Category Archives: Couples

Krista & Ryan’s Spring Wedding at Lansdowne Resort – VA/MD/DC Wedding Photographer

Meet Krista and Ryan! They just got married at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. I met them last Fall when we did their engagement session at Leesylvania State Park in Dumfries, VA. But because I was in the thick of wedding season I never posted their fun engagement session. So let’s start there!

Krista and Ryan are one of the most down to earth couples I’ve ever worked with. I remember Krista giggling a lot when we first started their engagement session because it was awkward having the photos taken. But those giggles made for such natural and relaxed images. Add nature and the beach and wow!

 

 

 

It always seems like the big wedding day is SO FAR away when I do engagement sessions. But time just flies by and the next thing you know that special day is here. Not only are these two down to earth but they are so laid back and relaxed and that made for a wonderful wedding day that flowed with love and joy.

 

 

I loved the framed photos of their parents and grandparents on their wedding days. What a wonderful, personal touch!

Krista and Ryan’s wedding day was probably the chilliest day we had experienced in awhile. And it was really windy. Not fun for outdoor photos! Luckily Lansdowne has some great indoor spots for portraits.

You gotta love a DJ that gets into his job!

I don’t think anybody is having fun here! Nope, nobody:)

 

Congratulations Krista and Ryan! I hope your life together is amazing and brings many new adventures and of course, lots of love! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

Special thanks to my second shooter, and my awesome hubby and partner in crime, Shawn. He got some great shots of the fellas and of course it’s awesome to have him there with me!

Venue & Catering: Lansdowne Resort

DJ: DJ Biondo

Hair & Makeup: Emily Artistry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Engagement, Weddings Tagged , , , , |

I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Tine & Keith’s Wedding at the O St. Mansion

“Like a river flows surely to the sea, Darling so it goes, Some things are meant to be.
Take my hand, take my whole life too, For I can’t help falling in love with you.” – Elvis Presley

If there was ever something meant to be, it’s these two being together, forever.

You might remember Tine & Keith. I first saw them at the Alice in Wonderland birthday party I photographed at the O St. Mansion back in 2014. Then they got engaged and I was honored to shoot their engagement photos. And then back in October it was time for their wedding.

I knew their wedding would be full of fun, funky style. First of all, there was the venue. The O St Mansion. An eclectic mix of a vintage mansion and decor that’s like a old school thrift store combined with an old school record shop and concert hall and hotel. Eclectic enough for you? Maybe there’s a handful of ghosts hanging out in that place too. If you’re looking for anything old, freaky and vintage, you’ll find it here. And you can buy the stuff that is everywhere.

Then there was Tine and Keith’s funky, rock ‘n roll, vintage style. And I was not disappointed. Cool hats, feathers, a Best Woman, fur wraps for the little ones, and more. You’ll see.

But mostly it was full of love. Their love for each other, the love from their family and friends as they came together to commit their lives to each other.

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Yes, that’s a floating dress with arms. Because O St. Mansion. And that is one of many, many secret doors in this place. Yes it took pretty much all night to remember how to get from one place to the other!

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Loved their no look, first look:)

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Here’s the groom sneaking into the ceremony area through one of those secret doors to the Pink Panther music!

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As much as I love the first look before the ceremony because it gives you lots and lots of time for portraits, it never, ever gets old seeing the groom’s face when he sees the bride walking down the aisle.

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As if the vows weren’t emotional enough — the bride had a little surprise for the groom. She had a video of her singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” It was the most sweet, amazing part. And yes, pretty much everyone was teary eyed. Proof below:) Me too!

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Then we ran around that crazy house and got some amazing portraits. Tine and Keith really did pick the perfect venue. So, so them.

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And fish-eye lens because O St. Mansion!

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And then it was party time. Talk about a great place for trippy shutter dragging pics!

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Special thanks to my wonderful husband, Shawn. He was my second shooter that day and many of these images are his!

Congratulations Tine and Keith! You’re both awesome people and an amazing couple!

Also posted in Bright Souls, Weddings Tagged , , |

We Undertake the Practice of Growing in Happiness Each Day – Angelique and Jeffery’s Wedding At Meadowlark Gardens

Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each and all beings, we undertake the practice of growing in happiness each day – Buddhist wedding vows

That was one line from the buddhist wedding vows Angelique and Jeffery read together on their wedding day at the beautiful Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in September. What an amazing way to start a marriage, by affirming where you are not only together but connected to the greater world. And to commit to walking your new life together with awareness.

