Every Happy Home is a Castle Unto Itself

Every man wants to be the king of the castle—his wife a queen and his children princes and princesses. That’s how home should feel behind the impenetrable walls of family, and that’s what comes through loud and clear in these regal-looking shots of the Winebrenner clan and their afternoon romp through the old-stone halls of Cathedral Gardens in Washington, DC. Sunny, lush with flowers, and blessed with even a rainbow, the day—like the Winebrenners—couldn’t have been more magical.

Some of my favorite shots are of the family peeping through the Cathedral-style windows, the legs of little Joey, 3, and Elliott, 21 months, dangling from the limestone sill. The backdrop of temple-style arches truly gives each frame a royal feel. And the portraits of each child against the garden walls are truly handsome.

But the greatest asset of these shots (aside from the incredible positive energy of Winebrenners—their joy and fun-loving attitude comes through in every single frame) was the light. Having arrived at 7:30 a.m. to beat the heat, the Winebrenner’s were able to take advantage of the early-morning sun, which adds a crisp freshness to their portraits that you simply cannot duplicate in a studio. They say that kings and queens receive their blessing from heaven. Given the soft glow that pervades each happy scene, I’d say there’s some truth to that. And if you don’t believe me, look for the rainbow.