I'm thrilled to be able to share this sneak peek from the elopement/wedding of Erin and Vinny! These two were supposed to be married June 13 in New Mexico, but the pandemic had other plans. Instead of postponing, Erin and Vinny kept their original wedding date and said their vows surrounded by close friends and family at Lee District Park in Fairfax, Virginia. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple! I wish these two the absolute best!
The older I get the more I learn to love and appreciate winter. I know it is easy to complain about the short days and cold temperatures, but I adore everything winter stands for. For me, it's a time to rest, relax, wind down, and focus on living in the moment.
Nothing says winter like snow, and this weekend we got plenty of it. There's always something special about the first snowfall of the season. It's magical and beautiful and it always makes me giddy! The fact that the first snow fell on a Saturday meant I was able to spend my morning with my hands wrapped around a warm cup of coffee just staring out the window. It was so peaceful and tranquil and I loved it!
Another thing that made this year's first snow fall memorable was that I got to share it with friends Courtney-Rose and Adam Dantus! I met Courtney-Rose years ago, and always admired her gentle spirit and easy smile. So when she reached out asking for family photos, I was delighted to oblige!
We actually had this Sligo Creek family photo session planned days in advance, and I had assumed the snow would stop before the shoot even started. But to my delight, it snowed throughout the entire session! I've got to give a huge shout out to Courtney-Rose and Adam for being such troopers. Wintertime snowy sessions make so GORGEOUS photos, but they aren't always easy. Cold fingers and stinging cheeks can get really annoying really fast, but Courtney-Rose, Adam, and their two pups powered through.
I'm so glad we were able to get together and embrace winter in this way. I adore these photos and hope the Dantus Family loves them as much as I do!
As a photographer and small business owner, I don't like playing favorites... but in this case, I just can't help myself.
Paul and Sarah have been some of the most wonderful people I've ever worked with! From our first meeting to our last few moments together during this engagement session, everything just clicked. They are so laid back and easy going... and they LOVE to laugh (which makes my job easier!)
They also pick incredible locations for engagement photos!
The three of us spent a few hours together at River Bend Park in Virginia last weekend, where the blue bells were in bloom. These tiny, delicate flowers are native to Virginia and grow along the banks of the Potomac. They made the most gorgeous backdrop for Sarah and Paul's photos!
Sarah and Paul will be married next month and I can't wait for the nuptials. These two make such a beautiful couple, and I know they'll be dashing as bride and groom!
About-to-be newlyweds Paul and Sarah will be tying the knot in just over a month! To celebrate, they chose to have their engagement photos among the bluebells that line the banks of the Potomac. Our afternoon together at River Bend Park in Virginia was a lovely way to spend a spring afternoon, and I can't wait to share more from this beautiful couple soon!
Winter photo sessions don't happen often for obvious reasons, but when they do, I think they're really special.
Last weekend was my first photo session of the year, and it also happened to be on one of the coldest days of the year so far! Despite the freezing temperatures, Bob and Linda were wonderful to work with! (Aren't they just adorable together??)
We met in one of my favorite locations, Sligo Creek Parkway, hours after it had snowed. I have to give them a huge shout out for being incredible sports about the whole thing. Not only was it absolutely freezing outside, but there were actually two photographers on hand! (That doesn't normally happen!) Some of the photos from Bob and Linda's session I'm using for a special project, so my friend and fellow photography Gerry Suchy was there taking photos of me taking photos of them.
Even though temperatures were well below freezing, I'm really glad we were all able to work together to make this session a success. With these images in particular, I adore the contrast between the dull, grayish brown background and the brightly colored blanket Bob and Linda are wrapped in. That warm, cozy feel makes these photos work, and is proof that with a little preparation, cold weather photos can be just as fun as photos taken in the spring and summer!
p.s. Here are a few of those behind-the-scenes images I mentioned earlier. I think they're kinda fun!!
I've been looking forward to this blog post for so long! I'm so excited to debut photos from Kathryn and JR's wedding -- which is also my first LDS wedding! I never knew that photographing a wedding WITHOUT photographing the ceremony could be so fun!
Photography isn't allowed at a Mormon wedding ceremony -- called a sealing -- so instead of photographing the "I do" part, I photographed the Temple where Kathryn and JR got married, followed by the couple's Grand Exit from the Temple. After the sealing ceremony, we all headed to the Bethesda Marriott for the reception... This is where things got incredibly sweet.
As a way to honor friends and family who were unable to attend the sealing, Kathryn and JR held a ring ceremony -- complete with a walk down the aisle -- during their reception! It was so beautiful and something that I thought made their reception incredibly unique! After that, the party started! As a photographer, I LOVE weddings where everyone gets their groove on during the reception -- and Kathryn and JR's friend's didn't dissapoint! EVERYONE was on the dance floor!
