I was able to shoot an engagement session for the very first time with my friends Sam and Kyle a few weeks ago. Kyle proposed to Sam in May at Delaplane Cellars – a winery in Virginia – so they wanted to recreate their special moment for their photographs. Bryan joined me on the adventure, and we all met on an uncharacteristically cool day in August for a picnic and a little wine. Sam and Kyle are not the pose-y type, so we kept it casual and fun with a lot of jokes and laughter. It was a perfect afternoon!
There’s something about vintage clothing that gives me the warm and fuzzies; an excitement from putting on a piece of history that I don’t get from slipping on a splurge-of-a-dress or the next great find from TJ Maxx [although don’t get me wrong, I love both of these things]. I get even more excited when the piece of clothing I am putting on belonged to my grandmother, before she graciously donated it to my closet. Mima, my mom’s mom, is still young at heart and is always at the forefront of fashion, so I knew her gorgeous rust colored dress from the 1970’s would be the perfect thing for a bohemian inspired shoot.
My friend Traci spotted a rare patch of undeveloped land on an afternoon drive in Sterling, Virginia and had been itching to do a styled shoot there ever since. It was time for my rust dress to shine! The open plot of land was next to a 4-lane highway, so Traci and I darted across the road with gusto, excited to see what our photography “venue” looked like. The weather was mild that day: cloudy with a few drops of rain here and there, but the overcast skies provided fantastic light that Traci beautifully captured in her photos.
Photography by Traci J. Brooks Studios
Every adult dreams of being able to dress up like a whimsical character from a great movie, book, or musical, just as we innocently did in our backyards as kids. Well I don’t know if everyone does, but I sure do, and I was able to fulfill my child-like fantasy on a trying-oh-so-hard-to-be sunny day in May. My friend and photographer, Traci Medlock of Traci J. Brooks Photography, had a vision of recreating the Wizard of Oz story with her friends portraying the characters. I was “cast” to be the Scarecrow and couldn’t have been more excited.
The talent of Suzanne Minskey of Faces by SAM completely transformed my everyday look into the face of the Scarecrow. I was literally shocked when I looked in the mirror and it made playing the part all the more fun! This was a “use what you have in your inventory” type of shoot, so I brought my most neutral plaid shirt, conjured my memories of the brave and genuine Scarecrow, and ran with it. With straw in my hair, we spent a magical day recreating the timeless story of friends on a journey together. The sky spit on us all afternoon at Algonkian Regional Park, but Traci was able to take some gorgeous shots before the rain!
Photos by Traci J. Brooks Photography
In addition to all of my 2014 goals, I also feel the need to majorly prioritize time with my family this year. My younger sister, Natalie, is heading to Senegal, Africa at the beginning of March for a 2-year service with the Peace Corps. I admire her adventurous spirit and dedication to fulfilling her goal of pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a foreign country, but I am going to miss her terribly while she is gone. My younger brother is a Sophomore in high school and is quickly growing up: in two more years and he will be off to college pursuing his dreams as well. I also have an amazing mother, who will soon be an empty-nester, so now is the time to take full advantage of the time we have all together.
A few days before Christmas, our family was able to visit Oak Shade Farm in Rixeyville, Virginia to pick out and chop down our own tree. This has been a tradition of ours for the past couple of years, and I was so glad we could do it again this year! We lucked out with some magical 70 degree weather that day, perfect for spending the day on a farm looking at trees, drinking warm cider, and cuddling with the most adorable 3-week old bunnies.
The truth is that everything is moving too fast and there’s not enough time to take it all in. It’s these moments that I will cherish now, and forever.
Photography by Teddy Wolff
If you remember from a couple weeks ago, getting outside more was a must on my fall to-do list. Aside from my weekly runs in Shirlington, I had been having trouble checking this off my list, until two weekends ago… my friend Lizzy and I thankfully [in advance] penciled in a fun trip to go apple picking and, by golly, we made it happen!
We decided to visit Stribling Orchard in Markham, Virginia, just an hour south from D.C. Lizzy grew up picking apples at this particular orchard and hadn’t been back in years. We arrived an hour and a half before closing, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. The bustling orchard was beginning to quiet as young and old apple pickers alike rang up their spoils of the afternoon, and we almost had the place to ourselves. It was a gorgeous evening as we scoured the orchard for each different type of apple. We collected McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and Lizzy’s all-time favorite, Stayman apples.
I have also been trying to find any reason to wear my navy blue floppy hat from Anthropologie that has been sitting on top of my wardrobe all year long. I feel like the perfect time of year [now] to wear a hat like this goes by in a flash and I usually forget to pull it down! Keeping with my button down + cardi go-to outfit, I wore a new darling polka dot and heart shirt that I got from Madewell a couple weeks ago [on sale!].
Photography also by Teddy Wolff
The best part about apple picking [aside from snacking on all of the delicious apples along the way] is all of the fun recipes we get to try!
Last weekend presented a wonderful opportunity: a quick [but great] trip to Charlottesville. As Teddy immersed himself into photographing a beautiful Charlottesville country wedding, I was able to catch up with my amazing friends over dinner and wine downtown.
On the way home, we decided to stop off and enjoy a few minutes of the gorgeous day [one of the prettiest in Virginia in these last couple weeks]. Butterflies were out in full force, along with a few daring sky divers. Maybe one day I will work up the courage…
Wearing: striped top: Loehmann’s // flats: DSW // floral skirt: hand-me-down [the best]
Photography also by Teddy Wolff