Privée Bride Of Ghent | Norfolk Wedding and Commercial Photographers

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of touring and photographing a beautiful new bridal salon called Privée Bride Of Ghent, located in Palace Station (Norfolk, VA).  Privée is owned and operated by Reamie Tabin:

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She created such a lovely show room; we really appreciated the open floor plan, luxe touches and upscale merchandising. If you are a bride or planner, definitely make an appointment. Not only is it a gorgeous space, Reamie and her sales manager are such nice people to spend time with as well.  They have a few trunk shows coming as well, follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with future events!

Keep scrolling for more photos:

Flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

Flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

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Photos by Mendell dela Cruz and Ciesther dela Cruz of DCPG

Cotton flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

Privée Bride Of Ghent
350 W 22nd St Suite 112 & 113
Norfolk, Virginia 23517
Phone (757) 337-2087
Email | Info@priveebridal.com
Website | http://www.priveebridal.com

Wedding Wednesday | Nico + Wesley | Newport News Wedding Photographers

I knew I liked Nicolette from her first cheery, upbeat e-mail, but even more so when I spoke to her on the phone and chatted with her excitedly about how, even though she was initially wary of spending extra money on a tiny wedding, she was really happy and relieved knowing she would have beautiful photos to show the family that wasn’t able to be there. When she burst into my office the day before her wedding, in sweatpants and those crazy pedicure flipflops talking animatedly and dropping f-bombs everywhere (I do love when people are instantly that comfortable with me!) I knew right then her elopement would be fun and full of laughter.

Since their elopement was a true one, consisting only of her and her fiance Wesley, they opted for our 2 hour rate. We had some time before the ceremony, so we met them in front of the restaurant where they were planning on having their wedding dinner, Circa 1819. We shot a few photos outside on the quaint street, then the staff at Circa 1819 was kind enough to let us set up inside so we could all warm up and shoot a few documentary style shots.

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We headed over to the lions outside of the Mariner’s Museum for the ceremony, but the officiant was running a bit late so we squeezed in a few more portraits. There was also a jogger couple occupying the waterfront area they intended to the ceremony on, so we gave them some time to see if they would leave (Nico & Wesley ended up having to gently usher them out, but the jogger couple was super nice about it) and photographed them with some Mr & Mrs. props they purchased.

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Susan Turner was their officiant and not only was she a super sweet lady who let us set up their position however we wanted; she also had the greatest Christmas cat sweater on, ever.  The ceremony was performed on a slab of concrete that jutted into the water, so their backdrop was beautifully simple; just the water of Lake Maury and the softly setting sun. We opted against lighting the ceremony; the concrete wasn’t huge and since both Mendell and I were shooting, I had this fear of tripping over each other and/or lightstands and falling into the water.

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FinalShot

Nico and Wesley were such a sweet couple and were such troupers because it was FREEEEZING cold out the entire time we were photographing! Even though it was a last minute job and we had to drive straight to Washington, D.C. right after, I am so happy we were able to photograph their fun little wedding. I really, really love elopements!

To see more photos, check out their full wedding set here.

Vendors + Details

Photographers | Ciesther + Mendell dela Cruz of DCPG

Officiant | Susan Turner

Hair | Yudy of RicaSha Salon, Yorktown

Venue | near the lions at the Mariner’s Museum, Newport News

Dress | H&M (on sale for $13, she says!)

Shoes | NineWest

Make-up and Flowers | Friends and family :)

 

April + Ken | Halekulani Waikiki Beach Wedding Photography

DCPG is starting a series of daily themed blog posts! Let’s see how long we can keep this up! Did you miss yesterday’s Tips Tuesday? Click here!

This Wedding Wednesday post puts me in a glass case of emotion!! Why? Well, the bride is Rina’s best friend of 27 years and honorary 4th Parrilla sister, we spent Christmas + the wedding day in Hawaii, the wedding itself was every single thing I love – intimate, warm, beautiful, hilarious and full of great food and music and again, we were in HAWAII.   As Rina would say, this wedding gave me life.

