This is my second branding session with Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg Virginia. This most recent session was a stylized branding session. The goal was to create high-quality images that could be used on social media, their website, and in general marketing. Many local publications have been writing about Cana since they recently won the Governor’s Cup.

One of the keys to a successful stylized branding session is that every detail needs to be discussed. Many business owners are unaware that having models and a signed model release is important. If you have models or people to stage an activity you can also influence the attire and color scheme.

Use of depth of field makes the viewer focus on the Virginia wine.

If your business wants to put an ad in a local magazine you might want to feature your logo. This is why photographers leave “negative space” in the image. It is the perfect place for a logo or text.

Staging moments that would typically happen during a wine tasting make the photographs more believable.

For this photoshoot, I provided the models, flowers, food, and the tablescape. Of course, Cana Vineyards supplied the delicious wine and items from their deluxe picnic!

When editing this image of the wine being poured, I enhanced the highlights and sharpened the lines. This draws the viewer’s eye to focus on the stream of wine being poured.

Playing with depth of field can make an image more appealing.

Make sure to capture the atmosphere in the background when taking commercial portraits.

Don’t forget about black and white particularly if you have a colorful logo.

Photographing the buildings and grounds will give clarity to guests who are interested in hosting an event at your venue.

Be sure to capture people enjoying the grounds.

Remember to consider harmonious colors when making a tablescape.

In the first session, I photographed their award-winning winemaker, Melanie Natoli who is featured in this photo. You can view her branding session here https://www.jenniferjulestudios.com/blog/virginia-governors-cup-winner-photography-branding-session/ When photographing for a vineyard you might want to feature the winemaker. You will notice that in this image the group of people to the right are out of focus. The purpose is to put the focus on the winemaker whose wine they are enjoying.


I had a great time photographing this beautiful family. You can just see the joy their son brings them! In this first image, all I hear is 1… 2… 3..!!!!! It reminds me of what I used to do with my parents. I wish someone had captured that moment for me.

I love moments preserved in black and white with a touch of warmth to the portrait.

This family wanted their photo taken at a local park with the gazebo.

When photographing toddlers I always ask the parents if there is a special stuffed animal that they would like to feature in some of the portraits. It’s amazing how these favorite stuffed animals age with all the love and affection over the years.


I had the pleasure of photographing these three grey horses for a black backdrop equine session. We got some individual portraits of each horse. Black backdrop portraits are always so striking.  

It is not always easy to get both dog and horse together in the same photograph. I was thrilled to show this image to their owner.

Pet photography can be challenging unless you know the right tricks and noises to use.

Many equine photographers crop the horse at the knee and leave the feet out of the image. This is because it can be more challenging to edit.

I recently traveled to South Carolina for a few portrait sessions. This session was a branding session for Becky O’Toole of “The Pink Frame”. She recently relocated from Scituate MA to Charleston SC. We wanted to capture images to announce her move on social media. We headed downtown to Charleston’s iconic Rainbow Row for our photo shoot. What a perfect setting to use as a backdrop to announce her relocation from Boston. Becky paints beautifully calming beach scenes. Her paintings are in various galleries up and down the east coast.  Becky is a two-time cancer survivor; a portion of each sale goes to Dana Farber Cancer Institute which is near and dear to my heart. She calls it “painting with a purpose”.

When taking marketing marketing images for a client’s social media make sure to ask if they plan to use text on their images. As a photographer is helpful to know if the client wants to do this ahead of time. This way we can make sure there is plenty of negative space when framing our subject.  

You can make different looks simply by changing up your outfit or accessories during your headshot session.

When taking images for clients to post on Instagram and Facebook you need to make sure they work with the crop of each platform. Instagram only allows squares so it can be more limiting unless your photographer knows what you are shooting for.

We headed over to use the water as a backdrop since her brand is all about the ocean.


I loved photographing this beautiful family portrait in Historic Waterford, Virginia. We met at the old mill and then went through Philips Farm. The boys had a great time skipping rocks and playing in the water. My favorite part of the session was in the field full of haystacks. I think we captured the magic of this amazing town. I am so proud to live and work in Waterford, Virginia.

I adore this photo of the family together on the haystack.
This photograph is of the two brothers wading through the creek water on a summer day.
Sepia tone provides emotion and warmth when capturing lifestyle moments.

I love this special moment caught between mother and her son lost in conversation.


I recently had the pleasure of photographing a branding session for Melanie Natoli of Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg, Loudon County. This is the first time in the four decades of the Virginia Governor’s Cup, that a woman winemaker has won this prestigious award! Melanie’s 2019 Unite Reserve, a signature estate red blend beat out 619 other wines.  

In planning her branding session we discussed different ideas and locations amongst the stunning grounds of Cana Vineyards. Melanie requested to have her blue truck in some of the photos. I asked her if she could also bring her dog. Tucker is 14 years old joined us in the vineyard for part of the session. It’s very fitting because Cana is a dog-friendly vineyard. They even have a bark bar for their four-legged guests.

If you haven’t been to Cana to taste their amazing wines I highly recommend you go.

When photographing a branding session it is important to think about placement and where the text might go. Its all about balance. This image would make a great front cover to a local publication. I wanted to capture the Blue Ridge Mountains which the Vineyard overlooks.

We spent sometime in the barrel room taking some portraits.

It’s important that the photographs document a story. You don’t always want to have your subject looking at the camera.

Make sure to document the fine details and close up shots.

Here is Tucker and Melanie in the vineyard. You can tell how much he loves his mom.

Tucker is featuring Cana’s dog bandana.

Melanie Natoli amongst the vines of Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg