Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Look {At A Glance}

You've asked, "What exactly is a first look? Well, simply put – it’s when the bride & groom spend some time before the ceremony in a private moment where we get to capture the intimacy of them seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. Yes, we are breaking tradition, actually, I like to call it, "starting a new tradition"! For those clients with a fast paced wedding timeline, it may be the best option for photography!  Typically, the photographers will scout out a spot that is remote and away from guests. Then we’ll lead the groom over to wait anxiously for his bride to tap him on the shoulder so he can turn around and see her in her glorious beauty, share true & intimate emotions, and admire who he is about to walk down the aisle with.
During a recent wedding this summer, I was shooting solo, yep, no assistant at this wedding and to make it more challenging, the sky opened up and rained. We were limited to shooting inside on a stairwell, which was the main entrance to the golf club. I had to work around arriving and exiting golf patrons and hope the guests would follow directions and stay out of the way for our shooting. It worked and I was happy with the results! What follows is just a sampling of a few of the images. More images to be shown in the final blog about this beautiful New Jersey wedding.

There are some circumstances that truly call out for a first look, such as: *You have an evening ceremony and you want to use natural light to capture your important photos.
 *You have a tight wedding schedule and you need to do all of your group/family photos before the ceremony. Some photographers include the WHOLE wedding party in the first look session, whereas typically it is just the bride and groom portraits.
 * You want to have plenty of time to venture out for your bride/groom photos.
 * You don’t mind trying out this new tradition.


Not only does this make for some amazing memories & photos, but you get to share a moment together in the rush that can sometimes be your wedding day! Most couples say that their nervousness is completely gone afterwards, and that despite having seen each other before the ceremony, they still feel equally special when they walk down the aisle and see their bride/groom again. Why? Because both moments are completely different. Nothing can ever replace seeing your bride/groom at the end of the aisle, locking eyes for the first time and realizing that in a few minutes you will officially be a married couple!

The first look, on the contrary, is more of a moment spent together, in privacy, at a slow pace – in what otherwise might be the hustle and bustle of your busy wedding day. It’s a chance for you both to soak it all in and enjoy one another.
How is the first look session beneficial to photographers? It gives us the opportunity and the time to artistically plan photography work, whether if we are working with lighting  (flash, studio, etc.) or natural lighting. We are not so rushed to quickly capture your moments, but have the time to devote directly to your images without worrying too much about a quickly paced timeline, providing our clients plan ample time in their schedule to accommodate for a first look session.  We recommend 2-4 hours depending on the size of the wedding and if the client wants to also included the entire wedding party and understand that sometimes, it rains!

Photographers like to believe that our clients not only hired us to document their day, but because they love the art that we create in our photography and that they want that same style for their own wedding photos.  At Glass Eyed Pony Photography, we strive to produce the best images possible as nothing brings us more joy that seeing our clients happy and in love with their images!

Images are memories captured, they last a lifetime and beyond! When you invest in great photography, you are investing in your memories!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Marriott Ranch {A Wedding Venue}

The smell of Autumn is still but a hint on this mid summer's breeze, but, it awakens something deep rooted in my soul. My belly fills up with that warm tingling sensation of excitement as nostalgia suddenly arouses the memories I cherish so dearly.

I am a New England girl at heart, born, raised, and transplanted in Northern Virginia. I miss the dense forests of my native New England. There, the trees paint the skyline in hues of brilliant oranges, golden yellows, deep burgundies, and scarlets. Leaves crunching beneath my hiking boots is music to my ears. When I notice the leaves turning their colors, here in my Virginia home, I grow eager for the beginning of the Autumn wedding season. Even early in the year, during bookings, I grow excited whenever I have a bride-to-be inquire about Autumn dates.

I am an artist through and through and color is what I love and lots of it. Autumn colors, in my opinion are far richer, livelier, and more vibrant than spring's colors. Its nature's last hurrah before winter slumber, and nature has a way of putting on a grand finale. When, editor Cindie Reinhold, of Brides and Weddings Northern Virginia inquired about my availability to photograph magazine coverage for the Marriott Ranch, I was elated!

