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Joe & Wendy- a joy-filled, classic Richmond engagement session

I’ve known Wendy since I was seven years old. She and her family were at the same church where I grew up, and I distinctly remember Wendy being the one to teach me that if you slooowly add in the cheese mix to Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese, instead of just dumping it in all at once, it made for a smoother texture in the end. Culinary genius, I tell you.

She was my babysitter for a while, and things were ALWAYS fun when Wendy was there. She’s got that infectious sort of spirit- reckless in her pursuit of laughter and adventure, pulling you along for the ride in a way that makes you wish you’d hopped on the train long before. So when she told me about Joe, how she’d found the one she was meant to be with, I could only imagine the fun they must have together. And their engagement session was such a testament to how perfect these two are together! Laughing, smiling, kissing and dancing; despite the freezing temperatures and chilling mist in the air, this was one of the warmest engagement sessions I’ve ever had the joy of documenting.

Joe & Wendy, thank you so much for loving as audaciously as you do. Witnessing you together was unspeakably encouraging, and I can’t wait to see you tie the knot!

Fun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace PhotographyFun, classic engagement session in Richmond- Abby Grace Photography

Urška Majer - December 18, 2014 - 3:03 am

Gorgeous!

Rebekah - December 17, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Such beautiful smiles! Great work as always. I also love the way you described this couple. You’re a great writer too!

Jean - December 17, 2014 - 3:09 pm

How sweet! Beautiful photos!

Kathryn Grace - December 17, 2014 - 1:24 pm

I love these!

Mary - December 17, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Swoon!!!! So lovely, Abby! And those shoes!! Amazing!! xoxo

Monday Mash-Up

December’s normally about the time that things slow down for me, but not this year! This year, December’s my most insane month of 2014. I was in Louisiana last week for the Three Nails workshop, today I’m heading out for New York, and then Friday I’ll be heading up to New York again, followed by a short trip to Roanoke. Phew! It’s the best kind of insanity, though, because I’m doing what I love to do! I just need a liiiitle bit more caffeine this week than usual :).

So yesterday was the best day ever. Aside from recovering from recovering from a seriously nasty bout of the flu on Saturday (which was even worse because I was traveling home from Louisiana), we had dinner at Ted’s Bulletin before heading to the Kennedy Center for The Nutcracker! So, last December I mentioned to Matt how I’d really love to go to the ballet with him. He kept that in mind and come November of this year, he bought tickets for this year’s birthday! Ballet West’s party scene was the best I’ve ever seen- it was so playful and fun! Definitely recommend seeing them if they’re in town again next year :).

As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past week:

  • I tried crawfish while in Louisiana- maybe they’re better when they’re in-season, because the ones I had just tasted like shrimp that’d been dropped in dirt. Or is that pretty typical of crawfish?
  • K, so you know how Popeyes’ commercials end with the “Looosiana faaast” jingle? I though that’s how people in LA pronounced their state- “Loosiana” instead of “Lou-wee-siana.” Nope, not at all- and when I said it like the Popeyes commercial, I was corrected REAL fast by a fellow workshop attendee who thought I was making fun of her state. Oops.
  • Things I do not recommend doing the night before you wake up with the flu: eating a box of Hot Tamales cinnamon candy. Without getting too graphic, I became very, VERY concerned that I was bleeding internally for a second when all that red came back up the following morning.
  • You can’t say enough about a flight attendant who goes out of her way to serve you well. I’ve had issues with Delta in the past, but after a flight attendant on Saturday’s trip went out of her way to make sure I had ginger ale and a blanket before the plane even took off, I’m sold. She even sent me off the plane with another can of Canada Dry for my layover in Atlanta!

Here’s a look at the styled shoot portion of the workshop from last week. Way different than my usual fare but it was so good to be challenged to step out of my comfort zone! Also, my mind is totally blown that Hunter styled this entire thing by himself, including hair and make-up. Talk about multi-faceted.

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Lacey - December 15, 2014 - 1:27 pm

love that you got the Loosiana from Popeyes bahaha totally didn’t think you were making fun of my state that’s just my personality can’t believe you didn’t like crawfish

Jean - December 15, 2014 - 12:21 pm

hope you’re feeling better by now. Looking forward to seeing you between your trips to NYC and then here in Roanoke. Travel safe!

