Москва й Саинт Петерсбург Here is something a little different for our HC audience today - a peek at our recent trip to Russia - because why WOULDN'T you travel to Russia in the Winter? To be fair though, we were there for the first day of Spring. To be unfair, the temperature hung in the 20's for most of our trip. But we walked to keep warm, had some of the best food of our lives, and got to see family - Enjoy!Moscow MetroMy sister, Julie, in Red Square.Not-my-sister in Red Square.Fellow touristsBallet night at The Kremlin. Swan Lake.More metro ... Julie on the escalator.Ismaylovo Market outside Moscow.Hot eats on a cold dayWe had the greatest time photographing the people. I love looking at new places and the faces who live there. We are both introverts, but managed to strike up a few conversations too...Flower market. Julie had to create table centerpieces for a US Embassy visit from The Secretary. Schamcy stuff.You are now entering St. Petersburg!There I am at what may be our favorite St. Pete restaurant - Gosti (meaning "guests")Scenes from The Hermitage Museum and The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.Eugene ("Genia"). Artist.St. Pete streetsSelfies at St Isaac's Cathedral! One of our favorite stops. The catherdral gave us a 360-view of the city.Housework! You need a pretty long cord to vacuum The Hermitage.
Crazy Silly Love Becca & Greg were such a joy to photograph - they brought an ease to their wedding - let's coin a new phrase: "chill elegance". That was Becca and Greg. They were cool but silly, traditional yet original. And they were cracking us up for a good deal of the day. Seriously, how often do you see a bride try to slide down the banister? And the little things, like Becca's shoes, Greg's socks, and hand-written 'Thank You' cards to each of their guests - so very thoughtful - all against the beautiful backdrop of Strong Mansion.
Getting Warmer ... The sun was out at Sarah and Andy's wedding. And that is about all it has in common with this freezing post-blizzard day. As we sit in our house during this frigid January morning, let's think of some warm, happy thoughts! Sarah & Andy's Anderson House wedding conjures such thoughts quite easily, with its beautiful autumn ceremony. The saturated Fall colors were both inside and out, though, with impeccable details that were simultaneously sophisticated and fun!
Love on the fly Boy do we love to work with the truly adventurous. Chrissy & Keith definitely fall into this category for us, because rain or shine, they wanted to have fun! And make cool photos. So, we did. Step into a cornfield shortly after some rain blew through? No problem! Run down to the water to take advantage of an truly gorgeous - and unexpected - sunset? Done! So as we post this at the start of 2016, here's to the NEXT great adventure! Congrats to Chrissy & Keith, a couple of the most genuine folks we met in 2015.
We Want the Lion! If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that we Penn State alumni know how to throw a party. Bride Katy had to up the ante, though, by surprising her husband Tom with a surprise visit from the Nittany Lion, which is practically unheard of. I thought that some heads were going to explode - mine included - when he started crowd-surfing during the reception. Totally amazing moment! Katy & Tom picked the perfect location to celebrate their day, atop the rolling hills of the Hendry House in Arlington. Congrats guys! We Are!
Glen Echo gals What says love more than a good brew? Chrissy & Kristy love beer, so they took two of their favorites (Guinness and Yuengling, which just so happen to be OUR two favorite beers, too) and ceremoniously combined them to make a black and tan after some heartfelt vows. This elicited some serious cheers from their guests - and their photographers. These are two of the sweetest people, who happened to get married at one of the coolest venues in DC (Glen Echo Park). Congrats to a great pair! :)
Summer Love As we say goodbye to the warm summer heat - we hope - let's revist a wedding we photographed to START the summer. Jackie & Cliff's wedding day was memorable from start to finish, with clear skies and warm temps, as we wandered through several of DC's iconic areas. From Union Station, to Senate Hill Park, to Georgetown's Sequoia Restaurant, we scooted all over the place in spite of the building traffic. Jackie is a journalist, so we were a great match from the start - cut from the same cloth. But this day she effortlessly transformed from storyteller to story subject. Thanks guys for including us - Congrats!
