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Featured!

I know, I know- this isn’t the most riveting kind of blog post in the world, but hey! I think it’s worth celebrating whenever a blog or magazine editor deems my work worthy of publishing. So we’ll trudge on through, and then I promise- tomorrow’s post will be less “LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING THINGS I’VE DONE” and more educational. Shall we begin? Wonderful!

We haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so excuse me while I play catch-up :).

First off, this is something I should have posted like… LAST January, but it’s still just as exciting now! I was fortunate enough to be selected two years in a row to be a part of the limited list of recommended vendors in Washingtonian Bride & Groom magazine! It’s such a trip to have my name appear on the same list of people like Abby Jiu and Katie Stoops, and I’m incredibly grateful for the Washingtonian for including me.

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John & Emily’s wedding was just featured on Southern Weddings on Monday! Huge bucket list item, right there!

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Ware & Liz’s elegant, classic wedding was one of the very first features on Black Tie Bride- such an honor!

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Eddie & Priyanka’s lavish garden affair was up on the Washingtonian wedding blog. I love these two!

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James & Deanna’s English countryside wedding appeared on my favorite UK wedding blog, Rock My Wedding

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Tyler & Ashley’s sweet Virginia wedding found a home on Heart Love Weddings. I love how much of an emphasis the ladies at HLW put on telling the couple’s STORY- go read Tyler & Ashley’s love story, it’ll make your heart melt.

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The new Virginia wedding blog, Marry & Bright, featured Chris & Alyssa’s wedding day! I’ll never get over how gorgeous her dress was.

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David & Heather’s military wedding at the Naval Academy was so well-loved that it made its way onto Bayside Bride AND Project Wedding!

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I was thrilled to see my film images from Paris make their way onto Charm City Wed for their Vacation Destination series. Paris, I love you.

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Also appearing on Charm City Wed is Billy & Jenny’s sweet, colorful engagement session in Ocean City!

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Jeff & Tracy’s lovely selves were featured on the hippest DC wedding blog around, Capitol Romance :).

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And rounding things out with a bang is the United With Love post featuring images from the Southern Soirée.

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I need to do these posts more frequently so that I’m not trying to catch up on 8+ months of features. But look at you! You made it all the way to the end!

Oh, and last but not least- I’ll be hosting an open Q&A today at 3pm EST within the Shoot & Share Facebook group and I would LOVE to see you there! We’ll be chatting about everything from branding to workflow to blogging, so feel free to hop in and ask about anything you like. Can’t wait to see you there!

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Happy Wednesday!

Terri Baskin - January 25, 2014 - 7:17 am

Congrats! You’re so very deserving of every honor!

Bree - January 22, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Hippest DC wedding blog, eh? ;) thanks for including us in the round up and congrats on all the amazing features! #hustler

Jean - January 22, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Congrats, Abby! You are amazing!

Rebekah Hoyt - January 22, 2014 - 11:23 am

GIRL! So proud of you – these are all such amazing accomplishments!

Tyler & Ashley- an anniversary session in New York City

I’ve come to believe that New York City is the most magical place on earth during the Christmas season. Well, to be honest, New York City is pretty magical during any time of year, but Christmas time is esPECIALLY enchanting. All those lights, the FAO Schwartz decked out in garland, the horse drawn carriages in Central Park bedecked in jingle bells, all of it comes together for one idyllic wintry experience that warms you to the core. Perhaps it was because of the Christmas-y atmosphere that Tyler & Ashley chose New York City as the destination for their celebratory weekend in honor of six month of marriage! And what better way to celebrate than with portraits in Central Park?

You might recognize these two from their destination engagement session or sweet, rustic wedding last June- they’re also the faces behind the newly rebranded Herrinton Weddings! Tyler & Ashley are incredibly talented photographers and videographers, and I’m so excited to watch their business blossom like crazy.

Tyler, Ashley, you guys are such a blast. Thank you for spending a bit of your weekend away with Matt & I. It’s ALWAYS a joy to see you both, and I feel so lucky to have had a third opportunity to photograph you guys!

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

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

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

kaitlyn phipps - January 17, 2014 - 11:51 am

i love every single one! two amazing people in the best city on earth plus abby grace? fantastic.

Ashley Herrinton - January 17, 2014 - 10:38 am

EEEKKK! Thanks for sharing these! Love them!!

Caili - January 17, 2014 - 9:14 am

I looooove their style! Adorable couple. Seriously adorable couple.

Annamarie - January 17, 2014 - 8:49 am

Tyler and Ash you two are the cutest!! I love these! Beautiful shots, Abby!

Emilia Jane - January 17, 2014 - 8:29 am

Beautiful!

