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Stephanie and Chris got married on their dating anniversary, which happened to be a Tuesday. They rented a house where the entire family could stay, and since all of their guests (their immediate families) were going to be there all week, why not get married on their anniversary (one date to remember, and a date that has meaning BEFORE the wedding – pretty cool!)?
The wedding was short and sweet, and the simple ceremony and celebration were gorgeous. This post is almost a year overdue, so happy almost first anniversary, Stephanie and Chris!

Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding
Northern Neck Virginia Wedding

Posted in Weddings |



Alexandria Engagement – Eva and Ian

I’m REALLY excited to share this for a few reasons.  1. Ian and Eva are JMU Dukes.  2. They were completely laid back about their shoot.  3. They insisted on stopping for a beer AND getting a shot of them in Murphy’s. 4. They were up for a sunset/night session.

Ian and I met our freshman year at JMU where we were both in the same dorm.  Then, he joined Theta Chi and became a fraternity brother of my then future husband.  I didn’t meet Eva until I ran into them at another wedding that I happened to be second shooting last summer, but I’m pretty sure we would have had a lot of fun if we had known each other at JMU. Aside from being fun and having good taste in beer, these two are also champion Cards Against Humanity players.

They wanted to do their shoot in Old Town, because they spent a lot of time there together and Eva spent a good amount of time there while growing up in the area.

OldTown Sunset Engagement

They got a few stares while we were shooting these ones on the dock, because people walking by only saw Ian and Eva posing (I was pretty far away).  And yes, Eva is sticking her tongue out at him.  OldTown Sunset Engagement

“Look how cool this tree is! I’m gonna hang on it.”  “Please don’t. That’s not a good idea.”  Can you guess who said what? OldTown Sunset Engagement

I think their style is pretty perfectly summed up by looking at their shoes (and, who doesn’t love shoes?). OldTown Sunset Engagement OldTown Sunset Engagement

Pit stop at Murphy’s!

OldTown Night Engagement OldTown Night Engagement

My favorite pictures of the night ^

 

If this awesome shoot wasn’t enough, I got to witness Eva’s creative bowling technique afterward.  Thanks guys – can’t wait for the wedding!

 

Posted in engagements | Tagged , , , |



New Products! Complimentary Matted Folios

I’m adding products to what I offer my clients and I’m really excited about it! Some of the new things I’m offering are mini press books (great for portrait albums!), a better selection and larger option for accordion books (currently one of my most popular products), and these amazing matted folios:

matted01

I fell in love with the first one I ordered.  These things have the sturdy feel and classy look of an album, combined with the display ability of a small framed print.  Perfect for desks and shelves.  Like I said, I love them.  They come in five different sizes with lots of cover material options.  I’m so excited about them that I am offering an 8×8 matted folio to the first three clients to book a portrait session with me after this announcement.  Just like I announced on my FB Page, it is the first three clients to book a new session for a date between now and May 6th.  I’m not yet offering these to all clients, so be the first to get one! ($150 Value).

Posted in Business, Gifts |



Maryland Wedding – Victoria + Kenneth

Last summer, I was lucky enough to photograph the wedding of Victoria and Kenneth.  A friend had passed on an email from another friend, asking if I was available to photograph a special and fast approaching wedding.  Victoria and Kenneth planned to be married, but Kenneth’s cancer was progressing rapidly.  They decided to plan the wedding quickly, and with a lot of help from some great friends and family, they were able to pull together a beautiful day.

If that wasn’t enough, the day of their wedding temperatures shot through the roof.  The power had gone out in huge portions of the city, and their wedding venue told them the morning of that there was no power, and the wedding would have to be held somewhere else.  If you ever wonder if brides and grooms sometimes get lost in all the details and lose track of what is most important on their wedding day, some of them do.  Victoria and Kenneth did not.  The hotel where all of their guests were staying agreed to let them get married in the breakfast room.  They put up curtains to block other guests from entering, friends set up a buffet where the hotel would usually set out a continental breakfast, and the DJ set up on a table in the back corner.  Victoria was still all smiles.  She just wanted to marry Kenneth.

When I met Kenneth, his smile might have been bigger than Victoria’s.  He was laughing, joking, and making some of the funniest facial expressions.  He seemed to lighten up the room, and everyone around him.

