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Author Archives: Stephanie Messick

Born and raised on a family owned dairy farm in Fauquier County, along with two siblings, Amanda and Eric. Graduated Liberty High School and went to James Madison University, where I participated in Kappa Pi Honors Fraternity as well as the Marching Royal Dukes! GO DUKES! Graduated in May of 2012 with my B.F.A. in Graphic Design. I worked as a graphic designer in the D.C. area for almost a year after graduating college and then resided in Warrenton, VA to work for the Piedmont Press & Graphics as one of four graphic designers :) Currently, I am managing to balance my full time graphic design job along with my photography business! It's a hectic lifestyle, but I enjoy it!!! About my photography business: I have learned in the world of photography that it is not just about pretty photos, it is all about the EXPERIENCE the photographer gives to the client. And that is what I am out here to do! Give YOU the best experience that you will not forget! From the moment we schedule the session... to the laughs/smiles we share the day of the shoot... to the moment I hand over the package of your images... I make sure that every step of the way leaves my client smiling :)

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Can you believe that August is just around the corner?! I have no idea where this year is going … Blows my mind. I have been looking forward to this time of the year since the last time I was at the beach last year and it’s now officially HERE! I am leaving today and will be returning back to my office on August 3rd. Seems so far away until I return but I know that the time will fly just as fast as this year seems like it’s going. I’m going to soak in the relaxation time with minimal technology and also the oh so good vitamin D. :)

I’ll be back to emailing, blogging and office work once I return! Until then, I hope everyone has a safe and fabulous weekend/week!

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It is a very small world and it keeps getting smaller and smaller. My first time meeting AJ and Marina, we were able to puzzle piece together mutual people we know/know of. I guess this means that I can now call myself a northerner as I grew up in southern Fauquier when I was younger. Hahah! I’m starting to learn family names and roads in the area after now being here for over two years. Really, it’s only a 30 minute difference from where I grew up to where I am currently living but still, it’s enough of a difference for me to adjust. ;) So needless to say, we immediately hit it off! We had been planning for their engagement session for months and finally the day arrived and they were pros! Before this point, they did the wildflower shoot back in May so that was a great warm up for their July engagement session. :) It’s funny to me that AJ admits that he’s shy but in the photos that soft love towards Marina is so photogenic!!! I absolutely adore them together and cannot wait for their big day!!

AJ & Marina’s Love Story

How we met: Marina’s perspective 
Well it all started when I was 15 and he was 17. I  took a field trip with the FFA to Oak Spring Dairy to make cheese. Little did I know I was going to meet the guy i was going to marry that day! Aj’s Mom and Dad lived on the farm and ran the dairy. While they were guiding us through the cheese making process they talked a lot about their son who was just a grade ahead of me, but I wasn’t quite sure who they were talking about.  Later on AJ came up to the cheese room and his parents introduced him to all of us.  After that I kept trying to run into him at school, and talk to him. Finally after school one day I had to ask him for his number, because he’s so shy! Then a day or two later I texted him saying that I was a secret admirer, even though he knew it was me the whole time. Eventually his shyness wore off, and he asked me to be his girlfriend.

The proposal: Aj’s view
I wanted her to have the perfect ring that she wanted so I suggested that we go and look at rings together. We went to a few places, and we picked out a few favorites but I acted like it was still going to be awhile before I could get one. However, I actually ordered the ring while she was distracted in the mall looking in a different store. I picked up the ring in June but knew that we were going to the beach in July and that she loved the beach and we already had so many great memories there together. So I anxiously had her mom hold the ring for me for a month. 2 days after we were down there I set the alarm for 5:30am and told her that I wanted to take her for a sunrise walk on the beach. She had always gotten me dog tag necklaces with our names and date that we started dating on them, everytime one wore out she’d always replace it. So when we were walking I pulled a necklace out of my pocket and gave it to her, on one of the tags it had our names, and on the other tag it said “Marina will you marry me”, she read the first tag and just thought I had gotten her a necklace to match mine, but then I told her to read the other one too and  by that time I was already kneeling and repeated the question. She quickly replied with a YES! and the sunrise was perfect.

Thank you AJ and Marina for a fabulous time last week!!! You both are so sweet together. :) Cannot wait for your big day next summer! It is going to be amazing! Enjoy some of my personal favorites!!! xoxo!

AJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement PhotographerAJ & Marina | Warrenton, Virginia Engagement Photographer

David & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement Photographer

Hanaa emailed me months ago asking to photograph her engagement session on the beautiful Chincoteague Island. I was BEYOND excited because not only do I love Chincoteague but Kyle and I vacation there every summer. :) It was perfect! Turns out that they also have many memories there as well which is why she chose Chincoteague as her destination. After planning months in advance, we hoped the weather was going to work out for us. The original date didn’t actually work out as it rained but instead of doing a sunset session, we decided at the last minute to do a sunrise session. Thank goodness for the rain that occurred on the original date because the sunrise we were blessed with could not have been more picturesque! It was unreal. We were just in awe when we first met up and now I’m in awe again looking through their beautiful engagement session!!

David and Hanaa are so sweet together. Their happiness is so obvious and reflects so beautifully in these photos. :) I loved Hanaa’s beachy Francesca’s dress (I approve!!!) and cannot believe they all got up SO early to make this happen! They looked great and wide eye at 5:45 a.m. … can you believe it when looking through the photos?! We were soaked in a beautiful glowing sunrise so it was definitely worth it to wake up at 4 a.m.!

