New Website

Drumroll please...I am delighted to announce that the online home for my work, my website, is live!  A true labor of love for love.  I am particularly excited for what this means for my blog.  Until now my blog has been a place that has housed my portfolio.  This blog has been like a family room also serving as a formal front room and dining room.  Now that my website is the formal spot for my work to dwell, I can use my blog as the comfortable hangout it was meant to be.  "A place for everything and everything in its place" as my Mother would say.

I have been hesitant to show anything too personal on here because this was the main online interaction  for potential clients to see my work.  I now feel free to share more of my personal work on my blog.  What a marvelous feeling!  You can head over to my website HERE.  Enjoy!     

This Charming Gentleman

I am undergoing some changes.  I have some very exciting business news that for now I am keeping close to my vest...but I will say that is something that I have wanted for about half a decade.  On the family front, this tiny (he's not that tiny...) gentleman is so darling.  Although all of this is so demanding and overwhelming, Motherhood is so rewarding.  I feel like every week Buff becomes a new boy.  Now he smiles, he tries his hardest to talk to us, and it is incredible to see his growth.  The biggest reward of all?  Being able to dress him as a tiny sailor and he can't say a word about it!

PUBLISHED! Washingtonian Bride & Groom - Winter 2014

I am very honored to have Caitlin and Todd's wedding published in this winter's Washingtonian Bride & Groom Magazine!  What a joy to see such a pinkalicious wedding in that wonderful publication.  Events In The City created a beautiful event at Dumbarton House in Georgetown that reflected Caitlin and Todd perfectly.  I am delighted to finally be sharing this wedding.  This is just a little teaser, so much more loveliness to come.  Now go get your copy!

Caitlin you are stunning!

PUBLISHED! Romantic Shoot with JoAnna Dee Weddings on Style Me Pretty!

I am so delighted to see this lovely shoot styled by JoAnna Dee Weddings published on Style Me Pretty today!  Working with JoAnna was a joy.  You can see the entire shoot HERE.  Enjoy!
A big thank you to the creative team:

Wedding Dress: Lovely Bride DC | Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster | Floral Design: Rally & Root | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Wedding Coordinator: JoAnna Dee Weddings | Dinner Plates: Anthropologie | Sweets: Macaron Bee | Vintage Rentals: Chairs/Small Plates: Something Vintage Rentals

The Best Five Years

Today I celebrate one of the best decisions of my life:  Marrying my darling Christopher.  Five years ago today we said, "Yes."  Marriage has been by far the happiest time of my life.  Thankfully I have never been able to relate to the all too common stereotypical comments about men and husbands.  Even though the best class I ever took in college, Preparation for Marriage, had me shaking in my heels.  

I took the marriage class (twice) because I recognized that marriage was the most important decision I would ever make in life.  The class was filled with mainly women, who time and time again would roll their eyes and sarcastically chuckle over every male stereotype that was shared.  Don't even get me started on the intimacy unit (insert 50 women angrily rolling their eyes here)!  Some of the commonly held beliefs that terrified me were that men are not thoughtful creatures, men don't really want to hear about your day, no man wants to marry a successful or intelligent woman, and all men deep down want a wife that will fill their days catering to the man's needs.  When I noticed all the women generally agreeing on these points, I grew nervous.

Five years later I can say that I married a man that broke the mold.  Even if most men do fit into the aforementioned traits, the wonderful thing about marriage is that one is not marrying "men" as a collective group.  Marriage is to one person.  I am grateful to say that I married my one.  The one that defies expectations and stereotypes.  Puppy has blown away my expectations of him as a man and as a husband.  I often cannot believe that such a delightful, clever, joy of a person exists.  If I told you everything about my relationship with Puppy, you would not believe me or you would resent me!

Nevertheless I am a story teller and I have a few priceless stories that I would like to share.

This year Christopher fearlessly assisted me at a few weddings.  His neck art of choice is the classic bow tie.  At several weddings this year my brides chose bow ties for the groom and groomsmen with strict orders to learn how to tie them!  Somewhere along the line those orders were forgotten.  Puppy to the rescue!  Christopher has tied dozens of bow ties this year which is tricky with his fingers being the size they are.  Christopher was helping one of the young groomsmen with his bow tie when the child looked down at Christopher's hands and observed, "Your fingers are huge!"  Thankfully Christopher had noticed this before so he did not go into shock.

