Virginia Wedding Photography: Best of 2010

The beginning of the New Year means many things: resolutions, champagne, huge sales… and for photographers, compiling lists of our favorite shots from the previous year’s shooting season.

This is no easy task, even for those of us who tend to be our own worst critics.

To help (maybe?), I’m breaking my “best of” list into four parts: first and second and third, my choices from each wedding and portrait session of 2010, and last, a clients’ choice list.

Click over to enjoy the selection!  (And make sure you go all the way to the end…. I saved my favorite bridal portraits for last!)

1.  Courtney and Eli – Lambert’s Vintage Wines – Weston, West Virginia

Courtney and Eli were my first solo wedding of the season, and also one of several very rainy weddings in 2010.  For more photos from their big day, click here and here.

2.  Kristin and Teddy – The Inn at Hans Meadows – Christiansburg, Virginia

Teddy and Kristin: a doctor and a nurse, in love.  Their wedding was pretty rainy, too, but it was still lovely.   For more, click over to see part 1 and part 2 of their wedding day.

3.  Heather and Mick – Blacksburg Baptist Church, Blacksburg Country Club – Blacksburg, Virginia

Heather looked so beautiful on her wedding day, and I looooooved her dress.  If I were narrowing down this list to my top 5 or 10 overall for the year, both of these photos would still be on it.  For more from Heather and Mick’s wedding, click here.

4.  Tessa and Arthur – State Street United Methodist Church – Bristol, Virginia

Arthur is my first cousin, and Tessa is his beautiful bride!  It was fun getting to shoot a wedding for a family member, especially since I knew most of the guests!  They haven’t been blogged yet, but you can see a GIANT album of their previews over on Facebook.

(I call this one KIDzilla)

5.  Meredith and Patrick – Hahn Horticulture Gardens – Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia

Meredith and Patrick, both architects and designers, put together one of the most beautifully detailed events I’ve ever seen.  You must check out their full post here.

(For the record, this is probably my favorite full-view portrait of the year.  If I could, I’d give a discount to all couples getting married outdoors in a garden with perfect light.)

6.  Heather and Jeremy – Hidden Valley Country Club – Salem, Virginia

It’s fun when I get to work with friends and relatives of previous clients.  Jeremy is the brother of one of my 2009 grooms, Dusty.  He and Heather were so much fun to work with (see their full post here).  And guess what?  THEY’RE HAVING A BABY!

7.  Jenn and Casey – Christiansburg Baptist Church, Lucie Monroe’s Coffee – Christiansburg, Virginia

Every now and then, clients become more than just clients.  In 2010, Jenn was a fellow teacher, then a bride, then my assistant, then my second shooter, and of course a great friend.  She has her own photography business now in Pennsylvania and is doing great.  She and Casey had one of my favorite weddings of the year, in a pretty nontraditional venue.  Their full post is certainly worth a look for couples who are interested in trying something a little different.

8.  Brandy and Jeff – Maison Beliveau – Blacksburg, Virginia

This wedding was gorgeous.  Maison Beliveau is a top-notch venue, and I’d love to shoot there again.  You can see more Brandy and Jeff here.

9.  Laura and Keith – Skyland Resort, Shenandoah National Park – Luray, Virginia

Laura and Keith are both musicians.  Their wedding in Shenandoah was unseasonably cool and foggy, but it had its own unique loveliness.  To see more, click here.

10.  Heather and Adam – Fellowship Baptist Church, CrossPointe Conference Center – Riner, Virginia

It’s been a while since Heather and Adam were on this website – they did their engagement pictures in 2009, and I still haven’t managed to blog their wedding day.  If you’d like to see more of their wedding, head over to Facebook and check out their sneak preview album!

11. Catherine and Brian – Fairy Stone State Park – Stuart, Virginia

Catherine and Brian are one of my favorite couples ever.  Their wedding was the perfect mix of DIY details, traditional touches, and outdoorsy family fun.  Unfortunately, I haven’t blogged it yet, and even their Facebook album is still a bit incomplete, but I’ll be posting more of Brian and Catherine this winter, for sure!

12.  Sarah and Bryan – Montfair Resort Farm – Crozet, Virginia

Sarah, like many of my other brides, has become a friend this year as well as a client.  She is an artist and photographer herself, and spent a lot of time crafting tons of cool, colorful details for her wedding day.  (She’s going to make some artwork for my baby’s room, too!)  I haven’t done Bryan and Sarah’s blog post yet (are you sensing a trend here?), but you can check out their Facebook album if you’d like to see more.

p.s. I love her dress.

13. Kara and Aaron – King Family Vineyards – Crozet, Virginia

I spent quite a bit of time photographing in the Charlottesville area this year, and loved every minute of it.  Kara and Aaron had their wedding at a beautiful winery and stables just outside Crozet, at King Family Vineyards (BEAUTIFUL venue).  You can see more photos from their big day in their Facebook album.

