DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

Just Because: Julia & Alex | McLean, Virginia

I love when couples do “just because” sessions.  So many of us (even photographers!) have professional portraits taken maybe twice or three times in our lives – our engagement photos, our wedding photos and perhaps a couple other random occasions for work or other big life events.  A “just because” session lets you capture a little bit of who and how you are right now, without needing an occasion.

This past weekend, Julia and Alex and I got together for that reason – none at all really.  I’m fortunate enough to be friends with these two and I know them as kind of a standoffish couple – not a lot of PDAs here, folks.  Little did I know they were hiding boundless cuddly cuteness just beyond our sights!

We headed out to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm off of the GW Parkway.  It was a great location for couple photos and we had some amazing fall color (even though it’s the end of the season and fading fast) and beautiful patches of afternoon light.  I wouldn’t recommend it as a photo venue, however.  We were sternly asked not to do any “commercial” photography.  We waved them off with “but we’re all just friends!”  Good thing they let us go on.

couple photography in McLean, VA

couple in love in northern virginia

couple by a fence in mclean, va

Now I just have to say that Julia is one of the nicest people I know.  Lots of folks are nice enough, but Julia is unendingly sweet, thoughtful and generous.  I was so excited when she said she wanted me to photographer her with her honey.

julia and alex in love in northern virginia

head shots of couple in northern virginia

couple laughing mclean, va couple photographer

Alex, it turns out, is totally goofy.

goofy guy makes his lady smile in mclean, va

Which is awesome, because it makes Julia laugh.

smiling happy couple in northern virginia

Look at this gorgeous lady.

leaves in fall light in mclean, va

girl in window at claude moore colonial farm in mclean, va

beautiful woman with leaf in northern virginia

I couldn’t get enough of this window on the side of the farmhouse.  It drove me crazy trying to make the image straight – all of the planks and side of the house and window are all on different planes!  Oh well, love is kinda crooked sometimes.

couple kissing in window in northern virginia

couple kissing in mclean, va

couple in the woods in black and white - northern virginia

They both brought a clothing change.  Julia stuck with her red sweater but we made Alex change into the professor’s jacket towards the end of the shoot – “two against one!” we said.  Before that, though, he kept having to hang his jacket from various branches and things so as not to get it dirty and wrinkled.  I thought it looked pretty neat hanging in the woods.

jacket hanging in woods diptych

couple holding hands in mclean, va

This image comes to you courtesy of the Brenizer Method – you take a bunch of photos at a longer focal length (85mm here at f/2.4) and stitch them together using Photoshop’s panorama tool.  It can create some really cool effects.

brenizer method with couple in love - northern virginia

As we were headed back to our cars, we needed to cross a path some geese were occupying.  One started to charge me!  This lovely period-attired young woman had to come to our rescue.  Seriously, geese are scary.

period-attire girl scaring away geese at Claude Moore Colonial Farm

I was glad she did, though, because I had Julia and Alex sit down on the path just beyond the geese and we got some of my favorite images from the day.

couple sitting on path - black and white - in northern virginia

beautiful afternoon light on couple photos - northern virginia portrait photographer

Thanks again Julia and Alex for having me capture your slice-of-life!  Enjoy the new domestic arrangement. 🙂

If you’re interested in having me take “just because” photos of you and your sweetie (or you and anybody else!), please drop me a line and tell me a little about yourself.

facebook comments:

Amanda BasteenNovember 10, 2010 - 3:20 pm

Beautiful! I love the shot of them kissing through the leaves and the colors on the one of them holding hands in front of the woods. Great set!

TallNovember 10, 2010 - 3:48 pm

Nice work and what a beautiful location. I love the lighting in these, especially on the B&W one next to last.

Ben GodkinNovember 10, 2010 - 8:15 pm

Looks like you captured the couples personality to a tee. LOVE that shot with the little girl chasing the geese. Great stuff!

Kat BramanNovember 11, 2010 - 3:20 am

really lovely use of light!

orange county photographerNovember 11, 2010 - 9:30 am

See, I knew there was a reason why I visited your site. Its because of nice stuff like this. Thanks for the post. Look forward to more. Later!

Thomas LesterNovember 11, 2010 - 5:57 pm

What an awesome location! Love the little barn (or house… or whatever it is). Great set.

TreyNovember 11, 2010 - 9:03 pm

I really like that Brenizer one, very beautiful. Geese are scary, agreed!

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