Alex + Rachel | Intimate Richmond Engagement Session | Main Street Station | Richmond Wedding Photographer

Tis’ the season for engagement sessions…. and weddings! The weather is FINALLY warm, sun is shining and golden hour is AHH-MAZING. Well, most days! Rachel and Alex live up north so we really just had to plan and hope for amazing weather during their trip to Virginia. It poured. It poured buckets but the amazing thing about Richmond is that there's always a gorgeous plan B.

Special shout out to the Main Street train station for allowing us to shoot in their GORGEOUS building. Towards the end of our session, the rain cleared and the sun came out. HA! Life! We made the most of our time together and of course snagged photos outside on the way to our cars.

Meeting Rachel and Alex in person felt like meeting up with old friends. They booked me as their wedding photographer last fall so we’ve had time to chat many times, bond over Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, art and music.

Ahead of time I send a questionnaire to my couples to get to know them even more before their engagement session. I learned that Rachel and Alex love to snuggle (that was definitely true), they prefer to be photographed where they feel alone and something they always look forward to is that long hug after a long day. Being around them all of this was felt. The intimacy, comfort and admiration they have for each other shows through every image. It wasn’t forced, they were just able to be themselves and luckily for us, the station was empty! YAY!

Another question I ask is if the couple has any song that describes their relationship or that they just REALLY enjoy together. Rachel said La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives and Shakira. I played this song during the session and the smile on Alex’s face told me IT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN and down it went. They bust out their salsa moves and all I could do was cheer “YASSSSSSSS”. We had so much fun and as if I wasn’t already stoked for their fall wedding, my level of excitement shot through the roof!

Spring Break Pt I | Galway, Ireland | Traveling Photographer

I’m so excited to share our first trip to Ireland with everyone. Hell, it was our FIRST trip to Europe and it was AHHH-MAZING! I can’t say that for the whole planning process though. As if planning a two city international trip somewhere you’ve never been isn’t stressful enough, we were one of those affected by the airline you may or may not have heard about going out of business -WOW Air. Yeah, bummer! After a struggle to get a refund, rearranging our trip and spending 2.5x the amount we did previously, we were on our way to Ireland.

We flew to Ireland on Aer Lingus (lol) and it was honestly one of the best flights i’ve taken. The plane wasn’t packed, we were provided plenty of drinks, snack and a meal and overall the plane was SO spacious.

Once we landed in Dublin, we picked up our rental car and began our two hour drive to Galway. By the way, it is not cheap renting a car BUT if you plan on leaving Dublin, it is necessary and worth it. My husband had the privilege of driving the whole trip. In Ireland the driver is on the right side of the vehicle and you drive in the left lane. If you think this was easy for him, think again. Homeboy was anxious haha.

We arrived to Galway and checked into our charming chalet in the countryside. We were greeted by our host and scones. Yes, some scones and they were damn good! Our chalet was everything we needed and more for our 3 days in Galway. It was clean, perfectly warm for the cold nights and peaceful. I look forward to returning and staying if we are ever in Galway again. Which I certainly hope we are.

Our first day we ended up taking a 5 hour nap and just going about 5 minutes from the chalet to the quay (pronounced key) and getting dinner at The Pier Head Bar & Restaurant in Kinvara. The restaurant is right by the water and driving there you pass a Dunguaire castle. I MEAN IS THIS REAL LIFE?! So from our table we were able to watch the sunset in this cozy restaurant as we waited for our food. For dinner we had salmon in a cream sauce and finished our meal with sticky toffee pudding and black forrest cake. It was a great start to our trip. The salmon was easily the freshest, tastiest that i’ve ever eaten. After dinner, like the old folks we are, we went back to our chalet and prepared for our next day.

Day 02 we drove about an hour away to Bunratty Castle & Folk park. Admission was 17 euros each and we had access to the castle and the cutest folk village that had shops, animals and plenty to see. We spent almost three hours touring the place. The greatest thing for me was just how chill it was. It wasn’t packed as you’d expect everywhere to be during spring break. Many times it felt as if we had the place to ourselves. It was tranquil.

PS- When in Ireland always plan for rain and in our experience - hail. Haha. Seriously. It hailed three times this day for maybe a minute each time.

