Archive for ‘Enagements’

October 25, 2011

Harrisonburg Downtown Engagement :: Alina + Artem

Alina and Artem is not your usual couple.  If you’re thinking of what the usual couple is like and you’re listing; Cute, sweet, loving, respectful, caring, gentle, and absolutely perfect…  Triple all that and you might have an idea of what these two are like.  The hour that was spent with these two was incredible.  Though they were somewhat shy to discuss their engagement story we know and can tell you that these crazy kids are crazy about each other and can’t wait to be married!  Hallelujah!  May God be glorified by their love!

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Happy Tuesday Everyone!

June 2, 2011

Swannanoa Mansion Engagement :: Alice & Steele

I knew Alice ever since we were just kids running around.  Homework was our only enemy and with no serious responsibilities, we spent the summers with our mutual friend.  I met her through that mutual friend of ours.  When the friend moved away to another state, we lost contact with each other.  Years passed and I ran into her at a nail salon.  I was engaged and she wasn’t seeing anyone yet.  When another year passed, we found each other on FaceBook and decide to meet up for a coffee date.

When we met, Alice told me about her life plans…  Missionary trip to Africa, her new boy friend Steele, and job hunting stories.  Then, she mentioned an engagement.  My ears perked up and I was absolutely sure that I wanted to be a part of her wedding in a special way, though I didn’t say anything.  When the time came and Alice got engaged to Steele, I proposed to do her wedding pictures as a gift, later finding out that they were in desperate need of a wedding photographer and were loosing hope.  When you put God in the center of your life,  you’re sure to get your prayers answered.

At our appointment with both of them, we were talking about a few wedding details, when Alice said she needs to warn us about something important.  We waited and she begun saying how their wedding will have the homeless attending.  My mind went completely blank and I was extremely confused.  I’m sure Alice noticed how puzzled we looked, cause she continued by saying “the Bible teaches us when we host a banquet we should invite the poor rather than our friends!”…

Luke 14:12 “…  When you host a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors so you can be invited by them in return and get repaid.  But when you host an elaborate meal, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.  Then you will be blessed because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Alice and Steele have a beautiful relationship that is built on God.  They have an amazing love for each other!  The way they treat one another, talk to each other, and care.  They are polite and patient.  Calm and rational.  They wanna help make the world a better place. They are absolutely perfect for each other and I couldn’t be more happier for them.

Happy Thursday!

June 1, 2011

Afton Virginia Swannanoa Mansion Engagement :: Sneak Peak

This has got to be one of my favorite engagement sessions, EVER!  Mainly because I’ve never been to the amazing, hundreds-of-years-old, gorgeous, secluded mansion.  And because the couple made the mansion look like it came straight out of a “Wonder’s of the World” magazine.   The day was so extremely hot, but every step we took that day was worth it.   We walked around and the more we saw the more beautiful the place became.  It was as if we lived in a different time.  Everything was so perfect about that place, I didn’t want to leave…

Swannanoa is an Italianate villa built in 1912 by millionaire and philanthropist James H. Dooley (1841–1922).   It is a replica based on a building in Rome.  Located about 20 minutes away from my house.  It was Intended to be a “summer place” for Richmond, Virginia, James H. Dooley and his wife Sallie Mae, it reportedly took over 300 artisans eight years to build the structure, complete with Georgian marbleTiffany windows,gold plumbing fixtures, and terraced gardens. Built as a token of love from husband to wife, the depth of James and Sally May’s relationship was represented in the 4,000 piece Tiffany stained-glass window and a domed ceiling bearing the likeness of Mrs. Dooley.   Despite the lavish expenditure, it was occupied only for a few years following completion in 1912.

Swannanoa got its name when Sallie Mae was to think of a name for the Mansion her husband built for her, she thought of her favorite bird.  The swan!  When the swan chooses a mate, it chooses it for ever and knowing that she named her Summer house Swannanoa.

Major Dooley died in 1924 at the age of 82. He left Swannonoa entirely to his wife, Sally Mae along with several million dollars. Sally Mae Dooley died in 1926 at the age of 79.  She left the estate to Major Dooley’s two sisters.  When the property was built, it had state-of-the-art fixtures for the time period. Electricity and plumbing was installed in the house.  It was the first house that had electricity in Nelson County and to accomplish this it had its own power plant on the property.  There also was a built in elevator.  Like MonticelloThomas Jefferson‘s house 27 miles away, it had a dumb-waiter to bring food up from the basement kitchen to the dining room on the first floor.

The sisters sold Swannanoa in 1926 to the Valley Corporation, a Richmond corporation, who became the second owners of Swannanoa.  They planned and opened a country club in 1929 and closed in 1932.  During that time they built the stone building on the property rumored to house the region’s best moonshine distillery and was the favored supplier for government officials during Prohibition.  The golf course was an 18-hole course.  In was during Swannanoa’s time as a country club that Calvin Coolidge had Thanksgiving dinner (1928) at the mansion.  The sumptuous accommodations and isolation from the Capitol’s hubbub seemed to affect Mrs. Coolidge deeply, giving her “the giddiness of a mare in the spring” according to the waitstaff. Calvin was typically silent on the subject, but seemed rather drawn and sleepy for the next day’s hunting. 

