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Engagement photos in First Landing State Park are a specialty of mine. Over the years I’ve run many thousands of miles on and off the trails of the park. I know places in the park to shoot engagement photos that very few if anyone have even seen let alone used as a location. I like the 64th Street side best. It offers the most variety. It’s a pretty easy walk if you’re just sticking to the Long Creek Trail. You get beach, forest, spanish moss, wetlands, and stellar views. The lighting can be tricky, but that’s never been a problem for me. I’ve figured out what off camera lighting I need and the right things to carry to overcome the issues.

I met Kate and Sean through mutual friends that bike and run. I’ve done quite a few engagement sessions and weddings within this group. They were all about doing their photos in FLSP. (Sean really wanted his bike in some of the photos and had a few looks he wanted to try). It was easy to determine that Sean is the romantic, and Kate is the practical in this relationship. They both definitely share an immense sense of adventure. They’re in super shape, and do a lot of climbing as well. (you should visit their travel and adventure Facebook group called By Foot and Film. They’re getting married in a VERY cool place. Keswick Vinyards near Charlottesville.

Kate and Sean’s Engagement Photos

sunset engagement photo in the parkPIN

engagement ring focus on the bridge at 64th streetPIN

engagement photo of dappled light in the parkPIN

first landing state park tree roots make a great backgroundPIN

kate and sean in the spanish moss at the parkPIN

engagement photo on bike at 64th street boat launch at sunsetPIN

sunset engagement photo in flspPIN

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Alison and Niel had their wedding at The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. It was a great wedding! I’ve shot MANY weddings at the Chrsyler (they have a great big canvas of my photos in the facility rental offices) and I’ve come to know that venue and it’s staff very well over the many years I’ve been shooting weddings there. If you’re going to have your wedding there, make sure that you get access to the galleries upstairs for photos. You’ll be very happy you did. (as evidenced by the first photo you’ll see below). As I mentioned in the post I did about their engagement photos, Niel is one of the owners of the Young Veterans Brewing Company and their brew figured PROMINENTLY in the festivities. (everyone was VERY happy!)

It was a gloomy gray day for Alison and Niel’s wedding, but it didn’t put a damper on anything. I’ve never shot a wedding at the museum where I had to deal with EPIC flooding in the area like this one. I actually was standing in water over my knees in the circle out front near the statue when I shot the exterior night photos of Alison and Niel during the wedding.

Enjoy the photos!

Chrysler Museum Wedding Photos of Alison and Niel

chrysler museum wedding photo romantic alison and nielPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo exterior dayPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo ceremony PIN
romantic chrysler museum wedding photo galleriesPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo exterior night with water from floodingPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo exterior nightPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo rings yvbc logoPIN
chrysler museum wedding photo receptionPIN

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Vista Point is a great place for a wedding! It’s big enough to handle even the largest of wedding receptions, and it’s flexible enough to handle smaller events equally well. Alexa and Justin’s wedding photos take place at a few different locations, including Vista Point of course. The ceremony was held at St Gregory The Great in Virginia Beach. (this is going to be the interesting part of the story).

My assistant was sick. Not a good thing. Under normal circumstances, no problem. I am used to, and quite comfortable shooting without any help at all. But, this was a different kind of wedding. It was really big. Large wedding party, large families, and large guest list. 4 locations, and storming outside in a way that would inspire Ark building to prep for the flooding it was causing. I was screwed. So, I called upon two other assistants I’ve worked with in the past. Both unavailable. What to do? Call in the big guns! I contacted Grant Perry of Grant & Deb Photographers. Very luckily, he moved a few things around, postponed some personal plans, and bailed me out of a BIG jam. Grant helped me shoot prep and the ceremony. (prep, I thought, would be where I’d need him most, but more was to be revealed).

Did I mention it was raining in a biblical way? Prep was in the bag and we all converged on St. Gregory the Great for the ceremony. Why are there no lights on in the church? Why is there another wedding just finishing with a photographer trying to shoot formals with on camera flash in the dark? It looked like indoor lightning, and the photos are going to look horrible. What the hell? There’s NO POWER. The entire grid in the area of town that St. Gregory the Great resides is completely dark. No street lights, no nothing. The sanctuary is DARK. There are some emergency lights (but the batteries are obviously not going to last long), and some candles (but you can only light so much of a HUGE indoor space with a few candles).

Grant and I decided to just crank up the ISO on our cameras as high as it would go and PRAY. (we were in a church after all, seemed appropriate). Funny thing to me was that we shoot the two two competing brands of pro cameras. I shoot Nikon, and Grant shoots Canon. (and I have to mention that we are both gear geeks) So, in the face of adversity, we were kind of excited to see how things would turn out Nikon vs Canon. And, if I’m going to acknowledge saintly acts in this post, I have to mention that I’m extremely grateful that Carolyn Cox (of Carolyn Celeste Weddings) was coordinating. She’s a great planner, and a cool head when stuff goes sideways. She kept the wedding parties and families cool as cucumbers.

