Archive for October, 2014

October 31, 2014
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Working in the wedding industry has crossed my path with a lot of amazing and creative people.  Two years ago I met Courtney and this summer I met her sweetheart, Charlie, at their engagement session.  It was there that I witnessed firsthand the magnetic chemistry between these two people.  Aside from the obvious fact that Courtney and Charlie were best friends, I also saw how they just connect when they are together.  Their charming personalities and romantic vibes compliment each other so well.  Courtney and Charlie described their wedding details to me that day on the beach and she showed me a preview of her gown.  Knowing Courtney’s creative side from previous weddings I was sure that theirs was going to be one of my most memorable weddings.

The last Sunday in September, which also happened to be their 6 year anniversary, was Courtney and Charlie’s big day.  That morning I set out to Veritas Vineyeard which is tucked in the hills of Virginia.  The Blue Ridge Mountains greeted me while I made my way up the winding roads to the vineyard.  The girls were getting ready in the bridal suite upstairs and when I entered the room I immediately felt the wave of excitement.  Lauren Perkins from Event Hair by Lauren was styling Courtney’s up-do and Aaron Ellerbrock from BRIDEface was working on the girls’ makeup.  Then I saw the gown!  Designed by Gahlia Lahav, this beauty was an intricate masterpiece of lace, textures and beads.  After the girls toasted to champagne I headed down to the wine cellar to meet up with Charlie and his guys.  The hustle and bustle before the ceremony is one of my favorite moments.  There is a mixture of excitement and nervousness accompanied by talks of future plans and reminiscing about the past.  I headed out with the guys to the vineyard for some shots.  These four men seemed like longtime best friends.  The girls were about to put on their dresses so I made my way back inside.  Courtney was absolutely stunning.  When the girls picked up their baby’s breath bouquets created by Verde Natural Florals and they all stood next to one another I saw Courtney’s beautiful vision come together.  Guests made their way down the hill to the ceremony location with one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world.  The mountains and clouds were behind Courtney and Charlie as they read their handwritten vows to one another.  After the ceremony I took them away for a few shots I was able to witness their beautiful chemistry again.  She said in her vows that in Charlie’s arms was her favorite place to be and I could definitely sense that.  We headed back to the lawn where farm tables and Edison lights created a beautiful space in the open air to celebrate.  I caught a glimpse of the beautiful and rustic looking cake from Paradox Pastry and noticed their personalized forks.  Mo from Artlife Studio captured this amazing day on video. Their friends and family burned up the dance floor to the sounds of DJ Stroud and carried out the night with love and laughter.

Courtney and Charlie, I am beyond happy and excited for you both!  Congratulations on your move out to California- I wish you both the best of luck in this next chapter of your lives together.  Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day! xoxo Kristie

 

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October 24, 2014
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it almost became a running joke.. trying to schedule this session. it seemed like each time that my friend amanda and I would get our schedules together and choose an evening to shoot, mother nature would step in with either rain or heavy winds and we would be forced to postpone. I met amanda and her daughter seren at zenna wellness studio in berlin. I had already photographed seren during one of our aerial yoga shoots and knew that they would be so wonderful to photograph together. finally, the stars aligned and the weather cooperated.. more than cooperated – it was one of the most beautiful evenings that I’ve worked on the beach in recent memory. as I expected, amanda and seren were so amazing to work with. in addition to being mother and daughter, they are also clearly best friends and capturing that relationship was a true joy to photograph. after we wrapped the session, the three of us relaxed, talked and laughed with our toes in the sand as the sun set. I am so happy that we finally got to do this! I had such a lovely evening with both of you xoxo

