Dear Facebook….

Dear Facebook….

It’s not me, it’s you.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

I hate to put it so bluntly (kinda), but lets be honest, we both knew this day was coming and the final straw I guess for me, was your  more recent shenanigans. I don’t blame you so much as your “handlers”. Needless to say, though I simply don’t feel appreciated anymore. Now I really feel like only a commodity to you, and I would never wish that feeling on anybody. I really don’t think you even “like” me after all these years together.

It’s been ten years, Facebook, but I’ve been feeling this way towards you for quite some time. I hung in there to “stay connected” with family and friends and because I belong to a couple private Facebook groups that I really enjoy. Because of those groups, one of which I pay for, I’ll likely need to create a “faux” profile. Now it feels like you’re forcing me to lie to my friends.

And don’t get me started on how your “fake news” influenced a national election. Hell, thanks to you, my own uncle unfriended me. A couple of times! All is well right now, but I fear as the mid-term election cycle begins again I’ll find myself stressed out over all the hate and I’ll “lose” him again.

And now I learn that even though I never visited This is Your Digital Life (i.e.. Cambridge Analytical), before you broke up with them in 2015, that because a friend did and shared their news feed with them, that my public profile, page likes, birthday, hometown and current city also landed in their greedy little hands. Who really knows what damage that caused in my life–maybe none–BUT collecting my page likes so you could just better sell things to me was enough by itself. This was just the final straw.

I still remember the first time I found myself browsing shoes online. When I came back to you, there were the exact shoes I was looking at on another website. Blinking away at me. Always with the damn blinking.

But now, you’ve gotten even more creepy, Facebook. Watching (& listening?) to every single post, conversation, and photograph, and yet for all that, you never even liked them. Hrmph. Talk about feeling like this relationship was one-sided.

I recently reviewed all that information you’ve been collecting on me through the years. Yup, ALL of it. Wow. Now, I’m smart enough to know that nothing online is ever private nor disappears into the ether, but it was another thing to see line after line, after blurry line of every single status update as well, as names on my “friends” list that I didn’t even recognize!

Saturday, September 6, 2008 9:54am

Anne Holland is…“so happy her little bro is now on Facebook!!” Sorry I dragged you into this, too, Andy.

Monday, January 26, 2009 2:57pm

Anne Holland “had a great time at the bonfire with Bill and Rob, sniffles and all.” Well, at least I was talking about an offline adventure.

Saturday, April 17, 2009 8:08am

Anne Holland is…“SO excited to shoot Karen & Michael’s wedding today!! Such a sweet couple and it’s going to be a beautiful day for them. Yea!” Sigh, I will miss memories like this.

Saturday, November 6, 2010 6:57pm

Anne Holland…“totally saw FB founder Mark Zuckerberg at the VA film festival tonight and no they weren’t screening The Social Network. Wild to watch him walk by a theater that was showing it though!! Anyone else see him??” Yea, more proof that I was drinking the Kool-Aid. Seeing how unethical your “birth” was in that movie (allegedly) didn’t even get me to pause my account. You had quite the hold on me, Facebook. And it continued…

Monday, April 18, 2011 8:37pm

Anne Holland…“super fun and much needed day with two of my favorite girls! Love you fabulous ladies. Thanks for such a wonderful day!!” Before the days of “being able” to tag friends so I actually don’t know really know which friends I was talking about. Sigh.

Saturday, May 4, 2012 11:45am

Anne Holland…“thanks so much for the b-day wishes everyone! Rest assured, there is a margarita with my name on it tonight after our wedding coverage! 😉 Happy Cinco de Mayo!!” Warm and fuzzy memory to be sure. Who doesn’t love Facebook on their birthday especially?

Sunday, June 23, 2013 9:59pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Cocktails in hand for the Mad Men season finale! Won’t hear any spoilers from me though. Thought it was a fantastic and crazy episode!” Can now tag people and implicate them in your drinking while facebooking while watching TV. (Sorry, Bill.) And thanks in large part to Facebook, “spoilers” became an every day “bad” word in our vocabularies.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 3:27pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Scenery on a little overnight to celebrate B’s b-day this past weekend. #wow #justwow #abincolorado #latergram #nofilter” Holy crap! Hashtags have been around since at least 2014?!? Definitely didn’t need to know that! Way to make me feel old, Facebook.

Friday, August 21, 2015 4:23pm

Anne Holland…“shared Holland Photo Art’s photo.” Ah, yes. A BIG reminder of why I justified staying with you so long.

Friday, October 14, 2016 11:22am

Anne Holland…shared a memory. “Still do. Always will.” No idea what this one was about, but apparently I thought it so important, I needed to share it twice! Oye.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 5:52pm

Anne Holland is…with Bill Holland. “Been on an unexpected, but not necessarily unwanted, break from social media for a while, but wanted to share a new post from yours truly on Bill’s blog. Exchange surgery is tomorrow and I CANNOT wait! Link is www.billholland.com/annies-surgery and IM Bill or I for the new, MUCH simpler p/w that will work on this post and all the previous ones if you missed any. He’ll also post an update or two following the surgery. <3” Actually thankful, that you made it so easy for friends and family to check in with us, but honestly thanks in large part to my surgeries/health issues/long recovery, I realized just how little I’d miss you should you no longer be in my life.

