Photographing these together was everything I love about my job, all rolled into one session- a groom who’s utterly enchanted with his fiancée, a bride who fits so perfectly into her beloved’s arms. So much laughter, so much! And to top things off, a ballet-pink tulle skirt by Katherine Elizabeth Bridal, and a floral crown by Holly Chapple. Plus, when we arrived at our second location? There were horses in the field. I like to think that José Villa would be proud of us.

I could not love these two any more- they’re a delight to photograph, and an even greater pleasure to simply know! They’re just so easy together, the way he takes her hand, how she slips her arms around his waist. They’re hilarious together, and I can’t remember an afternoon where I’ve laughed so much while shooting. It just makes SENSE, them being together. Like Audrey Hepburn + Tiffany’s, or Dean Martin and that signature black tux.

Kevin, Arienne, I am so, so grateful for you two. Your engagement session felt more like a rendezvous with two old friends, and if things were this amazing during round 1, I absolutely cannot WAIT for your wedding day! SO much love to you both, I can’t wait for October!

Tulle skirt: Katherine Elizabeth Bridal
Floral crown: Holly Chapple
Hair + make-up: Alison Harper & Co
Mint maxi dress: Donna Morgan

Fine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace PhotographyFine Art Middleburg, Virginia engagement session- Abby Grace Photography

 

  • Shalese - This is SO dreamy! Jose would be super proud. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jean - These are gorgeous photographs, Abby. I love the soft colors, the beautiful couple. You do such a beautiful job with your clients.ReplyCancel

  • Nikki Santerre - These are amazing, Abby! Stunning!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - These are stunning! Something to truly treasure.ReplyCancel

  • Drew - The horses in the background make these pictures look like a dream. Gorgeous! Thanks so much for posting these.ReplyCancel

  • Tina - This is absolutely GORGEOUS Abby! That flower crown, the glow around them and the horses! Love it ALL! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - So, so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Rici - OMG!! This is solo super totally gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

A Practical Wedding Workshop by Abby Grace Photography

The word “honest” is one I’ve had used to describe me lot lately, and at first, I wasn’t sure that was a good thing. “Do they mean ‘blunt?’ Like that weird relative who always says exactly what’s on their mind and makes everyone feel really awkward?” But I don’t think that’s what they mean; I was on the phone with Natalie Franke on Friday, and the way she said it put me at peace; something along the lines of “I love that I can always count on you to be honest and genuine, to tell me what you’re really feeling without pretense or a hidden agenda.” There’s a certain level of trust that kind of honestly usually invokes, so I’m starting to view my honesty and transparency as a strength instead of a burden.

Two and a half weeks ago, I launched registration for two more dates of A Practical Wedding Workshop. Having sold out both previous workshops, I didn’t think there’d be an issue selling seats to this one! So we raised the price of seats by $200 for two reasons: 1) We’re adding a bigger, better styled shoot to these next two dates to give attendees more opportunities to learn and add to their portfolio, and 2) We were looking to make the workshops themselves more profitable. Which is totally fine, because in the end, what we’re running is a business :).

A Practical Wedding Workshop by Abby Grace Photography

What I forgot in the process, though, is WHO the workshop’s geared toward in the first place; newer photographers, people who are still trying to get their footing for a wedding day. Photographers who are often still in the building stages, still trying to figure out how much they should be charging for wedding photography coverage. And if that’s the case, the money they’re spending on workshops is likely much more scarce than someone who’s been in business for several years. By raising workshop seat prices from $550 to $750, I made it much more difficult for my target audience to attend, meaning registrations were practically nonexistent. And that was hard, friends.

In short, I overreached. It wasn’t from a place of selfishness, it really did stem from a desire to provide a better workshop experience. But what’s the point in upping the cost if doing so means I never reach the people who need the workshop the  most? A Practical Wedding Workshop was born out of a desire to help photographers craft a game day plan for wedding days, so that they can stop feeling like they’re drowning and get down to doing what they love most: being CREATIVE. And by pricing the workshop out of their reach, I’ve done us both a disservice.

A Practical Wedding Workshop by Abby Grace Photography

So. What to do from here? The “save face” side of me says it’s probably best to quietly cancel both dates, pretend the whole thing never happened, so that no one knows what a failure this latest change was. That would probably be easier, but in the end, we both end up losing; I don’t get to teach the workshop I’m passionate about, and you guys don’t get to see what failing forward looks like. You know, the concept of stumbling, but learning and growing from the fall?

