Friday, April 4, 2014

Starring You in Your Northern VA High School Senior Portrait Session

Northern Virginia high school senior portrait photos by Tracey Attlee


Make your high school senior portrait shine with personality by incorporating your favorite hobbies into the session. Maybe you play lacrosse, football, the guitar, or like cars, music or photography?  Let's shoot some portraits of you doing what you love.  High school sports uniforms and props make great additions to a high school senior photo session!  So do musical instruments, riding habits, bikes, outdoor gear, hats, scarves, jewelry.  They add color and life to your portraits.  That is what made our winter high school portrait session of Zoie a favorite.  And what fun, to top it off the lady shoots a Canon.

Tracey Attlee is a portrait and wedding photographer in Alexandria, Virginia and is now booking high school senior portrait sessions for juniors at Bishop O'Connell High School, Bishop Ireton High School, Oakcrest School of McLean, Paul VI Catholic High School and others in northern Virginia and DC.  Please call Attlee Weddings and Portraits now for an appointment 703-751-1778.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tips for High School Senior Portrait Photography in DC, VA, MD by Tracey Attlee

Want to know how to get the best out of your high school senior portrait photography session?  Here is a sneak peek at a session last week with Zoie:  http://video214.com/play/fl4YxB1KZv4nhj34hShN6g/s/dark   

Following are a few tips that made Attlee Weddings and Portraits' Virginia high school senior photography session so great with Zoie:

l.  Wardrobe:  Have ready two or three outfits or pieces to combine to make each look.  Zoie had several dresses, sweaters, slacks, boot and shoe choices for the shots she requested.  Everything was set out when we arrived and that made final selections easy.

2. Accessories:   Bring a few accessories to change up a look:  Zoie brought extra hats, jewelry, scarves and jackets.  This helped indoors under the studio lights and outdoors in the snowy Virginia countryside.  Of course our favorite accessory was her loving, gentle dog Lincoln.

3.  Lint Pick Up:  Great idea to run this over your wardrobe several times because today's professional portrait lenses are so sharp they will see every speck, lint and dust particle.

4.  Hair/Makeup:  Zoie had hers planned in advance so there was no slowdown in the action on the shoot.

5.  Timing:  Zoie answered the front door herself when we arrived.  Perfect timing!


Tracey Attlee is a former White House photographer in Alexandria, Virginia who photographs weddings, children, high school senior portraits, social and corporate events in Washington, D.C, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.



Monday, July 29, 2013

More Engagement Photo Session Wardrobe Tips from Tracey Attlee

Texans Lauren and Ben flew in to celebrate the first day of summer on the beach at sunset in Spring Lake, New Jersey with an engagement photo session by Attlee Weddings and Portraits.  

Lauren was in charge of selecting wardrobe and wisely harmonized her choices with sea and sand in solid colors.  A look at this sneak peek of their Jersey beach engagement photos will demonstrate this valuable wardrobe tip to other engaged couples preparing for their engagement portrait sessions  http://video214.com/play/WOKMdW1439vDdcBNngnK8A/s/dark  
When asked what inspired her wardrobe choices, Lauren says, "Ben and I wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the beach by selecting a wardrobe that would complement the seaside town of Spring Lake.  For a classic ensemble, we adhered to a neutral color palette.  Ben wore a white linen button down from Brooks Brothers with stone washed khaki shorts and I wore a white eyelet shift dress from Madewell.  Our more playful outfits were inspired by the ocean.  I wore a muted gold tank and neutral wedges to showcase my turquoise chiffon skirt from Lauren Conrad.  To coordinate with me, Ben wore a teal polo with a red lobster logo from Perlis, khaki shorts and topsiders, which was a nod to his family's Maine heritage."  

Color harmony with the background and wearing solids rather than complex patterns are what keep the viewer's eye on the faces in a portrait!  Also, Ben's crisp linen shirt and neatly pressed khaki shorts deserve mention.  Wardrobe wrinkles attract the viewer's eye.  Press them out beforehand or your viewers will be distracted by irregularities that will weaken the impact of your engagement portrait!

Thank you Lauren and Ben for your attention to detail in wardrobe.  See you next summer for your destination wedding on the Jersey shore!


Lauren Farrelly and Ben Searway celebrate engagement on the beach in Spring Lake, N.J.  Photo by Tracey Attlee.

