A Belle Isle Engagement Session

Sarah & Erik

Just a quick walk over the Belvedere Street pedestrian bridge, you’ll find yourself in Belle Isle, and in a completely different world than the downtown Richmond you left! Belle Isle may be just a 20 minute walk over the bridge but with its beautiful tree lined paths, open fields, and gorgeous river views, you may forget you’re so close to the city. Not only does Belle Isle have a little something for everyone (biking? hiking? climbing? check!) but if you’re looking for access to the James River, Belle Isle has tons of river-flattened rocks to climb on, jump in from, or just lay on to soak up the sun :).

Sarah, Erik, and I met at the Tredegar Parking lot (located at the base of the bridge) to meander over to Belle Isle together. The beautiful spring weather did NOT disappoint. Because let’s be honest. It’s only spring for about 4 days a year in RVA :-p.

Can I just say how fun are these two??? I mean, honestly. First of all, they could not stop giggling around each other. They were legit giddy the whole session! Like when Erik would kiss the top of Sarah’s head and she’d get buried in his beard. Or when they were dancing and Sarah spun Erik. Or when they would just look at each other and bust out laughing! Every little thing they did – every head tilt and glance, every kiss and embrace – led to huge grins, giant laughs, and a little glimpse into this sweet couple’s love for one another.

Sarah and Erik, the two of you fit so perfectly together and I adored capturing a small piece of your love story. I absolutely cannot wait for your big day at the Poe Museum next month!!

A Japanese Gardens Engagement Session

Monica & Roland

This week I had the pleasure of photographing Monica and Roland in Maymont Park’s Japanese Gardens. Both aficionados of Japanese culture, this sweet couple was excited to find themselves amongst the Japanese Gardens’ gorgeous maples and its Azalea bushes, bamboo stalks, hosta plants, and cedar and dogwood trees. AND the Japanese Gardens at Maymont feature a stunning waterfall which flows from the Italian Gardens above down underneath a gorgeous wooden bridge (one of its many highlights!) Next to the bridge, you’ll find a Zen rock garden and just a few short stone steps away you can skip across a large pond filled with giant koi fish! If you’re looking for a taste of Japan right here in Richmond, Virginia, the Japanese Gardens at Maymont Park truly feature everything you could ever want and more :).

From the very beginning of their session, I could tell that my time with Monica and Roland was going to be a beautiful showcase of the love these two share. The two of them are simply perfection in front of the camera (as I think you’ll see below)! They made my job beyond easy as they held each other close, clasped their hands together, whispered sweet nothings back and forth, and shared intimate, quiet moments together…in between the giggles :-D.

I loved being a fly on the wall to observe as Roland would sweep Monica‘s hair behind her ear, or the way she threw her arms around his neck to pull him in close. The two of you are so incredibly sweet and caring with one another. If you continue to show as much affection to one another throughout your lives, you are truly in for a blessed marriage. Here’s wishing you a lifetime of infectious smiles and never ending laughter and love ❤.

A Gravelly Point Engagement

Audrey & Sam

When I asked Audrey and Sam about their perfect location for their engagement session, one particular spot came to mind – Gravelly Point Park. Gravelly Point is a beautiful park overlooking the Washington Monument just south of the river in Washington, DC. Gravelly Point is also a super unique place since it’s located right at the end of the runway of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and affords an *amazing* opportunity to stand underneath the planes as they fly overhead. (SO FUN – seriously – check out some of the shots below! (And yes, I was lying on my back to grab those ;-).) Gravelly Point also happens to be oozing with special meaning for Audrey and Sam! Located just a few short minutes from their apartment, for these two, Gravelly Point has been the site of many bike rides, runs, and dog walks throughout their relationship, and the place where Sam proposed back in July! Was there really any better location to capture the love these two share?? I think not!

Sam is one of my husband’s closest friends from college. In fact, they were roommates during their undergrad and Masters programs at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Not only that, but when I graduated from undergrad and moved in with my now-husband, Sam became my roommate, too! And honestly, how much fun is it to get to photograph a friend who you’ve known so well over the years?!

Sam brought Audrey into our lives a few years ago and we couldn’t have been more thrilled for our wonderful friend to have found the one who brings him so much joy <3.

Sam and Audrey, I’m so glad I was able to see you both this weekend, catch up, and get behind the lens to capture your love. I can’t wait to photograph your gorgeous fall wedding at the Carnegie Institute of Science this November!!