Mary Kate- a soft, romantic Washington DC ballerina session

Thank the Lord for Facebook. I complain about it being a time suck, but it’s really been such a magnificent tool for staying in touch with friends from years past. Mary Kate and & I both danced at Conservatory Ballet when we were younger, and Mary Kate went on to major in dance at Butler. Fortunately for me, she was home for Christmas break and had a bit of time to spare for a shoot in DC. Nevermind that the Lincoln Memorial was swarming with tourists and the wind was whipping in and out out something fierce- Mary Kate was as poised and graceful as ever.

Ballerina sessions are such a source of joy for me! Having the chance to document something so innately beautiful and elegant steals my breath away- I feel absolutely connected to my work when I’m photographing ballerinas, and I swear I could fly afterwards. Mary Kate, THANK YOU for giving me the chance to spend afternoon with you. The gawping tourists and bone-chilling winds were so worth it, I can’t wait to shoot together again!

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington_DC_ballet_photographer_019Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

P.S. I’m always on the lookout for new ballerinas to photograph, so if you’re an active dancer and at least 18 years old, I’d love to talk!

Annamarie - January 23, 2014 - 9:58 pm

I’ve been so busy that I’ve missed these beautiful ballerina sessions until now, but all I have to say is HOLY MOLY!!! THIS IS YOUR CALLING! These are absolutely breathtaking! So much poise and elegance! These make me wish I hadn’t quit ballet when I was 7! haha…I know a couple of ballerinas who live in various places if you want more contacts!:)

james Kronzer Jr. - January 21, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Amazing, beautiful and poetic. Very proud of my niece!!

Jean - January 15, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Outstanding photos! These are so beautiful! Great job, my lovely granddaughter!

Sarah Beth Tapanes - January 15, 2014 - 9:05 am

Goodness gracious, Abby! This is like something out a dream- like most all of your shoots :) So full of beauty. You’re amazing!

Rici - January 15, 2014 - 3:34 am

These are just lovely/AMAzing!!! Beautiful Abby!!
Love the one where she is seated.
~ Saluti.

Jess - January 14, 2014 - 6:36 pm

I shot with a wonderful local dancer awhile back and it was the most amazing shoot of my life! Like you said, I was connected and completely consumed.

I will pass your name along to her, she’a such a joy to work with!

Emily - January 14, 2014 - 6:23 pm

So so beautiful!

Caitlin Gerres - January 14, 2014 - 3:47 pm

They’re all so gorgeous, Abby! That last black and white in the middle caught my breath in my throat! So stunning!

Currie - January 14, 2014 - 3:43 pm

I should mention that I’m going to start ballet classes sometime this year… so how long until we can do a ballerina session?!?! These are so beautiful Abby!!

Hannah Rancourt - January 14, 2014 - 3:35 pm

That last image?!?!?! Perfection!

Mary Rawson - January 14, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Mary Kate is my first grandchild now all grown up and incredibly beautiful and talented. So glad to be able to see these outstanding photos. Thank you!

Kathryn Grace - January 14, 2014 - 10:49 am

So lovely!

Rebekah Hoyt - January 14, 2014 - 9:46 am

I think you should be a full-time ballerina portrait photographer because I could look at these images all day. So, so, sooo gorgeous Abby!!

Tiffany Heidenthal - January 14, 2014 - 9:42 am

SO gorgeous. I love love love these. Dreamy and soft and lovely. Which is how I’d describe a lot of your work actually, but especially these.

Melodie - January 14, 2014 - 9:34 am

Abby, I love these! They are so sweet and peaceful, like a fairytale!

Jenna - January 14, 2014 - 9:26 am

I love the pants off of these photos. Beautiful use of the Lincoln, too! So dreamy.

Sabrina - January 14, 2014 - 9:18 am

Abby… these are just gorgeous. I love that you’ve started doing these sessions. Just looking at them make me feel more beautiful and graceful! ;-)

Caili - January 14, 2014 - 9:04 am

These are soooo peaceful and beautiful. Your work shines through dance! Beautiful, Abby!

Regan Carter - January 14, 2014 - 9:02 am

Oh my word, these are simply incredible!! So dream-like and breath taking!! Amazing work, Abby!

Bethany - January 14, 2014 - 8:54 am

All of these are absolutely stunning! I know it’s a crazy time in DC but doing a ballerina shoot during cherry blossoms could look incredible.

Andrea Pesce - January 14, 2014 - 8:46 am

These are stunning!!

Monday Mash-Up

Happy Monday, folks! Can someone please explain this insane weather going around the US right now? Last week I saw Instagrams from my friends in Chicago of frozen doorhandles and thermostats reading -15 degrees F, and then Virginia had one of its coldest days on record, and then on Saturday it was 62 degrees. WHAT GIVES, Mother Nature?? It’s not that I hate winter, because I actually kind of love it. But this yo-yoing weather pattern thing is going to give me whiplash.