David & Hanaa’s Love Story

HOW THEY MET
Hanaa and David met through a mutual friend. The two had actually exchanged emails back and forth for a few weeks prior to meeting and one July evening, they decided to finally meet for dinner. Both were amazed at just how easily the conversation flowed and before they knew it, hours had passed. The energy between the two of them was simply electric and they soon found within one another a best friend, constant source of laughter, partner, and, eventually, a deep love that they simply could not live without.

THE PROPOSAL
The proposal was a complete surprise for Hanaa! The day before Christmas Eve, Hanaa, David, and Isaiah traveled to David’s parent’s home to celebrate the holiday with the family. However, David insisted on traveling back to their home after Christmas Eve dinner so that they would be able to open presents the following morning at their home. He was very insistent. After they arrived home and Isaiah went to sleep, David spent a lot of time wrapping Isaiah’s final presents from Santa claiming that he wanted everything to be “just right”. As the final presents were wrapped and placed under the tree, Hanaa and David began talking and David expressed to Hanaa how much he loved her and couldn’t imagine his life without her. Suddenly, David sat up straight and said Hanaa’s full name and asked her to marry him. Through many happy, joyful tears Hanaa said yes!

Thank you David and Hanaa for waking up super early to make the sunrise! I am incredibly honored to have been there to document your beautiful moments at such a meaningful place. :) Enjoy some of my favorites!!! xoxo!

David & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement PhotographerDavid & Hanaa | Chincoteague Beach, Virginia Engagement Photographer

Weekend Recap

This month started out a little rough for me but I’m finally at a good place now! :) I cannot say enough how THANKFUL I am that I took this month mostly off to make sure I’m on track. Originally, Kyle and I had intensions of traveling in Europe but with a possibility of a move and with his business building, we decided to be responsible and have a stay-cation with random beach trips throughout the month. ;) God guided me to make that hard decision of declining weddings and I am beyond grateful for trusting that guidance even knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to travel Europe. It was exactly the right balance I needed to ensure I’m all set for the fall wedding season! I really beat myself up when I don’t have something on my checklist crossed off. My checklist was weighing me down but after coming back from the beach last weekend I decided to take a stand and dominate it! I did exactly that! I was able to cross off all of the tasks that have been weighing me down and now I can relax and get excited for my upcoming beach trip! It has been a long three weeks but my hard work has now paid off. :)

I will be leaving for the beach this Thursday (July 23rd) and will not be back in my office until August 3rd. If you are interested in booking a session/wedding date, please contact me at info@stephaniemessick.com before I depart. :) Thanks so much!!

This week on the blog, I am excited to share two engagement sessions with you all! :)

David & Hanaa | Chincoteague, VA Beach Engagement
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Marina | Sky Meadows Park, VA Engagement
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Jamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary Photographer

Cannot believe it has already been a year since Jamie and Tori’s big day! When planning for their anniversary portraits, we decided to go to basically where it all started … in Downtown Alexandria. :) There is so much character between the quaint homes to the cobble stone streets to the waterside. By the water is where Jamie asked for Tori’s hand in marriage. A good enough reason to have photos there as a great remembrance of that exciting time. We laughed together as Tori retold the story of Jamie proposing because she not only had the chance of being proposed to once, but twice by him since he had to fix up the ring! Haha! Our time reminded me of their fun engagement session, one I will never forget. :) So thankful to have had the chance of meeting them two years ago (hard to believe?!)!

Thank you Jamie and Tori for yet another amazing time together! Enjoy some of my favorites from your anniversary portraits!!! xoxo!

Jamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary PhotographerJamie & Tori | Downtown Alexandria, Virginia Anniversary Photographer

Siera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait Photographer

I met Siera through her older sister, Brooke, who was my lovely May Bride. <3 Siera is kind hearted, selfless and absolutely hilarious! I had to laugh during our time together last week when photographing her senior portraits because I love how she makes herself laugh. :) She will brighten any room with her sense of humor. Siera’s senior portraits were one of kind for sure! She was down for ANYTHING even if that meant she needed to jump into a lake! It was a beautiful vision for her senior portraits as she enters into her final year of high school … I mean, why not! Another cool thing about our time together were all of the cute animals that were a part of her session. We planned to do photos with the calfs and of course with the ADORABLE Beau (Brooke’s wedding gift) but what wasn’t planned was finding a baby turtle! It was the topper on the cake for sure. As I was editing Siera’s senior portraits, I could not help but think a few times that I was editing Brooke’s photos! I didn’t realize how a like they looked until I started editing. :) Beautiful sisters and I am incredibly honored to have documented these special moments for them and their family. Needless to say, it was an epic senior session and I have been anxious to share these photos with you all!

Thank you Siera, Brooke, Stephanie and of course Beau for an amazing time last week!!! Enjoy some of my many favorites!!! xoxo!

Siera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait PhotographerSiera | Warrenton, Virginia Farm + Lake Senior Portrait Photographer

Makeup: Enlightened Styles, Warrenton, VA

  • July 15, 2015 - 4:58 pm

    Rachel Word - These are so beautiful, Stephanie! Love the creative vision here!