Today we are looking back at 2016 as a whole, doing a little reminiscing, and realizing how awesome of a year it was! Family and business alike, we spent 2016 feeling very blessed, and extremely grateful for the wonderful gifts we were given. Time with family, wonderful couples to work with, a full calendar to keep us floating, and lots of fun in between it all. Here are the top ten moments that stood out to us from 2016, and the ones we’re most grateful for.
Launching the new Birds of a Feather Photography brand :
This was a huge undertaking. We worked with a great designer, and it all came together in time. When we finished the process and hit “launch” on our new website we were thrilled, and every time we package a new welcome box or thank you gift we get giddy just looking at the entire branding come together. We’re still loving it and we know this branding will be ours for a long time to come!
Photographing our 100th wedding :
Talk about a dream come true! We truly never thought this was a milestone without our reach. It just sounded like too big of a number. Only real and successful photographers get to 100. In fact, we didn’t even realize our 100th wedding was happening at the time. It wasn’t until we were looking at some accounting items that we realized we had reached that goal. We’re eternally grateful, and maybe we’ll reach 200!
Lighting light bulb moment :
This year we knew we wanted to focus a lot of our efforts on a better understanding of off camera flash, so we can better light the weddings we photograph. When we attended a photographer’s workshop, there was a seminar on lighting taught by one of the industry’s lighting masters, Justin Marantz. During this talk, he described a white, round wedding cake and why he loved it so much. That image of a white, round wedding cake stands out to us because it was at that point during his talk that the light bulb in our minds went off, and everything just “clicked”. We left with a better understanding of off camera flash, and as the year went on we continued to become more and more comfortable, and then creative with our lighting. We look forward to learning more and more, and getting better and better!
Photographing at new venues :
This year we had the pleasure of photographing weddings at some awesome new, and new to us venues. Bucket list type venues, the kind of venue we have always hoped to photograph. Some of our favorites were DAR Museum, Rixey Manor, Rust Manor House, Mayflower Hotel, Clarendon Ballroom, Bluemont Vineyard, and the Winery at Bull Run.
A serendipitous proposal :
It was absolutely meant to be. While we finished an engagement session at Catholic University, a group of friends nervously set up for a proposal for their buddy. As they laid rose petals down, we put away our cameras, and quietly asked if they had anyone there to take pictures. Quickly, it was decided that we would hide in the bushes and photograph the real live proposal that was about to go down! It happened so quickly, and we had NO IDEA what the Bride and Groom to be looked like! But it all worked out beautifully and we are so grateful for the opportunity given to us. And as luck would have it, we now get to photograph this couple’s wedding day in 2017! How lucky are we!?
Finishing our welcome magazine :
Finally! That’s all we can say… the magazine is finally done, after being in the works for almost 2 years. And 27 of them just went out to all of our 2017 couples! We can’t wait for them to read it!
Two amazing styled shoots and collaborating with incredible artists :
It was our mission to hold back on the number of styled shoots we did this year, cut it down by half and make sure we really had the time to invest in the type of shoots we wanted to be a part of. As luck would have it, we kicked off our year with a styled shoot, and finished our year with a styled shoot! Both the Modern Lush inspiration shoot and the Giselle Wedding inspiration shoot were a dream come true. The teams of artists and industry professionals we worked with were as good as they come, and we were humbled to be a part of both collaborations!
Watching our couples grow into families :
In our 5th year of business, now entering our 6th, it’s about that time when the couples who were married years ago are now ready to start their families! This year was special, in particular, because we had the absolute privilege to photograph the entrance of their babies into this world. Twice we were able to photograph a Fresh 48 session for two of our former couples, and both experiences taught us how incredible this sort of photography can be. We have no idea how we would ever be able to work this sort of thing into our schedule as a regular experience, but goodness we would love to. These sessions took our breath away, and we couldn’t be more grateful that we were trusted with this next stage in their lives. Yay babies!
Having fun with our adventurers couples :
Sometimes portrait sessions are quick and easy, other times they are a lengthy process with lots of time built in for travel, and sometimes they happen in the pouring rain. This year we had so much fun getting out of the comfort zone with so many of our couples! We spent a lot of time, permit in hand, at the memorials and monuments in DC with huge bridal parties. We balanced on docks, hovering our cameras over the water to get the right shot. We wrapped our cameras and equipment in trash bags to keep them dry while our Bride and Groom embraced in a downpour of rain… at night! So many fun memories this year come from the times we spent working with our couples to get some awesome shots!
Soaking in family time at the beach :
The reason we work so hard, and the reason we spend so much time away from our family is for them. It’s to provide for them and to make life as grand for them as possible. Our time at the beach this year included the whole group, and we have to say that it was truly the best beach trip to date. Often we find ourselves remembering moments sitting on the deck in the evening, everyone we love around us, with the sound of the ocean crashing in the background. These are some of the best days of our lives, and we’re so grateful for them.