Favorite Places to photography people by Jose Rios

Location, Location, Location!


Neabsco Boarwalk

  • The ¾-mile boardwalk traverses Neabsco Creek, allowing hikers access to wetlands where the tall grasses and marsh filter pollution from the river and provide a rich habitat for great blue herons, wood ducks, mallards, sparrow and red-winged blackbirds, just to name a few of the winged wildlife known to populate the area.

    The walkway is part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which was established by Congress in 1983 designating an 800-mile trail network stretching from the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania to the Potomac River, winding through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

    The project is designed to showcase Woodbridge's most valuable natural asset -- the Potomac waterfront – while linking historic landmarks such as Rippon Lodge and Leesylvania Park. The boardwalk will be ADA compliant and will encompass educational sites that highlight information on native wildlife and plants


Leesylvania State Park

is nestled along the tidal shores of the historic Potomac River. Native Americans lived on this land for thousands of years. Capt. John Smith visited the area in 1608 on his voyage of discovery. It's also the ancestral home of Virginia's legendary Lee and Fairfax families. Listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, Leesylvania offers many land and water activities,

including hiking, picnicking, fishing and boating. A universally accessible fishing pier, playground, boat launch, boat storage area, snack bar and store, visitor center and gift shop are available. A 20-station fitness trail and canoe and kayak rentals also are available.


Meridian Hill Park.

LOCATION:16th Street & W Street NW, Washington, D.C.

SIGNIFICANCE:Architecture and landscape design



A Garden Fit for an Aristocrat, Open to the Public

In 1819, John Porter erected a mansion on Meridian Hill. The site was called Meridian Hill because it was on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker, placed on April 15, 1791. In 1829, the mansion became departing President John Quincy Adams' home. After its conversion to a public park, Union troops encamped on the grounds during the Civil War.

The U.S. government purchased the grounds in 1910. Landscape architects George Burnap and Horace Peaslee planned an Italian style garden. The structures made revolutionary use of concrete aggregate as a building material.

Notable Features

  • The thirteen basin cascading fountain is the longest in North America.

  • The Joan of Arc Statue is the only equestrian statue of a woman in Washington, D.C.

  • Dante statue

  • James Buchanan Memorial

Hours: Meridian Hill Park is open during daylight hours.

Fees: Free
Fountain: The pipe that supplies water to the cascade fountain at Meridian Hill Park is broken. A contract has been awarded, and the contractor has already begun to make repairs. However, we will need to replace this cast iron pipe and replace it with ductile iron pipe. The new pipe is expected to last much longer--perhaps even 100+ years. 
The cost and scope of the project has increased due to pipe replacement. We are currently in negotiations with the contractor and expect the work to proceed and be completed in the coming weeks. 
In addition, the upper fountains at Meridian Hill Park, on the great terrace where the Joan of Arc Statue is located, are off due to waterline breaks that connect these two fountains. 

Weddings : Trends & pricing in our area by Jose Rios

Wedding Photography Prices for Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia

Are you searching for an affordable wedding photographer? The average cost of hiring a wedding photographer varies from region to region. According to the knot.com, which surveys brides and grooms every year, wedding costs are on the rise. The national average for wedding expenses is $35,329, an all-time high.

The average cost of a wedding photographer is the Washington DC area is $3200 and approximately $2850 in the Baltimore area. For most couples about 8-10 % of their wedding budget is devoted to wedding photography. For couples on a budget is not always easy to find an affordable wedding photographer but there are options out there if you know what to look for.

For most couples, searching for a wedding photographer is their first experience with hiring a professional photographer. The process can be overwhelming  as there are lots of factors to consider. Of course, a couple wants to find the best wedding photographer they can for their wedding. There is a lot to consider when searching for a wedding photographer. Things such as style, experience, items in the package, level of customer service & assistance are important. There are several styles of wedding photography. Traditional wedding photographers tend to pose couples throughout the day and capture lots of portraits. A photojournalist or documentary wedding photographer will tell the story of the day as the moments happen and will capture a limited amount of portraits. Some photojournalistic wedding photographers will also incorporate some artistic wedding photography. These contemporary photographers tend to be more in demand so their wedding photography rates generally  are higher.

Most wedding photographers will include the digital files so couples can print their own prints. It’s very important to have the images captured in RAW format as it will produce the best quality prints. It’s also important the studio does post processing of your wedding photography images. Some studios include an album as part of the package but for most studios, it’s an a la carte add on. Although an album may be important to a couple its best to hire the best wedding photographer you can and add the album at a later date if there are budget restrictions. An album can always be added but you can make the photos better after the wedding.

Studio size is also important when considering your wedding photographer. Professional wedding photography studios range from the sole operator, weekend warrior, national chains, and mid size local studios. So what’s the best option? A solo operator tends to offer lots of personalized attention but lacks some of the advantages of a larger studio such as backup plans and a staff that specializes certain tasks. Someone who does photography part time may be inexpensive but is not going to have the same amount of experience as a full time professional photographer. They are also less likely to have a backup plan for any unforeseen emergencies. National studios are very impersonal and generic as they do so many weddings they don¹t have time to get to know the couple. They have been called wedding factories as they hire lots of “photographers”  to full fill their orders. There are many working pieces to the studio so like many large organization things get lost in the shuffle and couples tend to get pass along to the next person.  A mid size local photography studio tends to be very invested in their couples as the studio thrives on quality and making their couples happy. Their passion is photography and not just turning out weddings as fast as possible. The key is quality. They generally have a smaller staff so there is lots of oversight and personalized attention to each couple. Couples are brides and grooms not just another number. They also generally have back up plans in case of an emergency as compared to a solo photographer who is on their own.