Mary - December 15, 2014 - 9:27 am

All I have to say is…..Oooooooo!!!! :) I cannot WAIT to see more from the workshop, this is so different and lovely!! xo

Taylor - December 15, 2014 - 9:10 am

I’m so glad you had a good experience with your flight! I’m a Delta flight attendant & photographer. Love following your blog.

Haley- a wintry ballerina session in Washington DC

Today is the best kind of day- it’s my birthday! And I’m in Shreveport, Lousiana for the TNP workshop- it’s going to be two days full of learning and inspiration, and I can’t WAIT! And you guys know I’m wearing my favorite tulle skirt just to add an extra level of awesome :).

Today is also the best kind of day for another reason- a new ballerina session! I met Haley through Christa, who I met through LeeAnn, who I met through Kaitlyn! I really wanted a wintry/Christmas-y feel to Haley’s session, so she brought along one of the snow scene tutus from the RU dance department’s Nutcracker. Julie of Jewel Hair Design lended her hair expertise and created a stunning ‘do that I’m absolutely crazy about! We shot in and around the Union Station area and even climbed into a dried up fountain that’d been drained for winter. I was pretty sure we were going to get arrested for that one, but the security guys at the Capitol were totally fine with it.

Enjoy this new favorite session of mine! I’m off to prance and shoot around a bayou in a tutu!

Washington DC ballet photographer- Abby Grace Photography

Washington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby GraceWashington DC ballet photographer- Abby Grace

**I’m always on the lookout for new dancers for my #abbygraceballerinas series, so if you know any professional or pre-professional ballerinas ages 18+, please send them my way! Have them send two-three dance photos to me at abby@abbygracephotography.com.**

Kathryn Grace - December 15, 2014 - 8:02 pm

She is like a snowflake in human form! :-) Simply beautiful.

Winter White Ballerina Shoot - December 15, 2014 - 3:25 pm

[…] always LOVE photo shoots with Abby Grace Photography. Getting to work on something that isn’t wedding related but also equally insanely beautiful […]

Mom - December 13, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Oh my goodness!, Abby! These were gorgeous! Your subject is, too. I love how you’ve taken your years of ballet study and performance and parlayed them into photography! Just stunning!

Kaitlyn Phipps - December 12, 2014 - 10:38 am

Oh my gosh! I didn’t know you guys were doing this :] Haley, you look GORGEOUS! And Abby I think this is a new favorite. I love that it’s a little more done up. Can’t wait to see what you do with LeeAnn over Christmas :]

Sami - December 11, 2014 - 9:28 pm

That first image. SO. MUCH. JOY. !!!!! It just makes me smile!!! Awesome job!!

Rebekah - December 11, 2014 - 6:47 pm

These are awesome, as always! I love these sessions.

Jean - December 11, 2014 - 6:27 pm

Oh, these are such beautiful photos, Abby. Love every one of them. Beautiful ballerina, and beautiful setting. What could be better!. Wondered where you were on your birthday. Happy Birthday, beautiful granddaughter!

ashley - December 11, 2014 - 1:57 pm

stunning work as always! :)

Terri Baskin - December 11, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Happy Birthday friend!

Ashley - December 11, 2014 - 1:00 pm

This is such a pretty session! Beautiful girl and beautifully captured!

Lou & Yvonne- an iconic Washington DC black tie wedding at the Omni Shoreham

After having watched both her older sisters tie the knot years previously, it was finally Yvonne’s turn. As she slipped into her Oscar de la Renta gown and her sisters fastened up the buttons, she seemed ready. She was all smiles, not a trace of anxiety- just a sense of assuredness that nothing could shake. That same sense of purpose was clear on Lou’s face as well as he waited at the front of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church- watching the smiles play across both of their faces throughout the ceremony was so sweet! And as we took portraits with the Washington Monument in the background, the place where they met more than five years ago, it was as though things had come full circle. This is just another new beginning!

Lou & Yvonne, thank you. I can’t tell you what an honor it was to spend your wedding day capturing moments you’ll look back on for years and year. I hope Thailand was absolutely incredible!

