Fall seemed to stretch out a little longer this year! The trees kept their leaves a few extra weeks; the temperatures have remained warm during the days. It has been a photographer’s dream! Usually, we are scrambling in late October, attempting to squeeze in as many sessions as possible before the leaves are gone – typically by the first week of November. This year was a much-welcomed reprieve from the usual hustle, and it worked wonderfully in our favor for Kara and Eric’s fall portrait session this past weekend!
This time of year, most of my work is with families, and not as much couples and engagement photography as the rest of the year. I met up with these newlyweds at Greenspring Gardens – one of my favorite locations in Northern Virginia! When Kara let me know they would like to stay in the Alexandria area, and capture the fall colors, I knew this would be perfection. The colors were popped, and the day was sunny. I love this location for its variety in a small area. There is a historic home, beautiful manicured gardens, the greenhouse, and a trail that circuits a few small ponds and continues through the woods. The light is gorgeous in any spot you choose to shoot on the grounds. It is a favorite among photographers, families, and gardening enthusiasts!
We walked the trails and the lawns and chatted, getting to know each other. I learned we are all from the midwest originally, and that they had moved to Northern Virginia a bit over a year ago. We talked about how long I’ve lived in the area, and of course, about traffic. It was such an easygoing day, and before I knew it, we had dozens and dozens of amazing shots!
As the fall season starts to slow down, and winter approaches, I will be sharing more from the past year right here on the blog. For now, I’ll start with my favorites from this couple’s session!
Couples & Engagement Photography in Northern Virginia
In a summer filled with record-breaking temperatures, Rochelle and Jacob’s Carlyle Club wedding over July 4th weekend was wonderfully mild! I’d first met Rochelle and Jake about four months prior to their wedding day for their engagement session in Old Town Alexandria, and think was was as excited for their wedding day in July as they were. Their venue was just one reason I was looking forward to their day! I’d never experienced a Carlyle Club wedding day, but knew it would be so much fun to shoot! I love art deco elements, and the club did not disappoint!
The day started as most of my wedding days do: photographing the ladies as they had hair and makeup completed, and then moving on to the gentlemen as they relaxed and also prepared. One tradition that I adore (and wish I saw more of!) is the exchange of gifts between the bride and groom. Rochelle and Jake had gifts for each other, as well as notes to read just prior to their first look. Oh, and let’s talk about that first look….on a rooftop!!! It’s no secret that I love first looks, and this one was in my top five of all time favorites. Standing back to back, each reading a note the other had written, before getting the first glimpse of one another…well, it may have been one of the sweetest moments all day!
We followed up the first look with some formal bridal party and family portraits. Guests were beginning to arrive to the Carlyle Club, so we found a fantastic little courtyard with just enough space and the perfect light! Now, let’s talk about the wedding party….they were a BLAST to work with! Sometimes a large wedding party can be a little intimidating when you’re on your own to photograph it, but this crew made it fun, fast, and easy! I love it when the party has a ton of great, upbeat energy before the party even gets started!
After portraits, it was ceremony time! The Carlyle Club often hosts live events, and reminds me of what I imagine a supper club in the roaring ’20s would have been like. The stage was perfect for both ceremony and the band. (I have to give a huge thumbs up to the venue’s lighting team…who worked with me to get the ceremony lit perfectly! It is definitely a darker space, but between my gear and the stage lights, we teamed up to make magic!) After the ceremony, the Club’s staff quickly turned the space over into a dance floor while we stepped outside for more portraits.
If you follow my blog at all, you know that I love to dance a little at receptions. Um, I danced my rear off this night!! The band was fabulous, the guests were enjoying themselves, and everyone was excited to be celebrating Rochelle + Jake. You could just feel the love and happy energy everywhere. Before I knew it, it was already time for the sparkler exit, which resulted in my favorite image from the entire night! (And check out the cookies that Rochelle baked and decorated as favors for her guests! Gorgeous!)
Thank you for inviting me to capture your Carlyle Club wedding, Rochelle + Jake! It was such a pleasure to work with you over these past few months. I wish you lots of grand adventures, more sweet moments than you can count, and a lifetime of smiles!