At Ease We had the pleasure of heading to the Naval Academy in Annapolis recently for Rebecca & Doug's big day. One of the highlights of being part of a wedding is meeting so many different couples, all with stories to tell. Different traditions, different ways to celebrate couple-dom, and on a smaller scale, different wedding-day details. Case in point - Katye took SO VERY many pictures of Rebecca's show-stopping aubergine head piece. Honestly, I never even heard of such a thing before that day. We both LOVE wedding details we've never seen before. This happy couple tied the knot at St. Mary's and then partied at The Calvert House, with plenty of time in between to explore and take advantage of the Academy grounds and historic downtown area. We've been to Annapolis many times before, and always manage to see something new. Congrats to Rebecca & Doug!
Heart Land Katye & I are geographically challenged. We love the country - even better if there's an unpaved road to get there. But life has us inside the beltway. So when we leave the DC suburbs for a more bucolic landscape, armed with cameras, it's going to be a good day. We found ourselves at such a landscape at Riverside on the Potomac in Loudon County recently with said cameras. And got to play shadow to a truly amazing couple - each with contagious personalities and a list of accomplishments a mile long. Big-time impressed with Erinn & Andrew - congrats guys!
They Are... I've known Amanda's family, well, since I was born. If that wasn't enough to help make this a great shoot, she and Jon are part of the Penn State family, having attended and graduated from my alma mater. We're all HUGE Penn State fans, and upon hearing that this wonderful couple was planning on tying the knot on campus, I couldn't help but smile. Amanda & Jon's ceremony took place at the Arboretum at Penn State, which didn't even exist when I was there (am I really that old?). Then it was off to the historic Nittany Lion Inn for one hell of a party, where Katye & I worked, and danced, with a whole lot of Penn State fans. Congrats guys...We Are!!!
Love Boat We had the great pleasure of working with Corey & Will at their DC rehearsal and wedding. It's pretty rare to photogaph a wedding AND be greeted by a glorious sunset, but for this amazingly sweet couple, it happened not once, but twice! I'm not gonna lie: I do become a bit of a goofball when I see a really nice sky. Thankfully, they humored me as I giddily shot frame after frame. We were even able to capture the sun setting while on the Potomac, on the Capital Elite yacht. I'll never forget how those gathered - myself included - couldn't stop starting at the marvelous, warm colors. Congrats to Corey & Will! :-)
Over the river and through the woods... More often than not, Katye & I end up working in the DC vicinity. From time to time, though, we get to travel farther afield, and given that we're always game for an adventure, heading out to the very western edge of Maryland - Friendsville, to be exact - is always a delight. Julia & Kevin invited us to document their day at the cozy and quaint Chanteclaire Farm, and between the venue's bucolic charm, and two great families, we're looking forward to our summer weddings this year. Long summer days, here we come!
A Carnegie Classic... Photographing the Carnegie Institution for Science in DC is always a treat for us, with beautiful natural light and a two-story rotunda. Having worked there several times in the past, it's great to see how couples approach the space - there's just so much you can do! Lisa & Matt used the rotunda creatively - with a simple, elegant suspended lace chuppah - love seeing new ideas from our couples! The bride also had a special first look with her dad - something else we'd never seen, but what a great idea to take advantage of a such a special moment. Congrats to this sweet pair, and thanks to their friends, family and A Sweet Soiree Events for a warm, welcoming day. :)
New Boy Our favorite days were those few following the births of our two boys. Time stands still. The world slows down, and nothing matters. Every movement and sound is the most amazing movement or sound to ever happen anywhere ever. This all falls apart by the end of the first week of course. But I love being around new parents in those first couple days. I take it with me, and slow my pace. Welcome to our first nephew, Jake Dean, 1/29/15.
Barrel o' Love I have a thing for cars ... primarily those of the modern variety ... but I have a huge amount of appreciation for the classics. When I saw a shiny red Buick hanging out in the driveway of Keswick Vineyards, I knew the day was going to be a good one. And while we had wonderful natural light to take advantage of outside, I have to commend Terri & Drew for taking a risk and heading to the dark barrel room, where I brought my own light to bring this very cool backdrop to life. Congrats to this illuminating couple!
