The Scoop: The idea of having engagement or wedding photos taken may drum up anxiety for some couples. That’s where seasoned photographer Adam Mason can make all the difference by bringing out the true spirit of couples’ relationships. Adam specializes in helping people get comfortable, be themselves, and look great while doing it. He and his talented team have more than a decade of shooting experience in Washington, D.C.
When a couple books a session with photographer Adam Mason, the first thing he does is start making them feel comfortable. Whether they come to him for engagement photos, weddings, or any other reason, Adam wants to instill confidence in them that will shine through in the images.
“Our biggest goal is to get you comfortable, and then once you are, that’s when we’re shooting. We want to feel you out a little bit,” Adam said. “It’s a collaborative effort so you can look and feel your best.”
Adam and his team of professional photographers are based in Washington, D.C., and have been shooting families and couples for more than 10 years. Engagement sessions start with advice about outfits, hair, makeup, and locations so the couple can feel confident and creative — even if they’re not models.
The day begins with everyone walking around a favorite location. The photographer is looking for the most flattering light and chatting and walking with the couple to help them relax and feel more comfortable, Adam said.
For a wedding day, the photography team will stay in the background to capture the relationship and record the day in a documentary style that allows everyone to be themselves.
It’s not always easy for people to be their genuine selves in front of a camera, especially with so many expectations of perfection that arise from modern-day social media. However, many of Adam’s clients aren’t interested in that cookie-cutter vibe, anyway.
“They want something with more moments, passions, color, and vibrance. We provide that for them,” Adam told us. “If you like to have fun and have a colorful personality, you’re one of our clients.”
A Business That Began as a Passion
Adam said he first picked up a camera more than a decade ago during a challenging time in his life. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after leaving college and traveling overseas to do humanitarian work. That’s when he saw a photographer taking pictures of people who had never seen a photo of themselves before.
“He showed them that they had value, and they mattered, and they had a purpose. That was powerful for me,” he said. “Ever since I saw that, I wanted to get into it, even just as a hobby, but I have an addictive personality: Once I decide I want to be good at something, I go for it.”
He combined his experience in tech, having worked as a software trainer for Apple, with his love of connecting with others. People were soon asking him how much he charged for his work, and he quickly booked his first wedding. The couple loved how the photographs captured their relationship, and his business took off.
Adam said he especially enjoys working with families and couples whose traditions varied from his experiences growing up. He and his team currently shoot about 50 weddings a year.
“I love weddings. I love people, and I have a curiosity to photograph them,” he said. “My camera helps me see the world differently, and it helps me empathize with so many different peoples, groups, and missions.”
Adam and His Team Work With a Diverse Group of Couples
Many couples dream of the perfect, Martha Stewart-style wedding, but Adam said most of his clients are ready for something different. He and his team work with clients of all genders, ethnicities, faiths, and relationship types. Most range in age from 25 to 40, and most want to see the world.
Adam said he especially loves working with couples who are joining together from different cultures.
“Outside of that, I love watching people become themselves on the dance floor and have a good time. I joke that I give people permission to be someone who would be nervous they would get fired from their job the next day,” he said. “It’s a place to be themselves and have fun.”
That comfort level is especially evident after Adam and his team work with them during an engagement session. The wedding is mostly shot documentary style with a few traditional portraits that families can cherish for generations. Adam considers it an honor to provide the service that will last long after the flowers, cake, and music.
“It’s my job to introduce these people to the world through photos,” he said. “I better do a great job with that, so it’s something we take incredibly seriously.”
Adam Mason: Small Weddings Offer Intimate Opportunities
Like many wedding-related businesses, Adam’s company has seen business slow down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he has been lucky because many couples he’s worked with have decided not to postpone their nuptials but instead have smaller, more intimate ceremonies and receptions.
That shift often frees up their budgets, so they can invest more in photography and video services to document the occasions. Livestream weddings have become increasingly popular, he said.
Other couples have booked boudoir shoots or engagement sessions that they might not have otherwise. In such a challenging time, many clients have found that working with Adam and his team helps them have fun while alleviating their fears. He said it’s his personal goal to help people feel better about themselves and their relationships through photography.
“I want them to have no fear with who they are and who they are becoming. I photograph all kinds of couples, of all shapes, sizes, colors, occupations, and genders,” Adam said. “My goal is to make people feel not just welcomed but wanted, because feeling wanted is so empowering. They deserve to have their story told.”
Adam said that philosophy helps him connect deeply with more clients. One wedding he shot early in the fall was such a success that he said he received an invitation for him and his wife to join the family for Thanksgiving dinner. He joked with his team that becoming part of the family was now the new goal.
“I always hoped that all my clients and I could be friends,” he said. “We want to feel fun to be around. Now, lots of moms ask us to Thanksgiving.”