Amber Kay Photography | Richmond Portrait Photographer | Richmond Senior Photographer » Amber Kay is a Richmond senior portrait photographer and Richmond Portrait and wedding photographer.

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Joey and Megan were married this past weekend at Thorpewood in Thurmont, Md. It was a beautiful day with the sun peeking in and out of scattered clouds. The rain held off the whole day and any worries that there had been about alternative rain plans fell by the wayside. The woods were serene on top of the mountain and you could hear the rushing stream, the chirps of all the little birds in the forest, and the laughter and conversation of people coming together.

Wedding days are often mostly running around from here to there and back again to get everything together. Brides and Grooms are often rushed in the chaos of the wedding day with so many moving pieces. Thorpewood is a completely different type of wedding venue. Time seems to slow down in the woods. There is a calm that comes on the top of that mountain surrounded by nature. I think that’s why so many brides and grooms choose to get married here and why I love photographing here.

Megan her her ladies got ready downstairs and Joey and his guys got ready in the loft area. There was laughter and smiles. Some cheers and a few tears of happiness.
Wedding in the woods Thurmont MD wedding photographyMegan’s mother surprised her with a horse and carriage to take her over to the ceremony site.
Married!!!
Riding off into happily ever after.
Megan and Joey were welcomed into their reception with lavender. Oh my it smelled wonderful!!Megan and Joey ended the night being driven away in a vintage Bentley!

Thank you Megan and Joey for trusting me to capture your amazing wedding day!!! It was an honor to be surrounded with your friends and family. Congratulations on your happily ever after.

 

richmond charity fashion showWEAR RVA – Charity Fashion Show

This post could alternatively be titled – Dream Big Dreams Because YOU Can Make Them Happen! or Don’t Stop Your Daydreaming or a million other titles that have to do with thinking outside of the box, dreaming, thinking big things, not doubting yourself, finding yourself the best girl squad ever, just finding yourself in general, doing something bigger than yourself, etc. You get the idea here!

Last month I, along with co-founder Taylor of e-commerce brand Tailor, pulled off an amazing feat! On May 10th at 6:30pm WEAR RVA – Rocking the Runway For A Cause hit the runway with  smashing success!!!! 42 teen models from the RVA area rocked clothing from 7 locally owned boutiques and 1 amazing fashion designer. 16 hair and makeup professionals perfected their looks for the runway and over 25 locally owned businesses came together to make this show spectacular.

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

pink diy donut wall at wear rva fashion show

Xiaoqi Li Photography

WEAR RVA’s Back Story –

Quite honestly I had been mulling around the idea of a fashion show for awhile- maybe 2 years”ish”. My photography specialization has been leaning toward high school senior photography since I moved to Richmond. (Check that out here at Amber Kay Seniors). I love working with teen girls and I absolutely adore watching them transform in front of my camera. They gain so much self confidence from feeling beautiful and seeing themselves as beautiful. I create gorgeous photos of gorgeous girls but what I also do is to help them see themselves as beautiful!
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Every year I have what I call my Senior Squad. It’s a group of senior girls or uprising senior girls that I work with the whole year. (So there’s Senior Squad ’18 & Senior Squad ’19 right now). We have fun styled photo sessions, get to know one another, build each other up, and create a “no mean girl” environment. My goal is to help them see themselves as the amazing  beings that they are, exactly as they are right now and then also to empower each other. The girls build each other up & support each other. Squad is for all girls and isn’t chosen based on anything other than if the girls want to participate.
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My first thought was that I wanted to create a fashion show that my Senior Squad girls could model for. A super fun part of being on Squad!  Quickly the idea grew beyond that. I saw a hole in the both the fashion show and teen industry and I wanted to help to fill that. I wanted this fashion show to feature ONLY teen girls as models & I wanted it to empower these girls to see themselves as beautiful, as worthy, as enough. I wanted to create an environment so much bigger than my Senior Squad where these girls would support each other, build each other up, and bring out the best in each other. We see so many examples in the media of how girls should look (skinny, tall, no acne, etc) and hear so many stories of the “mean girl mentality”. I wanted to prove to these girls that they are so much stronger together, that women support women. I wanted to get rid of the term “real girl” because ALL GIRLS ARE REAL. No matter your size, height, shape, ethnic background, skin color, hair color, religious identification, etc you ARE REAL. My Senior Squad girls were offered first chance to participate and then we opened it up to all teen girls in the Richmond area. No model experience necessary. The only requirement was that the girls had to be a current high school student, had to be available on a few key dates, and had to have parental permission.
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I knew that in order to pull this off I needed help! I needed someone with some insight into the fashion world, with some fashion show experience, and most of all I needed a woman who could see my vision and believe in as much as I did. Enter Taylor! I met her at an RVA fashion blogger and business woman’s happy hour. We were introduced by a mutual friend and it seemed like a really good connection. Taylor was friendly and definitely knowledgeable in the fashion arena so I pitched my idea…within 5 minutes of meeting her. We both laugh at that now!
wear rva charity fashion show

