Charlottesville Engagement Photographer: Veronica + Brian

Boy oh boy has April been a busy month for us! I was really hoping to blog WAY before this point, but between our trip to Spain (more on this later!) and shooting a wedding in Richmond (more on this later, too!), this is really the first chance I’ve had to sit down.

Well, I can promise it will be worth the wait because today I have Veronica and Brian’s fabulous UVa engagement session. We had the perfect fall morning to wander around Grounds, and after spending just a few hours with these two, I already felt swept up by the ways that they loved each other and anticipated each other’s needs. Brian is a true gentleman, and it’s obvious that he would do anything for Veronica. Both are comfortable and at ease with each other, and if you ask me, that’s a love worth falling and fighting for.

First up, the classic architecture of UVA’s Colonnade…

I love this series along the garden wall with the red berries glimmering in the background.

Won’t Veronica make the most beautiful bride!?

A few more near Alderman library….

Brian and Veronica: June cannot come fast enough! We had such a wonderful time with you two, and we can’t wait for the wedding! Until then, take good care of each other.:-)

Un abrazo fuerte,


Charlottesville Engagement Photographer | Elizabeth + RJ

Now that we are well into the second quarter of the new year, I think it’s high time that I start introducing you to our fabulous couples of 2013!! Last week I posted some of my favorites from Sara and Matt’s Richmond engagement session, and today I have some of the highlights from RJ and Elizabeth’s Panorama Farms engagement shoot from this past October.

What we thought was going to be a rainy, nasty day turned into the PERFECT day with naturally diffused light, a crisp autumn breeze and all our favorite fall colors. But my favorite part of the afternoon? Getting to spend time with RJ and Liz. They are two of the sweetest, most genuine, kind and caring individuals I’ve ever met. I mean it. These two don’t have a mean bone in the their bodies and together they are one dynamite couple.

What did I tell you? Cuteness, sweetness and more cuteness!!

Pure joy!

Out into the open field…

Such a beauty.

These two have hearts and smiles that reach as wide as these fields and as long as these roads.

When I saw this hillside covered in yellow in green, I did a little jig and then ran over and got Liz and RJ.:)

I was so excited when they happily obliged to sit down in the grass. I just love the color against the contrast of Liz’s red scarf!

Some of my favorite black and whites…

Once we got back to the barn RJ and Liz did a quick outfit change. I loved Liz’s skirt and boots so much that I had RJ give her a spin for me.

Besides the obvious beauty of Panorama Farms, another really special part about this location for Liz and RJ is that it where Liz would run almost every day while she was on the track team in high school.

Wow. Look at those fall colors!

RJ and Liz: Thank you for bringing your warm smiles, your contagious laughter, all your cuteness and delightfulness and genuine hearts out to Panorama Farms last October.  I had such a great time with you and couldn’t stop smiling after your session! I couldn’t be more excited for your wedding and are so honored to have the opportunity to tell such a wonderful part your story!
Un abrazo fuerte,
Brenda Franklin-Morrow - April 20, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Liz, your Uncle Hank and I are so very excited and happy for you and RJ. The pictures of the two of you are adorable and you look “so much in love”! The day is quickly approaching and we look forward to seeing all of you and celebrating your union. Had great phone conversation with your mom and sounds as if everything is coming together so awesomely! See you in June sweetheart! We love you!

Richmond Engagement Photographer | Sara + Matt

Spring is here in all its color and glory but fall is still very much on my mind. You might be wondering why, but once you take a look at Matt and Sara’s autumn engagement session in downtown Richmond, you will know EXACTLY why!

Sara and Matt met up with us in early November to celebrate and commemorate their engagement, and now, in a blink of an eye, four months have passed and their wedding is less than a month away! I am meeting up with Sara this weekend for her bridal portraits, and I CAN’T wait to get a sneak peek of her dress. I mean, seriously. This girl is going to be gorgeous bride!

We started off the afternoon parking street side and then got out and started walking. We didn’t have to take but a few steps before we found creamy light, golden trees and beautiful architecture. I love Virginia!

I especially love Matt and Sara in Virginia!

Don’t you just love Sara’s cobalt blue dress and boots!? So Kate Middleton.

Out for a stroll…

Okay. I can’t stand it. These two are just so stinkin’ cute!

We braved the traffic to be able to cross over to this median that was lined with beautiful fall foliage and lots of fallen leaves for tossing!

Love this Etsy sign that Sara had made. What a great idea for a save the date!

We just couldn’t resist….