Why are you so affordable?
We believe that quality photography shouldn’t be reserved for those with only the most extravagant wedding budgets. Our intention is to provide excellent service & products at a fair price in order to work with a wide range of clients planning all types of weddings. From the intimate backyard affair to the high end hotel wedding, we’re always honored to be a part of your most important day.
We hope you will find these wedding photography tips helpful when searching for a professional wedding photographer.

Videography by Jose Rios

I’m attempting to also include videography into the list of services provided and thanks to my twin models, I can show you a couple of videos I’ve vreated.

Josue & Sthefany Wedding by Jose Rios

Friday, December 8th, a day that brought happy tears to all the attendees because the speeches were on point.  Each special friend or family that spoke, did so from the heart! Each had a little bit of funny and lots of heartfelt anecdotes and some very useful advise.   

Sthefany, the bride looked amazing in her beautiful, long white dress.  I really enjoyed spending time with her.




Josue, my nephew and also the groom :-), was himself.  He kept his cool at most times, although I may have seen a tear or two, he mostly kept it light and looked amused.  



I want to thank them both for having chosen me to tell about their wedding thru my photographs.  I am grateful and wish them a life of happiness.

Here comes the bride by Jose Rios

Josue’s and Sthefany’s wedding has been long overdue, i have, for the last couple of years, been wanting to photograph their big day.  I was super excited to be the photographer and said YES without giving it another thought.



The bride, Sthefany

The bride, Sthefany

The groom, Josue

The groom, Josue

I cannot wait for the day of their wedding that although it's being held three hours away from my hometown , in Lynchburg, Va, i will gladly make the trip. 


Product photography by Jose Rios

Dwelling into product photography is just as scary and fun as most other types of photography styles.  I love to keep it fresh so I keep trying different things.


If you have a product to sell or something that has value to you and would like to make it last a very long time, let me know and we'll make it last a lifetime ;-)

Karina & Cesar Dirty 30 by Jose Rios

Thank you for an awesome party guys

The evening started early and from the time we boarded the Party Bus it was a blast! We all had an awesome time and I would have loved to have capture more images but oh well, I'm sure the plenty of Facebook Live sessions will give a sense of what the night was like.  Here are a couple of images I captured at the beginning of the evening.

When you photograph your food, keep these tips in mind by Jose Rios

For foods that are tall, like a triple deck big mac, a tall birthday cake shoot straight on or at about 45 degrees angle.

Straigth On

For foods that are flat or lay flat on your plate, aim at shooting overhead and at or around 75 degrees

Break the rules and shoot the photo just the way you think looks best! Show off your style, after all, it's photo and your reputation ;-) 

What NOT to do on your next photography session by Jose Rios


Avoid anything with logos, graphics, characters, labels, etc. These tend to take the finished look of a professional portrait down a few notches, can be distracting (who wants people to first notice the Nike or Gap logo before the adorable little kid's smile?) and will date a photo quickly.  Note: There are a few instances where a more stylized graphic on a shirt can look good if it fits the vibe of a photo.

If anyone is needing a trip to the salon, be sure to let the hair cut grow out a week or so in order to look most natural.

Don't make everyone wear all the same color; matching is boring and dated. Coordinate colors and looks, letting everyone have their own spin on the color palette (and every person does not-should not-have every color used in the color palette). And please no families all dressed in khaki pants, or all in denim and white shirts.

While trying to stay current and fashionable, do avoid obvious trends that will be dated soon. You can do fashion forward while still remaining timeless.

No bright white socks and no sneakers unless we're talking about something fashion forward and simple like Converse or Vans. And also be sure to remove watches or jewelry not complementary to the session's look

25 Must-have Wedding Photos by Jose Rios

Every wedding is different and every photographer approaches the photographing to his or her style.  The key to an amazing album though, is to not miss the following 25 poses.

  • The Gown 
  • The bride getting ready - putting makeup on, get her hair done, etc
  • The Shoes - Everyone knows the bride spent a good amount of money in them shoes.
  • The Bride's Bouquet 
  • The Groom's Boutonniere
  • Kids having fun
  • The Bridal Entrance
  • Bride and Escort (father) walking down the isle
  • The Couple exchanging vows
  • The Kiss
  • The Couple coming back the isle
  • The Confetti (could be bubbles, rice, rose petals)
  • Portraits of the couple
  • The couple greeting guests
  • The Reception details (start from the smallest details and work the entire room)
  • The First dance 
  • The DJ or band 
  • The father-daughter dance
  • The toast
  • The dance floor
  • The cake
  • The Bouquet toss
  • One private moment (maybe the couple getting into an elevator)
  • Bride and Groom leaving

Newborns vs Chihuahuas by Jose Rios

Photographing newborns is a challenge.  I have done an indoor and one outdoors and both proved to be super hard work.  Carrying lights, props, and a plenty of other things, is not as glamorous as some think it to be.

Today, I photographed my 6 year old Chihuahua and I found out that she may have been a little easier to shoot :-)  Here's a sample of the shoot

Floresita posing as a newborn

Thanks to Nathalie Contreras & Flor Benitez for allowing me to photograph their babies, they are a bundle of joy.



Jazlynn Contreras Lopez by Jose Rios

I had an awesome photographing my niece Jazlynn,