Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

even after having been in this business for 3 years at the time I got engaged, I had no clue as to how much there was to do when planning our wedding. of course I knew the vendors that I wanted having worked with them many times and hearing glowing reviews of their work from my couples – but it was the ‘other stuff’ the things that I didn’t realize that would pop up – from invitation timing to seating charts.. I was lost. and never mind the day of the wedding – 2 hours before the ceremony, I was in the park in my jeans and tank top, arranging burlap over our hay bale seating. fortunately it all worked out and it was the wedding that I always wanted, but looking back I know that I would have had more time to enjoy the wedding, my friends and family and most importantly my soon-to-be husband had I hired a wedding planner. this is a roundabout way of introducing you to some of the coolest ladies in the wedding planning business - HJ Planners! I first met Heather Sala, the president of HJ Planners when I photographed the wedding of her mother. although she hadn’t started her company yet, she was on top of every little detail of her mother’s big day – so it was no surprise to me that not only had she started planning and organizing weddings and other events, but that her business had taken off! and as any good business owner knows, when you surround yourself with amazing people, amazing things happen for you and your business and Heather has done just that. every woman that works with Heather has her enthusiasm, creativity and attention to detail that defines their company. about 3 weeks ago, Kris and I were contacted about doing a shoot for some upcoming marketing that they are doing and once we got to the Park Hyatt location, we were beyond excited about the possibilities. what we didn’t know was just how great this group of women would be to work with. the session was fun, spontaneous, hysterical and creative and once we wrapped and headed to lunch, the shop talk never stopped.

thank you Heather, Maria, Audrey, Courtney and Jessica for an amazing shoot and delicious lunch! we are looking so forward to working with you!

April 26, 2012

manhattan has always been one of my favorite places on earth – and although I love my sleepy little town, I sometimes miss the energy, culture and general vibe that being in the city radiates as soon as you get through the tunnel (the only part I hate… tunnels…boo) so imagine my glee when I was invited along for a girls weekend with the gordy sisters! the trip had been born out of chrissy wanting to do something big to celebrate her 40th birthday and when she discovered a half marathon was being run in central park that very weekend, a plan was hatched. now make no mistake, I did not nor did I even consider running with them – they had been training for awhile and I had not (maybe at the end of wedding season lol) but I was thrilled to root them on and snap some photos along the way!

congratulations chrissy, jenny and christina! I’m so proud of you and was so happy to be there to cheer you on! :)

April 25, 2012

“Even though I didn’t know it, we were as poor as a church mouse,” Pop Pop said as I was pulling his toy train off of the shelf.  It was a little dusty and the bottle cap wheels had began to rust, but the toy still looked the way it did 80 years ago.  “I was fascinated with the first train I remember seeing- I was probably 4 or 5 years old.  I wanted one but Santa Claus couldn’t afford one,” he said as he shot me a smile.  My grandfather told me before that his Christmas mornings usually consisted of an orange, a handful of nuts and one new toy.  “So, with no hopes of getting a train, I made one myself.”  Check out the bottle caps he used for wheels!

When he was about 13, his dad (Fred) had a good oyster season.  “That Christmas morning, I was surprised to find a train that Santa left.  It was a windup, spring driven one because we didn’t have electricity out in my area until I came out of the service.”  He still has the box it came in…

“Airplanes also fascinated me.  In the 30′s someone gave me a Pan Am flying boat (pictured right).  They flew over the Pacific and took passengers to Hawaii.”  My grandfather said that it was rare to see a plane fly overhead in the country, so when he did spot one he was in complete awe.  “Then I decided to make my own airplanes.  Tissue paper airplane kits cost about 5 cents so I used wood until I got older.  It was about 1939, and with the war coming on I could have my own battles.”  He said that it usually took a couple days to make his wooden airplanes.  He painted them red and scribbled ‘Wetipquin Maryland’ across the wingspan. :)

He used to fly them into forts he said, so the wooden ones always lasted longer.  Below are a bunch of toys he made- including a wooden king he carved. :) Even Hitler’s 109 Messerschmitt couldn’t defeat the Wetipquin Squadron… :)