I met Angelique 5 years ago when she was a zombie in this fun engagement shoot! We learned shortly after that we were connected through yoga. In fact she did her yoga teacher training with one of my favorite yoga teachers in the area. Then back in January we did a family session with her fiance and his kids. And then it was time for their wedding!

Weddings, of course, are very emotional. And their’s was no exception. In fact it all started with the groom and his groomsmen getting ready. The groomsmen had a pool going for when the Groom would cry for the first time. Keyword … first:) It’s a big day and easy to become overwhelmed with emotion. Especially when there is so much love and gratitude.

Back to the pool! The first time was when Jeffery was giving the groomsmen their gifts and expressing how much they mean to him. His oldest son won the pool!

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Another emotional moment was when Jeffery’s brother gave him a stone. It’s dad, he said. Their father had passed away but this stone represented him. So, so touching.

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Then it was onto the girls getting ready!  The maid of honor’s little girl was in the wedding. So her mom explained the whole day and what was happening by telling her Angelique was going to be a fairy princess for the day and that she had an important job to help her.

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The ceremony was filled with just as many touching moments. From Angelique being walked down the aisle by her father to Jeffery seeing Angelique and saying “Oh my god, she’s absolutely beautiful.” The look on his face doesn’t lie … she took his breath away.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the color scheme was rich with reds, oranges and purples — deep, vibrant, full color. Some of my favorite combinations.

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The wedding was at Meadowlark Botanic Gardens in Vienna, VA. It’s a must see. Stunning gardens, views, beauty and nature. We hopped in some golf carts and hit a few places on the grounds for some portraits.

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Their reception had more very touching moments. One of the Groom’s daughters wrote and performed a song for the Bride and Groom to which they had their first dance as husband and wife.

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And of course all the reception fun. I love photographing the fun, reception energy.

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Congratulations Jeffery and Angelique! Thank you for including me in your special day. I wish your happiness to grow each and every day.

Here’s all the vendors who helped make this a great day!

Hair & Makeup: Caroline Morawshi from Kindle & Boom
Traci Jenkins from Stellar Visage Makeup Artistry

Dress Alterations: Anytime Alterations

Venue: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Cake: Amphora 

Flowers: The Wedding Loft

DJ/Music:Willem Dicke

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Weddings

Life Is Better with You – Jen & Jeff’s Magical Wedding at Melrose Caverns

“Woah, woah, life is better with you. Woah, woah, life is better with you.” – Michael Franti.

If you really want the ear bug from this song, take a listen here. This was the song that Jen and Jeff played for their first dance. The cutest, sweetest first dance ever. And now that you’ve listened (and if you haven’t, go listen, because it’s awesome!!) and can hear it in your head, it’s seriously the perfect soundtrack for their magical day.

When I met Jen and Jeff back in January and then again for their engagement session I could feel their magical vibe right away. And their wedding at Melrose Caverns just outside of Harrisonburg, VA a few weeks ago had not only their magic but the love and magic of their friends and family. Think unicorns, dragons, crystals, sparkles, special momentos and a mystical venue! What an amazing day.

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All the incredible floral arrangements, boutonnieres, fans and other details didn’t come from a florist. They were hand made, just like all of the other decor, by family and friends.

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Each layer of this cake had special significance. It was also made by a family member. If I recall the bottom layers were in remembrance of beloved family and the top layer signified all the possibilities for the future. And how about the unicorn and dragon on top! And I had a slice of that cake. Let’s just say I’ve been craving more since then!

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All weddings are special for me. I always feel so honored that the couple wants me to capture their day for them. This one was a little more special because my own husband was second shooting for me! We got to work our own magic together. More magic!! And fun. Because the couple and their friends and family were that much fun. There were no nerves, no drama, just joy and tons of love.

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The ceremony was performed by a friend and every word had so much meaning. She even had them place seven crystals, each with a different meaning and significance toward their union, into a special box.

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Loved their little dance down the aisle and the path after the ceremony! Loved it!

This was also one of the larger bridal parties I’ve worked with and can I just say how awesome they were! Sometimes it takes a while to get all those portraits after the ceremony. They were patient and SO easy to work with. What absolutely wonderful people. And of course the officiant blew some magic fairy dust onto the couple!

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And then reception fun. So much reception fun. And Jen and Jeff changed outfits for reception shenanigans. Loved the sparkles on her second dress,his hat and both of their light up shoes!

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Oh and it might have been a little hot that day! Hence the Marilyn Monroesque shot:)

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Congratulations Jen and Jeff! I wish all the magic from your special day to continue every day for the rest of your lives!

