The last few weeks have been crazy hectic in the best way possible. It’s also been our most versatile month, as we captured weddings, portraits, head shots, and even an anniversary.

When we first opened our studio, I was adamant that I wanted to focus on weddings and portraits. As we’ve matured though, I’ve found many of our portrait sessions feature families – which would have made every bit of sense if I had thought about it sooner. Photographs are a way of capturing the people you love for all time – so more often than not, when a woman books a portrait session in our studio, she comes with her spouse, sisters, or children as well.

So today, I’m thrilled to showcase a family/senior portrait session that we enjoyed with dear friends. The Kemper Family had their portraits in Fredericksburg. I have known and loved them for years – in fact, since I was their daughter, Scotland’s, age. It is incredibly profound to photograph someone who you used to look after, who you can still picture in your mind’s eye as a toddler, and now realize that they’re embarking into adulthood. It’s also incredibly humbling….this makes me how old?!

Thank you, Scotland, Val, and Todd for trusting me and for being such enduring friends. You are amazing on camera and off!

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Congratulations to our beautiful friend, Valentina, on her marriage to her fiance Victor! We photographed Valentina for her portrait session during the Cherry Blossom festival. The Cherry Blossoms were elusive this year and it was a hard won session – but well worth it.

Valentina, you are beautiful inside and out. I hope your lives will bring you back to Washington DC one day, and wish you all the best in Madrid. We’ll miss you!!

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While out to lunch with new friends a few weeks ago, someone asked me: “Do you do photograph pets?”

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I fairly quickly said ‘no’ because I couldn’t remember having done so and we’ve been focused on our wedding and portrait clients. But while looking through some of my previous images this morning, I realized I’d forgotten to mention one of our favorite client and pet portrait sesions.

To be fair, I dd work with Erin and Kelty last summer. (Also to be fair, I have the memory of a goldfish. Thank goodness for task management software.)

Still, Erin’s session with Kelty remains one of our sweetest. And for you photographers out there, I highly recommend going back through some of your previous sessions and seeing how your style has changed. For those of us who live in our images, going back through them can be a little like reading your old journals from when you were 15: it’s a wonder how much we evolve.

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At least one thing never changes: we love our clients…and their little dogs too.

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There are few phrases more repeated than this: “When you stop looking for it, that’s when love will find you.” I have to argue that it takes more than just not looking – it takes an open heart. Or maybe a little of both, since that’s exactly what happened to Amy & Stephen. After just one date, they both admitted that it was different – more comfortable than anything they’d experienced before.

That kind of friendship is evident in their engagement shoot – from the very first moments where we put together a “first look” in their wedding attire, and right through the end as they kept each other smiling every minute.

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Amy & Stephen, I’m grateful to have met you both. I’m truly excited to see what lies ahead of you, and wish you all the love in the world!

There are few things more evident than a mother’s love and concern for her children. Pam and her mother Tina were no exception – I met them together at a bridal show this winter, and they came into my studio together several weeks later. Though Tina did not come to be photographed, she helped Pam throughout her portrait session – not always agreeing, but always supportive. It should be no surprise that Tina’s two other children are just and bright and talented – a fact that showed on Tina’s face as she described their careers and aspirations.

Pam is well on her way to continuing this trend – a photographer herself, she is equally beautiful in front of the camera and her brilliant smile lit up her images. As she and her soon-to-be-husband embark on a new life and in a new state, she’s sure to bring joy to those around her with her sweet and warm demeanor.

 

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Pam and Tina, thank you for visiting our studio – God bless you and your family during this momentous time in your lives!

 

best affordable accessories

 

So many of our clients ask about accessories for their engagement and studio sessions. Naturally, they don’t want to go overboard…jewelry for a shoot should be fun, unique, and accessible.  Here are our top picks for places to get gorgeous *and* affordable accessories for your next photo session! Then keep them for the weekends…they’re too fun not to. ;)

 

1. Forever XXI. The purveyor of awesome trending fashion at a great price is also the purveyor of awesome statement necklaces, stand-out glam earrings, and feminine headbands….at an equally great price. I outfitted much of our studio jewelry collection here and my jaw dropped when I saw how many beautiful items I could get with their value.

