becca

This one is a long time coming.

One of my dearest friends is the mastermind behind Suite Paperie . We first met when she was just quitting her day job to really devote 100% of her focus into her business. She was looking to rent some office space and ended up bunking up with some fellow dreamers at my old office. To say our crew loved her instantly is an understatement. I think we even told her she could move in that day if she wanted to. 

Thus began a great friendship with Becca and I for many more years to come. At the time, I had not even really toyed around with photography as a legit thing in my life yet. If that makes sense. Sure it was a passive hobby of mine but nothing beyond taking photos on vacation and the occasional weekend jaunt out in the city. That's pretty much most people. But at one point things shifted for me and photography needed to become a much bigger part of my life than it was so far to date. Becca was by far one of the biggest cheerleaders of mine to just go for it! And there's been some days where I've doubted myself, but Becca will be the first to pull me up by my bootstraps to say that I'm thinking crazy thoughts. 

To see her build her business and see it grow so rapidly, has been an incredible inspiration for me. Not only that, but we've become mothers together around the same time and really leaned on each other as we transitioned into the role of "working mom" and attempting to juggle it all. Her hard work and  awe-inspiring creative genius is something our girlfriends and I are humbled by. She's seriously kicking ass and taking names and really a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her growing business.

At home, she is the most amazing wife and mom. Her daughter has cooler clothes than I do. And while I know motherhood is not this, she somehow makes it look effortless. Even though I know we've all had our rough days, she makes being a working mom look super cool. I was lucky enough to capture this #girlboss and her crew prior to her son being born. I can't wait to continue to watch her grow her business and grow these amazing kids. 

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Proposal: Roman & Madison

Roman reached out to me about a week before. He had been dating Madison since they were kids in middle school and they are finally "of appropriate age" to get engaged. They were visiting from Canada in celebration of Madison's birthday and happened to be in town  for July 4th weekend. 

Roman truly ADORES Madison and I could tell the moment I heard his voice on the other end of the line during our initial call. It was in the way he spoke of her, his tone, and his care in planning this shoot that I knew I was going to be capturing a truly EPIC moment as he got down on one knee to propose.

In order to ensure that Madison wasn't too suspicious but also making sure that Roman and I had connected in person, the plan went down like this. I gave Roman an exact spot in Central Park to meet at. He mentioned to Madison that he wanted to go to Central Park early that morning because he had something for them to do. When I saw them enter the park, I went up to them and asked if I could take their photos as "I was a new photographer looking to get some experience." Madison wasn't quite having it and I don't blame her! But luckily, Roman stepped in and said, sure why not and I walked them to the perfect spot on the east side of Central Park with the view of Essex House and the city in the background. After a few awakward photo captures, and Madison thinking why the he** was she standing in front of a stranger and letting this little girl take her photo, Roman jumped into action and got down on one knee. The PERFECT proposal! I have no idea what he said, but I'm sure a "will you marry me" was in it. I just captured the emotions around it and I loved every bit of that. They then humored me for a walk around the park as a proposal turned into an engagement shoot. 

Congrats again Madison & Roman!!! To many years of wedded bliss! Congrats to being "of appropriate age" to be engaged :) 

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Wedding: Joe & Joey

I've known Joe since my sophomore year of college at JMU. He was my big in Alpha Phi Omega and we became great friends during our college years. We did not hang out as much after college but kept in touch with good ol' Facebook. Joe happened to be following along on my journey as I built out my photography business and when it came time to find a photographer for his wedding, he thought of me! 

I was lucky enough to capture their engagement shoot at Gravelly Point in DC. Photos from that shoot can be found here (It is truly one of my favorite shoots, TO DATE!). 

They had the most gorgeous day for their wedding. The day was full of raw emotion and their families really joined together as one on that day. I'm so humbled and honored to be the one they entrusted to capture it all. 

To many years of wedded bliss my dears! You guys are what the #loveislove hashtag is all about!

xo

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The U Family

I've known Alana, Nick and Beckett now for a few years as our boys attend the same daycare. They treat each other like brothers from another mother and that includes all things from sharing super hero costumes, germs and the occasional snagging of each others toys. In fact, we've even done a round of potty training together. Their family is truly an extension of ours and while the girls are in fact out numbered, the boys treat their Mommas like queens and it makes it all worth it. 

When Nick's family was in town, I was able to capture the extended family in March. (I know, I know. I'm SOOO behind on my blogging!) Nick's parents flew in from Florida to celebrate their 60th birthdays and their 40th wedding anniversary with their kids and grand kids. The families wanted a family shoot to celebrate the patriarch and matriarch of the U family. I'm so glad the weather held out for us that day especially since it was 'technically' still winter.

We gathered together in Fort Tryon Park  which is at the very tippy tippy top of Manhattan. This park is also the home to The Cloisters . We had some fun with all the grand kids and even the adults humored me by laughing at some of my jokes. (Thanks guys!) We got some great shots before everyone bundled up and went inside for some hot cocoa. 

Happy 60th birthdays and 40th wedding anniversary! What a milestone!

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Ollie & Co.

