Posts in personal
What I learned being in front of the lens for a boudoir session | Washington DC wedding photographer

I'm a big believer in boudoir as an incredibly powerful and empowering experience. I've both photographed boudoir for friends and clients, and gotten in front of the lens myself. Months ago, I decided to schedule a boudoir photo session. It was a deeply liberating, and empowering, and also heartbreaking experience. I am so incredibly glad to have…

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Our spring Styled Sweetheart Session workshop! | Washington DC photographer education

It's been a season of exciting growth for me! My 2018 datebook has been more or less filled since late January, and I have so many exciting things on the calendar for this year! More to come on many of them, but one of the cool things I've been working on is how to share my love for making people comfortable in front of the camera with other photographers. In March, I launched the first Aimee Custis Photography Styled Sweetheart Session workshop!

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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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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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Virtual tour: My new studio apartment! | personal

Fall is always incredibly busy, but this fall is taking things to a new level! Those of you who know me personally know that I moved into a new apartment in mid-September. It's a delightful, sunny little studio in my same building in Dupont Circle in downtown Washington DC.  For the past month or so, in addition to everything else going on, I've been settling in! 

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Our California summer vacation!

Still so behind on blogging so many beautiful weddings from this year... but today, I have VACATION photos to share! In a parallel universe somewhere, I'm living a magical life in California, so I decided that  that's where we would head. We spent 3.5 days in Los Angeles, a day in San Diego, a day on an Amtrak train, a day in San Francisco, and a day in Napa. 

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Let's get personal: I got promoted!

This is a personal post, and it's a long-time overdue... as you'll see if you keep reading. Why is it so overdue? Because I simply haven't had a free millisecond to sit down and write it. Yes, now that May is here, wedding season is ramping up, and I'm always busy, but it's so much more than that: I got promoted! Most of my couples and other clients know by now; I'm not exactly spilling the beans. But for those of you who don't know, photography isn't my full-time career.

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Our adventure to the Renwick Gallery to see WONDER

I have been a lazy, lazy blogger for the past few months! The "off season" from weddings has been a welcome break from the craziness of how much my photography practice grew last year, especially last fall... so while things are a little less crazy in my schedule, I've let blogging slip a little bit... to the point that I've got a couple of weddings and other sessions piling up to share soon! But this past Monday, since it was Presidents Day, Kian and I had a day of fun checking out a new ramen bar by our house, bed shopping... and checking out the WONDER installation at the Renwick Gallery. So much color, light, and whimsy. WONDER definitely lived up to its name!

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My photography role models + why I love them

Welcome, 2016! With it being the new year, I've been thinking a lot about why I love photographing couples in love.  So many people can take pretty pictures, but as my photography practice grows, I want my couples to get more than that from me!  

I've also been thinking a lot about the photographers I consider role models, and what I love about them. Here are 5 amazing female photographers I admire + what I love about them!

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Personal creative | Hipster-inspired vintage portraits

There's a saying that "October is for wedding photographers what April is for accountants." That's no joke!! I've had an amazing whirlwind fall of the most amazing couples -- and I feel truly blessed. I have the best job!! But it does take a bit of a toll, and that's why it's so important to keep pushing myself creatively to do new, better, different things with my photography. Kian is a master at "personal projects," and last night, he planned a (his words, not mine) "hipster-inspired" just-for-fun photoshoot with our friend Morri. 

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Personal: Five hopes for my thirties

Today, it's official. I'm no longer a twenty-something. 

And if I can be honest with myself and the world, it's something I've been looking forward to for a while now. My twenties were wonderful: so much learning, loving, and growing. I made amazing, lifelong friends from every corner of the country, and got started on a career path that I felt so passionate about.

I hoped for, but expected, almost none of those things, and as I get older (hey, it's better than the alternative!) I find myself having even more hopes and fewer expectations. 

So happy birthday to me, and here are some hopes for my next decade.

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    Favorite things | Maple glazed pork + peach kabobs with peach mostarda

    I love to cook. Before I took up photography, it was actually one of my very favorite creative outlets. Cooking well is one of the few things I treasure having learned from my mom, and there's little I love more than leisurely making something from scratch on a weekend. Often these days, though, Kian and I settle for dinners of takeout tacos picked up on the way home, or don't manage to have dinner together at all

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    One way I stay grounded

    If there's one thing I've learned in my 29 (soon-to-be 30) years on this planet, it's that I can't keep going and going without taking care of myself, and that it's something I really struggle with.

    As a type-A woman, and for the past few years, as a small business owner, I have a tendency to pour myself into others -- if something could benefit from my attention, and I'm asked, I have a hard time saying "no". Which is how I came to be working a demanding salaried day job, volunteering as the managing editor of a group blog, AND photographing 17 weddings this year.

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    Our trip to India!

    Every few years, Kian's family takes a big international vacation to somewhere to catch up and bond as a family. The last time they went was Japan in fall 2011, and Kian was apparently a bit distracted talking to this girl he'd met online... fast forward 3 1/2 years, and that girl he'd met online found herself in Delhi, visiting the Taj Mahal, and so much as part of the family.

    I'm so incredibly grateful to Kian's mom and dad, Caryl and Martin, for including me on this trip! Also joining us were Paul and Marta, Kian's older brother and his girlfriend, who we've visited in San Francisco. 

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    Trains & Canals: Amsterdam

    Our trip to Amsterdam started out with an overnight train ride. Close friends know I'm a bit of a train nerd, and that I'm missing this year's trek by rail across the US because I used up all of my vacation time going to Europe. So I was super-excited to take first class sleeper accommodations from Copenhagen to Amsterdam... ah, if only that had actually worked out.

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    Copenhagen

    Home sweet home! We're back from our wonderful two weeks in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Paris! I'm so excited to share the first of the pictures from our trip with all of the wonderful friends, family, and clients who wished us well on our trip

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