It’s always a treat when I get to work with a family as close-knit and fun as Rebecca and James’ family. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them twice before, but this session was extra special because we got to include Rebecca’s father and his wife in the mix. We decided to take their family portraits at the Shrine of Saint Anthony in Ellicott City, which turned out to be the perfect location.
The Shrine of Saint Anthony in Ellicott City is a historic and serene location that offers a variety of settings for portraits. In addition to its natural beauty, the Shrine has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The shrine was founded in 1835 by Father John DuBois, a French missionary who saw the need for a Catholic church in the area. The original church was a small log cabin, but over the years it was expanded and eventually replaced with the current stone church in 1858. Throughout its history, the Shrine has been a center of spiritual pilgrimage and devotion, with thousands of people visiting each year to pray and reflect.
One of the great things about the shrine is that it doesn’t have an overwhelming religious feel to it. While it does have important religious ties, there’s not a lot of religious iconography present, which allowed us to focus on the family and their personalities. The location has a lot of variety, including serene gardens, a beautiful stone courtyard with a fountain, and a rustic nature trail. However, it’s important to note that the shrine is a contemplative spiritual spot, so while no permit is required to shoot there, visitors should be mindful of others who may be there for that purpose. We made sure to make plenty of space for others and maintain a respectful reverence when necessary.
Rebecca and James’ family are a quirky bunch, and that came through beautifully in our photos. We made sure to include Rebecca’s father and his wife in a lot of different images, as well as focusing some of our time exclusively on the two of them. It was a special opportunity to have them there, and I think it really added to the overall feel of the session.
Some of my favorite shots from the session was taken at the end under a cool trellis covered pathway wrapped in vines. Due to the time of year, the vines were not yet in bloom, but it still added a great aesthetic to the photo. Overall, it was a great session with a fantastic family, and I’m looking forward to working with them again in the future.