August 5, 2022

Virginia Governor’s Cup Winner Photography Branding Session

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