As much as I adore landscape and cityscape photography (and you can see my favorites of the year HERE), my true love is people. In 2018 I photographed kids, families, couples, professionals, and my own children, and I hope the photos will be meaningful to them for generations to come.

Oh, the people I’ve met! I love these people. Successful portrait photography involves learning about each person and trying to capture their true character. In the process, I get really attached to the people I photograph. I hope my genuine affection comes through in the photos.

Here are some of my favorite portraits of 2018. I have far too many pictures to choose from, but here’s a sample of the great faces I got to photograph last year.

 

Self-portrait on Lake Anne during a deep freeze (Reston, Virginia)
Self-portrait on Lake Anne during a deep freeze (Reston, Virginia)

First in chronological order is this self-portrait. I almost never take self-portraits, but this moment was too rare and thrilling not to document. After a week of sub-freezing temperatures, my backyard of Lake Anne was frozen several inches thick. Despite living here for several years, I had never walked on the lake until this day. I set up my tripod to memorialize this experience that I knew I’d remember the rest of my life. [See more photos from this day of icy adventure.]

 

figure skater on frozen Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)
Figure skater on frozen Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

On that same night, I was delighted to encounter a figure skater spinning on the ice at Lake Anne Plaza! The night was really dark already, and I hadn’t brought any lighting equipment out on the lake with me, because I hadn’t expected to take portraits out there. I asked 15-year-old Maria if she’d be willing to hold still for a longish exposure, and she gracefully obliged. [Learn about the award I got for this photo] [See more photos from this evening]

 

Little girl eats Cheerios off the floor
A hilariously candid moment in my own kitchen (Reston, Virginia)

This photo looks posed, but it was a 100% candid image of a four-year-old getting a snack all by herself. I’m going to laugh about this picture for ages to come.

 

A wedding proposal at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)
A wedding proposal at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

This exact second might have been my favorite portrait moment of the year. Jeff hired me in secret to photograph his proposal to Kerry. I blended into a group of parents at the nearby playground as I saw them walking down the boardwalk. Then as he got down on one knee, I was there with my long lens. I love this photo, not only because of the monumental moment in their lives, but also because if you look closely, you can see the diamond. [More photos from their wonderfully romantic proposal]

 

Engagement portrait at Lake Anne in Reston, Virginia
Jeff and Kerry, minutes after getting engaged (Reston, Virginia)

After Kerry said yes, a crowd of onlookers cheered. Then I introduced myself to Kerry and took them for an engagement session. Look at their just-engaged glow! This right here is pure happiness. I hope they will always look at this photo and remember how they were feeling at this moment. [More of their engagement portraits]

 

Family portrait at the Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)
Family portrait at the Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

The coolest thing about this photo is that the little boy is named Lincoln! While this family was visiting from Colorado, they asked me to take their family portraits with Lincoln’s namesake. Another special thing about this photo is something you can’t see — the massive crowd of tourists that were all around us. Getting a great portrait of the three of them while in the midst of hundreds of other people was a challenge, to say the least. They trusted me, though, and it turned out beautifully. [More of their family portraits at the Lincoln Memorial]

 

Family portrait at the Lincoln Memorial
Brave little boy named Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

We took little Lincoln down to the reflecting pool for several more portraits. My favorite moment was when his dad lifted him up on one hand. Look at that delight on his face and his mom’s!  [More of their family portraits in DC]

 

Lake Anne Plaza after a rainstorm (Reston, Virginia)
Lake Anne Plaza after a rainstorm (Reston, Virginia)

2018 was the wettest year on record for the DC area. Instead of complaining, I made the most of it by including reflections and raindrops in lots of my photos. (Ok, I complained a lot, too.) For this picture, I headed to a spot on the Plaza that gets huge puddles after rainstorms. I had this couple walk by the LOVE sign while I got low enough to get their reflection, and clicked just before they passed the sign. Every couple should have their picture taken with a Virginia is for Lovers sign at some point. [More photos of the LOVE sign at Lake Anne]

 

Surfer girl on Lake Anne in Reston
Surfer girl on Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

Our summers are filled with water play, and I love this photo of my daughter surfing on our paddle board. [More photos of my family]

 

Family session at Manassas National Battlefield Park
Family session at Manassas National Battlefield Park (Manassas, Virginia)

Look at this happy boy! I love this photo because this little sweetheart has autism, and his mother wasn’t sure whether he’d warm up to me and feel comfortable being photographed. Well, he and I got along beautifully and we had fantastic conversations about Minecraft and animals. I felt so happy to have been able to capture this side of him. [More photos of his family]

 

Family portrait at Manassas National Battlefield Park
Family portrait at Manassas National Battlefield Park (Manassas, Virginia)

His whole family was a joy to photograph. When I said I love the people I photograph, I mean it. [More photos of this family]

 

Midtown Community Mural at Reston Town Center
Dog at the Midtown Community Mural at Reston Town Center (Reston, Virginia)

I have always loved this phenomenal mural by Reston artist Dana Scheurer, but it’s even better with a doppelgänger dog.