The months prior to April and Ken’s wedding were crazy busy; we shot a bunch of weddings in the fall, then did a lot of traveling for both work and pleasure (NYC, LA, DC). I actually flew out of Atlanta to Hawaii because we attended a surprise party/family reunion down in Auburn, AL (War Eagle!) a few days before the wedding. Long story short, I was bummed to leave my family behind but at the same time, very, very ready for an island getaway. Rina attended alone as well, so we made it into a sister trip (and by sister trip, I mean we did nothing athletic/touristy and instead ate and drank our way through Waikiki).

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Rina did April’s hair and makeup, so she was technically a vendor as well.  Or as Auntie Anna awkwardly and hilariously introduced us at Christmas dinner, we were April’s “friends with benefits!”.   The pre-ceremony prep team was just Apes, Rina and myself in her Halekulani suite. It was like a baller island version of our 80’s era sleepovers, with food, 20+ year old inside jokes and laughing so hard we were all crying.  Between April’s parents trying to “baon” her leftover room service bread, Rina’s MUA lunges and April and I making nerdy Lord of the Ring’s references, it was so fun and definitely did not feel like work. While Rina beautified April, I took advantage of the gorgeous hotel room and photographed her wedding finery.

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Rina kept April’s makeup clean and classic, letting her cute freckles shine through; she looked amazing.

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While April and Rina were finishing up, her awesome coordinators and I went to find Ken and give him a heads up on the first look process and scout locations.  We found him and choose a lush green courtyard area and put him in position for April’s reveal.  We were all quiet as April walked up, but right before she reached Ken, she broke the ice by blurting out, “Ya’ll Ready For This?!” (yes, the classic Jock Jams song).  We were all rolling with laughter, Ken was wow’ed by his stunning bride and they were adorable together.  One of the funniest and sweetest first looks I’ve ever photographed.

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As to be expected of Hawaii, the weather was a cloudless 80 degrees the entire time.  She and Ken tied the knot outdoors on the Hau Terrace of the amazing Halekulani hotel on Waikiki Beach.  I particularly loved the terrace as a ceremony location because we had great views of the water and surrounding landscape, I didn’t have to trudge around in the sand, plus I was able to plug in my studio lights and use them during the ceremony for an extra pop of light.  The wedding colors reflected the natural beauty of Hawaii;  the ocean blue of her Badgley Mischka shoes and Halekulani’s branding plus the orchid-inspired fuchsia, forest green and dark brown of the wedding party attire.  It was pitch perfect palette for a Hawaiian wedding.

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I loved this moment between April’s dad Ed, Ken and April where he gently reminded them to take care of each other before he stepped away.  This mini-speech and his speech later at the Reception were simple and beautiful.  For a guy who once stood on their driveway in only short shorts and a cowboy hat for the specific purpose of embarrassing whichever family member came home next, the restraint was admirable (we’ve got lots of Uncle Ed stories; he’s awesome).

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One fun things about photographing your close friends is the occasional eye contact they’ll make with the camera.  I laughed when I saw this during my initial review of the photos:

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April and Ken’s officiant Kahu Bruce was such a joy to work with.  He was probably one of the most photographer-friendly wedding officiants I’ve experienced.  He performed a spiritual Hawaiian ceremony with touches of Catholic, which was new to me, but he was kind enough to make a point of gesturing or making eye contact to me if something significant was happening and welcomed my occasionally close proximity (another reason I like small weddings).  There was lots of laughter during the short ceremony and I loved how he made them say “forever, and ever, and ever and ever” louder and louder.

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April laughed and cried her way through the entire ceremony and here was a great little moment where Kahu Bruce let her take a break to grab an extra tissue from Rina since she ran out so quickly. That’s what best friends are for!

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They ended the ceremony with a flower petal shower followed by a lei ceremony where April and Ken gave us all lei’s as a thank you for attending (cue the “We got lei’d!” jokes here).

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With a wedding party that was less than 15 people, we all sat together at a one long table festooned with classically beautiful touches like floating candles and orchids.  The elegant bamboo styled chairs were  a great dark accent to the white linens and made the fuchsia and green really pop.  The floor to ceiling windows in the dining room allowed for panoramic views of the gorgeous sunset.

