Daniella and I were high school classmates, though time and work and love and life had caused us to lose track of one another over the years. Until one day, our paths reconnected a few years ago at our high school 20-year reunion. We discovered that we were both living in Washington, D.C. and since then we’ve remained in touch. So when Daniella expressed an interest in taking some family portraits in Capitol Hill, I had the lucky pleasure of receiving her call.
As a mother myself, I understand all the expectations that hang in the balance of a family portrait shoot. Will the images be flattering? Will the photographer understand my vision or will the portraits come out looking like lifeless stock photos? Will it be worth the investment? I understand those fears because I’ve felt them myself, which is why – before I ever pick up my camera – I work with each client to clarify what kind of portraits he or she would like to create. In the case of Daniella and her family of four, she requested a variety of family portrait combinations, set amidst local backdrops, and with particular attention to highlighting the lighthearted moments. For an afternoon of family portraits in Capitol Hill, I knew that her request would lead to some spectacular images.
On the day of the photo shoot, I met up with Daniella, her husband, Martin, and her two beautiful daughters Sabine, 8, and Kaia, 3. But rather than heading to a public park, landmark site, or staying within the family’s home, we decided to roam through the picturesque neighborhood of Capitol Hill. We imagined it would be the perfect way to remember the family’s time in the area. For those of you who may not be so familiar with Washington, D.C. neighborhoods, Capitol Hill is just minutes from the National Mall and the U.S. Capitol Building. It has a subtle grace and beauty to it – the kind of urban neighborhood that forms an emotional oasis within a true metropolitan jungle. On nearly every block there is beautiful brickwork with weathered shades of auburn and rouge, wrought iron fences with stark dark lines, and distinctive alleyways that never fail to inspire me. As we wandered the pristine streets of Capitol Hill, we found dozens of inviting backdrops for the innovative family portraits that Daniella was seeking. Little Kaia got into performance mode singing and dancing the now-infamous “Let it Go” from Frozen, which engendered plenty of genuine smiles. And I quickly fell in love with the spunky personality of Sabine. She got really into the whole idea of doing different poses and was a big help with her little sister throughout the afternoon.
The Ballou-Aares family will be moving soon to a new home in the same neighborhood and we’ll be creating some spectacular wall art together so that their favorite selections are on display for all to see. I couldn’t imagine a better way to start warming up the white walls of a new home.
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!