RizzoColes-1

I love this set of pictures – it helps show Kenneth’s fun personality. RizzoColes-2

Victoria looks so happy!  Nothing could bring them down and rightfully so – the day was absolutely perfect. RizzoColes-24 RizzoColes-14

One of VIctoria’s bridesmaids made Kenneth a Cowboys cake.  I cringed when I saw that (Steelers fan here!), but what a surprise! RizzoColes-3 RizzoColes-20

You can see so much love between the two of them in these looks. RizzoColes-19

I’m so thankful I had the chance to meet Kenneth and to share such a wonderful day with the two of you, your families, and your wonderful friends.  You two have something very special, and everyone can see it.

Sadly, Kenneth recently passed away on February 2 of this year.  When Victoria told me, I asked her if it would be okay to write this post, and she gave me the following to include:

“He is wonderful, we were over the moon happy. We thought our wedding was perfect. We cherished every moment we had.
We lived every vow. We both knew how much we each loved the other.
He was beyond good looking – so cute.

He had a great smile and laugh – always a gentleman. Always treated me like a queen – I was the most important person to him. We brought out the best in each other.”

 

RizzoColes-21

Posted in Weddings |



Molly + Mel – Arts Club of Washington Wedding

Before I get into wedding details, I just want to write a little bit about Molly and Mel.  When I first started playing rugby with NOVA (which is actually celebrating its 30th anniversary tonight!), Molly and Mel both helped me out.  These two are great people; the kind of people you wish there were more of walking around.  They are both absolutely brilliant, funny, caring, and fun to be around.  Even though I don’t get to see them very often (as is the case with almost all of my friends), I want them to know what a privilege it was to be at their wedding.  Mel might roll her eyes at this, but you two really are special, both individually and as a pair.  Seeing you two together makes me so happy!

Molly and Mel were married at the historic Arts Club of Washington.  The I Street Mansion was formerly the home of President James Monroe.  The Arts Club has monthly, rotating exhibits and is one of over 25 clubs like it around the world.  Members of these clubs are able to visit the other locations and even stay overnight at those with accommodations.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t think I would be able to make all of the dinners, lunches, and make use of the amenities it offers, or I would already be a member!

The wedding was gorgeous and stylish.  Mel’s dress was J.Crew and Molly’s was Augusta Jones.  They had coordinating custom clutches by SylSyl on Etsy and Molly’s fascinator was by Tessa Kim.  They encouraged guests to dress for the garden party wedding with hats and fascinators, and their guests enthusiastically obliged.  This was a gathering of some truly fabulous people.  The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a blast.

This was my favorite seat in the entire building (yes, I had a favorite):

The girls got ready next door at the Hotel Lombardy, another historic building.  It has a very distinct 1920’s style that I loved, and was totally fitting for this wedding.  Molly and Mel got ready together with some of their friends.  They just wanted a relaxing day before the wedding, so they hung out, drank some champagne, and Skyped with friends who couldn’t make it in person.

Prep1

Their colors and details were so bright, cheerful, and personal.

Details1

Check out those lovely flowers by Artisan Lily!  I can’t remember the name of these roses, but they essentially have three centers.

Details2

We were able to get some portraits done in the back garden where the ceremony was held, and then we moved inside before the guests arrived.

Portraits1

Above is my favorite picture, taken in a beautiful bay window upstairs, looking out over I Street.

Ceremony1

Ceremony2

Reception1

Cocktails were upstairs while the garden was changed over for dinner.  After dinner, the party moved inside with some dancing!

Reception2

 

Reception3

Thank you both so much for having me as your photographer!

Thanks to Kenny Newman for second shooting with me.

Vendors:
Venue and Catering
The Arts Club of Washington (Washington, DC)

Bakery
Fluffy Thoughts (McLean, VA)

Floral
L’Artisan Lily (McLean, VA)

Men’s Attire
Sarno and Sons at Hannelore’s Bridal Boutique (Alexandria, VA)

Dresses
Mel’s – J.Crew Silk Cotton Estate Gown
Katie – JCrew “Sophia” Dress in Silk Tricotine
Molly – Augusta Jones “Tia” in Ivory Silk Charmeuse

Hair and Makeup
The Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel 

Accessories
Clutches – Molly and Mel – SylSyl on Etsy, Katie – SimplyChicJewels on Etsy
Molly’sFascinator – “Josephine” fascinator by Tessa Kim

