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Natural Light Portraits in Northern Virginia

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

(This is a duplicate from my being featured in a Basic Invite blog post.)

Having been a graphic designer in my previous life, I quickly found photography as a terrific creative outlet for me. I began focusing primarily on landscape photography as I enjoy the peace and tranquility at unique locations that come to life under early morning sunrises or late evening sunsets. Over the years, I began venturing into portrait photography and now find it just as rewarding as landscape photography, but for completely different reasons.

Landscape photography is simply me and my immediate environment, waiting for the right light and seeking out the perfect composition. Portrait photography is equally rewarding, but because of the connections I make with the people I shoot. I often spend a little time with my clients before pulling out the camera, just chatting and getting to know them.

The true key for me is to get to know my clients enough before the shoot to help relieve some of the nerves and allow them to have fun during the session. I am a kidder by nature, so a little laughter usually helps them let their guard down and interact with each other as if I wasn’t even there. I tend to stay away from specific poses and simply lead them through different spots at the location and allow them to interact with each other in their own natural way. But ultimately it’s about enjoying the experience and just having some fun. Genuine light, genuine smiles, and genuine interaction – those are the building blocks for a great photo session and results that most clients are thrilled with.

This shoot with a British couple, Alex and Paul, was one of my personal favorites as they seem to really embrace the moments and were an incredibly vibrant and jovial couple. Their playfulness clearly translated into their final images and this is what they loved most about the collection. I brought the camera, but they brought the energy. They were an absolute pleasure!

Many photographers have very distinct styles. My landscape photography definitely has this continual style, but my portrait work sometimes changes. It changes because it’s a different dynamic – one where I aim to capture the style of photos my client’s want, not what I want. Ultimately, each shoot is a collaborative effort between myself and my clients. We all contribute to the ideas, thoughts, and creativity to achieve the results we’re seeking.

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