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October 24, 2014
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sometimes it doesn’t seem possible that time really passes by as quickly as it does… but if I have proof, actual photographic proof, of anything, it’s that time keeps on rolling at a astonishing speed – some of the kids I photographed as toddlers are seniors.. seniors!! and when I work with a couple who is starting their family, it never ceases to surprise me to see them and witness all of the changes at the next session, and then the next. when I first met tara and matt, it was during her maternity session on their farm. in addition to getting to know them during our time together that day, I also was introduced to their fur-kids hokie and gunner who I instantly fell for… it was impossible not to – they are 2 of the coolest pups I have ever met :) when I returned to the farm several weeks later, it was to meet their son cayden for the first time for his newborn session. for our most recent session, I pulled up to their new home where I was enthusiastically greeted by hokie and gunner – they were the primary reason that we were working at the house… my mission was to get a photo of all 5 of them. I knelt down and scratched them both behind the ears, giving them a pep talk and posing tips ‘keep your ears up boys, it makes your cuteness even more adorable.’ when tara opened the door, the little boy I saw was no longer anything close to a newborn – with big blue eyes and a wide smile, it was clear that mr. cayden was growing up. as always, it was so much fun to work with all of you and I can’t wait to see you again soon!

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October 23, 2014
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there is something about a fall wedding… the colors, the slight chill to the air and the way the sunlight shines just right, all warm and soft. and when you combine a beautiful fall day with a stunning venue at a private home in northern maryland? well, this photographer couldn’t ask for more. but wait… there is more – a lot more. first there’s the couple – I loved ashley from our first communication. she was so excited to marry kiel – the wedding, the dress, the gorgeous decor – that was all perfect, actually. but when I met up with her at the house, all she wanted was to see her groom. as her veil went on, the emotion and anticipation of what was about to happen and what that meant took her by surprise and she had a moment.. the best kind. I soon went to find kiel and he was helping out down at the reception, because he too was too excited to keep still. as the guests filled the chairs that lined the lawn, ashley took her father’s arm and walked down the hill to forever. with readings by both of their sisters, the ceremony was full of happy tears and spontaneous laughter. that fall light I was talking about was kind of showing off when it was time for me to take ashley and kiel’s portraits.. perfect. perfect. perfect. not that they noticed the sky as the sun was setting – now that they were man and wife, they only saw each other and it was dreamy. now the reception… ahhhh, the reception. let me tell you something about my bride, this girl knows how to tear up a dance floor! with a dj who knew all of her favorite songs, and the right time to play them, ashley had all of her friends and family with her as they danced the night away. I loved every minute of this wedding and was so grateful to play a part in such a special day for a truly amazing couple. ashley and kiel, I wish you so much love and happiness (and dancing!) in your life together xoxo

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October 22, 2014
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On September 13th, this little lady arrived at 2:16pm weighing 6 pounds and 14 ounces. Raye has had the pleasure of photographing Amanda and Grant”s engagement session and wedding, and I have the joy of knowing these two as friends for several years. So when Amanda told me she was pregnant, I was thrilled! (I also walked right past the sonogram photos on the fridge right before they told me…. that should have been a clue!) I couldn’t wait to meet their little one!

Two weeks after Zoey Ann was born, I got to visit the new parents and this beautiful baby girl for her newborn photos. Ever their adorable pug, Gappy, got in on the fun! In fact, it was so cute the way Zoey’s little face would light up every time Gappy would pop up to check on her.

Walking into Zoey’s nursery, you would think that you’ve stepped into a magazine! Amanda and Grant have so perfectly designed this room with hues of soft gray and baby pink – it is gorgeous. Zoey was so happy the entire shoot, and so much fun.