It’s more important to me to teach a workshop I know there’s a need for, so what we’ve decided to do is take seats back down to the original price of $550. No gimmicks, no “this week only!” special, just a flat-out $200 reduction in cost. Because I want you to come. I want to help make this wedding season your best yet by equipping you with the know-how and game plan you need to blow your wedding clients away. And in case you want a second opinion, APWW Alumni have had some seriously awesome things to say about the workshop-

A Practical Wedding Workshop by Abby Grace Photography

“Hands down, I have to tell you all that this was the BEST investment I have made in my photography business to this day… If you have the chance to attend one of Abby Grace’s workshops, it will be a game changer!” – Jessica Green

“I was not disappointed, as the day filled me to the brim creatively and with fresh and new inspiration and confidence. My approach to the wedding day is now calculated and intentional, and while I will never ultimately be in control, I feel equipped and confident in my abilities – no matter what comes my way.” – Mary Neumann

“This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing. The workshop was everything you promised it would be and I really appreciate that.” – Barbara Shoop

“I walked away from the workshop was a better knowledge of how to stay organized on the wedding day and create successful systems so that I can capture the most in the shortest amount of time possible.” – Chelsea Anderson

A Practical Wedding Workshop by Abby Grace Photography

 

You can find out more information on A Practical Wedding Workshop HERE! And if you’re ready to pull the trigger, pick your date and go!

August 3rd, 2015
November 9th, 2015

Thanks for reading this, friends. I can’t express to you how much I appreciate those of you who’ve been following the blog for any stretch of time.

  • Alicia - Abby, I love your heart and I love your face. You’re amazing. Also the last line of your post made me think about how long I’ve been following you — it was a post about “knowing your worth” in *2011* so I’ve been here almost 4 years which is crazy, just crazy. Before I even wanted to be a photographer, I followed you!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Bradshaw - You are SUCH an example of servant-hearted humility, Abby!! So proud to be your friend!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Love your heart and your HONESTY! :) It takes a lot of courage to admit a mistake and tell everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Janine A. Enold - Hi Abby!

    Thanks for being so honest! You’ve given me a push that I need to be honest about something I failed at recently that I’ve been avoiding. Now to start writing my own blog post . .ReplyCancel

  • Jean - Honesty is always best. You are the best! Love you!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Snare - You are inspiring and encouraging, I look up to you and I appreciate your heart. Thank you for being such a fantastic example!ReplyCancel

So in case you hadn’t noticed, Fridays are now for photographers! My bestie Rebekah used to keep a series called Fotog Friday, but since retiring from the wedding photography world, she’s generously bequeathed the series to me. Woo woo!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a What’s In My Bag post, and I thought it’d be fun to give y’all a peek into what I carry with me for any given Anniversary Experience session. Since I do shoot these sessions with a combination of film and digital, my bag contents look a little different than they would for an engagement session. Let’s dive in!

First up is my Contax 645, a medium format film camera. This camera is my girl crush- the images I produce with my Contax are always some of my favorites! And then, naturally, rolls of film are also included- I shoot with a combination of Fuhi 400H and Portra 800, depending on the light I’m working with.

Also, how cute is this scarf camera strap? I bought it here, and it’s survived two Europe trips and 1.5 years of portrait sessions- I love that it distributes weight more evenly on my shoulder.

What

My light meter never leaves my bag! I’ve come to a point where I’m usually pretty comfortable adjusting my settings without consulting my light meter, but any time I’m going from one lighting scenario to a completely different one (like going from the shade of a tree into direct sunlight), I take a new reading just to get my bearings. This is the Sekonic L-358!

What

Then on the digital side of things, I have my Canon 5Dmk3- this is what I shoot everything that isn’t shot on film with. All of my weddings + engagement sessions are still shot on digital! I’ve tweaked the way I edit to keep it consistent with my film work, though, and I’m a big fan of the result :).

The pink body cap was purchased from my local camera shop, but you can find the same one here. Replacing the standard black body caps with colored ones has made it SO MUCH EASIER to keep track of them!

What

These two lenses are my go-to’s; the 50mm 1.2 and the 85mm 1.2. Approximately 99.9% of my digital portraits are shot with these lenses. And again with the colored back caps- they’re so much easier to find in my camera bag! You can purchase those here!

What

And then all the miscellaneous stuff: a batch of memory cards, an eos chapstick, a few business cards, and some bobby pins floating around the bottom of my bag. I like to keep things simple! The more “stuff” I have to lug around, the less organically I can move from place to place. I don’t bring reflectors with me because then things start to feel a bit too contrived, and I want my couples to feel as relaxed as possible while I’m photographing them.

What about you? What’s in your bag for a portrait session?

