Thursday, October 28, 2010

Old Town Alexandria+Mount Vernon+Rock Creek Park Engagement: Kristi + Tim

She was on a bike ride to Mount Vernon with her aunt and uncle, and they had paused for a short rest.  She hadn't noticed him at first, until he ran by and cheered them on with encouragement to keep going.  But it wasn't the cheering that caught her attention.  It was him.  Shirtless.  Kristi is an avid bike rider and didn't need the encouragement to continue riding, but she certainly had a little extra incentive that day. 

They continued to pass each other along a 10-mile stretch of the Mount Vernon Trail.  Tim jogged by her on the hilly ascents, and Kristi whizzed by him on the descents.  They traded conversation along the way, but during the long climb on the final stretch to Mount Vernon, Tim had disappeared ahead.  But then he came back.  He jogged back down the path just to let Kristy know that the water fountain ahead wasn't working.  And before he could even ask, Kristi was handing him an extra bottle of water from her backpack.

They chatted for a while, and then parted ways without even knowing each other's last names.  But Kristi couldn't stop thinking about this charismatic, shirtless guy.  So she put her PhD researching skills to work and did some Google-sleuthing.  After figuring out his last name from a Massachusettes marathon race report, and with the encouragement of her aunt, she Facebooked him.  Their first date was two weeks later. 

On their 11-month anniversary, Tim proposed to Kristi on an unassuming Monday night at one of their favorite local eating spots.  Kristi was concentrating so hard on not passing out during the proposal that she didn't hear a single word he said, and she was so overcome with joy and excitement that she couldn't even eat her dinner afterwards.  And now engaged, neither has to worry about passing the other on the path of life, but rather, they will experience the joy of traveling the journey side by side. 

We started their session in Old Town Alexandria, where Tim used to live, and where he began his run to Mount Vernon on one of the best days of his life.  And that morning light?  I lurrrrrve it!

Soft diffused light and an incredible textured background?  I could shoot in this!

Kristi...I love your beautiful smile!!

Our next stop was Mount Vernon.  Of course!

Kristi and Tim love spending time at Rock Creek Park for biking, hiking, and just to picnic and enjoy the outdoors.  They scoped out an amazing location with incredible fall colors for the next part of their session.

The ring?  Tim just happened to pick out the exact same engagement ring at Tiffany's that Kristi had been looking at a few months before, when she was visiting a friend in Texas!  Only, she never told him about it, she had never pointed it out to him, and he had never even spoken to her friend.  Further proof that they were meant to be together!

An abandoned raquetball court with amazing filtered light?  Yes, please!  This hidden gem was on the rooftop of Tim and Kristi's apartment building...



And I can't end this without giving many, many thanks to Beny - the nicest driver I've ever met.  Tim and Kristi hired Beny to drive us around DC and Virginia for their session so they could relax and enjoy champagne while en route to each location.  And because of unexpected road closures in DC (I mean, they even closed Constitution Avenue!!!), we ended up stuck in an absurd amount of traffic.  Beny, bless his heart, cancelled and rearranged his other appointments so he could be with us for as long as we needed.  If you need a driver with incredible service, contact him!  Beny, I don't know what we would have done without you...THANK YOU!! 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Blogiversary

One year ago today I started my blog, with the dream of my business just a fairytale in my mind.  And today, I can't believe how far I've come, and how much I've accomplished, all while still holding a full-time day job.  The balance?  It hasn't been easy.  The sacrifices?  There have been many.  But I love, love, love what I do.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Jasmine Star.  It was while reading her blog that I decided I wanted to pursue photography as a business, and I never could have imagined how my life would subsequently change.  I also never would have imagined that less than a year later, my husband and I would be having dinner with Jasmine and JD here in Virginia.  A fairy godmother waived her wand, and my fairytale had become reality.

I also want to thank John and Grace, who believed in me when I was first starting out and entrusted me with their wedding day.  Thank you...a million times thank you.  I can't express how much your faith meant to me.

I have truly been blessed with amazing clients, as well as with friendships with other photographers who have been instrumental in building me up and helping me learn.  The level of giving, caring and sharing in the photography community is unparalleled, and I am forever indebted to all of the incredible people I've met along the way.

Okay, okay...I hear the Oscar music starting up, so....Happy Blogiversary! Pin It

Friday, October 22, 2010

When You're Too Busy to Eat...

She asked if I had lost weight.  "No....?" was my reply.  Only, it came out more like a question than an answer.  "You've lost weight," she said, "...I can tell."  She asked when was the last time I had weighed myself.  Well, I don't do scales, so I couldn't even remember.  She asked if I had been eating.  "Well, when I remember, and when I have time."  And then I got scolded.  By her and by my 2 other girlfriends on our first girls' night in a long time.  "I'm BUSY!" was the best response I could come up with.  But I knew they were right.

