A charming engagement session for two thoughtful, handsome, fun-loving gentlemen at The Inn at Ragged Edge…
Chris and Dan reached out to me looking for a photographer who had different work that was creative and unique, the specifically wanted someone who could capture both personality and a venue in a clever, timeless way.
Dan shared, “We were so excited to find you and have the opportunity to partner with you for our wedding! Your photos jumped out to us the minute we first saw them. They exuded personality – I felt like each one communicated the fun of a wedding day or the love between the engaged couple.”
Chris added, “We knew you could capture our wedding venue, the Carnegie Institution for Science better than any other photographer and we hit it off immediately during our video chat. Exploring a unique historic B&B near you was the perfect fit for our engagement session.”
While I opened this blog post with a more timeless, traditional shot, here is a more playful, creative one…. Dan only has eyes for Chris ;).
When I asked Dan what he loves most about Chris, he laughed, “I love everything about Chris! He has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met – there’s nothing he won’t do for those he loves. We share a set of core values — commitment to one another and our families, loyalty to friends and other loved ones, and a positive outlook on life.”
He continued, “Also, there’s no one on the planet who can make me laugh like he does!”
Chris shared, “Dan is exceptional. He is honestly the kindest person I have ever met. He welcomes everyone with a smile and an open heart. I love Dan for his support, love, and easy-going nature.”
He commented, “Dan and I love the outdoors and try to spend lots of our time outside, appreciating it.”
Here I focused on the Nature trail sign and allowed the couple to fade into the background…
Chris continued, “I especially love water, so I was thrilled to have a chance to be near a creek.”
They weren’t just near it, they were in it, haha!
Chris shared, “We are definitely playful in our everyday lives, so when you asked us if we’d like to skip stones, we jumped at the chance. We really enjoy your fun, personalized approach to photography.”
Dan agreed, “Our session was so much fun!”
Chris shared, “Dan definitely brings out my better self. He loves me unconditionally, which I am extremely grateful for.”
Chris continued, “When I decided to propose to Dan, I knew I wanted it to be something special that he would never expect or forget. We both met in Washington, DC and first lived together on Capitol Hill. Therefore, it seemed fitting to have a very “DC” centered proposal.”
He went on, “I spent 4-weeks planning the details and casually invited Dan to what he thought was a rooftop work event for me on Pennsylvania Avenue, downtown DC. However, when he walked out onto the roof at sunset there was no-one in site, just lots of candles and a large banner asking, “Will you Marry Me” with our photos all over it.”
Chris concluded, “I then proposed to him and asked 30 of our family and friends to come around the corner. We had a very magical evening with music, food, drinks, and our closest family and friends sharing it all with us. It will be a moment that we along with everyone closest to us will not forget!”
I really liked playing with composition with these two, emphasizing the nature present throughout this portion of our time together.
Dan shared, “I originally had hoped for a fall wedding (although December is my favorite month of the year – so a December wedding isn’t so bad, either!!) — but I loved the opportunity to still incorporate some fall feeling into our celebration with the setting for this photo shoot.”
Chris explained, “Fall leading into the holidays is the most charming time of year and I was excited that our photos could capture that very charm. Foliage, crisp air, light breeze, mixed with rays of sunlight were all elements I was hoping our photos would convey.”
I explained that while autumn leaves were falling from the maple tree during our session, they would look really subtle, but suggested that they could always throw leaves. How much fun are these two???
I also changed my perspective to really show off all of the golden foliage on the ground.
Dan shared, “Since Chris told you the story of his perfect proposal, I’ll tell the story of our first date! Chris and I met through our mutual friend, Joanna (who is officiating our wedding), and the first time the two of us really talked was on the rooftop bar on H St. NE.”
He went on, “We connected instantly and talked about our families and our mutual love of “Murder She Wrote.” Chris actually called me the next day — not text, a *call* — which blew my mind!”
He continued, “So by the time we had our first date the next weekend, I was really looking forward to it. I was running a few minutes late (of course) — and I’ll always remember what he looked like standing on the street as I came up the escalator from the Metro Center station.”
He concluded, “I totally lost track of time — from the moment I met Chris talking was so easy, it was like re-connecting with a lifelong friend! I would say I knew that night that Chris was an exceptionally kind and special person, but I already knew that — the minute he called me on the phone the week before just to talk, I just knew!”
I love to play with symmetry and Chris and Dan gave me the perfect opportunity! Not only were they dressed so similarly, but at one point they literally leaned back and put their feet up on their Adirondack chairs!”
I like playing with the idea of negative space in photography. In this case it really emphasizes nature and really bring an interesting almost surreal perspective of wonder!
Dan shared, “Really the entire experience of our engagement session was pretty magical.”
Chris shared, “Dan looked so classic, timeless and *handsome*.”
Dan added, “It struck me a few times that Chris looked like a model right out of GQ, and I felt like the luckiest guy in the world!”
Hello Christmas card, haha, I gave you two great options here ;).
Chris shared, “We also both love older and more traditional feeling homes and settings, so the interior of the Ragged Edge Inn was a really fantastic place for us, I’m glad you suggested it. The owners were so welcoming, too.”
I wanted to capture some of the architecture of the house– the staircase, furniture and molding, the large windows and bring in a little of the woods from outside.
Chris agreed, “The Inn at Ragged Edge was the perfect setting as we both have a fondness for history and historic charm. We appreciate a classic look both in our own home and personal style and are excited that this photo shoot also portrays that same feel.”
He continued, “I grew up around DC’s charm and really appreciate making the old new again. I love restoration projects, whether it’s refinishing a table or renovating a 19th century home.”
The Inn at Ragged Edge is spectacular and I too love architecture. It is the place I personally recommend to my family, friends or clients to stay when they are visiting me. I wanted to really show off the location with this photograph:
I really like the moody lighting in this next photograph. It captures the intimacy of their relationship so beautifully while also subtly bringing in the fall foliage…
I wanted to show off some of the beautiful interior of the Inn while photographing Chris and Dan in dramatic window light. Chris’ expression brought drama of a different kind, haha!!!! These guys are *so* much fun!!!
Dan recalled, “That spiral staircase shot your showed us was pure magic!”
He added, “I’m STILL pretty impressed that I navigated a spiral staircase with a wasp on it despite my total crippling fear of bees!”
Chris and Dan, thanks so much for trusting me with this venue and to capture your true colors on camera! I love the results and can’t wait to hear what you think! I’m also so excited to photograph your Carnegie Institution of Washington wedding in less than a month– it’s just around the corner!!!