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Midway through the cocktail hour, I grabbed Ken, April and Rina (for lighting assistance) to go down to the beach for some sunset portraits.  The beach was already small and littered with tourists, so we encountered mini Jason Mraz’s everywhere:

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We worked fast; a kind passerby told us a boat would be landing where we were very shortly, so we snapped some shoreline shots.  Ken’s huge smile stayed on his face for the entire wedding; it very sweet to see how happy he was on their wedding day.

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The reception was short and sweet as well, with most of the time spent mingling and enjoying each other’s company.  Ken’s family and friends made up the bulk of the attendees but they were all warm and friendly and Rina and I really enjoyed our time with them, as well as with April’s family, whom we’ve known forever. David Asing played guitar and sang during the ceremony and reception, which I thought was the right touch for such a small wedding party.  And of course, where there is a guitar and a Parrilla, there will be song! April’s mom alerted David that we were singers, so he graciously handed his guitar over to Rina so she could serenade her BFF. She sang “At Last” by Etta James and it was, per usual, amazing. I overheard Ken’s mom say, “I’d choose her for my best friend, too!” So adorable. You can watch the quick video here (please enjoy the beautiful voice and ignore the terrible filming quality and plates clanging!)

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Oh and the FOOOOOD (said in my best Oprah voice).  Halekulani’s restaurant was rated 5 stars by Forbes and we can attest to that quality because, man, that was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.  I was sitting next to all the kids in the wedding, so I took advantage of their picky eating (and the fact they were filling up on never-ending bread) and ate their and my share of ahi tuna poke.  Also, Rina and I have food allergies and the Halekulani staff went above and beyond making sure our food was safe for us; I am thankful for their attentiveness and kindness.  April’s wedding giveaways were french macarons, which are traditionally made with almond flour, but she had them create a nut-free version specifically for Rina since she is deathly allergic.  Rina was so touched at the gesture and overjoyed because she was able to try a food that is usually completely off limits.

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These photos are mere highlights of an amazing day that none of us will ever forget and I am eternally grateful to April and Ken for trusting me with documenting this day for them.

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All the vendors and details are below; if you are getting married in Waikiki PLEASE contact all of them, they were all amazing to work!

– Cies

Finery:

Wedding Day Vendors*:

Tips and Tuts Tuesdays | First Look

DCPG is starting a series of daily themed blog posts! Let’s see how long we can keep this up! Did you miss yesterday’s Meet DCPG Monday? Click here to meet Carrie!

Our Tuesday blog series will be tips and tutorials! I’m hoping the “tutorial” part will get the dudes more involved w/ the blogging, but for now, we will start with just the tips. (Side note: ew.) Today’s topic:  First Looks

I am thankful that the First Look is becoming a frequent wedding trend.  We LOVE them so much and have been trying to get people to do them for years! For the uninitiated, a First Look  is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time prior to the wedding and, if time permits, take a few couple portraits before all the wedding madness begins.

Why should you do a First Look? Your personal reasons may vary, but here are the advantages we’ve observed from both a photography perspective and yours:

  1. Typically, a wedding timeline has both parties arriving to the ceremony venue an hour or two prior to the ceremony.  If you do a First Look, we can make the most of that idle time.  Aside from your couple portraits, since you won’t have to be separate, we can also photograph some family portraits and bridal party portraits as well.  This way, post-ceremony won’t have to be so packed with picture taking and you may actually get to breathe a bit before diving into the reception.
  2. Addendum to the item above: Photographing the bridal party in particular prior to the wedding means they are less antsy (bridal parties have a “school’s out for summer!” mentality the second the ceremony is over) and probably/hopefully not drunk yet.
  3. A lot of anxiety can build when you are nervous, but can’t seek comfort from the one you love most on your big day.  A First Look gets that nervousness out of the way and gives you both a chance to talk together, touch, laugh and settle your nerves.
  4. A wedding is a whirlwind where you are surrounded by people for 12 hours straight, so a First Look gives you a truly intimate moment for just the two of you to look into each others eyes, embrace and quietly reflect on the enormity of the day without a 100 people watching you. Like a pre-game huddle with two people!
  5. Hair and makeup is at its’ freshest point here, which is great for photos :) Also, if you were secretly worried about ugly crying face in front of your guests, a First Look allows you get that out of the way privately and still leave you time to wipe your nose and/or touch up your makeup before the main event!
  6. From what we’ve seen; a First Look doesn’t diminish the emotions of seeing each other walking down the aisle.  If anything, we’ve noticed the smiles are bigger since neither of you are nervous anymore.

