Fall 2016: A Summary

Yep. Totally slacking. My last post here was 9 months ago.
Oops.

I, for one, am glad 2016 is winding down. I can’t say I haven’t been doing any photography, but for most of the last 9 months, the thought of getting out and doing it has been, frankly, exhausting. Even just working on fun stuff for myself. 2016 was not a terribly easy year for me.

This was a year where I could feel the almost constant nagging of depression and anxiety. I’ve long struggled with those things, but sometimes it’s just a more frustrating fight than others. I hate it because it affects what I want to do, my relationships, everything. Then in August I cleverly managed to break my foot (hint: be careful stepping off curbs…no…really…they can just jump out from under you at any moment).  As soon as my foot was back to normal(ish), I was so eager to get back to normal I promptly messed up my shoulder at the gym and am still dealing with the consequences of that. So, needless to say, I am planning on 2017 being a better, less injury-prone year.

I wasn’t a total loss on photography, though. I did manage to get out and explore a bit, just in my own neighborhood. Fall is my favorite season, and when I do convince myself to get out and play, I am always rewarded by how much better I feel when I am done. So here’s some of my “just for me” work – I hope you enjoy!

fall-2016-2fall-2016-6fall-2016-7fall-2016-9fall-2016-10fall-2016-11fall-2016-18fall-2016-19fall-2016-23fall-2016-24fall-2016-27

Washington DC Bachelorette Boudoir Marathon

I was *so* excited when my friend Cassie’s maid of honor reached out to me and said that, as part of Cassie’s bachelorette extravaganza in DC, they wanted to do a boudoir shoot. Of course, I said *yes!!!* and we spent an afternoon together having a blast in their suite. Plenty of champagne, laughter, sparkles, feathers, hair flips, and down right sexy attitude from all these ladies. They were all so supportive of each other, and I don’t think Cassie could have picked better women to be part of her bridal party. I’m so glad I got to be a part of her celebrations, and I hope they all had as much fun as I did with their shoots – they were no question a blast to work with! Thanks again for having me, ladies!

group1group2Group-17logogroup3Group-35logoK3K1K2Krista-25logoC5C4C2C7C3C1Cassie-23logoC6Cassie-60logo

 

Travel: A Family New York City Adventure

I was lucky as a kid – we went on family vacation together every summer. But until this past Labor Day weekend, I couldn’t tell you the last time we’d all gone somewhere together – maybe sometime when I was in college…? After this past Labor Day weekend, I remembered why it had been so long….

Kidding!

My dad is a huge folk music fan. I grew up listening to my dad play guitar while we sung along to John Denver, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie, and Peter, Paul, and Mary (“Puff the Magic Dragon” was a favorite song of mine, even though I cried (yes, really) whenever Puff slunk into his cave, sure it meant he shuffled his way off the mortal coil). So when my dad heard about an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York that chronicled the blossoming of folk music in Greenwich Village in the 60s and 70s, it seemed a perfect reason to head to the city. My parents had never been to NYC and it had been almost 15 years since I had been there – why not go?

So we found an (overpriced) hotel a few blocks off Times Square and headed up for the long weekend. And we crammed a *lot* into those few days. And as much as I can joke about going on vacation with my parents now that we’re all adults, we really did have a pretty good time playing tourist in the city, and I figured I’d share a bit of our adventure with you. Hope you enjoy!

nyc4Times Square and Jared making friends with the T-Rex at the Times Square Toys R Us (which has since closed! So I’m glad we got to go there and poke around!)

nyc5

We drove up, but my parents’ flight was late getting in, so we headed over to Rockefeller Center for cocktails and people watching before stumbling across a delicious Cuban restaurant for dinner

nyc7

All ready to go on the top of the tour bus on the first day!

nyc2

At the museum. Someone was a little bit excited….

NYC2015-21logonyc1

The paper is the handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind”

nyc3

I spent a disturbing amount of time being fascinated by this light fixture and the spiral stairs in the museum. I want them both.

nyc6NYC2015-10logo

Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall at night

nyc8

The *highlight* of the trip for my dad – open mic at The Bitter End! This venue, which opened in Greenwich Village in 1961, hosted a ton of folk music artists during the height of the folk music revival. It meant a lot to my dad to get to sing and play at the same place as so many people who have influenced him – and he did a great job! (I admit it…I teared up a bit…)

NYC2015-56logo

The city from the top of the Empire State Building

NYC2015-65logo

The city from Liberty Island

NYC2015-71logo

Travel: Grand Canyon and My Own Las Vegas Wedding

I’ve been a slacker on this one, but figured it might be time to get around to blogging some of my 2015 travels, to include my biggest adventure – heading off to Las Vegas for a week for good food and drinks, a Grand Canyon side trip, and…getting married!! My now-husband, Jared, and I decided that we were really excited to get married, but didn’t want to have a big bells-and-whistles wedding – it just wasn’t the best fit for us. So we called up our two best couple friends – Jen and Matthew and Chris and Annie – and said “so…if we were to get married in Vegas, would you come?” And that’s how we ended up in Vegas with some of our best friends, getting hitched! So I wanted to share some photos from Las Vegas, our day trip to the Grand Canyon, and a few of our wedding pics – I shot the details myself, and then the photographer from our resort shot the ceremony and posed shots after. I hope you enjoy this quick peek at our special day and great vacation!

