement_photography-1-2.jpg

THE E-SESSION

An engagement session does a couple things; for starters, it gets you comfortable in front of the camera so that by the time your wedding day rolls around, you're so lost in the excitement and joy that your new commitment has brought, you forget I'm even there. That kind of intimacy makes for the most authentic, genuine images. Remember, I'll be there to guide you through posing, but it will be more so with prompts rather than specific direction. The more you are able to be yourself, the easier that kind of authenticity will come. 

With all the chaos that comes with a wedding day and for how fast it's going to fly by, an engagement session can help slow things down a bit. It's the perfect reminder of why you chose to marry one another, and the documentation of that is something you'll be able to hold onto forever, even after your wedding day has come and gone. Engagement photos are also a nice way to have some more relaxed, casual portraits of the two of you, instead of flooding your apartment with pictures of tuxes and white dresses. Your engagement session allows you to really be who you are as individuals and as a couple. I always suggest that the couple chooses a location or an activity that they enjoy doing together, even if that means just lounging around at their apartment. Your engagement session should be unique to you so that the images are a true representation of you both as a couple. 

You can check out a link to our Engagement Style Guide here!

washington-dc-boudoir-photographer-5-4.jpg

BOUDOIR 

Gentlemen? If you're reading this, it's time for some serious chick-talk so now is your time to step away from the wedding planning (you're welcome) and let us do our thing. Girls? You want to do this. And the excuse "But I have no one to give it to" has officially gone out the window because you're about to marry the dude that makes you feel beautiful. That's worth celebrating! You've chosen each other, so it's time to say goodbye to those insecurities and start celebrating the bad-ass lady that you are.

Whether you're doing this just for you or you plan on gifting the images to your fiancé as a wedding present, you're about to feel like A QUEEN.  

I know, I know...you'll be half naked in front of a stranger and you have stretch marks and you think your sexy face is lame. I've heard it all. But listen. Almost all of the girls that I've photographed walk into their boudoir session feeling apprehensive but ALL of them (and I mean ALL of them) have walked out feeling like a total bad ass and wishing they started their session that way. While I might be a stranger to you, I'm a woman with insecurities just like you. In this session, we flip those insecurities a big ole' middle finger by encouraging ourselves to love, cherish, and celebrate our best selves. Think your sexy face is lame? It's not! When I did my first boudoir session (See? I can say all this because I've been in front of the camera, too!) the photographer told me to pretend like I was a seasoned model. At first, I found the thought ridiculous- uhh, have you seen my wrinkles? But as soon as I gave it a try, it actually worked. It was so liberating and so awesome to just let go! 

YOU ARE A MODEL. YOU ARE A QUEEN. OWN IT, GIRL. 

If you've made it this far, check out my Boudoir Style Guide on my blog! More questions? Shoot me an email!