Danny went on his first hike yesterday! We’ve taken him hiking several times, but this is the first time that we let him walk part of the way. He was downright giddy. I think we have a young outdoorsman in our family!
Mike, Danny, Ally, and I drove to Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland. After an hour and a half, we arrived eager to see the waterfall, lake, and beach. Then we saw the “no pets” sign at the entrance. My heart sank. Well who needs a park that is so crowded that they don’t want Ally there? We found a deserted trail in nearby Catoctin Mountain Park, and Ally got to run around without disturbing anyone. It was just right.
Today Mike and I decided to brave the heat and head to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to see the National Aquarium. Danny got to see fish, turtles, dolphins, and jellyfish.
I guess we weren’t the only people seeking indoor entertainment today, because the aquarium was packed. We weren’t allowed to use our stroller inside, so Mike carried Dan the whole time. He’s going to be sore tomorrow! But with a few exceptions, Danny was cooperative and seemed to enjoy the day. I was excited to be a tourist for a day. It felt like a mini-vacation.
I’ve created lots of albums over the last few months, but I haven’t had time to post them here. Here’s a set of books that I finished a few weeks ago, and I love them! Jenny and Brian ordered a large fine art book for themselves, and two smaller ones for their parents. I hope they all love them as much as I do.
Jenny and Brian got married on May 2, 2009 at Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Maryland. My good friend Heather Clarke was my second shooter for their wedding. Thanks, Heather!
Jenny and Brian
Stone Manor Country Club
May 2, 2009
Last weekend I traveled to Maryland to photograph Jenny and Brian’s wedding. May in Maryland is lush and green with vibrant flowers everywhere, and I particularly loved this dogwood tree. Jenny and Brian got married outside a stone mansion built in the 1700s. It was a wonderful location for a wedding, with lush green lawns, elegant patios, and a grand tent for their party. Congratulations, Jenny and Brian!
My friend and colleague, Heather Clarke, photographed this wedding with me. Thanks so much, Heather!
Katherine and Ben
Silver Spring, Maryland
I met up with Katherine, Judd, and Ben in downtown Silver Spring for their family portraits. I first met them two years ago, when I took their portraits around the time of Ben’s first birthday. Now Ben is almost three and preparing to be a big brother to the baby girl they’re expecting in June.
Katherine chose Ellsworth Avenue in downtown Silver Spring for their photos. I love taking portraits in urban settings, because of the variety of backgrounds, textures, and lighting. I took all these photos with existing light only; the city provided all the shadows and diffusion that I needed.
Thanks, Katherine, Judd, and Ben! I look forward to meeting your little girl next time!
Tim, Mocha, Kim, and Niko
Silver Spring, Maryland
My friends Kim and Tim are having a baby this summer! This baby boy will be their first child, and I’m so excited for them. Kim, Tim, and I all used to work together at K12, a curriculum development company in Virginia. Kim and I were officemates and got into all kinds of excellent trouble together… ah, those were the days.
It worked out great that Kim’s current coworkers planned a surprise shower for her on the very same day that she and I had scheduled a maternity portrait session. I surprised her by showing up at her office to photograph her reaction to the party! Afterward we went back to their house to take photos and watch SYTYCD. That’s my kind of night.
Congratulations, Kim and Tim! I can’t wait to meet the little guy!
Niko and Mocha
Silver Spring, Maryland
May 29, 2008
How cute are these sweet little girls? Last night I visited my friends Kim and Tim in Maryland. They are expecting their first child this summer, so I was excited to be able to go to Kim’s surprise baby shower in DC yesterday. Afterward we went back to their house, and I took some pictures of Kim’s little baby belly. I’ll post those photos later, but first I wanted to show this adorable picture I took of their doggies. Cute!
One of the many great things about being a photographer with your spouse is that you end up with lots of pictures of each other at work. Now that our summer wedding season is over, I thought it would be fun to look back on all the fun times Mike and I had on our photo shoots!
St. Mary’s County, Maryland
August 10, 2007
You might remember Jessica from her wedding photos last May, or my recent WPJA award winners. Jessica’s well-known on this blog! I was thrilled when she asked me for a post-wedding bridal session. She wanted a portrait session that would feature her gown, without any worries of getting it dirty or damaged. Some people call these sessions “Trash the Dress” shoots, but I prefer to think of them as “Fearless Bridals.” The goal wasn’t to destroy her gown, but rather to celebrate it without fear.
Jessica describes her intentions far better than I could. She asked me if she could write a post for my blog about her decision to do this photo shoot. It’s exciting for me to share Jessica’s thoughts in her own words:
Why? That’s your first question, isn’t it?
Weddings are emotional. A wedding gown is one of the most emotionally charged pieces of clothing a woman can own. This creates a need to keep it, to packrat it away for years and years. I love my gown. I love the way it hangs on my frame and I love the way my husband looked at me in it on our wedding day. But I also had little idea what to do with the gown after the wedding. My mother cleaned and stored hers. A friend sold hers; another friend donated hers to Brides Against Breast Cancer; yet another friend saved hers for her daughter to wear or perhaps her christening gown. So many options, but none held my interest. With a need to find a unique way of remembering my dress, I came across the idea of “trashing” it.
For months I wrestled with what “trashing” meant. Did it mean fire and scissors? Did it mean mud and water? Was it simply brides photographed in unique places? In short, it is all of these things. Like a wedding and its associated gown, trashing is unique unto the bride. As I broached the subject with my husband, my parents, and my friends, the reactions were violently different from person to person. I was definitely surprised and a little taken aback at the level of emotional investment other people had in MY gown. But I’m stubborn and I emailed Charlotte to see if she’d be willing to assist me. I was nervous asking because this shoot would require a very open mind and to my delight, Charlotte agreed with enthusiasm. Despite having asked for help trashing my dress, the “traditional monster” preyed on my mind a bit. What if the dress didn’t come clean?
As you can see, we shot in a church, in the woods, at a bar, in a cornfield, on a tractor, in a barn, and at the beach. I was anxious, but with each site I let go of something else I’d been holding too tight: what people would think. Instead, I felt sexy and invincible. I didn’t care that people were videotaping the insane bride in the cornfield. I didn’t care that people were driving by either staring or honking. I didn’t care that my toes were muddy and my neck was streaked with sweat. This photo shoot had morphed from a creative idea to NEEDED. Treating the strongest wedding symbol with such disregard was liberating and therapeutic. All of the things that didn’t go exactly as we had planned, I didn’t care anymore. The weather, the flowers, the guest list, the limo…don’t care. This shoot allowed me to move past the wedding and fully into my marriage. As I shoved the most expensive and symbolic item of my wardrobe into a giant green trashbag to haul home, I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. As I listened to the water swish inside the bag, I thought, “Every bride needs to do this.” Now that it’s done, it’s time to find the best dry cleaner I can…preferably one with an open mind.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Thank you so much, Jessica, for your eloquent contribution to my blog, and for asking me to share this experience with you. I think I had as much fun as you did, and I hope the photos are everything you hoped for and more.
Thank you also to my fantastic assistant for the day, Tom Sanderson, who came all the way from Williamsburg to help us with this shoot. I’d also like to thank Jessica’s mother for taking so many wonderful candids! I’ll post those on another day, so stay tuned.
Hi, I’m Charlotte! I’m a photographer in Reston, Virginia. I love hiking, running, and exploring the world with my husband and young son.