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!



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May 24, 2022

Tom & Jenn | Washington DC District Wharf, Engagement Photographer

Tom & Jenn | District Wharf, DC Engagement Photographer

This was my first time photographing around the District Wharf in Washington DC. Tom and Jenn made it so much fun that I cannot wait to come back! 🙂 This part of DC holds a special place in their heart. Not only because they live there, but all of the memories they’ve had together dating back to one of their first dates! I’m so glad I was able to be their engagement photographer and document them around their favorite spots in the District Wharf! So special!! 

Tom and Jenn are as sweet as they look! And I can tell that they are going to be so much fun to photograph on their wedding day! 🙂 We talked a lot about upcoming trips, and it sounds like they have a lot of weddings coming up — which must mean they will have a lot of practice for breaking down some dance moves at their reception next spring. HAHA! Counting down the months!!! 🙂

The Wharf area isn’t terribly big, but we found so many beautiful spots that worked with their outfits and the lighting. Speaking of their outfits, don’t they look Pinterest worthy? Both dresses Jenn wore were flirty, springy, and paired so well with Tom’s outfits. I love the open back on her long dress! Also, with the tulips in bloom, the ring shots were calling our names! 🙂 I was a fan of basically having the entire area to ourselves minus a few runners. That’s how you do it DC style… Hello early alarm clock! Worth it!!! 🙂 Because we postponed their session due to the rain from a previous day, we were grateful having glowy light in their portraits! And not to mention lower humidity.

Tom & Jenn | District Wharf, DC Engagement Photographer



Tom moved to DC from Chicago in July of 2018 & Jenn from New Jersey in November 2018. We met right before Christmas through work friends. Both of us signed up for a SoulCycle class a friend coordinated in early December. We said few words to one another outside of where we were from and where we both went to college (both Big 10 schools!). But we wound up hanging out in the same group at the work Holiday party, and then went out with some friends the following weekend.

We started the first few weeks as just friends until Tom texted and asked to go to dinner “just us two” – Jenn waited 20 minutes and then said, “my cousin might be visiting.” She didn’t, we went out to Barcelona wine bar, had shots poured into our mouths, and the rest is history!


After a year and a half of COVID forcing us to stay home, we planned our first vacation together (outside of traveling to friends weddings). We chose Newport, RI because Tom wanted it to be somewhere Jenn had never been before (and we wanted to stay on the east coast). Jenn was a little suspicious when Tom kept asking questions about their first day in Newport since he had never been the one to make plans. We did a cycling class together the next morning, got coffee, and headed toward the Newport Cliff Walk. Jenn became increasingly suspicious as Tom talked very little except to express concern over how crowded it was. Finally, Tom found a beautiful, quiet patch of trees. He pulled Jenn underneath one of them, got down on a knee, and asked Jenn to marry him.

Thank you!!!

Thank you, Tom and Jenn, for your flexibility when rain postponed our Plan A. And not to mention… for waking up early and having me as your engagement photographer to document your story at the District Wharf!! I loved getting to know you both during our time together and cannot wait to stand by your side to celebrate your special day next year! <3 Looking through these photos below is just a small teaser for the love and enthusiasm I’m going to document on your wedding day — and I cannot WAIT! Thank you for having me as your photographer. What an honor!!! XOXO!!!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Northern and Central, Virginia + Colorado Family, Wedding, and Engagement Photographer. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!!