This session was so fun for me. Melissa has been my friend forever and is a yoga teacher in the Chapel Hill area. She really wanted to do them at the beach to show that yoga is so versatile and can really be practiced in any kind of environment. I especially love capturing anything with beautiful lines and movement — I actually used to photograph a lot of dance– so I’d really love to do more of this kind of work. All you ballerinas and yogis out there, let’s connect!
Jessica Slaunwhite is a northern Virginia photographer.
She specializes in film and lifestyle photography.
Jessica is based in Arlington, Virginia, but is available for travel to
destinations near and far.
I met sweet Elise back in March of this year. We planned to have coffee and then ended up accidentally chatting for forever (I was definitely an hour or two late picking my husband up for work that day.. haha!). I knew as soon as we began talking that I would enjoy working with her, and her work spoke for itself as to how talented she is.
Elise shoots every wedding with me now with the exception of some in New York, and she is a dream addition to any wedding day. For all of my future brides, or anyone who wants to learn a bit more about our team, here are Elise’s answers to some of my favorite questions:
Q: What inspires you?
A: I can actually remember specifically saying I would never photograph weddings. They are such an important event that it made me a little nervous. But then I started to photograph couples. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with photographing people in love. There is something so special about being able to come alongside a couple and not only freeze moments for them, but also create an experience that makes their day that much more memorable.
Q: What are you doing when you’re not taking pictures?
A: More often than not, you can find me on my couch re-watching The Office, Friends, or Gilmore Girls for the 100th time. If I’m not feeling lazy, I love to be outside exploring our town with my husband and dogs.
Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in coastal North Carolina?
A: I have never lived this close to the ocean before. I love that I can step outside and be at the beach in eight minutes. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to living where people vacation, but I’m not mad about it.
Q: What is your favorite thing about second shooting?
A: I love that second shooting allows me to be a little more creative and think of shots that are outside of the box.
Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
A: I listen to Christmas music year-round. It weirdly calms me.
Q: What are you looking forward to most right now?
A: Besides all of the weddings with Jessica– I am most excited for my trip to Rwanda. I’m still trying to figure out a way to travel and make itineraries for those trips for the rest of my life. Currently, I have no leads, but I’m working on it!
One of my favorite part of a wedding day is when the bride and groom are getting ready with the most important people in their lives. Whether a dozen family members or just one lifelong friend, the amount of love in the room is so indescribably beautiful.
This part of the story is so much fun to capture that I have decided to put together a quick bunch of tips to help with the planning process, so that the images are even more lovely.
1.Think about the light
The number one piece of advice I give to brides for finding the perfect getting ready room is to remember that the more natural light that can come in, the more dreamy those pictures will be. You want lots of windows and open spaces so that we can see those rays of gorgeous sun!
2. Consider the crowd
The more people who join you for this part of the day, the larger your room will need to be. Don’t underestimate the amount of space you’ll need for all of your things and to move around comfortably. Limit the number of people in the space to those who are essential. Sure, you might need your mother, your bridesmaids, and your hair and makeup artists, but anyone else will be happy to see you later in the day.
3. Keep it simple
One thing that will not make for pretty pictures is a room filled with clutter. Once you’re finished getting ready, you’re not going to want to worry about cleanup anyway. Take a couple of minutes to move all of the bags, clothes, and supplies to one designated area of the room so that they’re not in the background of all of your photos.
4. Don’t forget the overall aesthetic
The getting ready photos shouldn’t look completely different than the overall theme of your day. If you’re planning a timeless wedding with lots of neutral accents and bright spaces, an orange getting ready room with neon floral curtains is going to look very out of place when you look back on your day. I use this space to capture all of your precious details too, so you want it to fit with your vision.
5. The groom
Don’t forget that we can capture the groom getting ready too. While there aren’t quite so many details involved, there are just as many special moments with family and friends. This is so much easier when the bride and groom are getting ready in the same venue or hotel. That way, we don’t have to waste time traveling between locations, and everyone is on the same page.
I hope these tips will be helpful for current and future brides and grooms! I’ll touch on some other wedding preparation tips in the weeks and months to come, but if you have any questions about planning a specific part of your wedding day, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to help!