Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Wedding: Megan + Phil

I covered Megan and Phil’s romantic engagement photo session at a private estate in Easton. If you haven’t followed their stories, please see the blog and find out how they met leading up to the proposal. It’s an epic journey involving a helicopter ride and walk in the canyon!

And now the day finally arrived for me to photograph their beautiful wedding at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.

Both Megan and Phil were from the Eastern Shore and preferred a local venue where their guests would enjoy the option of having somewhere to stay on site. When they visited the Hyatt, they were extremely impressed by the gorgeous setting, wonderful amenities, and attentive staff. All the things which eased their choice in selecting the Hyatt as their wedding venue.

The Bride, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids showing their flower bouquets. Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay wedding at Cambridge Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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three × 6 =

Illumination Experience Workshop with Hollywood Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC

I have always been intrigued by others’ work and art, and constantly wanted to learn on how to improve my work. I learned from books, other photographers, online articles, videos, seminars and workshops. For seminars and workshop, I am usually rather picky in selecting them because they are not inexpensive, especially workshops. Great workshops would cost thousands. I have to be careful in investing on them, sometimes prioritizing based on my needs.

Welcome banner for the workshop. Review of MZed Illumination Experience, film making and cinematography Workshop with Hollywood Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut by wedding photographer Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The first time I heard about the Illumination Experience seminar/workshop was from the promotional email from MZed. I’ve attended great seminars and workshops under MZed, for example those taught by Jerry Ghionis, Lindsay Adler and Lou Freeman. However, they were all specifically for photography. The Illumination Experience was actually for cinematography, for film making – a different field from my profession. Usually I wouldn’t really care for film making workshops. However, this workshop was different. Although it was not a photography workshop per se, what made me curious to dig in further was that the instructor, Shane Hurlbut, ASC, was the cinematographer of multimillion dollar blockbuster films such as Terminator Salvation, Need for Speed, Act of Valor, Drumline, Greatest Game Ever Played, and many others. He also had worked with famous celebrity actors and actresses such as Russell Crowe, Zoe Saldana, Jane Fonda, Kevin Costner, Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Eric Bana, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Keaton, Paul Walker, Josh Brolin, Will Ferell, Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Alba, Shia LaBeouf, and many more! I immediately thought, “Whoa!”
Alright that surely caught my interest, but then I wondered what would I get from the class? What would Shane be teaching?

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1 × three =

Annapolis Maryland Engagement Photo Session: Aimee + Brian

Aimee and Brian met about two and a half years ago in Bowie, Maryland over dinner and milkshakes. Brian must have made an impression on her, because after only two dates, Aimee took a chance and flew all the way to Seattle to visit Brian during a lengthy work trip. A weekend adventure filled with good food and bad coffee followed, with the two of them happily exploring downtown Seattle and continuing to get to know each other. Fast forward about a year and half, it came to Brian that he couldn’t let this one go. He knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Aimee.

In early February 2014, they spent their engagement weekend in Washington, DC for what Aimee “thought” was her Christmas gift; a stay at the historic Willard, a show at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and a dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant. “Plan A” was to propose on the roof of the Kennedy Center just before the show, but the weather didn’t quite cooperate as it was a hair below freezing and a bit windy. Aimee, who was dressed to the nines, was less than enthusiastic over Brian’s suggestion to stroll around the roof. As it turned out, “Plan B” (which Brian made up as they went along) was the far better option. They spent the afternoon ice skating in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and then went for a walk around the Tidal Basin, which they had entirely to themselves. When the time seemed right, Brian finally asked her. Aimee said, “OF COURSE!”. Needless to say, it was a memorable weekend for the two of them.

Engaged man kissing his fiance behind a glass door. Annapolis Eastern Shore Maryland pre-wedding engagement photo session at downtown, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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seven − 6 =

High School Senior: Christie

Christie is a gentle and kind young lady.  She is also very active and involved in a lot of activities.  She is a member of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year, and has been a member of the SGA for all four years at Queen Anne’s County High School.  Throughout her time there, Christie has played a lot of sports including soccer, basketball, and tennis.  As her senior year is ticking away, she is mired in the college search and very anxious to start the next chapter of her life and undaunted by the uncertainty that is ahead of her.

Christie enjoys spending time with her brother, Jack, and her extended family of cousins whom she is very close with.  When she is not at home with her parents, she is often out and about with the closest of her many friends.

For Christie’s senior photo session, I was contacted by her Mom who found me through her friend.  She was interested in getting high school senior photos for her daughter and love the semi-candid portrait style on my portfolio.  I was really excited when I finally get to meet them in person. The weather couldn’t be more perfect that day.

