#restonphotography

My Favorite Portraits of 2018 - Anne & Paul, Wedding Anniversary by Ed Shanahan

Last summer my brother’s “kids” threw their parents a surprise 35th wedding anniversary party in Boston. My godson and nephew asked that I take photos of the event. Here is one of my favorites of Anne and Paul. I think it captures the spirit of both of them and of their amazing relationship.

Anne and Paul Shanahan at their 35th wedding anniversary surprise party

Anne and Paul Shanahan at their 35th wedding anniversary surprise party

Waterfalls and Mountains at Sunset by Ed Shanahan

Kirkjufellsfoss, the waterfall, and Kirkjufell, the mountain, are located on a peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean a few hours north and west of the capital of Iceland.  When we arrived there the sky was overcast and it didn't appear that it was going to cooperate to make this a memorable sunset.  But it did.  Shortly before this photo was taken, the clouds cleared at the horizon where the sun was setting, and the sun, once it dropped into this space, began to illuminate the clouds above with spectacular colors.  This was one of the last shots in Iceland and I think was a good way to end my trip :)

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Chasing the Aurora Borealis by Ed Shanahan

On one of our last nights in Iceland we photographed an iconic mountain and waterfall located on a peninsula a few hours north of the capital.  With sunset at 10PM and sun rise at 3:30AM and it never getting fully dark, we debated whether we would stay out yet another night and shoot something at dawn.  Then we got to thinking. 

The aurora was unseasonably active in that period and the forecast was that it might actually reach down over Iceland that night.  On top of that, the weather forecast was unusual in that it called for clear skies across western Iceland, where we were, through dawn.  Together this was a no brainer.  We just needed to find somewhere where we could shoot facing north with a point of interest in the foreground.  We came across a ship graveyard and wandered through it taking photos of vessels in various states of decay.  Then we found this replica of Viking ship that someone was building.  The aurora never showed but I was able to capture this long exposure of the Viking ship in the middle of the night.  The sky, which appeared close to black to the eye, appeared blue to the camera at the long exposure.  You can see a few stars in the background too.

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Thank you Kim & Bob! by Ed Shanahan

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph Kim and Bob Shoop and their three young adult children.  It was a blast.  Before we started Kim warned me that her children were "not too crazy" about mom's idea to get some updated family photographs.  Well before long that changed and everyone got into it and had fun. 

We shot in two locations and with many combinations of "who was in the photos".  I will share a few of my favorites over the coming days. 

This was taken at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston.  I set up a flash on a stand in front of the family and used a modifier to soften the light so it complimented them in the darkening day, but did not overpower the scene.

This was taken at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston.  I set up a flash on a stand in front of the family and used a modifier to soften the light so it complimented them in the darkening day, but did not overpower the scene.

The Best Wedding Ever! by Ed Shanahan

That is what guests gushed all evening!  The Best Wedding Ever!  Congratulations Stephanie and Frank and thank you for having me as your photographer!

What went into this event?  Great friends, a fabulous venue (Brookside Gardens in MD), excellent food and amazing bonding among two large families and their friends.  The service was officiated by the bride's sister and the groom's brother, and brought to the guests "by the power of the internet" which is how they received their one day officiant licenses.  Friends and relatives took turns giving short speeches, each punctuated with laughter, especially when one woman declared that she had always wanted to be a flower girl, and pulled out a crown of flowers and put it on her head, during her speech, leaving Stephanie, Frank and guests and and this photographer temporarily paralyzed with laughter.  The highlight of the ceremony IMHO was when the bride's dad came to the front and sang a song in her honor.  Not many dry eyes after that!  Congratulations to the newlyweds.

Stefanie and Frank