Thanks to you, Facebook, I know these things happened to me and even I find them pretty boring! Maybe not boring so much, but I never signed up for an apparently secret project: Your Facebook Diary: An Intrusive Look Back.

Sure there have been so many studies in recent years, indicating just how detrimental effect you may have on my life. But I guess I had to live it to really believe it. I felt bad for not checking you out enough. And then when I did, I felt bad for checking you out. And the mindless scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.

And, let’s be honest, I very likely didn’t give you the time you “deserved”. You made it so easy to catch up with friends and yet, also hard. Constantly scrolling and never really feeling like I knew, really, what was going on in their lives. It was a false sense of connection.

You were really close to good enough, but as with all social media at some point, the shine rubs off. My current love is Instagram, but since you also own that app, I fear its days are numbered, as well. I guess we’ll see.

You’ve simply become too controlling and I no longer desire to deal with all your down sides which vastly out number your good sides. You talk a good game, Facebook, but you don’t truly seem interested in changing your, much too often, deceitful ways.

I won’t miss you, but I will miss all the people you connected me to. Very much, but I’m hopeful that I will continue to be able to be in touch with them IRL and via text, email, blog, Instagram, etc.

I promise to not hold it against anyone else I know who chooses to keep you in their lives. (My husband is currently still sticking with you.) Everyone gets to make their own choice. And I get it. I truly do. Saying goodbye is really, really difficult. I’ve attempted to do so many times before over the years, but there’s simply more reasons to give you up than not these days.

And your pal, Messenger? He’s next on my “Dear John” list.

Anne Holland is…“non-regretfully no longer yours’,”

One of the first photos I posted to my profile back in 2008. One of our favorites by friend and incredible photographer, Jennifer Domenick.

Our “Last Wedding”: Tricia & Ian’s Northern Neck, Virginia Wedding

Our “Last Wedding”: Tricia & Ian’s Northern Neck, Virginia Wedding

Ok, so we know you’ve probably been waiting for this on for a while now, especially you, Tricia & Ian, since you married last October! (Thank you so, so much for your patience.) We had really hoped to get it up on the Journal prior to (my) Anne’s surgery (some of you may know that I’ve been dealing with some health issues related to her BRCA status), but with the craziness of the election, the holidays and then preparing for her early February surgery, time simply got away from us. But there was another reason for the delay, as well. We found it more difficult than we thought we would to post our “last wedding” (never say never, but this was our last Holland Photo Arts wedding for the foreseeable future). It’s not that we regret our decision to step away from weddings at all, but this wedding in particular was just so bittersweet for us.

Let us explain.

We met Tricia and Ian after her Mom found our website and discovered we lived in Colorado, but also worked in Virginia. T&I were currently living and working in the Denver metro area, but were planning a wedding back in her Northern Neck Virginia hometown where she grew up. After meeting up for drinks and getting on spectacularly, we were absolutely thrilled they chose us to document their festivities. We didn’t know then that they’d be our last wedding, but we had a pretty good idea given the time of year they were getting married. Once we knew theirs would be it, it added a whole other level of excitement and pressure. Photographing weddings has always been about relationships for us – the ones we make with the couples’ families, their friends, their other wedding professionals, but most importantly, the one we make with the couple. And going out shooting the wedding of a couple we adored, in a place we loved and had lots of history with (Virginia), it just seemed to be the icing on the the many hundreds of wedding cakes we’ve photographed over our 14 years in business.

But enough about us – we’ll have more about what’s next for Holland Photo Arts in a future post. This one is about Tricia & Ian and their super fun wedding, even with the uninvited appearance from hurricane Matthew! Many, many people choose to marry in Virginia in the Fall because it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year; usually low humidity, the kaleidoscope of colors on the Fall trees and generally a pretty safe time weather wise – generally you don’t have to worry about snow making an appearance (unless you live in, ahem, Colorado) and the rainy season is usually reserved for Spring. But, as we all know, Mother Nature can be a fickle one when she wants to be. It became clearer by the day leading to their wedding that the hurricane that was supposed to hit more of the North Carolina coastline had actually changed it’s path and had it’s “eye” (ha!) on the coast of Virginia instead!

Well, let’s just say this created a unique set of challenges and we were very glad this was not our first wedding or there very well may have not been more than 350 to follow it! Rain on a wedding day is one thing. Non-stop heavy, pouring rain, windy hurricane would not be a photographer’s first choice, let alone a bride and groom’s! Especially when they’ve planned for the entire wedding to be outdoors. Thankfully, Tricia and Ian handled it all with aplomb, even though there were some serious scary moments thanks to the all the wet surfaces. The steady drizzle just prior to the ceremony started to pick up during the ceremony and then, just in time for portraits, poured. Ah, well. Tricia & Ian got to have their outdoor ceremony (complete with the bride’s entrance on horseback) and thanks to southern covered porches, clear umbrellas and a picture perfect barn, lemonade was made. ;-D

You may remember their gorgeous Colorado engagement session that we shot around the foothills of Boulder with the Flatirons making for an always stunning backdrop. We even got to capture her beautiful horse, Bear and their special relationship. (We had gorgeous weather for that one. Thanks, Colorado!) In fact, it was her love of horses and the horse farm she practically grew up at with the owners becoming a second family of sorts, that she knew that’s where she wanted to be married and start this new adventure in her and Ian’s lives. It can be tough for couples when they have a certain vision of their wedding day, that may not live up to expectations for whatever reasons, but T&I, it was amazing getting to show you your slide show in person and we think your day was absolutely picture perfect. We couldn’t be more delighted and honored that you love them, too!