A Belle Isle Engagement Session

Emily & Freddy

Waaaayyyy back in November when my brand new website launched (hooray!), I ran a contest for a *free* engagement session for one lucky couple…. tons of super sweet couples entered for the chance to win…and I’m thrilled to say that Emily and Freddy were the lucky two who were selected! YAY Engagement session!

These two could not have been more adorable (although I may be biased since they reminded me a whole lot of me and my darling hubby, Jonathan!) High school sweethearts, Emily and Freddy met during their school’s musical production of “Fiddler on the Roof” (ok…maybe not so like me and Jonathan :-p) and have been together long distance since beginning college. And they continue to be long distance while planning their wedding, with Emily recently moving to Charlotte for a new job while Freddy completes his degree at Virginia Tech.

Their Engagement Session

While it may have been below freezing during their engagement session on Belle Isle, these two certainly knew how to keep warm!! From long embraces to fabulous dance twists and turns, and a few acrobatic  moves mixed in there, they kept each other (and me) on our toes and moving :).

If you haven’t been, Belle Isle is a GORGEOUS photography spot in the heart of Richmond on the James River. Located just a short (ok semi-long?) walk across the James, it features a fantastic assortment of backdrops – plenty of bridge/river/rock areas, a large open field, a few metal buildings/structures, overhead bridges, and wooded areas – not to mention a gorgeous, sweeping view of the Richmond city skyline if you’re brave enough to venture onto the river rocks (don’t worry, images below!) It’s definitely a perfect session location for those looking for a little bit of everything right in the heart of downtown Richmond!

Emily and Freddy, the two of you were such a joy to photograph. Your love for one another is so beautiful and pure, and I am so grateful to have been able to share this beautiful (albeit cold!) day with you <3. Here’s hoping to see you in Richmond again very soon!

Baby C is on the Way!

Jonathan and I have got some GREAT BIG NEWS to share!


After 14 incredible years together, 5 blissful years of marriage, and 2 adorable fur baby kitty cats, we’re adding a little bundle of joy to our lives!

We’ve decided that finding out we are pregnant just wasn’t ENOUGH of a surprise…so on top of that, we’re going Team Green and waiting until our little one’s arrival to find out if Baby is a he or a she! “Peanut” – as we have affectionately dubbed Baby Cap – should be making his/her debut some time in mid-March 2018 and we couldn’t be more excited!

And of course, what better way to celebrate the growth of our family than through our OWN professional photography session?! There’s nothing like being a professional photographer yourself and realizing the most recent images you have with the person you love most in the world are your wedding photos from over 5 years ago. I was thrilled when Arika Shelest of Arika Jordan Photography agreed to drive all the way from North Carolina to capture our excitement at our little one’s arrival :). Thank you for being so phenomenal and making the trek, Arika!!

To my amazing clients – I am so so so excited to capture all of your joyous moments and occasions in 2018! Assuming our little guy or gal sticks close to his/her expected arrival, I will be taking some time off in March and April, but I will be back up and running in May :).

We are BEYOND grateful to our family and friends who have already shown us such unbelievable love, generosity, guidance, and support during this beautiful time in our lives. Jonathan and I are the luckiest people in the world to have each and every one of you by our sides and we are so excited for Peanut to meet you all!




Angela & Spencer || A Maymont Park Couple’s Session

Sometimes the most last minute sessions prove to be the most fun :).

Angela contacted me a few weeks ago to inquire about my availability just a few short days later. She and her longtime boyfriend, Spencer, both originally from California, were coming to Richmond for the Marine Corps Ball at the Richmond Convention Center. SO FUN!

Spencer had recently joined the military and so this was going to be their very FIRST Marine Corps Ball together. Not only that, but these lovebirds have been dating for quite a while and had never had their photographs taken together professional! Ergo – they wanted to make sure to do the whole experience juuuuust right :). Completely decked out in GORGEOUS makeup by Avenue 42 and an absolutely stunning red dress, Angela looked BEYOND amazing! Not to be outdone, her fabulous beau wowed in his Marine dress attire looking quite sharp :).

I had a fabulous time hanging out with these two in the Italian gardens at Maymont Park – one of my favorite places to photograph in all of Richmond. Between the gorgeous architecture and columns, the blooming roses, the wrought iron gazebos that LITERALLY look like they belong in a fairy tale – what more could you ask for in a location?? I was thrilled when the adorable couple decided there was no better place for them to capture such a momentous occasion!

Angela and Spencer, I’m so grateful that the stars aligned for me to be able to photograph you during your super short stay in Richmond. While the East Coast may be a little bit colder than what you had been anticipating, I hope my beautiful city treated you well while you were here and that you have a lifetime of memories from your first Marine Corps Ball to take with you <3.