"The Marriott Ranch is situated on 4200 acres in the foothills of Virginia's majestic Blue Ridge, Marriott Ranch and the Inn at Fairfield farm provide individual travelers and small corporate groups with a unique alternative to the standard style of larger facilities. Offering a historic Manor House as the property's centerpiece, the Marriott Ranch lets you experience true hospitality while relaxing and retreating in a natural setting. The Inn at Fairfield Farm operates on the Marriott Ranch as a traditional Bed and Breakfast with ten rooms and also serves as an unparalleled site for small, effective meetings or retreats. Privately arranged individual or group activities include horseback riding, jeep adventure tours, clay target shooting, western style cookouts, flyfishing ponds, event areas for small and large company picnics and the perfect spot for weddings and other more elegant social events."

I welcome you to revisit last Autumn, October 2013, with me now, through images captured by Glass Eyed Photography. I am honored to have been able to work aside of CurvyGirls Bridal, Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers,who was also our model during the shoot, Mary E. Taylor of Brush Strokes Salon, Victoria Wu of Cakes by Happy Eatery, Cynthia Damico of Design in Bloom, Lori Shepherd of Everything Linen, Stephanie Dasch of Diamond Events, Stephanie Thimons of Marriott Ranch, and of course, again, Cindie Reinhold, editor of Brides and Weddings Northern Virginia. Also, big thanks to my assistant, Iryna Krutchko, and our rookie photography apprentice Aubrey Ryan.

Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers,was also our model during the shoot!
Mary E. Taylor of Brush Strokes Salon
Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers,
Behind the scenes of course! Fitting the dress and GEPP apprentice Aubrey Ryan Finding the light.

Decorations and  more by Lori Shepherd of Everything Linen, & Stephanie Dasch of Diamond Events!

This stunning cake was created by Victoria Wu of Cakes by Happy Eatery.
The beautiful Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers
Dress supplied by Ruth Sutton of CurvyGirls Bridal 
Flowers by Cynthia Damico of Design in Bloom

Bouquet by Cynthia Damico of Design in Bloom 

The beautiful Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers
Bouquet & Flower Crown by Cynthia Damico of Design in Bloom 

The beautiful Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers and flower crown by Cynthia Damico of Design in Bloom

The beautiful Carolyn Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers
Dress supplied by Ruth Sutton of CurvyGirls Bridal 
Photographic Fine Art Piece by Glass Eyed Pony Photography
Textures and Actions created by Shadow Horse Studios LLC

Brides and Weddings Northern Virginia Cover

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bachelorette Party Session {SPECIAL}

{Now until Dec 2015- Girls Night Out Special}

We will be holding a Bachelorette Party Session photo special from now until Dec 2015! That's right, 2015! We play paparazzi for the night- following you and your gal pals around documenting your evening fun! Contact us today for more information!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Robert & Jingjing {the wedding day}

May 10th, 2014 was a moody day, but beautifully so. One minute the sky would open up an unleash tears of joy while in the following few minutes, the sun would shine with all its golden glory, setting all those droplets ablaze-thousands of brilliant sparkling diamonds across the fields and flowers. It was the perfect day for a wedding!

In some cultures, rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility, cleansing, and renewing. I have always been a lover of the rain, especially on a warm day. Often, during such occasions, you will find me shoeless with my toddler son jumping in puddles during a torrential downpour. Fun!

We often fear the idea of rain on a wedding day, especially where we have spent months planning the perfect ceremony under a canopy of trees for all of our guests to relish in the sight and sounds of nature while we take our wedding vows. This was Jinging's dream wedding. Outside under the trees against a backdrop of wall climbing ivy at the Goodstone Inn and Restaurant in Middleburg Virginia, in a stunning gown with one of the most gorgeous trains I have ever seen.

Come rain or shine, this wedding would be a splendid outdoor wedding, one to cherish and remember forever! Before I get to the main event, let's step back and get a glimpse of their beginning, which Robert and Jingjing kindly shared their own images.

