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Sherryn and Stephen's Engagement by Mark Soriano

I had an awesome opportunity this summer to travel to New York City for an engagement shoot at the Bronx Zoo. Even though NYC is only 3 1/2 hours away from D.C. I haven't been back to the Big Apple since 2013 so I was very excited for this gig.

This was my first surprise engagement shoot, and it was a lot fun! After I photographed the proposal we walked around the zoo and continued to get awesome shots while enjoying the animals! Sherryn and Stephen are so much fun and so in love, I really wanted that to come through in the photos.

 

Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. 2017 by Mark Soriano

The Washington City Paper's biggest issue of the year is their Best of D.C. issue where readers poll to see the best of what our nation's capitol has to offer. They held their 5th annual celebration at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon square and here are some photos from the memorable night.

Bianca and Dave's Maternity Shoot by Mark Soriano

My friends Bianca and Dave are due to have their first baby in a couple months and they wanted me to take some pictures and I was very excited when they asked me. We did the shoot at our friends' house in Virginia. 

While Bianca was putting on her outfit, I decided to have a little fun with Dave and teach him how to create a nice jawline for portraits a la Peter Hurley. He could've had his forehead down and out a bit more haha. It started the shoot off with a fun vibe and many jokes came from that for the rest of the day!

My thought process was to get wide, medium, and close shots and that's pretty much my goals for every shoot whether it be portraits, events, or any situation. From what Bianca told me, she just wanted some "chill shots" so I was thinking mainly natural light and maybe throwing in some shots with a speed light to give them some variation. 

We also wanted to go outside for some outdoor portraits, but unfortunately it was really cold that day.

Then I setup my FL-600R off camera, shooting through a 43 in Westcott Umbrella for these next shots. During this set of photos I really wanted to show their personality and both Dave and Bianca are hilarious. No matter the topic they will have you laughing.

To finish off our shoot, we decided to get a bit more creative and festive giving the holiday season we are in. With some Christmas lights we wrapped it around Bianca's belly and created some cool shots in my opinion.

Congrats Bianca and Dave! Can't wait to meet the little one :)

D.C. Cherry Blossoms 2016 by Mark Soriano

Every year, I have nagged my wife about going to the see the cherry blossoms in D.C.. For numerous reasons, we haven't been able to see them over the last 3 years. Well, I wasn't going to let that happen this year haha.

People from all over the world come to Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms, so it makes seeing them a little troublesome due to the crowds, but I didn't care. Also, what makes it a bit tricky is that the blossoms don't peak at the same time every year. Another thing is that they don't stay bloomed for a long time. You have about two weeks or so to get a glimpse of the blossoms before they start falling off the trees.

Luckily, we were able to visit the cherry blossoms on two separate occasions. Once with just my wife and I, then a week after with her cousin and his girlfriend joining us. 

On the walk over to The Tidal Basin, my wife was a good sport and posed for some pictures.

Once we got to the basin it was REALLY crowded. So I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get any decent shots without a bunch of people in the frame. But if you're patient and wait for your shot, it is totally doable. 

Probably one of my favorite shots from the cherry blossoms was when I noticed everyone including myself,  taking pictures straight on. I was in awe of what I saw when looking in my viewfinder then looking straight up. In photography, some times looking up/down or just getting a different perspective can give you amazing shots.

I definitely had a great time taking pictures of the cherry blossoms in D.C. and I can't wait to return next year to gather more shots. I learned a lot from this experience that will hopefully produce better pictures in 2017!

Finally Harris by Mark Soriano

My friends Donald and Sheriene got married on September 16, 2016 at the Great Room at Savage Mill in Savage, MD.

The day before the wedding, I was asked by Donald, the groom, if I could get some pictures of him and his groomsmen because their photographer wasn't available to cover that part of their wedding day. I was flattered and very excited to capture a part of their big day.

When I arrived at the hotel the groom wasn't there and neither were his groomsmen, so I ended up getting some shots of the bride getting her make up done. With 6 bridesmaids and her mother getting ready it made for a really cramped space. It was mid-day so the light outside was really harsh but the window and curtains made a nice diffuser it made the light inside the room nice and soft. While waiting for the groom I stayed with the bride and took some detail shots.

When I got word that Donald was arriving I made my way 2 floors down to where the groom and his groomsmen were getting ready. First thing Donald did was pass out his gifts to his groomsmen. He got all of them custom leather wallets with their nicknames engraved on them and they were all really happy with their gifts. 

As soon as the gifts were passed out, Donald and his men started getting dressed. 

When Donald was getting ready to put his shoes on, I asked him if he could do that next to the window sitting on the chair which had great light coming in. With all the commotion going on with all the other guys getting ready, I wanted to make sure I captured shots just focusing on Donald. 

Now at this point, it started getting really hectic. Although I was there to capture the groom getting ready, I was getting calls from my wife who was a bridesmaid to come back up to the bride's room to get some shots of her getting her make-up done.

Then it was right back down to Donald's room where one of his oldest brothers was helping him put his jacket on. These were some shots that I had in my head and I really wanted to make sure I was there to snap those photos. Once he was finished, I asked for his other brother to come over for some group shots.

Once everyone was ready it was time to pop bottles! A little fact about Donald is that he does not drink alcohol but this was a special occasion so a little champagne was due.

I had to get one of me in there too.

Afterwards, I went back up to the bride's room to see what was going. When I got there everyone was pretty much ready. All of the bridesmaids were just lounging around and taking selfies haha. After 20 mins or so, it was time to head down to the venue. The bridesmaids were carrying her dress down the hallway and one of them made a great suggestion and told me to capture that moment and it turned out great!

When it came time to the actual wedding, I decided to leave my camera behind and let the hired photographer do their thing. This was a wedding where I wanted to stay in the moment and celebrate 2 of my good friends getting married. 

We had all stayed in the hotel near the venue that night. The next morning Sheriene realized we didn't get pictures of her dress so I asked her to bring her dress in so I could take some detailed shots.