But, enough chatting, because we can’t wait to (finally!) show you some of our favorite images from their crazy, fun wedding day!

Venue: Farmhouse Edenhof Private Horse Farm
Officiant: Rev. Jeff Cerar
Catering: Willaby’s Catering
Rental Company: Rappahannock Rentals
Hair Stylist: Moxie Salon
Cake Designer: Emily Pelletier
Bridal Gown Designer: Oleg Cassini

Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:

Details, details… 🙂

Dear k&n,

Some of our favorite moments from your wedding include:

That moment of quiet just before the ceremony, when you paused to look outdoors and wish the rain away, Tricia. Yet your combination of blithe attitude toward the weather and determination to wed outdoors, while not specifically a moment per se, lead to a romantic, misty ceremony in the rain. Your wedding party gleefully photo bombing the silhouette portrait of you in the horse barn. The scary tumble down the porch stairs into the mud, Ian, saving Tricia’s dad from injury, and leading to incredible tenderness with the two of you to nurse your newly re-injured knee. Seeing so many people step up to help keep the path safe and clear by rolling out spare carpet between the tent and barn atop the increasingly deep mud, and then running towels along the dance floor so at least your first dance would be dry. Your courage and determination when you stuck to plan and lifted Tricia high, high in the air, Ian, during your first dance. The huge thumbs up you gave Emily when tasting her home-made delicious cake. The shrug of, “Ha, well of course!” when you saw all the carefully strung cafe lights in the nearby mature tree flicker out, literally just before we were going to do some evening portraits of you both. Your enthusiasm for getting absolutely drenched just for the chance to make one cool portrait in the rain (it worked!). And lastly, when we got together a few short weeks after your wedding, watching your faces when you saw your wedding slideshow for the very first time. Still gives us goosebumps.

Thank you so, so much for having us document your big day! We’re so thrilled we went out with a bang! And lots of hugs. Congratulations, you two and we’re excited for your many new adventures together!

xoxo,
…a&b

Kat & Nick’s Wedding at The Denver Art Museum

Kat & Nick’s Wedding at The Denver Art Museum

Okay, folks, the countdown is on. We have just TWO more weddings to add to our Journal! And are they good ones? You better believe they are.

As many of you know, 2016 was our last year as full-time wedding photographers. Yup, 2016 was crazy, huh? Yea, so well, we had hoped to share these final weddings with you late last year, but as it is wont to do, life stepped in, so we’re excited to share it now and start 2017 off on a high note! Don’t think the delay is indicative of how excited we are to share these weddings with you.

The first of the two weddings is Kat & Nick’s fun, urban wedding in downtown Denver. The couple worked with Heather Allen who not only helped them design an affair unique to them, but found a relatively last-minute venue when their contracted venue suddenly closed; leaving many, many couples in the lurch. With just a few short months to go, Heather was able to secure their Saturday wedding date during a busy Fall wedding season and they ultimately landed at The Denver Art Museum. We can’t think of a more stunning and unique backdrop for a wedding reception than this architecturally significant museum.

The weather gods smiled down upon us all that day, too and K&N found a perfect, sunny Fall day on which to start this new phase of their lives. After their beautiful, traditional greek ceremony at Denver’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral, guests gathered in the outdoor sculpture garden before being welcomed inside to the grand Ponti Hall for the reception, during wish they surprised two of their guests who were celebrating birthdays with cupcakes! Such a fun and wonderful day for a fun and wonderful couple. Want to see a few of our faves?

Venues: Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Denver & The Denver Art Museum
Event Planner: Heather Allen of Table 6 Productions
Invitations: Crane & Co.
Gown Designer: Sassi Holford
Makeup Artist: Danica Severance
Hairstylist: Erin Ferris
Floral Designer: Perfect Petal
Musicians: Diamond Empire Band
Catering: The Denver Art Museum
Videography: Locker Partners
Lighting Designer: Highlights Colorado
Reception Treat: Little Man Ice Cream on Wheels

Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:

They shared their wedding date with two family members’ birthdays too.

Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

  

Sweet eye-candy:

Kat & Nick, some of our favorite moments from your wedding include:
The hee-hee moment you had each drinking from the chalice during your ceremony. Listening to Hunter play guitar so eloquently. The kids enthusiastically blowing bubbles at you–we were glad they weren’t throwing something substantial! The relaxed drive back downtown in your vintage car–just long enough to give yourselves some quiet time. Then…that roar of your guests as you descended the steps for the first time from the balcony to your reception floor. Little Man Ice Cream! (’nuff said) Calling out your family members also celebrating birthdays that day and presenting them with their own frosting-laden cupcake. Gathering in a giant circle to watch you, Nick, and so many others display your flexibility and coordination kneeling down to grab a full glass sitting on the floor with your mouths and tip it back spilling nary a drop! There must be a name for that–what is it? Either way, it was impressive.

