Tracey Attlee Professional Photography Blog

The Attlee Photography blog is written by portrait professional and former White House photographer Tracey Attlee of Attlee Photography in Alexandria, VA and is dedicated to teaching social (and business) clients how to look best in professional photography.

A popular topic on the blog are tips for better wedding photography.  Over the years at weddings we see continuing confusion, often at the "eleventh hour," over where and how to pin on the Groom and Groomsmen's boutonnieres and similar confusion over proper placement of the Bridal veil.  Here are reprints from the Attlee Weddings and Portraits blog with those answers, complete with step by step pictures for reference.

Tip for the Bride on Veil Placement  In the 25 years Attlee Weddings and Portraits has photographed DC and NY brides we’ve seen enough wedding horror stories to write a book. While we are sworn to secrecy, here is one we will tell: the continuing saga of the misplaced bridal veil. Set too high it falls into the bride’s eyes, too low and it falls off of her shoulders, set incorrectly and it takes on curious angles, dangles, sags and tumbles. In a stiff breeze a misplaced veil can blow off into the branches of a nearby tree! 

Save the inelegance and consider this advice from experts: Pamela Vito and her mother Hannelore own the Alexandria, VA bridal shop Hannelore’s, an Old Town institution for the past 29 years. “We recommend our brides leave inserting the veil to their hairdresser. The veil comb is curved to follow the top of the bride’s head, the crown. The veil should be placed high above the mass of the hairdo so it floats down over the bride’s shoulders. Never put the veil below the mass of the hairdo or it will simply follow behind the bride like a tail. The veil is meant to circle around the bride’s shoulders, to hang evenly in front of her. If the bride plans not to wear her veil during the reception we recommend she place a hair ornament, a back piece, just above her hair mass to complement her dress in the back and keep a finished look when she removes the veil for her reception.”

Our photographs below will illustrate Hannelore's major points:  set the hair piece above the mass of the hairdo, set the veil comb at the crown of the bride's head, see the veil encircle the bride's shoulders.  

​​One additional tip is to secure the comb of the veil at the crown.  We've seen some hairdressers secure the veil comb with cross placed bobby pins.  Others make a small ponytail with a little rubber band and secure the comb into that at the crown, the theory being the rubber band will stay in place and not slip.  Again, as Hannelore's recommends, leave this to your professional hairdresser.

Hannelore’s of Old Town is on 106 North Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Tel: (703) 549-0387 Attlee Weddings and Portraits thanks our above model Margot Locker, Ines DiSanto for her gown “Collette”, Erin Cole for this veil “Sparkle” and Hannelore and Pamela Vito of Hannelore’s.

​Tracey Attlee has photographed brides and weddings from northern Virginia and DC to Philadelphia and New York for 25 years and is a former White House photographer in Alexandria, Virginia. Attlee's wedding photography is on the web site

Florist's Secret to Pinning the Boutonniere Kevin Canfield, owner of K Aubrey Flowers in Alexandria, VA, has the best method of pinning on a gentleman's boutonniere we know at Attlee Weddings and Portraits. Not only does it secure the boutonniere very firmly but it hides the sharp end of the pin. 

Kevin's tips are as follows:Center the boutonniere on the gentleman's left lapel so both are parallel. Hold boutonniere with left hand and pin with right hand. (1)Gather fabric of lapel and push pin through lapel and through stem of boutonniere. Go through two layers of fabric, the lapel and the jacket front. That is Kevin's secret for pinning the boutonniere securely. Illustration shows pin on the underside of the jacket front. (2)Weave the pin from the inside of the jacket out to the lapel. For safety, tuck the tip of the pin into the fabric of the lapel. Notice in the illustration, only the pearl end of the pin is visible from the front. (3) "This gives a sophisticated, finished look," Kevin says, "And, with the pin tip hidden, you won't hurt someone when you hug them."

K Aubrey Flowers is located on 1401 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Tel: 800-308-9808 Local Tel: 703-548-9808 Web Site: E mail:

Tracey Attlee of Attlee Weddings and Portraits, Alexandria, VA is recommended for photography of weddings by Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland; The Sulgrave Club, Washington, DC; Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland; Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland; The Cosmos Club, Washington, DC; Kenwood Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland; Ft. Myer Officer's Club, Arlington, Virginia; Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club, Spring Lake, New Jersey; Spring Lake Golf Club, Spring Lake, New Jersey; The Breakers Hotel on the Ocean, Spring Lake, New Jersey. She is a former White House and top wedding photographer in DC, NJ and NY.

