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Chris & Shan- New York City Anniversary Experience in Manhattan

He remembered her from high school, despite the fact that they were in different grades. So that first night they formally met, the night she found him sitting on the counter in her parents’ home in Army fatigues, unbeknownst to her? She was no stranger to him. They became best friends before they were anything else, and it wasn’t until Chris told Shan that he was shipping out for Afghanistan that she realized she might just be in love with him. So she wrote to that boy. And he wrote back. ”Not a week went by that I didn’t receive a phone call or a letter,” she recalls. Eventually, they both realized they were better together, and it took a mere three months of dating for Chris to ask Shan to be his wife.

And now here we are, honoring their seventh wedding anniversary! With a sweet four-year-old at home, it’s been a while since they’ve had time for celebrating just the two of them. Time to cuddle up, to press pause on the rest of the world, to flirt, to rejoice in the fact that it began with just the two of them.

Chris & Shan, it was an absolute dream to spend time with you both in such an iconic place. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for affording me such a joy! Getting to know you two and hearing more about your love story left me walking on cloud nine. Happy seventh anniversary! I’m so grateful to have been able to celebrate this with you!

New York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City rooftop lounge anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City Central Park anniversary session- Abby Grace Photography

And since so many of you have asked for Shan’s outfit details:
Black dotted dress: Eliza J, via Nordstrom
Black tulle skirt: Space 46

Emilia Jane - October 21, 2014 - 11:34 am

So beautiful!!

Rici - October 18, 2014 - 4:27 am

These are really quite wonderful Abby! Live Shan´s outfits!!! <3

Nikki Santerre - October 17, 2014 - 9:25 pm

Incredibly iconic, Abby! These images are amazing!

Deborah Zoe - October 15, 2014 - 6:16 pm

these are simply GORG Abby!! Makes me really excited for my NYC sessions next month:)

Rebekah - October 15, 2014 - 4:54 pm

Ahh, these are so gorgeous! I LOVE your anniversary sessions. To me they’re just as sweet or sweeter than weddings. :)

Urška Majer - October 15, 2014 - 10:53 am

So gorgeous & classic!

Juliann - October 15, 2014 - 10:22 am

Deets on her outfits, please! Love the first dress!

Morgan - October 15, 2014 - 10:00 am

A-MAZ-ZING. They are BEAUTIFUL. The photo’s and the people!

Lauren Swann - October 15, 2014 - 9:49 am

Oh Abby, this is gorgeous, girl! So you!! Xo!

Tuesday Mash-Up

Good moooorning, Neverland! Hook is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I’ve been pining to watch it for weeks but we haven’t been able to find it anywhere! Matt finally managed to track down a copy and we settled in on Friday night to watch it, and despite the fact that it’s been 10-15 years since the last time I saw Hook, I still remember all my favorite lines. “Oh THERE you are, Peter!” and “You need a mother very, VERY BADLY!” Let’s just all agree Hook‘s the best iteration of the Peter Pan story, ok?

It’s October, which means wedding season is in full swing. I’ve been running around like a crazy person, but it’s been amazing! Fall tends to be when I travel most for portraits, and with a quick trip up to Manhattan last week for Chris & Shan’s Anniversary Session, I was loving life. New York City is my #1 favorite US destination for portrait sessions, and fortunately for me my couples share the same love of the city! I’m so dang excited to share this particular Anniversary Session with you guys, look for that on the blog this week!

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

  • I always seem to forget that New Yorkers like to keep to themselves/aren’t as friendly as I’m accustomed to. See, on the running trails in northern VA, if you pass someone, you either briefly wave or say “morning/afternoon/evening.” Yeah, that same courtesy doesn’t fly in Central Park- people just look at you like you’re a weirdo.
  • Something else to note when in Central Park: people who are walking their dogs don’t take kindly to you exclaiming “puppy!” every time one walks past. Yes, Abby, it’s a dog. Get over it and let them get on with their walk.
  • To the sure-to-be copyright-infringing characters in Times Square: PUT YOUR FREAKING MASKS/HEADS BACK ON. There’s little more disturbing than seeing a bunch of headless Mickie & Minnies walking around counting out the dollar bills they’ve made from tourists. It felt like I was watching Winnie the Pooh do drugs or something.
  • I had my first Philly Cheesesteak ever last week!…purchased from a Falafel food truck… topped with Greek Tzatziki sauce. Gosh, I love New York.

