A fun, sweet, unique National Gallery of Art engagement session in the heart of Washington, D.C….
Anna and Neil reached out to me looking for a creative photographer who was able to offer a solid, eclectic mix of high-quality photos. They wanted unique photos that were different and fit their personalities and style. They wanted some photos to be more elegant and traditional, but others that would be more playful, fun and artistic.
Being surrounded by art was absolutely inspiring for me and I enjoyed capturing the diverse settings. The first photo I posted looks so futuristic and surreal– it really packs a punch. This image is much more traditional, natural, and just a sweet image of a couple walking together in magnificent surroundings…
It is funny to share that these photos were captured in January! Everything looks so green and lush in the atrium! That is another real plus to scheduling a photo session at the National Gallery, weather doesn’t really put a damper on things. It was cold and literally pouring outside while I shot these.
While I love capturing the environment and playing with lighting and composition, I also enjoy photographing more conventional portraits as well. I really like how relaxed and genuine Anna & Neil look here. Again, it totally looks like spring, haha!
Anna and Neil chose to wear semi-formal attire for their session and liked the idea of being a little more dressed up for this occasion and setting. Her shoes were particularly adorable.
The natural and artificial light filtered through the foliage creating interesting shadows. I captured those shadows along with Anna’s cute shoes and sweet body language in this next photograph– something a little fun and unique…
Anna shared, “Neil and I have a lot of fun together and make each other laugh. We met at James Madison University and were best friends for about 3 years before we officially started dating during our senior year. We are still best friends.”
I think the fun and playful side of their relationship is viable here, you can also sense their closeness and see how comfortable they are together. Anna’s earrings also happened to catch the light perfectly in this shot ;).
Anna went on to explain Neil’s proposal, “Neil is not usually a planner, but when it came to the engagement he was on top of every last detail! We went down to JMU that Friday night and ate at our favorite burger place called Jack Browns. The next morning our plan was to go to brunch, the book store, take pics with the duke dog statue and then go to a nearby winery. It was raining and I could tell Neil was a little bummed. I even joked “what’s wrong, what were you going to do propose?!? haha!”
Little did she know…
“After brunch it stopped raining and we headed to the quad to take some pictures. Our last picture was at the middle of the quad. Neil was looking around for someone to take a pic of us together, but there was no one in eyesight. Neil had his go-pro with him, so he used the self timer . We went to the middle of the quad and posed. I’m still posing, as Neil turns around and gets on his knee. My immediate reaction was ” stop joking,” but then I could tell he was serious and this was actually happening! I immediately started crying and shaking.”
Anna continued, “Everything was perfect, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking I wish my family was here. Our next stop was supposed to be the winery, but Neil told me we are going home instead as he had a special dinner planned. He also wanted to stop by his moms house on the way home to fill her in on everything. After a 2 hour drive, we finally reach his moms house. As we were walking in, I kept thinking I wish my family were here… we open the door and SURPRISE both of our families and siblings are all waiting for a surprise engagement party! It was amazing. I can say with 100% certainty now, that Neil is in fact a planner. A very good planner.”
I think this next photo fits their story so well, but I’m having trouble putting why into words– maybe it is Neil’s intense focus or Anna’s joyful expression or the way she is pulling him in close, I’m not sure but it just works ;).
This next image is almost like a page out of “Where’s Waldo?” haha. In this picture find: an airplane, a woman carrying a blue bag, a man taking a photo of a woman taking a selfie and Anna & Neil in the art museum, hehe! I liked the clear, pure white light and the interesting lines and perspective I was able to capture high above the happy couple…
Anna really liked this painting. I believe it is a Morris Louis from the 1960’s. It is so bright, fun and colorful and I think it really fits these two so well! I played with the idea of symmetry here…
We returned to Leo Villareal’s Multiverse— a light sculpture that you pass through on the concourse walkway. It is absolutely stunning and the place where I captured the opening image for this blog post.
Here they walk along-side it. I like their cheerful expressions as well as their futuristic reflections that appear to be walking beside them on the people mover. I like how the faces of their reflections are unclear and have shadows of their own! There is something really interesting about it…
I hope you enjoyed this creative, fun, playful engagement session at the national Gallery of Art in Washington DC, meeting Anna & Neil and hearing their sweet engagement story.
I think this is the part where they live happily ever after ;).