Carnegie Institution of Science Washington DC Wedding Photographers: Paula & Darryl

Timeless, classic, elegant Washington DC wedding at the Carnegie
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When Paula & Darryl first reached out to me they were looking for a creative wedding photographer that had a real eclectic mix of photography skills.  They enjoyed my blog and liked how unique and personal my work felt and how I was able to capture the architecture and setting as well as the people.
They wanted a photographer who could capture everything from traditional portraiture (like the image above) to candid emotional photos (you will see several of those throughout the post) to unique, colorful, creative images (like the image below) and everything in between.
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Paula & Darryl’s wedding day began at Hotel Rouge, a unique modern hotel located one block from the Carnegie Institution for Science.  It was a highlight of Darryl’s day to enjoy the company of his groomsmen as they all got ready for the ceremony.  They shared many laughs and were such a pleasure to work with throughout the day.
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Paula shared that Darryl exceeds any hopes and dreams she had for her partner in life.  She fell in love with Darryl because of how incredibly loving he is and the way he loves her.
While Paula appreciates Darryl’s sophisticated taste and style, he also has a fun and playful side to him.  I think you can really see a little of both here:
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I like the shadows of the trees and the mix of bare branches with spring buds and just how this photo captures the streetscape of downtown DC.  The men are all in matching tuxedos and walking uniformly.
My favorite part though is the signage– from the street signs giving exact locations of their crossing, to the one way sign which they are obeying, to the cars that will give a time stamp to this image in the future…
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More laughs and jokes– such a fun group!
Notice that Darryl included Paula’s father into his group of friends as well…
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Darryl & Paula’s color scheme included navy, white and charcoal.  The neutral colors allowed us to work with many background including the blossoming trees planted beside the Carnegie.  Looking good, gentlemen…
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Now to the ladies…
Paula’s bouquet featured pure white roses with incredible texture and subtle blue-green accents from of lamb’s ear.
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I arrived as the ladies finished their preparations.  You can see Paula’s stunning wedding dress in the window as her maid of honor prepares to take it down.
Spanish designer, Jesus Piero, was the mastermind behind the concept.  The design itself was elegant and reminded me of classic timeless DC beauty Jackie O– and it had *pockets*. Paula mentioned that her Nordstrom Wedding Stylist, Chelsey Newkirk, was a dream to work with as well.
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I liked working at Hotel Rouge, not only because of it’s proximity to the Carnegie (the hotel is awesome and allowed us to use a trolley to transport camera gear from the hotel to the wedding venue), but also because it has many windows, mirrors and dramatic red velvet curtains– so much visually for me to play with!
I love to give unique perspectives throughout a wedding day.  Here is a very close up photograph of Paula getting her lip gloss re-touched by Shaune Hayes for her bridal portrait.  I like the intimate feel of it…
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Darryl shared that he had feelings for Paula as soon as he met her, but that her love for him grew stronger over time and continues to grow deeper and stronger everyday.
He said he has never met another person with such an incredible capactiy to give love to others.  She is the most caring and compassionate person he has ever met.
He said that she is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and that makes him a very lucky man…
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Paula shared that one of her favorite elements of her wedding day was being able to have friends and family present with her.
Paula has lived in California for most of her life and moved to DC to be with Darryl.  Many people flew over 2,000 miles to be present on for their wedding day.  Her father was one of those travelers.
I love this photo of Paula’s father seeing her as a bride for the first time.  He was beaming, eyes filled with tears and held her hand.  It was a very sweet moment…
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Darryl & Paula chose to have their first look in front of their wedding venue and then explore the venue alone together before all of their guests arrived.
They chose the Carnegie Institution of Washington because of the architecture of the building.  It has a timeless, classic, Washington DC aesthetic that they wanted their friends and family from California to be able to experience first hand– from the rotunda to the library to the facade, it is a lovely location!
I knew how much they loved all of this architecture, so we made sure to capture it all…
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Darryl shared that seeing Paula for the first time in her wedding dress was more emotional for him than he had anticipated.  It reminded him of how lucky he was to be marrying such an incredible, beautiful, wonderful woman.
I think his facial expression and body language says it all!
carnegie-institution-for-science-wedding-photographers-best-creative-1016We moved into the boardroom and it was obvious that these two were head over heels in love and completely committed to each other.
I love the dark, dramatic paneling in the board room and the large windows with their elegant draperies.
A final look at Paula’s hand before her wedding band is added to it was particularly beautiful and emotionally charged.
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I like getting creative with my camera exposures and chose to silhouette Paula & Darryl in front of the window.
The timing was perfect as I caught them both laughing.  They are both very joyful, so it is a perfect photograph for them!  I like the juxtaposition of the heavy curtains and dramatic lighting with their lighthearted expressions.
I believe it really captures their personalities so well to show sophisticated elegance & pure joy simultaneously:
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While much of the day was spent capturing creative, candid images, we created traditional portraits as well.
