Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer | Kelly Ewell Photography » Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer | Kelly Ewell Photography

This month has been filled with retrospectives on some of my favorite images from 2014, but there were new weddings and engagement shoots happening already too.

Despite the winter when most people tend to huddle inside, some really fun images can be created. Pick the right background and you can’t even tell the season. Or cloudy days can make for a perfect neutral background for bright colors to pop out against, so with that in mind time with Amy and Dan immediately came to mind. I have several favorites from their Leesburg Virginia engagement photos, but I have to say that I keep coming back to this one as my favorite!

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Did I make the right choice? Check out more from Amy and Dan’s engagement session, and in case you missed some of anything, here is a quick recap of my posts from the past month:

2014 Favorite Engagements

2014 Favorite Ceremonies
2014 Favorite Receptions
2014 Favorite Details
2014 Favorite Portraits
Canvas Contest Winner
How I Took It
Love Quote
Married: Norma and Randy
My Wish List
Our First Conversation
Photographer’s Q&A Meetup
Publication Features
Things We Love
Top 14 of 2014
What They’re Saying
Winter Headshots
 
Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

My clients say some of the nicest things in their reviews!
Their testimonials say more than I ever could!

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Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

I’m waving the white flag today. As I look back over the majority of last year, my ability to keep up with submitting my weddings and engagement sessions for publications really got put on the back burner. Something had to give and that was it. It’s something I wanted to do for sure because I’ve been fortunate to have success with it in the past, so it’s on my winter “to do” list to try and get caught up again. And of course try to continue with that throughout 2015.

There were a few weddings that did get featured last year that I totally didn’t get to highlight here, so I’m so proud to showcase them now:

Kathleen and Zach’s wedding at Lansdowne Resort

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Cailin and Marc’s engagement
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Tracey and David’s engagement
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Fiorella and Kyle’s engagement
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Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

*Regular readers here may know about our 48 Fields adventure! This post is part of a monthly series about our vision there to life.*

It’s hard to say what the first conversation was that Steve and I had about buying the farm. I mean, we’ve have SO many about it. I can tell you when it was though. I know exactly. It was back in 2004 when we were planning our own wedding.

We were so excited to be getting married in the DC area that we – quite literally – circled the beltway looking for the perfect wedding venue. Country clubs, wineries, parks, old mansion estates. We soon settled on wanting an estate wedding, and one of the places were visited was out in Warrenton. We didn’t end up getting married there, but I was taken by the idea that the owners were a couple who lived in this fantastically gorgeous historic mansion. They lived on the top two floors and then rented out the lower level and the grounds for weddings. I mean, how awesome is that? An amazing home and the ability to share in people’s most wonderful celebrations with a house full of happy people? It seemed like a dream and I said something to Steve about how nice it must be to do that. And, probably more joking than anything else, that we should file that away for our “one day” list.

Fast forward to the last few years where I’ve spent many a weekend photographing weddings at some pretty spectacular locations. As my work began to focus more and more in Loudoun County, I was able to see the variety in the types of places that host weddings. What they offer, how they work, how the property is used. Honestly, I was a little jealous of the owners and that conversation about the Warrenton mansion kept popping up in the back of my mind.

Secretly, I started looking online at real estate listings. (My husband and realtor – Hi Marcy! – can attest that I’m a real estate ninja when it comes to finding good opportunities!) This is probably Fall 2012, and I looked just to see what was out there. Could we really do this on our own if we wanted to or was I being completely delusional? It really could have gone either way, but I had go after the “what ifs”. Well I quickly learned that there was no way we would be buying a grand mansion or estate since I was unaware of any bank account with my name on it that had a balance of $10,000,000 or more!

As I looked around though, there was property. Affordable open land that was ready for anything to be imagined there. Oh, the possibilities! My mind went to all the wineries and horse farms around us. Building a barn would be much easier than buying a mansion, so the first idea was to build our dream barn. Again, after a few calls and meetings and realizing that my “dream barn” had a price tag north of $1 million just to build, well I was knocked down to reality again.

It eventually dawned on me that we didn’t have to build something new when we lived with so many farms around us. Ones that probably had more character anyway! That realization shifted my focus to start looking at farm properties and that made things a little easier. A little.

At some point Steve was brought into all of this because I’m just bad at keeping things on the down low when I’m feeling really excited or passionate about something. I really don’t remember how I got him on board now that I think about it. (He may have his own version of this. I should ask him what he remembers!) By then though he was used to hearing all about my wedding photography adventures and about weddings in general, so I probably eased him in pretty innocuously with casual comments like “look at what so and so is doing. We could totally do that.” Or “you’ll never believe the place I heard about today. We could totally do that.”

Then I started asking around and gathering information from venue owners. Because I’m nothing if not practical. And Steve would still need to be swayed that really going for this was actually a good idea. With information in hand though, we were in. We wanted it.

Believe me when I say that was the easy part. Actually finding a good place and getting said place, well that’s a whole other story for another post another day!

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Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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It was a question I floated in some of the local photography groups I’m part of: Would anyone be interested if I were to host an open Q&A meetup to help people jump start their businesses for the new year?

The response I got was overwhelming! I lost count at how many wanted to know more, but it was up around 50 or 60 photographers! Clearly, there was a desire for something like this. But I knew I wanted it to be a smaller gathering so we could really focus on what everyone wanted to talk about and not have anyone feel felt out. Once I put out a formal announcement, all 15 of the spots filled up!

I was so excited to talk with this group of photographers, who came together with all different specialties and levels of experience. We talked about finding the right workshops or conferences to grow, how to even start a business, how to determine pricing, connecting with our target audiences, and how to find balance between work and life.

Of course I forgot to take any pictures – total photographer fail! The afternoon just went by so quickly, and I could have chatted with those women for hours more.

Luckily, this wasn’t a standalone event! I’ll be hosting a series of Q&A chats over the course of this year with the next one planned in March. All the details will be announced first in my newsletter, so if you want to be some of the first to hear about it click below and make sure you’re on the mailing list!

By the way, I’m totally looking for a catchier name for these Q&As so leave me a comment below if you’ve got some suggestions for me!

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Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

  • Emily Gerald - Thanks so much for hosting Kelly, it was so great to connect with all of you!

  • Julie Douglas - Thank you for hosting this Q&A. I learned so much from you all!! I look forward to many more!

  • Marirosa - thanks for hosting! it was great to form new friendships – looking forward to the next one!