Susie & Becky » Washington DC, MD & VA Wedding Photographer

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Hospitality, Forgiveness, Acceptance. These are the family values embraced by Kerrie and John’s new family of 10:-)Their children assented to the values by agreeing to participate – to stand up, sing, read, and even speak from the heart – at their wedding. It was far and away the most personal ceremony we’ve ever photographed. I walked away with an enormous amount of respect for everyone that stood up there and moved by their heartfelt words and love for one another.

Congratulations, Kerrie and John – we hope you are FINALLY relaxing:-)


Vendor Team:

Venue & Catering: Hotel Tabard Inn
Florist: Ellen Seagraves
DJ: Mike Blaufeld
Planner: A Bride’s BFF
Hair and Makeup: Gabriel Dabaghi
Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Cellist: Beth Radovsky
Officiant: Pastor Paul Raddin
Rentals: DC Rentals

We’re continuing our series on photography timelines for a wedding day by talking about bride & groom photos and also the pros and cons of doing a first look.    If you haven’t had a chance to read the other posts in the series, feel free to check them out:

Part 1. Overview and Sample Timelines
Part 2 – Setting the Scene: Photographing Details
Part 3 – Before the Ceremony
Part 4 – The Ceremony

Bride & Groom Photos
Total time: 30-60
Bride & Groom portraits are just wonderful and such a great time of the day!  After doing an engagement shoot with us, our couples look forward to their portraits as one of the most romantic times of this perfect day.   We love being able to take the couple out for portraits with just the two of them and also give them a little time alone during a busy day!   Sometimes we have around 20-30 minutes for photos, if our couples don’t do a first look, but if our couples do choose to see each other before the ceremony, we often end up having around an hour for portraits, which can add a lot of variety to the photos.

Washington DC Wedding Photographer

A first look fits perfectly into some couple’s vision for their day, and for others, it’s not even a consideration. Both options are fine and whatever decision our couples make, won’t affect the quality of their images. When Susie married her husband, she knew a first look would make her day flow smoothly. For Becky and her husband, they wanted the first look to be that moment Becky began walking down the aisle. Neither of us would change the decision we made and we fully support whichever is best for our couples! If a bride feel nervous about walking down the aisle, we find a first look always seems to calm our brides. A first look is also a good option if family and wedding party images are going to take longer than usual. It may also be a good choice if a ceremony is so close to sunset that there will be no natural light left in the sky afterwards. Otherwise we would be exclusively using flashes for bride and groom portraits, which can increase the time needed for portraits. Again, these are just some things to consider. This is a very personal decision and we work closely with each couple to make sure they get great images either way!

Washington DC Wedding Photographer

With all of our couples, whether they do a first look or not, we also like to take them out at sunset for a few minutes (this generally falls during the time the guests are eating dinner.)  We’ve found a few minutes at sunset can give us some lovely, romantic images that our couple’s cherish!



You know about summers – no schedules, just right! Road trips, pool parties, family visits, late nights by the fire…. and lots of weddings. Summers are supposed to be flexible (except for the wedding dates; we’re firm on those ;-))!! But a few years ago, Susie and I embraced the flexibility so much that we gave up on our weekly meetings. It just felt like an entire afternoon could be better used catching up on work than meeting!

You know what we found at the end of that summer? Even with an “extra” afternoon of work time every week, we had accomplished very little. Worse, we had no direction. We just couldn’t figure out what track the business was on – we didn’t even feel like we were at the wheel. Susie was the one who diagnosed the problem at our big catchup meeting and it was so clear to me that she was right!!

So that’s how I ended up on my deck last Wednesday morning with a cup of coffee, 150 pages under my right thumb (none under my left thumb yet), while the kids ran around doing and eating whatever they wanted. I had a meeting with Susie at 2pm. There are some places we’d like to grow our business, so at the previous week’s meeting, we had agreed to each read a book relating to those areas of growth.

I’ll be honest. I only got through about 60 pages. Because, apparently, there was exactly one place on our entire property that Nicholas could be happy and that was on my lap.

BUT! That 60 pages and our resulting conversation generation enough action items to keep us busy through the last 10 days. We’ve made a couple of key additions to our workflow that I hope will spur some real growth over the next year or two.

That’s how it goes. Of course, we show each other grace. Susie just laughed when I told her how short I had fallen in my reading. BUT the accountability at least keeps us going forward. Without this partnership, if I as running this business on my own, I know this entire summer would have rushed by, leaving my dreams for the next stage of business in the dust. This way, we keep going. Sometimes it’s slow, sure, but at least we keep going in the right direction.

Yay for teamwork! (Excuse the phone photos – these are what I texted Susie that morning!!)




Janet Reynolds Matijkiw - July 28, 2015 - 1:26 pm

Patio looks great! Waht a handsome little munchkin!