Washington DC Wedding Photographers: Nina & Michael at the Carnegie Institution for Science

A vibrant, joyful, Washington wedding that also doubled as the bride’s birthday celebration– and wow, you won’t want to miss the dance floor!!!

Nina and Michael reached out to me looking for fun, crisp, creative photos that would capture the personalities, emotion and architecture present during their Washington DC wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

They shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we loved that Lisa’s photos captured people’s personalities and are fun, crisp, and creative.  It was wonderful to work with Rhinehart Photography on the wedding day.  Lisa has extensive experience doing wedding photography, especially at our venue the Carnegie Institution, and she made sure that everything ran smoothly and was stress-free.  Lisa had confidence in knowing what photos would look best, where everyone should be at what time, and how to make the best of the lighting and environment at any given point in time.  It was a great stress relief to know we were in good hands.  Rhinehart Photography is creative, adaptive, and consistent.  When we look at our wedding photos, we are hoping to see that they captured how happy we were on that day!”

I love to get creative and play with color, silhouettes and reflections, and all those elements came together in this photograph…

Nina shared, “I love my engagement ring!  It is a circular diamond with a cushion halo setting.  Michael surprised me with the engagement when we went to his parents’ house in Bethany Beach for the weekend.  As soon as we got there, Michael got down on one knee in the kitchen while I was getting a glass of water.  I think the ring was burning a hole in his pocket, and I was so happy to start the weekend that way.

I’m pretty proud of this one– it incorporates both her engagement ring *and* a glass of water!!!  Nina’s suite in The Darcy of Washington DC had the prettiest drink glasses, I used one to capture this photograph, circling back to the proposal ;)…

Nina shared, “It was so fun to have my wedding and birthday on the same day!  When we originally scheduled the wedding, we knew we were looking for spring 2018 and thought it would be fun for the two days to coincide.  It turned out well, and we were able to celebrate both with the birthday glasses, happy birthday sign while getting ready, and a birthday cake!”

If you look into the birthday glasses you’ll see Nina prepping to climb into her wedding dress…


Nina shared, “Shopping for the wedding dress was probably my favorite part of the wedding planning experience.  I decided on this Pronovias mermaid style gown because I absolutely loved the lace and the shape of the dress.  It was romantic, soft, and delicate.  I felt amazing in it and was so happy with how it turned out on the wedding day.”

I wanted to bring in that timeless elegant feel here with her wedding portrait.  Shout out to Love Couture Bridal for this gorgeous dress!

Nina hopped into her ride to the ceremony– I embraced the opportunity to capture color, perspective and even a bit of reflection…

My second photographer, Jim, was on point!  If you look closely you can see that Michael is framed in the doorway and by two other groomsmen dressing, you can catch a glimpse of all of them here.  I love this image!

Nina said, “Michael is funny, kind, dedicated, driven, and insightful.  I was drawn to his humor when we first met in law school, and that’s one of the main reasons why I continue to love him today.  He can always lighten the mood, even when things feel serious.  I wanted to make him my partner for life because we share the same goals, values, and interests.  I am looking forward to doing all the next steps together – big and small.”

Haaa I love the playfulness of this photograph!  Michael explained, “My groomsmen are like family to me.  Having them around made me feel like I have five brothers!”

Michael and Nina arrived at the Carnegie Institution for Science for their first look!  Michael’s expression was priceless!

He shared, “She looked absolutely beautiful!  She was so happy!”

Nina explained, “I felt so grateful that he wanted to marry me!  I was incredibly happy and excited to see Michael!”

I love the great big door at the front entrance of the Carnegie– they lined up, perfectly symmetrical, during their first look– it was awesome!

While I specialize in creative photos the capture emotion, architecture, etc, I do capture more traditional portraits as well!  Here is one:

Nina shared, “I think Michael and I work well together because we appreciate a lot of the same things — living in and exploring DC, hard work, commitment, and taking time to relax by watching movies, baseball, and HGTV, haha!”

Another shot of Jim’s, I love the color, perspective and bright blue sky! 

Nina explained, “I chose the Carnegie Institution for our wedding location for many reasons, a few being because I loved that it was grand, had a historic look and because of its convenient location of downtown Washington, DC.  Oh and the steps that lead into the building are fantastic as well!”

