Engaged! with Jessi & Joey

Engaged! with Jessi & Joey

Wedding season’s just about to ramp up, and to get things started and shake off the off-season rust, we scheduled three engagement sessions in five days from Richmond to Charlottesville to Washington, DC. Whew! Our very first one was with Jessi & Joey, whose wedding we’ll be capturing this coming June in Richmond. We met up first at the high school where they first met & started dating, and when it began raining, retired to the uber-cool Carytown restaurant Can Can. It’s pretty awesome when two people are so casually familiar and comfortable with one another, which described these two perfectly. Smiles were in abundance that day – them and us!

You know, of course if you want more you need only ask. The complete personal gallery can be found here, and the case-sensitive password is Jessi’s last name. Have fun!


This is cool. When we were walking through the school, we noted these decorated envelopes, on one was written, “Will you marry me?” Of course we had to shoot underneath it.

The staff at Can Can was totally understanding of us being in the way and generally not being still. We made it up to them by purchasing several drinks.

Thanks so much for having us out, J&J and we can’t wait until June!

Peace and Love,

Engaged! with Maran & Rob

Engaged! with Maran & Rob

It’s not too often nowadays that we’re standing up with dear friends for their wedding, but such is the case with our dear friends, Maran and Rob, whom we’ve known for a number of years now. Rob is a talented fellow wedding photographer and neighbor, and we’d become friends with Maran during their previously long-distance courtship between Charlottesville and New York. Now we’re happy to say they’re both neighbors, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be a part of their wedding next month. We went out with them as the last of the Fall leaves were on the trees to a spot outside of town near to Rob’s heart–where he attended pre-school back in the day. It was an absolutely gorgeous day out with great light, and to make things even better, they brought Hampton, their puppy with them for a little engagement session in the woods.

Poor Hampton, in a race to explore the area, took a dive off a ledge in an old barn, and was comforted by mom and dad here. He was none the worse for wear. Just a bruised ego.

Thank you, m&r, for asking us to shoot your engagement portraits. We’re truly honored. We love you both and sooooo can’t wait for your wedding next month!


Engaged! with Ashleigh & Evan

Ok, so we really cannot wait until Ashleigh and Evan’s wedding next June! From the moment we received their first email to when we met up the first time a couple of months ago, we knew it was going to be a perfect match and we were delighted when they told us they wanted to do a Love Session with us this Fall. We started at a very special place to them both – where they met – the University of Virginia. We started out around Grounds ending up at one of their favorite haunts on the Corner, the Virginian – where they officially started dating. The staff was awesome and let us have the run of the place.

It was the perfect Fall day with that beautiful warm sunlight washing all over us. A&E (our fabulous couple, not the highbrow TV channel) are absolutely perfect for each other – it’s obvious that they not only love each other, but that they truly like and respect each other. They are one of those “annoying” couples who finish each others sentences, but they are such kind-hearted, genuine warm souls, you can’t help, but be inspired by them – how they live, laugh and love.  We had an absolute blast and are so excited to share some of our faves from the day with you.

Want more? Check out the entire portrait gallery. The password is Ashleigh’s last name and is case-sensitive. Enjoy!

The garden where Evan proposed to Ashleigh a few short months ago.

This is their trademark blue steel look.

Congratulations again, you two!! We look forward to sharing a beer over great conversation with you again soon!


Hillary & Simon’s Wedding at Virginia’s Shrine Mont

Happy Friday! Today we’re sending “sweet as” congratulations today to Hillary and Simon, recently celebrating their wedding at beautiful Shrine Mont in rural Virginia. The couple traveled from their home in New Zealand (hey, we’ve been there!) to return to the land of Hillary’s youth, while Simon’s family flew across the pond from Scotland, many for the very first time (really folks, Virginia isn’t usually that hot!). Bill met up with the couple at 9am a few days prior to their wedding for a 90-degree+ engagement portrait shoot in and around the woods near her parents’ home.

When you’re ready, you can view their complete wedding here. The password is Hillary’s maiden name.

Can you tell this is one laid back couple? We LOVE it!