As my lovely recent bride/sister from another mister April Mac said,

“In what was sure to be a busy day, we knew that the moments where it was “just us” would be few and far between. Doing a first look gave Ken and I the opportunity to steal a moment that was just for us. And I am so glad we did it. It set the tone for the rest of the event…intimate, warm, and full of love.”

A First Look might not be for everyone, but we hope you at least think about it for your wedding day! Either way, we are happy you chose DCPG.   Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for tomorrow, which is Wedding Wednesday.   This Wednesday we are blogging April and Ken’s beautiful, intimate Hawaiian wedding.

Stay warm, friends!

Audrey + TJ |Williamsburg Wedding Photographers

Everything about Audrey and TJ’s wedding was too pretty not to share right away! Will write more later but for now, enjoy the beautiful details.

Quick shoutouts:  Coordinating and Design by Janel Bailey Keen of Vivid Expressions, amazing location at Williamsburg Winery, insanely GREAT food from East Beach Catering, the always fun Cedric of Big Dreams Entertainment Inc., beautiful cake from Gourmet Bake Shoppe, makeup by Candice, and getaway car from James River Transportation

 

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Jared + Liz | Virginia Beach Backyard Wedding Photography

Liz + Jared’s beautiful, intimate wedding came to us by accident…literally.   We already had a wedding on the books for that day, but our friend Rich-Joseph Facun (one of our fave photojournalists) called us two days prior because he had broken BOTH of his arms – pretty much the worst non-fatal accident a photographer could have the week of a wedding.   He heard we were already booked, but thanks to the insistence of his awesome wife, Jasmine, he called us anyway.   Anyone who has worked w/ DCPG knows we roll deep and this time having 3 shooters came in handy (again, literally) because we were able to spare Lester for a few hours without missing a beat at Kris and Christian’s wedding the same day.

I originally intended to post more images but I was too excited to share these.  Lester is known for his intricate lighting setups, so it was a nice change and surprise to see so many au naturel, ethereal, sun-drenched images. It was a perfect sunset wedding on the water.   Congratulations to Liz, Jared and their adorable kids Quinn and Staylor!

– Cies

(I may add more images from the “reception” later; stay tuned!)

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Want to hire DCPG? Contact us!

Photography by Lester dela Cruz, thanks for rolling solo!

 

 

Chrissy + Scott | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographers

It’s no secret that we heart quirky, personal weddings; Chrissy and Scott’s was definitely no exception.   In a sea of Pinterest, mason jars and cotton fields, Chrissy and Scott’s black and white Día de los Muertos-inspired wedding was refreshing and a visual pleasure to photograph. Hand painted tattoo-style lettering on the girls shoes, black feathers, glittery pumpkins, skulls on beer coozies; so many amazing details!

Their wedding weekend was actually pretty eventful for DCPG as well! Mendell went to the ER two days prior to the wedding thinking it was just a gallbladder attack and he’d be in and out, but he ended up being admitted to the surgical floor for a serious bile duct obstruction.  By the time the wedding rolled around, I was running off of very little sleep, and dealing with having to charge batteries, organize and clean lenses in a hospital room then having to leave him to go shoot the wedding.  Big shoutouts to the 5th floor nursing staff at Sentara Princess Anne hospital for taking amazing care of him (and me!) for the 4 days we were there and to the friends and family who kept him company when I couldn’t. (P.S. It’s his birthday today; wish him a Happy Birthday on our Facebook!)