Richmond Photo Booth

Needless to say Taylor was a yes and we set out planning WEAR RVA right away. We sat down for our first planning meeting and hammered out as many details as possible and I walked away knowing that I had made an amazing new friend. As we planned we knew that we wanted to create an event that was bigger than us.  Yes we had our mission statement of empowering girls but bigger than that we wanted to raise money for a charity so that our girls could also see that we were invested in them, in our community, and we wanted to lead by example. The idea was to have a community based event- local businesses coming together to support each other, to support the girls of our community.
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I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t have a few hiccups and if we didn’t feel like we were in over our heads at times. I was so worried that something would fall through and that our vision of an amazing production fashion show would fall flat. We pulled this event together with little to no budget and that was very scary. All of our initial calls & emails to potential businesses to come on to the event were like “hey we have this amazing idea and event we’re putting together. We would love for you to be a part of it and we would love for you to do it as a sponsor. We have no budget to pay you.” Ha ha. Needless to say we were turned down plenty of times! Next year we will be seeking corporate sponsors much sooner that is for sure.

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Another concern was that since this was a debut event that perhaps nobody would take us seriously. What would happen if we didn’t sell any tickets? What if nobody came? That was my own insecurity talking of course. We sold out of our vip tickets in less than 48 hours and we were sold out of tickets completely 2 days before the event!
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Media coverage greatly helped with this too! We were lucky enough to get a spot on WRIC ABC Chanel 8 morning news for an interview. That was so exciting! You can watch our full interview HERE. The Richmond Dispatch Times also gave us an amazing write up both online and in the paper. You can read that article HERE. 
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Fashion Show Night!

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Taylor and I and so many others worked tirelessly for months to pull this off! The evening of the show it was all I could do to hold it together. (I have a tendency to be a bit of a crier.) Taylor and I walked out on stage to welcome everyone and I was so completely overwhelmed by all the support and all the love. The runway, the lights, the chairs, the donut board, all the lovely guests….it all looked so incredibly beautiful! It was pure magic watching our girls strut their stuff down the runway. Watching their transformation from shy and unsure to Super Model Confidence was worth every single night of only a few hours of sleep.
richmond fashion show on the runway

Xiaoqi Li Photography

We had a couple of practices for the girls to show them how to walk the runway, pose, exude confidence, etc. I remember at the very first practice one of the models called me over to where she was in line. She whispered “Amber, help, I can’t do this. I really don’t think I can.” I half laughed with her, gave her a hug, and assured her that she could do it and reminded her of what  a rockstar she is. On the night of the show I watched her strut her stuff down the runway like she had been walking New York Fashion Week for years. She was so confident with her held held high.  A total super model!!!!! And I cried a little, again. All of our girls were so amazing and the confidence they walked with on show night was so amazing. I wish everyone could have seen their growth like we could!!!

fashion show runway picturesfashion show runway pictures

fashion show runway pictures

Xiaoqi Li Photography

fashion show runway pictures

Xiaoqi Li Photography

fashion show runway pictures

Xiaoqi Li Photography

Back Stage

I can’t possibly forget to mention all that was taking place behind the scenes! So many amazing people were running around behind the runway making sure this show was spectacular. Shouts out to all of our amazing hair and makeup artists, designer, boutiques, support staff, photographers, videographer, models.

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

wear rva charity fashion show behind the scenes

Gianna Grace Photography

Life Lessons & Finding A Girl Squad

I learned so many things creating, planning, & executing WEAR RVA. Fundraising. Event planning. Event organization. How to write a press release. How to look somewhat fashionable in a room full of fashionistas. + so much more!

But…my true “ah ha” moment & biggest life lesson was this-

When you create or do something that is much bigger than yourself what you gain from it (that you weren’t expecting) is so much bigger than you could ever have even dreamed up. Putting together WEAR RVA was about empowering the young women of our community & raising money for scholarships. It wasn’t about me at all. By happenstance though I was stretched & grew leaps & bounds. I gained a greater sense of confidence than I ever thought I could have, I gained amazing new friendships, I gained the knowledge that I can do big things, & my heart is the fullest it’s ever been.

