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Jeannie & Mike | A Stylish Old Town Alexandria Anniversary Session

I’m a BIG fan of Old Town Alexandria, as I’ve shared a few times before. It’s so full of old world charm, and it’s extra special to Joey and I because we spent a lot of time there when we first started dating:)I’m so glad that we

Since we’ve moved back to Virginia- we are so glad to be just be a short drive away again! And it seems as though I’m not the only one who loves Old Town- I’ve spent a LOT of time there as of late for a variety of shoots…and I’m not complaining!

A couple weeks ago, I met up with Jeannie and Mike in this magical city to celebrate their first year of sweet marriage. These two are two of the most kind and genuine people, and capturing the sweetest of celebrations was such a joy and treat. I’ve known Mike since my elementary school days- and meeting the woman God created just for him was so wonderful. After just a few minutes of talking to Jeannie, I felt like I had known her since our elementary days as well!

Jeannie and Mike call Manhattan home, and were in town for a short time for a mutual friend’s wedding (Hannah and Ed will be on the blog on Friday!) so we found some time to meet up to capture these portraits. These two also appreciate capturing moments through a camera– and brought along their favorite film mediums! We had the best time exploring more of Old Town- this place has no shortage of magical spots!

Jeannie and Mike- thank you so much for entrusting me to capturing these memories for you! Happy Happy sweet one year of the best gift of marriage!

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Colleen | A Downtown Chicago Tulle and Leather Inspired Portrait Session

OH HEY Friends. Been a while, huh? I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere longer than I’d like to admit due to a BIG move, crazy escapades, cross-country adventures, the start of wedding season, and an annoying bout of illness, but I’m back and ready to blog my brains out with all of what I just mentioned- and share lots of pretty along with it.

I thought about starting from the very beginning- but I’d MUCH rather start with a gorgeous girl, one of my favorite cities, and lots of TULLE for you today… and I’ll fill in the blanks with what I mentioned above as we go along the next couple weeks. Sound good?!

For those of you who follow me on INSTAGRAM (if you don’t already, go do that!)… You may be mostly caught up on the goings-ons…and noticed that a few weeks ago, we journeyed across the states via AMTRAK. It was quite the trip- and we are still reeling from the sites seen, and new friends made.

To get from Washington D.C. to Roseville, California it took 4 days and 3 nights- and our only stop along the way where were able to get off the train for more than 5 minutes- was a 3 hour stop in Chicago. It was originally supposed to be a 6 hour layover to switch trains- but apparently AMTRAK is notorious for being consistently late- so late we were!

Fortunately, we still had time to meet up with the beautiful and talented Colleen of Colleen McCarthy Portraits for a quick 30 minute shoot in downtown wonderfully foggy Chicago. Colleen and I met via Instagram, and with her working in the center of Chicago- just blocks from Union Station- it was the perfect situation for a quick session in one of my favorite cities. Colleen dawned a flirty tulle skirt, the perfect leather jacket, and a red-lip- a dream amongst the towering backdrop.

Colleen- thank you SO much for taking some time out of your busy work day to meet us- and for helping me check a Chicago shoot off my bucket list! It was such a pleasure to get to hang out with you- albeit quick, but sweet! I can’t wait for our paths to cross again!

Enjoy a few of my faves…and stay tuned for more scenes from other recent adventures and new friends.

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June 15, 2015 - 5:44 pm

Caitlin - LOVEEE! these are so perfect!

An Emerald and Pink Vintage Wedding Inspiration Shoot

A few months ago, I advertised that I was looking for a few interns for the 2015 wedding season. I wanted to have some consistent shooters this season- as well as to work with a few photographers who are new-er to the wedding photography industry through shooting styled shoots, and just encouraging one another.

After selecting these wonderful ladies as my 2015 interns- we planned a meet-up, and I put together a small styled shoot to kick off the season! I had the most wonderful time getting to spend some time with these awesome photographers- and now new friends! I’m so very impressed by each of their unique talents, and I can’t wait to learn from them this season!

I’ve always been inspired by all things vintage- and wanted to put something together that mimicked that old-time vintage appeal and merge with elements that are a little more new-school:)I contacted my lovely and super talented friend, Kelly, of Petals by the Shore with a style board filled with emeralds and pinks to see if she could create some florals to match the theme- and she nailed it. Brides- if you’re still looking for a floral designer for your big day- Kelly’s your girl!

I chose Old Town Alexandria for the backdrop of this vintage emerald and pink inspired shoot for it’s old town charm, and new-time appeal, and found the most perfect vintage lace dress via Cheshire Vintage to pull the inspiration together. But what REALLY made the shoot special were my models:)My brother Daniel and sister-in-law Ashley so graciously modeled for us on a CHILLY March day– and did such a wonderful job. Watch out Daniel and Ashley, I may ask you to model again!

