Bigelman Family | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

As the temperature dips down to 0 degrees in this area, I’m looking through the fun family shoots I did this past Summer and Fall!  Not only did these photos make me wish for warmer weather, they made me smile!  Kara contacted me this past summer because her father was turning the big 7-0 and the family was going to be together to celebrate!  Kara and her husband, Matt, were flying across the country to celebrate with her family– no longer a family consisting of just the parents and siblings, but a family consisting of so much more love– husbands, wives, and so many cheerful kids! I just LOVED this idea!

One of my fave moments on wedding days is when all of the kids get together for a picture and normally, there are so many different facial expressions and reactions.  They always make me laugh, and this shoot was no different!  This family was SO fun and so happy to be all together capturing memories.:)

Here are a few of my faves from the day…

Oh, and did I mention that all of these awesome kiddos wanted to give their grandparents lots of hugs?!


And as a fun surprise, they had these custom birthday shirts made! How fun!angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0172

Chris - February 20, 2015 - 1:17 am

These are wonderful photos!!! You appear to have captured the love of this family. The expressions on the grandparents and grandchildren are priceless!!! Great job!!!

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Valentine’s Day Inspiration!

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day…no, seriously- even for all of the years I was single on the day! I think it’s a day to show your significant others, friends, and family how much they mean to you, and it’s just another opportunity for me to drop a card in the mail to let them know!  This year, I made a trip down to the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market and picked up some fresh flowers and adorable cookies made with love by Maribeth’s Bakery.  I then made my way over to Paper Source, one of my very favorite stores, to pick up some cute cards and some inspiration!  Most importantly, I picked up confetti…because heart shaped confetti makes everything better. 😉angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0160angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0161I love these awesome “Champagne is always the answer” coasters- they’re perfect for a sweet Valentine’s day party paired with some delicious Sofia champagne!   Thanks, Posh PR!  angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0162angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0163And when you’re married to a nerd (yes, an athletic nerd, as Jaeson likes to call himself), a card like below is PERFECT.  You MUST check out Elle & Company Design’s online library!  So many cute cards!  I can’t wait to give this to Jaeson this weekend.:)angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0166angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0164angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0165I hope you all have such a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love, relaxation, friends & family.

cara - February 12, 2015 - 2:19 pm

Oh man, your valentine’s day party puts my last-minute one to shame! so cute!

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Welcome to the Family, Penny!

Angelina Photography welcomed a brand new camera to the family this year!  Sorry if you were expecting a cute little baby girl named Penny in this post…a film camera will just have to do!  I had been eyeing up this camera for quite some time, and I finally pulled the trigger.  I’ve heard so many positive things about the Pentax 645n, which shoots medium format film, and I am just so excited to add her to my gear available for shoots.  I normally bring a 35mm film camera with me, but adding medium format film will bring even more dynamic to the photos my clients receive.  Penny came down to Florida with me, and I’ll hopefully have some film scans back shortly to share with you all!  But in the mean time, here are a few pics of her- of course as a proud camera parent, I have to show her off. 😉


Happy Monday, y’all!

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Meeting New Creatives | Creative at Heart Conference

To continue from my last post, I want to share some photos of the amazing creatives I met at the Creative at Heart Conference.  These ladies were so inspirational and motivated to do BIG things with their businesses, and I can’t wait to see them take on the wedding industry!  While the conference days were jam packed, we were able to get away for just a few minutes for some quick shots before the sun went down! We had roughly ten minutes to get shots of everyone, and it was so fun- Staunton, VA is full of great backdrops, which were perfect for a few head shots.:)

First up, meet my awesome roomie for the conference, Jenna!  Jenna is the owner of Pop the Cork Designs, based in Baltimore!  Ok, seriously- this girl is amazing and has a heart of gold, and on top of all of that- she is such a talented event designer!


angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0146Next up, meet Megan of Megan Bennett Photography!  Not only is Megan a talented photographer, but she’s got such an infectious laugh!   angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0147Here’s Chelsea of Chelsea Blanch Photography!  Chelsea is so sweet and is such a natural in front of the camera!angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0148Kristen came all the way from Ohio to join us at the conference! Kristen is seriously so sweet, and I’m so excited to see what her calligraphy business has in store!  angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0149Melissa traveled all of the way from Detroit- WOW!  Melissa dreams of starting a glass etching company- how cool!angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0150Meet Hilary of Hilary Tebo Photography!  Hilary, who wears a lot of hats- including being a dedicated mother, is growing her newborn and family photography company!angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0151After grabbing some shots, the girls and I explored Staunton for a bit.  What a charming town!  Here’s Maddie of Madison Short Photography modeling for us…
angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0152angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0153angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0154angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0155And I can’t forget about the inspirational women that helped make the conference as amazing as it was…these ladies are genuine and strong, and serve as wonderful examples of how to be supportive of others in the wedding industry!  SO thank you, THANK YOU for your insight and your kindness!


