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!



find inspiration

Gallery images

August 24, 2023

Ryan & Kelsey | Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Engagement Photos

Ryan & Kelsey | Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Engagement Photos

Oh, the way these two look at each other. <3 I love looking through these photos from Ryan and Kelsey’s Old Town Alexandria engagement portraits! It seemed suitable to have their portraits taken here since they live in this charming town. Old Town Alexandria is known for its cobblestone streets, brickwork, history, waterfront area, southern architecture, and restaurants/boutique shops! We wandered around to some of their favorite spots around their home and captured the essence of their personalities/environments. Fortunately, we had a beautiful evening to enjoy together, and I loved getting to know them a little more before their big day this fall! They are darling together, and they have a powerhouse vendor team! I cannot wait to photograph these cuties again soon!

Ryan & Kelsey | Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Engagement Photos

Ryan & Kelsey’s Story

How Ryan and Kelsey Met
from Kelsey’s perspective

We both worked for the same accounting firm, but I was in NYC, and Ryan was here (DC). I was assigned on a project/rotation down to the DC area and had to relocate for work. I sat next to Ryan, and I talked too much/couldn’t sit in silence (LOL!), and the rest was history! We were long-distance for about a year while I was in NJ, but COVID made it complicated (NY was a huge hot spot), so we moved in together in Virginia and added Peyton (our pup) a few months later!

How Ryan Proposed to Kelsey
from Kelsey’s perspective

I am Type-A and love planning things in advance, while Ryan is more spontaneous. Because Ryan knew this, he planned a whole birthday week for me with a surprise every day! He gave me a ticket with a gift/surprise every day. We went to some of my favorite restaurants, saw Hamilton in DC, and Kelsea Bellerini in concert! Towards the end of that week, we went to NJ for the weekend and stayed on our favorite lake.

That Friday, Ryan recreated one of our first dates. We went on a hike, to a winery, mini golfing, and he planned to end the night at the restaurant we had gone to (by the lake). When we got there, we arrived a little early and walked down on the dock. Ryan gave me the final “ticket” that said, “Will you marry me?”! My parents and his parents were there as a surprise, and we all went to dinner! The next day, Ryan had all my friends come and have brunch to celebrate!!

An Old Town Alexandria engagement session by the water, the iconic cobblestone street, and gardens.

Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Ana B

Thank You!!!

Thank you, Kelsey and Ryan, for having me come out to Old Town Alexandria and document your engagement portraits! I loved getting to know you two a little more during our time together while checking out the meaningful places in your relationship. <3 These photos are so sweet to look through, and I’m even more excited for your big day this fall after photographing you two!!! Congrats!!!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Colorado Springs, Colorado Wedding, Engagement, Maternity, + Family Photographer, also serving Northern, Old Town Alexandria + Central Virginia. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!