I have unhealthy eating habits when I'm busy.  By the time 2pm rolls around, I realize how late it is and that I totally skipped lunch.  Nevermind only having 1 cup of coffee for breakfast.  I'm always trying to plough through the work in front of me and just don't feel like there's enough time to stop and make something to eat.  While I work for another half hour, trying to think of something quick to make, I finally decide I might as well wait until dinner, you know, b/c it's just around the corner.  But mostly, dinner turns into chips and dip, or chocolate, and occasionally pizza or chinese food.

To appease my friend, I weighed myself the next morning, and she was right.  So I told her, on Facebook, and she commented how that number was after I ate the patty melt w/ fries and a dessert at IHOP the night before, at 9pm.  My other girlfriend commented, "Maybe we should all call you at lunch time every day and hold you hostage till we hear you chewing?"  And the next few days I got....

So today, I just want them to know that my wonderful husband went grocery shopping, and now I have lots of quick foods to choose from at lunch time.  Namely...triscuits, pepperoni, cheese, malted milk balls, pop tarts, zebra cakes, ramen noodles, milano cookies, and corn dogs!  So, there!

Okay, after reading that I realize how ridiculous it sounds.  I'd love to hear what everyone else eats when they're too busy to eat (I need some new ideas).... Pin It

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leather Craftsmen = LOVE

When I opened the front door yesterday I couldn't hide my excitement at finding a package on the front step, knowing exactly what was inside.  I tore into the package like a kid on Christmas morning, admiring the "Leather Craftsmen" stamped black box nestled safely inside several layers of bubble wrap.  And inside?  My first sample album.  The best part?  It was free!  I won this album at WPPI this past March, thanks to the kindness and generosity of Jasmine Star and Leather Craftsmen.  I knew from the inception of my business that Leather Craftsmen was the album company I wanted to use.  Their incredible quality and service is the best in the industry, and I love the timelessness of their albums.

Having worked as a graphic designer for 10 years, I really enjoyed designing this album.  And honestly, there really is nothing better than seeing an image in print.  Having it in your hands, turning the pages, sharing it with family and friends, and keeping it on display on a table or dresser.  It just doesn't compare to viewing it on a computer screen, where it is intangible.  I may sound like a nut, but my heart was literally palpitating as I turned each page.  And when I got to the last page, I wished there was more to see!

I CAN'T WAIT to order more of these albums, and I CAN'T WAIT for my clients to order one for themselves - they do not disappoint!

This is the 8x8 Companion Album with Roma Black cover...

I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to David Willis and Joe Fiore of Leather Craftsmen.  They were both so incredibly friendly and helpful in answering my millions of questions during the design and ordering process.  Even though this is my first album from them and it was free to me, they still went above and beyond to guide me each step of the way, and won over my heart in the process!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Pin It

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hollin Hall Wedding: Northern Virginia: Meegan + Matt

They met because of their unique names. Meegan...her first name, and Matt’s last name...Steiner. As they signed up to join a soccer league, the team organizer chose players based on uncommon names.  So their uniqueness brought them together, but their common interests are what kept them together...the most important of these being their love for one another.

Meegan was as calm as the gentle Virginia weather that day. She said her way of staying serene was to pretend she was getting ready for someone else’s event, rather than focus on it being her wedding day. But when she saw Matt for their first look, you couldn’t help but notice how happy she was. How happy they both were. Nothing could hide the excitement and love in their eyes.

Meegan and Matt have an easy way about them that made the day relaxed and fun at the same time, and I feel so incredibly blessed that I was able to capture the day as it unfolded.

I also want to give a huge thanks to Christine of Christine Gacharna Photography for 2nd shooting with me on this day.  Christine, it's always a pleasure working with you!

Sally greets her daughter Meegan with a huge hug and grin at BellaWest in Old Town Alexandria, where the girls had their hair done.

Morgan with Premier Bridal Services helped make the bridal party look their beautiful best...

Getting ready at The Westin Alexandria before the ceremony...

Lee, the Matron of Honor, crafted these cute chairs out of the champagne tops as the girls got ready in their suite.  I'm a sucker for anything artistic, and these are so fun!

The ceremony and reception took place at Hollin Hall, which provided a beautiful backdrop and many location choices for photos. 

The timeline for the day was pretty tight, so I'm really happy that Meegan and Matt decided to do a first look while we still had some great light to work with!  Here's Matt, looking incredibly handsome as he waits for his beautiful bride...  

Meegan....worrrrrk iiiiiiiit!!!

And Matt....rawr!

As Matt watches his beautiful bride walk towards him, I just love this look Meegan's dad gives while walking down the aisle...

Enchanted Florist did a spectacular job on the florals.  Beautiful flowers make me swoon!  Love, love, love them!

A huge thank you to Main Event Caterers for transforming the tented lawn into a beautiful and inviting space.  Not only that, but the staff was so attentive and professional throughout the dinner service.

The Matron and Maid of Honor reading their poem...

To see more images from Meegan and Matt's beautiful fall wedding, click here for a slideshow!

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