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Weddings Tagged , , |

Wine Adds a Smile to Friendship and a Spark to Love | Paradise Springs Winery Wedding

“Wine adds a smile to friendship and a spark to love.” – Edmondo de Amicis

That quote needs no explanation. Obviously. The smiles, friendship and sparks of love are all in these images from Vicky and Rob’s wedding held at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA.

Vicky and Rob met at Paradise Springs where Rob is the head winemaker. So it was the most natural choice for them to step into their journey together as husband and wife here. It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon with an amazing backdrop, vows at sunset and a rocking reception with a LOT of super fun people.

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Not to mention a gorgeous couple!

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A meaningful ceremony and then onto reception shenanigans!

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I may or may not have been having as much fun as the guests while I was working. Ok, I definitely was. I love watching what’s happening on the dance floor and catching the fun and energy. And I LOVE it when people engage with me. Those always make such fun images. So, yeah, get up in my face!

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Somewhere along the line one of the props from the photo booth made it inside and oh yeah! I wish I could remember what song was playing!

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And who doesn’t love some air guitar!!

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Here’s to Vicky and Rob! Thank you SO much for allowing me to capture your special day. I’m so blessed to have met you and I wish you all the best in your new life together.

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And all of this awesomeness was made possible by some amazing vendors!

Venue: Paradise Springs Winery

DJ: Randy Richmond from Bialeks Music

Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Bakery

Wedding Gown: Casablanca from White Swan Bridal

Hair & Makeup: Steph and Sondra at Bridal Artistry

Flowers: Twinbrook Floral

Caterer: R and R Catering

Photo Booth: Facetime Photo

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Weddings Tagged , , , |

Every Time She Laughs I’m the One Who Falls in Love – Old Town Alexandria Sunrise Engagement PhotoSession

“They told me that to make her fall in love I had to make her laugh. But every time she laughs I’m the one who falls in love.” – unknown

This. This quote describes this amazingly adorable couple I had the extreme pleasure of photographing a few weeks ago. When I write a blog post about my clients, I try to find words that fit them and their session. I don’t know where this quote came from, but it was a gift from the internet to me:)

Jen, Jeff and I got together on a Saturday morning … EARLY on a Saturday morning for their engagement session. This lovely couple referred them to me. I remember meeting them back in January to chat wedding photos. I LOVED that they had their wedding notebook and that Jeff is just as involved with all the planning as Jen is. We hit it off right away. The vibe between client and photographer is so important and can make or break your wedding day photos! Anyway, they gave me the distinct honor of photographing their wedding and part of that is engagement photos! Yay! Because I LOVE photographing couples in love!!

Anyway, back to the early Saturday morning. So Jen and Jeff wanted a morning session and I thought well then we have to go for sunrise. I’ve captured sunrise images a couple of times and even though it’s a challenge to get up that early when you’re not used to it, it is so worth it. And their session was no exception.

We decided on Old Town Alexandria and River Farm for their locations to get some of that small town America vibe and lots of fun garden pics. And the stars and planets all aligned for a perfect morning session. Just the Saturday before it was cold and snowing! But this Saturday couldn’t have been a better Spring day.

So we started off at Founders Park on the Old Town waterfront. It was truly magical capturing them at sunrise.

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Then it was time to tool around Old Town. Right off the bat we stumbled upon this kick ass painted garage door at the Torpedo Factory! I had never seen this before and it made a perfect backdrop. The vibrant, energetic, full of life colors match Jen and Jeff’s personalities perfectly. And that’s when the laughter began. These two were silly, fun and laughing the whole time. They made each other laugh and I could feel why they are in love with each other. I mean let’s face it, if you’re with someone who can’t make you laugh then you really need to not be with them! My husband makes me laugh all the time, often at his own expense, which makes it even funnier for me!

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Before any of my sessions, I send a questionnaire asking couples how they met, things they like to do, etc … to get some ideas of how their session should unfold. Jen and Jeff like to kickback and have a cocktail or two so I thought, let’s do that. So I grabbed a couple of beers and brought them with me. We found a spot to sit down so they could have their “cocktail” while I snapped some photos. Now, here’s the thing, the bottles were empty. I’m not trying to break any laws or get anyone in trouble, most of the time:) But what’s pretty funny here is that we passed a police cruiser parked right where I wanted to stop and we were being all covert … with empty bottles. What?! I’m pretty sure there’s nothing wrong with carrying some empty bottles around. Anyway, it all worked out and nobody was the wiser.