The mansion was empty from 1932 until 1942, when A.T. Dulaney formed Skyline Swannanoa, Inc. Dunlaney and nine other stockholders purchased Swannanoa and became the third owners of the property.  The United States Navy considered purchasing and renovating the property in 1942, which they calculated would cost $200,000, for the purpose of establishing a secret facility to interrogate prisoners of war. The military rejected it in favor of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Fort Hunt, Virginia, because it seemed unlikely that Congress would approve the purchase of such a palatial structure for the purpose.  The mansion stood empty through the Great Depression and World War II until it was leased in 1949 to Walter Russell for his University of Science and Philosophy.  During this period, the retreat took in a series of feminine acolytes who, to help support the institute, gave tours of the mansion and grounds. It became a right-of-passage for the region’s young men to view the lasses, as the diaphanous gowns they wore made quite evident that the mountain top location was often a chilly clime. Walter Russell died in 1962, his wife Lao died in 1988. The University of Science and Philosophy decided to leave the property and gave up their lease in 1998. In 1999 Skyline Swannanoa, Inc. started major renovations on the property.

Today the property is owned by J. F. Dulaney, Jr., of Charlottesville, who has been attempting to restore the property to its former glory.  “Attempting” for almost twelve years to restore it, he hasn’t gotten to it yet…  With all this history that I didn’t know before five minutes ago, I can say with pride that I walked on Swannanoa Mansion Property!

(Source ::  Wikipedia)


Happy Wednesday!

April 26, 2011

Leather Bound Album Books + They’re custom!

The long-awaited package came last Wednesday!  Seems like everything happened on Wednesday ;)  The package wasn’t a big one, but it sure was a very exciting one!  Our very first Album Book order came, and boy was I in awe.  The quality, the brand new smell, the leather, the prints, and the imprinting was just incredible.  I’m telling you this definitely won’t be the last time I order with them!  It’s one thing to see it in pictures, it’s a completely different experience when it’s right in front of you and you’re holding it and smelling it.  It’s.  Simply.  Amazing!  But don’t take my word for it…

The box that every album is hugged in and snuggled safely with life-time guarantee…

The inside of the box cover is soft and very gentle on the book.  With a silky ribbon for easy grabbing…

This album that they ordered was a 6″x9″, sounds small right?  Well I was surprised how big it appeared.  The leather was Top Grain Khaki.

The imprinting…

And my logo imprinting…

They lay flat…  Completely flat!

The gutter is barely even there…  So amazing!

You see?  I don’t!

With very thick strong pages…

Happy Tuesday!

February 15, 2011

Harrisonburg Downtown Engagement : Liya & Andrey

Good morning!  I’ve had this blog post ready to be blogged yesterday morning.  But since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t resist blogging about LOVE.  So this had to wait…  I hope that their “Sneak Peak”  held you in strong anticipation, and that you couldn’t wait till the full thing…

The weather that morning was just terrible!  Windy, freezing, and cloudy!  They were such troopers, you couldn’t even tell they were cold!  Some of you may know that with every engagement blog post, I blog about how they met, or how he proposed…  Well this time I’ll let you guys ask them yourself… Enjoy!

Not a shiver is seen…

Liya!  You are simply stunning!

My angle…

Vitaliy’s angle…  Angles.

My angle…

Vitaliy’s angle…

One of my absolute favorites!

Too cute!

Rawr!  So fierce!

Be sure to watch their slideshow!

February 12, 2011

First Sneak Peak…

So as many of you already know, I usually post the full engagement shoot right after we come back… The same day.  Well today, I decided to do my ‘Very first sneak peak’…  I hope you guys will get excited from the one picture on the bottom of this post and will be waiting, anticipating, and looking forward to their full engagement shoot… And of course a slide show!


Happy lovely but freezing Saturday!

January 8, 2011

It was a very good year…

This post should have been posted a month ago…  The reason being I honestly didn’t have enough days in my week to do so I’m doing it now…  A week into the new year and I’ve finally gotten around to doing it.  It was a very wonderful year.  2010 gave me so much to be thankful for that I honestly wouldn’t know where to start.

I bought my first DSLR in April 2010.  It was my 7d, that is now across America, and belongs to a very happy young man.  And I’m a happy lady to have my 5d now…  Win, win, situation.

My very first shoot was of a very sweet young lady, Kristina, which was kind enough to let me photograph her…  I didn’t know anything about my camera back then, in fact I didn’t even open up the users manuel until long after her shoot.  But we had fun and that’s all that matters.

My first wedding as a back up was the following month, in May.  It was hot and it was one looong day.  The couple was incredibly fun to photograph so open to ideas and never once complained about being tired!  Marta & Yev, thank you again for risking so much with us. ;]  The first wedding is always an incredible experience.

My first alone wedding -as well as my first travel wedding- was in July.  The beautiful couple, Margarita & John…  Such a pleasure it was to be close to family and be more than just a part of their wedding.

The very first paid engagement was an amazing time spent with the incredibly funny couple Yana & Walter.  It was our very first paid wedding also, which was a beautiful day with much love and laughter.

And of course all the little shoots and we did in between…  Emily Nichole, Tammy, Inna, Brandy & Jake, Little Baby Natalie Ann, Victoria & Vasily, Nadia & MikeTaylor & Dustin, Lena & Dmitry, Bondaruk family, Ludmila & Vlad, Anna & Adam, and my lovely Sis…  If I missed someone, please forgive me.

Looking back, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if it wouldn’t have been for God.  He was there for me every step of the way.  Looking out for me and knowing what time is best.  When I wanted to rush into something, he stopped me for my own good.  And thank you all for the support!

A look back at the 2010 weddings & Engagements!