Washington Kastles 2017 WorldTeam Tennis Season Part 1

Every July for the past seven years, I find myself, for two amazing weeks, caught up in the whirlwind that is the Washington Kastles. I always look forward to Kastles season, as I get to go back to work for one of the best teams DC sports and easily the best group of photographers I’ve been able to work with.

The Kastles celebrated their 10th anniversary and while we welcomed back stars like Martina Hingis, Venus and the Bryan Brothers we also welcomed some new faces, with Frances Tiafoe and Bruno Soares coming on board. In celebrating 10 years fans were treated to the first ever bobblehead giveaways in team history, an encore performance from DJ Kool and even a visit from the Governor himself, Terry McAuliffe.

Over the past seven years the one constant on the Kastles has been Coach Murphy, who is not only one of he most colorful characters in all of tennis but probably all of sports in general. Being able to hang out with Coach every season is easily the perk part of the job. He’s always been great to the entire Kastles staff and, as an added bonus, my kids love being able to come out to a match and spend some time with Coach.

While this year didn’t go as planned record-wise, it was one of my favorite seasons to shoot so far. Looking back through photos for these two posts and the emotion in every photo from Madison Brengle, Anastasia Rodionova made it difficult to narrow down what I wanted to showcase here.

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Danielle And Michael’s Marriott Fall Wedding

As I look back on this beautiful couple’s big day, so many amazing memories come flying back; the bride smiling magnetically in her fantastic gown (from Essense of Australia, in case you were eyeing it), which began making waves the very moment she debuted it for her bridesmaids, and a special first look with her father, the autumnal décor scheme—complete with painted pumpkins, of course—and, last but not at all least, the light-hearted and fun photo sessions.

Pre-ceremony bubbly flowed freely from custom bottles as Danielle primped and prepped alongside her bridesmaids, all of whom were cloaked in matching, floral-print robes.  

Taking place at Westfields Marriott, their ceremony was an absolutely wonderful occasion. After the bride walked down a beautifully fall-themed aisle to stand beside her groom, the pair exchanged “I Do’s” before a beaming sea of guests against a stunning sunset backdrop.

The wedding party was super game when it came to putting on a show for group shots. And I mean, literally, as they recreated a scene from West Side Story. Plus, they even playfully posed for a super sexy snap. Such a blast!

Before long, it was time for the reception festivities to begin. And that they did!

As it turns out, Michael, a teacher, and Danielle, who actually works for Marriott in DC, really know how to let loose. They definitely excelled when it came to creating a night that attendees will never forget.

Danielle gave the DJ turntable a twirl for a bit, treating reception-goers to a myriad of musical melodies while attendees danced the evening away. Party goers made the most of a delicious ice cream station from Penn State Creamery. Yes, they now Mr & Mrs are Penn State alumni!

The evening capped off with the wedding party and guests converging on the hotel bar where Danielle enjoyed a post-reception shot with another bride who had tied the knot that day as well! View full post »

Jaime + Dustin’s National Harbor Sunset Engagement

Some sports fans manage to incorporate their burning passion for a team into everything they do—including tying the knot!

A few weeks before Jaime and Dustin were planning to bolt down the aisle and profess their undying love for one another before a crowd of friends and family members, we penciled in an engagement shoot at National Harbor. And, yes, there were jerseys involved.

Jaime and Dustin were both all smiles as they joyfully struck poses. She initially wore a breezy white dress. The two of them looked completely besotted with one another and it was such a genuinely enjoyable engagement shoot. After starting our day at the famous ‘Awakening’ statue we shifted spots to the docks where they then jumped up in the air, hand-clasped, for a cool, kicky shot of them between the harbor gates. Funnily enough, they did the same thing while walking down the aisle at their wedding.

Last, but not least we made our way to the Gaylord and settled into the grass for a more laid back series of snaps, which gave a little glimpse at the local architectural scene.

Following a quick outfit tweak/change (her into striking blue New York Giants jersey while he proudly showed off his team pride with a Pittsburgh Steelers one), the couple took a stroll along the water which soon led to some spirited shots of Jaime acing a high-kick, the two of them wrestling playfully and Dustin facetiously attempting to carry his bride-to-be into the river for an impromptu dip.