If you don't know the right way to hold your wedding bouquet, are wondering how to dress the family for your upcoming portrait session or just want some tips on how to look good in pictures, please check the archives of Attlee Weddings and Portraits blog!  The answers are there for you--with helpful pictures attached--and Tracey updates it frequently:  See you there!

Another popular blog topic:  our newborn baby photography tips especially because we travel to the baby's home for the photography:

DC and No VA Newborn Baby Photography Tips for Moms by Tracey Attlee


What could make a nicer family memory than good quality photographs celebrating the arrival of your new baby?  
No VA newborn baby photographer Tracey Attlee knows its common for newborns to behave differently each day and offers these suggestions for how to get the best set of portraits of your newborn on shoot day:
1.  Feed your newborn 45 minutes before photography to allow time for 20 minutes of digestion to follow the feeding.  This keeps baby happy and sleepy on set and less prone to "accidents."
2.  Keep the baby warm.  Newborn skin is so sensitive baby will alert when it feels temperature changes.  Our wonderful nurse advisor Lynn Kuba suggested we bring hand warmers to pre-warm the the blankets and furs we use for photography on a newborn set.  This works well and is so much easier than worrying about trip hazards from cords or finding a nearby electrical outlet for the heating pad.
3.  Know how to calm your newborn.  Newborns love the warm comfort of Mom and Dad's hands around them.  Be ready to lend your hands to the baby photography effort!
4.  Limit the jostling.  It is fun to dress or swaddle the baby in family heirlooms, christening outfits or grandma's hand knitted blankets but keep the changes down to two or three so baby will be less prone to waking up or crying.
5.  Hire a professional photographer willing to come to your home to photograph your newborn such as Tracey Attlee of Alexandria, VA.  Skip the stress of trying to travel with your newborn because you and your baby will be happier and most relaxed at home!

Photos by Tracey Attlee

Quality DC No VA Weddings Photography, Newborn Baby, Family, Children Senior Portraits, Military Photos

​  .  Tel : (703) 751-1778  .  E Mail: 

Good DC and No VA newborn portraits start with a sleepy baby.  Photo by Tracey Attlee.

Thank You's from Clients of Attlee Weddings and Portraits

Tracey, we are glad to have you as part of our preferred vendors list and cannot thank you enough for meeting with us.  You and your husband truly understand your art form.  Lizzy, Senior Catering Sales Executive and Certified Wedding Planner 

Tracey, it was absolutely wonderful to see your work and we thank you very much for taking the time to come to the hotel.  Your presentation and work was fantastic!  Marisa, Catering Sales Executive 

Tracey, WOW!!  The wedding album arrived today.  It is beyond amazing.  Meg and Jeremy will be thrilled.  I can hardly believe the portrait of Meg on the back porch.  THANK YOU!!!  Rosemari 

Tracey and Todd--Just looked at our wedding pictures and they came out great!!!!!  You guys did a great job!  Thank you, Ruth and Ken  

My colleagues and I were discussing how grateful we were to have you at the event.  I saw how hard you worked that evening.   We appreciate your professionalism and warm personality.  You are definitely someone we would like to work with again with in the future. Thanks again for going above and beyond – I honestly know it was a super busy night for you.  Certified Planner (for a major corporation)  

We just wanted to thank you for having such a great gift certificate program.  We love getting the pretty cards and everyone who's contacted you says it's been really easy.  We appreciate that :-)  Sara (bride to be)  

Thank you, it was a lovely experience.  You certainly are a terrifically experienced professional.  Judith This is fabulous!   You are an amazing artist!  This will be a family treasure! Thank you for your extra attention to make it perfect! Janet (mother of a groom)

We are very grateful for your good work and are eager to find you more business.  Please let us know if a good reference from us would help. You and your husband are an excellent team. You were unobtrusive, seemingly relaxed and yet effective. Your photographs created a lovely and accurate record of the wedding. You "captured the moment" many times over without ever interfering with the natural flow of events. Your technique is an art on many levels!!  Thanks again for your help. We look forward to working with you again.  Best wishes, Lew (father of a bride)

​WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL!!  I have just viewed the wedding pictures you sent yesterday for the umpteenth time and I love them all! Thank you thank you for such wonderful remembrances of our happy time a week ago!  I cannot thank you enough for these fabulous over-the-top photos!  Fran (mother of a bride)