This is an oldie but definitely a goodie. I had done a sneak peak of this in the Fall but really wanted to showcase so much more from Mike and Lindsey's fun session from way back in October and the leaves were at their PEAK at Mt. Hope Reservoir. Ollie tagged along for a few shots and then went off with my husband and our dog for a nice walk around the park while I captured some magic with Mike and Lindsey. It's always great being able to turn my shoots into a family affair. Especially this one since Mike is my brother in law!

I've literally known him since he started his freshman year in high school. I've seen him grow into the high school teacher he is now. He stood for us in our wedding and we even took him on his very first international trip to India to volunteer in the Himalayan Mountains. But that story is for another blog post. Hopefully, we haven't scarred him for life traveling to exotic third world countries!

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The D Family

I am wayyyy behind on blogging! But hopefully I can get up to speed in the next few weeks with some AMAZING shoots I had the last few months but just haven't bragged/blogged about it. Here's a great one to kickstart it!

Tara and I happened to go to the same undergraduate together but did not actually meet until I first took her family photos a few years ago. She has the greatest sense of style and I always find myself asking her where she got EVERYTHING when I shoot her gorgeous family. Her littlest was born literally a few days after their last series of family photos

I really enjoyed chasing Baby JJ and Violet around. To watch these families grow and evolve every year is amazing. I've got the best job capturing these little ones grow and catching up with them is a true gift. Seeing Violet's personality evolve into a big sister and being another year older is awesome. Plus, I want to know where she got her leggings and if they come in my size. 

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The R Family

I have so thoroughly enjoyed watching this family grow this last year! I first met them when little Ellie was still in the womb and here they are as a family of 4! This family literally has my heart. Whenever I connect with them, it feels like old friends picking up right where we left off. And in all honesty, I first met them as clients back in 2015. Kate and I navigated our personal lives to become a mom to two, we've embraced connecting over how crazy it can get. 

During this session, big brother Luke was amazing with his baby sister and I can't wait to see how he dotes on her in the future. I'm sure there will be moments where she is the most annoying little sister, but I can also anticipate Luke throwing some shade on any boys that she brings home too. I can't wait to see these siblings grow up together. All the heart eyes over here. 

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Soon to be Party of 3

Right before Christmas, a dear friend of mine welcomed a healthy baby boy. Kristin(I call her Goo) and I go way back! We're talking probably 14 years or so. We both went to college at James Madison University but met through mutual friends from George Mason University. We both stood in each other's weddings, traveled to Ghana together, explored NYC together and have seen each other through some pretty rocky roller coasters. While we haven't been in the same city since college, whenever we get together it's like we've never been apart. She is one of my most thoughtful friends. She never misses a birthday, holiday or special occasion without sending a card or gift in the mail to my boys. She is one of those one of a kind friends and I'm so grateful to have her put up with my crazy antics and unintentional ghosting habits. 

We were able to surprise her with a baby shower in October and afterwards I snuck her out for a few maternity shots before Liam arrived. Isn't she glowing?!

HAPPY 2 MONTHS BABY LIAM!

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I also had a VERY special assistant that day in my dear friends Suzie and Jimmy's daughter, Emma. Here's a BTS shot and if you can't tell...It was CHILLY that day! It's crazy to see this girl grow up. I first met her at the hospital when she was born the day before Goo and I left for Ghana. And now this little lady is almost 10! 

 

 

 

Favorites of 2016

This year truly went by in a blink of an eye!

I can't believe I'm already writing my annual "favorites" blog post. This year was a TON of growth for me, both professionally and personally. For starters, we welcomed our second son in May with an early morning celebration on Cinco de Mayo!  I thought having one kid was hard, but doubling it down is WAY more challenging than I ever anticipated. It's not "twice" as hard with two kids...it's somehow 20 TIMES HARDER than having one child! How is that even possible?! As Baby O is almost 8 months old, I'm so content and full with seeing our family start to see a glimmer of our new normal with the boys loving on each other, playing with each other, and of course stealing each other's toys and "hey mom! Baby O just took..." has begun. Oh, sibling-hood has started!

From a professional standpoint, I loaded up and invested in education and really pushed myself to meet more people in my industry; other photographers, other creatives. I knew going into 2016 that the majority of this year would be focused on my family and making sure that I devoted the time I needed to make sure that I stayed sane with the new baby transition.  But I was still hungry to get out there and shoot. I was hungry to shoot more weddings, I was hungry to meet more photographers and creatives, I was hungry to get published, and quite simply, I was JUST HUNGRY! (Being pregnant and a nursing mom will do that to you.) 

I'm happy to say that by the end of this year, I did just that. I shot more weddings than I anticipated, I met and got to chat with many more photographers that have now become friends. I got published on my first blog and I snuck in an oreo cookie (or 10) behind my two year old's back. So all in all, through all the wins, the losses, the challenges, this year wasn't so bad after all. Below are a few of my favorite photos from this year.

But boy oh boy! I have big plans for you, 2017. B.R.I.N.G. I.T. O.N. 

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To my crew of boys (+ Chai), you inspire me to DIG deep...and then when I think its deep enough, you have me go a little deeper to tap into all my creative juices and then some.

You are my "raison d'être.

I can't wait to see where you take me next year. 

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