Washington DC, MD & VA Wedding Photographer » Natural, authentic, and emotional wedding images

Last week I introduced Bekah to you, and today I am equally as thrilled to introduce Ruthie!!!

The story of Ruthie joining us is a little more unlikely and still makes me laugh and shake my head as I share it! One afternoon I checked facebook to see that my sister-in-law Melissa had mentioned me in a comment. Someone named Ruthie had written, “Oh, I follow their work, it’s amazing!”

I thought, “Wow, someone thinks our work is amazing! I LIKE this girl!” Ha 🙂

I clicked over to Ruthie’s page and immediately learned four things about her that I loved:
1. She is VERY funny. Just about all of her posts had the perfect level of dry-but-not-too-mean humor.
2. She’s a mom of boys. I related!
2. She is a nurse. Nurses are my heroes. Really and truly they are. As wedding photographers, we all like to moan about how tiring and stressful and hard on our feet wedding days are. But for nurses… Ha, PLEASE! From the people they deal with, to the hours on their feet, to the stress of decisions that REALLY matter, wedding days are like walks in the park compared to what nurses do week in and week out.
3. She’s a photographer. I went to Ruthie’s website and discovered that she’s a really VERY good newborn photographer. This impressed me because newborn photography is, for me, very difficult. Her lighting skills and her creativity got my attention immediately.

Right around that time, Susie and I were discussing how to grow and expand our business and we we came across a blog post by Melissa Jill about starting an associate program. Even though I had never met her, Ruthie somehow just felt like a great person to consider as an associate.

About a week later, the four of us got together for dinner. Susie and I laid out to Bekah and Ruthie what the expectations and compensation schedules would look like, our goals for the program, and we described what the perfect associate would look like for us. After dinner, I asked Ruthie how long she felt like she’d have to consider the things we discussed. And she simply said, “You know what? I’m all in.” It turned out that the things she was looking for in her life and her business were exactly the things that we proposed. So there we had it! Whew! Susie and I went over to McDonalds after dinner to sip coffee and plan a training schedule!

Now, just a couple of months later, Ruthie has continued to blow us away as we’ve gone through the training process. Her understated humor and nursing background really does make her amazing at dealing with people and making them feel comfortable in her presence. She’s got a great eye both for composition and light. And the thing that I didn’t know at first that now impresses me the MOST is that she is really a risk-taker and very open to pushing herself and trying new things. Ruthie and I are working together on Kristina and Iyad’s wedding, so we did the engagement session afterwards. At the end, she asked if it was ok if she tried just one thing. Then she proceeded to try something with her flash that a) never would have occurred to me and b) if it had, I would have felt it was too much hassle to attempt. The shot worked exactly as she anticipated and was beautiful! I was so impressed that, when she could have simply sat back and shadowed me, she really tried her hand at something new and creative.

Ruthie has already booked her first associate wedding for next fall and that client, along with all the others she has coming in the future, are so lucky to work with her. And Susie and I are SO LUCKY to have her on our team!!!!

Welcome, Ruthie!!

Jeni King Deuber - April 21, 2016 - 7:14 pm

Ruthie is an awesome mom, nurse, wife and photographer. She is wickedly funny and always makes me laugh. You are very lucky to have her and she is lucky you found her to help her with her photography dreams. Win win for all!! Good luck Ruthie!! All your new clients will be so lucky to have you☺️

I distinctly remember when Wes and Tracey’s lead came in. Susie and I were packing up at the end of wedding that capped off a long stretch of autumn weddings and engagement sessions. It had been a normal adrenaline-filled wedding day except this one required even more walking in the cold with all our equipment on my back than usual. I was enjoying the feeling of knowing that we had just done our absolute best for this couple, that we were witnesses to some very special moments, and that we had captured some amazing memories for them. I was also DEAD TIRED!!!! 🙂 Nevertheless, when Susie handed me her phone and said, “Aww, check out this lead!”, I couldn’t stop grinning as I read through Tracey and Wes’s contact form. I was ready to go photograph their wedding right then and there!

