Destination SoHo Engagement Session

Traveling to New York’s SoHo area for an engagement session is always such a highlight of our year. And this year destination engagement shoots seem to more popular than ever.

Hometown vs. Your Town

So often couples get married in one (or both) of their hometowns but not where they currently live. There is something so special about an engagement session in the city that you and your partner have chosen to build your life in together. We are able to capture photos that feel just like the two of you: walking on the streets you walk everyday or grabbing a drink at your favorite local spot.

For this engagement session our couple, Jackie & Ari live in Manhattan but are getting married here on the Eastern Shore. We traveled up on a gorgeous day to capture these two perfectly in their element. Since the bride works in fashion we decided SoHo was the ideal picturesque neighborhood to shoot.

After walking around SoHo for a bit and having some trouble catching a cab we finally made it to the High Line for the second part of our shoot. Pro tip – the High Line is not my favorite location to shoot. The number of tourists makes it really tough and if you’ve been there before you know that the path is quite narrow and linear. This is great for getting some leading lines and good perspectives but terrible for letting people pass through. Soon after arriving there a freak storm passed through! But I’m so very happy with the photos.

New York City Engagement Session, Portraits in SoHo © Bonnie Sen Photography
New York City Engagement Session, Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen PhotographySoHo New York City Engagement Session, Washington DC Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
High Fashion SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Fine Art Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Engagement Ring Photography, Fine Art Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Fine Art Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Washington DC Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Washington DC Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Springtime SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Washington DC Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

SoHo New York City Engagement Session, Washington DC Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen PhotographyDon’t get me wrong I love a good hometown wedding and a monument portrait session but engagement sessions like this day create images that they will cherish forever. Especially if they ever choose to move away from the city! But shhh don’t say that out loud to any New Yorker!

Minimalist & Modern Wedding Inspiration in Charlottesville, Virginia

Anyone who knows me knows that I am all about simplicity in design; whether that be in clothing, interior design, architecture or a wedding. I’m borderline obsessed with how much beauty is found when everything is stripped away leaving just a simple minimalist aesthetic.

Minimalist Inspiration

When we partnered with Linda Ha Events for this styled shoot we drew inspiration from the modern interior design of the venue and minimalistic simplicity of the dress. What resulted was a shoot that was modern and playful while still perfectly effortless. With nothing left to hid behind we were able to capture the true beauty of each element of the day.

Bridal portrait and bridal hair style Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Groom Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Groom Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Place Setting and Menu Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography

All in the Simple Details

Common House, a contemporary social club, set the stage with clean lines mixed with cozy interiors to showcase the young couple’s effortless beauty and style. Colleen West adorned the table with breathtaking florals and simple brass accents. The deckled edge of the Refine Studio‘s paper goods added just enough texture to counter the sleek tablescape and attire. But, I’m not going to lie that my favorite part might just be Melanie’s just messy enough pony.

Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Bridal Portrait and Hair Style Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Film Photographer Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait DC Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Bride Portrait Washington DC Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Intimate Wedding Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Black and White Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Black and White Wedding Photographer Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography

Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Minimalist Wedding Portrait Common House Charlottesville, VA © Bonnie Sen Photography

Our goal for this shoot was to remove all of the details that can so often be distracting. We wanted to see the simple beauty of the dress, the space, the flowers, the models. We could not be more happy with the end result! Finally, you can see more of this shoot featured on JoyWed and a huge thanks to our vendor team!

Photography: Bonnie Sen Photography | Creative Direction & Planning: Linda Ha Events | Venue: Common House Charlottesville | Floral: Colleen West | Beauty: Emily Artistry | Paper Goods: Refine Studio | Models: Melanie Collazo-Espinosa & Matthew Yeager | Gown: Sarah Yanks | Bridal Shop: Fabulous Frocks | Sweater: Massimo Dutti | Jewelry: Madewell

Spring Maternity Session

This spring maternity session with my good friend and model Flavia was one of my favorite shoots ever! Flavia may look familiar to those of you that frequent wedding blogs as she’s been a “bride” (many times) for local photographers. So when she asked ME to photograph her maternity photos I was honored and delighted!

Maternity Shoot: From Inspiration to Reality

This shoot was definitely a labor of love! Flavia, the model and mama, came to us with her hopes and dreams of a maternity shoot based on inspiration images she found online. From there my good friend Beth from Porter & Ives helped with the styling and created a cohesive mood board for the shoot.

