As a Washington, DC, engagement, and proposal photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of capturing many beautiful moments between couples in some of the most picturesque locations in the city. However, Samara and Usman’s session at Swannanoa was truly special, as it transported us to a place that felt like Italy in the heart of Virginia.
Swannanoa is a stunning Italianate mansion located in Afton, Virginia. Built in the early 1900s by millionaire James H. Dooley, the mansion boasts grand architecture, beautiful gardens, and a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Samara and Usman wanted their engagement photos to reflect the elegance and romance of this location, and I was more than happy to oblige.
From the moment we arrived at Swannanoa, I knew we were in for a treat. The grounds were lush with greenery, and the architecture, while not in the best of condition, was stunning. As we made our way to the mansion, I couldn’t help but feel like we had been transported to Italy. The grandeur of the building, with its white columns and ornate details, was breathtaking.
Samara and Usman looked stunning in their outfits, perfectly matching the surroundings. Samara wore a beautiful flowing red dress assorted with some stunning red heels and gold earrings, and Usman looked dashing in a complementing suit. We walked through the gardens and, dare I say, had a bit too much fun, especially when we found a land mower out of all things and absolutely shot a few frames with it :).
There are many favorite shots from the session, but the ones with intentional motion blur as well as some of them connecting, are at the top. In some, the couple stood facing each other, Samara’s dress flowing down the steps, while Usman looked at her with a look of pure adoration.
As we moved to different locations throughout the property, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to capture such a beautiful love story. Samara and Usman’s session at Swannanoa truly felt like a fairytale, and I am honored to have been able to document it.
If you’re looking for a unique and romantic location for your engagement or proposal photos, I highly recommend Swannanoa. As a Washington, DC, engagement and proposal photographer, I am always on the lookout for the most stunning locations, and Swannanoa delivers.
These two have such a lovely style. See more from them here.