Shelly Pate

capturing love stories worldwide

The Pate

This is the big stuff. Celebrating what matters most in meaningful places. Forest or field. Backyard or city streets. Rooftop or even a freakin’ mountaintop. Just you two or your closest friends and family. I love working with couples who make their own traditions, embrace their vibe, and let their personalities shine!

And me? I’ll be there from the minute you choose me as your photographer, helping to guide you through this process so everything is chill as possible, organized, and catering to what you two  value most . While I'm photographing you, I'll be guiding you two to interact and move naturally together, documenting exactly how y'all are when you are simply being yourselves. ‘Cause when we get rid of the big production and fake poses, we uncover what really matters here—celebrating your love your way. 




We’ll get to know each other and see if we are a great fit! Every wedding is so unique and I cannot wait to hear all our ideas, get to know you two, and your story!! We are going to have FUN, let your personalities shine, and create a freakin amazing experience that you two will hold onto for the rest of your lives. 

It is not just about the wedding day, it is celebrating everything leading up to it! That’s why almost all of my couples choose to invest in their entire journey through engagement photos together and a boudoir session for her before their wedding day. 

 I work with couples who want to see themselves in their photos. Who want to feel all the magic of their day a lifetime from now. Your wedding day is an anchor in our story. 

2021 is almost completely booked, so don't hesitate to reach out! 

1. Say Hello

As soon as you can, let's reserve your date!

Your memories deserve the best. I take on a limited number of weddings each year so that I can give my ALL to my clients and create THE best experience for them.

Unlike many of your wedding vendors, there is only one of me! I book 6-12 months in advance for weddings.

I am currently booking through 2022, and have very limited availability for 2021, so let's chat!! 

2. reserve your date asap!

Almost every couple I work with does an engagement session! This is a special time in your lives that is worth documenting. 

Think of this like your best date day! We'll explore your favorite spots and capture those magical, everyday moments that represent you in a genuine way. This is a relaxed, fun way to celebrate your engagement. And bonus: You’ll get all those camera shy feelings out before the big day. (Believe me, everyone has them!) 

3. engagement session

I believe that every woman should do a boudoir session at least once in her life. This experience showcases the real. The authentic. The crazy beautiful. The loving. The accomplished. The sexy. The woman you are. The everything that is you and has brought you to this point in your personal journey. 

What better time to take these can before your wedding!? You get a day of pampering and we can even incorporate it into a bachelorette  celebration! Bonus: you can gift an album to your partner as a wedding present! 

My top priority is to help you see these things yourself: confident, empowered, beautiful. I want you to feel like you can conquer the world, because babe, you can.

4. boudoir session

I'm here to guide you throughout the your wedding experience- starting day one of planning! 

Crafting your custom timelines, location suggestions, how to incorporate your personalities- I'm here for it all! So that your day is connected to your story.  

My clients get exclusive wedding planning guides leading up to their big day! 

5. ask me anything

This is gonna be a way different. 

But hey, I think you know that different is good. Chasing that meaningless poses or —stressful—wedding vibes? Yeah, not for me. I’m guessing not for you either. I'll be guiding y'all throughout the day, documenting moments as they happen naturally.  I celebrate the realness of your relationship. It’s not like the movies- its so much fucking better.

I’m here for it all—the happy tears and legit vows, the furry ring bearers and wildflower bouquets. Show me your Beyoncé moves on the dance floor and then detour to your favorite burger joint. Feel all the feels, confident that I’ll be there to capture every awesome minute of it.

Take a look at the galleries of my work to see what I’m all about.

6. wedding day

Within 8 weeks of our wedding day, I’ll deliver your digital gallery. 

You’ll be able to download images in high resolution, share with loved ones, and order timeless prints, albums, and canvases. I’ll keep you updated throughout the post processing time, I know how much you are anticipating those beauties! 

I CANNOT wait to deliver your photographs so y’all can relive your day over & over! 


7. Photographs

1 2 3 4 5 6 7



heirloom artwork • priceless

average collection $7500

Weddings & Elopements from $4000

Your love is an epic adventure. It deserves the best. I believe in telling your WHOLE story, so I don’t offer “by the hour” packages. That means I’m there to document the big stuff—the first kiss!—and those magical in-between moments. Years from now, you’ll be able to remember the smell of the mountain air and the butterflies in your stomach as you exchanged vows because of your photos.

The details

Say Hello


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


I cannot wait to hear all about your story, personalities, and dreams! Say hey with the form below! 

To Hear from you!