I’ll be honest…I never got into this thinking that somehow I would find My Squad. I never thought that I wanted one or that one even existed for me. I also never thought that maybe…just maybe…I’d meet the one woman out there that I’d mesh with and that we would create magic together. WELL I stand corrected!

Taylor and I just work together. Our personalities mesh, our delivery style works, work ethic, attention to detail, etc. She has helped to build my confidence and prove to me that we can do hard things. She has supported my dream and visions and helped to make them come to life. She has proven to me that we are stronger together and that women support women and build each other up. I cannot possibly thank her enough for her friendship and support. 

We Did It!

So here’s to doing big crazy things! Here’s to stepping outside of our comfort zones! Here’s to making new friends and building new squads! Here’s to women empowering other women! Here’s to not taking no for an answer! Here’s to being brazen woman, the ones who don’t hide behind the status quo, the ones who step out into the world and make their dreams come true.

I’m so very proud to say that WEAR RVA was able to raise over $5,000 for The Network of Enterprising Women’s scholarship fund! Taylor and I presented the check to them last week at their June luncheon. Make sure you check them out and join them for a luncheon or two. They’re an outstanding group of women doing awesome things.

richmond fashion show

Thank you to all of our awesome Boutiques & Designer that participated- Tailor, Simple Soul, Free Reign, Evolve, The SEE Boutique, Firefly Lane Boutique, Stitch by Chanel, Trunk Up . 

Thank you to all of our sponsors who provided their goods and services to make WEAR RVA happen! Venue- Hofheimer / DJ- DJ Lady Syren / Audio Equipment- Rhythm of Love / Branding & Graphic Design- Guestroom Creative / Florals- Stems & Sweets / Linens- Party Perfect / Front of House Event Manager – Alana with Chancey Charm / Behind the Scenes Photography – Giana Grace Photography / Runway Photography – Xiaoqi Li Photography / Uplighting – Leap AV

Thank you to our sponsors who provided food for all of our guests – Edible Arrangements / Vagabond / Hippodrome / Sugar Shack Hanover / Sweets & Soirees

Thank you to all of our amazing hair and makeup artists – Kara Waggoner, Dee Wilford, Transformation Artistry, Rikki Hightower, Emily Steele, Kelsea Dayberry, Caked by Caly, Salon 33, LGB Hair Designs, Beauty By Brittany, Body 2 Soul Salon, Bang On Salon, Bloom Beauty Lounge VA, Josh from Salon Vivace

Thank you to all of our amazing Corporate Sponsors!!!! Sculpture Total Skin Care, Celebrity Bridal, Markel, Newfield Financial Solutions, Tony Diservio Insurance

Thank you to our sponsors who provided Donations for Raffle prizes & Swag Bags!! Swag Bags – Major Impression / Pam Anderson with Stella & Dot / Big Kandied Apple / Miss Maude’s Chocolate / Liberatus Jewelry / Purify / Ginger Juice Company / Riot & Revel / Superior Creamery & Confections / Richmond Magazine,

 

These two together melt hearts! Each others and everyone around them. You cannot be in their company and not feel the love they have for each other. From the way they look at each other with wide eyes to the way they reach out to touch each other. Gently yet knowingly and assuredly. From the way they lean over to kiss each other and get that little “ah yes” smile to the way they talk about each other when the other isn’t around.

It’s the kind of love we all hope to have have. The kind of love that years and years and years of marriage and life and family and adventure and smiles and wide open arms of love and understanding are built on. Matt worked so hard to make the day perfect for Erika. He was so excited and happy and not the least bit nervous. He was so sure and so ready.

Erika kept saying how lucky she was to find Matt. Over and over. Everyone teared up when she teared up and talked about how amazing Matt was and how good he was to her. He left little surprises for her all day. He wrote her love notes to be opened before the wedding and all through their wedding day. Erika beamed all day long thinking of Matt before the wedding, walking down the aisle toward him, and all the rest of the day.

