David & Selby’s Smithsonian Castle Garden Engagement Session | Washington, D.C. Wedding Photographer


All of my engagement sessions and weddings feel special in their own way. But this Smithsonian Castle engagement session was an extra precious blessing for Kevin and me. Rarely do we have the privilege to serve our friends or family as wedding photographers. Luckily, all of our clients have thus far become friends through the process of serving them. But David and Selby sort of flipped that script.

Meeting David & Selby

Kevin met David in his weekly Bible study at our church. It’s a small group of men that meet very early Wednesday mornings to study Scripture and pour wisdom into one another’s lives. I remember early on when Kevin would come home and tell me how David shared his plans to propose to his girlfriend. Naturally, since Kevin had been through it before, he mused about being on the other side.

Fast forward, David pops the question to Selby against a gorgeous sunset, ocean backdrop in California, where she’s from. And while we were at my parents’ home for Thanksgiving, I got an inquiry from them. Before you knew it, we were our friends’ wedding photographers. I say “we” because Kevin will be making his debut as my second shooter at their wedding in November!! (I finally convinced him!)

Since they booked, we only got closer with these sweet people. We’ve enjoyed wine and cheese nights, home cooked meals, coffee/drink meet-ups, and of course attending church together. It has been such a blessing just doing life with these two and seeing their love grow as they plan their wedding.

A Bond Forged in Faith

Their relationship has also stood the test of tragedy, and we’ve admired how they’ve used a very difficult season to further their faith. About 3/4 of the way down this page, you may notice a photo of Selby’s bracelets. They say “Sister” and “Grateful”. Selby has given me the privilege of sharing her story… but I would much rather you read it in her own powerful words:

My only brother died 6 days before my 25th birthday. I bought the “sister” bracelet as a birthday present and constant reminder to myself that although he is no longer with me, I would always be a big sister and he would always be my brother.

No one would ever wish to have a story marred with trauma, grief, or loss. But, what I have learned in these past few months is that God entrusted me and my parents with this testimony and for that I am grateful. The “grateful” bracelet is my reminder to always be grateful for the testimony I have and the time I did have with my brother. It was cut far too short, but as I am constantly reminded in prayer, the separation is only for a little while.

– Selby Schnobrich

Smithsonian Castle Engagement Session

At their Smithsonian Castle engagement session, we were all just giddy over how little time is left before we’re celebrating their marriage. Though we woke for an early, sunrise session, they were both glowing and in high spirits. David even squeezed this session in before a 13 hour work shift… now that’s commitment.

The weather, the backdrop, and of course the happy couple were all so perfect. I was singing many times capturing their love on my camera for the first time. They were instant naturals after learning my posing system. I quickly noticed any stiffness and nerves that they might have felt melt away in mere minutes.

Once we ran through posing techniques, my focus was absorbed in their chemistry. As you scroll through these images, I hope you notice David’s sweet adoring looks at Selby. Plus, Selby’s infectious laugh and smile is my new favorite thing to photograph.

When I grabbed this solo portrait of David (I usually try to get solos because it’s always a parent favorite), he told me he loved the background because his mom’s name is Rose… I melted! What a sweetie. I can’t wait to meet you on their wedding day, Mrs. Tennent!!

Proud wife moment: My husband Kevin, who usually attends engagement sessions with me to help carry bags/props, set up this shot. I was shooting them facing the camera and he came up with the alternate pose of them enjoying the view together. He’s going to be a GREAT second shooter at their wedding in November!

Don’t miss the powerful meaning behind Selby’s “Grateful” and “Sister” bracelets! Her quote is in the paragraphs at the start of this post, in case you skimmed by.

You made it to the end of this featured Smithsonian Castle engagement session at the Enid A. Haupt Garden! If you scrolled all this way, you must really love these photos 😉 If that’s the case, and you’re engaged, I would love to chat about capturing your engagement and wedding for you! Inquire with me before dates book up!

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