When he was sixteen and with the war was creeping up, he made a submarine.  He still represented his hometown. :)  These toys are so special because they didn’t have money back then to buy toys and he had to use his imagination come up with entertainment.  Soon I’ll show and tell you about his Charlie McCarthy doll he made and how he finally got a real one. :)

April 24, 2012

When Sara told me that she had family coming to visit from all over (including Alaska!) to celebrate her mother’s life and wanted to document the occasion, I was more than happy to tag along.  We all met at her mother’s favorite spot- Assateague- and reminisced of great times.  All of the kids eventually made their way down to the water- and even into the water!  Her mother was frightened of ponies on the beach but didn’t mind them at a distance and as we were all leaving, I happened to see some grazing in the marsh.  A fitting end to a beautiful afternoon. :)

I had such a great time with you all!  Thanks for the laughs and a fun afternoon! :)

April 19, 2012


I’m not a big believer in coincidences. I think I can plan and schedule my life in the perfect fashion, but life always seems to have different plans and if I’ve learned anything, it’s how to adapt.. or at least try. and nearly always, the resulting path is the one that was always meant to be. but then there are times when everything just kind of falls into place perfectly and such was my session with annie and brian. it wasn’t too long after I was booked to shoot their wedding that we were tossing around esession locations – annie then sent me an email asking me (although she thought it was a stab in the dark) if I was available that friday because it was the anniversary of their engagement. it just so happened that I had a wedding the next day across the bridge so I was coming their way anyway on that evening. then she floated an idea for a venue – the annapolis town center. see annie and brian met while working together at pf changs and are there all of the time shopping, eating out, working out, etc. and after I thought about it, I realized that there were a lot of really cool shooting opportunities with the different bridges, alleys and buildings. plus it’s special to them and that’s always really important to me when choosing a location. so I met up with them in front of pf changs and we had a great time looking at this place that we visit all of the time with a different eye and perspective. they were so adorable together and had such a fun energy that made them amazing to work with

I am looking so forward to working with you and can’t wait for the big day!

April 18, 2012

This week, I had gone over to my grandparents’ with the intention of photographing their old cast iron and tin toys and telling you about their childhood entertainment but as storytelling usually happens, we ended off on a tangent and began talking about night time entertainment.  “Everyone worked during the day,” Pop Pop began, “so at night is when you usually caught up and relaxed in the parlor.”  The above photograph is of my Great-Great Grandfather Cooper’s (his name was Cortez and was Maggie’s husband- the lady who made butter in the mason jar :)) Edison Phonograph with a Morning Glory horn attached to it.  This was around 1910 when Cortez bought this phonograph- also known as a “talking machine.”  The music was on a wax cylinder that was originally made of ceresin and beeswax in the 1880′s.  After you put the selected cylinder on, you cranked the handle and the cylinder would spin around.  You placed the needle on the cylinder as it was spinning and the needle would slide down the cylinder, playing what was ‘recorded’ til it either ran down and then you would crank it up again or until the cylinder’s 2 minute play time was up.  If that was the case, you simply picked up the needle and brought it back to the beginning and heard it all over again.

The cylinders above were standard-sized cylinders, which tended to be about 4 inches long and usually played 2-4 minutes.  A variety of selections were featured on the cylinders, including marches, sentimental ballads, minstrels, hymns and comic skits.  They cost around 60 cents a piece- which you can read on the container in the fine print below.  :)  “If you had neighbors and they had a phonograph, you would loan out your cylinders to switch it up.  We would play them so much, you practically learned all of them by heart.”

Then the family ‘upgraded’ to a phonograph without the cumbersome Morning Glory horn which is shown below……

It is also an Edison Phonograph.  I took the cylinder I used on the first phonograph and tried to see if it would play on this one. It did!! I was so surprised they both still work considering they are 100 years old!  The Pat’d on this machine is 1905.  I chose the song “The Preacher and The Bear” by Arthur Collins.  It was made in 1902! Wanna hear what I heard when I cranked up that old phonograph?  Check out me playing my great-grandfather Fred’s old Edison Phonograph by clicking HERE.  I’ve listed the lyrics, some history of the singer and the style of music in the early 1900′s under the video.  Disclaimer: I am in no way a videographer so I apologize for the quality but thought it’d be cool to show you all.  :)

The following photos are of my grandmother and the Victor Talking Machine.

