Felipe has been Devon & Chasity’s go-to lensman since before they got married. They’ve called him in for many of their major milestones: their Kennedy Center engagement session in DC, a place they both cherish; their more rustic yet refined maternity session at Kinder Farm Park, a delightful spot where they mingled their own elegant style with the location’s nature and rural industry vibes. Now, with their almost two-year-old son in tow, they’ve expanded the crew for their latest session to include Devon’s mom and nephew at the iconic National Portrait Gallery.
The National Portrait Gallery was a good choice for this family portrait session — A combination of geographic convenience, and more importantly, insulation from the whims of weather considering Devon’s mother was only in town briefly. Amidst some unexpected renovations, Felipe led the party mainly in the atrium courtyard at the center of the building. This setting, with its gigantic smooth stonework juxtaposed with neat green patches peppered around the edges, provided a compelling backdrop for quite a few very nice portraits.
Felipe, the consummate professional he is, guided the family through various setups, while still managing to capture the candor and joy of the toddler. Most of the shots exuded a casual aura, with the youngest member, all smiles and all energy, in his playful element. Eventually wandering further into the museum, they found some nice hallways which turned out to offer a few good settings for group arrangements, though the lighting conditions were rough by comparison considering the venue’s strict limits on external lighting equipment.
Located in Washington D.C., the National Portrait Gallery is renowned for its historic architecture and vast compilation of portraits, making it an ideal venue for photoshoots like this one. While the museum permits photography, it does require adherence to specific rules to maintain the visitor experience and safeguard the exhibits — the aforementioned restrictions on external lighting, for example. Lighting stands, tripods, and backpack-style bags worn on the back are a no-go. Photographers have to rely on natural lighting or camera-based flash units. It’s not ideal, but a small price to pay for a location as unique and grandiose as this one.
Despite these constraints, Felipe navigated the restrictions and produced some stunning portraits. The family’s warmth and affection, the playful energy of the toddler, the majestic ambiance of the National Portrait Gallery – Felipe captured it all, creating more than just photos. He created a visual narrative of their shared moments, a story that Devon, Chasity, and their family will hopefully cherish for years to come.