A huge thank you to the sweet and wonderful ladies of Alison Harper & Co for providing expert hair and make-up– you ladies blow me away EVERY time.

Keep on the lookout from more from Alison Harper and Petals the Shore- they are two of the vendors in the Styled Couple’s Session Giveaway!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from our emerald and pink vintage wedding inspiration shoot!

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A HUGE thank you to our wonderful vendors! :

Models | Daniel and Ashley Adams

Dress | Cheshire Vintage

Florals | Petals by the Shore

Hair & Make-Up | Alison Harper & Co

Shoes | Seychelles Footwear

April 24, 2015 - 2:59 pm

Margaret Spicer Peters - Oh my goodness—what’s not to like!! Perfect in every way–the poses, the backdrops, the colors and of course the models and skilled photographer. You just get ‘gooder and gooder.’

April 24, 2015 - 5:44 pm

Sue Adams - These blow me away…and because I care about the “models” also make me tear up…Keep using that gift that God has fanned into flame:)

April 24, 2015 - 6:21 pm

Annette Gladden Keith - These photos are just exquisite, Sarah! I can’t stop looking at them….love the photographer and her models

April 24, 2015 - 7:33 pm

Kay Main - Love, love, LOVE these pics, Sarah! They are stunning…..all of them! Your work, the work of your vendors, and esp. your models have all come together beautifully. What a gift!

Caitlin & Grant | A Columbia Country Club Wedding

Confession: Writing this little synopsis before wedding posts is always super hard for me. It is so difficult to adequately sum up my love, appreciation, and admiration for the couples that I work with- I use the backspace and delete button more often than I would like to admit– and it in turn takes me forever to complete. A good problem to have, I guess- when it means the couples you work with are that awesome:)

Well, thanks to Caitlin & Grant being who they are- this wedding synopsis is especially difficult for me to craft. These two are incredibly special to me- and to everyone they know and love. Caitlin & Grant are two of the coolest, most gracious, most wonderful people I know– separately. Then you put them together?! My goodness– it’s wonderful. If you can believe it, these two are even better together than they are apart.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Caitlin since middle school- we sat next to each other in math class in 6th grade… never my best subject, and certainly a bit snooze-worthy (I apologize to any math nerds enthusiasts reading this), but Caitlin found a way to make everything FUN. I looked forward to math class because I knew Caitlin would crack me up– even through the painful algebra equations and monotone explanations from our teacher. Caitlin lights up a room- in every sense of the phrase.

Well, apparently during this time in our middle school lives (correct me if I’m wrong on the timing, Caitlin)– Caitlin met her future husband while vacationing with her family and friends in Bethany Beach. She didn’t know it then, but years later while vacationing at the same beach- they met again, sparks flew, and the rest is history. Grant proposed about a year later during Memorial Day weekend in the same spot where they first met.

Capturing Caitlin & Grant’s wedding day was such a tremendous honor- it was such a blessing to be able to be a part of something so truly special. I loved seeing how loved and admired these two are- it’s not hard to do.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. DiGioia, I couldn’t feel more blessed to not only have been at your wedding- but to have been the one you chose to capture it. Thank you thank you- for your sweet friendship, and for this fantastic honor. I can’t wait to follow along with your new adventures as MARRIED PEOPLE!

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Ceremony | St. Patrick’s Catholic Church

Reception | The Columbia Country Club

Bride’s Gown | Allure Bridals via Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection

Bridesmaids Dresses | Weddington Way

Groom | J.Crew

Hair | Ana Rivera via Hypnotic Salon

Make-Up | Debbie O’Malley via Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase

Florals | Petals & Promises, LLC

Cake | Flower’s Bakery

Dessert | District Doughnuts

Catering | Columbia Country Club

DJ | Aaron via Matrimonial Sound

Videographer | Megan Kelsey Photography & Videography

Second Photographer | Natalie Jayne Photography

 

 

 

April 23, 2015 - 3:25 am

Erin O'Malley Hardgrove - These are wonderful Photos by Sarah Beth! You did a fantastic job!

April 23, 2015 - 9:08 am

Mikki Macie - Thank you for sharing! What fun and beautiful photos!

April 23, 2015 - 11:14 am

Anne Martinelli - Beautiful photos. Such great memories!

April 23, 2015 - 10:38 pm

Alice O'Malley - Just beautiful!!

April 24, 2015 - 3:13 am

Diane Christopher Staples - absolutely wonderful. Caitlin has your smile Erin. I love them all. beautiful stunning

June 8, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Petals and Promises, llc - We just loved working with you and this darling couple

Tips for Photographing Travels and Vacations

Not-so-fun little fact: I wrote this blog post a few days ago, ended up needing to restart my computer– forgot to save, rebooted– and it was gone. GOOOD Times. Let’s hope this version is better than the one I lost?!:)

Anywho…

Joey and I LOVE to travel. And as a photographer- and just as an excited traveler in general- I love to document it. I’m absolutely a tourist- and I don’t mind it the least bit. Actually, you could probably say that I act like a tourist even when we aren’t traveling– I am camera happy most days, and proud of it!

