The Sweetest Disaster

I’m behind on posting images from this weekends’ mini sessions, so I’m using this post to put up a few of my recent favorites from Saturday and Sunday.

Yesterday, the entirety of parking anywhere within a mile of the Tidal Basin was shut down. Really. During the peak weekend of the blossoms, when DC has more tourists than locals. No access to the main attraction. In fact, at 6:30am, the closest parking was in Baltimore. True story. Ten families were scheduled to join me for a quick and easy photo shoot. As in, quick and easy after you search for parking and your sense of direction for 45 minutes, then walk an hour in Sunday’s finest to find me somewhere on the bank of the tidal basin. Oh, and did i mention the 10-miler? Try to cross in front of 10,000 runners with a baby stroller…

I am not sure I have ever wanted to turn back the clock with more passion than I did yesterday morning.

But then I learned what I learn every time I work with a family…that it’s all unpredictable and it’s all an adventure. Julie calls me from the Inlet Bridge to let me know she’s close, after literally turning her baby stroller into a jogger, and running the mile from where her husband dropped to her to meet me (breathless, she says – “it’s great exercise!”). I start to apologize profusely to her over the phone, when she interrupts in the most cheerful voice “look for me coming over the bridge…i’m behind the lady with the purple jacket…but it’ll be easy to find me because I have the cutest baby on the bridge.”

And sure enough.

She was right.

So despite the hassle and the unpredictability, the families that could reach me did so because they wanted to capture, forever, where their kids are right now. They reinforced for me what my job is all about. It’s helping people capture the adventure of their lives. The good, and sometimes, the not-so-good. I, for one, will have the memory of yesterday and the families that I met with me, for a long time.

A few families just couldn’t make it .. and I guarantee … I would have been in that group. I so look forward to meeting them under easier circumstances soon.












And a few from a weekend Batmitzvah….look at that light!

Lilly and her grandmother.


more to come…
sv

The Windy Mini Session – April 4, Part 1

Wow! This morning we braved wind that actually made me wonder for a split moment if we were going to lose anyone into the Potomac. The coast guard were riding back and forth all morning long, I am sure for that reason. But the kids were fantastic, and they had a lot of fun despite the cold and wind. Thanks to all the parents for working with the weather, traffic and people. We got some fun stuff…a few of my favorites from two mini sessions below…more to come in the next post.
-sv

Annie and Mark



Joanna

Joanna and Nick

Mini Sessions – Day 2, Part 2

One of the things that I have gotten away from on this blog is to talk about why I like the images that I post up here. This is the second post from day two of our Cherry Blossom Mini Sessions, which were held on Sunday down at the Tidal Basin. It rained/drizzled/ (in guatemala, they call drizzle chipi-chipi – which i think is a much better word, but i digress) misted and was plain old cloudy and cold all morning. I got to the basin around 7am, and home around 11am. After warming up and drying off, I went outside, and it was 60 degrees and brilliantly sunny. Go figure.

So back to the pictures. I love this picture because of the rain drops on the cherry blossoms, and the fading off Jefferson Memorial in the background. The light on the subjects faces is stronger than that of their bodies, so that draws my eye right to them, which is where I want it to be. And on a personal note, I love the way dad is holding son. There is a similar picture of my dad holding my sister that hangs on our wall, and I have always just felt a sense of safety seeing his big hand support her tiny little legs.


This next photo is a quiet moment. Kids have a stong response to the camera. They either ham it up, or quiet down. But it takes a long time for them to be themselves. In this shot, she doesn’t know I’m there, and is probably patiently waiting for me to get my act together and get this thing over with. Thankfully, in this shot my flash didn’t go off, so it’s just the soft light (very soft, with 17 miles of thick clouds above) reflecting off of the water that is lighting her. By the way, she was working here for a Cinderella pez dispenser. Clearly, she drives a hard bargain.

I just like this portrait. Here skin is soft and delicate, balanced by the shallow depth of field. And those pretty eyes just pop out.
On to the next family, Savanna and her big brother. This picture I love because it is an everyday moment at the Tidal Basin. Feeding the ducks. But the proportion of the large trees, framing dad and son gives it a sense of solitude and timelessness. I can hear it … in 15 years, as he is graduating high school…looking at this picture and saying “remember when we lived in DC? look how tiny I was?!” The other thing that makes this image successful, in my eyes, is the sharp texture of the blossoms. The detail in the natural elements is so prevalent because the day was so overcast.


Savanna and Mom engrossed with each other and surrounded with Cherry Blossoms. I love the soft rim light on Savanna’s forehead.

Sweetie Savanna – with a classic vignette. Not for everyone, but for an almost Victorian image as this one, I thought it was called for.


And this series was just so cute that I thought it needed something to contain it. So I built this template for the pictures. If any parents out there like it, let me know and we can customize something for your images. I didn’t think that any one of these images could stand on their own, but in a series, it seems to me to capture thier relationship. It is remarkable how different these images look with the bright red/orange hair, blue jackets and pink blossoms as the dominant colors. A totally different look then our linen-clad kiddos. Oh, and I know that these are Big Boys – but the pink border on this little frame was the only way to go 🙂


I’m really looking forward to this weekend – I have two more mini-sessions, in which I’ll have the assistance of a great local shooter, Cory Brodinski. But before that I have a full family session at the Tidal Basin, and some pre-Batmitzva portraits. Sandwiched somewhere in between I am also shooting a Batmitzva party out in Bethesda. A full weekend for sure. So stay tuned.
more to come…
-sv

A Different Twist on the Cherry Blossoms

Caitlin asked me to take some personal senior year photographs for her, as opposed to what she had gotten done for her yearbook. I leaped at the opportunity, as seniors are so self-assured, have a personal vision, and are pretty well across the board excited to be in front of the camera. Caitlin was super easy to work with, and the camera loved her. Despite our freezing cold morning, she stayed calm and looked great.

Leave it to me to go down to the cherry blossoms, where folks are traveling from all over the country to see them, and put Caitlin under the 395 overpass as our first location. What can i say? The light was better! But I’m sure she was thinking “doesn’t this girl know that there are really pretty flowers over there???”

A sneak peek of a few of my favorites:



more to come…
-sv