I am so happy for you both, and so glad that I got to meet your baby girl! I can’t wait to see you all again soon xoxo

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October 21, 2014
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1 some love stories begin in high school and college, some during a night out with friends and then sometimes, serendipity steps in and you meet someone on the other side of the world. such is the story of gloria and ray.. both of them had decided to leave their homes – gloria is from the states and ray is from the UK – to travel to bali. gloria’s was a trip with friends while thailand was a stop on an extensive journey that ray had planned before leaving england. all of that changed when he met gloria. instead of continuing his itinerary around the world, ray fell in love with an american and was headed to the US. not too long after, they married in a small courthouse ceremony because when you know.. you know and they didn’t want to wait another day. they are each other’s best friend and together they complimented their adventurous spirits and continued to travel extensively. recently, they decided that they wanted to celebrated the love that they had and the life that they had built together by hosting a party at the beautiful herrington on the bay. in lieu of a ceremony, they shared thoughts, memories and declarations of deep love and friendship in front of their friends and family. gloria is an american sign language interpreter, so signing was a significant part of every reception event.. from the toasts to the lyrics of their first dance song which I thought was so cool and special. surrounded by loved ones who had traveled from all over the globe to be with them, gloria and ray’s night was a true reflection of who they are as a couple and who they are to each other and I was so happy to be there with all of them gr-002 gr-005 gr-010 gr-014 gr-017 gr-029 gr-030 gr-032 gr-039 gr-040 gr-059 gr-060 gr-074 gr-75 gr-084 gr-107 gr-121 gr-123 gr-127 gr-134 gr-139 gr-148 gr-156 gr-169a gr-170 gr-195 gr-198 gr-199 gr-209 gr-223 gr-238 gr-240 gr-242 gr-243 gr-245 gr-251 gr-257 gr-258 gr-260 gr-264 gr-266 gr-271 gr-274 gr-278 gr-280 gr-285 gr-290 gr-295 gr-300 gr-301 gr-304 gr-307 gr-313 gr-321 gr-323 gr-325 gr-327 gr-332 gr-351 gr-354 gr-356 gr-378 gr-382 gr-395 gr-397 gr-398 gr-400

October 20, 2014
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1 the last time I saw elessa was at the wedding of her mother, freda, over five years ago. for whatever reason, when freda contacted me about doing senior portraits, I still envisioned the little girl that elessa was that day, all wide eyed and dressed up in white for her mother’s big day. but when we met in pemberton park on an ideal fall evening, a beautiful, (very) tall and lovely young woman stepped out of the car…. with crutches. see elessa is an accomplished athlete and a champion cheerleader and a few days before our session she had suffered an injury to her ankle. when she stepped away to change, I asked freda what had happened and she said that they weren’t trying to panic, that hopefully it was a temporary injury that wouldn’t effect her season, but everyone was a little worried. you wouldn’t know it when elessa came back, ready for the session. whatever concern she may have had regarding her ankle didn’t dampen her upbeat attitude and positive spirit. we had so much fun as we explored different parts of the park with freda and elyssa’s little sister, bri along for the shoot. I’m happy to report that several days later when I spoke with freda, that it had been determined that elessa’s injury was just a hiccup and that she was already back to her normal training schedule :) I so enjoyed getting to see you again and to document such a special time in your life. you are a remarkable person and I know that you will continue to inspire those around you as you begin your next chapter. 1a 2 3 3a 5 6 7 7a 8 9

October 16, 2014
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Two weeks ago on Friday, October 3rd Alex Barker sent his longtime girlfriend, Stephanie, on the treasure hunt of a lifetime- to find her very own engagement ring! :)  This grand surprise took a lot of preparation and planning and I was so lucky to be a part of it!  Alex and Stephanie met while attending Virginia Tech and he was planning to propose since this past summer.  With the help of their family and friends Alex was finally able to pull it off under the pastel colored sky of Assateague Island at sunset.  This proposal story could be found in the pages of a Nicolas Sparks novel and I’m so glad that it all came together.

