I stepped out of the church and snuck back across the street for the last few minutes before their ceremony- Mary was in her bridal suite with her parents and sister, just having touched up her makeup. I knew we'd be cutting it close, but that window light was calling her name. With only a couple minutes to spare before she left her suite at the Hay and walked across 16th St. to the church, we captured this. She's the very picture of DC elegance, and proof that sometimes, the best moments and MY best photographs happen during the in-betweens! ❤️ With @amiedeckerbeauty @christinmua @hjplannersdc @pninatornai, film developed and scanned by @fast.foto • #contax645 #filmisnotdead #fastfoto #ishootfilm #filmphotographer #fineartfilm #theanalogclub
It's #internationalwomensday, and THE perfect opportunity to celebrate a few of the ladies who are especially dear to me! For years I'd push away female friends, saying I'm not the type of person who has a lot of friends who are girls (Beca from #pitchperfect much?). I think we can ALL thank high school for that- can I get an amen? But these women have shown up time and time again, even when I've been tempted to push them away, to show me that real friendship can be a place of joy, encouragement, growth & silliness! • @katherinebignon- my partner in crime for all things French, grace-filled mama to her sweet kiddos, & the most likely person to say the other day and actually be referencing an event that happened 2 months ago. Also, the most talented person I've ever met when it comes to sewing beautiful gowns and robes. She shows up over and over, even I am endlessly grateful. • @ashlynscarter- one of my favorite people to trade ballet memes and voice texts with. A fellow member of the Sass Squad who is infinitely generous with her friendship and wisdom. We share a mutual love of gin cocktails, and I adore her for it. • @sd.brenn for our weekend girls' trips (which restore my soul, friend!), for visiting 2 different quilt shops with me + not telling my mom, and for always lending a listening ear + soft place to land. Also, for helping me make it through high school without losing my mind. • @sarahcbradshaw for deep-seated encouragement, for pointing me to Jesus always, for her steadfast nature, and for her willingness to tell me both when I'm wrong and when she sees growth in me. For allowing me to be the first-ish one she called to inform me she was, finally, reading Harry Potter! • @flosteffens- for keeping it real, always, and for dropping everything when someone has true need. She pursues real, grace-filled friendships and was one of the first to convince me that my friends do, indeed, ACTUALLY want to hang out with me. • From @thesignatureatelier, aprons by @oatmeallace, film dev + scanned by @thefindlab
I wish I could go back to this version of myself and whisper in her ear you will make it through this as a whole person. • This was 2016. We'd been trying to start our family for almost a year, and I was grappling with the failure month after month- infertility is one of the hardest, most painful things I’ve ever walked through. Bitterness was slowly wending its way into my soul as time passed. • It went on for another two years after this, adding in six rounds of fertility treatments and one trip to the emergency room. So many tightly-held plans of mine ripped from my hands, discarded like litter along the highway. For a long time there I was angry at God- resentful that everyone else around me seemed to be getting the one dream we couldn't reach. • But here we are, almost four years into our infertility story, and I’m seeing why the answer was No for so long. Because THIS was where we were being led. To a place of hopeful anticipation, of peace and compassion. To a place of not my will, but Yours. • Adoption was never God's plan B for us- it was simply the plan. And that these years of imperfect waiting? I’m finally able to be grateful for what they've taught me. • This doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt sometimes. • But what it DOES mean is that hurt, grief, and unfulfilled longing are no longer the dominant colors being used to paint my story! • Now the colors I see most frequently are ones of grace; the grace of having my flaws exposed, growing me into a kinder, more compassionate person; the grace of seeing God’s hand working in the in-between moments, not just in the big stuff; the grace of feeling whole again, even though my situation never changed. • Dear, sweet, grieving Abby of 2016, I know it’s hard. But if you can let go of control just a little, you WILL find rest in God's promise that in all things- the good, ugly, joyful and painful- he works for the good of those who love him. •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by @davidabelweddings #imperfectishuman @imperfectbosses
Since 2013, I've had the honor of being included in @washingtonianweddings list of top DC photographers. Much to my surprise when I opened up the Winter/Spring 2019 edition, though, was that I was voted *Rising Star!* It meant so much to have that title awarded to me by my fellow DC vendors, and such a reminder that if I ever need a reminder of all the incredible growth over the last nine years, to look back on where I began! 💕
Because when you're British and getting married in the US, where else besides Washington National Cathedral, and what else besides a morning suit and top hat? • With @smevents @yellowdoorweds @carolinecastigliano #abbygraceweddings #istillshootfilm #fuji400h #35mmfilm
One day, I'm going to publish a book of JUST Parisian café chairs, even if it's just for me. Goodness knows, I probably already have enough photographs to fill one up by now. #abbygraceineurope #thefindlab
Winters can be hard for an extroverted wedding photographer like me. Fewer shoots, fewer weddings, fewer vendor soirées, altogether more time by yourself... and not always having a full 40 hours of work to fill your week. Going from 80mph to, essentially, a slow crawl... well, it's an adjustment to say the least! Having Matt working from home with me has definitely helped, but around this time of year, I start wishing for more opportunities to be around more PEOPLE. 👯♀️ So I did a thing- I joined a co-working community! Tuesday was my first day and I'm already loving it! It's just for one day a week at this point, but I'm already excited to go back next week. 👩🏻💻 When I left my 8-5 for good almost SEVEN years ago, I was so dang pumped to be my own boss that I didn't realize how much I'd miss being around other people. Has the tradeoff been worth? ABSOLUTELY. I wouldn't reverse that decision for anything! ✌🏻 But being around other humans in a work atmosphere? I'll admit I've missed it. And for me, working exclusively from home is proving to be increasingly distracting. So Matt found me the perfect co-working space 15 minutes from home, complete with speedy wifi and snacks and an endless supply of coffee, and I cannot wait to see what comes of this new environment! Even after one day, I'm already loving the increase in productivity and focus. Let's see what happens after week #2! 💪🏻 Photo by @juliepaisley, hair & makeup by one of my favorite Parisian artists, @trinejuel!
Is it weird to have goals for my brides? Because I am unabashedly crossing my fingers that one of my 2019 girls is planning to don a pair of @bellabelleshoes for her wedding day or engagement session. That intricate beading is to die for!! • From our France workshop, @thesignatureatelier by myself & @katherinebignon! Planning by @lovinconcept Florals by @floresie Custom gown by @katherinebignon Venue @chateaubouthonvilliers Hair + Makeup by @trinejuel Shoes by @bellabelleshoes Film lab @thefindlab