Tag Archives: Film

One of my favorite things about marriage is watching love stories take different shape as the years pass. As newlyweds, you can’t imagine loving your spouse any more than you do on your wedding day. Then on your first anniversary, you’ve learned so much about each other that you wonder how you ever thought your wedding day was the pinnacle of your affection. We’ve yet to come to this next chapter ourselves, but I imagine discovering that you’re going to be parents would be another tone of those checkpoints- seeing your husband with new eyes, knowing that he’ll no longer be only a husband, but a father as well. Looking at yourself and realizing your arms will soon hold onto two, instead of only circling round the waist of your beloved.

Terry & Flo are at that particular checkpoint- anxiously awaiting the arrival of little miss Elsa, yet  cherishing these last few weeks while it’s just them. This is what I love about Anniversary Sessions- celebrating your love, just as it is, right here and right now. Before two become three in just over a month, a pair of soon-to-be-parents took pause to stop and treasure this time together.

Terry, Flo, we are so thankful for your friendship! It was a privilege to photograph this session, and I’m grateful for the time spent with you both. I know you’re going to be the best of parents, and I hope these images serve as a reminder in the sleepless nights to come that “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” [1 Corinthians 13:7-8]

Washington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby GraceWashington, DC anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

We’ve all done it: you go on an incredible getaway, you want to capture EVERY LITTLE DETAIL of every single thing you see and every person you meet along the way. And then you get home and find yourself uploading 1,000+ images to your computer, and you’re so overwhelmed that you never even get around to choosing a batch of favorites to print and frame or immortalize in an album. Am I correct? You’ve done this? I thought so. Because that’s exactly how I used to shoot.

What I learned from years of over-shooting, and thus NEVER printing my work, is this: I was actually doing myself a disservice by taking as many photos as I did. There’s a difference between REMEMBERING a vacation, recalling how you felt, things you saw, conversations you had, and just reliving through your photos. Photos are meant to help us remember, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, we get so caught up in taking photos that we forget to LIVE through an experience! It’s the same mentality that’s behind the unplugged wedding movement- we’re so focused on our technology that we’re missing out on life. I don’t want this to happen ever, but especially on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, so here my favorite points when it comes to taking great travel photos:

Photographing your next vacation- Abby Grace Photography

1) Take your camera OFF of multi-shot mode. Professional photographers, I’m looking at you. How many times have you gone to take a photo of something beautiful, and instead of taking 1-2 frames, you fire off 5-7? It makes culling (sorting through) those images later on that much more of a bother, and creates another stumbling block between your photos and getting them printed!

2) Don’t take photographs of every single thing you see. The first time I visited London, I was so enamored with the variety of pub names that I thought it would be fun to take a photo of every pub we passed by. If you’ve never been to London, you should know that there are likely to be at least three pubs on any given street, meaning I spent the entire first day wandering through with a camera stuck to my face and I totally missed the EXPERIENCE of just being in London that day. And did I ever do anything with those pub photos? Nope.

3) Delete duds and outtakes as you go. This makes for fewer images to sort through when you finally get home, which will hopefully make it less of a daunting task and more of a joy!

Photographing your next vacation- Abby Grace Photography

4) Don’t be afraid to use your iPhone! There were plenty of sights in London during our most recent trip that I wanted to share with friends but didn’t necessarily want to spend a frame of film on. So I took a few shots on my iPhone and published them to Instagram, and that was that. There are companies like Artifact Uprising that do a superb job of getting Instagrams into albums, so it’s not like you’ll never be able those photos in print.

5) Get some sort of non-touristy, non-obvious camera bag. I typically bring one of my Kelly Moore bags with me so that if I want to stash my camera away, it just looks like an ordinary purse. Anything that says “Canon,’ “Nikon,” “Sony,” etc. is just making you a target to pickpockets and thieves, which can be a bigger problem when you’re in a foreign country and are up against a language barrier as well.

Photographing your next vacation- Abby Grace Photography

6) Consider shooting film instead :). I know that’s not an option for everyone (I’m not suggesting you ditch your Nikon D700 for a 27-shot disposable Kodak), but if you have a film DSLR and know how to use it, consider taking that along. I know that when I’m in a beautiful location and have my 5dmk3, there’s a large portion of my brain that says “I can’t WAIT to show these off on my blog!” While there’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t want to shoot for my blog. I want to shoot for ME, for Matt, and for the stories we’ll one day tell our kids. Switching to film for all of my travel work has been so refreshing- I absolutely treasure our images from our trip last summer, and it’s because I wasn’t shooting for anything other than the joy of capturing something beautiful or interesting.