If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, GO. I planned this excursion (we used Pink Jeep Tours) as one of those “we’re this close, we should go” sort of things…and I didn’t regret a minute of it. It is a breathtaking spot and there is no photograph that can really convey the breathlessness of it. Just go.
On the drive back, we stopped at the Hoover Dam briefly. We didn’t do the tour, but it was still impressive to see from the outside and hear some of the history.

vegas1vegas2Canyon-48logoCanyon-54logoCanyon-64logo

This was Jared’s first time in Vegas, so of course we had to wander and enjoy the strip at night. We hit up Lago at the Bellagio for dinner and the watched the fountains outside after.

vegas10Vegas-45logo

The day before the wedding, Jen and Annie and I hit up the Grand Spa and then had a delightful lunch at Paris overlooking the Bellagio and its fountains. As a side note, the guys went to Hooters for wings and played KISS mini golf because, yes, apparently that’s a thing.  That night, we all met up and went for delicious tapas at Julian Serrano. We also spent some time drinking at the The Chandelier, because who wouldn’t want cocktails inside of a massive sparkly chandelier? vegas7vegas6Vegas-34logo

Vegas gets an average of 4″ a rain a year, and I felt like it all came down during the week we were in town! Luckily it didn’t affect our plans too much – and we were rewarded with a rainbow as we looked out our hotel window on our wedding day!

vegas9vegas3vegas4vegas5wedding1[122267]042wedding5wedding2wedding3wedding4[122267]081

My favorite saying after the ceremony was “if you’re not poolside an hour after you’re wedding, you’re doing it wrong”. Aside from getting married, perhaps the best decision we made the whole trip was renting a pool cabana to hang out in the rest of the day. Our own private space with food, drinks, and the opportunity to float on the lazy river. Can’t beat it! We had just enough time after the pool closed to grab quick naps, then clean up and head to dinner at Voodoo Steakhouse and catch the Penn and Teller show, where Jen, Matthew, and Jared all ended up getting on stage!

vegas8[122267]141

Overall, this was an amazing trip. I always say every couple should walk away from their wedding feeling like it was exactly what they had hoped for, and we definitely felt that way with our Vegas getaway!

 

Wedding Day Info:

Accommodations and Ceremony Location: MGM Grand

Bridal Gown: Rene Ruiz @ Nieman Marcus

Bridal Shoes:  Christian Louboutin

Groom’s Suit: no idea, but his only instructions were to wear a suit that didn’t start with “bathing” or “birthday” so….

Ceremony & Wedding Portrait Photography: Cashman Photo

Wedding bands (including bride’s custom engagement ring and bands): Jared

Bridal Jewelry and Bridesmaid Gifts: Konplott

Cupcakes and mini-cakes: Corner Cakes, MGM Grand

 

 

 

 

Cara: Old Town Alexandria Maternity Session

You may remember Cara and Mark from their Old Town engagement session a couple summers ago. They were so much fun to spend the day with, so I was beyond excited when Cara reached out to me and said they wanted to get together for another shoot – because they were going to be parents!! So it was back to Old Town with Cara and Mark, and this time we added in their chocolate lab Hercules, who was looking forward to being a big brother and hoping his new sibling is as entranced by squirrels as he is.

The day we met up with SO COLD. I have to give major props to Cara and Mark for being real troopers and sacrificing the warmth of their coats for a few shots. It’s also a good thing we got these photos done when we did, because their daughter made her debut just over a week later!

Cara and Mark, thanks for letting me be a part of another momentous event in your life. I look forward to meeting your expanded family!

cara1

I love Herc’s adorable bow tie! He will be a dapper big brother for sure!

cara2

Cutest. T-shirt. Ever.

Cara Maternity-11logocara3Cara Maternity-17logo

I loved this so much – Cara got an engraved spoon from Etsy and served dessert one night with the spoon, to tell Mark “You’re going to be a Daddy”!

Cara Maternity-4logo

 

Jhonna, Ryan, Quinn & Riley: Northern Virginia Maternity and Lifestyle Newborn Photography

Jhonna and Ryan first appeared on my blog in 2012 (!) when they were expecting their first baby, Quinn. Now Quinn is turning into an adorable young lady and is officially a big sister to baby brother Riley!! I got together with Jhonna, Ryan, and Quinn in October for a maternity/family session and then got to see them all again when Riley arrived in November. This is a compilation of both those sessions – they were keeping Riley’s name a secret until he was born and the maternity photos would have given away the first letter of his name, so I couldn’t share some of these until after he arrived!

Needless to say, I adore this family and am so lucky to watch their family grow! Thanks again to all of you for inviting me into these special moments.

Schupp2015-2_edited-1schupp2schupp1Schupp2015-19logoRiley-2logoschupp3Riley-5logoschupp4schupp5

Justin, Sara, Sydney & Rootbeer: A Burke Lake Park Family Session

I always love seeing this family! They are SO much fun, cheerful, wear wonderfully coordinated outfits, and consider their chocolate lab part of the family – and if you know anything about me, you’ll know that makes them awesome in my book! We met up early on a Saturday at Burke Lake Park and had fun exploring (and avoiding a disc golf tournament!) to get these shots. Thanks again, guys, for sharing your family with me for a morning! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Coursey-1logocoursey2Coursey-22logocoursey1Coursey-7logo