This weekend was a first for me – a wedding at a coffee shop/concert venue – Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia! The wedding site was perfect for Sam and Steve. Steve told me in the weeks leading up to their wedding that Jammin’ Java had been where he met Sam and they thought it was only fitting to get married there. As soon as their family and friends began arriving, one thing was certain – Sam and Steve are loved so much by everyone who came. The energy and excitement of their crowd was amazing! I had a hard time choosing only a few photos to share in my blog but I knew I had to show one of the absolutely gorgeous cake (cheesecake with tons of fruit – soooooo good!). Congratulations Sam and Steve!!!
I realized that between projects around the house and setting up my art classroom, I have neglected to post here recently with any updates. Jason and I just finished adding on a great patio under our deck so we are enjoying the remains of summer in our backyard. Pictures of the process don’t quite do it justice but here they are anyway (the beginning, then ‘almost’ finished product, the stakes that dictated our lives for weeks, and the leftovers – ahhh):
It was totally worth the long hours!
While I was up in Middletown, Maryland visiting my parents this week, I was able to get a few pictures of my nephew and do a photo shoot with Katrina’s little girl, Ava. I love spending time with kids! Chasing them around, witnessing their innocence and excitement for life. I wanted to share pictures of both. Just adorable!
I remember back to the first photography class I ever took. I was 12 years old at Middletown Middle School in Middletown, Maryland and heard that if you got into photography class, you could get out of part of science class one day each week. I was sold. I followed Mrs. Kalbarcyk, the librarian/photography teacher through a door in the back of the library that we had all seen and speculated about but never actually knew where it led. Through that door, I still remember the smell of the chemicals that hit me, the rows of bins partially filled with unusual liquids, and a huge timer staring back at me. I was sent home with a camera, several roles of film, and a new determination. I took pictures of everything – my dad cutting the grass, my mom cooking dinner, my clarinet sitting by my music stand, even my brother yelling at me to get out of his room. A week later, I was back in that room in the depths of the library, ready to figure out how I was going to get my film out of the tiny capsule in which it was tightly rolled - let alone, do so in the DARK! As Mrs. Kalbarcyk often did, she talked a mile a minute and before we knew it, she slammed the door and the room went dark. I was gripping my film in one hand and a bottle opener in the other. There was nothing left to do but start prying. 30 minutes later, after my film was safely in it’s tank (and after spending 20 of those minutes on the floor trying to find my fallen film), I walked out of the room, a smile on my face and my head held high. I felt proud and excited. I had fallen in love with photography (nevermind that when the following week rolled around, I found out my entire roll of film had developed blank – so much for my pride).
Since that day, I continued to take photography classes every chance I got through middle school, high school, and college. I am always amazed at how just the right angle at just the right moment can record every sense of a split second of our lives. Just by looking at a photograph you can be transported back to that exact moment and can sometimes even hear the sounds and smell the scents that were present at the time your camera shutter blinked. These are the things that make photographs truly priceless and what makes me fall in love with photography each time I pick up my camera.
Here are some recent photographs of my current #1 model – my puppy, Leia:
Through the many facets of my life, I’ve had the opportunity to gain an understanding of human emotion. As a teacher in Virginia, I work daily to inspire young minds and convince parents that studio arts are, in fact, important to their child’s development. As a coach, I pushed athletes to fulfill their potential. As a wife, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, etc. I’ve felt the unconditional support and love a family has to offer.
As a photographer, I’m excited to be able to view all of these inspirations through the eye of a camera and not only record the moments in which I can freeze smiling faces but also capture life as it happens – the moments that are often brief and sometimes forgotten.