Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer serving DC, VA & Worldwide. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali Photography is a wedding & couples' photography business based out of Washington D.C. and Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or editing for the fastest turnaround time you ever did see, you might find her with family & friends at a vineyard with cheese & rosé to share! Cheers!!
I had the amazing opportunity (ahem excuse) to go down to Charlottesville this past weekend to photograph SIX amazing friends hoo will be graduating this coming month!! I loved being able to spend the time with them and their families to take some pictures of them around the Lawn & Rotunda that I know they’re going to look back upon and remember ALL their memories around Grounds in the future. There’s SO much that’s going to be changing in their lives within the next couple of months but I’m so glad that they have these memories capture to mark everything that they have accomplished within the last four years at the university that they can reflect on and be proud of before they launch into “the real world.”
I know your families, siblings and friends are all super proud of you guys for everything that you’ve done over these past four years, but really take some time to celebrate that!!! I know when I graduated I kind of just launched into the next big thing and just felt like graduating was something simple that I was checking off the list before going to the next thing, but when you stop for a second you realize that it’s actually a MAJOR milestone in your life! Four years is a long time!! Think about the person you were who was sitting on the Lawn during your commencement speech. My guess is that it’s a stronger, more independent, wiser, intelligent, funnier, more well-rounded, accomplished, self assured person that’s going to be in that seat facing Old Cabell after walking down the Lawn come graduation day. Think about all the late night study sessions, the hours in class, the number of group projects and presentations, the problem sets and papers and everything that you tackled among the thousands of emails and messages between those two sets of days! Think about the hundreds of hours spent supporting Relay for Life, A.O.E., Global Water Brigades, IM sports, Bhangra (!!!), and Research Lab! These girls have so much to be proud of and I’m so honored that they had me capture such an important milestone in their lives <3
The first ones are of Neha who I’ve gotten to know through Bhangra at UVA! She joined the team during my fourth year and became one of the most involved people on the team despite being so new! This girl will do anything that she sets her heart to and has overcome so much and still has such a positive and fun attitude literally every day and even during super grueling practices. I know that her determination and spirit is gonna take her places and I can’t wait to see it happen!
YAASSSS that champagne sprayyy, what a pro!!!
These two girls are SO much fun!!! They’ve been inseparable for almost the whole time I’ve known them and I was not at all surprised that when Erika reached out she told me Julia and her wanted pictures together because obviously roomies need pictures together!! I first came to know Erika through Bhangra (are we even surprised about this) but actually got to know her better and meet Julia through A.O.E.!! You would always find them together giggling just like below during chapter and even while working on problem sets (that would make my head hurt if I stared at them) in Nau hall on any given day. Although the engineering curriculum is super tough and I hundred percent attest to this, it’s kind of amazing because at the end of the day, you end up with not just an engineering degree but a best friend for life. I’m speaking about this from personal experience but if you don’t believe me Erika & Julia are my picture example seen below hahahhaha 😀
I actually met Joumana on the day of her shoot and THIS GIRL is the sweetest soul you’ll ever meet!! And not only is she so sweet, she is so fun as well <3 Look at that laugh!! I had been following her on Instagram and got the sense that she was super artistic and this was confirmed within seconds of her shoot when I saw her grad cap!! It is an actual piece of art, I told her to frame it hahahaha I’m SO glad she had me take her pictures and it was amazing to meet her in person finally!! I asked her what she considers her style and she said elegant and polished and she could not be more accurate!!!
Best cap ever award goes to her, she made that guys!!
I met Jontell about two years ago at a random coffee date at Pigeon Hole after emailing back and forth a bit realizing that we were both photographers with kind of similar styles that went to UVA! What I thought would be a quick conversation over coffee turned into sitting for TWO HOURS at Pigeon Hole talking about literally everything photography related! She was immediately someone that I looked up to since she had her business registered and was shooting weddings on her own might I add AS a college student! Can you say girl boss?? I got the opportunity to second shoot a wedding with her and that’s when I really started to become good friends with her and after that it’s been hundred of messages back and forth on Facebook, Instagram, and text about all things photography and business related. She is my number one go to for any kind of advice or questions or venting or throwing ideas out there. These last couple of months would have been so much more difficult and lonely without these and honestly I don’t think I’d be as far into my business and making as much progress without the help of this girl. I could go on for days but I’ll just leave it that I LOVED coming full circle getting to take HER graduation portraits about a year after she took mine!! I’ll you at graduation but I am literally SO excited for you to take on this next chapter of your life as you find a job, then go to grad school and then go full time with your photography business!
We started off Jontell’s senior session at Jefferson Vineyards which was THE MOVE!! We got some cute pictures in the mountains and by this gorgeous tree <3 And I got to surprise her with a little gift fitting for a vineyard session!!
And of course we got some of those classic shots on the Lawn in her cap & gown!
She decorated her champagne bottle, how cute is that?! AND she had a sign for her parents, soo thoughtful!
I ended up taking Alivia’s photos on Sunday morning last minute and I am SOO glad that I was able to!! I actually met Alivia when she came to an information panel about A.O.E. and I remember immediately knowing that she was just the perfect fit for the sorority and I knew she was going to get in!! What I didn’t realize at the time was that she would end up becoming my LITTLE!!! And I am SO lucky to have gotten her because even though she’s wayyy smartier, funnier, spunkier than I am, she’s my height so I always borrowed her clothes because obviously she has the better sense of style!! She always kept it real with me (my favorite quality of hers), comforted me when I was freaking out about internships and finding a job, shared a deep love of food and coffee (duh), and was there to give me hugs on E-Way and tell me to go home and get some sleep on those rough days. I was so happy to be able to hang out with her to take her graduation portraits and catch up after so long <3
^ If there had to be ONE picture to describe this girl I’m pretty sure this would be it
And of course we ended on E-Way because we all know that’s where we actually spent 99% of our time, not on the Lawn hahhaha 😀
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