The more we’ve gotten to know Tracey and Wes, the luckier I felt that we got to be their wedding photographers! One of my favorite quotes from Tracy, in the engagement form when we ask about what drew them together. She wrote, “His honesty, thoughtfulness, gentleness, laid back personality, sense of humor and love of Christ (oops … was I only supposed to write down three??????)” I love working with couples that can’t stop naming all the things they love about one another!

Wes and Tracey had a natural and intimate day that was also totally practical. They, with lots of help from their families, did their own setup and take-down, which is VERY difficult to pull off and they did it amazingly well – on time and stress-free (well, as far as we could tell)!!!!!! But because of the way they look at each other and love each other, all the practicality in the world couldn’t quash the romance of Wes and Tracey’s wedding day! Can’t wait to share this one with you!!

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Historic Oakland has these cool little rounded archways everywhere that we were using throughout the day. All in all, it’s a dream venue to photograph. I loved the soft blue walls inside and matching shutters outside.


wedding photos at Historic Oakland Manor


There’s that’s the “natural smile that lights up a room” that Wes kept referencing!!


bride getting ready at historic oakland manor


Tracey’s amazing dressmaker completely remade and customized her dress, including adding these three small straps on each shoulder. It’s perfect!


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Love this photo that Susie grabbed right before the ceremony. Perfect shot!



Another favorite ceremony shot from Susie. Love this one even more!



As an engineer, Wes couldn’t help but add a little technology to his reception… How about the remote controlled lights in these centerpieces?!! Wes designed and implemented every single one!





Congratulations, Wes and Tracey!!!!

Thanks to this amazing team of vendors!!!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Historic Oakland
Caterer and Cake: Santoni’s
Hair: Lilly Maritza Hair Studio
Makeup: Faces by Brandi
Dress Shop: http://www.thebridalboutique.com
Florist: Williamson’s Nursery
Invitations: Paperless Post
Officiant: Dane Lewis of River’s Edge Community Church

Wes Russell - April 15, 2016 - 11:34 am

Tracey and i want to thank all our family and friends who helped setup and clean up the wedding. We could not have done it without you and you are the reason the venue was so beautiful. Thank you.

Betty Whitehead - April 15, 2016 - 12:57 pm

Beautiful pictures!

George W. Crump - April 15, 2016 - 2:25 pm

Beautiful pictures of two great people! May God richly Bless and Keep you both! Thanks for sharing.

Pat Russell - April 23, 2016 - 7:30 pm

It was a privilege and a blessing to be with you on your wedding day. May God’s richest blessings be yours, now and forever. I love you both!

If I (Becky) had the pleasure of sitting down with you this week, here are a few things that might come up…

What I’m reading: Oh man, we are cramming almost an hour a day for the Battle of the Books this Friday!! No extra reading this week, except for refreshing when either Jack or I miss a question (it’s amazing how many questions I miss that I wrote myself!!!)

Highlight of my week: Second wedding of the season in the rain/sunshine/clouds/wind/snow that last Saturday produced!!!!!!

Little luxuries: Well, I’m sick this week – actually have been getting worse and worse for two weeks – which always makes me oddly thankful for things like: 1) I don’t have a chronic illness 2) I have access to a level of healthcare and medication that is rare, historically and geographically 3) My husband works from home some days, which cuts out all that commute time and gives me an extra set of hands for breakfast-time 4) Frappes from McDonalds 5) Working with Susie, who is taking a phone call for me tonight so I won’t scare off our lead by coughing through it all. I could easily go on and on. I live a pretty easy life. I pray that I’ll take all I’ve been given and invest that in others!!!!! 🙂

Hoping for: That these steroids work as promised and that I lose this cough!!!

Don’t miss:  A dear, dear set of friends adopted a little girl and I get to introduce her to you!!!

Pictured today: Joshua at noontime on Sugarloaf mountain through a 50mm lens + a prism