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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

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Samantha & Alex | Sunrise Couples Session at Great Falls Park | Montgomery County, Maryland

Portraits

February 26, 2020

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The weather always plays a part in being a photographer. Of course, a photographer’s job always depends on light. When couples see “cloudy” or “overcast” in the forecast, they sometimes panic and think that their session isn’t going to be pretty…so not true! In fact, cloudy can often be gorgeous! It allows for even light across everyone’s faces. The first time we had scheduled for Samantha and Alex’s session, it rained out (and if we don’t have to shoot in the rain, I try not to!), but the rescheduled session was a little cloudy/foggy, but it turned out oh so beautifully!

Honestly, I feel like I say this about all the couples I work with, but it’s true—these two are really special to me! I have known Alex since elementary school…we used to play soccer together! Can you believe that? Samantha has been with me for…three years now! She has been doing my hair that entire time and even goes along with my crazy ideas like going blonde and talks sense into me when I say I want bangs. She has been with us through my career change, starting my business, starting our family, navigating a miscarriage, and pretty much everywhere in between. Back when I was teaching, I would fall asleep almost every time she did my hair because I was literally so at ease in her chair (and exhausted all the time, but still!).

Anyway, when she contacted me wanting to do a couples session, I was so excited! She said she wanted an epic nature location that was around where they are currently living. Alex recently got out of the Marine Corps and became a police officer in Arlington, so they wanted to embrace their new chapter in life. So we adventured to Great Falls! I have shot here before, so I knew we would be hiking a bit, but the view is so worth it! And Samantha did the whole thing in heeled boots—what a trooper!

I love that this one “location” offers so much variety within one session. We started at sunrise at the top of the hike and made our way back down to what I like to call my “secret spot.” It’s marked by a sign that read “Danger,” but it’s’ so worth the “danger” it doesn’t offer, ha! We ended the session by bird watching a blue heron (this is after we almost ran into a deer and a squirrel decided that we were best friends). It was a lovely session, indeed!


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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

Hey there!