 

Splash pad at Reston Town Center
Cartwheel at the splash pad at Reston Town Center (Reston, Virginia)

My son doesn’t stand still, so I embrace that aspect of him, and catch him in action instead. His parkour class paid off, apparently. I had no idea he knew how to do this.  [More scenes from the splash pad at Reston Town Center]

 

The sunflowers of Mckee-Bashers Wildlife Management Area (Poolesville, Maryland)
The McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area (Poolesville, Maryland)

My daughter and I were mesmerized by the vast sunflower fields of McKee-Beshers in Maryland. She brought her doll, Baby Sweetheart, with her so she wouldn’t miss this amazing experience. [More photos of these sunflower fields]

 

Couple portraits at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)
Couple portraits at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

I photographed this adorable couple at Lake Anne, and it was a gorgeous evening for it. I love their expressions in this photo. They had been married for four years, and there is a comfort and tenderness in this photo that says so much about this stage of their relationship. [More photos of this couple at Lake Anne]

 

Couple portrait at the Lake Anne boardwalk
Couple portrait at the Lake Anne boardwalk (Reston, Virginia)

I love this one, too, because it shows how joyful Lisa is, and how much Matthew adores her. [More photos of this couple at Lake Anne]

 

Portrait at the Bristol ferris wheel
The Sky View ferris wheel in Bristol (Bristol, England)

Here I used two of my tricks that I mentioned earlier: a) If it has been raining a lot, find cool puddles, and b) If a kid doesn’t hold still, then capture him in action. It turned out just right. [More from our day in Bristol]

 

Girl jumps into Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)
Girl jumps into Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

Action photos are some of my favorites, anyway. They are just so full of life and joy.

 

Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union (Alexandria, Virginia)

One of my favorite photo commissions of the year was this commercial shoot for Navy Federal Credit Union. Over the course of two days, I worked with a team of models and crew to take promotional photos in a NFCU branch in Alexandria. These guys were seriously fun. [More photos from the NFCU shoot]

 

Reston Multicultural Festival (Reston, Virginia)
Reston Multicultural Festival (Reston, Virginia)

I photographed the Reston Multicultural Festival for the Reston Community Center (one of my favorite clients). This little girl in Mexican attire was adorable and my camera loved her. [More photos from the wonderful and colorful Reston Multicultural Festival]

 

The Reston Farm Market in the fall (Reston, Virginia)
The Reston Farm Market in the fall (Reston, Virginia)

Look, my son poses for the camera occasionally! I love this picture, with all the colors and sunlight and pumpkins and happiness. The Reston Farm Market is a local treasure that is extra special in the fall. [More photos of my family’s fall 2018 adventures]

 

Mother and baby (Reston, Virginia)
Mother and baby (Reston, Virginia)

This sweet baby was four months old when I photographed his family, and he was a little doll. I like how this photo shows his mother’s graceful love for him, and his comfort in her arms. And those sparkly eyes! [More photos of this sweet baby and his family]

 

Day in the life family photography in Reston, Virginia
Candid and hilarious moment in this family’s life (Reston, Virginia)

My favorite photo of this baby and his family, though, is this candid moment that cracks me up whenever I see it. This is real life and I love it.  [More photos of this awesome cat and her family]

 

Fall family portrait at Lake Newport (Reston, Virginia)
Fall family portrait at Lake Newport (Reston, Virginia)

This gorgeous family chose what was perhaps the most beautiful day of the entire year for their family portraits. Reston never disappoints when fall colors arrive, but Lake Newport is especially magnificent. [More of their fall family portraits]

 

Fall family portraits at Lake Newport (Reston, Virginia)
Fall family portraits at Lake Newport (Reston, Virginia)

These kids were so incredibly sweet together. I hope they will love this photo when they’re grown up and still best friends. [More of their fall family portraits]

 

 

Holiday family portrait at Lake Anne Plaza (Reston, Virginia)
Holiday family portrait at Lake Anne Plaza (Reston, Virginia)

In December, the Christmas tree arrived at Lake Anne Plaza, and I got to photograph this family in front of it. Their youngest son was only two months old, and it was a huge honor to take the first portraits of their now complete family. I especially loved how the oldest son looked after his little brothers, as you can see a bit in this photo. [More of their family portraits at Lake Anne]

 

Kids playing in leaves at Lake Anne in Reston
Playing in leaves at Lake Anne (Reston, Virginia)

The great thing about December portrait sessions is that holiday decorations are out, but you can still play in fall leaves. So in one hour, you can get fall photos *and* Christmas photos. How’s that for efficiency? These boys were a total blast to play with. I rolled around in the leaves with them and had almost as much fun as they did. [See more photos of these darling boys]

 

Portrait of a little girl with a stuffed animal
My daughter with her monkey (Reston, Virginia)

Whenever I set up lights to prepare for a photo job, I like to take a portrait of a family member or two. I love this one of my daughter and her monkey.

 

Family portrait in the home (Reston, Virginia)
Family portrait in the home (Reston, Virginia)

This family was preparing to move overseas, so they wanted some photos in the home they would soon be leaving. First we posed for some formal portraits…

 

… and then we let loose for some more casual ones. I think every family needs both kinds of portraits! I love both of these. [See more of this adorable family in their home]

 

Grandparents and grandchildren
My parents with their five grandchildren (Reston, Virginia)

My final portrait of the year was perhaps my favorite all around. On Christmas Day, I set up studio lights in my basement, and photographed my parents with their five grandchildren. We have an extremely close family, and this photo is a treasure for all of us.


I’d like to send sincere thanks to all the families who have trusted me with their portraits. It’s an honor and a joy.

If you enjoyed this year 2018 in review, be sure to check out my portraits portfolio to see highlights from my previous years. I’ve been taking portraits since 2001, and I have lots more I can share! If you’d like me to photograph your family portrait, engagement portrait, headshot, personal branding, or a day in your life, please contact me. I’d love to learn about you!


Related posts:

Another gorgeous year: Some of my favorite scenic photos of 2018

The stories I witnessed over a year: Some of my favorite photojournalism of 2018

Some of my favorite scenic photos of 2017

Some of my favorite scenic photos from 2016

My favorites of the year: Portraits

My favorites of the year: Weddings

Awards: Ten winning photos with the Lifestyle Photographers Association

My portrait galleries and information

 

SHARE
Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.

MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM

  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image
  • MY LATEST ON INSTAGRAM image

BLOG CATEGORIES