Engagement Session in the Woods in Northern Virginia
Potok's World Photography

Engagement Session in the Woods in Northern Virginia

Do you like the idea of including your pets in your engagement shoot or couples portrait session? If so, we understand completely! In addition to being Northern Virginia wedding photographers, we are also animal lovers. We have two beautiful cats that we absolutely adore and have done a fair amount of pet photography. If our cats were more cooperative, we certainly would have posed with them for the wedding and engagement portraiture we have had done!

In fact, we do not just understand the desire to bring your pets to your engagement photo shoot, we encourage it! When spouses-to-be ask us whether bringing their pets is a good idea, we always say yes! Any good Northern Virginia wedding photographer knows that dogs in particular can be a great addition to any couples portrait session.

This is due to several reasons. For starters, there is the obvious fact that man’s best friend invariably looks as cute as can be in photographs. Who does not love pictures featuring adorable canines and their sweet faces? The second reason why we would advise you to include your dogs in your engagement photographs is more subtle. In an indirect way, pictures of future spouses with their pets says a lot about their relationship.

If you hire us as your Northern Virginia wedding photographers, it is because you want us to document your love story. In the time that we spend taking your pictures, we need to be able sum up your entire history together with our cameras. Though your couples portraits will represent just a brief moment in your relationship, they should give someone who does not know you insight into your entire time together. The looks you exchange on film should communicate the depth of your feelings for one another. Your body language should reveal a comfort level being in each other’s arms developed over many such embraces.

Posing for your engagement photos with your pets is a great way to add an extra dimension to the story told in those images. Getting a cat or dog is typically a significant step in a relationship between two people. It is a joint responsibility that the couple assumes and that binds them together to a degree. In many cases, adopting a pet is a precursor to making more lasting commitments to one another. Many Washington-based couples get engaged within months or a year of getting a cat or dog together. So photos of the future spouses with their pet shows the world an important chapter in their love story, by offering invaluable context and history.

The exact scenario described above is exactly what played out in the case of these particular fiancés in the years before the groom-to-be popped the question. Once their relationship had reached a certain point, they adopted two lovely dogs. They quickly became treasured members of their household.

For that reason, the spouses-to-be wanted their two pets to be a part of their engagement photo session. As we were discussing the shoot with them, we made sure to select a venue that could accommodate dogs. An outdoor location seemed like the safest choice, so we looked at various parks in Northern Virginia.

Fortunately, the part of the DC metro area where we and the couple live is filled with beautiful nature preserves and parks. There are acres of wooded areas that are perfect for outdoor wedding and engagement shoots. The one we selected for this particular photo session was the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. That popular biking and running path starts near the border between Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. It then passes nearly 50 miles northwest through the Northern Virginia portion of suburban Washington, DC. Though the park around the W&OD Trail is never much more than 100 feet wide, it is filled with lovely forests. That makes it a great spot for a Northern Virginia wedding photographer to take outdoor couples portraits.

Once we and these future spouses arrived at a spot along the trail, they let their canine friends run free for a little bit. While the dogs frolicked, we took some pictures of the fiancés posing by themselves. After the pooches tired themselves out a bit, they were less distractible and more amenable to being posed. So the bride- and groom-to-be put them back on the leashes, and we arranged the group. We wanted the fiancés focused on their pets, but we also wanted connection between the two humans. To achieve that, we had the future spouses look at the dogs. At the same time, we made sure that they were connected by touch. Her hand on his arm indicates the tenderness that they feel for one another.

Location: Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, Washington and Old Dominion Trail, Arlington, Virginia 22206.

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