After all of our walking around we drove to the big Quay in Galway. Here you will find musicians playing in the street and row of pubs and restaurants. It’s a lot busier in this area so there was a bit of traffic and paying for parking (pretty affordable).

Here we had dinner at The Quay’s Bar and Restaurant. We were sat in this cozy corner and listened to the live music playing in the restaurant. Again, it wasn’t crowded which was really nice. Here we ordered the Guinness and beef stew. HOLY SHIT! It was perfection.

Spring Break Pt II | Galway, Ireland | Traveling Photographer

On our final day in Galway we finally got our Irish breakfast at Keogh's Of Kinvara. An Irish breakfast is: sausage, bacon, blood sausage or as they call it pudding, beans, fried eggs, mushrooms and toast. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD! We washed it down with beers because when in Ireland! The place had a real local charm to it. Service was great and friendly.

After our breakfast we drove to Menlo Castle. The castle definitely felt more like an estate but either way it was gorgeous. We had the whole entire place to ourselves and our only company were the birds flying around and chirping. If you think this sounds like a damn fairytale it’s because it was! Take a look and see for yourself.

Our last and final thing on our list for Galway was to hike the Cliffs of Moher. It was a 90 minute drive from our chalet. The trip took us through nothing but country roads and cute villages. If you followed me on instagram throughout my trip I shared some of our excitement for the drive up to the cliffs. By excitement…. I mean terrifying. In Ireland the roads are pretttyyyy narrow. Add on driving on the left side of the road and a series of sharp turns up a corkscrew road and yeah.. TERRIFYING. Once you get there it makes it all worth it. We got lucky with a gorgeous day when we went. It was mid 50’s, sunny and blue skies. The hike is 8 euros per person but if you order your tickets online it is right around 6 euros per person. So buy tickets for anything you can in advance. Even if its just 5 minutes before you arrive or in our case, pulling up to the ticket booth.

Spring Break Pt III | Dublin, Ireland | Traveling Photographer

Off to Dublin but first things first - Scones! The petrol station down the street from our chalet had some of the best scones baked fresh every morning. Oh, and that’s me cranky because I was never able to adjust to the 5 hour time difference and ran on 3-4 hours of sleep. Everything about Dublin is so different from Galway. It’s much more fast paced, taxis can be found everywhere (there is no Uber or Lyft), the streets were filled with people… it reminded me a lot like a smaller, less crowded NYC.

After settling into our airbnb room and napping because that’s how parents roll on vacay, we redeemed our tickets for the Guinness Storehouse. Buy your tickets in advance. I repeat BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE. This goes for pretty much anything in Dublin. These sort of places easily sell out.

My thoughts on the Guinness Storehouse- I could’ve easily done without it on our trip. We did it because it was recommended by many. Honestly in my experience, it was crowded and with it being an unguided tour, felt all over the place. We got through it, learned how to pour Guinness, enjoyed a pint and took a taxi to Temple Bar. Temple Bar is like a quay- a strip of pubs and restaurants and in Dublin people partying in the streets. FYI- keep euros in hand for your taxi rides. We didn’t come across even one that took cards.

Dublin shot on iPhone

For dinner we went to Boxty. Boxty is pretty much a potato pancake. I ordered a boxty filled with beef medallions and topped with a mushroom gravy. It was good but what my husband ordered was INCREDIBLE! He ordered the corned beef over purple potato mash. The corned beef was to die for!! For dessert I ordered the bread pudding. Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts but this bread pudding was unlike anything I had ever tried before. If no-one told you, you’d never think it was also gluten free. If you are ever in Temple Bar and stumble into Boxty, order the corned beef and finish the meal with the bread pudding. You won’t regret it!

Our last and final day in Ireland we went to the Jameson Distillery to do some good ole whiskey tasting. This was our favorite thing we did in Dublin. It was a guided tour with the most lovely, fun guides. The tours were kept to about 16 people so it never felt crowded and we got to sample lots of whiskey.

Our final meal in Ireland was at San Lorenzos and it was pricey but perfect! For dessert afterwards we walked to an Italian cafe called Dolce Sicily. All in all we got pretty lucky and only ate great food in Ireland. The food is incredibly fresh and authentic. My foodie heart was full.