1,844 Moments Our first post of the New Year takes us to Emily & Josh's wedding at a venue that's been around for quite a while - since 1844, in fact. Antrim 1844 is the perfect garden venue for not only celebrating the past - it's listed in the National Register of Historic Places - but also the future of this truly sweet couple, Emily & Josh, who we will talk about well into 2015. Their energy was contagious! It also makes us excited for Spring! Can we talk about Spring yet? The contrasting old and new themes were prevalent throughout the day, with gorgeous, colorful decor aplenty.
"Life is d' Bubbles..." As anyone with kids knows, there's just something about bubbles ... Fortunately, bubbles ... er ...bundles of joy were everywhere during a recent family session at Roundtree Park in Falls Church. We were fortunate enough to work with Megan and her growing family - three generations together for a brief holiday weekend - as she and her siblings celebrated their mother's 60th birthday with a photo shoot and bubble fest.
Pretty in Pink I can say this about Erica & Brad's wedding day - there truly was a little bit of everything. One minute it was raining, and shortly thereafter, we were showered in beautiful sunshine. Love a bride who embraces what the day brings - even raindrops. We saw rockin' pink galoshes, rode a carousel, and photographed some incredible details (what dude out there DOESN'T want Batman cufflinks?). And hats off to the bridesmaids "with child" who stormed Capitol Hill with Erica and Brad for portraits - you ladies rock :)
En Français When I was in grade school, I studied French. I even furthered my language education in college. However, whenever I'm around French folks (including groom David, and most of his friends and family), I realize how completely ill-equipped I am. Luckily, I didn't need to be fluent in the lanquage to know that there was a serious amount of love and joy in the air on Stephanie & David's wedding day. Wedding vows were read in French and English, as were some of the toasts. And if rain is good luck on a wedding day, then these two are SET. We saw first hand how the Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase is just as pretty wet as it is dry. The ceremony was warm and cozy with and having moved inside, it had a impromptu quality that made us smile. All heart. Congrats to Stephanie and David!
Jersey-bound Congrats to our Sleepy Hollow Preschool friends who won a family photo shoot with us at The SHPS fundrausing auction this Spring! Our shoot with these friends and neighbors was perfectly timed. The family just put their home on the market, preparing to relocate to New Jersey. It was bittersweet capturing some final memories at the home that will always be a first home to their three kids. Happy trails, guys - we'll miss seeing you around the SHPS campus! :)
Make It So. "Engage!" Another Jean-Luc Picard-ism. But we're kinda past that now. We're onto 'making it so' ... Johanna & Graham's Star Trek-infused day included a moment I'll truly never forget. Johanna and her dad we're about to head down the aisle. The scene was lighthearted, with joy and laughter bouncing back and forth between the two. Then came their time to walk, and as they rounded the corner, their emotions changed completely - neither could hold back the tears. That moment in time, which couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds, was absolutely precious, and it's precisely why Katye & I are so honored to document our couples' stories. As indellible as that moment was, though, there was so much more to the happy couple's story at the Mimslyn Inn, from some of the coolest bouquet's I've ever seen, to all of the fun and quirky Trekkie details that would have made Patrick Stewart proud. Enjoy some of our favs, and congrats to Johanna & Graham!
Autumn playground There are few things better than eating good BBQ on a remarkable fall day...the smoke in the air, colorful leaves blowing about ... I'm giddy just thinking about it! This was the backdrop for Anne & Stephen's November wedding, on a day that was nothing short of magnificent. Smokey Glen Farm had their BBQ pits going for hours, filling the air with the smell of serious goodness. Clouds came and went, and the occasional gust of wind sent leaves into the air. The expansive grounds were charged with energy to say the least. The couple was all heart and easy-going. And this I love: what do you do when you forget table numbers? Bust out a marker and make them, of course! It's these details that distinguish each wedding story from the next. It's those little silly things you'll always remember. Congrats Anne & Stephen!
Dancing the night away... Katye & I enjoy a good party - let's be honest: who doesn't? Vicki & Geremy's wedding was so much fun to document because the energy inside Temple Rodef Shalom was absolutely contagious. The couple kicked off the reception with their first dance - A tribute to Baby and Johnny. That's right - the couple recreated the famous dance at the end of 'Dirty Dancing' - sans lift of course. The excitement was so palpable that I remember being out of breath after the Hora - seriously. And come to think of it, I'm not quite sure Geremy left the dance floor after that. It was an exhilarating evening, with great planning from Carin Lomax from Events Extraordinaire and music from Broadsound. Congrats again to the happy couple!
