Brandi Image Photography » your timeless love, elegantly captured.

When John called me to say he wanted to propose to Stephanie, I was overjoyed! He came up with the perfect plan- he would pop the question on her birthday weekend in Washington DC at her favorite sculpture in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. Her favorite one is non other than the famed “Amor” which is absolutely fitting for a proposal.

So, after we arrived early to the garden to stake out our path and find the best position, we waited for them to arrive. They knew they were meeting Linda, an sweetheart of a friend who was also in on the plan and brought a birthday and an “I love you” cake for Stephanie. This way, when John was texting their location, it didn’t seem odd.

My heart was pounding when I caught sight of them on the sidewalk at the far end of the garden. All 3 of us used our best ninja skills to stay out of sight until it was time to be seen. As they reached the sculpture, Linda walked over to them to present the cake, and because Stephanie is ever the photographer, take a few photos. Once John was ready, he dropped to one knee and asked Stephanie to be his wife. She was elated and immediately said, “Yes!”. They attracted a bit of an audience and everyone cheered for the newly engaged couple, it was such a sweet moment. Yeah, focusing through tears isn’t the easiest thing to do but man, so much dust in that place ;).

After the proposal, we came out of hiding and all celebrated together at a nearby bar with a champagne toast. Of course, we had to drop the ring in for a bubbly photo. Afterward, we headed over to Old Ebbitt Grill for an incredible dinner. Then, when it was nice and dark, we took advantage of the lit memorials and made some beautiful night portraits. All told, it was an incredible day for Stephanie & John! I am ecstatic for them and can’t wait to capture their California Lovin’ wedding in June!

Enjoy the images below, engagement session to follow soon too! Leave them some love!

If you are planning a proposal, call me to talk about your plans and how we can capture your special moment.

couple walking through national sculpture gallery________P I NSite Imagecouple walking through national sculpture gallery________P I NSite Imageholding ring behind his back for proposal________P I NSite ImageJohn giving Stephanie the ring________P I NSite ImageJohn giving Stephanie the ring________P I NSite ImageJohn down on one knee proposing to Stephanie________P I NSite ImageStephanie accepting John________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden looking at the ring________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite ImageThe ring on the amor sculpture ________P I NSite ImageThe ring on the amor sculpture ________P I NSite Imagethe happy couple in the sculpture garden________P I NSite Imagering in champagne glass________P I NSite Imagering on Stephanie________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple and the washington monument________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple and the lincoln monument________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple and the lincoln monument________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple________P I NSite Imagenight portraits with the newly engaged couple________P I NSite Image

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I am still reviewing this day and all the happiness I soaked in along with the sun on Clearwater Beach! These two are pure inspiration, in their love for each other, the support of their families and in their faith.

Olivia is currently finishing her residency in FL while Dany works on Wall Street. As far apart as they are physically, they are completely connected in mind and heart. Watching them snuggle, dance and walk together on the beach was so sweet. It seemed as if they were the only two there.

We began the day with the traditional engagement ceremony at their church, St Mary & St. Mina in Clearwater. It was incredible! I am used to being relegated to the back or a balcony during church sacraments, constantly vying for a new angle. However, here, it was a breath of fresh air! I started with my long lens down in the pews until a sweet future bridesmaid clued me in that I could go up on the alter! Pure glee as I traded out my 70-200mm for my 35mm and was able to get incredible details I am usually not privy to. The atmosphere was one of pure joy and celebration. Kids were welcomed to join their fathers on the alter and to help set up for the ceremony. The uluations were exuberant, with the joy resounding from all corners of the church!

After Olivia and Dany became officially engaged, we headed over to Clearwater Beach for some gorgeous portraits before their reception. I know the perfect spot on the usually packed beach for a few stolen moments. Between the dunes, we created beautiful, natural moments that showcased their love and connection. One perfect moment led to another and all too soon our time was up.

Then, we met up with their closest family and friends at Marina Cantina where the delicious food, stunning desserts and chic decor perfectly complimented the sunset views. Olivia even surprised Dany with a Harry Potter themed groom’s cake! As if I couldn’t love this couple anymore, they are HP fans.

To say I’m excited for their 2018 wedding is a total understatement! It’ll be absolutely amazing! Thank you both for having me capture your incredible moments.

