Washington DC photographers: Jessica & Michael at The Carnegie

An elegant, vibrant, joy-filled Washington DC wedding at the Palomar Hotel and the Carnegie Institution for Science

Michael shared, “Your photos stood out to us from the very beginning– they are so vibrant and creative! Each photo captures the feeling of the moment and the personalities of the couples too.”

He continued, “Working with you on our wedding day was great.  You were always right there when we wanted a specific shot, but then the rest of the time, we were just enjoying the night oblivious of the cameras. We are looking forward to seeing the little moments we didn’t catch with our own eyes and reliving the moments that seemed to fly by so quickly on our wedding day.”

I’ll start with a few “little things” that involved photos that were right up Michael’s alley, vibrant and creative… I love to play with color, reflection, shadows and lines and really enjoyed capturing the ring shot above and this one too:

I like when hotel rooms give me a lot to play with and their suite in the Hotel Palomar did just that, here I framed one of Jessica’s bridesmaids in a gold sculptural element as she poured champagne for the ladies…

Jessica shared, “My mom and I have always been really close. One of the things we love to do together is shop, so naturally, my mom was my wedding dress shopping companion. She helped line up appointments with the boutiques, watched me try on what seemed like hundreds of dresses before finding the right one, came to all of my alteration appointments, and even helped touch up the lace with a couple extra stitches on the wedding day. She was the perfect person to help me into my dress before the wedding.”

I love the intimacy of this moment, the dramatic light and the way you can also see Jessica’s ring and the detailing on her gown.  This is her waiting patiently as her mom finishes a few final touches to her wedding down:

That smile!


The handsome groom:

Michael gathers with his groomsmen in the front of the Carnegie Institution of Science in the heart of Washington DC.  A huge thank you to my second photographer, Kursten, he did a fantastic job on this shot and so many others throughout the day!

Michael smiled, “We loved our wedding day from start to finish but one of our favorite parts was definitely the first look!”

Here I shot through the window as Michael opens the door of the Carnegie to see Jessica dressed as a bride for the first time.  His expression is priceless!

Jessica shared, “The first look was great and our venue fit us so well!  We wanted our wedding to be feel like an authentic evening in DC, which is why the Carnegie Institution for Science was so perfect! It was in the heart of the city and the building details and architecture created the perfect backdrop– very classic Washington DC.”

Jessica, you are stunning!

I have worked at the Carnegie quite a few times, and was so thrilled to be back and be able to explore some new places.  The front garden was stunning as were these two!

Jessica smiled, “Our relationship has felt so natural from the first day we met. Early on we met up primarily in group settings, however, afterwards, we often found ourselves immersed in conversation and would stroll to a park or coffee shop to continue to chat.”

She went on, “Even after being together for a number of years, we still often get lost in long conversations about this and that. I know there are many more long nights of fun chatter with a glass of wine or whisky to come!”

Michael, “We loved the first look with each other, and the Carnegie was a big part of that, too.  Everything we had been planning for so long had suddenly come to life!  It was also unexpectedly fun to hear the cheers of on lookers and early arriving guests as we took photos outside before the ceremony.”

The sky was incredible!

Jessica, “I love how Mike has become and will forever be a central part of my life. He makes me laugh, knows just when I need a hug, and never fails to make me feel incredibly loved. He keeps me motivated and supports me when life gets hard. We love doing things together, but also have a blast just simply being together.”

I love the intimacy of this moment.  For me it captures that super sweet, loving side of Michael.

How sweet it is…

While I love capturing candid moments, I also make sure to photograph traditional portraits of the couple and their families and bridal party

Mother and son, such a sweet moment:

The music began and was amazing!  I literally was awestruck by their talent and the acoustics of the space.  I almost felt the need to pinch myself, I love my job!

I love to play with different perspectives, here is Jessica’s walk down the aisle:

The look on Michael’s face is again so precious and completely different than the one during the first look.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe he is even tearing up :).

Jessica shared, “We live in the neighborhood and had seen events being held there was passersby on many occasions.  We booked a tour and loved it and knew it was the right venue for us immediately.  The rotunda was stunning with its marble star floor, huge wood door, and pillars leading to the skylight ceiling.  And we loved the uniqueness of having our ceremony in a more intimate circle and then converting it into a dance floor later in the night.”