On another completely unrelated note, I have GOT to stop trying to click my ballpoint pens closed by hitting them against my palm. Half the time, I end up jamming them point-first into my flesh, and not only does it hurt, but I end up with little black dots all over my palm, making me look like some weird Black Plague/chicken pox-hybrid victim.

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

  • My trademark filing came through! Abby Grace Photography is officially mine and mine alone. Don’t worry, I won’t get obnoxious and start including the little “TM” after my name all the time. It’s more for brand protection than anything else, but still. I’m pumped!
  • Matt & I are joining a gym, and running on the treadmill this past weekend brought back my fierce love of competition. I KNOW it’s not a race, but come on. If you get on the treadmill next to me and bump up your pace to 0.2 miles/hour faster than my pace, you bet I’m going to up mine too.
  • I finally hit my limit of how much salad dressing is “too much.” I’m normally of the opinion that lettuce is just a necessary accessory for a really good salad dressing, but on Saturday night I had so much dressing that my poor mesclun mix wilted under the weight of it all. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even finish what was in my bowl at Sweet Green.
  • My mom introduced me to “Call The Midwife” this weekend and I’m hooked! I think it’s the 1950′s fashion and the lengths the producers went to make the show as authentic as possible. Whatever it is, it had me thinking about a career as an Labor & Delivery nurse, until I remembered that I hate needles and I pass out at the sight of blood. Can’t win e’em all, I suppose.

I cannot WAIT to share this stunning ballerina session on the blog tomorrow, so make sure to check back in the morning!

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

Lindsay - January 13, 2014 - 2:39 pm

You’re absolutely adorable! Love these posts Abby!

Jean - January 13, 2014 - 2:34 pm

Yes, you can have too much dressing on a salad! We love Call the Midwife! Enjoy your gym membership. Love you!

Abbeigh Blake - January 13, 2014 - 12:11 pm

I just started watching Call the Midwife this past weekend too! SO good! Hope all is well! Miss you, lady!

Those “I can’t believe that happened!” moments of 2013

I was originally planning to combine this post with a “highlights reel” of my favorite images from last year, but as I started making my list of “I can’t believe that happened” moments (henceforth to be referred to as “ICBTH”), the list was waaay too long to make into a double post. So you’ll likely have a highlights reel post to look forward to next week. HA. And YOU thought we were done with 2013 review posts, didn’t you? Suckah. (just kidding).

This list is made up of moments/occasions that were especially big/significant for me this past year, whether it was shooting related or something more personal. Every new year in business will definitely have its ups and downs, but 2013 had way more highs than lows. Or maybe I’m just choosing to celebrate the highs, rather than focus on the lows? Whatever- let’s get to it!

(in no particular order other than a loose chronological list)

1) Attending UNITED and being asked to speak on a panel. That was pretty darn cool. I learned a lot at UNITED, one of the most important lessons being just how very many other crazy talented photographers there are out there. I guess you could say I came away from Santa Barbara with a newfound appreciation for my own insignificance. It was awesome! (no sarcasm there, I’m totally serious). AND I had the opportunity to attend a shoot led by Mike Larson- dream come true!

2) Learning to really embrace and celebrate personal work. While in Santa Barbara, I shot all of my “just for me” work on my Contax. It made me realize that I really do love shooting film, but I love it most when I’m shooting for myself, not other people. Since then, I’ve made a much more concerted effort to make time for work that speaks to my soul.

Santa Barbara, California- Abby Grace Photography

3) Speaking at Radford University’s Communication Week to a jam packed lecture hall of Comms students eager to learn about social media. And trying not to sweat through my chambray shirt so that everyone wouldn’t see how nervous I was.

4) This. To capture such an important moment in my friends’ lives was inexpressibly special.

Washington DC military homecoming- Abby Grace

5) Shooting my cousin/maid of honor/childhood confidant’s engagement session on the beautiful Bald Head Island.

Bald Head Island wedding Photographer- Abby Grace

6) Photographing my other high school best friend getting engaged to her sweetheart beneath a massive old oak tree…

7) …and then photographing my their engagement session in Savannah. Another dream come true!

Savannah, Georgia wedding photographer- Abby Grace

8) Traveling to Kansas City to capture the wedding of two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I wasn’t sure what to expect of KC, but it was amazing!

9) Having the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented Pam & Anne of ATrendy Wedding on several occasions throughout the year!

ATrendy Wedding- Abby Grace Photography

10) Getting baptized alongside my husband. So incredible.