White Lace Dress for Fine Art Film Maternity Shoot at Washington DC Supreme Court © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Details

We started the day at local DC landmarks like the Supreme Court to get a minimal, architectural backdrop for some portraits. These shots were punctuated with florals and soft details of Flavia’s amazing lace dress.

Downtown DC Supreme Court © Bonnie Sen Photography
Downtown DC Supreme Court Maternity Session © Bonnie Sen Photography
Fine Art Film Maternity at Washington DC Supreme Court © Bonnie Sen Photography
Fine Art Film Maternity at Washington DC Supreme Court © Bonnie Sen Photography
White Lace Dress for Fine Art Film Maternity Shoot at Washington DC Supreme Court © Bonnie Sen Photography
White Lace Dress for Fine Art Film Maternity Shoot in Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Maternity Session in White Lace Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Pregnancy Shoot during Cherry Blossom Season © Bonnie Sen Photography
Handmade Details

The baby’s grandma made a lot of sweet clothes for the baby so we documented those details along with beautiful calligraphy tags by Shannon Lee of Peach and Paperie.

Washington DC Maternity Photography Details © Bonnie Sen PhotographyWashington DC Pregnancy and Newborn Photography Details © Bonnie Sen Photography
Maternity Milk Bath

We ended the day with a milk bath shoot at a friend’s house. We used regular, grocery store flowers (that look anything but next to Flavia) and just a tiny bit of milk . This was my first time shooting a milk bath, but it was absolutely gorgeous and mesmerizing! I must say I was resistant because I wouldn’t want to try to live up to someone like Elizabeth Messina. But to pretend was fun!

Maternity Session Details in White Lace Dress © Bonnie Sen PhotographyMaternity Session Milk Bath in White Lace Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Maternity Session Milk Bath in White Lace Dress - DC, MD and VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Maternity Session Milk Bath in White Lace Dress - DC, MD and VA © Bonnie Sen Photography
Maternity Session Milk Bath in White Lace Dress - DC, MD and VA © Bonnie Sen Photography

All the magic was shot on film. Mostly a combination of Fuji400h and Portra800 scanned and developed by Goodman Lab.  All shot on my Contax 645 mostly with an 80mm lens. My obsession with film is at an all time high, I’m close to selling off my digital gear.

Inn at Perry Cabin Summer Wedding in St. Michaels, Maryland

The Inn at Perry Cabin is one of my absolute favorite places in the area! Most well known for being in the romantic comedy “Wedding Crashers” it’s one of those classic Maryland locations. Not to mention the food, and the views of the Chesapeake Bay are incredible.

Lindley grew up spending lots of vacation time around this part of the state so The Inn at Perry Cabin was a perfect spot for her and Dustin’s summer wedding.

Blue and White Wedding Invitations by The Dandelion Patch Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Wedding Shoes Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Amaryllis bridal bouquet 2018 Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography

Perfect Weather in July at the Inn at Perry Cabin

All I can say is what a gorgeous wedding day! We got so lucky with the weather in July and we all know that can be risky for a tented wedding!  It, of course, helped that we were on the gorgeous Eastern Shore of Maryland. I always love a good Maryland wedding and this beautiful day was reminiscent of another wedding in Annapolis a few years ago.

The couple had an intimate bridal party which always leads to a relaxed environment for the whole day but especially getting ready. We started the day as the girls finished up their hair and make up and everyone got dressed for the big day. Lindley and Dustin opted for a first look but kept most of the photos for after the ceremony so after a few sweet photos we headed over to the ceremony.

Bridal Hair Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Flower Girl Outfits - Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Antique Vintage Car Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Antique Vintage Car Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography

Relaxed and Personal Wedding Ceremony

The ceremony took place on the Inn’s lawn with the Chesapeake Bay in the background. Guests were greeted with lemonade and fans to keep cool, just in case. The ceremony was officiated by a judge and personal friend of the family. The bride and groom had such a relaxed approach to this wedding that the whole day was effortless and easy.

Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography

Al Fresco Cocktail Hour and Tented Reception Perfection

Following the ceremony, cocktail hour and drinks were on the same lawn overlooking the Bay and it’s quintessential sailboats. Cocktail hour was completely outdoors and fortunately it was the perfectly clear day, a rare treat in this Mid-Atlantic region. After cocktail hour guests were welcomed to the tented reception full of colorful flowers and timeless decor by the planner, Kari Rider Events.  Lindley wanted “lots of navy blue and white blended with great pops of color in our floral arrangements”.

The dinner started with the introduction of the couple and a romantic first dance. The guests dinned on an amazing Inn at Perry Cabin sit-down dinner and wedding cake. After dinner guests hit the dancefloor and headed outside for the cigar bar as the sun sunk into the horizon. As soon as it was dark we all head outside for the grand finale. No not your typical sparkler send-off, but a firework show! The perfect end a beautiful night!

Outdoor Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Cocktail Hour at Outdoor Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Tented Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Tented Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Neutral Tented Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Blue and White Wedding Cake - Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Blue and White Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Colorful Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Tented Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Tented Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Outdoor Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Cigar Bar at Outdoor Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography
Wedding Fireworks at Outdoor Summer Wedding at the Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels Maryland © Bonnie Sen Photography

See more of this wedding feature on Inside Weddings.

Vendor Team:

Wedding Planner: Kari Rider Events | Floral: Amaryllis Floral & Event Design | Rentals: DC Rental, Eastern Shore Tents & Events, La Tavola Fine Linen and White Glove Rentals | Cakes: Steve Konopelski, Patissier | Paper Goods: The Dandelion Patch | Calligraphy: Surcee Calligraphy | Music & Entertainment: Bay Strings and Highway Star from Entertainment Exchange | Hair: Alison Harper & Company | Make Up: The Makeup Chic | Dress: Manuel Mota from Fabulous Frocks | Jewelry: Mystique Jewelers | Groom’s Attire: Alton Lane | Fireworks: Digital Lightning

Getting the Most out of your Portrait Session

Getting the most out of your portrait session is often a question I get asked, and I’m glad! I want everyone to have a wonderful experience with the portrait session. Additionally I also want everyone to absolutely love their photos! From my experience if you’re having a good time it shows in the photos. We don’t want any “deer-in-headlights” looks or “annoyed-this-is-taking-so-long” faces so I try to do everything possible to keep the shoot efficient.

So here are my biggest tips on getting the best possible results!

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.

Are you unsure about where to start? What location to pick, what date, what to wear? Not to worry! With any portrait session I include a complimentary phone consultation to get the wheels turning. It’s much easier to talk through multiple locations and dates than to do a back and forth on email. If you’d like a casual, laid back session, then doing a portrait at the monuments probably isn’t going to work. If you want to dress up and do something epic, then we can make that happen too! In one phone call we can knock out all your questions and narrow down some options. These quick 15-30 min phone calls have always helped getting the most out of a session.

 

2. Dress for the Location

Once you pick the mood and the vibe of the shoot that can be a great starting point for clothing & wardrobe. An at-home session would be perfect for casual clothes that coordinate with your home decor. If you place is bold and dramatic, dress that way! If it’s soft and full of neutral tones, like this at-home session, lean into that. For the outdoor shoot you should fit the season. Spring calls for bright, light, cheery colors. Fall would be great for flannels, cozy sweater, scarves and boots like this engagement session. But always dress up more than you normally would. It’s a photoshoot! While we do want to capture your authentic spirit, we also want to portray you in your best light.

 

3. Pets, Props and Themes

Oh how much I love all of these things! If you’re nervous about your photos being too stiff because there’s no action then it’s always great to add an activity! I absolutely loved this Christmas tree cutting engagement session or this foodie culinary engagement shoot. It’s so much fun to grab a bottle of champagne and have a picnic and get a little tipsy before the photos. For kid-centric photos it can be great to bring along bubbles, or their favorite scooters and toys. Pets are always great to document as part of the family, but I suggest only having them around for a portion of the shoot.

 

4. After all that, relax and get into it!

Most of the effort comes from planning and preparing for the shoot. Once you’re there, let me take over! No matter the weather or the crankiness of family members we can make the shoot a success! If you’ve followed the instructions above and have prepared then the shoot will be a breeze. Relax and make sure that you’re having a good time with your loved ones. I’ll be there to capture every bit of it!