 

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2. Target. A year ago, Target would not have made my list for beautiful accessories. Their jewelry collection – what wasn’t encased behind glass walls that were only accessible to absent employees – was clunky and boring. They must have hired a new stylist because even their OTC items are now excellent….on-trend chunky necklaces, beaded bracelets, and oblong teardrop earrings in beautiful colors. Plus classic items that are perfect for any portrait or boudoir shoot – like long strings of pearls and plenty of outfit options to go with them.

3. Banana Republic. Banana’s accessories are a little higher priced, but they tend to stand the test of time – if you want a necklace to last beyond the shoot in terms of style and durability, they are your perfect pick. (If you find their full price items to be a little too pricy, no sweat – just shop their sale!)

 

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4. Stella & Dot. The stellar folks at Stella & Dot have been all over our wedding circuit this year, and for good reason – they boast some of the best looking and most accessible jewelry options on the market.

5. Your Closet. Ok….this isn’t a new hip store in Tyson’s Corner. It *is* one of the best places to find great jewelry, especially if you’re having your portrait taken. My most meaningful pieces were given to me by the people who love me, and I feel like something special when I wear them. So go find that necklace or bracelet that your favorite person gave you, and rock them out!

 

 

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Valentine's Day Mini Sessions - Washington DC Boudoir Photographer-1

 

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day!  I absolutely love this time of year…because how can you dislike a holiday centered around chocolate, champagne, and the color red?

Of course…it does present a gift opportunity very soon after Christmas, so that can be a little stressful. Are you struggling for ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for your sweetheart? If so, you’ll LOVE our new mini-sessions!

Mini-sessions are our light versions of our regular sessions, and they make fabulous gifts. They include:

  • Complete hair styling
  • Makeup artistry
  • Up to 3 wardrobe changes
  • 1 hour shoot in our studio for one person
  • (1) 8×10 image printed on premium luster paper
  • $50 of product credit toward your images

The best part? Your individual mini-session is only $99! And they’re available in a limited number for a very limited time, in honor of this beautiful celebration of love and romance. Spend time on yourself, while getting something luxurious for your sweetheart. We’re offering mini-sessions on the following dates and times (on a first-come, first-served basis):

March 17th (Sunday): 11am, 1230pm, 2pm

April 12th (Friday): 11am, 1230pm, 2pm

April 20 (Saturday): 11am, 1230pm, 2pm

 

Reserve yours now…this offer ends on Thursday, February 28th. Please SIGN UP HERE to hold your appointment!

 

Love & Chocolate,

 

Bethany

 

This post might also be titled, “All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.”

Erica & Doug - Washington DC Wedding Photographer (1 of 1)

Back in July of last year, I photographed Erica and Doug for their engagement photos on Roosevelt Island. It was the place that Doug asked Erica to marry him, after his original plan was thrown off track, and of course she said, ‘yes’. They both knew fairly quickly in their relationship that this was a right fit – finding something together that matched the advice Doug’s brother Chris gave during his best man toast: “Love should be easy.”

As we walked through the tree-covered pathways during their engagement session, we talked about their families, the challenges of military life, and how a new puppy just changes everything. We stopped for a photo and I asked Doug to wrap Erica in his arms for the shot. “My favorite place,” Erica said as she gladly obliged. These two are so clearly and easily meant for each other, and it is a joy to spend time with them. I knew immediately after the session that I would love to photograph their wedding, but had no idea what their arrangement was and didn’t have it in me to ask.

Fast forward several months later, and I receive an email from Erica asking if I might be available to photograph their wedding.  Um….is the Pope Catholic?? (I think I managed to eek out something slightly more professional in my reply email…but the resounding answer was “YES OF COURSE!”).

It was an absolute joy to photograph these two families. Erica & Doug are blessed to be surrounded by people who love and support them. And are pretty rockin’ dancers, I might add.  I was honored to have had the opportunity to share in their beautiful day.

We were also super fortunate to have the lovely Shandi Wallace (www.shandiwallace.com) shooting with us. Shandi is an amazing photographer in DC and we have admired her work since before we met her. It’s a little like getting to work with your favorite rock star…don’t be jealous.

Erica & Doug, I adore you both – thank you for letting us be a part of your beautiful celebration! Mike and I wish you all the happiness and love in the world!!