Lovely in Lothian As we inch closer toward spring ... it IS coming ... and we deal with a crazy amount of unpredictable weather, it makes perfect sense to post some of our favorites from Jessica & Mike's shower-y wedding day at Old South Country Club in Lothian, MD. Mother Nature couldn't make up her mind that October afternoon, with intermittent mist, downpoars, and occasionally peaceful skies. Luckily, Old South offered us great opportunities both inside and out, and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Margo of Bright Occasions, who orchestrated the day beautifully. Congrats to the happy couple! :-)
Inn Season Katye & I have been incredibly fortunate when working at the quaint Comus Inn. It seems as though every time we're invited to document a couple's wedding day at this venue we get front row seats to some of the most glorious sunsets you'll see. Such was the case at Katherine & Neil's wedding, where we couldn't take enough photos as the sun set behind the Sugarloaf Mountains. It was ALMOST enough to upstage one's wedding day. Almost. This couple enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather as they celebrated under the tent with friends and family. Congrats to Katherine & Neil!
Spicy sweet Who here is ready for spring? This guy certainly is. Given how amazingly cold it has been this winter, I think the timing is perfect to show off Liz & Josh's vibrant fall wedding. Their wedding was a two-day affair, celebrating the different heritages of the bride and groom. The first night was the Sagan and Chunni ceremony followed by day two - a traditional Jewish ceremony under the Chuppah at Doukenie Winery. The bride and groom led a parade of guests in one of the most lively processionals we've witnessed! Everything about this wedding was bold - the striking colors, traditional music, and super spicy food. Thanks to Ryan Michael Hayes of Blue Canary Special Events, the elements were brought together seamlessly. Congrats again to Liz & Josh!
Love with a "Capitol" L If there is a couple out there with more love for this city, we have yet to meet them. Ansley & Rocky were all stocked up on DC pride, and it was brought to life at their Decatur House wedding, just a stone's throw from The White House. The venue was perfect with its rich history and elegant styling. Out on Lafayette Square, we garnered quite a bit of attention from passersby - and we're even photo-bombed by a member of a different wedding party (see photo about half way down - how could we not include something like that?). Ansley and Rocky even reminded us of ourselves a little - Rocky was a good bit taller than his bride-to-be, while I'm exactly one foot taller than Katye. Not completely though - see, Rocky can dance, and as Katye can attest, I'm not a competent dancer. This was our first time working with the talented Emily of Karson Butler Events who made sure every detail was perfection. Congrats Rocky and Ansley!
A FascinatorI love going to weddings and seeing something my wife loves. I occasionally chuckle to myself when I think, "I know Katye, and she would LOVE this. This is so her." At least that's what I'd like to think. Such was the case with Shannon & Jae's wedding, where the bride's tea-length dress, and inspired decor was something I knew Katye would dig. So when Katye came up to me on the wedding day and said, "I love that dress", I thought, "That's right ... Joe knows." But anyway, enough about us. Shannon & Jae were married on a gorgeous autumn afternoon at Woodend Sanctuary, a fave venue of ours. The pair participated in a Native American Water Blessing recognizing Jae's heritage, which punctuated the quiet, natural setting. The decor was so unique and personal - but also AMAZING - it kept us wondering of this DIY bride: "Whoa - she did THAT too!?" Congrats to the bride and groom - thanks for a wonderful day!
Jersey Girl (and Boy)Gotta love getting outta Dodge. Gio & Josh helped us do just that, inviting us to document their wedding day up in New Jersey this Fall. Before the trip, Jersey only reminded me of I-95, or getting lost in Philly. But we were anything but lost in Jersey for this wedding which proved New Jersey IS the Garden State. The couple chose a venue that was just as charming as they were - the Willowwood Arboretum in Chester Township, which Katye likened to "a secret garden". Tucked away from city bustle, guests enjoyed the most enourmous, delicious, incredible spread of food we have encountered at a wedding. Anywhere, really. And we were more than grateful to wake up to "Wedding Pie" for breakfast the next morning. So instead of trying to describe this super-nice couple and their day, which was warm in every way - here are a few HC faves ... Congrats Gio and Josh!