Rings
Engagement – Mel’s – Vintage,  Molly’s by Brilliant Earth
Wedding – Both by Brilliant Earth

Posted in Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , |



Meg + Justin: Omni Bedford Springs Resort Wedding

So, this is so long overdue that is it kind of ridiculous.  Meghann and Justin were married at the GORGEOUS Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, PA.  This place is a dream – both for weddings and to just visit.  They were planning on an outdoor wedding ceremony, but unfortunately it began to rain.  We were able to get a few outdoor shots of the bridesmaids before the rain started, but that was about it.  You know how sometimes when an original plan doesn’t work out, you can actually tell?  That was not the case here.  The indoor location for the ceremony was absolutely perfect.  Perfect lighting, perfect setup, and it felt like it was the plan from the very beginning.  While the location is beautiful no matter where you are; in guest rooms, the spa, the foyer, or the ballrooms, I think a lot of this had to do with the amazing care and attention that Bryan Stiffler gave to every last detail and ensuring everything was perfect.  (It might be worth considering having your wedding here just so you can work with Bryan…)

But back to Meg and Justin!  Meg looked stunning in her gown.  She wore it strapless for the ceremony and then attached the halter strap for the reception.  These two are just so perfect for each other.  We got some pictures of them together without seeing each other before the ceremony, and it was like you could feel the anticipation throughout the entire room.  They held hands around the door, and I was definitely not the only person in the room tearing up (ahem…. Anita…..).  When Justin finally saw Meg coming down the aisle, he couldn’t have had a bigger smile on his face.  Some people seem nervous on their wedding day, but Meg and Justin just seemed incredibly happy and in love.  My face hurt from smiling at them so much, and if you look at the picture from right after the ceremony, as they are leaving hand in hand, you can really feel their happiness.  How can you not smile at that?

You guys are so awesome and were just so amazing. Thank you so much for having me there to celebrate with you.

 

Thanks to Kenny Newman for second shooting, Carmen Rodas for assisting, and the Omni Bedford Springs Resort staff for being so wonderful and helpful!

Posted in Weddings | Tagged , , , , |



2012

I was going to do twelve months of change, but I thought that my resolutions shouldn’t really be about necessarily changing, but improving.  I’m happy with the person I am, and twelve months of improvement seems like a better fit.  A lot of times resolutions are very vague, like, “I’m going to get in shape,” or, “I’m going to be a better person.”  I want to make my improvement goals specific, but I also don’t think I need to make them restrictive – I want to improve my health by doing something every day rather than lose 10 pounds.  I may not push myself as hard without a specific number in mind, but I’m okay with that.  I want to be able to measure my progress by striving to do something a certain number of times, whether it is daily or weekly or just once, but as far as the end result, I just want improvement.

I have a plan for the new year, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it if my plan changes or if I need to adapt it.  I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to change/break a habit.  I don’t know if this is true, and I’m not even going to look it up (researching is an obsession of mine).  I’m just going to go with it.  My plan is to start one small, positive improvement each month in the following categories:  physical health/nutrition, finances, and personal growth.  If it does take 30 days to change/break a habit, then focusing on one small thing for 30 days should make these things more likely to be lifestyle changes than temporary fads.  My small improvements may not seem impressive, but if I can look back at the end of 2012 on all the improvements as a whole, I think I will be proud.  If I don’t follow through some months, or if I can’t succeed in making improvements in every category, I’m okay with that.  I will definitely try my best, but if at the end of 2012 I have only accomplished one real improvement, that is still something, and it means I have still succeeded somewhere.

Some ideas I have are below:

Physical health/nutrition –
We eat a lot of organic, but we also eat a lot of McDonalds.  I do okay exercising but am very inconsistent.  I just went through my second pregnancy and it was a pretty rough on me physically, so I want to get where I feel fit and have more energy, but I also have a family now that I want to raise to eat and be healthy.
•    Not keeping store bought sweets in the house (ice cream, cookies, etc.)
•    Eating a vegetable serving every day, other than salad (I always convince myself that lettuce counts…)
•    Exercising in some form every day (and this does not include doing curls with my full grocery bags while I am walking from the car to the house – am I the only one who does that?)
•    Lowering my intake of processed foods by picking a few foods to switch out at a time
•    Limit eating/ordering out to a specific number – maybe once every other week (this will also go under finances)

