Megan + Nate's Paris destination newlywed session at Jardins des Tuileries

I am SO excited to share this beautiful session!  Megan + Nate are friends of mine who hail from Washington DC. The tied the knot in Virginia on June 3, 2017 -- the same weekend this summer that I jetted off for two weeks of travel to Iceland and Paris! A few days after I did, they hopped on a plane to celebrate their union with a two-week tour of France, beginning and ending in Paris. When we realized we'd be in Paris at the same time, it was kismet!  There are so many gorgeous options for photos in Paris, but captured this golden moment in their lives with a sun-drenched stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries on a midsummer’s evening (before a quick stop outside the Lourve and a night at one of Paris' best wine bars!)

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Barns at Wolf Trap and Children's Theater wedding | Daphne + Steve

Weddings, at their core, are simple: a pledge of commitment between two people. They're also complex: a many-faceted dance of family dynamics, moving parts, friendships, feelings, and bracing for change. Some weddings I see lean toward simple; others complex. Daphne + Steve's wedding day truly embodied both in equal measure. All the way from Istanbul, where they recently moved, I received a lovely thank you in the mail this week. That thoughtful attention to detail (I'm normally the one who's sending thank yous to my clients!) and the simple grace of their words echoed their wedding day, and I think it's probably embedded in everything about these two humans. Their joy and love for one another, life, and their larger world shine through everything they touch, simply and clearly. And yet, their wedding day was a delicate, bustling dance of 1,000 interwoven parts that came together only through care, work, and planning.

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weddingsAimee Custis
Jasmine + Graham's vibrant spring Chinese-American wedding at the Arts Club of Washington

Sometimes, you get to know your Twitter friends in real life. Sometimes, they turn out to be dapper, whip-smart nerds who care about a lot of the same things you do. And then, every once in a while, they're getting married to a gorgeous, fashionable, hilarious, amazing, foodie, dynamo-of-a-woman. And they're getting married. And you get to photograph it. Graham and Jasmine are the definition of a DC power couple, and I was THRILLED to photograph their wedding day in May at the Arts Club of Washington. 

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weddingsAimee Custis
Today, a bride and dear friend asked me for advice

This morning, a soon-to-be-bride who's a dear friend asked me on the phone as we were working on her day-of timeline, "any other advice? I've never done this getting married thing before!"

I laughed and gave her some trivial advice about the wedding day itself, but the truth is, the wisdom I have to share at this season in my life isn't bright trivialities. This year has been the hardest of my life, dealing with love, loss, running out of time, forgiveness, and knowing myself. I've started at least half a dozen times in the past year to write about where life has taken me, but haven't succeeded yet...

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Celine + Yoon's elegant April garden wedding celebration at DACOR-Bacon House

Elegant, thoughtfully detailed, with gorgeous cultural touches. Celine + Yoon's wedding day at DACOR-Bacon House in Foggy Bottom -- steps from the State Department -- couldn't have reflected the two of them more perfectly. DACOR-Bacon House is the home to DACOR, an association of foreign affairs professionals. What could be a better wedding venue for a foreign service officer groom, a State Department bride? Family and friends flew in from all over the world to celebrate with these dear hearts. Celine is demure but hilarious, and Yoon is her perfect complement -- a total gentleman of a rockstar, and he just lights up whatever room he walks into. Together, the two of them are magnetic. They married on a chilly Saturday in April, but by the end of the day and night, between the cherry blossoms, laughter, and great company, nobody was feeling cold in the slightest.

Oh and PS -- their first look? One of my favorite, ever. 

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Aimee Custis
Caitríona + Michael's colorful engagement at US Capitol Lower Senate Park

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And yet, sometimes, that's a good thing, and in return for putting your trust in the universe, the universe puts its trust in you. When Caitríona, Michael, and I arrived at the National Portrait Gallery atrium to take some beautiful air-conditioned snaps before heading out into DC's July heat... we were a bit flummoxed! Despite our calling ahead, the atrium was set up for a private event... and while the space was open to the public, we weren't planning a gala-themed engagement session...

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Pras + Kristi's Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park engagement

Kristi + Pras are charming, well-spoken, and warm... and wouldn't you know, the weather on the day we'd scheduled their engagement was forecast to be a perfect match for their sunny personalities! We were so excited to escape DC without-escaping-DC by heading down to Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park! Well, when I popped out of the Metro at Cleveland Park, a crazy little summer storm had popped up out of nowhere, but luckily by the time Kristi + Pras had arrived, it had blown over as quickly as it had arrived, and we had a beautiful, sunlit few hours in the park!