Kathryn and JR were an amazing couple to work with. They're absolutely adorable together and I'm so glad we were able to meet! I wish them the very best as they begin this exciting new chapter in life!
One of the things I love most about being a photographer is all of the new and unique experiences it allows me to have and the wonderful people it allows me to meet. My time with Kathryn and JR exemplified this. I got to have so many "firsts" with this couple, which was really exciting for me!
For starters, Kathryn and JR are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'd never photographed a Mormon wedding before and was actually really nervous about it. Kathryn and JR are an incredible couple, though, and they made me feel so welcomed and loved. Whatever nerves I had about photographing their wedding vanished as soon as I was with them.
Second, by the time we met, Kathryn and JR already had engagement photos taken. JR proposed to Kathryn in Utah during a picnic, and hired a photographer to take photos that day. In lieu of engagement photos, which I offer complimentary to couples who book me for their wedding, Kathryn and JR chose to have their first look and wedding portraits taken a week before their wedding. This is something I'd never seen or even heard of before, but I love the idea! And for LDS couples, it makes a lot of sense!
For those who don't already know, an LDS wedding -- called a sealing -- is a very intimate, sacred and private affair. In order to witness it, guests must be members of and in good standing with the LDS church. Photography is strictly prohibited, and the bride and groom usually wear traditional Temple robes over their clothes. That means the couple doesn't actually have photos from their ceremony. By having a first look and couples session before their sealing, Kathyrn and JR were able to experience elements of a non-LDS wedding while still honoring Mormon traditions!
It's that time of year again! The holidays are upon us! I hope by now everyone's belly is sufficiently full of turkey. Cliff and I celebrated Thanksgiving -- my favorite holiday -- with friends and friends of friends. Among those in attendance was a family from Hungary. It was their first American Thanksgiving, and I'm so glad Cliff and I were able to help them experience the tradition.
After our feast, I prepared for my first LDS wedding! Kathryn and JR were sealed (married) in a ceremony at Washington's Mormon Temple the day after Thanksgiving. I can't think of a better to way to start the holiday season than by spending it with two people who love each other! Being around these two is always a delight! Even though I've never before photographed a Mormon wedding, their friends and family didn't bat an eye. Everyone made me feel so loved and welcome!
If Kathryn and JR look familiar, its because they've been on my blog before! In lieu of engagement photos, they chose to have their first look and couples portraits a week before their wedding! You can see a preview of that shoot here.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring Kathryn and JR extensively on my blog. Be on the look out for more photos from their first look and even more photos from their wedding day and reception. For now, enjoy this preview from their beautiful Temple wedding!
p.s. Don't forget to vote for Kathryn and JR and other wonderful families in the canvas contest! Voters must like the Jonna Michelle Photography Facebook Page and a photo in the Canvas Contest album in order for their votes to count.
These two! I just LOVE them! Kathryn and JR are absolutely adorable together! They're getting married next weekend at Washington, DC's Mormon Temple, but chose to do their first look and wedding portraits a week early. (More on why that's such a fantastic idea in my next blog post!) If they can make it through yesterday's photo session, I'm pretty sure they can make it through anything!
Temperatures in this area have been pretty mild... until yesterday. (Of course.) Kathryn and JR endured a storm front that caused temperatures to drop significantly and brought whipping winds that downed leaves, tree branches and, by the end of the session, Kathryn's hair. The photos might look peaceful, but trust me, it felt like chaos! These two were troopers, though, and pushed right on through!
I can't wait to share more from their wedding and their portrait session. Until then, here's a sneak peek featuring one of the coolest couples I know!
Every photo and every session has a story behind it -- and I especially love the stories behind Alison and Drew's photos. They chose to have their engagement session at Rock Creek Park because of how special the park is to them. When they first started dating, Alison and Drew met here often. This is the place where their love blossomed!
Originally, we were supposed to meet in September for photos, but the weather was so unseasonably warm that we rescheduled. And you know what? I'm so glad we did! The weather last Sunday was perfect for this session--temperatures were in the 80s, there was low humidity, and that sun!! I had a lot of fun using techniques that only work in this type of super sunny environment.
In addition to capturing some gorgeous photos, it was awesome just getting to spend time with Alison and Drew. I have so much respect for these two. Like Cliff and me, they're both transplants to this area and moved to DC to pursue meaningful careers. Drew spent eight years in the Navy and Alison works for an organization that focuses on fighting climate change and preserving the environment. It's always a treat to spend time around people who are not only passionate about each other, but about all aspects of their lives.
Most of all, I'm just genuinely excited for these two. They'll be tying the knot next year in Annapolis and I wish them the very best as they enter this great new chapter in life!
Hey there! I'm Jonna! I'm a family photographer serving Silver Spring, Maryland and beyond. During the Covid-19 crisis, I'm using my free time to document the lives of friends and neighbors as we live through a pandemic. Learn more.