The pictures are GORGEOUS. They are everything i hoped for and more.  Thank you again so much for capturing all the wonderful moments of our wedding.  Stephanie

Dear Tracey,  I wanted to let you know that I received the photo books today. Wow!  The book of pictures from the wedding so far exceeds my expectations.  Seriously, it is beautiful.  I will treasure it for years to come.  Thank you again.  Sincerely, Kevin

Hi Tracey, You will get the highest recommendation from us.   You are a very hard worker, a good communicator and very efficient and dependable.  Your work is gorgeous and your personalities are sweet.  Thank you for always trying to please us.  We will be in touch.Lynn & Jimmy

​Tracey & Todd, What beautiful, stunning, gorgeous pictures I have!!!!!! Thank you for producing some exceptional images.  Just beautiful!  Again, thank you for your exceptional service.  Kevin

Tracey, WOWEEEE !!!!   FABULOUS !!   LOVE THEM !!  THANK YOU !!!You got sooooooooo  many terrific shots.  You captured so many special moments and got great candids of the kids, as well as everyone else. Nice beginning and ending photos. Thanks for getting the Unity Bouquet. And you actually got a couple of little Eliza smiling. Jimmy was not home tonight but I peeked anyway.  I clicked through all the beautiful photos quickly, and wish I had time to ooh and aahh longer.  On Sunday night Jimmy and I will have time to sit down and enjoy re-living our day, thanks to you and Todd.Tracey, thank you for getting these to me so fast!  I am usually the one sending photos to everyone after events and it felt so weird not having any photos.I know you and Todd worked very hard to get all the shots we wanted and I could not be more pleased.A Big Hug, Lynn

Out of all the vendors at the bridal show, where I met Tracey, I liked her professionalism, confidence, straightforwardness and most important, her quality work. She is very flexible, accommodating, articulate and has a warm personality that makes any bride and groom feel relaxed during a photo session. She and her husband Todd work well together as a team that will bring out the best results for the perfect photos. We just finished our engagement photo session last weekend at the park where my fiance proposed to me last year and we enjoyed it very much! We look forward to working with Tracey again for our wedding photo session at summers end and I highly recommend her if you're looking for true quality.  Gloria

​Hi Tracey!  Wow - the photos are WONDERFUL, some making me very misty eyed!  And, what a surprise to get them so soon!  Thanks so much for the detailed organization, too.  I'm sure we'll be in touch about ordering our favorites.  Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!  Lynn (mother of a bride) and Family

Tracey!  What a wonderful surprise!  Our wedding proofs are absolutely amazing. I can't wait for my husband to see them. You exceed my expectations a thousand fold!  Thank you thank you thank you.  Dee

Tracey, I have finally been able to "scrutinize" each and every wedding photo that you and Todd shot. They are beyond my greatest dreams - thoroughly excellent and incredibly comprehensive.  THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.  HeninghamOnce again we could not be more pleased with the work you and Todd did for my daughter's wedding.  Randy

Hello Tracey, I love, love, love all the pictures!!!!!!!!  Thank you so much, you and Todd!!!!! Thanks again, Laura 

As I always say, you ROCK Tracey!  Special Assistant to a longtime client

Tracey a thousand thanks for the gorgeous prints.  Wow!!!  Catering Director of a private DC club

Thanks so much for sending the proofs.  And they couldn't have come at a more timely day, given we just got back from our honeymoon on Saturday.  They look absolutely amazing!!  It will be tough to choose for the final book, but thrilled you were able to take so many beautiful photos. My mother and I were so incredibly happy with how professional and unobtrusive you and your husband were throughout the event.  We will be sure to spread the word to our friends.  All the best, Patti

We picked up the proofs and found all the photographs to be extremely beautiful.  Thank you.  Francis

Thank you so much for photographing our wedding.  The pictures look wonderful, and we received nothing but compliments abut yours and Todd's work at the wedding.  Thank you.  Laura

​The pictures are absolutely marvelous.  Well done!  I was disappointed to not find a picture of my daughter and her brother and then lo and behold there it was!  Beautiful!   How smart of you to read my mind.  Thanks so much to you and Todd!  Dinah My goodness, I am overwhelmed with how wonderful all the pictures are!!  Thank you so much for doing such a great job.  We are so pleased and I have hundreds of "favorites" so far.  I've forwarded them on to friends and family too.  Thank you, thank you!  I just love all the pictures.  

