April 11, 2019

Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer

I’m Stephanie Messick, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Warrenton, VA. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels right 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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Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer

I’ve been obsessing over this session since photographing Lauren and Keith on Monday!!! And thanks to three different map apps (HA!), I’m SO glad I made it to this session after I-66 shut down in one spot. It had been two years since I last photographed the iconic cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. When Lauren told me that she dreamt of having their engagement portraits done during this pink magical time of the year, we went to work on our calendar to make this session happen. 🙂 Although, leading up to the big day, we were anticipated thunderstorms and early showers. Knowing that cherry blossoms are very delicate, especially after the peak bloom … and especiallyyyyyy after a storm, we didn’t have much wiggle room and had to have faith that this would work out! Not only did it work out, but the sun unexpectedly came out creating the beautiful glowy light we hoped to have Monday morning!!

The flower petals casually fell as we took photos around the Tidal Basin and sprinkled the ground creating the most magical atmosphere!! One of my favorite reasons to photograph after “peak bloom!” When Lauren showed me her perfect light pink dress from Nordstrom, I was so enthusiastic to get them in front of my camera! It was PERFECT. They originally had two outfits, but I wanted to maximize our time together because we had a lot of ground to cover! I’m glad we took advantage of the best lighting because they ended up with some beautiful memories documented. <3 Obviously, it wasn’t just the lighting that “made” these photos — I mean, look at these two below and see what I mean!!! I secretly hoped they were going to bring their golden retriever pup to DC! OH GOODNESS… Although, they wouldn’t have ended with quite as many photos because I would’ve wanted to snuggle the entire time! 😉 HA! So I guess it’s a good thing after all! Their love is lovely, effortless, sweet, joyful, and genuine. I enjoyed photographing a part of their love story and cannot wait to continue documenting their story when we gather next May!!! <3 CANNOT WAIT.

Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer

Lauren and Keith’s Love Story

HOW LAUREN AND KEITH MET

from Keith’s point of view

I met my love on an online dating app during my last month of my senior year at JMU. After asking her out multiple times, she finally agreed to give me a chance. For our first date, I picked her up at her apartment and we got Kline’s ice cream and watched a Capital’s playoff game. I’ll never forget how beautiful she looked walking up to my car, with a nervous smile on her face, and the cutest dimples I have ever seen.  We hit it off immediately and spent all of our remaining days at JMU together. Prior to my graduation, we easily made the decision that distance wouldn’t get in-between us and made our relationship official. We spent the rest of the summer and her following year at JMU traveling between my hometown in Northern Virginia and Harrisonburg to see each other. There wasn’t a week that went by that one of us didn’t make the trip to see each other.

HOW KEITH PROPOSED TO LAUREN

from Lauren’s point of view

In October of 2018, Keith planned a trip for us to travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia to visit the campus of James Madison University (JMU). JMU is a very meaningful place to us as it is where we met, spent the first part of our relationship, and fell in love. We left our home in Northern Virginia and made the drive to JMU campus. We spent the day reliving memories around Harrisonburg and then made our way to the JMU Quad. After arriving to the Quad, Keith led me straight to the Kissing Rock. The legend of the JMU Kissing Rock is, “the person that you kiss on the rock will be the person that you marry”. During our time at JMU, I often joked with Keith about kissing me on the rock. His reply was always “not today, maybe another day”. Little did I know, he was saving that special kiss for a very meaningful occasion. He led me up on the rock, kissed me, and then got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him. Through lots of happy tears, I said yes! We are so excited to spend forever together.

THANK YOU, Lauren and Keith, for waking up SUPER early for this dreamy sunrise session!!! You need to share how to look THIS good at the crack of dawn! HAHA! Your love was so special to document and I cannot wait to get together again with you next year to photograph your big day!!! Do we really have to wait a year?! I can hardly wait!!!! CONGRATS and enjoy some of my MANY favorites from our time together!!! XOXO! Also… GO DUKES!!!!!!! <3

Hair and Makeup by Best Face Forward

Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer

Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer
Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer
Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer
Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer
Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer Lauren & Keith | Washington, DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Photographer

CONGRATS!!!!! XOXO!!!!

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