Robert always tried to keep in mind the story of Adam, who just focused on responsibilities assigned to him, and God took care of introducing him to his "better half", Eve, when the time was right.  So, Robert's and Jingjing's story begins in February 2012 when they first met, just for a few days, in a professional context. After the professional work was finished, they initiated and maintained active daily email correspondence across the Pacific Ocean for six months, got to know each other well, and became good friends. 

In July of 2012 Robert met Jingjings family and the following January, Robert, during a trip on January 4, 2013 with Jingjing to Beijing, took a knee and proposed on the Frozen Lake at Bei Hai Park. Of course, she said yes!  In Chinese, when the date 2013-1-4 is pronounced, it sounds similar to "ai ni yi shen yi shi", which means "I love you forever"; see this article from BBC about it:

After Robert's proposal, the adventure continued, they visited many of the attractions to be found in Beijing, The Temple of Heaven, being one of their stops on their excursion. Afterwards, they flew to the city of Sanya, on the Hainan island in the South of China, for a small one-week vacation celebrating their engagement.

According to another Chinese tradition, related to the 12-year celestial cycle, it was important for Jingjing that our first baby be born in 2014; see this article: Robert and Jingjing had planned to be wed in the fall of 2013, but, in the summer 2013, Robert crushed his foot while working on a tall ladder.  Robert went in for a surgery to get some titanium hardware installed, and Jingjing spent all the three days and and three nights at the hospital with him. After that, Robert was on crutches for several months.
However, the main implication of this was: their wedding could not take place in Fall 2013 due to Robert's temporary handicap; they would have to wait until the weather turned warmer and nature turned more beautiful: Spring 2014.

But they were wondering: "does that mean that we now have to postpone our plan to have our baby all the way till 2016?".  They made the decision: "No. Since they already made a life-long commitment to each other and asked God to bless their union; they would not let the postponement of the formal ceremony interfere with their life plans."  And, God gave them a great blessing and great gift for Christmas 2014: their daughter was born on December 27, 2014.

Her first name is Raminta, which means "peaceful" in Robert's native language (Lithuanian), and her middle name is Jingmei, which means "virtuous and beautiful" in Chinese. She is the best baby in the world.

This is where their story begins...
February 2012

Meeting Jingjing's parents for the first time
July 2012

July 12- Dec 12 Jingjing and Robert visited DC often!

Jingjing and Robert
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

Bei Hai Park Frozen Lake Proposal
January 4th 2013
"This is the very spot where I proposed, on my knee, and she said "yes", after taking some time to think.." Robert
I thought that quote was entirely too cute and sincere to leave out! A special moment, out of the blue, does cause a moment of surprise, and leaves a you chasing your heart for a moment or two.

Temple of Heaven- Beijing Excursion
January 2013
The City of Sanya
Hainan island in the South of China

City of Sanya
Hainan island in the South of China

City of Sanya
Hainan island in the South of China
A trip to the Windy City- Chicago
October 2013
Glass Eyed Pony Photography's story with Jingjing & Robert began with a pseudo engagement photography session on the outskirts of the Washington Tidal Basin, during peak blooming in April! It was a gorgeous day, perfect for camera work as the it was slightly hazy and overcast. You can visit their Tidal Basin blog entry here, and read more about their pseudo-engagement session. Here is a small sampling from the engagement session.

{The Wedding Day} the big moment May 10, 2014, Wedding Day Rain, a certain kind of magic.

The dress, gorgeous, hand sequined and embellished- couture to the max. Stunning. Perfection.
The wedding day, simply put, was magic. Diamond Events with Stephanie Dasch and Melissa Bunn was responsible for the event decoration and timeline of events. They did a marvelous job and pulled everything together smoothly even with the ever changing weather. Jessica Pi of Jessica Pi Productions did an amazing job on the videography. You can view Jessica's video, Wedding At The Goodstone, here. Music was provided by Jerry Katz of Moonlight Cabaret.
The beautiful horses and carriage were provided by Harmon's Hayrides and Carriages
Hair and makeup was done by Trish Langley of My Mobile Salon