We recommend you to a lot of our brides. I am so happy whenever one books with you because you are the best!  Your passion for weddings is evident in how you capture the love between bride and groom.  We would love to have some of your work for our portfolio!  I thank you in advance for your gracious gift.  Director of Catering for a private Maryland club

WOW!  The photo album is just gorgeous.  I cried when I started looking at it.  It is truly a treasure!  Thank you for your beautiful work. Lisa

OMG - Tracey - these are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for all your hard work.  It shows in these pictures.  Dawn  Just a note to say we are still in "shock and awe" of Meghan and Pat's wedding album.  It is absolutely beautiful and really captures the essence of that wonderful day last year.  We certainly were lucky to have you along for "the ride"!  Please accept our thanks for a job wonderfully well done! Andy and Cheryl

Wow - you are amazing - every time I look at your photos I am just amazed at the things you see that I didn' are gifted....and too generous.  I will display your photos in the lobby by the piano for all of our guests to see your work.  Thank you so very, very much Tracey.  Director of Catering for a private club in Virginia

I received a copy of the DVD slideshow you put together and it's beautiful.  Thanks again for such great, personalized service.  Karen

We received the proofs (a day early!)  We already looked through the book twice and will probably do so again later this evening.  The pictures are simply excellent.  Based on the proofs alone I would highly recommend your services to anyone searching for a wedding photographer.  We are very excited to see your work in creating the book.  I should also pass on that we received much praise from the parents and others on your sincerity and professionalism.  I believe they too will recommend your services to friends (and just wait until they see the pictures).  Thanks again!  Justin & Lindsay

I hired you Tracey because you are so highly recommended.  I didn't want someone to photograph my wedding just because they're a friend of a friend and they have a camera.  Page

I figured it out.  Invite only the people you really care about, not friends of friends.  That will limit the amount of food and beverages you have to serve.  Then, get your maid of honor to talk to the families and friends and let them know they can purchase gift certificates from you toward the wedding photography.  Looking at this finished album makes me so happy.  We paid for these masterpieces because we controlled our guest list and let people know how important good photography is to us.   Everyone should do this!  Stephanie

​Tracey we are so very grateful for you - in that you have given us "forever" memories of our 50th wedding anniversary.  You have been most efficient and considerate of getting them ready for us very quickly.  It has been our pleasure to know you.  Thank you very much.  May God bless you.  Warmest regards, Leanne and Frank

Fantastic!  Thank you so much for your persistence, generosity and artistry.  Fondly, Susan and FredI LOVE looking through the proof book.  It is so fun reliving such a beautiful and special day.  Thank you for capturing it so well for us!  ElizabethTracey it was certainly a great pleasure working with you and I think you did an absolutely outstanding job.  I will definitely be recommending you to our members and member guests on their special event photography needs.  I have reviewed the photos and they are wonderful.  I cannot wait to fill this empty wall space with your gorgeous shots.  Catering Director for a private Virginia club

We cannot thank you enough for the beautiful pictures.  They turned out better than we imagined.  Usually it is hard to get us to truly smile, but every picture was right on. Thank you so much for capturing our wedding so beautifully.  We hope to see you soon.  Love, Alyssa and Jim

We just wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience it was having you both photographing our special day.  We had one of the most exciting days of our lives.  Having you both there made it even more memorable.   Thank you so very much.  Deb and KimI just ordered pictures of the wedding.  They are all absolutely beautiful.  You and your husband did a fantastic job.  Thank you for your fine quality of work and sharing this day with my great son and daughter-in-law.  God Bless You.  Maria

​I'm writing to express my heartfelt thanks for your wonderful photography at our wedding.  You were, without exception, the most professional and reliable vendor we worked with during the entire wedding planning process.  At every turn we found vendors who did not return calls, did not deliver on promises, forgot requests we had made, or were otherwise disappointing.  You, on the other hand, delivered on every commitment, returned every phone call or email, anticipated our every need, and on top of all that, your photographs of our wedding were absolutely beautiful.  At times we joked about asking you if perhaps you would be interested in also providing us with music, flowers, dress fitting and rentals!  You and your assistant really seem to enjoy your work, which made it that much more fun for all of us.  Guests commented on how unobtrusive you were, and how at the end of 9 hours of shooting you still looked fresh and ready to go!  I will wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone planning a wedding in the area in the future.  Please feel free to show copies of our wedding photos to anyone who wants a sense of your work.  Thank you again.  We'll enjoy your photographs for a lifetime! Sincerely, Karen