In sickness and in health!  Before reading this tale, please keep in mind that the internet does something funny to us.  It makes us think that everyone's lives are perfect.  I have a friend that just quit facebook and Instagram because she was feeling badly due to comparing herself to others.  I do NOT want any of you to feel that way!  I could tell countless really sad stories from my life, but I choose to keep my blog positive.  Just because I try to be optimistic does not mean that my life is perfect.  Anyway, last year Christopher had an appendectomy.  He was in severe pain and the nature of an appendectomy is that it is bound to occur at an inconvenient time, like when I am traveling!  

I picked Christopher up at the end of a long day of waiting and he was starving and bored.  He had been at the hospital with no one nearby to help him for an entire day.  He felt exposed, even after asking to be double-draped with capes (see his lovely creation above), and generally miserable.  One of Christopher's great gifts is that he never takes out his anger on me.  He has never actually yelled at me, and I have never heard Christopher say a bad word.  

We shuffled around the grocery store, buying necessities before I had to take off again.  Christopher placed some cookie dough in the cart, then asked if he could buy a small toaster oven.  For what?  So that he could bake his visitors cookies.  Christopher could barely move from his office couch but he wanted to have a delicious treat fresh out of the oven for visitors.                  

This year, a few weeks ago to be precise, this raucous gentleman joined us.  Having a baby has been the hardest thing I have ever done.  Not the birth part, the everything-after-birth part.  Puppy knows that.  Every year around November my husband turns into a wild Christmas elf; baking gingerbread, buying more Christmas decor, starting a Christmas music blog!  Puppy thinks long and hard about what I would like.  We have both laid some eggs with Christmas gifts, so this year we tried extra hard to be on top of it.  Last year I don't know what I was thinking with his gifts.  I bought Puppy all sorts of gourmet jelly beans and hard candies all to realize with one look at his face that he does not care particularly for any of it! 

Puppy gives me 12 days of presents leading up to Christmas each year.  This year he knocked it out of the park.  Having noticed that neither of us can eat too quickly while wrangling a super-sized newborn, Puppy bought us both Nyforks.  Oh, you've never heard of a Nyfork!?  It's only the greatest kitchen accessory to grace our cutlery drawer.  It's a fork with a rotary cutter (like a pizza slicer) centered below the fork tongs.  This way we can eat one-handed!

Marriage has been a pleasure.  I look forward to our 10th anniversary and even more priceless tales to tell.  Happy 5th my Darling!

Thomas Buffalo Johnson

This may come as a shock since I have never posted images of myself pregnant on here before, but I have a son!  One week ago I delivered a jolly, miniature version of my darling husband.  Weighing in at a mighty 9 pounds 5 ounces, the doctor told me that if he had known the size this would have been an automatic c-section.  Thank goodness for my mysterious womb mate that his size remained a joyful surprise!

I have had a life long phobia of giving birth.  There are two ways a baby wriggles out, and both filled me with absolute terror.  Wonderfully, the birth could not have been more pleasant.  The commotion began with a doctor's visit on Monday.  The baby's heart rate had been an issue the whole pregnancy, so with yet another alarming dip on the monitor I was off to the hospital (a common recent practice for me) and not leaving without a baby.  No dilation, no effacement, nothing.

I was given a medication to help prepare me go into labor.  The medication needed to sit overnight, and this conclusion was reached after being in the hospital all day.  So I had a long night ahead of me with no food, after a day of no food.  Once you are admitted into the hospital ice chips and the occasional popsicle become your menu.  The most horrifying part of all this was the no-food policy.  Well, that and the blood-curdling shrieks of the woman across the hall from us.  I had been eating like a marathoner for the past month, so I did not know how I would survive this with no food.

Overnight the medication worked its magic and I was at a 3.  An hour and a cup of ice chips later the nurse checked on me and said with a look of concern, "I don't believe what I'm feeling.  I'm going to have someone else check."  Christopher and I were terrified that we were headed for c-section city.  The other nurse confirmed...that I had gone from a 3 to a 10 in one hour!  We asked, "What happens next!?"  She replied, "You push."

My doctor arrived and within two and a half pushes a mighty boy was born!  The first thing out of the doctor's mouth was, "Your baby is HUGE!"  Thomas came built for great things.  He has a sweet old soul and I can't believe he's finally here, safe and sound.  We just love him.  

Main Street Station

I love how photography can take you places.  This image feels like it was made 100 years ago.  Actually it was yesterday...

PUBLISHED! Potomac Point Winery Dinner on Style Me Pretty Living!

What do I do when I'm not shooting fabulous weddings?  I get together with creative partners and shoot other amazing events!  I was so delighted when Courtney of Dogwood Events in Virginia asked me to capture the magical Potomac Point Winery Dinner.  The venue is breath taking.  Virginia is a show-off location of rolling hills, lush greenery, and that famous humidity that makes us all look eternally 25!  