Shooting film also means I end up with substantially fewer images, with each of those images being intentional (since every click of my shutter costs about $2.00 with film costs and lab fees), so I’m much less tempted to take a photo of something that isn’t significant or truly incredible. Just to put things in perspective: I’ve been married for three years and haven’t made my wedding album yet from the 700+ images we received, but within 3 weeks of arriving home from Europe, I’d designed and ordered an album from the 250ish film scans I received back from the lab.

7) Don’t forget to ask someone to take your picture! Matt and I have four iPhone self-portraits, one photo taken in a road reflective mirror thing, and three images taken by our dear friend Angie. The ones from Angie are my favorites!

8) Make sure to print those puppies. I don’t care if that’s in the form of MPix, ShutterFly, or even (shudder) Target- just get those photos off your computer and into your hands.

Photographing your next vacation- Abby Grace Photography

 

Anniversary sessions are quickly becoming the highlights of my week. I feel like, at some point, every couples needs to do one, if for no other reason than to have an excuse to get close and cuddle up for a morning. Anniversary shoots are an opportunity to fall in love all over again, to remember how to flirt, to have someone capture your love in a way that reignites that butterfly feeling that can sometimes be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday married life. When Matt & I had our shoot in New York, I remember feeling like I’d never been so in love with my husband as I was in that very moment, and every time I look back at those photographs from J&M, I’m taken back not only to the place we were, but the WAY that I felt when the shutter clicked. Knowing how I feel about our photos means that I get REALLY excited whenever someone emails me to ask about an anniversary session of their own!

Katie contacted me way back in the Spring about a session for herself and her husband Justin, to celebrate their five year anniversary. Katie’s a photographer, so she knows how important it is to mark the milestones in life with photographs. Justin & Katie are also parents of two adorable little boys, so it was that much more of a priority to find the time for this- Matt & I don’t have children yet, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be with two kids to make time for dates, for an evening with just the two of you. It was so much fun to spend the evening with these two, to watch the transformation from those first few minutes of getting acquainted to being in front of the camera, to a familiar, romantic ease in their interactions. It left me with a heart fit to burst and smile I absolutely could not wipe off my face.

Justin & Katie, thank you a jillion times over for the chance to document your love! I know this shoot was a long time coming, and I appreciate your trust and willingness to climb over fences for the perfect shooting location :).

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Back when Matt and I were planning our trip, I’d thrown out the idea of going to Paris for a night. “When will we ever have a chance to do this again?” We’d already be next door in England, and I’d been dreaming of traveling to France since the age of 12. Maybe it was because of my history of ballet and the undeniable connection France has to the arts, or maybe it was the four years of French I took in high school, or maybe just the idea of France; elegant, sophisticated, soft and graceful. Whatever it was, I had to go. I just had to. In the end, we settled on four days in Paris- I was over the moon.

When we arrived in Paris, after managing to find our way to the hotel, I was completely overwhelmed. I wanted to see EVERYTHING, but not in a touristy way- I didn’t want to stand in line for the Eiffel Tower or pay for an admission to the Louvre just to sprint through to see the three most famous paintings. We wanted to experience Paris- to walk her streets, see her people, be inspired by Parisian life. We were enthralled with the idea of sitting in a cafe for an hour, two hours, just to watch life go on around us. No schedule, no pressure of having to be at this tour by a certain hour, just a slow, unhurried stroll through the streets of one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. 

I needed this. I needed Paris. It breathed life into my artist’s heart and set my soul on fire for travel, for history, for something I haven’t yet found words for. Paris taught me about my own artistic perspective and tendencies, to embrace what it is that makes me tick as a creative. I love the United States and Reston will always be my favorite place on Earth, but I think Paris might be my second home.

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

This is one of my favorite images from our trip. We stepped inside Saint Sulpice, a church just a few blocks away from Notre Dame. The way the light was streaming through the windows took my breath away.

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

A bit of black & white film is never out of place in Paris.

Paris film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace PhotographerParis film photographer- Abby Grace Photographer

For those who are curious- a mix of Fuji 400H, Portra 400 & Portra 800, and Ilford HP5, all shot on the Contax 645, developed at Richard Photo Lab.

I am SO excited to share these with you guys today- Stamford is one of my all-time favorite places in the world and these film scans do way more justice than the last batch of images I took five years ago. Stamford is hundreds of years old, and the building facades you’ll see are the originals. I’m in love with Stamford’s tiny winding roads, uneven rooftops, gaggles of mismatched chimneys, everything. You guys are going to fall head over heels too, just watch!

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^This street was one of the many locations used as a backdrop in the 2005 Keira Knightly version of Pride & Prejudice. See? I told you Stamford is perfect.

For those who are curious- a mix of Fuji 400H, Portra 400 & Portra 800, all shot on the Contax 645, developed at Richard Photo Lab.

Happy Tuesday!