Beautiful girl sitting on beach sand. Eastern Shore, Maryland, Queen Anne's County High School senior portrait session by photographer Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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6 − = five

The Tidewater Inn Wedding: Becca + Seth

After Becca and Seth’s adorable engagement photo session in Baltimore,  I am so excited to finally be able to feature their beautiful wedding ceremony at the Trinity Cathedral and their wedding reception at The Tidewater Inn. Make sure you read their adventurous journey on their first date in Baltimore and the proposal in New Orleans before you see their wedding photos.

Becca and Seth chose The Tidewater Inn because of its historic charm and gracious, welcoming staff, who treated them and their guests like family from start to finish.

Bride and Groom at downtown, kissing and holding sparklers writing love. The Tidewater Inn wedding, Easton, Eastern Shore, Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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− 8 = one

Gettysburg Engagement Photo Session: Ilana + Andrew

It was the morning of the February Snowmageddon when Andrew and Ilana met for the first time at Towson University through their common friends. He was showing off his guitar skills through the popular video game, “Rock Band”. With a ton of back and forth flirtation throughout the coming weeks, and pushes and nudges from their friends, they finally decided to go to the worst movie you could take someone on a first date, “Kick Ass”. Interestingly, for some odd reason, it didn’t turn her away and they seem to be inseparable ever since.

For the engagement proposal, Andrew had planed it for a couple months and finally created a heartfelt video filled with a sequence of memories through their relationship from the beginning to present time. He even traveled to all the significant places in their relationship milestones to include them in the video.
When Ilana got home, she found rose petals and lit up candles which lead to the living room. On the table, there was a sign by a video player remote that read, “Press play”.  She patiently watched the video until the end. The last words in the video played, “I have one last question to ask you” and it went off. Andrew came out from hiding and walked over to Ilana who was already in tears. He asked her to marry him. She said yes, making him the happiest man in the world.

Engaged couple dancing and laughing by the water fountain. Gettysburg PA pre-wedding engagement photo session, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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2 Responses to “Gettysburg Engagement Photo Session: Ilana + Andrew”

  1. Bernie Lisberger

    One word, Awesome!
    This is why I picked you Leo, you are the best. Love the shots.
    Looking at these puts a smile on our faces.
    Thanks

  2. Leo Dj

    Thank you so much, Bernie!
    This means a lot to me! :)

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seven − = 3

St Michaels Maryland Engagement Photo Session: Karen + Ross

Karen and Ross’ first encounter was rather by accident and quite unique. Ross was supposed to go on a date with someone else at the Green Turtle in Olney, MD., whereas Karen was going to meet some friends she had not seen in a while. Not knowing that they would wind up at the same table together, Ross instantly fell in love with Karen. She enjoyed his dropping of movie quotes which they instantly bonded over.

Less than two nights later, Karen received a Facebook notification from Ross requesting her phone number. Assuming that this was some message he sent to everyone, Karen denied it. Ever a fighter, Ross continued his pursue for Karen and sent her a message later that night asking if he could take her on a date to a museum in Washington, DC and then out to dinner. Never having had a man think of such a romantic and heartfelt date, Karen immediately said yes.

Ross planned various things to do prior to his proposal to Karen. They watched movies together and went for beer tasting. Decided not to wait any longer, Ross tricked Karen into believing that he wanted to give her a necklace he no longer wore. Karen’s first thought was that Ross was going to give her a wedding ring but reflected on how many times he had said they had to wait until they got a few other things out of the way first. So she resolved to the fact that Ross was truly just getting her the necklace.

When Ross came back and found Karen laying on the couch, he got down on his knees and presented Karen the necklace and asked whether she liked it, to which she answered yes but unsure what goes with it. Then Ross said, “Well, if you don’t like that, how about this?”
He took out the ring and asked, “Karen, will you marry me?”
It took Karen a few times asking Ross just to make sure until she finally said yes. And the rest is history!

Girl embracing her fiance while holding Baltimore Orioles Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Eastern Shore Maryland pre-wedding engagement photo session at St Michaels MD, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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eight × 4 =

Harbour View Wedding: Fausta + Omar

Fausta and Omar first met in mid November about 5 years ago at Atomic Billiards, a local pool hall in Cleveland Park, DC.  As per his usual Saturday night, Omar worked at Atomic checking IDs at the door.  Fausta had just started her night going to a friend’s birthday party at The Big Hunt in DuPont Circle.  The plans changed when she got there. The birthday girl wanted to go to Atomic Billiards, which Fausta hadn’t been to in years.  As they got to the bar, Omar checked her ID and in she went.  The birthday girl and other friends were trying to find Fausta a “date” and asked if anyone caught her eye. Looking around, she replied, “Not in here, but the door guy was kinda cute.” Before she knew it they were dragging her outside to get her to talk to Omar.  Standing around, she noticed him wearing an Italian Jacket, so naturally, she approached him and asked, “Are you really Italian, or just wearing the jacket?”.  Omar paused then said, “Yes, I am”, and before she said anything, her best friend Emily shouted out, “She’s Italian too!”  They all laughed, and her friends quickly went back inside without her.  Omar and Fausta began a conversation, which lasted throughout the entire night and is still going strong.

