Shannon & Janelle

April 30, 2013

Shannon & Janelle said, “I do” on a day that was bursting with love, sunshine, and the beauty of Spring. Weeks of rain delayed the arrival of Spring and now, here it was, vibrantly blooming at it’s peak on the very day they’d chosen to get married. There was so much love and happiness happening between those two, I don’t know if they even noticed, but coming from a still-shrouded-in-winter Maryland, you can bet I did!

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Janelle’s dress was simply elegant, a glimpse of the elegance that was to follow in their ceremony and reception.

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The handsome groom from Pennsylvania.

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The contrast of red in their bridal party was so striking against the blacks and whites and surrounded by the vibrance of the green outdoors.

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The charming beauty of Abbeville’s historic square was not lost on any of us; but the love between these two outshone it all.

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Congratulations, Shannon & Janelle!  May you celebrate your dreams together for years and years to come.


Craig & Jessica :: wedding

December 15, 2012

When Jessica told me her wedding date, I knew we were pushing the season. Because I do almost all natural light photography, I try to schedule only events that take advantage of the gorgeous spring, summer, and fall seasons. Of course, you never know what will happen. The day you expect to be perfect in June may turn out to be rainy. Early March may be the epitome of Spring or surprise you with a snow shower. Or like this year, a Virginia wedding in October makes you think of glorious autumn leaves and this year it was cold! Yet Craig and Jessica’s November 30th wedding was a balmy 65 degrees on a sunny afternoon. And did we ever make the most of it!

Jessica and Craig chose to do their first look session at her house close to Harrisonburg. From there we traveled to the historic section of Staunton. Our first stop was the Miller House, now a private residence, but earlier a bed and breakfast where Jessica worked. A few miles further West we drove into Gypsy Hill Park. Jessica slipped into a cute pair of tennis shoes and Craig bent to tie them as she held her lovely skirt out of the way. David and I followed them up the hill at breath catching speed. Had she not been dashing up the hill WITH her handsome fiancee, Jessica could have modeled for the Runaway Bride! A few shots at the top of the hill where Craig popped the pivotal question months earlier and then on to downtown Staunton where we found a delightful golden tunnel, picturesque doorways, and an old train station.

Their wedding was vintage elegance personified! After a beautiful ceremony that included darling little flower babies being pushed down the aisle in a vintage carriage, gorgeous violin music, and a surprise song to Craig that Jessica recorded at a local studio earlier, guests were ushered into a warm reception absolutely overflowing with beauty. Every table centerpiece was a unique collection of antiques and dried floral arrangements. A vintage chandelier added ambience to the bridal table and a gorgeous hand-crafted wreath drew everyone’s attention toward the buffet. Grilled chicken, fettuccine alfredo {made with homemade noodles, I might add}, steamed broccoli, garlic bread knots, and a lovely salad with celery seed dressing. From the handmade after dinner mints to the perfect spice of mulled cider, it was perfection, beauty and happiness. But the best part of the day by far was seeing Craig and Jessica so happy to be together!

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Craig and Jessica, it was pure delight to share your wedding day! Thank you for the honor.


Joe & Rhoda :: family

November 29, 2012

A post Thanksgiving photo session with a sweet family and a teeny tiny new baby! Alexis and Natasha love being in front of the camera more than any girls I’ve ever met. They are a blast to follow around as they say, “well, we could take another one of me here!” Lincoln on the other hand didn’t think my version of Curious George was one bit funny.

It was warmish for November, but crazy windy. Natasha ended up in the hospital with pneumonia when she was about ten days old, so Rhoda kept sweet little Brycen snuggled in tight. Isn’t he darling?

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Ken & Lori :: family

November 12, 2012

I met Ken and Lori’s family in West Virginia to take family pictures in time for Christmas. From the minute I walked into their house, I felt as though we’d known each other for a long, long time. They are so friendly and warm and welcoming it’s a wonder everybody doesn’t just stay and somehow think they’ve become part of the family! Lori and her daughter, Gina, picked a deserted home site not far up the road from their house, borrowed a restored vintage truck from a neighbor, and just happened to have the perfect garland in sight for a little Christmas flair.

Ken and Lori, it was an absolute delight. And dinner together afterward was an unexpected, but oh so delightful treat! Thanks for a great evening!

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Mark & Mary :: wedding

October 24, 2012

Mark and Mary celebrated the beginning of their life together on a frosty morning in October. We met at a local winery minutes before the sun came up in a huge red ball, valiantly trying to warm the frozen air. The light was golden and glorious as it always is when it first arrives and then bright and cloudless leaving us longing for it’s warmth and simultaneously trying to soften it’s intensity.

Mark and Mary were proof indeed that love is warm enough to not only survive, but to laugh and enjoy! I loved the way embraced life for what it is. They were giddy with love as all newly wed couples are, but their wedding ceremony also graciously and openly spoke of the events that transpired to bring this day to pass. I loved seeing Mark’s children welcome Mary into their family with so much love and without holding back, even when tears and memories of their mom glistened in their eyes. In them, I saw such Jesus love. Not just accepting life, but embracing it. Living life well. Grieving loss. Loving without reserve. While celebration may seem like a strange word to choose for a wedding that held depths of so much more, I can’t think of a more fitting word. Mark and Mary, their extended families, and friends celebrating the healing love of Jesus and the newness of their love. Could anything be more beautiful?

When I think of the day, this quick snapshot of Mark and Mary just before they walked down to the reception is one of my favorites. I love their happiness and it goes without saying that Mark is thinking, “I can’t believe she’s really mine!”

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A few more favorite images from the day:

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The girls {trying very hard to pretend they were on a warm beach in Hawaii}
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Whenever the cold threatened to make them feel stiff, Mark would send everyone into the warmth of laughter with his gymnastics. I caught him just as he was getting back into position. Mary wasn’t joking when she kept telling me, “He is so much fun!”

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Congratulations, you two love birds!


Durlin & Emily and boyS

October 15, 2012

I love meeting new people, but old friends share a heart history that only comes with time. In the same way, it is delightful and inspiring to meet new clients or to shoot in a new location, but a photo session with repeat clients or in a same location is comfortable and relaxed in a way that only comes with repeat sessions. This was both. Durlin and Emily actually chose to do their photos in the same spot we’d chosen several years ago. There are umpteen gorgeous photo spots on a university campus and we haven’t begun to touch them all yet. I kind of hope to do another session with them here sometime in the summer time. Durlin and Emily know how I work and intuitively know when to give me space with the boys so they will focus on me and lose their self-consciousness and when to jump in to help get their attention. The new part about this session? Two boys instead of one! Aren’t they darling?

Emily chose a gorgeous shade of blue — so striking with their light hair and blue eyes!

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David & Joanna :: family

September 29, 2012

David & Joanna were my first family session after moving to Maryland. We chose the historic section of Cumberland with it’s impressive church buildings as an inbetween location for us to meet. Being the newbie in town, I had no idea the church I’d chosen was so popular for weddings. We walked around and found a few different locations to try until it appeared empty enough to return to the church house we’d first chosen. I fell in love with little Miss Jessica. Two year olds with a mind of their own? Oh, I love them!

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