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Welcome to Beauty of the Soul Studio. Led by photographer Emily, we specialize in capturing the true inner beauty of each person, wedding, and event we encounter.

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National Monuments Wedding Elopement - Washington, DC - Kristine and Gaetan

National Monuments Wedding Elopement - Washington, DC - Kristine and Gaetan

Believe it or not, despite having photographed tons of weddings over the course of my 4 years as a wedding photographer in Northern Virginia, I hadn’t done any wedding portraits at the National Monuments in Washington, DC - until now!

Kristine and Gaetan have a romantic wedding in France planned for a future date, but upon realizing that getting legally married abroad is more than a little complicated, they decided to have a private elopement at the courthouse in DC. I met up with them shortly after their courthouse wedding, where Kristine showed up looking GORGEOUS in this lace and tulle dress that she got at a sample sale, paired with a beautiful hair styling and drop jewelry to polish off the look. Proof that just because you’re having a quick and simple wedding doesn’t mean you can’t look stunning while you do it! I loved that she was able to have this opportunity to dress the part for her legal wedding without spoiling the look she has planned for the French ceremony later on.

We were nervous about rain in the days leading up to the session, especially since they had an appointment at the courthouse, permit from the National Parks Service, and dinner celebration with immediate family that all couldn’t be moved. Praying that the rain would hold off, we were sooooo lucky to have a comfortable mostly-cloudy day to wander around the city, capturing romantic wedding portraits at the National Monuments. The sky was a giant softbox that let us shoot wherever we wanted, in whatever direction, without worrying about harsh unflattering light ruining the shot.

We wandered around for two hours, starting at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial and making sure to get some shots along the water with all the greenery of the cherry blossom trees that line the basin. We had expected to hop inside the DC War Memorial to get some shots with the classic marble columns, in case the Lincoln Memorial ended up being too crowded by the time we got there and because the Jefferson Memorial is under heavy renovation - we didn’t realize there would be a wedding going on there on a Thursday evening! We kept our distance going around to the back of the memorial and were able to discreetly capture photos of the memorial in the background without any sign of the wedding on the other side but it definitely threw us for a loop (and made me want to photograph a wedding at such an iconic DC spot!).

We kept moving along and visited the WWII memorial and reflecting pool before continuing down to the Lincoln Memorial. There was a good number of people around the front so we were nervous we wouldn’t end up getting any clean shots with the big marble columns that just scream “Washington DC” but lo and behold, we turned the corner around the side of the memorial and it was CLEAR! Kristine and Gaetan were able to share a dance, do some twirls, and wander down the corridor with only an occasional stranger trying to pass by… and then we did it all again at the back of the monument with the even longer stretch of columns virtually clear of tourists and visitors as well. It was a dream come true!

Kristine and Gaetan were naturals in front of the camera and it was so fun to work with a couple that was so obviously in love and willing to let me make them kiss and dance and snuggle in the middle of one of the most busy cities in the country. Their families tagged along throughout the session and only added to the fun - they were all so sweet and so easy to work with! I envy their photographer in France for the big celebration to come!

A bride poses for a portrait on her wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride twirls in her tulle wedding dress on her wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride faces away from the camera to show off the details on the back of her dress and her hair on her wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
Details of a bride’s hair featuring a bridal hair vine hairpiece on her wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
Details of a bride’s jewelry including a bridal hair vine hairpiece and drop earrings on her wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A groom poses for a traditional portrait in his blue suit on his wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A groom smiles as he adjusts his blue suit on his wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A groom smiles for the camera on his wedding day at the Tidal Basin near the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom pose for a classic portrait on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride nuzzles into her groom as he smiles at the camera on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A close up shot of bridal jewelry details including sapphire and diamond wedding rings and a pearl bracelet on a wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom smile at each other as they stand arm in arm on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together arm in arm with foreheads together on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together arm in arm with foreheads together on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin by the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together for a classic portrait along the Potomac River on their wedding day at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together with heads leaning toward each other on their fall wedding day in front of the DC War Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together holding hands on their fall wedding day in front of the DC War Memorial in Washington, DC
A groom kisses his bride on the cheek on their fall wedding day in front of the DC War Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together for a classic portrait on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together with foreheads together on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together with foreheads together and her hand on his chest on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
A bride and groom pose together arm-in-arm with foreheads and noses together on their fall wedding day at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
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A bride and groom share a kiss on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom walk together on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC
A groom twirls his bride as her tulle wedding dress swirls around her on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together as the bride’s dress dramatically blows in the breeze on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom share a romantic kiss on their fall wedding day at the WWII Memorial in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
A bride and groom pose together with foreheads and noses together on their fall wedding day at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride faces away as her groom faces toward the camera and they look at each other as her tulle dress blows gently in the breeze on their fall wedding day at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument in Washington, DC
A bride and groom dance together on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom dance together and share a kiss on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom dance together and the groom twirls his bride as her tulle dress swirls around her on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom stand together with foreheads together holding hands on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom walk together along the columns of the Lincoln Memorial as her tulle skirt flows around her on their wedding day in Washington, DC
A bride and groom snuggle in together beside a marble column on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom hold hands as they lean against a marble column on their wedding day at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom snuggle in together beside a marble column on their wedding day with a view of the reflecting pool and Washington Monument at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom embrace and look at each other in front of a view of the reflecting pool and Washington Monument at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
A bride and groom embrace and enjoy a view of the reflecting pool and Washington Monument at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
Cabell's Mill Fall Wedding - Chantilly, Virginia - Isabel and Ian

Cabell's Mill Fall Wedding - Chantilly, Virginia - Isabel and Ian

Best Places for Portrait Sessions in Northern Virginia: Old Town Alexandria Spotlight

Best Places for Portrait Sessions in Northern Virginia: Old Town Alexandria Spotlight