Congratulations, you two!

xoxo,
…a&b

Ellie & Buzz’s Charlottesville Wedding Weekend at Montalto

Ellie & Buzz’s Charlottesville Wedding Weekend at Montalto

We love, love, love our new adopted home state of Colorado, but it is always so wonderful to come home to our beloved Charlottesville. Especially when it’s for a couple like Ellie & Buzz. When we first Skyped with them, they mentioned how much they loved the stories we told with our photos. Well, we soon found out these two had quite the story to tell themselves.

Ellie & Buzz chose Montalto, one of Charlottesville’s most picturesque wedding locations. And instead of having a wedding with some reception music, they had a music festival weekend with a wedding ceremony thrown in. Montalto is a very special place to Ellie & her family and in fact, Montalto doesn’t allow very many weddings up there anymore. When Ellie was very little, her parents lived in an apartment on top of the mountain while her Dad was at UVa. Back then it was known as Brown’s Mountain before Monticello purchased it a few years ago.

This adventurous couple (who engaged 60 feet under water in Japan on a scuba trip when she proposed to him!), along with planner extraordinaire Colleen Miller, designed everything about their wedding weekend as if there were no traditions, no customs, no expectations. Just a reflection of who they were as people and the experiences they wanted their guests to have. They fell in love after learning they both loved the “the crown prince of Zydeco” CJ Chenier. So of course, they were over the moon when he agreed to play their reception with his incomparable Red Hot Louisiana Band.

Festivities got started on Friday and their guests enjoyed food stations from around the world while dancing to an awesome bluegrass band. Ellie, an accomplished violinist, even joined them on stage for a few songs with everyone on their feet beneath the colorful tents. Montalto mountain overlooks all of Charlottesville, so their ceremony in the round was timed for the sunset and after everyone enjoyed a lovely, seated dinner in the historic mansion. Some lucky souls got to enjoy the southern fare on the large covered terrace overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains. We loved everything about it. And them. We hope you enjoy some of our favorite images from their music festival wedding weekend!

Venue: Thomas Jefferson’s Montalto
Event Planner: Colleen Miller of Colleen Miller Events
Officiant: Claire Frances of Sacred Ground Ceremonies
Floral Designer: Hedge Fine Blooms
Catering: Harvest Moon
Videographer: Citrus Ceremonies
Musicians: Hogslop String Band, Jangling Reinharts & CJ Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band

And because this unconventional couple reminded us how fun it is to mix things up a bit and invite the unexpected, we’re going to start of with a little lagniappe for you…fun details and unexpected moments, before getting to our faves of each others.

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This is an oathing stone. Learn about finding and prepping one here, and using it in your ceremony here. Such a beautiful and meaningful tradition.

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These are flower cannons. Sorry, these super powerful puppies are hand-made by Ellie herself. Not available in stores!

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EBFr-1754-05x   mountain-estate-virginia_wedding-holland_photo_arts      wildflower_bouquet-virginia_wedding-holland_photo_arts

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Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

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EBSa-1957-30yEBSa-2001-43y EBSa-2002-17y EBSa-2007-53y EBSa-2008-27y EBSa-2009-52y EBSa-2053-00y

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Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:

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EBSa-1711-16x EBSa-1712-32x  EBSa-1940-22x EBSa-1943-31x EBSa-2007-52x

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EBSa-2008-25x

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EBFr-1816-51x

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EBSa-2106-11x  EBSa-2110-44x

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Ellie & Buzz, our favorite moments from your wedding include:
Ellie, the (many) moments you played fiddle on stage with the various bands, but especially with CJ Chenier! The look of absolute pride on your teacher’s face as she watched you perform on stage. When all your flower guns went off at the same time after your ceremony, completely filling the air with colorful rose pedals. We couldn’t tell who was more wowed–you or your guests. The way you effortlessly rolled with the punches–and the rolling oathing stones, Buzz, when you discovered just how well it stood up on its own with weight on it. And finally, while not technically a moment, but the fact you married at the same spot on the same mountain where your parents, Ellie, first met and started dating is pretty awesome. 

Congratulations, you two!

xoxo,
…a&b

Ryan and Ryan’s Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

Ryan and Ryan’s Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

Alright, folks, do we have a fun one for you! Ryan and Ryan found us via a fellow photographer, and it was clear from the outset we were meant for each other. Or at least meant to document their Virginia wedding. The state is, indeed, for lovers. Read on!

Venues: Rosemont Manor
Floral Designer: Flowers Unlimited
Catering: Celebrations Catering
Cake Artist: Taylor Made Cakes 
Lighting: Bracken Audio
Reception Band: Kristen & The Noise
Assistant Extraordinaire and Third Photographer: Karen Papadales

Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:

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This wig made the rounds…

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Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

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And, finally, some, er…um…fabulous details!