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Then it was time to change and hit the Farmer’s Market! It was fun to walk around and check out one of the best farmer’s markets in the area. And you know, have fun with vegetables. Tell me you’ve never picked up a cucumber and made a joke about it:) My plan was to see if they would be up for maybe a little dancing in the middle of the market. Sure enough, they didn’t even hesitate. Because they’re awesome like that! I remember one of the vendors getting a pic of them on his cellphone!

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Then it was time to head to River Farm where they shared some Dandelion wishes, a little picnic and more laughs.

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There was so much laughter and love that morning. There will be so much more at their wedding in September. And I know every time one of them makes the other laugh, they will fall in love all over again. Congratulations Jen and Jeff! Thank you so much for including me in this special time of your life.

 

 

 

Also posted in Engagement, Virginia Portrait Photographer Tagged , , , , |

Survivor | VA/MD/DC Personal Branding Photographer

What the? Two blog posts in one day? YES! Normally I would wait until a weekday morning to do another blog post. You know when people are at work and looking for anything to distract themselves from what they have to do:) Not a Friday evening when folks are sitting down with that cocktail to end the week. But I just couldn’t make Paige wait another second for her sneak peeks.

I met Paige through Pure Prana Yoga Studio as well. I was teaching Vigorous Vinyasa Friday evenings and she was a regular in that class. I remember her learning to do headstand without being next to the wall because she was going on a yoga retreat where there might not be a wall to literally lean on. Then a few years later we ending up in the same teacher training at Pure Prana! After our teacher training ended we decided to get tattoos together to mark that time. Paige was working in a somewhat conservative field and got her tattoo on her foot where it could be disguised somewhat.

Then life got complicated. My husband became paralyzed from a staph infection and I got tied up with some care taking and his recovery, which over the last five years is at about 90% or so. Pretty miraculous stuff. Then Paige had a stroke. Yes, you read that right. How does a healthy, fit, yoga and meditation teacher have a stroke?? Because life throws serious curve balls at you and doesn’t care how healthy and fit you are or that you take the time and work at being stress free. Paige has recovered very well from that stroke, although, just like my husband, just because you look ok on the outside, doesn’t necessarily mean all is 100% hunky dory. There’s always lingering things and really you are never the same person again. But maybe you’re a better version of yourself.

Since then Paige has stepped out of the conservative work life and is now working for herself teaching yoga and meditation full time! So she wanted some photos to use for some marketing purposes. But she also wanted to capture who she is right now. Which is awesome. She might be a different version of herself but her awesome personality and silly self that I remember is still very much there. I knew going into this session that it would be a blast and that there would be lots of laughing. And she got another tattoo! On her forearm this time. To mark the journey of being a stroke survivor.

We got together on a fabulous Fall day to get some images of her and her hubby along with their cute little dogs. I wanted to get some shots of her meditating at home because I knew the dogs would be right there with her:) Then she and I headed into Old Town Alexandria where we hit the train station and she did tree pose, right there. She had just been able to do tree again recently on the side that was affected by the stroke. We tooled around the streets, she ran, she played in leaves and she meditated under a beautiful tree.

Check Paige and her musings out at PaigesYoga.com. It has been wonderful to reconnect with her and I’m so grateful she trusted me to capture her, where she is right now.

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Also posted in Headshots & Promo, Personal Branding, Yoga

Polka Dots, Stripes and Rainbows | VA/MD/DC Family Photographer

I had planned on posting the sneak peeks today from one of my favorite family’s sessions a few weeks ago. Then I realized it was also their 6th wedding anniversary. So once again, we are taking a stroll down memory lane. I have had the honor of capturing so many life events for Dave and Carrie, all starting with their engagement session in 2009.

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Then later that year they trusted me enough to photograph their wedding. I was still very, very new to this whole journey and had only photographed two other weddings prior to theirs!

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Then things were all quiet for awhile until their baby girl joined them in late 2011. They decided to do a Year in the Life series. So we started when the little one was about 3-4 weeks old.

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The second session of the Year in the Life was when little Miss was about 4 months old.

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Next up about 9 months.

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Then we got together when she was walking and was just over 1 year.

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Since then we have gotten together every year for annual family photos.

2013 fun in the leaves and lots of cuteness!

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Last year I noticed the big difference between two and three. There was the obvious communication but something more about her shining personality was just bursting through.

