New Favorite Location

I don’t want to advertise this too loudly, cause it’s a bit far from my home, but yesterday I had the pleasure of shooting at the Black Hills Regional Park, in Boyds, MD – and wow, is that pretty.
It’s just turning into fall so quickly, and I was out there with clients of mine that I have worked with several times now.

The park is absolutely huge, and has a large body of water (some of which sources DC’s drinking water, apparently), kayaks, docks, lots of paths, picnic tables, the list and the photo op’s go on and on. I would happily shoot here again – especially in this beautiful early morning light.

Here are a few of Tristen and family, whom i met at a July mini session and just love working with:

This morning I was out in Reston, doing a tiiiinnnyy infant shoot – perhaps a few of those images will make it up here tomorrow.
have a great tuesday everyone. Tonight – U2!!

Fall Flowers

The rain held off this morning, and we got these beautiful overcast skies and bright colors at a really fun mini session. Rachel and Russ held the session at their home, and invited over some friends who have been a part of the same parents group since their kids were just a few weeks old. Rachel has this great home in DC that provided a lot of fun opportunities for the kids to be, well, kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if that everyone (me included) went down for a nap really quickly!

Thanks everyone! I hope you had a blast! Here’s a sneak peak of some of my fav’s, after a quick glance at what we shot this morning.

Little Faces

Some quick shots from our weekend mini session at Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church. Thanks Sara, for setting this up! It was great fun to work with a previous client once again, and also to meet these lively and adorable kids. Not to mention that the location was beautiful.

More mini sessions to come this weekend…pray for the rain to hold off!

Inside and Out

Some weekend fav’s – more on this project to come. Wardrobe courtesy of Kaarin Moore, Closet Caucus founder. Makeup by Bobbi Brown makeup artist, Irina Gerasimova.

Musings From the Roof

This weekend I did a maternity shoot, a 5 hour fashion extravaganza shoot (complete with makeup and wardrobe makeovers), a mini session with 18 month olds, and this rooftop shoot with two great models and fellow shooter, my dad. I would like to say that all the work brought out the best in me, but at the end of the last day, having hauled my 12th load of 50 pounds of gear in 24 hours, well, let’s just say it was not my finest moment. I live a blessed life, this I know. Well, with all that gear, the 2 story walkup ain’t much of a blessing, but generally, things are good. Creating images and challenging my brain to figure out solutions day in and day out really makes me feel useful, engaged and ever-growing. But, as life goes, the internal driver that pushes me to get out there and do this every day also is often accompanied by the internal critic that tells me I have no business doing what I do – that clearly there are people way more qualified than I. So with these two little guys spinning around in my head – the pusher and the critic – vying for space and attention in an exhausted body and mind – I gave in and melted down.

But 24 hours of distance and rest gives just enough perspective to realize that the stress on body and mind is temporary. The pusher makes us grow and the critic, while a little irrational, is only trying to make us do better. And now, with my ramblings all out in the open, I have this set of images to share. And, hey critic – that’s enough for today. Just be quiet and look how pretty Kaarin and Sarah are.

Blue Eyes

This little cutie Colin was hammin it up all morning for me. Friends Nate and Maureen brought him into the studio before they head off to their new foreign service post. Colin was just a sweet joy to work with, and had a lot of fun test running all the new props I got yesterday.

Best of luck you three!
more soon…sv

Brian and Jessica – Inn on the Lake | Canandaigua, New York Wedding Photographer

I had the honor of photographing the wedding of Brian and Jessica this past weekend. They are actually old friends, I think I met Jessica when I was 10 years old. So when they hired me to do their wedding, there was a lot of excitement at witnessing and documenting this amazing step in their lives (and a high-strung nerve or two hoping I would do a great job).

They were married at the Inn on the Lake, a beautiful hotel on Canandaguia Lake, in upstate New York. My husband and I stayed at the Inn when we got married in 2001, so it carries some great memories for me.

When I got to the site on Saturday, it was like a flood of memories, as I ran into old friends that I haven’t seen in a decade. The flood of memories were brought in on the tsunami of rain that was pouring down all around us. The rains were so hard that boats were crashing together on the picturesque backdrop of a lake. yikes.

Here’s the exterior of the hotel – from where I was standing when I took this, to that front door, I had to walk through 4 inches of water.

But, as the heavens sometimes do, the sun began to break through just before the ceremony began, and just got more glorious as the day went on.

What was most remarkable about this wedding between Jess and Brian, was the palatable love that infused the entire day and on into the night. Beginning with Jess’ aunt, who sewed rings from the generations of women in Jess’ family into the underside of her gorgeous Vera Wang gown …

Getting ready with best friends Shelby and Allie…

Jessica with her mom (who drove us to and from gymnastics for YEARS….)

Jess and her dad, heading down the aisle…

Brian and Jess, laughing joyously through most of their ceremony…

That love that I mentioned infused the day really was visible in this unique element of their ceremony. They selected seven locations that were relevant to their relationship (10 years in the making) and lives together, and then asked people from those locations to bring soil or stones from there to the wedding. Those folks then came up during the ceremony, told a story about Jess and Brian in that place, and poured their soil into the large container. Beginning with Jason, Jess’ brother, who poured in soil from Fairport High School, where they first met…

Right after the ceremony…in disbelief….First Dance….

The SPIRITED bridal party!Jessica and her aunt

Jessica said to me “I love props” for her pictures, and she wasn’t kidding…a barrel, a fish, a post, and some boat houses later, I think we got a few good ones…

And that sun just got more and more brilliant as it began to set over the horizon…
The people that were witness to their union were the most important thing for Brian and Jess, as evident of Brian’s one image request “to get everyone into one picture”.
Thank god for wide angle.
As I was leaving, my good friend Chad said “Parting shot?” and gave me this last image of the night.
Thanks again, Jessica, Brian, Chris, Allie, Matt, Shelby, Chad, Shannon and Mr and Mrs Blank, for welcoming me back into your lives for this brief moment! It was a beautiful day, and the start of a great marriage. Have a wonderful time in Italy you two!

more to come…sv