Sky blue shoesWhen Katye and I were married, she wore red shoes. I thought she was pretty wild and crazy. I've come to find out that white wedding shoes are actually pretty hard to come by now. Erin's were the most unique shade of light blue - and, as is the case with most bridal shoes, unlike any I have seen before. So as we move through December with all of this crazy weather - snow, sun, rain, clouds, repeat - it's refreshing to look back on Erin and Matt's outdoor wedding on the water in Annapolis. Katye & I were fortunate enough to work with this couple on a warm summer day, where indelible moments were in abundance both indoors and out. We also met up with HC alums Emmy & Fitz - '10. Hope you enjoys some of our favorites, and congrats to Erin & Matt!
DC ComicsLook at this crew. Ben and Margot's ranks among the largest bridal parties we have met...and spirited, to boot! How often do you see 'Superman' socks? The fun and whimsy of these folks was juxtaposed beautifully with the elegance and beauty of the Hotel Monaco and National Museum of Women in the Arts. Congrats Margot & Ben!
Last call for summer ... Well, days are getting shorter, and the sun is getting lower. And though it's getting cooler, the warm light of the Fall sun is just one of the perks of the season. We had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful family back in 2010 during Shelly & Rob's wintry holiday wedding. Fast forward three years and Shelly's sister, Rachel, is about to graduate from high school. We love the feel of charming Clifton, Va., so we met up for a little reunion with this good-looking group, and some senior portraits. Rachel kind of made this shoot a breeze - I don't think I shot one bad photo of her. Here's to a great senior year :)
Kindred Spirits OK, so much to talk about! Katye & I have lived in the DC area for almost nine years, and we still find that there are so many areas left to explore. We regularly drive along and pass something of interest, thinking, "How did we not know about this?!?!" Such is the case with Elizabeth & Mike's beautiful venue in Northeast DC, St. Francis Hall. The Hall, adjacent to the Franciscan Monastery, is in such a peaceful and serene location that you'd find it hard to believe you're in our nation's bustling capitol. Katye was thrilled when I told her that Elizabeth & Mike were fellow Bigfoot enthusiasts. We don't encounter too many clients that have the same affinity for Yeti culture - and maybe that's a good thing - but there's nothing like a Bigfoot fascination to break the ice. And if that wasn't enough, the couple also treated guests to groom's cake featuring none other than the Chicago BEARS. The Bears! In DC! I knew I liked this couple. We also got to see some HC alums - Lisa and Peter (Winter 2012). This town is getting smaller! Thanks Elizabeth and Mike for having us - and congrats!
Love you "can't refuse" I'll never forget working with Brittany & Brian for the first time several months ago when I photographed their engagement session. I loved hanging with these foodies as they shared their passion for cooking - and made an absolutely fantastic soup! Their wedding day was just as memorable - and tasty. A nod to their first unofficial date - a screening of The Godfather - the couple sent guests home with the gun AND the canolli (yes folks, black icing!) These two threw a fantastic party under the tent at Oxon Hill Manor - undeniably one of our favorite venues. The weather didn't exactly cooperate - but honestly, when you have good music, friends, and food, all together under the same tent AND strings of twinkly lights, who cares what the weather brings? Occasions Catering provided an exquisite spread - I'm pretty sure I sampled every item available. And since Katye only shot a half day with us, I sampled on her behalf ;) Nothing keeps these photogs going like friendly folks and a delicious bite! Congrats B&B, thanks for having us!
Lovin' Smoke As many of you know, we talk about food a lot on our blog. Katye & I love all sorts, but at the very top of the list - at least for me - is the taste of some well-loved barbeque. I had my first real Q experience in graduate school in Syracuse (mmmm Dinosaur!), and never looked back. So, when Bonnie & Eric told us they were doing a pig roast, I couldn't help but smile. The luscious smell of hickory was everywhere as the pork finished smoking right in front of River Farm for all to see. Pitmasters at every wedding! Lawn games and a peaceful view of the Potomac kept the mood laid back. Combining the good food with a beautiful sunset, cigars and a lively crowd, you can't go wrong!