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And now here we are in 2015. She’s a kid now! No more baby or toddler, but full blown dancing, performing, popcorn eating sassafras kiddo! And look at that smile!! If this isn’t one happy little girl, I just don’t know what is. Her cheeks had to be sore from smiling so much! And I LOVED her outfit. I even said as much and Carrie said she picked it out herself. YES!! And we even had a chance to get the rock hands in at the end. Considering her favorite song is “Rainbow in the Dark” it was very appropriate:)

We had so much fun on such a beautiful Fall morning. And, Dave and Carrie had moved to Philadelphia earlier this year. But they still wanted me to do the annual photos. Man I am blessed. So we met half way in Bel Air, MD at this cool mansion, the Liriodendrun. Next year I’m headed to Philly:) Happy Anniversary Dave and Carrie! I am beyond grateful that you have allowed me to capture your lives.

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Behindthescenes

Also posted in Engagement, Families, Kids, Weddings

Lovers Don’t Finally Meet Somewhere, They’re In Each Other All Along | VA/DC/MD Engagement Photographer

The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you,
not knowing how blind that was.
 
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.
 
~Rumi
Back in May of 2014 I photographed a very cool Alice in Wonderland themed costume birthday party at the O Street Mansion in DC. The costumes were awesome — lots of bright colors, personality and trippy stuff. Of course, because I was there to capture the event I was checking out everyone and their costumes. And I remembered seeing this one couple with steampunk style. I thought to myself, now that’s a hot couple. And I knew that they had found their life partners. It was their energy, the way they looked at each other, I could tell. And I really liked their style.

I can’t remember if later that year one of the hostesses of the party mentioned that they had gotten engaged or if I just assumed it had happened but I thought of them about 2 months ago. Wondering if they were married now. I was planning on reaching out to that hostess to find out. Two or three days later Christine messaged me about engagement photos. Not sure who picked up on who’s vibe and energy but talk about manifesting and the universe at work!

Christine and Keith wanted engagement photos that showed off their fun and kick ass style. Yes! So we met up at Theodore Roosevelt Island and then headed into Old Town Alexandria to capture not just their style but how much they truly adore each other. You’ll see, these images don’t lie. This is the real deal. I barely had to direct them at all, they just did their thing, expressed their love for each other. Just like the poem says … they were in each other all along.

We had so much fun. Great graffiti, almost like it was painted just for them and this day. Magic love potion in the forest. Dancing fun to just be silly and laugh. Secrets whispered in exchange for giggles.

Thank you Christine and Keith. What a wonderful afternoon. I’m still feeling the love and I absolutely cannot wait to photograph your wedding. I’m grateful every single day for how blessed I am.

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Also posted in Engagement

Victoria & Odir – A Garden Inspired Wedding Portrait Session | Northern Virginia Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Well hello middle of 2015! Wasn’t it just this time last year? I was about to 50, big party to celebrate, found a kitten. Oh, yeah, the kitten. He ended up passing away and things just kind of went into a funk. There was a lingering, underlying sadness for a long time. To put some closure to this I’ll be framing a little photo of him and placing it on the kitty altar to honor his short time with us.

But that’s not why I’m back. I’m back because I am now working for myself! And it’s absolutely mandatory that I market myself. And a great way to do that is blogging. Plus I love taking photos and creating stuff and I like to write about what doing that means to me.

I left the 9-5 back in May. I’m still doing design and one of my clients is my former employer but I’m working to make the transition to artist/photographer with maybe a wee bit of design.

So one of the things I’ve been doing and I feel like it’s made a huge difference and is working pretty darn well IS … asking for what I want. Yep, just asking the Universe, Angels, spirit, for what I want. Being specific about it. Now certainly the Universe sends you stuff you don’t ask for but after it’s all done and over there is always some gift from the experience.

One of the things I have been asking for is more clients (obviously:) but specifically clients with creative and inspirational projects. And I’ve been getting them. And here’s two, Victoria and Odir, my first clients as a self-employed artist and photographer.

I met Victoria through Pure Prana Yoga Studio where I teach (if you’re ever in Old Town on a Tuesday pm come get your yoga on with me) Tuesday evenings. She was getting married, a small courthouse type wedding with an officiant and a fiesta celebration on the weekend. This was something I had asked for. A small, intimate wedding and celebration. And her fiance suggested portraits at Meadowlark Gardens, Bon Air Rose Garden and the water park in Crystal City.  Perfect!

Being able to document their marriage and wedding day was such a great honor and privilege. I mean I spent their wedding day with them! It was simple, quiet, relaxed, meaningful. It wasn’t work at all.

Congratulations to Victoria and Odir. I hope the rest of their lives together are just like their wedding day.

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Also posted in Nature, Weddings