What I particularly enjoyed about the veranda where the dinner was held was that although it was technically "outdoors," the overhead wooden beams, the white curtain and the incredible chandelier that Courtney created lent an air of an intimate space.

You can see more of the dinner on Style Me Pretty Living right HERE.  Enjoy...and don't look at this if you're really hungry!

Olivia + Bobby's Sneak Preview | Richmond Virginia Wedding | Rustic Farvue Wedding

I'll never forget Olivia's initial email to me almost one year ago.  "Antlers.  Moss.  Baby's breath.  Soul."  These were bullet points of the most important details of the day.  Olivia and Bobby's wedding today was a rustic rapture bursting at the seams with true Southern spirit.  I can't wait to share the full wedding, until then enjoy this little sneak preview!  

To view Olivia and Bobby's entire wedding and order prints once the wedding is posted click HERE.  

Olivia you are stunning!

Olivia and Bobby, thank you for having me out to your fantasy wedding!

PUBLISHED! Churrasco Party on Style Me Pretty Living!

I am delighted to share this feature that is on Style Me Pretty Living today!  My darling husband and I threw a backyard party relying heavily on his amazing culinary skills.  I styled and designed the party, a favorite pastime of mine.  It is to date one of my favorite parties that we have ever thrown and I am so glad that I photographed it!  Looking at these images fills me with joy...and hunger!  You can see the feature HERE.  Enjoy!

Sunday Distractions

Today I had an itch to make cookies.  It's 85 degrees outside but when I see leaves falling I get in a cookie frame of mind.  This cookie is the best cookie I have ever had in my life.      Even the flavor of the dough alone is delicious, let alone the power house ingredients of marshmallow, white and semi sweet chocolate chips, and toffee bits.  

Today I remembered an important long forgotten finishing touch for these cookies.  Don't bother with a cooling rack.  The hot cookies will just goop through the rack.  If you have a freezer with an empty flat shelf, you can move the cookies straight from the oven into the freezer.  This will take the edge off of the heat.  The cookies will still be warm after eight minutes but they will be firmer.  You can find my cookie recipe HERE.  Enjoy!   

PUBLISHED! Su Chuen + Chia's River Farm Wedding on Style Me Pretty!

I am so honored to have Su Chuen and Chia' wedding featured on Style Me Pretty today!  Su Chuen and Chia were such a pleasure to work with, as were Karson Butler Events who made the event spectacular to photograph!  You can view the feature right HERE.

The Creative Team:
 Florist: JM Flora | Cake: Windows Catering | Stationery: Anna Rifle Bond | Shoes: BHLDN | Catering: Windows Catering | Event Planner: Karson Butler | Hair: Hair By Jewels | DJ: Dave Grimm | Officiant: Say I Do Your Way - Joyce Cochran | Bridal Gown: J.Crew | Bridesmaids Gowns: J.Crew | Day of Papergoods: Little Bit Heart | Makeup: Blush DC | River Farm: River Farm | Tent: Rent-All Center

Sarah's Bridals | Virginia Wedding Photographer

Today I am so thrilled to finally be able to share Sarah's bridals!  Sarah and John were married this past Saturday so now these images are no longer a spoiler for John!  Sarah's glamorous hair and makeup were done by the fabulous Amie Decker Beauty.  The gorgeous gown was custom made by Alta Moda Bridal.

I love shooting bridals so much.  They're so necessary.  We can take our time and create powerful images.  The wedding day goes by like a speeding freight train, and it's so nice to lavish the bride's personal style with her own shoot.  I wish I had done bridals when I was married!  Years and the discovery of Trader Joe's snacks later, my dress doesn't quite fit like it used to...

To see Sarah's full lovely bridal session and order prints, click HERE.

One of my all time favorite bridals portraits:

So ethereal and lovely:

Sarah you are so stunning!

Sarah + John's Sneak Preview | McLean Virginia Wedding | Virginia Wedding Photographer

Sarah and John found love on the campaign trail, and today voted to put a ring on it!  Their amazing, gracious family and friends gathered for a day long celebration.  Based on Sarah's inspiration, Karson Butler Events created a spectacular reception.  This collaborative effort included a dream team of creatives including Simple Flare, Sidra Forman, Main Event Caterers, and Meant To Be Calligraphy, to name just a few.    

Enjoy a little sneak preview of a beautiful day.  To view Sarah and John's entire wedding and order prints once the event is posted click HERE.

Sarah and John, thank you for having me out for your incredible wedding!