Charlottesville Engagement: Melissa + Josh

It was only fitting that we would meet at Pollak Vineyards for Melissa and Josh’s winter engagement session. It was not only the sight of their first date, but of many subsequent dates after that. It’s the place where conversations started and continued for hours and where late afternoon walks turned into dreaming about a life together. Knowing this about Melissa and Josh, we were thrilled to be able to photograph them at this location and capture these memories for them for a lifetime.

Even though it was cold and windy, we couldn’t pass up using the vineyard as a backdrop…

Next we headed over toward the tasting room and noticed some great light on these steps.

Love makes me so happy.:-)

When I saw this dock jetting out into the lake (okay, maybe it’s more like a pond), I sheepishly asked Melissa and Josh if they would be willing to *leap* over some serious water and mud to get a few shots out on it. Let me just say, you guys will always be rockstars in our book for doing this!

Once we all couldn’t feel our noses or fingers any more, we decided it was probably time to head inside for a bit. After a quick outfit change, we spent some time photographing Melissa and Josh wine tasting together.

Back outside on the porch…

I just love the way these two look at each other. It’s always so sweet and perfectly sincere.

Congratulations you two! We had such an amazing time hanging out and getting to know you and your story. Thank you for spending the afternoon with us. Cheers to you both!
Un abrazo,
Natalie

Charlottesville Wedding Classic | Charlottesville, VA

In the wedding world, January through March is often considered the “off season”. However, when you’re running your own business you’re never really “off”, you’re just, let’s say, shifting your priorities. During the winter months we generally don’t have as many weddings, so it becomes a time to re-group, reflect and dream. John and I typically sit down and take an inventory of the high’s and low’s from the past year and talk about the areas where we would like to grow, what we want to change, do the same and where we want to focus our attention. It’s an exciting time of year, and we love to dream and dream big.

Another one of our typical January events is to attend at least one bridal show in the Charlottesville area. This year we attended the Charlottesville Wedding Classic at the beautiful Boar’s Head Inn. At the end of the show all of the brides were treated to a fashion show hosted by West Main Bridal. Here are a few highlights from the show and a fashion sneak peek for all you 2012 brides…

Happy Friday! I’m off to my first wedding of 2012!

Un abrazo,
Natalie

Year in Review: 2011 Portrait and Engagement Highlights

I hope you have had a fantastic start to 2012! Now that the year is well under way, I think it’s about time to wrap up our Year in Review series. (If you haven’t seen our Year in Review: 2011 Wedding Highlights, click here for Part One and here for Part Two). Today I have posted some of our favorites from all of our engagement, family, maternity, baby and senior sessions from 2011. I could have easily gone overboard, but I really tried to limit myself to just a few.:-)

Thank you to each and every one of you who invited us into your homes and into your lives so that we could capture memories for you and do what we love best! Here’s to many more fabulous couples, families, seniors, and babies in 2012!!
Un abrazo,
Natalie

Year in Review, Part Two: 2011 Wedding Highlights

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful weekend ringing in the new year with friends and family. This is the first year that John and I have been in Charlottesville for New Year’s, so we did it up right by having dinner and playing Settlers of Catan with good friends and then heading out on the town to get our dance on at Zocalo. Of course, we stayed out too late, but we had a blast.:-)

Before this week slips away from me, I wanted to get back to our wedding highlights from last week. We’ll start with our final June wedding from this past year…

Morgan and Michael were married this past summer at the UVa Chapel and then held their reception at Farmington Country Club.  John and I loved so many aspects of this wedding, so it was really hard just to choose just a few. I particularly love these first two images because they really speak to what was most important about this couple’s wedding day: the relationships. Morgan is really close to her grandfather, and the fact that he was able to play the bagpipes at her wedding was so special to her.

A few other favorites from their day…

Erica and Tom were married at the UVa Chapel and then held their reception at Alumni Hall – a true Wahoo wedding!! These two images were taken just minutes after becoming husband and wife. They had just exited the church and I ran after them with my camera. They had started to walk down the path together and I yelled out “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Howard!”. When they turned around they both had these ear-to-ear grins of pure joy. Such a great moment!

Robin and B-J were married at Sycamore Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, VA and then held their reception at Richmond Country Club. Robin is a complete romantic at heart and just all girl. B-J is a true southern gentleman. Together they are the perfect match. When we got to Richmond Country Club after the ceremony, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and then sun was beaming down from directly overhead. I typically shy away from harsh light and do everything I can to find some shade, but as I was looking around trying to find this (in the middle of a golf course, might I add!), I glanced back and saw this image taking shape before my eyes. Click. I pressed the shutter and these two have been some of my favorites ever since.