Ceremony: St. Mary & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church | Clearwater, FL

Reception: Marina Cantina | Clearwater Beach, FL

Floral Design: Gabro Event Services | Tampa, FL

Cake: Juicy Factory | Clearwater, FL

engaged couple walking on the beach________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement church alter________P I NSite Imageflowers for coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagebetrothal contract coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagesigning the betrothal contract coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagesigning the betrothal contract coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagesigning the betrothal contract coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagesigning the betrothal contract coptic engagement________P I NSite Imageengaged couple laughing in priest________P I NSite Imagepinning the boutonnière for coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagerings bound for coptic engagement________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement processional________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement processional________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imageexchange of rings coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imageexchange of rings coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imageexchange of rings coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imageexchange of rings coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecouple standing at coptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagecoptic engagement ceremony________P I NSite Imagebride to be in flowered gown by lake________P I NSite Imagebride to be in flowered gown by lake________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imagebride to be coptic engagement portrait on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imageengaged couple on clearwater beach portrait________P I NSite Imagesparkly shoes for engagement session on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagebride to be________P I NSite Imageengagement rings for coptic session on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagegroom to be________P I NSite Imagegroom to be________P I NSite Imagecross tattoo and flowered dress________P I NSite Imagesweetheart table for coptic engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagedessert table for coptic engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagedetail of dessert table for coptic engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagedetail of dessert table for coptic engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagetable decor for coptic engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imageengaged couple in strong pose on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagebride surprising groom with harry potter cake at engagement party________P I NSite Imagebride surprising groom with harry potter cake at engagement party________P I NSite Imagedetail of harry potter cake________P I NSite Imagedetail of bride________P I NSite Imagedetail of desserts________P I NSite Imageprinted m&m for coptic engagement party________P I NSite Imagedetail of dessert table________P I NSite Imageengaged couple with dessert table at engagement party________P I NSite Imagehappy group at engagement party on clearwater beach________P I NSite Imagesunset in portrait of engaged couple on clearwater beach________P I NSite Image

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I first met Anna & Ray through a fellow photographer and former supervisor (from ahem, long ago for TASCO), Robert. He knew we would click right away and that we did! Their gorgeous St. Raphael’s Catholic Church and Birchwood wedding was absolutely stunning with perfect details along the way to make it uniquely their own. Oh! And a two piece gown that was whimsically fun!

The team they chose for their dream day was incredible, the best in the industry. I can’t tell you the difference it makes to have simply the right team in place to make your wedding perfect. Like so many of my couples it seems, Anna & Ray weren’t just planning a wedding, but a job change which meant a move across the state! Selling a home, buying a new one, moving from St. Pete to the east coast, and planning a wedding is no small feat. However, with the right vendors, it all came together seamlessly. Thank you to everyone who made their day so amazing and who made my day a breeze!

Speaking of, it was quite the breezy day! We stopped at the beautiful Dalí museum and Mahaffey Theater lawn with the bridal party and were almost blown away. Would Anna & Ray (and me for that matter) let a little wind or rain stop us from making gorgeous portraits?! No way! Use that wind and rain to create some awesomeness! Then they ducked inside the Mandarin Hide and enjoyed a private cocktail party with just their bridal party. Every couple should do this!

Enjoy their gallery below and be sure to leave some love for them!

Ceremony: St. Raphael’s Catholic Church | St. Petersburg

Reception: Birchwood | St. Petersburg

Entertainment: DJ Ron with Universal Entertainment

Gown: Top is Wtoo, Skirt is Willowby by Watters | CC’s Bridal

Hair and Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio

Caterer: Birchwood

Floral Design: 2Birds Events

Cake: Publix Bakery

Officiant: Deacon Jim Grevenites

Want to see their sun drenched and super fun engagement session? It’s here!

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Wow! What fun to capture these two dynamic people in an evening at home. A little wine, some ivory tickling, cooking and loving on their huge fur baby FDR.

I love these in home sessions as they document real world memories in your family home. There are so many little things you do every day that you probably don’t even think about anymore. The way you kiss the top of your kids’ heads when they walk over to you, or run your hand across the small of your partner’s back as you pass them. The way you look at each other after you do something totally wacky- like how Ben successfully tossed a piece of celery across the kitchen into Emily’s mouth! High five! Showing these two the way they look at each other was an absolute pleasure.

I first met Emily & Ben when they were referred to me for their wedding by Natalie & Justin and I loved them immediately. We had a blast on their engagement session in downtown Tampa, the wedding day at the Epicurean and now, almost 2 years later, in their brand new home. They have immaculately decorated their South Tampa home with a gorgeous style that is truly them; easy sophistication and low key elegance. Since we just celebrated Gasparilla, their pirate flag was still flying high which added a bit of home town love to the evening.

