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!
Stompin' Grounds Several weeks ago, the Brier family traveled north to my old stompin' grounds in Hershey, PA to visit my childhood friends. How many can say that they STILL hang out with folks they've known since they were kids? Speaking of kids, we've all got our own now, and THAT, in and of itself is pretty surreal. Behold the backyard tree-climbing adventures of Grace, Paige and Avery!
Not Just Dessert! It's been quite a few years since Katye & I have worked at Oxon Hill manor, one of our favorite venues in the area. Daniel & Jeff's wedding reminded us why, taking advantage of the rolling landscape by introducing bursts of yellow throughout. They topped it off with an incredible tasting menu (we love a non-commital taste this/taste that menu). The couple took the same approach to seating, table hopping for each course. Spread the love! Oh, and their cake...my goodness! (You all know how we feel about cake.) Easily one of the best we've had with a layer of unexpected crunchy hazelnut awesomeness! Thanks to Courtney from A Sweet Soiree for a seamless evening, and congrats to Jeff & Daniel!
A Sesquicentennial Being photojournalists, our goal is and always will be to tell stories through our pictures. This story of mine started when I was a little boy growing up in Hershey, PA. My family took me to Gettysburg regularly, and some of my greatest memories were shared with my best friends - Listening to ghost stories in the basement of the Farnsworth House as a kid, and biking the battlefield with Katye as an adult. Sure, I'll always remember bouncing off rocks and climbing steep slopes across the battlefield, but when I saw my great-great grandfather's name on the Pennsylvania Monument, that's when it all hit home. To this day, I return to that monument with an enormous amount of respect and awe, reminded of the fact that James Purcell participated in one of the defining moments in our nation's history. July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of this year marked the 150th anniversary of the battle. I've said for years that, being a photographer, I'd have to do SOMETHING to document this. I was joined by my father-in-law, also a history buff, at 4:00 a.m. on July 3rd and despite my concerns (I have the tendency of losing people when I'm shooting, taking off at a brisk pace if I see a picture), Wes rarely was far behind. We endured through heavy traffic, a downpour, and the sun and heat that subsequently followed, walking across the field of Pickett's Charge ...
Summer in the City Summer wedding weather is always a guessing game, often right up to the last minute. We carry a prop umbrella at all times, hoping for an opportunity to stick our couples out in the rain, but in the case of Meghan & John, this wasn't really an option. We're talking deluge. Almost exactly when we were going to begin portraits. This smart couple built in extra time for portraits, so we were safe! But the good thing about being rained out is it forces us photogs to think fast! We tried a few lit photos indoors with that extra time, resulting in the photo above. It was all a breeze the rest of the day at the Park Hyatt in DC, which has this feeling of being on the edge of the city. A large patch of green across the street quiets down this pretty hotel venue, and makes for a nice portrait escape. Maybe it's just that the bride and groom were two delightfully composed participants - it put us at ease! Congrats guys!
Walking on Air... I can still remember my first pair of Air Jordans. Back in the day, they were THE shoes to own because Michael Jordan was completely money, and his sneaks were pretty cool. But, as the years progressed, my shoe choices changed, and I realized that I don't excel at basketball. But it was refreshing to see the Air Jordan make a comeback on Wendy & Joe's big day, as the groom, his guys, and even his bride-to-be, sported some snazzy sneakers. It was a day to reminisce about the past as well as celebrate the future of this cute couple, who were married in the incredibly unique and visually inspiring Epic Yoga Studio in DC. Enjoy our faves, and congrats to Wendy & Joe!
Cheers! Katye & I have heard a lot of toasts over the years. Hysterical, tear-jerking, touching, profound toasts. I wanted to start off Linda & Gavin's post by talking about one of those touching AND profound toasts, this one by the father of the bride. Linda's father quoted a passage from "The Importance of Living" by Lin Yutang, and the highly abridged excerpt went something like this... "In the selection of husbands for my daughters, I have only one standard: is he a reasonable person? We cannot imagine perfect husbands and wives who never quarrel; we can only conceive of reasonable husbands and wives who quarrel reasonably and then patch up reasonably." There's a whole lot more, of course, and I know I'm not doing the passage justice, but I just ... liked it. Maybe the old cliche' should be changed to "Eat, Drink, and Be Reasonable"? On that note - Cheers! Please enjoy just a handful of our favorites from Linda & Gavin's big day at The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek in Boyds, MD. Congrats to the Happy Couple!