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Laura + Dave's Saturday adventure Baltimore engagement

Adventure day! Baltimore is awesome. Laura + Dave call Pittsburgh (another awesome city) home, but Laura grew up outside of Baltimore, and they'll be tying the knot in Baltimore this fall. Since their wedding is at the beautiful Hillendale Country Club, we decided to explore some of Baltimore's great urban neighborhoods for their engagement! Laura + Dave were in town for the weekend for some wedding planning, so I took the commuter train up for the day, and we started at Baltimore Penn Station...

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Chris + Cody's cherry blossom wedding at St. Regis Hotel

Band camp nerd meets Model UN nerd. They fall in love. And is it any wonder? Chris attended Navy Officer Candidate School before finding himself coordinating the humanitarian relief effort aboard an aircraft carrier floating off the coast of Haiti, and then eventually leaving sailor life behind for an assignment at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Cody studied political science and health policy, and today directs communications at an HIV/AIDS organization. You have never met two such well-matched, caring, world-changing... nerds. On their first date (a birthday brunch), they shared a koi pond, a trampoline, and Game of Thrones. The rest, as they say, is history.

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10 tips for picking an engagement session location | helpful hints

Engagements sessions! I love them! Why? They document a particular time in your lives and help me get to know you better! If we're going to all the effort to do an engagement session, why not make sure it's extra-awesome and really reflects the two of you as a couple? The very best way to do that is with your engagement session LOCATION! Tons of my couples turn to me for advice on where to shoot their engagement session, and I LOVE to help. Not sure where to start in choosing your own location? Here's the advice I give my couples and the questions I ask...

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Stephanie + John's colorful autumn estate wedding | Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville | Virginia wedding photography

Things I learned documenting this beautiful Charlottesville estate wedding at the home that once belonged to James Monroe: 1.) Do not ever doubt the energy, love, or capability of one Stephanie Remick, bride. She is awesome and her execution of her plans will be equally awesome, however unconventional on paper. 2.) Charlottesville is absolutely beautiful in November, and the golden light on the rolling hills is magnificent. 3.) Getting ready for your wedding day at adjoining AirBnBs is something that more couples should do, because you have so much more space than a hotel room with none of the clutter of being at home... 

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Aimee Custis
Travel photography + a mini portrait session | Half Moon Bay, California

This weekend, I flew to San Francisco to meet my dear friends, the McCreas, first daughter, Larkin! I can't wait to share my time with little lady Larkin, and it was so fabulous to spend time with the family at such an important moment... but Sunday, my amazing grad school friend Krista drove down to meet me from Sacramento for the day, and we went to Half Moon Bay, which in all of my time and trips to the Bay Area, I've never visited! When two introverts get together, you actually end up with a very balanced conversation, and we loved getting brunch, wandering the harbor, and then heading inland to downtown Half Moon Bay.

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personalAimee Custis
Meet baby Leona | Northern Virginia lifestyle newborn photography

Anyone who's followed my photography for any length of time knows that I LOOOOOOVE getting to know my clients. I find it to be so important to capturing the essence and joie de vivre of my subjects! In my busiest seasons, it's a bittersweet joy for me to photograph engagements, and then weddings of my couples. Then, I love following their love stories as they unfold... going on honeymoon... buying a home... and often, welcoming children to their family!  While weddings, anniversaries, and engagement are my focus, occasionally, a family I've grown close to will ask me to photograph their newest additions... and if I'm extra-lucky, it will work out in my schedule! And that's how I came to meet adorable little Leona, the newest addition to Tommy + Corrine's family!

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familyAimee Custis
Amber + Andy's breezy holiday Kennedy Center engagement session

Meeting and getting to know my couples before their wedding day is so important, and one of my favorite parts of that is an engagement session! I met up with Amber + Andy on a beautiful-turned-blustery day in late November at the Kennedy Center. As we got going, clouds rolled in, and the wind whipped up, but we found some lovely spots like a beautiful holly hedge before gale-force winds finally forced us inside!

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Chelsea + Zack's low-key romantic urban wedding at Toolbox DC Washington DC

Holy hot sauce, there is SO MUCH to love about Chelsea + Zack's wedding. First of all, Chelsea + Zack are friends of friends, which means they're totally my kind of people. When they told me they were getting married at a yoga studio / art gallery, I got really excited. When Google Maps told me that said yoga studio / art gallery was situated in an alleyway a 4-minute walk from...

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