Previews! One from Chris & Shan’s Anniversary Session in New York…

New York City anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

One from Jacob & Courtney’s wedding this past weekend…

Washington DC wedding photographer

One from a Central Park ballerina session with Georgina…

New York City ballerina photographer- Abby Grace

And one from this morning’s Anniversary Session with Scott & Chelsea! Ahhh, I’m dying over these two!

Washington DC anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

Sydni Jackson - October 15, 2014 - 10:15 pm

Sooo not exactly a Philly cheese steak then, huh? ;) Tip: When in Philly, don’t ever order a “Philly” cheese steak. Made that mistake when I first moved here. #newb. Courtney & Jacob….WOW! Can’t wait to see the rest! And yes, Hook the best!!!

Mary - October 15, 2014 - 9:44 am

this makes me miss living so close to NYC! Also, my husband has been quoting Hook non-stop lately! Haha

Kathryn Grace - October 14, 2014 - 11:33 pm

Ooh! Can’t wait to see more of all of these!

courtney - October 14, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Abby – Hook is available on Netflix I believe – the Kids were just watching it on Roku last weekend : )

Love the photo of Courtney and Jacob – it doesn’t even look like the middle of Arlington!

Nick & Nicole- an Annapolis engagement session on the Bay

This particular engagement session has been seven years in the making. As high school sweethearts, Nick & Nicole have weathered quite a bit- four years of long-distance dating throughout college isn’t for the faint of heart. But you can tell, just by watching them, that the passing years haven’t done anything to dull the sparks- there’s an easiness in the way they interact that suggests a years-long familiarity, but her face still lights up in that “at first blush” kind of way when he looks at her. And his brown eyes still crinkle when he smiles in her direction. Seven years in the making, and they’re absolutely crazy for one another.

Nick & Nicole, I am SO glad that we crossed paths! I sometimes worry that years down the road the sparks of romance inevitably fade, but you both are living proof that that notion simply doesn’t hold water. It was a joy to spend the morning watching and documenting your love! I’m SO excited for next June!

PS- for those of you who think Nicole looks familiar, you’re right! She was a bridesmaid in William & Meg’s wedding in May, and now it’s these two’s turn!

Annapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace PhotographyAnnapolis engagement session on the Chesapeake Bay- Abby Grace Photography

Jean - October 9, 2014 - 10:07 am

beautiful photos, Abby. Love the light and the beautiful colors in the background. Beautiful couple makes it complete.

Nicole - October 9, 2014 - 9:05 am

Abby – you are so amazing!! I can’t begin to tell you how much I am in love with these!! Thank you for everything!

Tim& Cristina- a chic black, white and gold wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science

The term “love with abandon” comes to mind with Tim & Cristina- I lost count of the number of times he twirled her in her wedding gown during their first look. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her- it’s the way every girl dreams of being looked at, with the eyes of first love every time he glanced her way. No matter how crowded the room, it seemed they kept forgetting everyone else was there. Caught entirely up in each other, in the moment, in the enchantment of their wedding day, it was just them; a bride and a groom, madly in love, determined to cherish every single moment.

Tim & Cristina, days like September 27th, 2014, and couples like you two are the very epitome of why I fell in love with this life in the first place. Your sweet, sweet love is such a precious thing to witness, and I’m so lucky to have been the one to document your wedding day! I hope marriage so far is nothing short of bliss, and that the shores of Greece are everything you dreamed and more!

Chic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Chic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace Photography

DC_black_tie_wedding_Carnegie_0049Chic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Chic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Chic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyChic black tie wedding at the Carnegie Institution of Science, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Details-

Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science
Coordination: Kelley Cannon Events
Catering: Spilled Milk
Dress: Anna Maier via Hitched Bridal Couture
Shoes: custom design from Milk & Honey
Florals: Helen Olivia
Groomsmen: Brooks Brothers
Hair & Make-up: Modern Bridal Studio
Deejay: Chris Laich Music

Rici - October 18, 2014 - 5:20 am

Beautiful Abby! The first look is truly touching! & I love their venue! OMG!

Emilia Jane - October 17, 2014 - 11:40 am

Love. Love love love.

Lauren Swann - October 8, 2014 - 11:50 am

This is absolutely GORGEOUS! It’s amazing!!

