Love. It’s what makes weddings possible. It’s also what makes the really amazing weddings stand out from the ordinary. Sure, you can spend thousands to have the fanciest decor/food/venue, but if the people attending aren’t really there because they love you and the commitment you are making it’s just going to become another fun event. I can certainly say this wasn’t the case for Betsy and Brendan.
I think Steve, the father of the bride, put it best in his speech when he talked about how Betsy and Brendan just emit a type of love that draws people deep into their lives. There isn’t a judging spirit, just one of wanting the best for others and loving them no matter what happens. And yes, while the ceremony at the historic Universalist National Memorial Church and reception at the Whittemore House in the Dupont Circle area of Washington DC were absolutely stunning, it all took a backseat to pure excitement and love their family and friends poured out throughout the day.
All that love and excitement did have plenty of time to build, as Betsy and Brendan first started dating way back in 2002. As high school sweethearts, they stayed together throughout college and law school until things finally settled down enough for Brendan to propose. Debra (being one of Besty’s closest cousins) also had the honor of being in the bridal party, and made the wedding have a whole lot deeper meaning for me. She also looks really good in a bridesmaid dress.
We all started out at Betsy’s gorgeous apartment for everyone to get ready for the day. Afterwards we headed to the gorgeous National Arboretum for Betsy and Brendan’s first look and to do some photos before the ceremony at the Universalist National Memorial Church near the Dupont Circle. Afterwards we all headed to the Whittemore House, home to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, for a reception filled with plenty of dancing, great food, drinks, speeches, and of course, plenty of love.
Thanks again for having us Betsy and Brendan! We had an incredible weekend!!
Ceremony: Universalist National Memorial Church
Reception: The Whittemore House
Planning & Coordination: A New Leaf Events
Catering: Mindy’s Distinctive Catering
Flowers: Succultents & Saffron Floral
Cake: Kendall’s Cakes
DJ: Scorpio Entertainment
Photographer: J. Jones Photography
Harpist: Melissa Dvorak
Officiant: Bruce Johnson
Ten years ago when I started doing photography seriously, I just wanted to figure out how to take a nice landscape photo, take photos at night that weren’t blurry, and maybe make a little money on the side to pay for better lenses. Fast forward 10 years and I have the incredible honor of being ranked as one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the US by Mywed.com. Haven’t heard of Mywed.com? Go check it out. It’s one of the most fascinating directories of the best wedding photographers in the world. With over 12,000 members worldwide it’s also one of the very biggest. And it’s not one of those elitist $200/yr-listing-sites, where you have to pay to get ahead. It’s completely free and completely open to anyone who is a professional wedding photographer. I know for me it’s a huge source of inspiration, and one of the few sites where I truly agree with 90% of the image awards given out.
While we were always ranked well on there in the past, the contest that bumped up our ranking into the top 10 was Nikon’s “I AM Wedding Storyteller Contest.” Check it out – They just posted the results here: https://mywed.com/nikon/. While we weren’t lucky enough to take the #1 spot (and win a sweet camera), we were one of the 35 finalists (out of 1,620 incredible entries) and will get a free printed wedding album of the set we entered. The results of this contest (along with some editors choice awards over the past year) were enough to bump up our ranking on mywed.com to #7 out of all US photographers. You can view the current ranking here: https://mywed.com/United-States-wedding-photographers/. Definitely something very exciting!!
But aren’t photography contests very subjective? Absolutely! One judge can love your work, and another think it’s mediocre. I’ve definitely been hurt at times, and totally flattered by the results in the past. That’s where mywed.com comes in. They rank photographers based on three things: editors choice awards, likes and comments from peers, and professionally sponsored contests. It sure isn’t perfect but it definitely takes a lot of the subjectivity out of the equation. You can’t just have a lot of your friends like your work and get ahead. You can’t just find one contest with judges that love your work. You can’t even just get some editor’s choice awards. You have to have an impressive combination of all three to really go up in the rankings. Is it the final say on who is good and who isn’t? Absolutely not. Is it an incredible honor to be listed up there with some of the best in the country? Definitely!
I’m incredibly humbled by all the support the wedding photography community, my clients, and my family has given me over the past 10 years, and I cannot wait to see where things go from here! Cheers!