Tracey Attlee is a wedding and portrait photographer who grew up on the Jersey shore and resides in the Washington, DC area in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, architectural photographer Todd A. Smith www.tasphoto.com
Tracey Attlee photographs town and beach weddings from Virginia to New York on a full time basis and is a former White House credentialed photographer.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Seminar on Better Rose Photography:  May 18, Bon Air Park, Arlington

While my professional blog is normally dedicated to teaching the public how to look good in pictures, next week I'll be teaching the public how to make flowers, specifically roses, look good in pictures.  I have a bit of a passion for growing and photographing roses as my husband and friends will tell you.  So I'm sharing it with anyone who has time and interest to attend the seminar May 18.  Bring your tripod!  Here is the press release:

Former White House photographer Tracey Attlee and Arlington Rose Foundation President Pam Powers are teaming up to teach a seminar to novice photographers on how to photograph roses in the garden.  The seminar will start at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden, 850 North Lexington Street, Arlington, VA 22205.

Interested photographers should bring their camera and tripod.  After the demonstration and follow up questions we will help you photograph your favorite rose varieties in this garden of over 2000 plants, including Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Floribunda and miniature roses.

Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden is one of the largest AARS (All American Rose Selection) gardens on the East Coast.  Arlington Rose Foundation has a long history with this beautiful garden maintained by Arlington County and open to the public.  For further information please contact Pam Powers at 703-371-9351 or pam1powers@aol.com


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adding Art and Romance to your Wedding Photos

Most brides say their wedding day takes forever to arrive and then passes in a blur.  Allow this rush to rule your day and you'll end up having just bread and butter documentary photographs as your lifelong memory. Attlee Weddings and Portraits has a tip for you:  why not plan for 10 minutes of romantic photos later in the reception?  By then your obligations to family and friends are complete and you and the groom can take a few minutes for yourselves.  When our brides do this it gives us wonderful freedom to use our imagination and come up with something artistic and romantic for them.  The results are always a pleasant surprise and never predictable.  Our inspirations can come from the couple, the weather, the mood, the light, the setting, the music, the wardrobe...and the amount of time we're given.  Here is one of our favorites from a recent wedding at The Key Bridge Marriott.

Tracey Attlee of Alexandria, Virginia is a former White House photographer and a DC wedding, corporate and childrens photographer recommended by Congressional, Chevy Chase, Cosmos, Sulgrave, Columbia and Kenwood Country Clubs.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Attlee Recommended by The Cosmos Club of DC

Attlee Weddings and Portraits has an exclusive invitation to exhibit wedding and corporate photography today from 4-7 pm at The Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008.  This private event enables club members planning upcoming business and social events to meet The Cosmos Club's preferred vendors face to face.  "This is such an honor for us.  We always love to photograph events in the ballroom of The Cosmos Club, truly an art treasure in Washington, D.C.," says Tracey Attlee.
Tracey Attlee of Alexandria, VA is a former White House credentialed photographer who has photographed weddings and business events at The Cosmos Club and other venues in DC, VA, MD, NJ and NY for over 20 years.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gentlemen: Secret Marriage Proposal Tips

Gentlemen considering a surprise marriage proposal to their girlfriend might like to hear how Jeremy Keck styled his on Valentine's night in Washington, DC.

After three months of planning, Jeremy arranged for delivery of wine, candles and two dozen red roses to Erin's townhouse after work.  Then, a hairdresser and a makeup artist rang the bell and came in to help beloved girlfriend Erin prepare for a nice Valentine's dinner out.  Jeremy got himself ready for the evening across town, wearing the new and carefully tailored suit Erin purchased for him and the same necktie he wore on his first date with her. Jeremy arrived via hired transportation with pink longstem roses.  The ring was hidden in his suit.  He was to escort her to a fine dinner out at Fogo de Chao.  On the way, he suggested a quick stop at his favorite quiet space, the north side of DC's Lincoln Memorial.  As of Valentine's Day 2013 Jeremy had never even said "I love you" to Erin.  After that innocent little stop, the memory was made and it is here:  http://video214.com/play/vL1rgWoSJl0IdDdIMQwUQA/s/dark

Not one to overlook details, Jeremy wrapped up his evening with another surprise.  Waiting tableside at the restaurant for Erin were her parents.  And his mother. All had flown in secretly and were seated in advance to greet Erin and Jeremy upon arrival to the restaurant!

Tracey Attlee of Attlee Weddings and Portraits, Alexandria, VA, has photographed weddings, engagements and secret marriage proposals from Washington, DC to New York for over 20 years.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Military Honors, Retirement Ceremonies by Attlee Photography

What a way to close our year of photography with this surprise note from a treasured client:


"The photographs of our father's burial at Arlington National Cemetery are simply incredible.   My family was blown away how you captured the most important moments as well as shots we would never have thought of.  We never knew you were there but the pictures are so up close and personal.  You and your husband clearly have a knowledge and respect for this most important military honor.   Thanks so much for capturing these memories, being so professional and truly great to work with." (John Molli, director, Wells Fargo Bank) 