This machine had records that you listened to instead of cylinders and I’ve recorded her cranking this up and playing it.  You can listen to it by clicking HERE.  “Before these talking machines came about, my grandfather (Pa) would invite people over to the parlor and and his brother, Ernest, would play the fiddle,” Pop Pop explained.  “They’d roll the rug back and if someone had a banjo, they’d bring that too, and they just danced.  That was their entertainment.”

I’ll have to tell you about their first experiences with radios another time.  And I’ll eventually get to those tin toys and paper dolls! :)


April 17, 2012

the first time I met ashley and nick, they were guests at my couple robin and jason’s wedding - we had already talked about working together but it was nice to meet beforehand, especially at a wedding :)  and let me tell you, I was already looking forward to working with ashley and nick as they did not leave the dance floor all night! I knew right away that they were my kind of couple – fun, spontaneous and crazy in love.. I met up with ashley at their house where makeup and last minute details were excitedly being taken care of in every room. laughter was abundant and everyone was so excited to share this day with ashley and nick. because of a recent foot surgery, not only ashley, but all of her girls ordered and wore chuck taylors to match their dresses which of course I loved – the little details that have a story are always my favorite. then it was off to the church where nick was waiting with his guys.. by far some of the most fun loving and hysterical groomsmen I have ever worked with – loved them! the ceremony was full of happy tears and special moments, complete with a bubble exit. the reception was at the beautiful bulle rock and even though it was pretty chilly, I had a blast with the bridal party as we finished up photos. by the time the party got started, it was no surprise to me that ashley, nick and their friends and families knew how to tear up the dance floor – it was SO much fun!!


thank you both so much for such a memorable night – I had the best time and wish you so much love and laughter in your life together!

April 16, 2012

kristin has been one of those brides where when you see that she has sent you an email you can’t wait to open and read it because you know it’s going to be hysterical! we have been booked with kristin and rob for a while so we have had time to get to know each other pretty well before the e-session scheduling was upon us… I believe kristin’s email subject line read something like ‘OMG! is it March already?!?!?’  when choosing a location, saint mikes seemed like a perfect choice – they are getting married at harbourtowne but it’s unlikely that we will make it into town on the big day so we took advantage of  the beautiful spring weather for the session. like it was when we first met, they had me laughing from the second we met up and we had a great time roaming the historic streets of town and I am so excited to work with them in june!


thanks again for such a fun afternoon – I can’t wait to see the ‘OMG! can you believe I’m getting married this week?!?!?!’ in my inbox soon!!

April 13, 2012

if you follow the blog, you know that we have a group of clients that we call the ‘nat geo crew’ because it’s a bunch of fabulous ladies who we have loved working with and all work together at national geographic. well now a new posse is forming who all work at moodlerooms – maybe they can be the ‘moodle mamas’? this group of lovely ladies began with brandi and has grown to include laura and now amanda!  I met up with amanda and grant at federal hill park and then we roamed the streets for a bit. even though we send paperwork to each couple to organize such things as time lines and shot lists, I always love hearing about the special extras while we spend time together during the esession. for our second location, amanda and grant brought me to a place in baltimore where I have never been, which is rare. it’s over on the harbor by the under armor building and is amazing!! amanda and grant were so receptive to my ideas and had some cool one’s of their own (which I love!) and I know their wedding is going to be amazing!

thank you for such a great afternoon and I’ll see you soon!!

April 12, 2012

every spring the fields in and around snow hill start to have a purple glow as the clover begins to bloom. and every year I say to myself that I am going to shoot it – and I have, by itself. but this year I wanted to either photograph a couple or a family or even a dog in these beautiful gifts of spring. one day it occurred to me that one of my favorite families and friends would be perfect so I called mom jenny and we set up a time. twins libby and evie are at the perfect age where they have that ideal combo of spontaneity but listen at the same time when needed – they are such adorable, kind and special little girls! we had such a fun afternoon and although the purple is now fading, I’m so happy that we made it happen this year!

thanks again for such a great day! I absolutely love working with you all and can’t wait for our next session xoxo