Luckily, Lester and I have teamed up on weddings before as a duo – one of the best advantages of the DCPG squad is that there are so many of us, it creates a nice built-in backup system.  Adding to our good fortune was a wonderful team of vendors, beautiful weather and a schedule that ran very smoothly. We couldn’t have asked for more! A few highlights/shoutouts to keep in mind as you look through the photos:

  • I’ve already mentioned it, but the details and decor! Amazing.
  • Their recessional song was “Here Comes Your Man” – it’s not often you get to hear the Pixies at church! They had really great music the entire wedding.
  • Chrissy’s vintage chic look.  Loved her lace dress offset by the black feathers/ribbon.   She also had the dream team on hair and makeup; Kechelle Hadley on hair and Sarah Rillon painting her face.  Beautiful, talented ladies!
  • Local music staple Jesse Chong singing and playing guitar during cocktail hour and some of dinner.  He has such a great voice and it was nice and relaxing to listen to while, as a bonus, being a welcome change from Kenny G instrumentals that normally dominate dinner music.
  • Gorgeous lighting by the always on point Blue Steel.  Loved how the dark purple lighting provided a rich background to show off all the black and white details.
  • Met/worked with Jeremy Mitchell Cinema (and Nick) for the first time; very nice and funny dudes and I can’t wait to see the final film.
  • Malissa Murphy and the CMT Events team holding it down; thank you again Malissa for helping coordinate/wrangle during the aftershoot!
  • All the groomsmen making speeches during the toast, but my absolute favorite was the guy who sang the “Queen to Be” song from “Coming to America”.  It was glorious and I’m honestly baffled as to why this doesn’t happen more often at weddings.
  • Older white-haired gentleman who was GETTIN’ it during the Wobble.  I took photos but they did not do him justice; that guy had moves for days. Days, I tell you!
  • The parents of the couple surprising them with a vintage Rolls Royce as their getaway car.  Baller time.
  • And of course, a beautiful, fun and madly in love couple who honored us by choosing DCPG as their wedding photographer.  While Chrissy and Scott grew up here, they currently reside in Seattle so to do your wedding planning over the interwebs from 3,000 miles away shows a lot of trust.   We are so thankful to have clients like them.

 

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Vendors:

Flowers | Trellis & Bloom
Tuxedos | Maya Couture
Bridal Dress | La Belle Elaine (Seattle, WA)
DJ | John Rabulan “DJ John Rab”
Graphic Design | Yeri Yun Designs (Seattle, WA)
Hair | Kechelle Hadley and April Manganti
Make-up | Sarah Rillon
Live music | Jesse Chong
Venue Lighting |  Blue Steel
Wedding Film | Jeremy Mitchell Cinema
Event Coordination | Malissa Murphy with CMT Events
Photography | Lester & Ciesther dela Cruz with DCPG Photography + Design

Thank you for making it through this long blog post :)

– Ciesther

NEWS | Movin’ on up!

…to the 3rd floor!

Before I get to the good news,  I have to go back to the beginning.  A year and a half ago, we moved into downtown Norfolk as an early adopter of a  co-working space called the 757 Creative Space.  It was serendipitous at the time, as I was sick of meeting clients in coffee shops, but we lacked the funds and manpower for a full time retail storefront.  Someone on Facebook (of course) mentioned the Creative Space and lo and behold, the very day I researched it, they happened to have an open house going on.

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Not more than 30 minutes into the tour, we were sold.   I was honestly sold before we even got there, but Lester and Mendell luckily loved it as much as I did.   Before we left, we picked out our office:

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And planted our flag:

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Then returned the following day to sign papers!

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Word!

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We were the 2nd company to sign up for an office and it’s been amazing to see the space fill up with so many different businesses, people and ever changing local artwork on the walls.    I love working here at the Creative Space and in Norfolk in general, but our office was getting tight (if you’ve ever had a meeting with us, you know the pain of having to move our chairs around haha) and with the unstable Hampton Roads weather, I found myself longing for something a little bigger that we could use as a small indoor studio space.  I told Sarah we were thinking about moving after our term was over and, God bless her, she sprang into action right away.  She and Clint started looking for spaces to expand the Creative Space into, with extra attention paid to spaces big enough to accomodate our studio wishes.  They were looking to expand anyway, but their sheer effort to accommodate us, plus their awesomeness/helpfulness in general is something we will forever be grateful for.   Sarah and Clint (and Harper) rule!