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custom_neon_sign-va_wedding-holland_photo_arts       purple_lighting-virginia_wedding-holland_photo_arts

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Dear r&r,

Some of our favorite moments from your wedding day include:
As we pulled up, there were guests lounging with champagne in hand for as far as the eye could see. Good start to the day! That as John, your officiant started the ceremony, he hid his notes inside a vintage Playboy hidden inside a bible. Awesome. We found it highly encouraging that he concluded his opening words with, “Ok, let’s get these fuckers married!” to your guests’ raucous cheers. The late-night lawn dance party with your close friends out in front of the multi-colored trees. And while not technically moments, we totally fell in love with your fun and irreverent invitations, and the way you appropriated the title “best man” making it your own with “breast man”. Fitting. The absolute adoration all your friends had for Kristen & The Noise–understandable how they kept everyone out on the dance floor until the wee hours. We had such a blast!

Congratulations, you two!

xoxo…
…a&b

Melanie & Adam’s Charlottesville Wedding at Clifton Inn

Melanie & Adam’s Charlottesville Wedding at Clifton Inn

We couldn’t think of a better way to end a, shall we say, very interesting week in our great nation’s history, than with a life affirming, good old-fashioned love story. This one of course has it in spades, as do, let’s be honest, all of our clients. Because they rock it.

After meeting at UVa law and getting engaged in New Orleans (one of our favorite cities and where we were married), Adam gave Melanie his Grandmother’s ring and made it official. Then, as life is wont to do, their careers took them to different cities so they had to plan their wedding “long distance.” Melanie had seen Kate & Andrew’s shindig we had shot at Clifton Inn and loved the idea of dancing under the stars. I mean really, who doesn’t? We already shared some of Melanie & Adam’s favorites with you and we couldn’t be more excited to finally share some of ours.

Venues: Holy Comforter Catholic Church & Clifton Inn
Event Planner: Karen McGrath of Amore Events
Floral Designer: Whimsical Floral
Make-up Artist: Bride Face
Hair styling: Top Knot Studio
Catering & Cake Artist: Clifton Inn
Tent Rental: Skyline Tent Company
Calligraphy: Karen McGrath of Amore Events
DJ: Playback DJ
Assistant Extraordinaire and Third Photographer: Karen Papadales

Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

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MA-1414-43y  MA-1510-24y

MA-1511-44y

MA-1713-55y MA-1716-03y MA-1727-22y

MA-1753-40y

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MA-1736-48y

MA-1938-02y

MA-1944-56y

MA-1947-11y MA-2123-30yMA-2218-54x MA-2240-58y

Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:

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MA-1317-52x

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MA-1330-40x

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MA-1501-44x  MA-1629-31x MA-1646-49x   MA-1817-43x  MA-1940-50x  MA-2108-07x

MA-2130-38x MA-2216-32x MA-2218-54x MA-2240-46x

A&B’s faves of K’s

MA-1249-57z MA-1327-36z MA-1736-13z MA-1806-31z MA-1940-51z MA-2117-55z MA-2145-17z

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Dear m&a,

Some of our favorite moments from your wedding day include: The sweet intensity your nephew, Donovan, taking in everything throughout the day. The care you took in helping Donovan get dressed, Adam, even though you had plenty to prepare for yourself. Melanie, every. single. intimate. moment you and your Mom shared, especially while getting ready. That look of pride on her face while you donned your dress exemplified this. Surprising your Granddad with a Grandfather-Granddaughter dance to a song long special to you both. Your laughter and tears while reading each other’s letters before your First Look. Your utter joy and enthusiasm after your I Do’s became official as you walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife. And yes, we captured that quick sticking out your tongue in jest to a friend peeking through a door just before your ceremony (we’ll spare you on the Journal, but you know the pic!) All your special touches at your reception: A sprig of rosemary at each place setting, your families’ wedding photos displayed around the mansion, your “guest rocks” that also made an appearance during your ceremony, naming your tables after the many cities that have played a role in your lives together and of course, tasty Gearheart chocolates for your guests as they headed out into the beautiful evening.

Congratulations, you two!

xoxo…
…a&b

Katie & Crispin’s DC Wedding at St. Matthews & Ritz Carlton

Katie & Crispin’s DC Wedding at St. Matthews & Ritz Carlton

Oh, ’tis the season…we have another Autumn wedding in historic Washington DC to share with you today! The rain was threatening on this one (really, doesn’t Mother Nature know not to rain on a wedding day?!), but it turned out to be a beautiful Fall day and we loved being able to take Katie & Crispin’s gang over to the Lincoln Memorial after the ceremony for portraits. When you’re lucky enough to have such a dramatic backdrop for an equally stunning couple, you gotta use it! We also loved getting to see former clients and friends Emily & Scott who were guests at the wedding. You may remember their awesome outdoor feté a few years ago at Strong Mansion in Maryland. Just like at that wedding, Katie & Crispin’s guests did not disappoint and never left the dance floor. If a reception’s success is measured in dance moves, this one gets an A+!