Urška Majer - October 7, 2014 - 1:34 pm

Wow! What a gorgeous wedding :)

Shalese - October 7, 2014 - 12:17 pm

The twirling pictures are still my favorites . . . all of them! Just kidding. They’re all my favorites. And just looking at those donuts makes my mouth water!! Best little things ever!

Sarah Bradshaw - October 7, 2014 - 11:34 am

This is your brand, to a “t”. LOVE IT!!

Jean - October 7, 2014 - 11:22 am

gorgeous photos, Abby. I love the expressions on this bride’s face. Pure joy! Beautiful venue! WOW!

kaitlyn phipps - October 7, 2014 - 11:21 am

abby this wedding is so YOU! and your detail shots were on point!

Monday Mash-Up

Hellooooo! And happy Monday! I accidentally made my coffee uber strong this morning, so I’m pretty cracked out at the moment. The eyelid twitch has yet to set in, but I don’t doubt it’sa comin’ for me.

So, this weekend. Where can I even begin? I photographed my first Indian/Nepalese wedding and it was one of the most life-giving days I’ve experienced as a wedding professional. See, going into it, Megan (one of my awesome interns!) & I knew we’d been shooting for 12 hours. Normally I’m pretty shattered at the end of a 9 hour wedding day, so I was a little worried about making it through with energy to spare for this past weekend. As such, we prepped ourselves with Gatorades, plenty of Luna bars, Cheez-Its and Sour Patch Kids on hand. And miraculously? I felt even BETTER at the end of Neal & Sweta’s wedding than I usually do after most 8-hour days! I was seriously praising God all day yesterday- I even had enough energy to run an 8-miler after church!

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

  • Last Friday was officially Mean Girls Day, so I posted an IG to celebrate the occasion. PLEASE go look at this photo and read the ensuing hashtags of quotes.
  • Things I do not recommend doing: getting less than 6 hours of sleep, followed by waking up at 4:30am, followed by running 20 miles, followed by not-napping and staying up until midnight, followed by another early wake-up at 4:15 am the next morning. But someone, all of that worked in my favor, because Nick & Nicole’s engagement session was PERFECT. Probably a result of their overwhelming adorableness together.
  • Look at this photo and tell me that Lily isn’t actually a house elf. I actually wanted to name her Winky but Matt wouldn’t let me, so we settled on a less-obvious nod to HP with the name Lily. I sometimes call her Winky anyways, though. She just…doesn’t respond.
  • I spent THREE HOURS yesterday searching high and low for the perfect pair of fall boots to replace my current ones (the soles have started to separate, I think they’re trying to tell me “it’s time”). Nothing. Maybe I should just take my old pair to the cobbler?
  • What is it about chilly fall mornings that makes me want to do nothing but curl up under a blanket with a book? I can finally break out my warm fuzz slippers again!

This week should be a good one on the blog! An exquisite Carnegie Institution wedding, a sweet engagement session, and tips for traveling! Stay tuned :).

One more preview of this weekend’s wedding!

Washington DC fine art wedding photographer

Alicia Lacey - October 6, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Still laughing about the Winky bullet — Miss Lily definitely has the cutest ears that qualify her as a house elf!! Oh and this wedding? Cannot wait!!

Rebekah - October 6, 2014 - 4:23 pm

I can’t wait to see the Indian/Nepalese wedding!!! And I’m excited to be wearing my fuzzy socks again too! Additionally I tried a PSL for the first time last week & I must say I thought of you b/c I seem to remember you saying you don’t actually like them either. I sure didn’t. I figured the pumpkin spice would cover up the coffee taste but it didn’t (I don’t like coffee).

Caili - October 6, 2014 - 3:18 pm

I’m sorry…but I just can’t get over the fact that you drink coffee now!!! xoxo

Shalese - October 6, 2014 - 10:08 am

Whoa, I felt better than usual after my first Indian wedding, too! I think it was because most of the wedding took place on carpeted ballroom floors. And because it was all so new and interesting to witness!! So excited to see all the pictures!

I would totally try to find someone who re-soles boots. Once they’re broken in, they’re a treasure!!

Abby - October 6, 2014 - 9:52 am

Fall boots suggestion — Naturalizer! I swear by them.

Sarah Beth - October 6, 2014 - 9:40 am

Totally read through those hash-tags on mean girls day, and LOLed. SO GOOD. Can’t wait to see more from this wedding! SO colorful- loving it.