A silhouette of Brett and Heather kissing from their walkthrough at the Key Bridge Marriott.
Last year, I had the privilege of photographing Heather and Brett Pocorobba for their engagement and wedding. I am not a traditional wedding photographer, but they wanted a real street vibe to their collection, so it was a good fit.
As we discussed the project, I suggested a series of street engagement shots, one every month. The idea was to show the evolution of their relationship as they moved towards marriage. It was kind of a crazy fun idea, and made it interesting from an artistic perspective. Heather and Brett are big fans of art (Brett is the bassist for DC rock band Skip House
) and they really liked the concept.
I think we caught some street style in this, but we also evolved beyond that too. Looking back at the project, we added
sense of style to the classic engagement shoot that’s not quite street, but definitely beyond the usual soft white engagement picture.
The following photos show the project month by month, each with a little side story. Because people always ask about equipment, these shots were taken with a variety of Nikon cameras, including a D810, D750, and Df. If a unique lens was used, I note that. Otherwise, assume the shot was taken with a Sigma Art 35, Zeiss Planar 50, or a Nikon 85 (1.8 version) lens.
Love Transcends the Rain.
I took this outside of St. Elmo’s coffee in Alexandria, right after we agreed to work together. Since it had just rained, and we were executing a street-themed concept, capturing a kiss in a puddle offered a great way to set the tone for the project.
The National Cathedral
A classic engagement moment, ring included.
added a sense of grounding to the series. First, it was cold out, so yeah, we wanted to shoot indoors. The open, almost universalist spiritual nature of the building made it welcoming. And of course the soft reddish purple light was perfect for Valentine’s Day.
The Journey Together – If you follow my work, you’ll definitely see some familiar themes, with Heather and Brett framed by symmetry and isolated from crowds that may be present.
This one is really about intentional light and dark contrast with the couple featured in the light. Many spiritual overtones to this photo, one with a grand sense of scale.
Rock Star Couple
It was still cold outside so we went to the National Gallery of Art
. And boy did we get a sense of avant garde style and power from the couple. These are not your usual engagement shoots. They look chic and cool. These shots may have been my favorite from the whole series with the tunnel shot as my favorite portrait of Heather and Brett from the project.
Steamy! More of a sensual shot.
Love the stairs at NGA, shot with a little fisheye effect compliments of Nikon’s killer 14-24 mm lens.
Hello, Beatles! An intentional take on the fab four’s penchant for staircases.
Classic engagement shoot, again with a sense of grand scale thanks to the Capitol Columns.
We finally got outside in April, and went to the National Arboretum
for our next shoot. I even brought in some lights to get some stronger classic engagement pics. While I like this shoot, it lacked the street portrait and scene edge that the other pics in the series have. If this were music, then these are your top 40 pop songs.
Engagement shoot in the azalea garden. What’s unique about it is the bokeh, a signature look from the Meyer Optik Trioplan 100 lens.
His and her engagement rings.
Coffee Shop Days: I really like this one because it shows Brett as I think of him. Classic street.
A rainstorm brings us back to the street. The top shot was taken through a window at le Madeleine’s in Old Town, Alexandria. The rest of the shots were taken underneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Most notably, these latter three are within my normal street style, a bit of subject isolation
mixed with grand scale.
Ocean’s 2: Hip, cool and slick: Pure Hollywood.
So this is Love: A good natural moment.
The Walk Off: Love this shot! It is grungy, and stylish, and fun.
A sense of naughtiness with this one as Heather and Brett are captured in a city fountain.
June was not a great photo shoot. I was experimenting with the Sigma Art 135 mm lens, and just really did not produce many outstanding shots outside of the above fountain shot. I rented the lens for two weeks and remained mixed with its performance overall (Stay tuned for a review of three 135 lenses next month). The good news is that we did capture this awesome summer couple shot. The photograph has a great street vibe to it, and really fits well within the project’s direction.
Forever: Again, grand, stylized with strong contrast. Shot in one of my favorite locations, the Wilkes Street Tunnel.
Oh July. So we tried a crazy photoshoot on some railroad track with a smoke grenade. And it bombed (so punny). We then relocated to the Wilkes Street Tunnel in Alexandria to make some lemonade. I got a sense from Heather and Brett that they were starting to feel the wedding tension, but that it was bonding them. They were really together now, married spiritually.
Ready: The couple is bonded together and ready for their wedding.
The lighting and wall texture makes it a nice street portrait.
Brett, Heather, and their dog Sora on long boards.
August was a much more natural shoot, featuring Heather and Brett enjoying one of their favorite activities together, paddle-boarding on the Potomac River. We had a special guest star for this shoot, their dog Sora. I like that there was a great sense of calm with this final series of engagement shots. All photos were taken with Nikon 200-500 mm lens. Next up is the wedding.
Together in the water.
The Key Bridge in the background adds a grand sense of scale.
September: The Wedding
Now, that we are alone…
The wedding was super fun, and Dwight Jefferson and I shot it from a journalist perspective. We did have our fair share of standard wedding fare (portraits, the ceremony, etc.). In all, we delivered several hundred photos to Heather and Brett.
Here are some of my favorite shots that I think met the spirit of the overarching project. A new lens is introduced to the mix here, a Tamron 24-70/2.8.
Dancing in the street!
The bridesmaid and bride gowns and shoes.
Brett catches a lift with the bridesmaids.
Can You Say Honeymoon?
The Bride and Groom Dance.
The walk off.
A special thank you to Heather and Brett for having fun and experimenting with our shoot!
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