Neon maps, pandas and orchids, oh my! You won’t want to miss this vibrant, DC engagement session in one of our national treasures, The Smithsonian…
Caitlin shared, “I was really drawn to your vibrant, high-contrast photos- they are creative and artistic, and still capture authentic moments and the subjects’ personalities. I really like how you use different spaces and architectural features in creative ways. I hope that our photos capture some of the things that I love about our relationship: that Sean makes me feel safe and cherished, but also that we love to be goofy together and make each other laugh. I’m also excited to see how a place that has become as familiar to us as the museum is looks through your eyes.”
Sean added, “You were so great to work with! On the day of our photo shoot, we had your undivided attention. She put thought into understanding us, our story, and our interests in order to best capture that, yet was also curious and adventurous and saw great photo opportunities that neither Caitlin nor I had even considered.”
We lucked out the day of their shoot, the Orchid exhibit was supposed to be down, but we were able to still see it in all of its color and glory! Plus these two sweethearts…
Caitlin smiled, “Having our photos at the Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum was a sentimental choice because that’s where Sean proposed! It also was a perfect fit logistically because it would be good in any weather situation, and there are so many fun and interesting spaces and backgrounds throughout the two museums to play with for our photos.”
She continued, “It’s also a place that we have visited quite a bit, so it was really special to have our engagement photos here in a place that we can walk by and revisit often, and now we can reminisce about what a fun time we had taking photos with Lisa, haha!”
Here I wanted to play with the architecture and contrast– to get the signage from the gallery and the lines from the crosswalk, stairs and building itself. Something about their body language reminds me of that classic image of the sailor at times square….
I love working in art museums, as there is so much art for me to play with and make into new art ;). Here they are silhouetted in stained glass…
Here I pulled a sculpture, the marble floor and a painting into the frame, with the vibrant colors and bright light at the top, drawing attention to the happy couple.
Sean explained, “When we’ve visited the museum in the past, we’ve liked the ‘Electronic Superhighway’ piece a lot, both for how it reflects those places we’ve lived as well as the many other places we’d like to visit and experience together.”
Sean continued, “Caitlin and I have each been shaped by where we grew up–western Massachusetts in her case, and Chicago and northern Virginia in mine.”
If you look closely you can see their silhouettes framing their home states as Sean holds Caitlin’s hand…
I really like my photos to be clean and generally avoid having random pedestrians in them, but this group of ladies were all watching Caitlin and Sean as they strolled by and seemed so taken in by them, remarking on how cute they were, I felt like they fit in this photo, especially with their bold primary colors, they even add to it!
Caitlin explained, “My engagement ring is rose gold, and so I’ve started joking that rose gold isn’t just jewelry, it’s a lifestyle…”
She continued, “…So I found rose gold-colored shoes to go with my dress…”
I love the openness and balance of this photograph, I think it really captures the pace changing beauty Sean was describing…
Seeing double 😉
So this is more of a concept piece for me, I saw it as photographs on the wall and drawers, containing the memories of our lives, in the center there were two tiny figurines of what appeared to be a bride and groom. If you look very closely you can see Caitlin and Sean there, too:
“I fell for Caitlin because of her mind, her heart, and her spirit. She knows a lot about so much but is also kind, loving, compassionate, and easily able to have fun. Two of my favorite dates with her have been at the Portrait Gallery/Art Museum and at another Washington DC art gallery. Along with enjoying the art, I had fun seeing how curious and enthused Caitlin was to take it all in. Her particular way of actively using her head, heart, and spirit adds vibrant, energetic color to my life.”
I love how the background is all in black and white and Caitlin pops out in her vibrant blue dress. I also like how she’s looking at the art and beaming and Sean is looking at her. It just seemed to fit! Caitlin also mentioned loving pandas, so I there this one in there for her, super cute…
Caitlin shared, “I was first drawn to Sean’s mind. On our first date, I felt like I could have kept talking to him for hours about pretty much anything, and I still feel that way. I love hearing his take on things, and the way that he inspires me to look at issues from new perspectives. Sean is also one of the most thoroughly good and decent people I’ve ever known, and his constant pursuit of justice in his legal work and his Army JAG Corps service, as well as his support of issues that are important to both of us, make me proud to be his partner.
One of her favorite paintings, you see why I said mind meld 😉 …
Caitlin shared that one of her favorite photos of mine was this top-down perspective of a bride spinning on a staircase, I was like, hey wanna try it here? They were totally game!
Caitlin shared, “Sean often comes across as very serious, but he has a healthy silly streak as well, and making him laugh is one of my very favorite things. I think that Sean and I balance each other out in a lot of ways, and that makes me feel like we can take on whatever life throws at us because we are always on each other’s team.”
Caitlin laughed, “One of my favorite moments of the day was towards the end, when we were taking photos out on the steps where Sean actually proposed. A couple walked by pushing their loudly screaming baby in a stroller, and Sean turned to me and said in a sing-song voice “that’s our future!” The husband/dad overheard him and broke out laughing, we all laughed, and it was such a silly, funny shared moment with the other couple.”
She went on, “It sort of highlighted something that I love about our relationship: we know that life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, and our marriage is going to have its difficulties, but as long as we take on the hard parts as a team and with a sense of humor, it’ll always be ok.”
I captured the couple, too guys and it’s in your full set, but here is the after shot of you two laughing as they stroll away…
Caitlin shared, “I knew that Sean was my person was actually at a baseball game last summer (it was even a Cubs game!). We were sitting in our seats prior to the game starting, and in a moment of silliness, I started poking his hat with the brim of my hat, sort of like jousting or fencing with our Cubs hats. It was totally goofy and nonsensical, but Sean turned to me and with complete sincerity, said, “you’re so special.” I feel like that little moment encapsulates a lot: he doesn’t just tolerate my quirks, but appreciates me because of them.”
One of Sean’s favorite pieces of art in the museum, of course of a baseball game…
Going deep w/ this one, creating my own art, haha… so it’s a two piece installation, two become one:
I used a combination of elements for this one, the window light, two sculptures, one of which had moving LED lights…
Here is the “becoming one” part ;).
Sean smiled, “I love Caitlin for how conscientious she can be, but sometimes that can lead to her over-stressing herself. For a while leading up to our photo shoot, she was worried that we wouldn’t feel relaxed and that our stress would come through in our pictures. She even worried about how her worrying would impact the pictures. But, because Caitlin can also be practical, as the session neared, she realized that we could just do another shoot if things truly went bad.”
He continued, “Partly with that in mind, and partly thanks to Lisa, but also because of the relationship that Caitlin and I have, once we got to the shoot, we were quickly able to put worries aside and enjoy each other and our time taking fun, interesting, and sometimes goofy photos together in a beautiful, special setting. (In fact, we forgot our worries so much that, afterwards, Caitlin worried that she was so relaxed that she forgot to stand up straight in the photos!)”
I’d say these came out picture perfect, no need to worry at all!!! 😀
I hope these are just the sort of creative, vibrant, high-contrast photos you were hoping for that feature architecture, capture moments and your personalities and story in an artistic way! Please share away with all of your family and friends :).