Wedding photography is my full-time career, and I dedicate my craft to just 30 couples each year so I can provide each couple with the personalized experience they deserve. I'm an Annapolitan born and raised currently residing in Columbia, and I love being at the center of the Baltimore - D.C. metro area! I'm drawn to the Bay as well as big cities - being a Maryland photographer is really the best of both worlds!
Ever since I picked up a camera for my high school's newspaper at the age of sixteen, I knew that photography was the journey for me. I immediately built my business after I graduated from Towson University in 2012 with my B.A. degree in Art + Design: Photo Imaging.
When I'm not shooting weddings, editing or doing all the CEO-esque tasks of running my business, you're most likely to find me rocking out at a concert, ordering waaay too much food at a restaurant just to try a little bit of everything, or hopping on a plane to try to complete my very long travel bucket list. My favorite way to end an evening is to enjoy a fine glass of whiskey and play a board game with my boyfriend, Jason. (Our current fave is Wingspan.) I HAVE to fall asleep every night to The Office (I will stream it on my cell phone in a hotel room if I have to) and I probably love celebrity gossip a little too much.
My approach to photography is simple - preserve the emotions. One thing I love hearing from my couples after they have received their wedding gallery is "it was like I was reliving my wedding day all over again!" Because isn't that the point of wedding photography? I love creating images that put you right back into one of the best days of your lives, and maybe even make you shed some happy tears as you relive those moments. (Sorry, I'm not sorry!)
In my 11 year career as a wedding photographer, I have captured over 300 weddings all over the DMV area. My work has been featured in many local wedding magazines and blogs like What's Up? Weddings, My Eastern Shore Wedding, Charm City Wed, Frederick Weddings, and Bayside Bride. I have been awarded WeddingWire's Couples' Choice Award for seven years in a row and awarded The Knot's Best of Weddings for six years in a row; putting me in The Knot's Hall of Fame.
This coming 4th of July we will be celebrating 6 years together! And yes, we did meet at a wedding, but it wasn't until 1.5 years later when we were both single that Jason put a heart on my profile picture...
and then I made my move.
He is the co-owner of District Remix, and I just love how we both are passionate about bringing our talents and creativity to a couple's wedding day.
So much so, I plan vacation itineraries based on where I want to eat in that city. I'm a fan of pretty much all types of food, and of course being a Marylander I love seafood! (There's literally nothing better than a crab feast on a summer day.) But asian food is my weakness. My favorite meal of my life so far was at Nobu in Malibu. I'm also a big fan of swanky cocktail bars and speakeasies.
Yup. I'm a sucker for the Jonas Brothers and have been since 2007 when I saw them perform live. Ever since, I have seen them on every single tour they've been on - together and solo careers too. Joe is my favorite because he's just so funny and quirky. In 2019, I splurged on a meet and greet and B-Stage Bar seating and that was one of the best concert experiences ever.
While the Jonas Brothers hold a very special place in my heart, my favorite band ever is actually Foster The People!
My love and passion for photography began about 17 years ago when I picked up a camera for my high school's newspaper. I fell in LOVE with capturing people and moments, and I knew immediately that I was going to college to not only study, but major in photography - big dreams on the horizon!
While I knew photography was my jam, I wasn't sure where I was heading with it. That all changed when I snagged front row seats to a Jonas Brothers concert and saw the photographers pack into the photo pit. I watched them capture such epic moments - and so I set my sight on concert and band photography.
While in college, I worked a seasonal full time job as a supervisor for Kodak at Six Flags America. For two seasons, I managed a large team of photographers throughout the park
that captured the guests' memories. I learned so much about the hospitality industry and how to manage a team and push them to strive towards company goals.
After graduating from Towson University in May of 2012 with my B.A. in Art + Design: Photo Imaging, Christa Rae Photography was born.
"2007 Christa" had her dream come to fruition, while on an incredibly wild ride photographing live music and bands for four years straight - simultaneously balancing a full time job, and building my wedding photography business. During this time, I was the venue photographer for Rams Head Group and co-owned a music blog. Both of these avenues gave me access to photograph incredible performers like Imagine Dragons, John Legend, Ellie Goulding, The Black Keys, Avicii, Josh Groban, Twenty One Pilots, Iggy Azalea, Boyz II Men, FUN., Zedd, Slash, OneRepublic, Panic! At The Disco, New Kids On The Block, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and hundreds more. I won "Rammie" awards from the Rams Head Group for my photos of Kesha and Gavin DeGraw taken at their venue, Pier Six Pavilion. In 2013, I had my full circle moment of photographing the Jonas Brothers (just a few weeks before they broke up!!). Welcome 2016; I knew this wasn't my path anymore. There was little to no interaction with the clientele I was capturing, and the demand for photo releases' from the artists, along with the general stigma of being a female in that industry weighed on me. After wrapping up a Shawn Mendes concert, I knew what my next move was, and fully committed myself to weddings.
These memories are a big part of who I am, and are a stepping stone to how I am able to photograph incredible moments in fast paced environments.
I worked full time for a national photo lab in the Baltimore area as a customer service representative. During my time there, I was promoted from a representative, to a supervisor, to a manager. I learned so much about how to provide amazing customer service as well as a lot about how to process and edit images for high quality printing. A co-worker of mine told me that with how well I shot concerts, I should really consider shooting weddings, too. I decided to give some second shooting gigs a try, and he was right - I absolutely loved it!
After shooting my first wedding as 'Christa Rae Photography', I set my eyes on the prize, focusing the majority of my business on weddings.
With my sole focus on wedding photography, my business has flourished, and I'm overjoyed to have created a full-time career out of what I was made to do!
It's incredible being my own boss! On the weekdays, I love working in my home office editing images and connecting with my couples during the week. It's so fun when engagement sessions have me exploring parts of cities and towns and parks with couples on various evenings. And what's not to love about photographing weddings? It is one of the most joyous, fun and meaningful days of a couple's life!
There's nothing more emotional than a couple exchanging their personal written vows with each other one on one, especially after a first look. You can also do this without a first look - we will just have a wall or door separating you two and you can hold hands as you read the vows to each other without the pressure of every guest knowing your inside jokes.
Putting on the dress with mom. First look with dad. Sister helping with the veil. Brother tying your bow tie. Dancing with your parent to "Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift. You and your friends tearing it up on the dance floor. Your best friend since elementary school shedding tears as you marry your other half. I love it all and live to document these most precious moments of the day between you and your people.
After we've taken the classic formal line up of your wedding party, let's get the party started! I love lining your wedding party up in a sports tunnel fashion so you and your significant other can have your moment with your closest friends and have them hype. you. up!
My favorite part is sneaking the couple away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding day for their portraits. Typically, this is one of the only opportunities couples get to soak it all in together and meanwhile, we are creating beautiful images and memories for the two of you.
From epic twirls and dips to a slow tear filled sway as you soak it all in, I just love this moment at every wedding. It's so cool to hear which song couples select for their first dance, as this song will be meaningful to the two of you for the rest of your lives.
From fancy getaway cars to bubbles...
The energy of your favorite people sending you off at the end of the night is unmatched, and I love the opportunity to create even more magical moments!
Whether you want to stage one with just your wedding party or want the true exit at the end of the night, this is a moment not to miss having captured!