I hope to see you both back in Richmond for another fabulous Marine Corps Ball next fall!


Carli & Rafy || A Downtown Richmond Engagement Session

Simply put, Carli and Rafy are perfect for each other.

As they told me in their own words: “From date #1 it was a whirlwind romance spent learning about each other and bonding over a shared love of humor and making people laugh.” And I can truly say their love is like a blanket that surrounds and wraps the two of them together. And as for making people laugh? Well, keep reading :-p.

Not only that, but these two are serious romantics at heart. For his proposal, the two went out salsa dancing one night (I know, right??) and came home to an apartment FILLED with roses. (Again, I KNOW, RIGHT???) And even though Rafy forgot his line :)… Carli said yes anyway!

Words can’t describe the beautiful, playful aura that surrounds these two when they are together. They were seriously giddy like school children during their entire engagement session. Although, to be fair, I think that’s just how excited and cutesy they are with one another at all times :-p. I’m honestly not even sure what kept us in stitches, but throughout our entire session the three of us sent out continuous peels of laughter into Libby Hill Park and the surrounding Church Hill neighborhood. It’s honestly hard to keep from smiling just being around their love <3.

Carli and Rafy, I am so so so happy that I got the opportunity to photograph your engagement session and ECSTATIC to photograph your May wedding in 2018! Bring on the food, friends, and fun 🙂

Emily & John’s Maternity Session

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Emily and John as they prepare for the arrival of their sweet little one due in January! We had an absolutely gorgeous afternoon wandering around the Japanese and Italian gardens of Maymont Park.

It’s hard to pick a “bad” location to photograph in Maymont. With its gorgeous flowing waterfall, stunning bridges, columns and various architectural elements, rolling hills, and changing leaves – you really can’t go wrong. That said, when you wander around Maymont with John (who used to location scout for films) it is IMPOSSIBLE to go wrong! I loved how I went into the session with a plan in mind of the best locations to use and every time I turned around he would be 2 steps ahead of me, seeking out the best possible light – talk about a phenomenal assistant!

Emily and John, I had a wonderful time hanging out with you both and capturing these sweet moments for you. I can’t wait to spend even more time with you in the new year, photographing Baby B.’s newborn session when he arrives!



James & Trenton || A Brown’s Island Engagement Session

Ya know when you meet someone and just immediately fall in love?

That’s exactly how I felt when I met James and Trenton.

I mean, I’m sure that’s how they felt about EACH OTHER, too… but…

OK, seriously! The minute we sat down for our first meeting I KNEW that I wanted to photograph these two beautiful souls, their effervescent love, and their gorgeous, rustic, mountainside wedding day!

James and Trenton met several years ago at the Barnes and Noble where James was working during college. Trenton saw him there and asked him out for coffee…and the rest is history!

Through their over 4 years together they have enjoyed traveling, watching and rewatching countless seasons of “Friends” (because – who doesn’t?), and dreaming up adorable literary-themed wedding elements ;-).

I couldn’t have been happier than when they showed up to their engagement session with one of their favorite books, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, and asked to incorporate it into some of their images. Can you say ADORABLE?!? Couple that with the beautiful RVA skyline, the James River, and the beauty of Brown’s Island, and you definitely have one of my favorite engagement sessions-to-date!

James and Trenton, your love is so beautiful and I am so incredibly lucky to be able to witness the chemistry and connection that you share. I am honored to be able to capture your wedding day and I can’t wait to see you both again so we can pretend to cook and instead binge on Netflix :).


Baby M || An In-Home Newborn Session

Ms. M. has arrived! And what an absolutely ADORABLE presence she has!

I had so much fun hanging out with Heather and John during their in-home newborn photography session capturing some of Ms. M’s first moments in this big beautiful world. Not only was baby girl the most snuggly little cuddle bug (when she finally decided it was time to hunker down for some sleep :-p), but Mom had such fantastic ideas for the session. From incorporating special gifts from friends and family (hooray for beautiful and hand knit baby gifts!) all the way to including…ALL THE PUMPKINS!

Umm. Can you say “Autumn Baby”?!

I absolutely adored this session and am so glad I was able to spend time with the beautiful M. family just days after missy helped them grow to 3-members strong!

Heather and John, thank you so much for allowing me to take over your home for the day and to capture your little snuggle bug :).



Welcome to the FOJ Blog

Jess Capozzola is a Richmond-based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography. When she isn’t capturing the in-between moments behind the lens of her Nikon camera, she can be found snuggling with her husband and two kitties and avoiding dairy. Just kidding, she always avoids dairy; stupid lactose :-p

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