11) Heading to Surrey, England to photograph the wedding of James & Deanna. I’m an Anglophile and I’m not ashamed of it, and shooting a wedding in England was an absolute dream come true. It’s tempting to try and pass it off like it wasn’t THAT big of a deal, because , you know, *tosses hair* “fabulous” photographers get to do sweet stuff like that all the time, but I was geeking out for sure!

Surrey, England wedding photographer- Abby Grace

12) The two-week trip with Matt that resulted from item #11- we had the chance to zip around London for a few days, visit our family friends Andy & Angie in Stamford (my favorite place in all of England), and bum around via all of the various forms of transportation offered in England.

Stamford, England- Abby Grace Photography

13) During the same trip, we also spent time in PARIS! After James & Deanna’s wedding, Paris with my favorite part. I can’t wait to go back!

Paris, France photographer- Abby Grace

14) Hosting my first workshop. This was a game-changer for me, and the experience taught me a lot more than I anticipated. In the best way possible, of course!

15) Ballerina portraits. I finally had the opportunity to photograph the kind of sessions I’d been dreaming about, and it’s turned into a bit of a love affair. I’m up to three sessions at this point and we’re just getting started.

Washington DC ballet photographer- Abby Grace

16) Refreshing the brand (quite) a bit. After embracing my love of all things classic, Jeff Shipley took on the daunting task of turning my mumbo-jumbo descriptions of what I wanted and putting them into a website. And he did a marvelous job.

17) Realizing my love of travel, and seeing how much my clients have responded in turn with their own desires to shoot in new places! My 2013 destination engagement and anniversary sessions took me to so many new places last year!

Chicago wedding photographer- Abby Grace

18) In that same vein, shooting in New York City for both Mike & Kristin’s engagement session and Corey & Kelsey’s anniversary session! Matt & I had our own anniversary session in New York in 2012, and ever since then I knew I NEEDED to go back for a shoot of my own. And both times, I walked away feeling as though I was walking on air.

19) Connection Mentoring sessions. It all started with a few informal Skype dates with my friend Kaitlyn, and from there I realized that I really enjoyed the format of long-term mentoring.

20) Anniversary sessions. I’d photographed a few of these in the past, but it wasn’t until this past year that I really began to understand WHY they’re important. Anniversary sessions are really important to me and they’ll definitely be a larger part of my business this year!

New York City photographer- Abby Grace

21) Hosting the northern Virginia Shoot & Share group. This gaggle of photographers that meets once a month in my home never fails to blow me away with their generosity, talent, and ability to inspire.

22) Shooting a wedding in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Because white sand beaches and Caribbean sunsets will never get old to me!

Vieques, Puerto Rico wedding photographer- Abby Grace

Thank you to every single person who’s stopped by the blog in the last year. I’m always so encouraged and uplifted by your feedback, and I really appreciate you spending your time reading my ramblings and viewing my photography. Here’s to an even more incredible 2014!

mike larson - January 14, 2014 - 12:42 am

these are all so cool!!! Wonderful work Abby!

Stephanie Messick - January 13, 2014 - 11:13 am

Congrats on a beautiful 2013 year! And I must add that I am a huge fan of Mike Larson! So awesome!

Terri Baskin - January 11, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Congratulations on a very successful 2013!! I can’t wait to see where God takes you in 2014.

Susan - January 10, 2014 - 4:17 pm

WOW! These are all amazing- most of them took my break away! You are so talented.

Elizabeth V - January 10, 2014 - 1:17 pm

Great recap, Abby!

Heather - January 10, 2014 - 12:26 pm

Watching your business grow over the past year has been so amazing! We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know you as you grow! And if you love them white sand beaches Pensacola is the place for you.. you might have to make a trip :)

Evian Granitz - January 10, 2014 - 11:13 am

Congrats on such a wonderful year Abby! You deserve it!

Jean - January 10, 2014 - 11:10 am

As always, gorgeous photos! Glad you and Matt were able to travel last summer. Those memories will last you a lifetime. “We’ll always have Paris”! Love you!

Sarah H. - January 10, 2014 - 10:19 am

:) love all of this!

Tina Tabibi - January 10, 2014 - 10:03 am

Wow! You had an amazing year. Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey! Cheers to a greater 2014!

Rebekah Hoyt - January 10, 2014 - 9:40 am

WOW girl! You really have had quite a year! I’m so proud of you and excited for you, to see where God has brought you up until this point and to see where He leads in 2014!

Erica - January 10, 2014 - 9:23 am

Congrats on a fulfilled and fantastic year! Here’s to 2014!

Lorin - January 10, 2014 - 9:15 am

Wow! Congrats on all that you experienced & captured this past year, Abby! Thanks for sharing your highlights :)