Venues: St. Matthews Cathedral & Ritz Carlton DC
Event Planner: Caroline Bressler of Caroline Bressler Design
Floral Designer: Philippa Tarrant
Make-up & Hair styling: Up Do’s for I Do’s
Catering, Cake & Lighting :Ritz Carlton DC
Videographer: Dolce Studio Film
Paper Goods: The Dandelion Patch
Bridal Gown: Eugenia Couture
Bridal Boutiques: Soliloquy Bridal BoutiqueCeremony Musician: Paul Hardy
DJ: Steven Faith of DJ D-Mac & Associates
Assistant Extraordinaire and Third Photographer: Karen Papadales

Bills Faves of Anne’s:

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Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

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And, of course, we couldn’t leave you without some lovely details.

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Congratulations, you two!

Happy Anniversary: Melanie & Adam

Happy Anniversary: Melanie & Adam

We’re so excited today to celebrate Melanie & Adam’s first anniversary as Mr. & Mrs.! These two beautiful souls married at one of our favorite all time venues, the incomparable Clifton Inn in Charlottesville this past Fall.

We in absolute disbelief that it’s already been a year, but congratulations again, you two! We loved getting to see a few of your favorite images from your celebration. The image Bill captured of Donovan watching you walk down the aisle, Melanie, is one of our all time favorites. Anne still remembers Bill’s excitement when he told her shortly after your ceremony what he had gotten. Sometimes you just know. Same with the photo Anne took of you both dancing under the stars at the end of the evening. We had such a wonderful time with you both, not only that day, but in the months leading up to your wedding as well, and we’re even more thrilled getting to stay in touch now and hearing about all the exciting adventures you have going on. Stay tuned for some more of our favorites from your truly delightful day! xoxo….a&b

Hi Bill & Anne! It was so hard to pick out our favorites–there are so many photos we love!  We were amazed at your ability to capture the big moments, and the smaller, more intimate moments, of our special day.  Here are our selections:

Joint:

This was when they announced us for the first time at our reception.  This photo completely sums up how excited we were to be married!
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The way you were able to capture the sunlight streaming in through the trees is simply stunning.
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We love how you captured part of Clifton Inn and also captured just how happy we were to be husband and wife.
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Adam’s:
When I look about this photo, I just remember getting in the limo, sighing in relief, and getting to really look at my wife for the first time. Everything before that was such a blur, and it was this amazing moment to finally look at my wife for the first time. 
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This was just fun. Donovan was so excited about our wedding that he made us practice walking down the aisle a few days before. I love that this picture let’s us kind of see the day through his eyes.
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Our wedding was wonderful. For all the stress and expense, it came out better than I could have imagined. It was so full of love. I think you can see in this photo the culmination of what we were feeling. Just pure emotion coming out. 
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Melanie’s:
I love this photo with my mom and the emotion you can see on both our faces.
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I remember being so happy the entire night, and this photo perfectly captures exactly how I was feeling.
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This picture was the last of the night, right after our sparkler exit.  And again, all I can think about when I see this photo is happiness!
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Megan & Misha’s Wedding at the Mellon Auditorium, Part 2: The Details

Megan & Misha’s Wedding at the Mellon Auditorium, Part 2: The Details

And we’re back. Did you enjoy The Moments from M&M’s wedding? Excellent. Ready for some rockin’ details from Megan & Misha’s wedding at the Mellon Auditorium? Of course you are. Trust us.

Venues: St. Matthews Cathedral & Andrew Mellon Auditorium
Event Planner: Simply Chic Events
Floral Designer: Amaryllis
Make-up: Carl Ray
Hair styling: Remona Soleimani
Catering: Occasions
Cake Artist: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Furniture rental: DC Rentals
Jewelers: Dominion Jewelers
Videographer: Monachetti Weddings
Lighting: Frost Lighting
Live Painter: Wed on Canvas
Rentals: DC Rental
Paper Goods: Haute Papier
Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs
Transportation: MJ Valet
Bridal Gowns: Liancarlo and Vera Wang (afterparty)
Bridal Boutiques: Carines Bridal & Saks Jandel
Grooms Attire: Baroni (Geoffrey Lewis)
Reception band: La Femme Classique (Violins), The Source, The Nation (Reception) and The Elements (after party) via Elan Artists
After-party food trucks: DC Slices and Dolci Gelati
Assistant Extraordinaire and Third Photographer: Karen Papadales

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Whew! And there you have it, one of the most jam-packed, detail-filled, surprise-driven, fun weddings ever. Thanks, Megan & Misha, for asking us to join you in this incredible, lovely journey with you!

Megan & Misha’s Wedding at the Mellon Auditorium, Part 1: The Moments

Megan & Misha’s Wedding at the Mellon Auditorium, Part 1: The Moments

All right, as promised we FINALLY have more to share from Megan & Misha’s wedding! By now you’ve probably already seen Megan’s bridal portraits and their Georgetown engagement session, not to mention the Washingtonian Bride and Groom feature, so you may be eager to see more highlights from their Mellon Auditorium wedding. We’ve certainly been eager to share.

The word “gorgeous” is, in our humble opinion, slightly overused and certainly sometimes by us, but this wedding was, without a doubt, truly one of the most gorgeous we’ve ever seen let alone get to photograph it. Combine that with such a beautiful couple inside and out, and we had the makings of a wedding we’ll remember fondly for many years to come.

