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I'm Ali Rae and I love building brands.
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Just before the pandemic got REALLY crazy, Gina, Michael, and I were able to sneak in a very last minute cherry blossom sessions during peak bloom. While Michael is from Michigan and Gina is a Navy kid that calls Florida home (it’s where she spent the most consecutive years of her life), they met while in DC working and have been here ever since!
When I first met these two, they weren’t engaged yet…little did Gina know that Michael had planned on proposing later that day. Gina has a tradition of taking a picture at the Japanese Lantern on the Tidal Basin during each season every year. So he took her there to take her seasonal photo, unbeknownst to her that it was with ulterior motive he took her there. She noticed a violinist playing. While she thought it was beautiful, she also thought it was odd…there are never musicians down by the Tidal Basin. Just then she started to put the pieces together. When she turned around, Michael was down on his knee and asked her to marry him with her family waiting and friends taking pictures of their special moment!
They wanted the iconic engagement session that embodied the place that they met—what better place than the Japanese Lantern at peak cherry blossom time! Even though we went at sunrise, it was still a bit crowded. but we managed to make it work! We were blessed with a beautiful sunrise that gave us glowy golden light for the perfect session.
Once we were done fighting the crowds at the cherry blossoms, we headed over to the Lincoln Memorial where it was like a ghost town! In case anyone was wondering, the best time to shoot at the Lincoln is definitely during cherry blossom season because everyone is a block over at the Tidal Basin. It was nice to have the place pretty much to ourselves. It was beautiful and romantic and also a little cold…thankfully Gina brought a warm jacket to bundle up in in between shots.
Thank you, Gina and Michael, for trusting me with your engagement memories!
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