Despite the setbacks during the planning phase of our trip, this was an incredible, memorable experience. Easily our #1 vacation we’ve taken. Ireland was a treat. It was green, peaceful, friendly… it was a paradise of it’s own. I couldn’t recommend Ireland enough. I look forward to the day that we get to return and see more of this beautiful island. Thank you for following along on our adventures.

Wes + Sarah | Intimate Backyard Wedding | Richmond Wedding Photographer | Richmond, Va.

This past weekend I went to Richmond, Virginia to capture Wes and Sarah’s intimate backyard wedding. They couldn’t think of a more perfect place to celebrate their big day than at Sarah’s parents gorgeous home where her and close friends and family share many memories.

The day was photographed completely unprompted and unposed. They wanted genuine moments documented. So I just floated around and documented all of the love I saw.

There was a first look and thank goodness I stay ready for the moments because like I said, it was unannounced and not staged at all. Documentary goodness.

It was pouring rain all morning and afternoon up until five minutes before the ceremony began. TALK ABOUT GOOD LUCK ON A WEDDING DAY!!! Because the rain stopped, the ceremony was able to take place in the backyard. YAY!

A guitarist played Ave Maria as Sarah walked down her aisle and the smile and look of joy on Wes' face flowed like energy through the crowd. The ceremony was short, intimate and meaningful. Close family members read some words before an important vow was read. That vow was read by Sarah to Wes’ daughter. Promises were made like a pantry forever stocked with Mac and cheese and unconditional love.

When the ceremony ended, Sarah and Wes met their super excited friends and family with tons of hugs and laughter.

When I say unposed, there wasn’t even a time blocked off for couples portraits. Sarah’s only request was that I photograph her veil that wrapped around her bouquet. It is vintage lace that has been passed down five generations. WOW!!

Seeing kids at wedding makes me so happy. They’re unpredictable and truly live in the moment which makes for great candids.

After cake and speeches, everyone gathered outside with sparklers for Sarah and Wes’ exit. They left their celebration in a 1950s vintage Rolls Royce because style.

I feel so honored with every opportunity i’m given to capture sacred moments between people. Sarah and Wes’ wedding had one focus and that was - real moments.

Hunter + Kristin | Richmond Engagement Session | Richmond Wedding Photographer

Just a few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon hanging out with and photographing Hunter and Kristin with their two entertaining pups - Quincy and Hank, in their cozy, stylish Richmond home.

After weeks of rainy, cold weather, we got so lucky with a warm, sunny day for their engagement session. The weather was too great to have the whole session indoors so we took off to Libby Hill park and Kristin rocked this amazing rust colored velvet wrap dress. Keep scrolling to see more of this gorgeous couple, their sweet pups and just how beautiful Richmond is.

Kristin and Hunter will be exchanging vows this summer at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and I couldn’t think of a more perfect place for them.

Melanie + Johnathan | National Museum of the Marine Corps | Small Virginia Wedding | Triangle, Virginia | Virginia Wedding Photographer

It is officially wedding season for this gal and my gosh what a perfect start to the season Melanie and Johnathan’s wedding was. The weeks leading up to the wedding, I had many emails, phone calls and texts with Melanie and Johnathan between their busy schedules. Melanie is a flight attendant and Johnathan is a Marine, so having friends and family travel from all over the world for them was a big deal.

I met Melanie at the hotel she was getting ready at and immediately was welcomed by her and her bridesmaids. Melanie’s bridesmaids were so happy and proud to be apart of her day that anything I needed, they were happy to assist. They wanted to be involved and I couldn’t have been happier to have been in their presence.

The wedding took place at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. This was my first time at the museum and I really had no idea what to expect other than the research I had gathered online. UH WOW! The architect, the beautifully maintained grounds and the space. It was more than I could have imagined. Located, tucked in the woods, near the museum was a small chapel where their ceremony was held. Everything felt so intimate, from the small guest count, to the chapel, all the way to the people who were there to celebrate. Their was a sense of closeness and everyone came to have a good time.

I couldn’t be happier for Melanie and Johnathan. Getting to know them over the past few months made it that much more special to meet them on their wedding day. Johnathan wanted nothing more than to make sure Melanie was both happy and comfortable and it showed.

Keep scrolling for happiness, family, fun and Irish dancing.

Can we talk about how stunning this gown is? Melanie’s family is from Spain which had an influence on her gown and custom made veil that came all the way from Spain.