Through our travels- I’ve learned a bit about how best to document travel- mostly through mishaps on my part;)So I thought it might be fun to share ten tips for photographing travels and vacations…this is for both photographers and non-photographers alike! Maybe not all people like to travel– but I would bet that most people like to at least vacation, so hopefully at least one of these tips is helpful to you!

1. Don’t be afraid to be a Tourist:

I fully embrace this title, and you should too! You need to give yourself permission to be a tourist. When I close my eyes and think of a tourist- I often picture a traveler with binoculars, a Hawaiian shirt, and fanny pack…but it doesn’t have to be that way! (Unless of course, that’s your style). Every day is precious- and travels are adventures! Preserve those memories, and embrace your inner tourist!

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2. Tell a Story:

Stories have a beginning, middle, and an end…and so do your travels and vacations. Document them as if you are telling a story…Photograph your airport waitings, your packing, etc. Don’t forget the beginning and the end!

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3. Stories lie in the Details:

All good stories are made up the sometimes seemingly minute details…don’t forget to photograph them! Some examples may include: the currency if your traveling internationally, your outfit for the day, your transportation, your food, etc. 2015-04-16_0015

4. Capture life:

This may seem like a huge DUH- but, you’d be surprised how easy this is to forget. In many destinations– the scenery becomes the priority to capture. Don’t forget to capture LIFE in that scenery- and no I don’t just mean pose in front of an iconic building or gorgeous vista- capture life as it’s HAPPENING- candid moments are some of the most beautiful photographs! In the same way- capture candids of the life around you- some of my favorite photos are of local vendors selling their goods in street markets- or children in the Dominican Republic running towards me. Capture life as it’s happening around you.

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5. Ask a kind stranger to take YOUR picture:

Oh goodness, I kick myself SO much for this one. While in London- I didn’t hardly ever ask strangers to take a picture of the two of us together- we have a few from our wonderful friend, Ilaria while we were visiting Greenwich for the day, and we are SO grateful for those! I only wish we had more in front of other iconic parts of London! So friends, please ask a kind stranger to take your picture! You won’t regret it:)

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6. Don’t overpack, but don’t underpack either:

Consider where you are traveling, and pack your camera equipment accordingly- and make sure you have wide angle capabilities to capture grand vistas and amazing architecture! In London the widest lens I brought was a 50 mm…which didn’t always quite cut it when it came to the amazing architecture that surrounded us. At one point I had a 24-70mm lens, but sold it thinking I wouldn’t use it often. KICKING MYSELF! It would’ve been a great travel lens! Now I travel with my 50 and my 35 mm– a wonderful portrait lens, and a good wider-angle lens will serve you well!

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7.  Backpacks and camera straps:

This is mostly preference- but whenever we are out for a long day of exploring- I VERY much prefer to carry a backpack with my equipment, than a purse. Backpacks distribute weight better, for me- and leave me less sore at the end of the day…some photographers prefer to carry a camera purse- which I do on wedding days, but backpacks, for me, are much more comfortable.

Ah camera straps– I’ve never used a strap on my camera…I know, I know…I should, but I’m much more comfortable shooting without one. BUT- when traveling- it’s a must (and something I really actually need to do)…When you’re exploring a crowded place- you can’t be too safe with your equipment, a camera strap adds a little bit more security– and can prevent you from dropping. (preaching to myself here guys).

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8. Extra Batteries and Memory:

Just trust me. BRING extra batteries and memory cards- there’s nothing worse than running out of either. Along the same lines– don’t forget your battery charger…and make sure you have the adapters necessary when traveling abroad!

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9. External Hard drives:

Whenever we are traveling, and actually whenever we’re home too…I import all my pictures onto a 2 TB external, and do all my editing straight from the external, and also back them up on another 2 TB external. Consider bringing hard drives to back-up your photos- actually, don’t consider…DO IT.

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10. Stop being a Tourist:

I know, I told you to embrace your inner tourist…but at the same time, you need to let it go every once in a while. Put the camera down from time to time, relax and rest! Don’t be too heavily concerned on capturing, that you forget to simply enjoy:)

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Hope these few tips prove at least somewhat helpful in your future travels!

I would LOVE to hear from you all- what are YOUR best tips for photographing your travel and vacations?!

 

** P.S. If you entered the Tax Day Giveaway yesterday- the winner was randomly chosen via both your comments and comments on instagram. Head over to my instagram (@photosbysarahbeth) for the winner announcement!

April 16, 2015 - 6:32 pm

Sarah Canning - Thanks for this Sarah Beth! I enjoyed reading this because I am always to envious of all of your travel photos. I am driving across country next month and can’t wait to get so many awesome pictures!! :)