A vibrant, joyful engagement in iconic downtown Washington DC…
Paula & Darryl contacted me looking for a wedding and engagement photographer that would capture beautiful, classic portraits as well as candid emotion and DC architecture in a creative, unique way.
You can see a portrait above and a mix of the other elements below.
I like how their shadowy silhouette stands against the backdrop of the marble columns of the Jefferson Memorial, and that pop of blue sky, wow!
Darryl shared that his love for Paula grew slowly over time and continues to go deeper and stronger everyday. She has the biggest heart of anyone he has ever met and is an incredibly positive, loyal supportive person.
For me, this image captures several aspects of their relationship.
Their body language is supportive and loving and the tones of the photo are warm. Also, trees take time to develop roots and grow and when they do they last for a lifetime. I can’t think of a better symbol for Paula & Darryl.
Paula shared that Darryl is the most brilliant and honest man that she has ever met. He is incredibly supportive, and has a tender heart that she is grateful for. She has a deep respect for him and is extremely excited to share the rest of her life with him.
I really like the colors and perspective in this photo, the pink light is from the bulb lighting Jefferson in the memorial, the yellow from the warm, early evening sun and the bright white sunlight illuminating Paula & Darryl.
They initially met in Laguna Beach, California. Darryl was offered a pretty amazing work opportunity and with Paula’s support, took the leap to move to Washington DC. They spent some time seperated by over 2,000 miles until Paula was able to relocate. That distance solidified how much they enjoy being together.
Paula & Darryl have a lot of fun together. Being around each other makes them feel playful young, they laugh a lot and enjoy each other’s company.
Moving to Washington DC together has given them many opportunities to explore the city together…
They wanted to capture iconic DC monuments like the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and Tidal Basin because those have become important symbols for this chapter in their lives together and brought a classic and timeless feel to the photos.
Paula & Darryl shared that their engagement photography session was a fun experience for both of them, which makes me very happy :).
While the sun was on our side, it was an extremely cold and windy day (just look at the water in the tidal basin!). They shared that they appreciated my ability to plan ahead and strategize on how to keep everyone looking their best throughout the session.
I made sure to capture the traditional portraits upon arrival when Paula’s hair and make-up was fresh and worked with the wind throughout the shoot, allowing it to become and advantage and play with her hair to add romance to the images.
Darryl and Paula liked its dim lighting and classic, romantic style. It reminded them of one of their favorite piano bars in Manhattan, Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel.
Paula enjoyed a glass of champagne and Darryl enjoyed some scotch on the rocks. I used a wide aperture to capture all of the available light and focus on their drinks while leaving the details of their faces a mystery and allowed the red and cold tones to saturate the image….
Here is some more detail at the Hay-Adams. I caught the reflection of holiday lights in the background off of the door and framed them against the vibrant red upholstery.
“Off the Record” also features caricatures of Washington’s political elite. Darryl commented that Paula was right where she belonged next to Michelle Obama– she’s certainly the first lady of his life ;).
One of the aspects of my photography that caught Darryl and Paula’s attention was by ability to use lighting, angles and framing in my photos to give a sense of space and location.
In this next image, I used the sunlight to create highlights and shadows on their faces, drawing attention to their high cheek bones and jawlines.
I included the columns of the Jefferson Memorial in the frame and used the pattern of those columns to give visual interest and the sky to bring in color.
While the above image is more dramatic and captures their strength and drive, the image below really captures the softness and warmth of their relationship and affection for each other.
I used foliage and shallow depth of field to bring a romantic, almost dreamy feel to this photograph.
As the sun became lower in the sky, the tones of it’s light moved to a golden hue. I noticed the pronounced shadows on Darryl & Paula’s shoes and liked the mysterious feeling that it brought to this next photo.
To me, it leaves the viewer with a sense of anticipation… I know I am already excited for their wedding at the Carnegie this Spring(!)
Darryl & Paula, thank you for a lovely afternoon in DC. It was such a pleasure to get to know the two of you better and to spend the day trekking around one of America’s most beloved cities.
I am eagerly anticipating your wedding the Spring and looking forward to meeting the incredible friends and family that you have told me so much about! See you then!