No doubt, we loved working with this amazing team, too. There’s something about working with the same people for various weddings–you get to really know each other and you work together so seamlessly at a wedding, not to mention it’s always fun to work with old friends. Everyone involved seriously brought their A game and we think the results speak for themselves and bet you’ll agree.

PS – Settle in. This is a BIG one!

Venues: St. Matthews Cathedral & Andrew Mellon Auditorium
Event Planner: Simply Chic Events
Floral Designer: Amaryllis
Make-up: Carl Ray
Hair styling: Remona Soleimani
Catering: Occasions
Cake Artist: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Furniture rental: DC Rentals
Jewelers: Dominion Jewelers
Videographer: Monachetti Weddings
Lighting: Frost Lighting
Live Painter: Wed on Canvas
Rentals: DC Rental
Paper Goods: Haute Papier
Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs
Transportation: MJ Valet
Bridal Gowns: Liancarlo and Vera Wang (afterparty)
Bridal Boutiques: Carines Bridal & Saks Jandel
Grooms Attire: Baroni (Geoffrey Lewis)
Reception band: La Femme Classique (Violins), The Source, The Nation (Reception) and The Elements (after party) via Elan Artists
After-party food trucks: DC Slices and Dolci Gelati
Assistant Extraordinaire and Third Photographer: Karen Papadales

Anne’s faves of Bill’s:

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Bill’s faves of Anne’s

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And, last but definitely not least and, because we could not have done it (especially this wedding!) without her…

Our favorites of Karen’s:

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And of course some whoa, incredible details, captured by all three of us, coming up in the next post. Stay tuned!

Happy Anniversary: Megan & Misha

Happy Anniversary: Megan & Misha

Hey there! Long time, no journal. Did you hear those crickets? Yea, we’re terribly sorry about that. In addition to weddings and working on an exciting new project, our third move in three years has kept has more busy than we would have thought or hoped. Between the crazy long search to now making it our own with decorating and some minor renovations. We’re so happy to finally be settling in a bit now and getting back into the swing of things.

So to kick things back off, we’re so excited to celebrate Megan & Misha’s first anniversary as husband and wife! This fun, adventurous couple has had quite the exciting first year and we’ve loved following along via social media. They were kind enough to take a break from their travels to pick out a few of their favorite images from their wedding to share with us in honor of their anniversary.

Congratulations you two and we can’t wait to share more from your truly breathtaking wedding soon!

Thank you so much for reaching out to us for this.  I seriously cannot believe it has been a year and we love getting to look at these photos all the time.  There are so many good ones to choose from and I could have listed SO many more of our favorites! Below are a few:

Joint Faves:
This so accurately captures how excited we were to finally be husband and wife.  One of the best moments of the entire day.
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This photo accurately captures that moment in time that we are about to become husband and wife.  It was very emotional with Misha and my dad crying, and I was just so excited this day had finally come. 

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All our closest friends by our side on our day.

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Misha’s Faves:

Love how regal this photo looks.
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 Capturing our first dance as husband and wife with our friends and family surrounding us.

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Megan’s Faves:

My favorite girls standing by my side on my big day.

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I love having this moment with my Dad before he gives me away.

MM-1408-34xTaking an intimate moment with my husband. 

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Megan and Misha’s DC Wedding Featured in Washingtonian Bride & Groom

Megan and Misha’s DC Wedding Featured in Washingtonian Bride & Groom

If you know anything about us, you know we love us some Washingtonian Bride & Groom magazine. Seriously, not only do they feature some of the Washington DC area’s most beautiful weddings, the whole magazine is total eye candy. (It was one of the true highlights of our career to have one of our images featured on their cover last year!) Even the paper it’s printed on is luxe, making it a delight to pour over on a rainy afternoon, even when you’re not planning a wedding! Their latest Winter/Spring issue is no exception so we were doubly thrilled to see Megan & Misha’s truly one-of-a-kind wedding gracing their pages. You may remember seeing some of our favorite images from Megan’s bridal session and now we can’t wait to share more from their incredible day from their wedding soon! In the meantime, check out their stunning spread below and in person with a real copy if you can.

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Page spreads courtesy of Washingtonian Bride & Groom

 

 

One final lap (our last wedding season)…

One final lap (our last wedding season)…

The couple–Gia & Nolan, their seven (yes, seven) guests, and the two of us gathered and rubbed our hands together to keep warm on December 7, 2002. We were waiting for the officiant in a rose garden near Gia’s sister’s home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This was the setting for our first wedding as Holland Photo Arts and as professional photographers.

We were hooked.

We thought the next year might bring another seven weddings, maybe ten if we were lucky. Imagine our surprise when, thanks to the wonderfully kind words of our past clients to all (and we mean all) of their friends, we shot 37! And subsequently collapsed with a Scotch whisky (Bill) and vodka cocktail (Annie) at the end of it all.

The next twelve years were a whirlwind. Within nine months we were both full-time on the business, and so grateful to those who shared their knowledge and wisdom with us. In particular, Allegra who served as a mentor and gave us an incredible opportunity to build our portfolio as a guest photographer at her weddings.