Tracey Attlee of Attlee Weddings and Portraits is highly recommended by Joseph Gawler's Sons, Inc., Washington, DC;  Murphy Funeral Home, Arlington, VA; Columbia Gardens, Arlington, VA; Funeral Choices of Chantilly, VA and Demaine Funeral Home, Alexandria, VA for professional full military Honors photos at Arlington National Cemetery, Columbia Gardens, Quantico National Cemetery and elsewhere in the Washington, DC region. For further information please read here:  http://www.attleephotography.com/military.html

Tracey Attlee often photographs Honors Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery with her husband, professional photographer Todd A. Smith, who is USMC retired.  Attlee Weddings and Portraits, based in Alexandria, VA, also photographs Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force military retirement ceremonies in DC, VA and MD in addition to weddings, family and corporate portraits.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

No. VA Wedding and Ft. Belvoir Reception Photographs by Tracey Attlee



Congratulations to our latest Northern Virginia bride and groom Meg and Jeremy!  Grace Episcopal Church, a historic stone structure in Alexandria, VA made a beautiful backdrop for photography of Meg wearing her own mother's sweeping lace wedding mantilla.  Meg and Jeremy's was a picture perfect October wedding day, complete with romantic photographs of the couple by the Potomac River at sunset behind Ft. Belvoir Officers Club.  Expressive roses and orchids designed by Mike Lucas and his team at Brookhill Event Florals figured in the bridal bouquets and centerpieces at the couple's Ft. Belvoir, Mt. Vernon Ballroom reception.  Brian Jones of MyDeejay provided plenty of mood with music for cocktails and dancing throughout the night.

For a sneak peek at some of Attlee Weddings and Portraits favorite photographs from Meg and Jeremy's Northern Virginia wedding and reception at Ft. Belvoir, have a look here:  Meg and Jeremy

Tracey Attlee of Attlee Weddings and Portraits is a No. VA wedding photographer and former White House photographer known for good quality work and attentive service to each wedding couple.  Attlee has photographed DC, VA, MD and DE weddings for over 20 years and has a second office on the Jersey shore for NJ, PA and NY weddings.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Tip for the Bride on Veil Placement


In the 25 years Attlee Weddings and Portraits has photographed DC and NY brides we’ve seen enough wedding horror stories to write a book. While we are sworn to secrecy, here is one we will tell: the continuing saga of the misplaced bridal veil. Set too high it falls into the bride’s eyes, too low and it falls off of her shoulders, set incorrectly and it takes on curious angles, dangles, sags and tumbles. In a stiff breeze a misplaced veil can blow off into the branches of a nearby tree! Save the inelegance and consider this advice from experts:

Pamela Vito and her mother Hannelore own the Alexandria, VA bridal shop Hannelore’s, an Old Town institution for the past 28 years. “We recommend our brides leave inserting the veil to their hairdresser. The veil comb is curved to follow the top of the bride’s head, the crown. The veil should be placed high above the mass of the hairdo so it floats down over the bride’s shoulders. Never put the veil below the mass of the hairdo or it will simply follow behind the bride like a tail. The veil is meant to circle around the bride’s shoulders, to hang evenly in front of her. If the bride plans not to wear her veil during the reception we recommend she place a hair ornament, a back piece, just above her hair mass to complement her dress in the back and keep a finished look when she removes the veil for her reception.”

Our photographs below will illustrate Hannelore's major points:  set the hair piece above the mass of the hairdo, set the veil comb at the crown of the bride's head, see the veil encircle the bride's shoulders.  One additional tip is to secure the comb of the veil at the crown.  We've seen some hairdressers secure the veil comb with cross placed bobby pins.  Others make a small ponytail with a little rubber band and secure the comb into that at the crown, the theory being the rubber band will stay in place and not slip.  Again, as Hannelore's recommends, leave this to your professional hairdresser.

Hannelore’s of Old Town is on 106 North Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Tel: (703) 549-0387
Attlee Weddings and Portraits thanks our above model Margot Locker, Ines DiSanto for her gown “Collette”, Erin Cole for this veil “Sparkle” and Hannelore and Pamela Vito of Hannelore’s.
Tracey Attlee has photographed brides and weddings from northern Virginia and DC to Philadelphia and New York for 25 years and is a former White House photographer in Alexandria, Virginia. Attlee's wedding photography is on the web site www.TraceyAttlee.com

Friday, September 28, 2012

Works of Art by DC Photographers Todd A. Smith and Tracey Attlee

Elevating a documentary photograph to the level of a work of art is a dream for any photographer and their client.  That is the goal when Attlee Weddings and Portraits photographs a wedding.  Have a look at this night shot of DC, a panorama taken by professional architectural photographer Todd A. Smith. He could have shot it at high noon or any time that was convenient for him.  But instead, he waited out the August heat until just the right time for this composition he planned for his client. He says he made it from a series of seven separate exposures he shot that evening. His client says "Awesome!"

