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Jen & Steve’s Engagement Session at the National Portrait Gallery in DC

It was raining, cold, and dreary outside, but inside the National Portrait Gallery, where Jen, Steve, and I were meeting for their engagement session, it was strangely warm and cozy—especially for such a large, historic building. We spent more than an hour wandering the halls and various exhibits, getting to know one another before their wedding day. We took what seemed like hundreds and hundreds of photos, though admittedly the continued shooting may have been as much an excuse to continue hanging out together as it was intended to produce more and more photos. When we finally wound down, the rain had let up a bit, and so we spent the last few minutes capturing a few more photos on the streets outside the museum.

The National Portrait Gallery is a beautiful and unique place for a portrait session—though it does have some restrictions that make it unsuitable for some sessions. For example, we can’t use any kind of flash unit that isn’t attached to the camera, we can’t use reflectors, and we can’t set down any bags. That means we have to pack light for these kinds of sessions, and we have to really embrace a natural-light style, which has a nice, but also somewhat ‘unpolished’ feel to it.