When you start a business on your own, you’re passionate for the art and the craft, not necessarily because you want to run a business. We were the same way, and of course we made mistakes, but with every wedding we always endeavored to get better—to create more positive, memorable experiences for our clients.

Our clients.

Now, nearly 400 of you.

We could not have imagined a more richly emotionally rewarding time. We smiled and laughed with you, we cried with you (a challenge to sometimes shoot through tears), and yes, on occasion we danced with you. We celebrated the births of your children, and mourned the loss of your siblings, parents, and grandparents, sometimes your spouses, and even occasionally your marriages.

We always knew though that the time would come and instead of staying past our welcome and beginning to resent or hate weddings, after much soul searching this year, came to the difficult (& scary!) decision that we were both ready to close this amazing but all-consuming chapter of our lives. We also wanted to go out while we still love shooting weddings. We always want to give our all to our amazing couples—you deserve nothing less from us.

You were and are the intensely colorful threads in the rich fabric of our lives. We’re better people for knowing you.

We also worked with some of the most amazingly talented and loving professionals we’ve ever had the honor to meet, many becoming life-long friends. The wedding industry itself has changed a lot over the years–in some ways encouraging, in other ways not so much. We chose to adapt in some ways, and we held our ground in others.

Our sole goal along this path has always been for our wondereful couples to simply celebrate the wedding they wanted for themselves. To feel true to their souls. To share with their friends and family the experiences they wanted to share. It didn’t matter if it was a pot luck for a few dozen loved ones atop a mountain, or an urban extravaganza for 400, as long as it felt true. We endeavored to honestly and artfully capture it all.

Along the way, we shared with and shepherded several students and up and coming photographers through the Foundation Workshop, where we were once students as well. We were proud to serve as teachers and, for a few years, with Bill as the workshop’s executive director.

We’ve witnessed great change in the professional photography community along with the wedding industry over the past several years (film to digital and back to film, atmospheric rise in social media, and Google Analytics and SEO; just to name a few) and while we’ve been thrilled to see so many photographer friends flourishing, we’ve been saddened to see so many others struggle and be forced to close their doors before they were ready. We were and continue to be incredibly blessed that our studio was successful year after year and that’s in large part thanks to all the love and support within our wedding community.

Closer to home, we were thrilled to mentor three generous and kind souls as they completed post-production work and assisted us at weddings (thank you, Kelly and Eric!). Karen, in particular, has been with us for five years now after we shot hers and Michael’s wedding, not to mention growing her own successful studio. Karen, thank you for all you were and are. We love you and are so proud of your ongoing accomplishments.

Through it all, we paid for our own health insurance (an increasing challenge for small business owners), contributed to our retirement (alas, no employer matching), took whatever vacation we desired (unpaid, of course), had a couple of hospital visits for wedding-related injuries (one each), and missed innumerable family events and birthdays.

As much as this profession may have taken away, however, it repaid us back in spades. We’ve been the recipients of great love, respect, trust and long-lasting friendships. Our reward may not be a big cash payday a la Facebook’s IPO. But we wouldn’t have traded it for all the tea in China, because we’re leaving an even greater legacy–the knowledge that one day our couples’ great grandchildren will find their wedding album in the attic and get immense joy from seeing them, perhaps as they’ve never known them. (Young and spry for one!) A price just can’t be put on that.

So, as 2015 has drawn to a close and 2016 ramps up, it is time for us to say goodbye. Well, mostly. 2016 clients, never fear, as we can’t wait to celebrate with you! And we’ll accept a very limited number of additional commissions this season, as we otherwise explore new personal and professional challenges in our adopted home state of Colorado. Our small business consultancy The Art of Delight continues to thrive and we both will continue to have professional photography in our lives, Bill with landscapes and Anne with travel photography, as well as a project she’s been working on that she look forward to sharing soon. We’ll also still consider couples for Something Teal, our free wedding photography project.

And not to worry…we’re not going anywhere just yet. In addition to our 2016 weddings & events, we have lots of Summer & Fall 2015 wedding goodness to share on the Journal. We’ll still be accepting inquiries for a few dates in late Summer/Fall 2016 and still be doing albums for previous clients.

We couldn’t be more delighted to have had you–all of you–in our lives. You’ve affected us more deeply than you know. Thank you truly from the bottom of our very full and happy hearts.

…A&B

 

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Megan’s Bridal Portraits at the Hay Adams Hotel

Megan’s Bridal Portraits at the Hay Adams Hotel

Now Megan & Misha have married with a fab reception at Mellon Auditorium (look for their Journal post shortly), we’re happy sharing some of the images we love the most from Megan’s bridal portrait session. Megan secured a spacious, light-filled suite at the Hay Adams Hotel, making the session a portrait photographer’s dream. Megan’s mom was there to help, as was the ever-talented Jamie & Kate of Simply Chic Events, and we were, as always, grateful for our assistant Karen for her help. Enjoy our favorites!

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This last one, we were delighted to see, was one of the 20×30 prints selected for display at their wedding. Gorgeous!