The engagement was big news around our office, Ellen’s family is pretty special to us and now we can’t wait to bring Will’s into the fold as well. We were excited that Ellen and Will wanted to do an engagement session and even more excited about the location. Working for the Democratic Party of Virginia, Will spends a lot of time around the Capitol building and definitely wanted to try it out as a location. Sadly, the only time we had ever visited was a 4th grade field trip (Sam) and a Segway tour (Sam and Mel). Luckily, Will cultured us a little. Well, he gave it his best shot anyway.
Its been awhile since I have posted an engagement session so it might be high time to talk it up the cause. You have to give these brave couples credit: its deceivingly hard to do, much harder than taking pictures on a wedding day. To get sweet on each other in front of a couple of camera geeks (particularly if you have envisioned them riding a Segway) isn’t the most natural thing in the world, assuming you don’t have a background in modeling. It really is worth doing though, especially when you make the session unique to your story together. Its not uncommon to attend a wedding and know only the bride or groom so these photos can serve as a window into your life together, pre and post white dress and tux. So take pictures in the neighborhood where you live or the place where you had your first date or on your bowling league night. Display them at the wedding, put them up on your wedding website, use them on save the dates, make magnets or banners or billboards or coffee mugs or whatever. Its a welcoming gesture that says, you know us, celebrate us with us!
We ask folks to do a lot of kissing, sometimes to photograph actual kissing but most of the time to get the moment before or after where you crack up because its so weird. Cracking up looks good in photos. One of my crack up “tactics” is to tell couples to look serious, as serious as seriously possible. Whatever you do, do NOT smile. Ellen and Will are so good at taking directions that I actually liked their seriously serious shot.
Don’t get me wrong because they aren’t all serious. We asked them to look at each other often because they would just beam and giggle.
The interior of the Capitol building was fun to work with between the checkered marble floors and grand rotunda, stately and romantic. We had some fun with the exterior of the building and its surrounding gardens as well, gleaming in the late afternoon sun.
Just as the sun was setting, we arrived at Maymont to take a few more shots before the gardens closed. The light was soft and warm with a hint of fall color in the trees behind the Italian gardens. They were total picture taking professionals by then…
Ellen and Will, congrats once again on your engagement and thank you so much for humoring us throughout. May will be here before we know it and we can’t wait! Here’s a slideshow and a link to the online gallery if you would like to see more.