Finances –
We need to work on our spending.  I don’t spend much money on clothes anymore, but vet and car bills have more than replaced that!
•    Create a family budget
•    Limit eating/ordering out
•    Try to refinance our mortgage
•    Organize everything we don’t use/need and sell as much as possible on Craigslist or to a consignment shop

Personal Growth –
This is kind of a catch all category for me.  I want our family to be more “green,” I want to do more together as a family, and I want to make sure I am spending enough time on things that I am interested in so that I don’t lose my sense of self.
•    Read the Bible
•    Start composting
•    Do one thing each day that makes someone else’s day easier
•    Do one outing a week as an entire family
•    Learn a new aspect of photography just for fun
•    Photograph something each week, not including family, just for fun
•    Meditate for a certain amount of time every day

Those are just some ideas.  I would love to hear other ideas, if anyone wants to share them with me in the comments – I’m open to trying new things!  Keep in mind that I’m not doing all of these things at once.  I will try to make the improvements in one month, hopefully get used to following them, and then continue to follow them without focusing on them the next month.  More than anything I want to feel good and make positive improvements.  Some may be more significant than others – I might be able to stick to a family budget, but maybe I don’t do so well giving up on my ice cream indulgence.  I’m okay with that.

I know most of this seems to having nothing to do with my business, but I believe being happy and healthy has EVERYTHING to do with running a business and being successful.  The less time I spend worrying about money, health, diet, you name it, the more time I will be able to spend helping my clients.  I also think clients want to deal with confident, happy, and balanced people, no matter what the business is.  While I consider myself a happy person, I have a lot of room to improve in my life!  I think this is all about balance, and I’m not afraid to fail.  A recurring theme in writing this is, “I’m okay with that.”  This is because the one thing I am going to focus on all year long is not being hyper-critical of myself.  I may slip up and curse if I notice a grammatical error after I post this, but I’m okay with that!

Posted in Personal |



2012 Photo Shoot Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Brenda for winning the 2012 Photo Shoot contest!!

Thanks to everyone who entered and voted, and remember even those of you who didn’t win can still take advantage of a free 8×10 print if you book a session with me in 2012.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized |



I’m excited to announce that this month I am running a contest to win a free photo shoot!  Anyone can enter, and you can use the shoot for family portraits, engagement photos, headshots, or whatever you like (within the bounds of the law and good taste)!*  All entrants need to write a little paragraph about themselves and why they should win the free shoot.  Then, I will post all the entrants here on my blog.  Voting will be held for ten days, and whoever gets the most Facebook “likes” wins!  The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Anyone who enters but doesn’t win the free shoot can still receive a “prize” in the form of a free 8×10 print if they book a session with me in 2012.

I will be accepting entries this week until the end of the day on December 9.  To enter and to receive more details about the contest, email me at info@ekatephotography.com.  Please include your name(s), best way to reach you, and your blurb to be posted on the blog.  Make sure to state why you want photos and why you should win!

 

*Winner will receive credit for a free 2 hour photo shoot to be used in 2012.  Date and time are subject to my availability.  Shoot location will be worked out between myself and the contest winner, but will be local.  No more than 10 people in the shoot if you are entering as a family or group.  If you have any questions about this, feel free to email me.

Visit this page to view the entries and vote!

Posted in Anniversaries, Business, Children, engagements, Families, Seniors |



Fairfax Portraits – Megan = Beast

Megan got in touch with me months ago (thanks for the referral, Patch!) about having a photo shoot in November after she finished up the Lean Eating program from Precision Nutrition.  She didn’t want to just do your average, every day portraits, but wanted something more active and athletic.  I asked her for information about the program and this is what she had to say:

The program I am doing is called Lean Eating, through the Precision Nutrition website.  It’s a year-long program that helps people become more lean through exercise, nutrition, and daily lessons on healthy living.  Everyone is assigned a coach, and then the cohort of women who are working with that coach can communicate through online forums.

She pretty much loves the program, calling it “super-awesome” and said these photos were a way to cap off the experience and commemorate it.  Now Megan is in the running to win some major cash for having the best transformation.  Please help her out by going to this website and voting for her before December 6 (she is finalist #2):  http://www.precisionnutrition.com/finalists-women-jan-2011

Megan was nice enough to come out my way so that I wouldn’t have to leave the babies for too long.  We shot at a local high school, and these are some of my favorites:

^creative direction by Kaitlin Joerger on this one.

Posted in Uncategorized |