Alex and I connected when he thought about having this very special moment captured.  He picked out Stephanie’s ring earlier this year and was waiting for the perfect time to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him.  One of Alex + Stephanie’s favorite places is Assateage Island so it seemed only natural to ask the question there.  When we first chatted on the phone I heard all the details to his very elaborate plan.  I must say, I was quite impressed and excited to see this all unfold.  Alex created a fake tourism website called Assateague Adventures and one of the “Grand Adventures” someone could purchase was a Geocaching adventure around the island.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Geocaching, it’s a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.  Alex convinced Stephanie that he “purchased” a Grand Adventure from this Assateague Adventures website for $100.00 and that they could go on a treasure hunt around the island.  Neither Stephanie nor Alex have Geocached before so Stephanie just figured it was a cool date night.  Alex also created a fake email from this website and was emailing himself back and forth so that way he had control of the date and times and Stephanie would think it was all legit.  So far, everything was going according to plan! :)  Alex told Stephanie that their adventure was set up for the 3rd of October and she was excited for a weekend at the beach.  They live three hours West of Assateague Island and since this treasue hunt was fake, Alex had to find time to scoot over to the island and bury all of the clues and containers.  The day before the actual proposal Alex took off from work (told Stephaine he had an all day meeting), drove all the way to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, buried the four clues and containers and made the drive back home to his soon to be fiancé.  Alex sent me a photo of the exact shrub where the last clue was buried so I knew where to stake out the following evening.  If all went according to plan then at the end of the hunt Stephaine would open the last container with a mini wedding invitation to her + Alex’s wedding.  Then Alex would get down on one knee. :)  Alex braved a broken toe, mosquito bites and a few hangups but was able to think quick on his feet and was ready for the next day.

Alex and I decided that I would pretend to be a nature photographer about 20 paces past the last clue so that Stephanie wouldn’t get suspicious.  I set out about a half hour before he was going to propose with my tripod and gear and was anxiously waiting to see the last leg of this adventure. :)  The beach was secluded with only me and the ponies as witnesses to this very beautiful moment.  After Alex “blew my cover” from down the beach we all got together and shared in the excitement!  I am beyond happy for you both and so thankful I was able to be a part of this amazing story and adventure.  It was such a perfect evening.

Oh and P.S. Of course Alex thought ahead and made up a story so that Stephanie already had a nice dress to wear for the weekend so that they could go out and celebrate ;)

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October 06, 2014
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I met up with jamie and drew at wye island on an absolutely perfect fall morning. they came from across the bay for their maternity session and the grounds and waterfront of the island provided the perfect backdrop. jamie is yet one more member of the what I lovingly refer to as the ‘natgeo crew’ meaning that she works at national geographic with many of our other clients – all of whom have been so amazing to work with! our day was certainly another of these wonderful experiences. I am so happy for you as you get closer to welcoming your first child and am so excited to meet the little one soon!

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October 02, 2014
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It’s hard to forget this handsome little fellow with his blonde hair and sapphire blue eyes. :) You might remember Andrew’s newborn session featured on our blog and then a year ago I met up with the gang for his nine month session.  This summer Jen and I decided that it was time for another shoot! I should mention that photo sessions are always an adventure with the Vertz/Kruse family ;)  Whether we happen to randomly schedule sessions on the hottest day of the year, incur a chance flooding, catch a stomach bug or whatever else life decides to throw at us- we always manage to roll with it and have a great time and a lot of laughs.  So naturally, this year’s session greeted us with a 10 minute rain storm and then clear skies the rest of the evening. ;)  One of the many things that I love about this family is their care free nature and positive outlook on life.  When the rain started pouring down we all just laughed and said, “Of course it would rain!” and then we just let Andrew run around and explore.  It was so great to see him in this element.  Throughout the whole session I just saw how intrigued and curious he was at the waves rolling up on the beach and the feeling of the sand between his little toes and fingers.  Andrew is a little over a year and a half and full of energy and excitement. I loved being able to chase him around and capture his expression when he saw the seagulls and the kites.  I’m so glad that Jen and Nick didn’t let the rain ruin the evening but instead saw it as a fun family outing and that I was able to capture Andrew.  It was so great to see you all again!! I always have a great time! :D  Can’t wait for this fall! xoxo

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