In August 2013, After months of Omar and his parents planning, the couple finally made it to Italy. They arrived to his dad’s hometown of Nusco, and Fausta was introduced to all of his wonderful family. During those 2 weeks, they also went sightseeing for a couple of days to Venice, Florence, Pompeii and Amalfi Coast, before returning back to the family. A day after they got back from sightseeing, Omar asked if Fausta wanted to go walk around the town, as they often did. They kept walking, enjoying the beautiful sights and each others’ company, and finally reached in front of the mill that Omar’s father once worked at as a child, located in front of an amazing view of the mountain side.  Thankful that they got a chance to rest for a bit, Fausta just leaned against the rail and began taking pictures.  A couple of minutes later, Omar took her hand and said, “You know I love you so much”, to which she responded, as if nothing new, “Yeah, I love you too”. Then to her surprise, he got down on one knee holding up a beautiful ring, and asked her to marry him.  In her moments of disbelief, she repeatedly asked if he was serious, before finally saying “Of course.”

After having a fun adventure with this lovely couple for their engagement photo session in Washington DC, I am thrilled to finally be able to capture their wedding at Harbour View, Woodbridge, Virginia. Omar and Fausta chose the venue for many reasons. They fell in love with the beautiful indoor and outdoor settings just as what they wanted to include, such as a separate ceremony location, cocktail hour space and reception area. Everybody at the venue was also so great and helpful from the beginning. It’s the perfect place for their memorable day.

The great night ended with grand exit full of sparklers.

Bride and Groom kissing during grand exit with sparklers. Harbour View Events Woodbridge Virginia wedding ceremony and reception photo, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

But let’s watch how their story unfold from the beginning of the day.

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5 × = fifteen

Easton Maryland Engagement Photo Session: Megan + Phil

Phil and Megan first met when they were playing kickball for a team in Easton. She had just moved back from Bethesda on what she thought would be temporarily, and her friend signed her up for the team she was on. Phil’s friend signed him up too, which, in Megan’s own words, “We’re certainly glad they did!”. They both started out just as friends, often hanging out after games, and eventually their relationship grew as they get to know each other. Phil also said that Megan’s kickball skills were a big plus :).

The proposal was amazing. Megan and Phil went to Las Vegas for a work conference he had there. While there, Phil planned an excursion to go visit the Grand Canyon. They took an incredible helicopter tour of the canyon. The helicopter landed so they could walk around in the canyon, and that’s when Phil got down on one knee and asked Megan to marry him. Of course she said yes, and it was definitely a trip to remember!

For their engagement photo session, Megan and Phil decided upon a private estate with its beautiful and tranquil scenery.

Engaged couple in a flower garden holding hands. Eastern Shore Maryland pre-wedding engagement photo session at Easton MD, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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four + = 5

Aspen Wye River Conference Centers Wedding: Debbie + Matt

Debbie and Matt first laid eyes on each other in a 1920s themed house party in early January 2011. It was a night with epic ice storm, but that did not deter the two of them from attending the party in their own way – by driving and walking. After a second time of introduction, they could barely stopped talking for the rest of the evening. Shortly after that, both of them started seeing each other almost every week in group settings, mainly so they could see each other again. That led to more and more frequent meetings until they finally kissed and officially started dating.

In 2014, after months of painstaking planning, Matt planned to pop up the question. He chartered a small plane to Outer Banks, followed by a short drive to Jockey’s Ridge State park. Debbie and Matt hiked up to the top of the highest sand dune, and while Debbie got distracted by Matt, he fished out the ring box and dropped on one knee. In her excitement, she almost knocked him over but Matt held her at bay, and just asked Debbie to marry him. Of course the answer was yes!

Afterwards, the couple searched for a their wedding venue. They fell in love with Aspen Wye River Conference Centers immediately. In Debbie’s own words, “We immediately knew it was a perfect fit for us. Driving up to the property feels like a scene from Gone with the Wind. The property offers a plantation feel and is surrounded by a beautiful river. Also, the venue offered a private space for us to be with our family and friends for the entire weekend. It was a weekend long wedding rather than the traditional five hour wedding. The fun never ended!”

This moment of the first dance below is one of my favorite shots of the day.

Bride and Groom's first dance. Aspen Wye River Conference Centers wedding at Queenstown Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

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three × = 12