Fall has arrived, even if the temperatures don’t quite feel like it! Fall means squeezing in final weekends at the shore, the return of pumpkin spice everything, and the start of the school year. Speaking of which, I’m homeschooling my daughter this year, and learning a lot about time management, juggling work/school/home, but more of that to come next week. I am finding that during my daughter’s extracurriculars, I have a dedicated time to blog and share more on the journal, so expect to be seeing more on a regular basis!!
Back to fall…. it’s also the return of the annual Fall Mini Sessions! I know it may seem a little strange to be thinking about falling leaves and the holidays when it still feels like summer outside, but cooler, shorter days will be here before we know it. I’ve carefully selected two dates, based on the peak fall colors for the last few years in our area, and two locations to reach all of my clients!
October 30, 2016 – Howard County, MD – near the Powell Woulfe Photography studio
only 7 spaces remaining
November 6, 2016 – Stafford County, VA – exact location will be given upon booking, but near Stafford/Fredericksburg
only 8 spaces remaining
Each family or couple will receive a 25 minute mini session, on-location outdoors, a minimum of 10 digital images with full print release, and an online gallery. I will have some fall-themed props available. Fall Mini Sessions are the perfect opportunity to update your family photos and for those holiday cards you’ll be sending soon! Each mini session is $175, with a $50 retainer required to reserve your session. (Balance is due at the start of your Fall Mini Session.)
Ready to book? Head over to https://powellwoulfe.pixifi.com/booking/powellwoulfe/ and choose your date and time! Have questions? Contact the studio at info @ powellwoulfe.com or (410) 921-9232! I can’t wait to see you all again this fall!
August always brings us the worst heat and humidity of the summer. A final tease for a few weeks before the gorgeous fall weather comes back. Traditionally, July and August have been slower months for weddings, until recently. As we have extreme heat in the forecast again for this weekend, I thought I’d share a few quick tips for how to cope with hot weather on your wedding day.
How to Handle Hot Weather on Your Wedding Day
I know that standing out in the 100 degree heat for hours for wedding photos is less than ideal, especially for the guys in suits and the bride in a heavy dress. If you only do one of these things I recommend, make it to hydrate! It’s also a good idea to lay off the alcoholic beverages until the reception (assuming the reception is indoors or outside after sunset.) Lots of water for everyone – bride, groom, wedding party, and yes, your photographer. You might be surprised at how quickly your wedding party goes through water on a very hot day, so I suggest packing a large cooler full of ice and water bottles. Find a groomsman to put in charge of water duty.
Secondly, be sure to communicate with your photographer. This means reviewing your plan for the day, your shot list, and your backup plan. Prioritize your photo list. What is the most important on the list? Is it wedding party photos, family photos, or romantic photos of the two of you? By prioritizing, I can move quickly through the list and you can get back inside to cool off. Keep your photo locations close to a building where you can duck in for some air-conditioned relief. Any good photographer will already be looking for areas of open shade. When you are outside for photos, keep water handy, look for shade, and consider picking up one of my favorite secret weapons against the heat, a Cool Tie. For $11, they work fantastically! You may also consider moving some of the formal portraits inside as well. Have a backup plan in case it is simply unbearable outside.
For the ladies, using a good setting powder and spray can help keep shine at bay, but also stop by the local drugstore and grab some blotting rice paper. Usually less than $3 for a pack of 100, and it will keep your faces looking cool and fresh for portraits. Guys – good ol’ Gold Bond spray can help with the sweats. (I know, it’s gross to think about, but trust me…it’s an issue.) A few of my brides have packed little “emergency kits” with cool wipes, extra deodorant, hairspray (for when the humidity gets to hair), and more. Bonus tip: having a tin of mints in your bag can not only freshen your breath, but also has the effect of making you feel a little bit cooler!
My last suggestion: consider having your romantic portraits as a newlywed couple taken at sunset or even at night. It might even be possible to do a morning-after session, as well. Temperatures drop dramatically after the sun goes down, so you will be much more comfortable. You’ll have some gorgeous nighttime portraits as well!
I hope those are helpful. Just remember, as a photographer the heat is just as hard on me – particularly when lugging around gear. I just want to give you gorgeous memories from your wedding day! Stay cool this weekend!!!