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!


When Wedding Planners Gather on the Eastern Shore

As wedding photographers, there’s nothing better than to get to spend the day with some of the areas best wedding planners to kick off wedding season. I was lucky enough to document this gorgeous setup and then join everyone for dinner last may. It was the absolute perfect weather for dinner outdoors (It’s possible!).

This shoot was originally posted on Style Me Pretty Living along with some tips on entertaining from the planners of this event – Pop the Cork Designs and Adriana Marie Events. I must be craving nice weather, this was the perfect day for a dinner Al fresco on the Chesapeake bay!

Catering: Rouge Catering

Florist: Crimson & Clover

Calligrapher: Anchor Point Calligraphy

Cookies: Fresh Bakes

Venue: Historic Londontown

Rentals: Party Plus Tents & Events

Invitations: Alison Barnhill

Videography: Adora Wedding Films

Music: Austin Ellis

A Stunning Shoot at the Washington DC National Cathedral

It has been a dream of mine to be published on the wedding blog OnceWed, and so when it finally happened last year I couldn’t have been more thrilled! You can check out the whole feature here:

Having a beautiful setting like the National Cathedral is one of the perks of hosting an event at the National Cathedral school. It’s also a perk of living in Washington, DC and being a wedding photographers we get to enjoy all these views. The buildings on the campus are stunning in their ne0-Gothic style, but also their grounds are spectacularly maintained. As the sun set over the limestone buildings, the colors of the atmosphere turned to beautiful shades of pink and blue. This is really one of the best wedding venues we have in DC, what a place to have your wedding ceremony!

Wedding Planner: Bright Occasions, Margo Fischer | Photography: Bonnie Sen Photography | Venue: National Cathedral School, Danielle Capecchi | Invitation Suite: The Dandelion Patch, Heidi Kallett | Wedding Cakes: Catherine George Cakes | Florals: Petals by the Shore, Kelly Shore |  Wedding Gift: Marigold & Grey, Jamie Kutchman | Hair & Make-Up: Amie Decker Beauty | Artist: Brittany Branson | Draping: Drape Kings, Meredith and Marybeth | Rentals: Select Event Group | Vintage Furniture: Something Vintage | Wedding Dress: Pas de Deux Bridal | Rings: Susie Saltzmen  | Groom’s Suit: Alton Lane | Models: Anastasiia Putkova + Sepehr Hajireza