  • Jean - Love the scarf and the colored lens caps! You are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Alex Hinders - This is amazing!! I love the scarf AND those color caps!!! Genius!ReplyCancel

This was a wedding that makes it difficult for me to find words to describe. I’ve known Lyn since we were both in elementary school, and I never once imagined that I’d be the one photographing her wedding day. And then on top of that, I never imagined Lyn would turn out to be one of my biggest cheerleaders and the most idyllic #abbygracebride! Everything from their story to their intentional, Christ-centered vows, from their sweet families to the relaxed atmosphere of their wedding day- all of it comes together and makes Corey + Lyn the sort of couple I’d die to photograph every weekend. I often overuse the word “perfect,” but this time, I really mean it. Their wedding day was perfect.

Corey, Lyn, I don’t know what to say. Your joy at finally being Dr. & Mrs. O’Connell, it’s the kind of thing that keeps me doing what I do. Your love of photography and willingness to indulge my whims is something I will always be grateful for, and I can’t thank you enough for welcoming us so warmly as we photographed you and your family + friends! From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Enjoy the beaches of Tahiti this next week!

Stone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace Photographystone-tower-winery-virginia-wedding-photo_0022Stone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace Photography

Lyn’s dad preluded their dance with a small speech, which led into him singing the song they danced to, “My Girl.” And then Corey came in half way through and sang the rest of the song to his new bride- it was the one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever witnessed!!

Stone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace Photography

Convertible wedding gown: how about that for a surprise?

Stone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace PhotographyStone Tower Winery wedding in Leesburg, Virginia | Abby Grace Photography

Details-

Venue: Stone Tower Winery
Coordination & design: Voila Event Studio
Dress: One by Pronovias, via Love Couture Bridal
Shoes: Custom heels by Shoes of Prey
Groom: Vera Wang Black
Bridesmaids: Weddington Way & BHLDN
Florals: Melle Fleur
Hair & make-up: Bridal Artistry
Catering: Grandale Farms
Cake: Nomeka Sours
Band: Amaretto

  • Jean - Beautiful photos. Looks like a perfect wedding.ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah - Wow, these are amazing, as always! I do love the convertible wedding gown. And as a dog-lover of course I love the photos with the adorable dog.ReplyCancel

I sort of accidentally ended up in Aix-en-Provence. I’d been planning to stay in Marseille, but after meeting someone in Italy who told me Marseille wasn’t as romantic as I’d dreamed, I opted for an AirBnB in Aix-en-Provence instead. It’s a good thing, too, because I fell absolutely in love with the place. Despite a terrifying drive into the provincial town (I accidentally turned down a few winding alleys that were barely wide enough to fit a car), it ended up being the most restful leg of my trip. I spent one of my days in Provence driving out to Marseille and Cassis, and I’m absolutely planning on going back- I need time to explore the Calanques de Marseille! For now, though, here’s a taste of the south of France.

Aix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby Grace

This was one of my favorite moments from my trip- I’d set out to wander the streets that morning and ended up stumbling upon a flower market in one of the squares. It was so delightfully unexpected, and just reinforced my love of traveling/wandering sans-guidebook. I never would have found this if I’d stuck to the beaten path!

Aix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby Grace

I think this is my favorite image from the entire trip. This, THIS is what I love about the French- they way they enjoy life, an afternoon lunch break on the rocks of Cassis for the simple pleasure of being in the sun out on the Mediterranean? I love it so much.

Aix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby GraceAix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby Grace

Aix-en-Provence fine art film photographer- Abby Grace

 

  • Sarah Anne Hayes - Ahh! These photos are incredible, Abby! It just makes me want to visit France (and just travel in general) all the more. It’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve been out of the country!ReplyCancel

  • Becca - WOW, these are all gorgeous and really capture the overall atmosphere and culture!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - Sooo much to love in this post! I was just outside of Aix-en-Provence but didn’t actually make it there. Next time! Love the flower market!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Field aka Zmom - Lovely! I loved the shots of Marseille. The colors popped in all of your shots!ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina - oh goodness… I miss it so much. These are beautiful, Abby!ReplyCancel

  • Jean - These are beautiful photos. Love them all!ReplyCancel

  • Allyson - These are so incredibly beautiful…. I could almost smell the salt air and flowers from the market!!! =)ReplyCancel

  • Theresa - Abby, my mother-in-law was literally JUST there in early May! So funny! Looks awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Sydni - I love the slow pace of the French, too! We need that desperately here in the US. I am obsessed with your flower pictures. And I have been dying to go to the south of france!! So jealous!ReplyCancel