(And make sure to follow these ladies- Amanda Hedgepeth, Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co., and Natalie Franke! )

Michelle Elizabeth Schmidt - February 6, 2015 - 1:20 am

Yay! Love this! It was so wonderful to meet you. We need to work together stat!! ☺️

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Creative at Heart Conference


It’s been almost a month since I traveled out to Staunton, Virginia to meet and learn from inspirational and motivated women in the wedding industry, and I still have not found the right words to properly express how much of an impact the experience had on me.  I’ve been to wedding photography conferences before- some with thousands of attendees, some with much much less.  The difference between the Creative at Heart conference and the other conferences I’ve attended before is this conference was for women small business owners in the wedding industry, meaning I was not only meeting photographers, but also designers, calligraphers, florists, invitation designers, and so on.  It was wonderful and such a breath of fresh air.

This conference was designed to motivate women to be better small business owners, to provide them with the tools and tips to do so, and to inspire them to be intentional.

angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0145I was attending the conference as a small business owner going into my 6th year of business.   Others were there in different stages of their businesses- some just needed a little push to file for their business licenses, others a year or so into the industry, and others with a few more years.  Regardless of years in the industry, everyone was there to learn from each other and inspire one another.

I signed up for this conference knowing that I needed help and it was so scary to admit that.  I needed help with being a better small business owner- managing it and handling it more efficiently.  I also felt lost- there are days when I just think, “is this worth it?” It felt wrong for me to think that way-  I had been managing thus far, why couldn’t I handle it anymore?  Five years into my business and I needed something to motivate and inspire me, and luckily, that’s exactly what I got.

angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0144angelina_photography_northern_virginia_washington_dc_wedding_lifestyle_photographer_0142Being a small business owner has its highs and lows.  Looking back on my first few years in business, I remember being afraid to say ‘no’ to any opportunities, which meant I missed out on a lot of opportunities in my personal life.  Because I couldn’t say no to a potential client, I was forced to say no to family and friends.   Being a small business owner can be lonely sometimes, as it requires many hours and nights in front of a computer editing, answering emails, paying bills, blogging, etc.  It can also lead to a low self esteem- it’s so easy to check your newsfeed and other creatives’ blogs and compare yourselves to them. SO EASY.  It’s a vicious cycle that helps no one, and it often leads to demoralizing thoughts, such as “she’s been in business for less time than me and she already has xx amount of publications and 5 bazillion Facebook followers.”  It’s SO easy to get caught up in the comparison game.  Why compare ourselves when we have the power to encourage and inspire each other…


I am so grateful that over the last few years I’ve attempted to create more of a balance, but I still strive to create more of an efficient workflow, which will save me much more time for my husband, friends, and family.  I’ve learned to spend much less time comparing myself to others, as each and every creative is living under different circumstances.  We all make it work, and we all work our butts off to make our businesses better.  Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to help each other.


This conference helped me in so many ways.  It lit a fire within me.  Many small business owners don’t make it past their fifth year.  I’ve proven that I’ve made it past that, and now the question is how I’ll keep it going- how I’ll stay motivated, how I can possibly motivate others, and how I can make this business grow.  This conference and its attendees taught me not only about the practical sides of being a better business owner,  such as SEO and finances, but it taught me that it’s more than just a business.  The attendees and speakers encouraged me to live with purpose and intention…to go with my gut.

We shared our successes, but more importantly, we shared our failures, our fears, and our concerns.  

It was so refreshing to not have to worry about being embarrassed when talking about the way forward with my business, and where I wanted to go with it…there were women that were in the same boat.  I thought I was the only one to be constantly worried about what direction I wanted to go with my business…no, there were others with the same concerns.  Wow.  You might be thinking, “Duh, Stephanie- of course others struggle with their businesses, silly,” but to me it was mind-blowing.  I am beyond grateful for what I took away from this conference- the practical and helpful tips, but most importantly, the friendships and the comfort knowing that as a creative, I am not alone.

At the end of the conference, each attendee was given the below print.  It spoke to each and every one of our hearts.  I could not have said it better myself, and I will try my best to live by these words as long as I am in business…

A creative at heart believes in always showing compassion over competition, in building purposeful communication right where you are, that sweet starts lead to joy filled journeys, in inspiring the hearts of like-minded women, that we are cherished, loved, and worth it.


Cara - February 3, 2015 - 2:30 am

loved this overview of the conference, and loved your pictures even more! Gorgeous!

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