Thank you both for having me out to document these sweet memories for you, I had so much fun. I can’t wait to capture the next milestones in your life together!

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5 Reasons Why It Doesn’t Matter Where Your Photographer Lives

Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, whether it’s one you’ve planned out in your head all these years or one you are figuring out one day at a time. But it can also be an overwhelming process, especially when it comes to choosing your vendors.

The first few steps might have been pretty easy: setting the date, choosing a location, finding a venue. However, one of the next few (and most important) steps to be done early in the process is selecting a photographer. After all, they’ll be the one capturing every detail you took so long to prepare – from the stunning dress you wore to the intimate moments of your first dance.

So why limit yourself to a select group of photographers who live in the location of your venue?

Searching the globe for the perfect photographer who can best capture your once-in-a-lifetime day is not only for the elite! Here’s why you don’t need to care where your wedding photographer calls home.

The Internet makes it easy to find your dream photographer!

The worldwide web makes communicating with potential vendors a breeze. Did you see a stunning image taken by a Floridian photographer, but you live in Wyoming? Contact them and ask if they travel!

Even if you prefer to stay within the US, you still have 50 states full of possibilities when it comes to a wedding photographer. Most professional wedding photographers are experienced travelers, so we know the ropes when it comes to meeting with you on your big day.

Many of the beginning stages of planning with a distant photographer – such as signing contracts, completing payments, reading online reviews, and talking over FaceTime/Skype – can be completed entirely online. And we’re here to help you every step of the way!

Shop by style, not by location. 

Are you a super creative couple who loves the idea of a DIY wedding? Make sure you find someone who focuses on these details and captures them in a style you love! Are you part of an emotional family that hugs and cries at the drop of a hat? Find someone who gets those little moments better than anyone.

Do you love the total documentary, fly-on-the-wall look? Your perfect photographer for this style may not be in your hometown. What about a photographer who can pose everyone in your 26-person bridal party to perfection and can still make it look like a masterpiece? They are out there!

Every photographer has a style and focus that excites them – and it shows in their work. Try to match your wedding personality to a photographer’s style, and you’ll be the happiest couple in the world when you look back over your photos for years to come.

You can save money!

That’s right: it can actually cost you less to import your photographer than to hire one close to home. Everyone is budget conscious; it is a legit concern and you aren’t alone.

If you live in places like Chicago or New York, you live in one of the most expensive cities in the US for wedding photographers. While these photographers are likely worth what they charge and need to keep up with higher costs of living, it doesn’t mean their packages will match with your budget. Consider bringing in a photographer from a location with a lower-priced market!

In some cases, you might be able to pay their full package cost, flight and accommodations – all for a lower price than hiring a local. It may take a little more work to find the perfect person, but we all know that saving money while still retaining quality can be a huge help when it comes to wedding planning.

“Are you familiar with XYZ Venue?” 

One of the most commonly asked questions I hear from my couples is, “Have you shot at our venue before?”

It’s totally understandable why this seems like a good question on the surface. You may want to see what weddings look like at your venue, or what the photographer has done there before. And besides, it’s exciting to see your chosen place, all dressed up and captured beautifully.

Here’s the thing: when we shoot weddings, we’re looking for light or ways to create the best light for our location. This helps us capture the mood or emotions of your big day with feeling, color and intimacy. Light is light; how we control, manipulate or use that light is what sets photographers apart from the amateurs. Whether or not we have shot in your venue before does not affect the light we use.

Get a unique perspective!

You can go the safe route and choose a photographer who has shot at your venue before with the same few poses, in the same locations, with the same setup each and every time. There is comfort in that—I get it!

However, if you’re choosing a photographer for their overall style, they will bring a fresh set of eyes to your wedding day. You want images that evoke your day the way you envisioned it, not images that are limited to a habitual set of pictures that look unoriginal.

Your wedding photographs won’t be cookie-cutter unless you want them to be. A photographer that experiences a new place will have an excitement level that is through the roof, helping to spark creativity and unique, beautiful images of your big day.

Contact Brandi Image Photography, No Matter Your Location!

I love that the trend in weddings is moving toward more personal ceremonies and locations. Less focus is being placed on how a wedding “should” look and more on the couple’s personality and story. Your photos are a huge part of that! It’s how you’ll remember your day, your moments, your details.

Here’s the bottom line: choose your photographer for how they will capture your day, not for the place they call home. I love traveling to new venues, new towns and new countries, especially for such an important moment in life! Some of my favorite images have been captured in foreign places, and I can’t wait to add a few more.

Click on Say Hi! up top and tell me all about your dream wedding day! I’d love to be a part of it.

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