This is an example of why John and I love it when our couples choose to do a First Look. John and I were overjoyed when Kelly and Adam told us that they wanted to arrange to see each other in one of the UVa Gardens before their ceremony at the Chapel. I love these two shots that John got just moments after Adam had turned around to see Kelly for the first time. Priceless!

Jennifer and Saul were married at Veritas Vineyard this past September. It had poured all day up until the time of the ceremony, but just as the guests started to arrive, the storm passed and the sun began to peek through the clouds. There is just something magical about the light right after a storm.

Emily and Tom were married at Ash-Lawn Highland this past October. Both are just so easy to be around and really care about others. They were definitely nervous about being in front of the camera, but as you can see from this photo, they didn’t have anything to worry about. I love shooting along this fence at Ash-Lawn (well, actually, I like fences in general), but I especially love that they’re completely present and absorbed in the moment and not even worrying about the camera.

Cayla and Kevin’s wedding was our last wedding of 2011. We loved the fact that they wanted to take advantage of the colorful, fall foliage and start their day off with a First Look. Don’t the colors look amazing against Cayla’s red hair??!! Here are a few of our favorites from their November wedding…

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of our favorite shots from our 2011 weddings! Thank you again to all of our brides and grooms who put their trust in us to document their big day. We feel so honored to have been there! Now don’t be a stranger because next up is our Year in Review for portraits! See you soon!

Un abrazo,

Natalie

Year in Review: 2011 Wedding Highlights

The countdown has begun. Only a few more days left in 2011, and I’m already starting to feel nostalgic. One of my favorite blog posts of the year is the “Year in Review” because I get to go back through all of our fabulous weddings and portrait sessions and reminisce. Every year John and I marvel at how lucky we are to do what we do and work with the people that we get to work with. 2011 was no different, and we can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!

John and I kicked off our 2011 wedding season with Meghan and Jason’s wedding at UVa’s Darden Business School. Meghan and Jason have such a great sense of style, and they worked hard to infuse it into all of their wedding details. Here are a few of our favorite shots from their big day…

For Sarah and Matt’s wedding, we hopped on a plane and headed out to San Diego. I love this flirty shot of Sarah with her bridesmaids. It was one of those moments that just organically happen. Literally, we were walking from one area to another, I turned around, everyone was in this formation and I just told Sarah to “show me a little sass”. Voila.:-)

One month after Sarah and Matt’s wedding, we packed our bags again and boarded another flight to California. Poor us. I know.:-)This time our destination was San Francisco for Irene and Don’s wedding. Irene grew up in San Francisco, so it was only natural for her to get married at her home church and then host the reception overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Here are a few of our favorites from their day…

Katie and Marco had a lovely garden wedding with a Latin twist. The original plan was to have an outdoor ceremony in the garden, but about five minutes before it was about to start, it began to pour. All I remember was how well both Katie and Marco handled the last minute switch to inside. Miraculously, just as the ceremony was wrapping up, the clouds parted and we had beautiful light for the remainder of the afternoon.

Sylvia and Michael held their ceremony in UVa’s Garden X and then headed over to 2nd Street Gallery for their reception. Because they decided on a First Look before the ceremony, we had plenty of time to walk around to the different gardens taking pictures. For this particular shot, they were walking ahead of us and I asked them to turn around and, just instinctively, Michael waved while Sylvia gave us a peace sign. John and I thought it was really cute.

One of the things that I loved about Allie and Adam’s wedding was the way that they effortlessly combined their rural romantic ceremony with their city chic reception. Here are a few of our favorites from their ceremony at Nutmeg Farm:

And here are a few taken on the Downtown Mall right before their reception:

Deveryn and Bryce were married at Bryce’s childhood home. This wedding was just bursting at the seams with DIY details, and it all came together so beautifully thanks to the help of Lindsay at LK Events and Design.  I love that Deveryn wore her mother’s wedding dress and that they constructed the arbor under which they got married from wood collected around the property.

Thanks for dropping by the blog! I hope you enjoyed the first half of our Year in Review. Be sure to check back next week for more wedding highlights from 2011. Happy New Year!

Un abrazo,

Natalie

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