And now, the day of the wedding…

The Family Affair team:

Venue: Shrine Mont
Catering: Shaffer’s BBQ
Flowers: Wildflowers by Simon’s parent’s, Jay & Anne Goodwin
Officiant & Cake: Hillary’s Mom, Jan McDonald
Reception entertainment: Jan Smith & the Honeybirds

Many guests enjoyed a quick dip in the pool that afternoon prior to the ceremony. (They probably wouldn’t have minded if the actually ceremony had taken place in there!) While Shrine Mont is up in the mountains and thus a few degrees cooler than its valley-born brethren, it was still pretty darn hot that day. Real feel of 115. (Thanks, Accuweather! Not.) Doesn’t it make you feel cooler just looking at it that crisp blue water?

Hillary and Simon opted to walk to outdoor cathedral at Shrine Mont (built in 1924!) and process together, led by Hillary’s mom, an Episcopalian priest who has worked at Shrine Mont for a number of years.

A dear friend, a professional fiddler from Scotland, serenaded the guests prior to the ceremony and then played for the couple.

There were a couple of very helpful little girls fanning Simon wherever he walked.

Why wait when you have can have a champagne toast immediately after the ceremony? Sounds good to us!

BBQ and cornbread. Yum!

Paper lanterns create an irresistible pull for those aspiring high-jumpers.

Dear h&s,

The most important thing for any of our clients is for them to celebrate their wedding the way they wish, being true to who they are. By that criteria alone, yours was absolutely perfect. It was truly a family affair, what with your mom, Hillary, not only officiating your ceremony, but baking your cake and cupcakes, and Simon, your parents and Hillary’s dad arranging wildflowers for the altar and bouquet picked that morning from a nearby pasture. And the choice of Shrine Mont was incredibly personal for you, Hillary, having served as a camp counselor in your teens and your mom simultaneously serving as a priest. The ceremony site was among the most unique and beautiful we’ve ever seen, and the serenity one feels upon stepping foot in the sacred open space was the perfect emotional state for a wedding. It was an especially nice touch to see all of your close family members approach to offer words of wisdom and readings.

After a BBQ dinner (pork as well as beef, as if one simply weren’t enough goodness), your bluegrass band got everyone up and kept them up for the remainder of the evening. The heat was forgotten and there was so much swinging and dancing and frolicking the energy was absolutely infectious. Everything was just so relaxed and low-key and easy-going, it was such a pleasure for me to be a part of it all and document your celebration for you. It fit you both perfectly to a T. And that’s all one could ask for. Thank you so much for having me out and many best wishes to you both!

Peace & love…
…b (&a)

Engaged! with Liz & Andras

We recently met up with October wedding clients Liz & Andras near their Washington, DC home on a warm Summer day to spend some time in one of their favorite places, the National Portrait Gallery, for an engagement portrait session! We love that they enjoy the museum (and they got us hooked to boot), and their enthusiasm for the space, architecture, and artwork really shows in their images. We love them all (see the complete gallery here, using Liz’s last name as the password), but we’ve included just a few of our faves below. Afterward, we returned to their home for a change of scenery and few more shots before retiring to their loft for snacks, drinks and great conversation. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon and we can’t wait for this sophisticated, yet fun-loving couples’ wedding!

Congratulations on your engagement, l&a! We can’t wait to celebrate with you in October!


Engaged! with Shannon & Dave

We’re solely cat people partly out of practicality. We travel for weddings so much it’s hard taking good proper care of a dog. So we live vicariously through our clients and friends who have these furry friends as part of their lives. On occasion, a client will bring along their happy-go-lucky pal with them for a portrait shoot. That’s exactly what Shannon and Dave, who are marrying this coming October, did with their dog oh-so-adorable bulldog Parker when we met up in Alexandria recently for their engagement portraits. It was so much fun wandering around town with them. Since Shannon is a huge (no, seriously…huge fan) of cupcakes and has “dragged Dave to a LOT of cupcake shops”) to stop by Lavender Moon for part of the shoot, but who knew they were closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays!?! So alas, no sugary morsels that day. But we still had a blast, and big props and major thanks to Jamie Sears of Simply Chic Events for her invaluable assistance that afternoon and to Holly Chapple for the gorgeous straight-from-her-garden bouquet. Congratulations s&d!! We can’t wait for your wedding this Fall!

