Shelly Pate

Treasured photos, the spot y’all first met, the path you walk every Saturday morning, the dive bar y’all go to every Friday night… these everyday items and places tell your story.

I’ve always been drawn to the legacy hiding in the everyday moments. The little things that make your relationship yours. Those invisible strings are where I find the timeless magic.

That connection—that became my why, the reason behind my work.

Your Fun-Loving Wedding, Elopement & Boudoir Photographer

I'm Shelly


The beauty in the everyday moments, places, and people that are at the heart of your relationship and your story. 


Say Hello

A snapshot into my life

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my lil family


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My world is definitely centered around my husband Patrick and our two pups Luna & Moose. 

Moose is obsessed with playing ball while Luna is known for sneaking off to chill in the bathtub!

We can all be found cuddled up on the couch having movie marathons, throwing ball, and taking neighborhood walks. These two love to swim so we try to have a least a few lake trips a year! 

my lil family


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I love traveling! I'm so blessed to travel super often documenting AMAZING weddings & elopements! Patrick and I also love to experience new places just for us = ) 

Our favorite spots recently have been The Amalfi Coast, Iceland, and the Pacific North West! 

The amalfi coast


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I am ALL about good food and local specialities. 

Patrick and I have this insanely long list of local DC food spots that we have been working through/ adding to for over 4 years... it may or may not be color coded = ) 

When traveling, we literally plan around where we are going to eat! Our favorite are always those off the beaten path local gems like the amazing punk themed sandwich shop in Rome or the street hotdogs in Iceland. 

hotdogs in iceland

good food

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I grew up right outside of Atlanta and have always loved exploring big cities! New York, Savannah, and Philly are big favorites, but I really love living in DC! 

Talk about variety of fun neighborhoods and good food! There is always something going on. We also get to have day trips out to Shenandoah when we need a little escape! 

Along with local restaurants, I also love margs, craft beer, and trying out new breweries with friends!

philadelphia, PA

 great cities & Good drinks

My Favorite Things

Love love love this girl. She has a gift and if you are lucky enough to have her share it with you, you will be forever grateful.

She captures the raw moments, formal poses, and everything in between. We wanted a more natural, capture the moment kind of photographer and that is exactly what she did. She will be one of the most important aspects of your wedding. She brings a very calm, salt of the earth kind of vibe and I can't recommend her more. I will absolutely use again with pregnancy and children in the future.

Warrenton, VA

Lauren & Brian

Shelly Pate photography is worth every penny!
Shelly is amazing! She has been so accommodating to our needs throughout the pandemic. Shelly was so proactive and flexible that we didn’t have any issues with rescheduling. She not only took care of her scope of work but also coordinated with our videographer to make sure they captured what we wanted. Shelly goes above and beyond what you expect from a vendor. She’s professional, but easy to talk to, and she makes the environment fun and comfortable for her clients. This is on top of the beautiful pictures she produces after each session =) We’re looking forward to working with her and her husband again in a few months!

manassas, va

kristine & Jeremiah

From the moment we first saw Shelly’s photos online, we knew that she was the one! It was great to get to know her prior to the wedding; I think that made the difference in being able to capture who we are.

Skip ahead to our wedding day and OH.MY.GOD. I am blown away by her talent.I have never felt more beautiful than I have in her photos! She truly captured the wonderment of that day (including getting soaked in the rain with us!!!) and I couldn’t have asked for more! THANK YOU SHELLY!

Hamilton, Va

LIV & john

Shelly was amazing! She did our engagement photos and our wedding photos! She is so personable and extremely talented. She was also very flexible and helped us completely restructure our day when surprise scaffolding was put up on our ceremony backdrop!

 On wedding day she went to the hotel, national gallery of art, Jefferson memorial for the ceremony, and then to top of the town for our reception. She took so many amazing photos, and got specific shots that I asked for, as well as moments I didn't even realize were happening! She is incredible. 

washington, dc

megan & dennis

I couldn't believe it is me. I see strength, power, femininity, confidence, and certainty in self that I've fought for years to find. Letting go and loving yourself looks good on anyone, trust me. I could write a book on what this session and the resulting images mean to me, but I'll just say a simple heartfelt "thank you". 

Through this experience, Shelly reminded me who the F I am. 

Hyattsville, md


Shelly is one of THE most amazing and talented Washington DC wedding photographers I’ve ever met.She made me and my fiancé feel at ease and talked us through the whole shoot, so we felt comfortable and were having FUN! 

She had such a way of capturing us so naturally and in our element. She really captured the essence of us as a couple. I cannot recommend her work enough. She is seriously a goddess with a camera. Thank you SO much Shelly, for giving us photos that we will cherish forever.

salt lake city, utah

Jill & Pat

I am over the moon with Shelly's work. From the very beginning, I can confidently say that I was impressed with Shelly's professionalism, portfolio and her ability to be so personable. We reviewed our vision for the big day and Shelly totally understood it. Keeping things intimate, looking for more natural photos and less posing, capturing every guest living their best life. Yep, she got it and accomplished it!

She saw moments that I didn't even register on that big day.  Shelly offered direction to nudge us into action when we were deer in the headlights and then she took a step back when we were "on." I just want to say thank you to Shelly for being there on our big day!

washintgon, dc

Marilyn & Adam

We had an interfaith/cross-cultural wedding, and it was very important that we found someone who could capture the different aspects of our wedding. Shelly nailed it, and we cherish her photos more than we can express.

She just has knack for capturing the authentic love of the couple before her - nothing forced or awkward - just all the good, goofy, and sweet moments. Shelly is a talent, and a pleasure to work with. And shout out to her second shooter husband Patrick, who also does a fantastic job!

washington, dc

Rajni & brian

Shelly's boudoir work is AMAZING! 

Doing a boudoir session is a great way to get out of your own head- throw on some makeup, and step in front of a camera. Boudoir is an exercise in radical self love- saying I am worthy and beautiful. Even if you feel like a *potato* sometimes, you just need to someone to show you yourself through a different lens to see that beauty. 

I cannot recommend doing a boudoir session with Shelly enough! You are worth it girl! 

washington, dc


We loved working with Shelly! We had a non-traditional elopement - we got married in our backyard without any guests. Our plans changed a few times, but Shelly was always available to answer any questions and helped us create the best day. We ended up doing portraits at the arboretum before a private ceremony in our backyard - and all the pictures are AMAZING!!! We felt super comfortable from the moment we started taking pics with Shelly.

We ended up with a ridiculous number of beautiful pictures. We are SO SO SO happy we used Shelly and would highly recommend her as an exceptional wedding photographer.

washington, dc

kathryn & simon


You Deserve the best

This is your big love & this day is only going to happen once. I'll be there for it all, capturing raw emotion and all your beautiful moments as they unfold naturally so a lifetime from now, you can feel it all over again. This is gonna be anything but a staged, forced photo experience. 

Contact me