Todd A. Smith is husband and second shooter of weddings photographed by Tracey Attlee, a DC wedding photographer based in Alexandria, Virginia.  Tracey Attlee of Attlee Weddings and Portraits and Todd A. Smith are both formerly White House cleared professional photographers known for good wedding photography throughout Fairfax Station, Potomac, Bethesda, Great Falls, Chevy Chase and other DC metro area locations as well as Baltimore, Philadelphia, NJ and NYC.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tip: Go for Tone in Family Portrait Wardrobe

Here are some tips from Attlee Weddings and Portraits for Moms planning the family wardrobe for an upcoming portrait session.  Its not so much about matching colors that makes a good looking portrait; its all about tone.  When you get past selecting two main colors that harmonize with your intended portrait session background, go ahead and vary the tones in the colors a bit.  You don't all have to be wearing the same thing!  But the tones, meaning the relative lightness and darkness of the colors, are what need to be in sync.  You want the viewer's eye to go to each person equally and not key on one person whose clothing is very light or very dark compared to the others.



In the above example, my client Cindy decided to dress her family in combinations of neutrals and blue, a perfect choice for a summer portrait by the blue sea on the beige sand.  Cindy selected a cute dress from the Jones New York, Jessica Simpson line for herself.  She balanced that by dressing her husband and son in blue shirts and khaki shorts, but notice how she varied the tones of the colors of their shirts and shorts while staying within her selected color palette.  Cindy topped off the wardrobe color harmony by accessorizing herself in a necklace that again plays off the main colors she selected for the session, blue and beige.  Take a lesson from Cindy for your next family portrait!  In fact, see a "sneak peek" of her family portrait session here:    http://video214.com/play/GZMGvbNPXtNBo0MdlKAjyw/s/dark

Tracey Attlee of Alexandria, VA and Spring Lake, NJ is a former White House photographer who specializes in weddings and good quality portraits of families, high school seniors and executives.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Attlee Makes Cover

We have just received word from the publisher that the new special events brochure for The Breakers Hotel on the Ocean in Spring Lake, NJ is printed and features the work of Attlee Weddings and Portraits on the interior and the back cover! Thank you to all our Jersey shore brides for allowing us to submit photographs from their beach weddings for consideration.

If you need a good wedding photographer in New Jersey or NYC, Tracey Attlee grew up in Spring Lake and has photographed weddings from Virginia to New York for 20 years.  If you need a good wedding photographer in DC or VA, Tracey Attlee, a former White House photographer, resides in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tip for Brides: Develop a Shot List

Your wedding day is a major event in your life, so why not plan for as many memories as you can? When Attlee Weddings and Portraits photographed Laura and Dave's Jersey shore wedding in Spring Lake, we knew exactly what to do and when because we had a good shot list to go by. We got in every shot the bride wanted because we channeled her requests into a written shot list and got her approval on the timeline and locations.  In the months preceding her wedding, Laura worked with us to develop a checklist of the groups, individuals and shots she wanted.  Then we went to work finding the correct angles, locations and lighting strategies to set off every photograph she wanted.  She was fashionable, loved color and creativity, and made time for us to use our talent and imagination for her.  Laura has a treasure of beautiful memories and interesting compositions because she planned carefully for her wedding day photography.  The highlights of her New Jersey beach wedding are here:   Laura and Dave: A Jersey Shore Wedding

Tracey Attlee is a former White House photographer who photographs weddings from Virginia and DC to New Jersey and New York.  She grew up in Spring Lake, New Jersey and learned everything she knows about reading the wind and light on the Jersey beaches from her father.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Want Good Candids? DON'T Look at the Camera!

How do you feel when a camera is pointing at you?  A little uncomfortable perhaps?  Not to worry.  The best candid photographs happen when the subject is unaware of the camera, so don't pressure yourself into thinking you've got to paste a smile on your face whenever the camera is near.  Instead, relax and enjoy the company of the people around you.  Attlee Weddings and Portraits suggests brides not look at the camera unless they're in a group shot with family and Mom wants to see every face.  Looking at the camera would have diminished the romance of these sample photographs from Joanne and Matt's lovely wedding at Congressional Country Club.  Instead we see them truly enjoying their wedding day, interacting with each other and dancing with their families.  That's our tip on how to make wedding memories for a lifetime:  interact with everyone but the camera!

Tracey Attlee is an award-winning professional DC, MD, VA, NJ and NY wedding and portrait photographer with previous White House service.  Tracey Attlee phographs weddings from Virginia to New York on a fulltime basis.