August 23, 2018

Zack & Debbie | Washington, DC Engagement Photographer

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, 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!

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Zack & Debbie | Washington, DC Engagement Photographer

When I think about traveling to DC before 5 a.m., I don’t typically think of it as an exciting adventure. I mean, thinking about everyone who was on I-66 with me Monday morning were all on a mission to get to work. I, on the other hand, had a different reason! Well, I guess you can say I was going to DC for work, but when you have a couple like Zack and Debbie, how could you consider it “work?!” 🙂 Leading up to their engagement session, they shared so much enthusiasm about their anticipated time in front of the camera. My kind of couple!!! 😉 While we walked around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, I got to know these two as individuals and as a couple which was so special. I loved talking about Zack’s family military background, especially with my brother in the Army and Alex in the Air Force, and Debbie’s marketing work life! Zack and Debbie couldn’t imagine their photo shoot without their fur babe, Dani! I’m so glad they brought her, despite the challenge of being out in a crazy environment, she did a phenomenal job! I love smiley pups, and Dani was all smiles in these photos below!!! 🙂

I knew I loved these two together from the getgo, and my instincts were on point! The bond, love, adoration Zack and Debbie share with one another is admirable and a breath of fresh air! I actually had mentioned during the session how much they exude joy! You know what they did? They squeezed their arms around each other even tighter!! Gosh, they are cute! You can just tell that they are grateful to have each other as their soulmate!!

Zack & Debbie | Washington, DC Engagement Photographer

Zack & Debbie’s Love Story

How Zack & Debbie Met
from Debbie’s perspective

August 23, 2018. We were nervous, awkward and completely out of our element. It was move-in day at Old Dominion University, and it finally came time for my floor’s RA to gather everyone so we could all meet. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized that somehow, my suite of three girls and I were placed on a floor with ALL MALES. Oh boy. I was totally out of my element, so I mostly kept to myself. One night, I heard a knock on my door. Hesitantly, I opened it up to find Zack inviting me to attend a party with him. Despite my better instincts, I said yes and went to a party with a complete stranger. Turns out, I think we may have fallen in love that night and didn’t know it quite yet! After about a hundred wild adventures in Norfolk, 16 road trips and one sweet puppy together, I’m so proud to see how far we’ve come, and I’m so incredibly excited for what our future holds!

How Zack Proposed to Debbie
from Zack’s perspective

I knew that I wanted to marry Debbie well before our actual engagement. In fact, we talked about it all the time! With Debbie’s ring size fresh in my mind, I bought her engagement ring almost seven months prior to the proposal. It was the hardest secret I’ve had to keep considering that we tell each other everything and that I had to hide the ring under her nose for so long (it stayed in our closet).  That winter, I was able to muster the courage to make the four-hour drive to her parent’s house to ask for their permission to marry their daughter. Elated with their approval and acceptance, I knew I wanted to capture the proposal on camera. I had my mother contact Debbie where she told Debbie that she wanted college graduation photos, which gave me an excuse to get us in front of a camera. Debbie, being the proactive and supportive person she is, surprised me by contacting and hiring a photographer for us! I later had to contact the photographer and tell her my master plan. Thankfully, she was incredibly excited by the surprise and was happy to be a part of it! On the day of the photos, I was so incredibly anxious; not for what Debbie was going to say, but rather to ensure that everything would be perfect. We started driving to the park to meet the photographer when Debbie realized that we forgot my cap and gown. I quickly had to convince Debbie that the most symbolic prop we could have used for graduation photos was not needed, which was not very easy. Finally, it was time to ask Debbie to spend the rest of her life with me. I whispered something sweet into Debbie’s ear (which, for the life of us, Debbie nor I can remember what was said) and I got down on one knee. Debbie’s hand immediately covered her face, and she left me without an answer for what felt like ten minutes. She excitedly said yes, and the rest is history! It truly was a picture perfect day!

Thank you, Zack & Debbie, for making a super early morning so much fun!!! Who knew that getting up before 5 a.m. could be an exciting adventure to DC?! Haha! SO worth it!!! Thank you for kicking off the fall portrait season on a happy, cheerful, and beautiful note! I cannot believe I have the honor of being your photographer!!! I’m the luckiest! <3 Enjoy this preview from our time together, and CONGRATS!!!!

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Congratulations!!!

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