So much joy!!!

Michael held Jessica tightly during the vows.  I thought it was such a tender moment…

The kiss…

The ballroom was so romantic from the flowers to the candle light.  Everything was beautiful!

Ketubah official…

I have a few venues that I really love working at, and the Carnegie is one of them.  Each time I go I try to explore a new space or capture something in a different way.  Here instead of shooting towards the marble, I shot away to show Jessica & Michael’s neighborhood streetscape.

Another new space for me– the large windows and the view of a nearby church that I was able to frame at just the right angle.  Something about it reminds me of a fairy tale like Peter Pan…

Michael shared, “Choosing the right venue was important for us and the Carnegie did not disappoint. Natural light escaping in from the skylight into the rotunda made for the perfect ceremony location. Especially adding the wonderfully intricate marble floors and exposed columns. The space transitioned well to the cocktails, dinner, and dancing, allowing the whole party to be only steps away. With so many friends and family traveling to be with us on this special day, it was easy to maneuver between all the rooms and see everyone.”

Here Michael and Jessica are welcomed into the rotunda by their guests:

They were all smiles for the first dance.  I played with the reflection for this one.  I like the layers of it, the columns and architecture, the guests, the bride and groom, the reflection… the gold up-lighting and dark green in the marble floor…

Jessica shared, “My brother executed the unconventional role of  ‘man of honor’ incredibly well! He poured love into everything from bridal shower to bachelorette party to man of honor speech. His speech honestly said it all – we have enjoyed navigating life together thus far and look forward to continuing to do as we introduce new ‘siblings’ to our family.”

I love to play with unique visual elements and captured this shot (and all of them) in camera, I played with the colors of the uplighting, shadows and candles to capture this look…

The toasts were all so lovely!  Here Michael smiles at Jessica during one…

Jessica explained, “A number of years ago, my mom wasn’t feeling well enough to attend a wedding that she and my father were invited to, so I went to a wedding with my dad in her place.”

She continued, “We had a ton of fun dancing together all night. Our father-daughter dance brought back memories of dancing at that wedding (and so many other weddings), but the dance at my wedding will certainly be the most memorable of them all.”

I love to pull in vibrant colors and interesting architectural elements to my photography.  Here I had my second photographer capture more traditional shots, while I climbed a staircase focused on capturing the feeling of the entire scene– the expressive gusts, the columns, floor, etc.

Time for the Hava Nagila!

While Kursten braved the floor level, I again climbed to the top for a birds eye view.  I love so much about this shot– the architectural detail, the couple’s names, the crowd, Jessica’s beaming smile that is visible from yards above.  I like that it gives you a real sense of space and inclusivity.

Michael smiled, “Everyone seemed to have a blast and that energy was utilized on the dance floor.  Each song, more and more people joined in and made for an unforgettable night.”


Michael continued, “Dancing was a big highlight for us, the music was amazing (shout out to DJ Al)  and everyone was on the dance floor! We had so much fun moving from group to group the whole night! It was a blast to have all our favorite people in one place at one time!”

Jessica shared, “Since we had all our favorite people in one place we thought it would be an awesome opportunity to get a HUGE group photo with everyone to remember the evening. And the rotunda balcony was the perfect vantage point for it!”

Jessica & Michael, thank you so much for inviting me to cover your incredible wedding day!  If you would like ot see more of Jessica and Michael, be sure to check out their DC engagement here— there is an awesome sunset at the capitol building!


Venue – Carnegie Institution for Science

Catering & Rentals – Spilled Milk

Day of Coordinator – Capitol Romance

DJ – Al Graham

Instrumentals – Meghan Davis

Florals – Teresa Soodak (mother of the bride)

Lighting – Rent My Wedding

Invitations, Programs, Escort Cards: Nicole Anderson Paper Co.

Brides Dress – Say Yes For Less

Grooms Tux – Suit Supply

Make up – Jasmine Mohammed – www.jasminemohammed.com

Hair – Eden Tekle

Photography: Rhinehart Photography


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