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If you have seen my previous work at the Carnegie, you may have noticed how dramatically my coverage varies from one wedding to the next.
I like to base my photography on my couple’s unique style and personalities and use the light and space that is available to me on the wedding day to create fresh, interesting images.  That being said, Paula fell in love with the editorial-inspired bridal party photo that I captured in the library for Kyle and Kaylan, so I photographed her bridal party in the library, too.  😉
They rocked it!  Vogue called, they want their models back:
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These beautiful bridesmaids were ready to head indoors and get the ceremony started…
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I’m a huge fan of the Carnegie’s marble checkerboard floors and love this perspective from above that show those off as well as the spiral stair that Paula had entwined with eucalyptus and white roses.  I like the patterns on the wall created by daylight streaming in from the rotunda dome.
Here Paula’s father escorts her down the stairs to Darryl.
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Paula’s father shares one last embrace with her before she becomes a married woman.  Paula’s brother is included in the frame as well.
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I really like Darryl’s expression here.  You can see how incredibly lucky he feels to be sharing this moment with Paula.
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While I love capturing emotional moments like the images above, I also wanted to make sure to capture all of the beautiful architecture, too.
Here is a bird’s eye view of their elegant wedding ceremony.  I like how you can see how they are all surrounded by family and friends here.
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Paula mentioned that being supported by family and friends and committing her life to Darryl were the defining moments of the day for her.  You can see one aspect in the image above and one aspect in the image below.
Paula looked absolutely angelic while sharing her vows.  A single beam of light sliced through the left of the frame causing flare in the bottom right corner which added to that to that ethereal feeling.
I like how you can also see Paula’s maid of honor’s teary expression subtly in the background…
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Man and wife!!!  I love their joyful expressions here– this moment is so “them”:
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Appetizers features comfort food presented with gourmet flair by the talented creative team at Main Event Caterers.
carnegie-institution-for-science-wedding-photographers-best-creative-1029Paula is passionate about her career as a nanny and was thrilled that many of the children that she has cared for over the years were able to attend her wedding.  Here is a portrait featuring a few of those children, several of whom are now grown.
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Darryl’s beautiful family portrait…
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For the first time as husband and wife– I thought it was a very nice touch to have two of the ladies from Marshelle Richardson’s “Beyond Perfection” wedding planning team open the pocket doors from the rotunda to reveal the happy couple to the wedding guests who were seated for dinner.
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The toasts were incredibly touching.  Paula’s father is quite the public speaker and I like how you can see several of the guests’ reactions to his speech here.  I also like the mix of guests represented in this photo.  You are able to see Paula’s father, two of Darryl’s sisters and the parents from two of the families that she nannied for, among others.
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Several family members and friends shared their love and support for Paula and Darryl during the dinner.
Two that really stood out to me were those given by Lynn, the mother of one of the families that Paula nannied for over several years, who continues to play an important role in her life.  She shared about the incredible and lasting imprint that Paula has left on the hearts of the families that she has touched through the years.
Paula’s friend shared that not only was she impactful in the lives of so many children, but when he was a new parent and really didn’t know how to care for his first child that Paula would support him and teach him, even after having spent a full day working as a nanny.  Paula you are one-of-a-kind and very loved.  🙂
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Paula and Darryl’s first dance was an emotional and beautiful moment for all those in attendance.  While I have several photos of the happy couple dancing, I really like this photo where you can see the candid expressions of all of the wedding guests.
Paula’s father holding back tears as her aunt wipes her own away.  Darryl’s niece and other guests recording the tradition with their cell phone while a few others’ expressions seem to say the moment is so emotionally charged that they need to look away in order to take it all in or keep it together. 😉
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I have several more traditional photographs of the traditional mother-son dance as well, though I really like how visible the architectural detail and lighting is in this photograph.
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As the traditions came to an end it was time to open up the dance floor.  Darryl & his groomsmen certainly knew how to get down, especially when it came to any of the old-school hits that they grew up with– Master Productions did not disappoint. Everyone also needed to get a selfie with the beautiful bride, another time stamp for 2016!
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As the dance floor heated up (both figuratively and literally) the wedding planners propped open the door.  Here Paula and Darryl are slow dancing at the precipice of the Carnegie Institution for Science.
I like how you are able to see them, their venue and all of the exquisite and unique architectural detail of the Carnegie.  I also like how it gives a nod to their elegant, yet spontaneous nature.
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Darryl and Paula, what a treat it has been for me to get to know the two of you over the past year!  I thoroughly enjoyed your iconic DC engagement photography session and your wedding was just as amazing.
Your incredibly kind message that thanked me for my professionalism and organization on the wedding day meant the world to me.  I am so glad to hear that you were able to relax on your wedding day fully trusting my timing and creativity.  I hope that you like these images just as much as I do!
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