East Coast Trip ~ Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms ~ Personal Film Work

I have a couple engagement sessions I’m wrapping up editing on that I can’t wait to share with you guys later this week! In the meantime, the film scans came back from Richard Photo Lab from our trip around parts of the east coast after Erin & Bret’s wedding in March – so I thought I’d share those for now!!

To challenge myself and to keep my love for photography alive & well (not that that has ever be a problem for me) – I decided to only allow myself to shoot film for personal photos as often as possible this year. So when we decided to make a longer trip out of heading out east for Erin & Bret’s wedding, I vowed to only shoot with my Mamiya 645 film camera (which is how I first learned photography in photo school) – instead of using our digital cameras that we use for work.

It took some serious patience for me to wait to see how the photos came out… but I tell you – it’s like Christmas morning when they finally arrive!!! Here are some of my favorites from the trip! (Everything was shot with my Mamiya 645 film camera on Fuji 400h film and processed/scanned by Richard Photo Lab.)


After Erin & Bret’s wedding on Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, MD, we drove down to D.C. Sunday to see the cherry blossoms and unwind a bit after our first wedding of the year. The cherry blossoms were a little after their peak… but they were still gorgeous – so I couldn’t complain! Especially since the weather was still freezing back in Chicago – but it was in the 70’s in D.C. Such a perfect spring trip! 🙂

I feel like I get so nervous I’ll blink and ruin the photo (but not realize it) when using film that I stare VERY intently at the camera. haha! I swear I’m not this intense!

I could not get enough of the blooms!!! We didn’t even have buds on our trees yet in Chicago back in March!

My handsome husband!

A little self-timer action… the only place we could find to set the camera down since we didn’t bring a tripod… 🙂

The other thing about film is that you don’t realize when something is off about a photo & don’t know to retake it! (Like my nose being crazy crunched and weird looking in this kissing self-timer photo… haha! Oh well, it’s 1 of 2 photos we have together from the trip – so I’ll take it!)

Then we started to make our way back to the hotel for the night…

Did I mention I was loving the flowers?!

We got a crazy awesome deal on a Kimpton Hotel downtown because we booked on Expedia (without knowing what hotel it was, just the star rating) about an hour before check-in. It was such a cool space – and the hallways were HUGE and went on for what felt like miles!

The next day we hopped in our rental car and drove 4 hours over to Roanoke, VA to spend some time with James’ Grandmother. I had never met her before, and James hadn’t seen her in much too long – so it was absolutely wonderful to get some quality time with her! We slept over Monday night and spent some of Tuesday with her before heading back to D.C. again.

I’m actually obsessed with the image below. This was taken as we were getting in the car to leave on Tuesday after we’d taken his Grandmother out to lunch. She looked so positively joyful smiling at us from her front walk – that I couldn’t help but snap a picture before she had time to react to me picking up the camera. This is the smile she has on her face nearly all the time – and it is the sweetest thing. I’m so happy I was able to catch it.

We got back to D.C. just in time to meet James’ Aunt Debbie and cousin Shar for dinner and drinks! We had a fabulous time and lots of laughs with these two!

Then as the sun was setting over D.C. James and I headed over to see the monuments (via rental bikes) that we had missed earlier. We of course found the prettiest (still peak) cherry blossom trees on the other side of the Tidal Basin … but we were losing light so the film images are a bit blurry because of the wind and slow shutter speeds. I did take some with my iPhone that turned out – but for some reason I actually really love the look of these, blur and all… especially the last one.

It was a wonderfully exhausting trip – but we loved every moment of getting to see James’ family and spending some quality time just the two of us being tourists in D.C. as well. I was originally going to mix in my iPhone photos with these… but decided not to. I didn’t want them to tarnish the experience of looking through the film. 😉

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!