They had a false start with a potential space elsewhere in downtown but it fell through due to overpricing and a next door tenant optioning the two rooms that were the basis of all of us even liking that space.   LUCKILY, it turned out that our upstairs neighbor at 259 Granby was going virtual and vacating the 3rd floor.   So super long story short, I am stoked to say that we’re movin’ on up to the 3rd floor and taking over the large front office that overlooks Granby.  It’s almost 3 times the size of our tiny office, it has huge windows, tall ceilings and exposed brick, and best of all, we are still part of the 757 Creative Space.  Sarah and Clint have great plans for the rest of the 3rd floor and I can’t wait to see how it all develops.

Please excuse my crappy cell phone photos, we’ll post better ones once we’re all moved in and decorated:

 

 

But wait, there’s more!!

It’s magazine season and you’ll find DCPG in not one, but TWO local bridal mags:  Premier Bride and Vow.   For Premier Bride, we were contacted by the publisher to shoot an editorial spread for a cotton-candy wedding styled session.  The concept was based on an inspiration board created by Apryl Roberts of Memorable Events by Apryl.    Lester, Mendell and I teamed up and tackled parts of the shoot both separately and together – one of the great advantages to hiring us is the fact that we’re not just a team, but a team of 3 principal shooters, no assistant or second string shooters.  Anyway, right when everything was set up, it started raining.   The large magnolia tree we were shooting under acted as a huge umbrella and we actually stayed dry and the photos came together beautifully!  Here are the tearsheets from our spread, titled “Love is Sweet”:

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Credits again with links!

Everyone was so great to work with; we all threw this together in a week and it turned out amazing! :)

We also had a half page advertisement (we loved the strategic area our ad was placed, thanks Christy!).   She gave us a bag full of magazines, so please stop by the 757 Creative Space sometime and pick one up!

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Our photography made some cameo appearances in the latest issue of Vow as well!  The Sheraton Virginia Beach used Kam + Ren‘s hilarious jumping shot in not one but two advertising areas.  They also used one of our detail shots in their main ad as well:

We’ve got some other good things on the horizon as well, but I’ll save those for later.  Thank you for bearing with this long winded post and we’ll get back to posting wedding and baby photos soon :)

– Cies

 

Kam + Ren Sneak Peek | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographers

I’ve been dying to post these photos.  I tried really hard to wait until I’ve edited 50+ or so photos for a nice, long blog post but my impatience is getting the best of me, so here’s a sneak peek of Kamillah and Renald’s wedding.  I’ll save all my flowery descriptions for the “real” blog post and just post some of my favorites from the day! Such an amazing, FUN wedding :)

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These are the talented vendors for this wedding:

Photography  | Mendell, Lester & Ciesther of DCPG
Photobooth | Rina & Zern of DCPG
Coordinator | MorLina Events
Cake | Cake Delights
Make-up Artist | Kim Nguyen
Hairstylists | Kechelle Hadley, Lendelyn Deomania Lopez & Rex Ritarita
Event Rentals | Waterford Event Rentals
Church | Holy Spirit Catholic Church w/ Father Tim
Reception Venue | Sheraton Oceanfront
Limo | Exotic Style Limousines
Flowers | Norfolk Florist
Video | Digital Dreammakers
Venue Lighting | Blue Steel Lighting
DJ/Emcee | Emer Lunasin

Longer blog post coming soon…

Melissa + Chris | Norfolk Engagement Photographers

When Melissa and Chris came in for their initial consultation, they said they were planning on having a Rat Pack/vintage-themed wedding and then went on to talk about how they’d be willing to do a “First Look” session; when the bride is revealed to the groom BEFORE the wedding and we capture the moment.   Between their wedding plans and them being such a sweet couple,  I was sold on taking them on as clients.  Luckily, they liked us too and we’re shooting their wedding this summer :)

Our first attempt at an engagement shoot was a bust; it ended up raining that day and so we canceled last minute.  I honestly HATE doing that to people, but I didn’t want them to be disappointed by a sub-par, last-minute indoor location.  Since we weren’t bound by any deadlines or time constraints and the fact that I really wanted them to have a nice setting, we put it off for another week.   The day of their make-up session, there were thankfully no clouds in the sky;  it was drenched in gorgeous sunset light.

We decided to stick around the Pagoda on Tazwell; it was walking distance from our Granby Street office plus that area is a great combination of gardens, water and cute brownstones.  Here are a few photos from our session!

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