14.  Lauren and David – Claytor Lake State Park – Dublin, Virginia

If ever there was a fairy tale wedding, this was it.  Lauren wore a sweetheart-style gown and was driven out to meet her groom in a horse-drawn carriage.  (Thank goodness for that carriage, too, because I had to hitch a ride in it when I dropped my keys in the lake!)  To see more from their wedding, check out their Facebook album.

15.  AnnaLisa and Sean – The Clifton Inn – Charlottesville, Virginia

The last wedding of the year, and what an adventure this turned out to be!  AnnaLisa and Sean got me a gorgeous room at the Clifton so I could be close to the family for all their events.  Unfortunately, about 20 minutes before the first event was set to commence, I slipped on the floor and broke my wrist.  For a musician and a photographer, this is pretty devastating, but Anna and Sean were completely understanding.  I called in a sub, the great Leo Druker, and shot as much as a I could alongside in my splint.  Meanwhile, my second shooter Chelsa Yoder took care of family portraits and got tons of great candid and detail shots to include in the collection.  It wasn’t the ideal situation, but between the three of us we have a great set of images for Anna and Sean, and I still had a great time at their wedding.

To see more, check out their Facebook album of my shots, or their post on Leo’s blog.


I like bridal portraits so much that I am actually going to pursue them as a main branch of business in 2011.  I really, really believe that every bride should have hers done.

I did shoot 16 weddings this year, but the 16th (actually, the very first, last May) was as a second shooter for my good friend Corey Watkins.  And I’ll be honest – I have not actually looked through my files from that wedding yet, since Corey did the editing herself.  So, in the place of wedding #16, I bring you my favorite bridals from 2010, featuring Mandy, Kristin, Amy, Tessa, Heather, and Callie.  These were all sessions scheduled separately from the wedding, and having that committed time just for the bride makes such a difference.  I love these photos.

Best of 2010 - wedding photography - bridal portraits - christiansburg, roanoke, bristol, charlottesville, virginia

Thank you, brides and grooms and wedding parties and families, for another great year of shooting weddings!  I’m honored that I got to be a part of so many beautiful events.

Stay tuned for my favorite selections from 2010’s engagements and portraits.  And if you’re a client, it’s not too late to send in your faves for the clients’ choice post!

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  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    So many to choose from! I like the kids doing light-painting, so cool, but I love the fall colors on #14. The kiss is a great way to end it all! Best of luck to 2011!

  • Reply
    Teresa K
    December 31, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    What a fantastic year…you did some amazing work in 2010!! So nice to see it all in one place.

  • Reply
    sarah der
    December 31, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    ohhh gosh I came to choose a favorite but you know I am lousy at that. The first bridal portrait image (triptych) is stunning. Meredith + Patrick, Heather + Mick, and Lauren + David’s–all have some lovely light and beautiful moments and really make me wish I knew those people. So happy and loving. Meredith and Patrick, could you be cuter if you even tried.
    Natalie, I can’t believe how well you have done this year. I am so proud of you and so honored to have had you photograph my wedding and to have you as a friend! Honestly. Though perhaps I will save further gushing for an email and not your public blog. Over and out. But p.s. thanks for doing this! I love seeing all of these in one place!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 9:50 am

    A wonderful set of pictures for the year – they are all stunning! Great post.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Great choices! I love, love the bridal portrait selections — the light and composition in each one is right on!!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I wish I could get married all over again so you could take my pictures!!! I’m so amazed! It’s been so fun to watch your business grow!

  • Reply
    gabe aceves
    January 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

    natalie, these are beautiful and emotional. you have some really fab shots here especially of your brides. well done.

  • Reply
    Thomas Lester
    January 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Wonderful review. Great images. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!

  • Reply
    Leo Druker
    January 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    A-mazing! You had such an awesome year, judging from these 🙂 Oh – and that second-to-last bridal portrait is just – wow!

  • Reply
    George L Koroneos
    January 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    You do some amazing work. I love the little insights you posted for each wedding. It makes you slow down and enjoy each wedding so much more. Great job.

  • Reply
    Heather Cromer
    January 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm


    I love your “favorites” just as much as mine! It’s so hard to choose when they are all wonderful. You’re so great and I think they just keep getting better! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda Hoffman
    January 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Natalie, you are so freaking talented. I love all of these and I can’t wait to see what 2011 holds for you. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex Singh
    January 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Lovely work

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    LOVE that shot of the bride and groom by the red brick wall shot from above. Awesome!

  • Reply
    Joshua Gull
    January 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Some incredible work in here Natalie. Hard to pick favorites when there are so many amazing shots.

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