DC Engagement: Katie & Zac at Union Station and The Capitol

A creative, colorful DC engagement session in Union Station and the Capitol Building

Katie and Zac shared, “We chose you to be our photographer because you excel at providing couples with a great variety of photos.  You are able to confidently work outdoors or indoors, you can get shots that are creative or traditional, you can capture everything from architecture to emotion and do it all with authenticity.”

They continued, “It was easy to work with you doing the engagement photography session. You provided us with help when we needed it, but it never felt awkward and we had a lot of fun.”

I opened this post with a creative, architectural shot, next I’ll post a colorful, emotional shot.  Both of them use framing to draw attention to the couple and their surroundings.

Katie smiled, “We opted to have a longer engagement  so  I didn’t have to compromise my busy schedule of juggling full-time employment and part-time graduate studies. It was humorous at a recent dinner with Zac’s extended family that his 6-year-old niece asked  why couldn’t the wedding come sooner, and if there would be cake at the wedding. Needless to say, Zac and I aren’t the only ones getting excited.”

Katie continued, “Living in the city is something  we both love and we wanted our pictures to capture that as well! We do travel through Union from time to time, including for a friend’s wedding in Philly. Zac assumed that the train wouldn’t leave on time, only to arrive to see it pulling off…with Katie, the punctual one, already on it.”

I love the vibrant fall foliage here…

Katie shared, “The day of our engagement session was surprisingly cold! We ended up changing some original outfit ideas, and had winter coats on for most shots.  I really love the vibrancy of my red coat and thought it would contrast well with the grey/white of Union & the Capitol.”

Zac clarified, “I always see other girls with the same coat on when I’m walking around Washington, but none of them look as good as Katie.”

I like the shadow play in the background with the blue shadow tones and the yellow sunlit tones, it adds a little extra oomph to this intimate shot…

Zac explained, “We had been through the long haul by the time we got engaged – we dated nearly four years and did long-distance for some due to campaign work. We had been through job changes, graduate school, and many moves. We enjoyed our time together, and living together, so knew getting married was the next step.”

I focused on the happy couple, the wind blowing Katie’s hair, but I like that you can also see the Capitol subtly in the background.

Katie shared, “Zac is one of funniest, most easy-going people I know and a little bit of a goofball. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but is devoted to his family, friends, and all Philadelphia sports teams. As he would like me to tell you  too- he’s utterly handsome.”

The colors and expressions in this shot are priceless…

Zac shared, “Katie began college as an architecture major and previous worked at a historic preservation non-profit, so  she really loves classic DC architecture. Union Station and the Capitol are so iconic, and with our wedding being held in Washington DC, both sites were great backdrops for our engagement pictures.”

Here the Capitol building and couple are framed in autumn foliage:

While I spend most of my time capturing creative shots or candid moments, I do make sure to capture several traditional photos, too during each session.

Zac shared, “Katie is a very giving person who is always willing to help anyone out, and she’s always willing to listen.  She’s intelligent and keeps me on my toes. She deals with me, which is a necessity. She and I enjoy doing similar activities (checking out new restaurants, traveling , sports, etc.) so we’re a good fit.”

I had so much to play with here– the architectural detailing, the shadows, Katie’s dimples, hehe…

Here the architectural detail is subtle in the background, but really amps up the sophistication of this shot…

In this shot I embraced the stark white architecture– a friendly photo-bomber joined us momentarily.

Shooting in Union Station has its challenges.  I like a very clean, professional background and to use a lot of framing in my shots, and Union Station is a highly trafficked area.

All of us realized this and were a little extra patient at times like this when it was particularly hard to get a clean shot.  I also used my camera settings to focus intensely on the couple and allow all of the pedestrians to fade into the background.

Katie shared, “Recently we enjoyed discovering that one of my graduate school classmates actually witnessed our engagement.  We got engaged Memorial Day Weekend  2018 while out for a nice dinner at the Wharf, which was pretty busy due to the holiday.”

Here I placed Katie’s engagement ring on vibrant ginkgo leaves…

She continued, “I remember during the moment  feeling like we were in our own little world and also surprised no one nearby seemed to put together what was happening. It was nice to learn that, unexpectedly, friends had happened to stumble across that special moment.”

Katie laughed, “We balance each other nicely, meaning I’m a terrible cook (e.g., I’ve burnt stuff in the crockpot) and Zac cooks for us every night. He also writes really great Valentines/birthday/anniversary cards if you can make out his handwriting.”

Katie shared, “We were so glad to actually still have some fall leaves in mid-November, after a few days of cold and rain! We really like the variety of seasons in DC, and fall is about as good as it gets – beautiful colors, crisp air, fun clothes. We also wanted our pictures to be done around a similar time of year to our wedding in late 2019.”

Katie smiled, “We definitely had an ‘uh-oh’ moment when walking into the central space of Union station only to find a huge carpet covering the nice marble floors for an event later that day. Although we were unable to get the floors in shots, Lisa creatively thought to highlight our silhouettes and some of the vaulted ceiling detail.”

Katie & Zac, I hope that these were just the sort of variety of photos that you were hoping for– indoor/outdoor, traditional/creative, architectural/emotional.

I am super excited to photograph your upcoming wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science in the fall!

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