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Details-

Ceremony: St. Patrick’s
Reception: the Omni Shoreham DC
Coordination: Anne of ATrendy Wedding
Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids: Bill Levkoff
Bridesmaid jewelry: Stella & Dot
Groom: Black by Vera Wang
Florals: Rick’s Flowers
Hair & Make-up: Make-up by Dina
Band: Bachelor Boys Band

Tara Liebeck - December 11, 2014 - 7:08 am

This is so so beautiful!!

Sami - December 9, 2014 - 5:25 pm

LOVE this wedding Abby!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!!!! Would LOVE to hear about what you use to light receptions…they are just as bright & fun as the rest of the day & i love it!

Sarah Bradshaw - December 9, 2014 - 9:25 am

STUNNING!!!

Ashley Mitchell - December 9, 2014 - 9:06 am

Ooooo this is prettyyyy!

Monday Mash-Up

Well hellO again, Monday! We meet again. And dang, it’s good to see you. Why? Because this week is going to be AWESOME! I’m heading out on Wednesday for the Three Nails workshop with Hunter Leone in Shreveport, LA. I can’t wait to be inspired by this guy- his work is crazy awesome. Totally different than my style, but that’s why I’m looking forward to spending two days learning from him!

We had an amazing weekend- Friday night was spent on a secret mission that you guys will find out about on the next Monday Mash-Up, Saturday was spent photographing one of my best friends from high school as he married his sweetheart, and yesterday we has our church leaders’ Christmas party! So much fun to go around. Matt & I checked the local Goodwill for tacky Christmas sweaters but couldn’t find any, and as soon as we walked into our pastor’s house we were accosted by a rule-abiding 11-year old who promptly interrogated us as to WHY we were not wearing sweaters. Oh boy.

As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past week!

  • We mailed out half our Christmas cards! This is the first year we’re doing them and I got REALLY excited about it, but when it came time to address the 100+ cards we’re sending out to friends, family and my clients, I lost a bit of steam. So I’m doing them in batches.
  • Also, I found use for 3-4 books of Harry Potter stamps I’ve been collecting over the past year! I don’t care if Christmas cards are supposed to have holiday-themed stamps- I wanted to use Hogwarts-themed ones.
  • Speaking of Harry Potter stamps, how the heck are you supposed to decide who gets the Voldemort one? Like “hey! Merry Christmas! Here’s a stamp of the most evil wizard ever to walk the literary planet?”
  • I saw this quote outside of an Irish pub and I love it: “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.”
  • Matt bought me a new 1 lb bag of coffee from Starbucks last week and I noticed the bag advises “use within one week of opening.” Uh, I’m sorry, but what kind of coffee fanatic do you think I am that I, alone, can consume an entire pound of coffee beans within 7 days? Yeah, no.

How gorgeous are these bridesmaid dresses and wintry bouquets? Ryan & Kathleen’s wedding was such a sweet affair, I can’t wait for y’all to see the entire thing!

Fredericksburg Christmas wedding- Abby Grace Photogr

Sydni Jackson - December 10, 2014 - 10:16 pm

You have to do Christmas cards in batches, there’s no other way. We’re in ministry and send out 200+ personal cards! Yeesh. I got the Harry Potter stamps too and thought the same thing! You have to send it to someone who will appreciate it, ha.

Mom - December 9, 2014 - 1:53 am

Can’t wait to see more of the shoot. The bouquets are very pretty!

Urška Majer - December 8, 2014 - 12:49 pm

I love your monday mash-ups! And that Voldemort one made me smile!

Mary - December 8, 2014 - 11:25 am

Voldemort stamps go on things like yucky bills and not-fun mail! Ha!

Kayla - December 8, 2014 - 9:59 am

Ahh- your Monday Mash-ups always make me smile. So fun! Have a blast at the workshop, you lucky girl! :)

Jean - December 8, 2014 - 9:34 am

Beautiful photo. Love the wintry bouquets! Did you decorate for Christmas with a Harry Potter theme?

Dad - December 8, 2014 - 9:28 am

I’m first I’m first great as always, that’s all