Want more? Of course you do. Here’s a link to the complete portrait session. The password is Shannon’s last name.

Yea, he just might be a natural!

Since cupcakes were a no-go that day, we still had to get something sweet. Pops to the rescue!

Engaged! with Ashlee & Aaron

We recently got to meet and photograph Ashlee and Aaron our wonderful clients marrying in North Carolina in November, out at the beautiful Homestead resort for their engagement portrait session. We have always enjoyed shooting weddings there, but it was a nice change of pace doing a couple’s engagement portrait. One of the big benefits of the resort is the wide variety of areas where one can shoot and we were able to beat the sprinkles that came down early that evening. We’ve been shooting there for years and liked being able to come up with new ideas and locations for this fun loving couple.

Want more? You can view their complete private gallery online. The password is Ashlee’s maiden name.

Congratulations, you two and we can’t wait for your wedding later this Fall!


Fab New Guest Signing Book

Searching for the perfect way for your guests to share their thoughts and feelings in writing with you on your wedding day? Look no further than our new guest signing book. Filled with images from your engagement session, it has areas set aside with questions to help the creative juices flow. Your guests can answer whatever questions they like, or simply sign their names as they see fit. We can customize the colors to suit your own wedding’s theme as well. This new book also lays flat, which makes it easier for your guests to write in it. Interesting in having one for your wedding? Drop us a note and we’ll make it happen!

Here’s one from this past weekend’s wedding with Beth & Peter. It was a big hit among the guests, and we snuck peeks at some of the thoughts their friends and family were sharing in response to some of the questions. To one query, “What is best advice to getting along?” one person wrote, “Be a little deaf.” Hahaa, love it! Many responses were more long and thoughtful, while some were short and pithy. All in all, a great success.

Engaged! With Elizabeth & Peter

Well, we’ve said it before and we’ve got to say it again – we have the best clients! You know the type of people for whom going outside in February in a strong chilly breeze for their engagement portraits is no big thing. Elizabeth and Peter, whose wedding we get to capture in April, were two of those people. We had a blast with them–literally. The temperature with the wind chill was in the teens that day! We first met up at Fletcher’s Cove in Georgetown where Peter first popped the question last year along the banks of the Potomac River, presumably under warmer conditions. Once it got too cold for us to continue hanging out outside, we all retired to their home to take advantage of some gorgeous afternoon light and then to bake up some yummy treats. What fun!

Want more? You can see the complete gallery here. The password is Elizabeth’s last name and is case-sensitive.

Congratulations on your engagement, you two! We can’t wait to see you again NEXT month!!

With Joy,

Jennifer & Greg’s Engagement Featured on Bride’s Cafe

We’re so delighted today to share with you that our wonderful friend, Janie of the Bride’s Cafe, fresh from her trip to NYC for a fun evening with Colin Cowie, has featured Jennifer & Greg’s engagement session on her blog today. We can think of no better reason to head over to the cafe with a hot cup of your beverage of choice on this chilly Friday.

Thank you, Janie, for featuring this super fun couple’s e-shoot, and we hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Engaged! with Liz&Scott

Fall colors may have largely subsided, but enough of the vibrantly-colored leaves hung on just long enough for Liz and Scott to travel back to Virginia, where they met while in grad school at Darden, for their engagement session. It made sense to do a few portraits on Grounds at UVa, of course, but we wanted to have a little more fun too and suggested we head downtown to do some things they liked doing when they lived in Charlottesville. Cue up the gelato and wine (not necessarily in that order)! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and can’t wait for your wedding next year, Liz & Scott! Go here to see the entire portrait session.

Such a beautiful couple!

Gotta love a little Splendora’s action…

But Enoteca is no slouch either! 😉

Happy Holidays, you two and we’ll see you again soon!!