As Nina and Michael descended the staircase at the front of the building.  I used a wide lens and tilt-shift technique.  It almost looks like they are miniatures…

As a preferred vendor at the Carnegie, I work there a lot, and I’m always looking for new perspectives as ways to show off the amazing architecture there…

Michael shared a few of the reasons he fell in love with Nina.  “She is kind, generous with her time and her love.  She has a great sense of humor and is also very understanding.”

I love the balance of this photo, I just thought the science-y light looked cool:

Nina shared, “Michael challenges me by pushing me to explore new interests.  I can easily fall into a routine, and Michael is always thinking of fun and interesting things for us to do together.  He loves me with his whole heart.  I’m so happy to have him in my life as my husband!”

I like to play with colors and silhouettes, if you take a closer look you can even see their reflection in the fireplace!


The perfect portrait location for a pair of lawyers– the library!!!

Michael shared, “We loved having photos in the library!  It was so fun and different.  We spent a lot of time studying in libraries while in law school, so maybe it’s a surprise that we still like being in them today!  But one thing that we really appreciate about each other is that we are both in the same career, so it’s very easy to talk about work and career goals together.”

Nina stated, “I also love the inside of the Carnegie as well!  I loved the interior staircase in particular because it created a special and dramatic entrance for the bridal party.  We chose to use the rotunda for the wedding ceremony.  ”

In the round– Love this seating arrangement!!!  It has such an intimate feel, being surrounded by guests, and also allowed a few aisles so that we could maneuver around the ceremony space and get some interesting vantage points as well.

They shared, “The string quartet was a great addition to the ceremony and cocktail hour.  We thought they added a lot to the ambiance and played beautifully.  The acoustics in the rotunda were particularly great.”

Nina descended the staircase to the sound of the string quartet.  The Carnegie is really a visual playground for me photographically.  There is so much I can do here!

Laura Cannon was the wedding officiant and led a beautiful service:

I quietly and swiftly moved throughout the ceremony to capture different perspectives :).  My goal was to capture all of the emotion, beauty and architecture so that Nina and Michael can re-live their day for many years to come.

Here I caught another reflection…

Here Michael finishes his vows and prepares to place the ring on Nina’s finger.  If you look closely you can see it very clearly:

Another new, fun perspective…

Nina shared, “My favorite part of the wedding day was getting people from all different parts of our lives that we know and love into one space and being able to celebrate with all of them at once.  It was a blast!”

The kiss!!! 

The newlyweds headed up to the library to have a moment alone as the guests headed to cocktail hour.  Shout out to Sherasa Russell of HJ Planners– I love how you can see her shadow as well as that of the railing on the wall…

Cocktail hour was held in the board room, here Ace Beverage pours red wine and other drinks for wedding guests…

Nina shared, “My intent was to create a traditional and classic wedding look with whites, pinks, and golds.  I wanted my wedding to be beautiful and timeless, so I tried to choose colors, attire, and florals that would match that look. ”  Shout out to Spilled Milk Catering and Petals Edge for their fabulous work!

I know Nina is hoping for some photos that show their happiness, this first dance photo is one for sure!

All of the speeches were so touching!  Here Michael gets a little emotional during the fathers’ toasts…

I love color and there is so much vibrant color going on in this frame, thanks to Bialek’s.  I embraced the color for several shots and also overpowered it with flash for a few others.  If you look closely you can see the cake in the “Mr & Mrs” wedding cake topper in the background!

Nina was glowing all night long!

Nina and Michael kiss after enjoying a bite of each of their cakes– they are framed by their wedding cake & Nina’s birthday cake.  😉

Nina and Michael’s friends and family were awesome and defiantly gout out on the dance floor!  Shout out to Brennan Sullivan for getting the party started!

I played some more with color and reflections…

Nina shared, “We are so glad people had a good time dancing! It was so much fun! Dancing pictures are generally embarrassing though, so we are both excited and scared to see them haha!”

Well Nina’s dancing was very reserved, so I chose to feature a few other dancers instead– I love dance floor photos!!!

I knew the stairs were a favorite element of the Carnegie for Nina and Michael, so I think this is a perfect photo to end with…

Nina and Michael thanks so much for entrusting me to capture your incredible wedding– I hope the weddings are just as creative, joyful, vibrant, crisp and fun as you had hoped for!  These are only a few, I have hundreds more coming your way, soon!  If you’d like to see more of Nina and Michael’s photos *now* check out their engagement story and blog here.


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