“First Looks” are becoming a becoming a popular way to snap a few pictures of the intimate moments before the wedding ceremony. I’ve done a few of these.. but this was the first occasion where I did one for the Father of the Bride.

Watching the bride, Whitney, stand behind the screen door with a nervous smile as her Dad approached the porch instantly took me back 20 years to when she was a little girl. I really saw a young Whitney who had been waiting for this moment her entire life. Tender moments like these make me realize why I love my job. Being a part of such a huge moment in a family’s life is so special.

Read the rest of the post on Washingtonian’s blog!

 

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One of the best aspects of being a wedding photographer is the intimacy with which I get to know my clients. I feel as if I am invited into their world and the love story that brought them together. Never have I felt so attached to such a story as with Brian and Whitney.

Last May, Brian came to me with the idea to photograph his surprise engagement at the Jefferson Memorial. I hid behind a column as Brian got down on one knee and asked Whitney to marry him.

The wedding was an extension of that beautiful day, an outdoor affair with wonderful people and perfect light bouncing off of the gorgeous bride and groom. The highlight for me came when Whitney read a handwritten note from Brian, saying only a small portion out loud to keep from crying.

“There are not enough minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even years to tell you how much I love you..”

So I feel lucky to be a small part of their fairytale story, the privilege to share these special moments with them, and to share these special memories for them now.

Venue: Sundara 

Second Shooter: Michael Waidmann

Planner: White Peony

Makeup Stylist: Danielle Smith

Florist: Melinda Amos
Cake: Mary Ogilvie

String Duet: Classic Strings Duo

Invitations: Appalachian Press

Wedding Signage: Brent Ellis (Maid of Honor)

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One of the most striking aspects of Ethiopian life was their traditional houses, gojobeits. Made of intricate weaving of bamboo or teff straw, sticks and mud, their structure becomes sturdy and undoubtedly beautiful. Seeing them scattered along the Ethiopian countryside was one of my favorite parts of the drive into the rural wilderness. The photo above was taken on Thanksgiving, as the smoke was rising from grilling meats. And the photo below was taken on the drive into Mezan Tefari, a region far south.

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So I’ve been meaning to post a photo or two each Tuesday talking about my adventures abroad and local, and the stories behind them.

As so many folks in the metro area begin their daily commute this morning, I’m reminded of one of my favorite photos. It offers such a unique contrast to our style of transportation.

This photo was taken up in the mountain of Chiri, Ethiopia where paved roads are a foreign luxury, and individual vehicles are unheard of. Many men climb aboard any moving vehicle to get to the top; which is typically an hour long commute to start the days work. The less fortunate begin a day of walking to get to nearby markets.

This photo represents another aspect of life in Ethiopia that I find so endearing. Public transportation is rough, smelly, and dangerous but it’s part of their collective identity. Notice the kid second to the left with the big smile on his face. This is one of those days I’d gladly trade my ride for his.

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For brides planning weddings which require an overnight hotel stay, this is something cheap and extremely thoughtful to consider for your guests: A homemade goody bag!

As guests checked into the Hotel Roanoke, they received a goody bag, complete with a fresh warm cookie. Now THAT is service!!

Their personalized bag included things like :

+  a water bottle + Tylenol for that morning hangover

+ lots of snacks for late night munchies

+ gum (genius!)

+ a personal guide to the events at the wedding and recommendations for downtown Roanoke (where Whitney was born and raised)

The guide was SO beautiful and included everything from phone numbers to how to get around and the itinerary for the wedding.

Whitney and Brian left no detail unlooked. And THAT makes for a fantastic wedding.

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