This vibrant, chic DC Blagden Alley & NGA Engagement will knock your socks off! Claire and Andrew are witty, charming and one of the absolute cutest couples in Washington DC. I may be biased ;). More of their authentic love story here including a spilled cocktail, all the lactose & many competitive board game nights…
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Claire & Andrew share, “We saw some shots Lisa took of our venue and they were stunning. Upon exploring her Instagram and website, we realized her artistic style matched what we were looking for. Her photos seemed to capture the essence of the people involved and you could feel the life happening in the images.”
Continuing claire states, “After seeing our preview though, our minds were blown! If she can make me look natural and happy and not like a stiff, awkward potato, she’s clearly magic! I cannot stop thinking about our preview from our engagement session. 14/10 would recommend Rhinehart photography!”
Why Washington DC?
Claire shares, “We wanted locations that fit us and our story. We love going to jazz in the garden at the Sculpture Garden in the summers and love wandering through museums. Some of our favorite moments together have been exploring art on our travels.”
She adds, “Soon, I realized that his incredible intellect, kind heart, and knack for making me laugh made me feel like I could be the most unfiltered version of myself.”
There is something so incredibly classic and romantic about this image– I used a shallow depth of field so that all the focus would be on their emotion, yet still give a nod to the surrounding fountain and iconic scenery. I love to play around creatively.
Mishap # 1 Fictiscious Ghosting
Claire says, “After our first date, we had a mishap involving a couple of undelivered text messages (iPhone and Pixel don’t like to play nice). Despite that supposed fictional ghosting, we still managed to go on a second date. “
Keep reading for the story of their second date and more of this DC Blagden Alley & NGA Engagement!
Mishap #2 So. Much. Lactose.
Claire & Andrew’s second date was at Iron Gate one summer night. They share, “Everything seemed to be going perfectly. Claire, a long-time vegetarian, asked Andrew if he had any dietary restrictions. He said he ate everything (to appear flexible, failing to mention his lactose intolerance).”
They continue, “Unaware, Claire proceeded to order several dairy-heavy dishes. According to Claire, eating halloumi at a Mediterranean restaurant is a must. Trying to be a good sport and seem adventurous, Andrew ate everything they ordered but that turned out to be a mistake. He proceeded to get sick and barely made it to the bathroom! He still stuck around to finish the date because he didn’t want to miss the chance to spend time with Claire.”
I was going for a joyful “pointillism” sort of aesthetic with this photograph. The droplets and art museum backdrop inspired me to figure out how to make that work in camera.
Conclusion: Mishap = Special Night
Since the dairy mishap, they say “It became an inside joke about a night not being special unless something small goes wrong. Flash forward three years, a similar setting in the stunning outdoor patio at Little Pearl, our server (who knew Andrew planned to propose) spills a cocktail on Andrew completely by accident. The server was clearly mortified but something small going wrong meant it must be a special night!”
A lot of photographers talk about needing cloudy skies to make photos work. While cloudy skies are mathematically much simpler when manually setting a camera, posing a couple, and finding a solid background, I think the pop and punch brought by the intense sunlight from a blue sky day is stunning! Just check out the color here:
Engagement Session Vibe
They share, “We wanted a combination of greenery/nature and urban chic photos to capture our DC experience. We were hoping to have you capture our connection and affection for each other.”
The Most Unfiltered Version of Myself
Claire says, “I remember remarking to a friend after our first date that Andrew had been trying to get to know me better than anyone else I had been on a date within a while. He saw me and wanted to keep learning more. ”
I wanted to capture their connection and intimacy here in a visual way:
An Effortless Choice
Claire continues, “I found myself trusting him in a way I had not trusted any previous partner and that’s when I knew this was different. I have never felt happier or more supported than I do when I am with Andrew. I pride myself on being an independent person and Andrew has never tried to compromise that, so it makes it an effortless choice to go through life with him as my partner. ”
Reflections are so fun! This moment screened “Lala Land” to me. Do you know the movie?
Falling Hard & Fast
Andrew shares, “I realized early on in dating that I could be myself around Claire. The awkward phase of dating disappeared quickly and I found myself falling for her hard and fast. We are both decently type-A on many of the things that matter to us both and we complement each other well in all the areas where we are different.”
I love that Claire & Andrew both felt they could be themselves so early on in their relationship! They definitely make a perfect match!
Weekly Board Game Date Nights
Andrew says, “I love how easily I can make Claire laugh and how she smiles when she sees me, the exception being when I win during a (highly competitive) board game date night.”
I love that Claire & Andrew’s date night involves board games! So fun to have a little friendly competition. 🙂 My husband and I are also into tons of nerdy board games. My favorite current came is Wingspan.
Engagement Session Must-Haves
Letting Claire & Andrew move around naturally during their urban chic DC engagement session allows me to get creative photos like the shadowy one above!
Having plenty of time to play and have fun on your engagement photo session is a must and something I always also make sure to do!
The Urban Chic Aesthetic
They share, “We wanted to capture a part of our day-to-day life and capture the things we love about living in a city. We’re big foodies and have explored a lot of the DC food scene together. Blagden Alley the perfect place for us.”
They added, “Our favorite restaurant, the Dabney, is there along with a few other bars, restaurants, and coffee shops we frequent. We felt the alley could perfectly capture the urban chic DC engagement aesthetic we love.”
Claire and Andrew, it was such a pleasure to photograph you two for this DC Blagden Alley & NGA Engagement!
I love how you personalized your locations to match your unique story. It also meant the world to me to hear how thrilled you were with your engagement photos, coming out so naturally beautiful. Yes, I work with lots of couples who confess to awkward tendencies and am so happy to make them feel seen and beautiful!
Hungry for more?
- See more Engagements
- More DC Engagements
- More sessions at the National Gallery of Art
- Read more about Lisa Rhinehart