May 20, 2014

Poga & Cathleen | Washington, D.C. Memorial + Kennedy Center Engagement Portraits

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

light chaser, dreamer, go-getter.






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Poga & Cathleen … where to begin with these two? I have fallen in love with their love! From the first few minutes of photographing them, I knew this engagement session was special. Leading up to Friday, we were anticipating the huge rain storm to wash out our session. Fortunately, the flooding came a day early and left us with an AMAZING sunset for their engagement session. Cathleen told me it didn’t surprise her hearing the potential for rain. For some coincidence, no matter if it is a date or whatever, they are always rained on. I think it is just luck. 😉 The funny part was that she had a lace umbrella that she was planning to bring to always remember this coincidence … ironic that it was REALLY going to rain at her session. Glad that a few prayers helped push the rain a little earlier to make this work out after all. 🙂
From the outfits to the weather to their sweet love, I absolutely love this session! It’s a bittersweet session … I’m honored to have met them and to have photographed their love as it is … but at the same time, I’m upset. Upset that I cannot take on every wedding that comes my way. These two asked me to be their wedding photographer, but unfortunately I am already taken for their beautiful day. 🙁 Somehow if there was a way for me to clone myself just for that day, I would!!! Haha! I know they are going to have a gorgeous day and I cannot wait to see their photos!! Almost exactly a year away!!!

late_augustHow they met
from Cathleen’s perspective

We met through mutual friends in December of 2005, but did not have our first date until January 22, 2006. On our very first date, Poga took me to Old Town Alexandria where we had a small bite at La Madeleine. After dinner, we took a walk around town…in the rain and without an umbrella. Whose idea was that?! At one point, while stepping off the sidewalk to cross the street, I slipped but Poga quickly caught me. Poga, being the sly fox that he is, used it as an excuse to keep his arm around me for the rest of the evening :p Due to the weather and the mishaps that evening, there’s a running joke between us that every time there is an important event for us as a couple, there is a high likelihood of some form of precipitation! We are high school sweethearts and have been together for almost 8.5 years, but long distance for 8 of it! We have been through high school, separated in distance by college in different states and then post grad life. As you can probably tell, we are very much looking forward to our wedding next May!

How he proposed
from Poga’s perspective

I stood there around the corner, waiting for her to notice the bouquet of roses seemingly left behind by someone else. I had laid them on the park bench underneath the street lamp to draw her attention.

The preparation for this point had been meticulous. First, a face-to-face meeting with her father to ask for his faith in me to take care of his only daughter. Next, coordinating with her office to give her the impression that the office party had been moved so she would be free on the night in question. Third, getting her friends in on the planning so that everything would be a surprise. I knew that regardless of the way I asked, what mattered to both of us was that we would be engaged. Even still, I knew I wanted to make it special for her because ever since I met her, it was Cathleen’s smile that I treasured most.

Under the guise of a night out with her girlfriends, I ventured to Old Town Alexandria with her younger brother. This was the place we had our first date almost 8 years ago. I chose a secluded corner of Market Square, one with the cover of mature trees, a single bench and a single lamp. Laid across the bench were 8 photos, one for each year of our relationship. The bouquet was set, and I went around the corner.

Cathleen finished her dinner and Margaux, her friend and my accomplice, texted me that they were going for a walk, as planned. When Cathleen happened upon the bouquet, she thought that someone had left it absentmindedly. When she approached she squealed, then cried. “Where is he!?” she exclaimed. It may not have been a smile but I knew I had hit the mark. I turned the corner and saw the reason I was there that night. Her standing there under the soft light of the lamp next to the park bench just solidified my resolve. After holding her for a while, telling her the things I wanted to tell her, I bent the knee and asked her to be my wife.


Thank you two SO much for an incredible time in D.C.!!! I hope to see you both in the near future. <3 XOXO

poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-1_webLove these!!!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-8_webSOOOOO CUTE!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-13_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-14_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-17_webOne of MANY favorites!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-19_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-21_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-23_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-27_webThe infamous lace umbrella that fortunately we didn’t have to use! 😉
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-29_webThese are precious!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-45_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-46_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-54_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-56_webLook at that bling!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-57_webThe sunset off the Kennedy Center!
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-71_webpoga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-74_webCute! 🙂
poga_cathleen_dc_kennedycenter_engagement_photographer_-88_webThanks again you two for an incredible time!!! XOXO

  1. Lindsay says:

    The COLORS in this are incredible Steph!! And oh my gosh that ring shot and that last shot- SWOON!!

  2. Lauren Swann says:

    Ahh, their outfits are perfect!!! Oh, and that view… Gorgeous!!! They seem like such a sweet couple!!

  3. Cathleen says:

    Steph!! I never imagined that our engagement photos could be this beautiful! We will treasure these photos forever and I am so honored to have gotten the chance to work with you. Please continue to always do portraits as Poga and I will be contacting you for some more in the future!!

  4. Lelia Marie says:

    So adorable! I love these 🙂


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