After ditching their jerseys, the duo playfully recreated the famous “Kissing Sailor” moment—you know the one—beside a statue commemorating the original occasion. We then headed back down to the docks for a shadow-cloaked silhouettes shot against the Potomac River at sunset, complete with a Ferris wheel skyline.

Their wedding was also quite an event, let me assure you. I will be posting about it soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Heather & Justin’s Summer Trump National Wedding Celebration

Months after Heather and Justin’s charming cherry blossom-sprinkled engagement shoot  (complete with another set of shots taken against a City Center DC backdrop), their big day finally arrived!

Let me assure you that it was every bit as marvelous as you would imagine.

Before heading over to the venue to get primped, pampered and painted by Silverceiling, the bride and her girlfriends got into the celebratory mood by donning matching black monogrammed tanks—Heather wore the same one but hers was white, naturally. These festivities also led to the reveal of some supremely glitzy sneakers that Justin had gifted his bride-to-be, along with a touching, super sweet note.

In case you were curious, Heather had given her beau of framed photo of the two of them.

By the time came to finally walk down the aisle, Heather looked positively radiant in a custom Vera Wang gown—which she oh-so-elegantly paired with kicky Badgley Mischka heels—while Justin opted for a classically cool Calvin Klein suit/tux. The two lovebirds were clearly smitten with one another and it was lovely to see them basking in the excitement of their friends and families.

Divine floral arrangements by Maryam Flowers added an extra touch of polish to the already-suave affair and guests danced the evening/night away, thanks, no doubt, in part to the fantastic melodies from Posh Life Entertainment’s Brian Sadiarin. Heather and Justin also had a heartwarming display  of beautiful photos (with cards noting their connection to the bride and groom) to loved ones who passed away by displaying an array of on a memorial table.

Attendees were lucky enough to also dip into slices of cake (from the ever-extraordinary Cakes by Linda), as they celebrated the new Mr. & Mrs. in style.

Other highlights (and yes, there were many!), included the duo’s vintage car exit and a late-night Chick-fil-A pick-me-up snack session.

Kudos to the masterminds at Trump National for their top-notch work in all arenas as well.

Honestly, it was such a pleasure to be able to witness—and to photograph, of course—this delightful couple. Seems that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way about these two either; I was told that every single guest RSVP-ed yes to the wedding. Incredible!

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Dan Ward - October 2, 2017 - 3:34 am

Gorgeous photos! The party looks wild!! 🙂

Heather + Justin’s Charming Cherry Blossom-Sprinkled Engagement Shoot

I first met up with beautiful bride-to-be Heather to talk wedding day details back in 2015, so it is safe to say that this wedding was in the works for quite some time.

The reason why planning took place so early was a great one; Heather really wanted to take engagement photos against a gorgeous backdrop of cherry blossoms.

Can’t argue with that.

Her extremely glamorous LaFemme dress was truly marvelous; she had ordered it specifically for the engagement photoshoot and it was quite the head-turner. Justin was similarly dapper in a grayish-blue suit. This couple really looked every inch the style stars!

Despite the early start, and not being much of a morning person, we had an amazing time together during our session. We capped off their stunning shoot with Heather and Justin enjoying some celebratory bubbly. It was also a treat to be able to play around with shadows when the sun wasn’t in the equation. In fact, this actually allowed me to take a few pretty interesting shots, which I think turned out rather spectacularly.

After we wrapped up that image-capturing session, we popped over to City Center DC for a quick zip under the cherry blossom lanterns that had been draped above the streets. The love birds switched their outfits up a bit, opting for a more laid-back (yet still fantastically chic) vibe.

It was really a fun day, all in all. They are clearly besotted with one another and it was a pleasure to be able to have such an open, energetic pair in front of the lens.

Stick around for event more photos of this couple—their wedding is right around the corner.

Heather + Justin Cherry Blossom Session wm (2 of 76)View full post »