Matt and Erika you are #relationshipgoals! I was so honored to capture your amazing Morais Vineyard Fairytale wedding. Thank you for trusting me with your special memories and thank you for being so gracious and rolling with the punches the rain brought. Your day was as magical as your love!
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingSuch a magical fairytale venue! Morais Vineyard looks like we walked straight into Italy.Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingThe bridal suite at Morais is a place that photographers dream of! It was the absolute perfect location for all of Erika’s amazing bridal details. That dress!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh. Those shoes! Ahhhhhhhh. What girl doesn’t love a pair of Louboutins?? The best part of these gorgeous shoes is that they were a birthday present from Matt to Erika. Now that’s a man with good present buying skills. Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingErika was so overwhelmed with how gorgeous her flowers were. Flower dreams for sure. Everylasting Flowers did such an amazing job!Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMatt had this whole box full of presents, surprises, and love notes for Erika! So incredibly sweet!
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMatt was definitely dressed in style as well. Have you ever seen a Mr. hanger? My first time and I thought it was great!! Why shouldn’t the groom have an amazing hanger too? And those cufflinks!
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingNow that’s a well dressed black tie groom!Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMeanwhile over in the bridal suite…Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingHer last note of the day was double tissue worthy.Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingErika made a dash over to the main venue to get her wedding dress on before the rain moved in.Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingI’m in awe of Erika’s classic beauty. There’s something so unassuming about her. So classic. So refreshing. I think it’s that she’s as beautiful inside as she is outside and she was so concerned with everyone else on her wedding day. She kept asking me if I needed anything! Erika is kind and gracious and gentle and so humble in her beauty.
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingAll the prep was done and it was go time! The call to move the ceremony inside had been made and it was a wise one. As soon as the ceremony started the sky opened up and it was torrential down pouring. The rain didn’t dampen any spirits or joy though! I mean look at the smiles.
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingA quick trip down to the wine cellar for a little dipping picture! And then outside for a few minutes of quiet portrait time. The rain had slowed to a mist so I asked if they wouldn’t mind heading outside. Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingA few minutes of portrait time with this amazing light was pure magic.
Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingBack inside for reception fun!Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingAnd just like that the day was over! A little pom pom action to celebrate the newlyweds and send them off was the perfect touch.Morais Vineyard fairytale weddingMorais Vineyard fairytale weddingVendors: Venue- Morais Vineyard / Hair and Makeup- Hair & Makeup Unveiled / Wedding Coordination & Planning- Sara with SRS Events / Florist- Everlasting Flowers / Cake- Simply Sweet / DJ- Michael Cowles from Horizon Entertainment / Wedding gown- Pronovias gown from Ann’s Bridal / Caterer- Legends Catering / Photography – Amber Kay Photography

  • JP - Such a stunning wedding. The shots are outstanding! Absolutely beautiful!ReplyCancel

Amber Grove Wedding Photography Richmond VA

Amanda and Ryland were married a week and a half ago on what turned out to be an amazing December day! The day started out a little overcast but the sun came out just as these two said their I Do’s making portrait time absolutely perfect. The day was relaxed and filled to the brim with love, smiles, friendship, and family. I am lucky to call these two my clients and more importantly my friends! It was such a fun day to photograph knowing these two and knowing so many of their friends and family members.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from their gorgeous wedding day-
Richmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber GroveRichmond Wedding Photography Amber Grove

Vendors-

Venue: Amber Grove / Photographer: Amber Kay Photography / Florist: White House Flowers / DJ: Seth @ Bow Tied Weddings / Makeup: Kara Waggoner / Hair: Alexis Suzanne / Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse / Wedding Cookies: Baked With Heart  / Ice Cream Sandwiches: Nightengale Ice Cream Sandwiches / Wedding Cake: Ukrops Bakery

Amber Grove Wedding Photography Richmond VA

View another gorgeous Winter wedding HERE…this one complete with snow!

Carlyle Club Alexandria, VA Indian Fusion Wedding

Daniel and Selvi were married on an absolutely stunning September morning at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, VA. It was such a unique wedding day full of love, laughter, happy tears, and so much color. These two did the perfect job of planning an event to bring their families and friends together. Selvi wore a stunning raw silk sari and Daniel opted for a suit. The two spent part of the morning together getting ready. Daniel got dressed and then left for his Janavasam – where he met with friends and family and walked parade-style to the venue. Carlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingSelvi got dressed in her sari with the help of her mother. This might have been my favorite part of the whole day!!Carlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingCarlyle club Indian fusion weddingAfter getting dressed Selvi made her way over to the venue to meet Daniel and the Janavasam.Into the Carlyle club for the ceremony. So much color! It was breath taking.
After the ceremony it was outside for portraits, then back into the Carlyle Club for the fun reception full of lots of dancing and fun!Vendors: Venue- The Carlyle Club  /  Band- Beltway Sound (East Coat Entertainment)  /  Makeup & Hair- Laila at Indus Salon  / Bride’s Sari – Purchased from India  /  Groom’s Suit – Nordstroms  /  Cupcakes – Family friend

 

Carlyle Club Alexandria, VA Indian fusion wedding