Sara and Matt’s new home. No biggie.:)

Starting our walk back. I love this one that John caught right as Sara looked our way.

Sara and Matt: We had such an awesome time with you both in November! Thanks so much for showing us around downtown Richmond and letting us get to know you guys a bit more! Now that April is around the corner all I  can think about is the wedding. It’s going to be AMAZING! See you soon!!
Un abrazo fuerte,
Sara Duvall - March 27, 2013 - 7:13 pm

We absolutely love all of the pictures! So looking forward to all the great wedding photos to come! Thank you both so much!

Katie Powers - March 28, 2013 - 12:58 am

I of course think their the cutest and most beautiful couple. Hey we are talking about MY SON and his very very soon to be wife. The pictures are all wonderful. you can see in their faces how much they love and respect one another. xoxoxo

Ballet is Beauty: Alyssa + France-Marie | Encinitas, CA

I think at some point every little girl says that they want to be a ballerina when they grow up. I was no exception, and when I was nine years old my mother enrolled me in ballet class. (Confession: I originally asked to do tap, jazz AND ballet but my mom made me choose one. How did I choose? Well, quite simple. Ballet starts with a ‘b’ which comes before ‘j’ or ‘t’, so ballet it was. Not only that but the ballerinas were the only ones who got to wear the tutus, so really it was a no-brainer.)

All it took was a few classes and I was hooked. I woke up thinking about ballet, sat in class thinking about ballet and went to bed thinking about ballet. I lived, breathed, ate, slept, dreamt ballet. I went to as many professional performances that my sweet, devoted mother would take me to. I stayed after and went to the stage door to get the dancers’ autographs and dig through the trash for their old, beat-up point shoes. Yes, I was obsessed and probably needed some outside intervention.:)

I danced all the way through middle and high school and best of all, I did it along side some really great friends. We would get together and play dress up and put on our own performances and even make our own programs and bribe our siblings into being our audience (or the male roles). We all had ballet fever together and that’s what made it so fun. Although the dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer never came true for me, it did for these two amazing women. Alyssa, France-Marie and I met up a few weeks back at a local studio to do a ballet photo shoot. I shot and they danced for FOUR hours, and it felt like we were twelve years old again dancing around someone’s living room. As you can see, these girls are AMAZING dancers and clearly closet models!

Loved the lighting in the studio!!

A few of my favorite black and whites….


The alley behind the studio also caught my attention because of the great reflected light and the cool, urban feel of the garages.

Yay for friends!!

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Some fun with the chair!

 A little fun with some silhouettes…

Pretty girls!!!

So at the end Alyssa and France had me get into a tutu (yay!!!!) and do a few poses just for fun. Thank you to Alyssa, who is also a talented photographer, for taking these of me!

Favorite. Hands down.:)

Alyssa and France: I had so. much. fun. with you two girls and am still just in awe of what beauties you both are! Thank you for leaping and pointing and turning and bending in half for four hours. Most of all, thank you for TWENTY years of friendship!!!
Un abrazo fuerte,
Lori Alexander - March 21, 2013 - 10:08 pm

These are beautiful!,

India Harmsen - March 22, 2013 - 3:36 am

Holy cow, girls! Crazy how some things never change. You’ve only each become more beautiful! Miss you girls :). Thanks for the nostalgia Natalie Novak Bell!

Allyson Carrier - March 22, 2013 - 4:57 am

Amazingly beAutiful! Love love love! Thanks for sharing!

Jeannine Reese-Novak - March 23, 2013 - 12:05 am

Stunningly beautiful photography~ your Nana would be proud and Dadcu would have said, “You have some nice gams”.

Michelle Place - March 23, 2013 - 2:33 am

This is the work you work born for! You have a wonderful gift for capturing emotion.

France-Marie Stiewel - October 9, 2013 - 11:04 pm

Thank you Natalie. I’m so glad we could all share our love for ballet together. Love you!!

Charlottesville Senior Photographer: Whitney

Well today I have for you the very last (but certainly not least!) senior portrait session from my marathon last fall!! I can’t believe that it’s taken me through the middle of March to show them all to you, but in truth, I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to revisit these photos and my time with each one of these seniors. I’m so excited that I get to wrap it all up with some of my favorites from my time with the beautiful Whitney.

After one quick outfit change we were back outside again in the gorgeous morning light and crisp, fall breeze.

Wow, this shade of blue is absolutely striking!

Make sure to check back later this week for a complete post from my ballet photo shoot a few weeks ago!

Un abrazo fuerte,


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