The ceremony was so dark, I went to manual focus, I’m used to it, and I’m faster on manual than my cameras in THE DARK. It was an exercise in very carefully executed best guess photography. The good news? Both Nikon (my choice) and Canon (Grant’s choice) did absolutely great. So, in my opinion, it’s not the hammer, it’s the person swinging it that makes the most difference.

I made a mistake on this one that I have to acknowledge. At the time, I really didn’t publicly thank Grant for stepping up and helping me the way he did. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. I’m a pretty quiet person when it comes to blogging and social media. But, I didn’t consider that it might seem like a slight. So, I want to go on record in a public apology to Grant

The wedding at St. Gregory, and the reception at Vista Point went off without a hitch really. It kept raining, and it was horribly windy. But, I was able to get the wedding party and Alexa and Justin outside during breaks in the storm (which were brief!) to get some shots on the water. Their photos turned out great, and this is one I will not soon forget.

If I was inexperienced, and didn’t have many good friends to rely on in this business, it would have been a much different story.

I’ve not posted any shots below that were taken by Grant. But, his stuff was great too! (Grant and Deb shot OUR wedding, and we couldn’t have chosen better).

Vista Point Wedding Photos of Alexa and Justin

vista point wedding photo alexa and justinPIN
bridesmaid dresses hangingPIN
alexa dress hangingPIN
alexa getting zipped up in her dressPIN
wedding ceremony at St Gregory churchPIN
reading in the dark at St Gregory churchPIN
st gregory ceremony photoPIN
vista point group photoPIN
vista point group photo of bride and girlsPIN
alexa on the rocks at Vista PointPIN
couple at vista point on the sea wallPIN
reception entrance at vista pointPIN
rings in an oyster shell at vista pointPIN
reception photo at vista pointPIN
bride being lifted by guys at vista pointPIN
couple leaving reception at vista pointPIN

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Nikki and Tim got married at the Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk. This was a challenging wedding! The reason it was challenging is that Nikki was being featured on an episode of Say Yes To The Dress. So, I had to work around their crew all day and night which wouldn’t have been a big deal had it not been for the videographers that I also had to work around all day and night. I darn near had to wear out a pair of shoes to find angles which weren’t cluttered with lenses pointed in my direction. Everything worked out fine as it always does. There’s never a need to be stressed or worried about things that you have absolutely no control over.

The Half Moone is a great venue on the water in Norfolk, and when you have Jeremy and his crew from Blue Steel Lighting Design trick it out with uplighting and drapery, it transforms into a REALLY great venue on the water in Norfolk. Can’t help but mention one of the top 3 caterers in town. (and I think the top three is a tie for awesome, because they’re all equally fantastic). John and Marcy from Chef by Design busted their rear ends on this wedding, and did an AMAZING job.

Half Moone Center Wedding Photos of Nikki and Tim in Norfolk

brides shoes with ring in between at weddingPIN
groom and the guys arriving at the half moone centerPIN
dad seeing nikki in her weddng dress at the half moone centerPIN
half moone center in norfolk setup for the weddingPIN
ring exchange at the weddingPIN
outside the half moone center lit from the insidePIN
sharing a laugh outside the half moone centerPIN
half moone center celebration dancePIN
nikki and tim exiting the receptionPIN

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Ali and Brian had their wedding reception at The Water Table in Virginia Beach. I can’t say enough great things about The Water Table. Suffice it to say that I HIGHLY recommend it as the top pick in this region if you want a beautiful wedding on the water at Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach. Just go there, talk to Deb Davis, and book it. You won’t be sorry. (Trish and I were married there, so my experience doesn’t come just from working weddings at the venue). Their ceremony was held at Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Virginia Beach. I’ve shot MANY weddings at this church. Father Steve is GREAT! And, due to the time of day following the ceremony, I suggested a nice shady spot for some quick post ceremony wedding photos of Ali and Brian at the wooden bridge which connects 24th St. and the parking lot area of The Virginia MOCA (where I’ve shot a ton of weddings as well!). I call it the “MOCA Bridge” but it doesn’t belong to the MOCA, it’s city property, so no permission required to use it. 🙂

Prep was done at an oceanfront hotel, then off to Star of the Sea. After the ceremony (we did the family formals at the church, and a quick session with their dog at the church as well), it was off to the MOCA Bridge for wedding party photos and a short session with Ali and Brian. Then it was off to The Water Table for the reception!

Here are some photos from the wedding day below, if you have any questions about any of the venues (especially The Water Table) shoot me an email from the contact form link above!

bridal prep at the hotelPIN
first kiss at star of the seaPIN
bridal party photo at star of the seaPIN
ali and brian with their dog in front of star of the seaPIN
ali and brian at the bridge near the MOCAPIN
romantic shot on bridge near the MOCAPIN
first dance at the water tablePIN
ring shot at the water tablePIN
cake cutting at the water tablePIN

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