Engaged! with Elizabeth&Jon

So there’s something this season about wind. So much for Chicago being the windy city–we’re pretty sure we have them beat, especially when one is around the otherwise-tranquil Tidal Basin. But no worries, as our intrepid explorers Elizabeth & Jon found a way around it (namely, escaping to the FDR Monument) for their engagement portraits filled with lots of laughs and some incredibly beautiful evening light. It was tough narrowing down our favorites from this session, but our blog might’ve exploded if we included them all, so here are our faves. We hope you enjoy them.

Ready for more? Here’s the complete portrait session…the password is Elizabeth’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

Did we mention it was windy? Sometimes you just have to run with it.

B’s shot…

and A’s shot. (Click on them to see them larger. :))

Elizabeth spontaneously blew Jon a kiss, which apparently had some force to it.

Such an adorable couple. We can’t wait for their wedding next year!

Of course we had to get a shot with the Jefferson Memorial in the background, site of their engagement.

Congratulations again, you two on your upcoming wedding!!


Engaged! with Jennifer&Greg

So how about this timing? We were scheduled to originally do an engagement portrait session with Jennifer & Greg down in Charlottesville for apple picking, but when the morning came, it was windy and cold–not a great time to be on top of a mountain, plus the orchard had been quite picked over thanks to the apple festival the weekend before. So we rescheduled–a week after they closed on their suburban Maryland home. Since they were busy painting and generally turning the house into their home, we thought it would be a brilliant idea to do the shoot where they’re starting their lives together. We had a fantastic time together and you can see some of the fun results below with a few of our favorites. Enjoy!

And when you’re ready to see more, click here to see the entire engagement portrait session. The password, which is case-sensitive, is Jennifer’s maiden name.

Jennifer’s mom brought over a big pot full of potted flowers and a welcoming sign embedded in the middle. So sweet!

Yup, had to do it. 😉

Since painting had to be done anyway…

Congratulations j&g on your wonderful new home and your upcoming wedding! We’re absolutely thrilled to be a part of it and CAN’T wait for next July!!


Engaged! with Cristina&Sid

We have a two-fer for you today! Cristina and Sid enjoyed a large and fun wedding ceremony and reception near Sid’s family’s home in India a few months ago, but didn’t get as many portraits as they would have liked in their Indian wedding attire, so (lucky us!) they wanted to include some within their “engagement” session, plus a few in Western dress prior to their stateside wedding next month. So we headed out one recent weekend afternoon to the beautiful Veritas Vineyards for the first part of their session, and were completely wowed with what they were wearing! We had amazing light and, combined with this relaxed and gorgeous couple, just had a blast. In fact, Anne is pretty sure she now want’s to renew our vows in India, primarily so she can wear attire like this! Is that allowed?! ;-D

(Special thanks to Lucinda Riley of Face Value Studio for Cristina’s fabulous hair and make-up!)

Want more? You can check out the entire portfolio of their engagement session here. The password is Cristina’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

{{swoon}} One of Anne’s favorites that Bill took! Cristina is just stunning!

After Veritas, we headed over the beautiful UVa grounds for the second part of their session.

Anne grabbed this shot through the gorgeous Magnolia tree’s and it’s one of Bill’s favorites from the day! She was on fire and captured so many sweet and sexy moments between c&s.

Congratulations, you two! We can not wait for your U.S. wedding next month!


Engaged! with Jenn&Paul

We were delighted to see Jenn and Paul again (after first meeting them at Lee and Jennifer’s wedding back in 2007, where Paul served as a groomsman) recently on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall! What an easy-going, relaxed couple, ready to ride elevators, climb fire escapes, or do pretty much anything we asked in the name of creating a some fun portraits. We had a blast with them (finally retiring to dinner at local burger joint Boylan Heights), and you can see some of our favorites below. Want more? You can see the complete gallery here. The password is Jenn’s last name.

While Bill was down on ground level with them…

…Anne climbed up atop a plexiglass walkway to capture this angle.

Beer and burgers anyone? Can’t think of a better way to wrap up an engagement session!

Congratulations on your engagement, j&p! We can’t wait to shoot your wedding celebration this coming December!

With Joy,