Monday, December 3, 2007

And it was pretty perfect

We had a few technical hitches, but it actually went pretty smoothly! We raised $5200, which just tickles me to death. Lots of people purchased two files, which was great. We're definitely going to try it again next year, although this time, maybe not over Thanksgiving. (The pressure of Christmas deliveries is almost too much for me!) Huge thanks go out to Vickie, Stephanie, Julia, Andrew, and Kris. I couldn't have pulled this off without all of your help. Next time we do this, I promise to bring a wider variety of CDs. I appreciate that nobody complained about having to listen to my 5 CDs over and over (and over). :)

In other news - the studio will be closed for most of December, in order to allow us time to get out everyone's orders and still spend a sane holiday with our own kids. If you haven't placed your order by now, shame on you. You've got three more days. Which is about 2 weeks longer than I had hoped, but it is what it is. :) All slideshows will be coming offline as we redo the website (yes, new pictures! Finally!)

We are currently scheduling sessions in late January and early February. Part of the studio break is to redo the price and product lists. I'm no longer sending out 2007 Price lists, since we're not scheduling anything else in 2007. The new information packages should be out in a couple weeks. (Gotta get these orders in first!)

Speaking of which, I better get back to it. Thanks to all of you who participated in One Perfect Portrait. I... well, I'm still pretty speechless about the whole thing. And for me to be speechless, that takes a lot! :)


Friday, November 9, 2007

One Perfect Portrait and Holiday Schedule

Wow. I posted a few messages about the One Perfect Portrait benefit (, and within 24 hours, all the sessions were booked. Amazing! I'm so excited about doing this. I can't wait to meet everyone who signed up.

So as it is with most people, the end of the year is so busy, and everyone wants to have their pictures for the holidays. I want them to have them for the holidays. And I want to spend the holidays with my children. So - here's the deal. The last studio session is the weekend before Thanksgiving (and yes, we are very happy about being fully booked!) The weekend after Thanksgiving is One Perfect Portrait. Monday, November 26th (midnight that night) is the deadline for ordering anything for this year. Images from OPP will be put online Saturday and Sunday evening, and you will have the opportunity to order other images, but they must be ordered by midnight on the 26th. (Okay, in all reality, I'm not going to be watching the clock. Orders have to be in my mailbox by the time I get home from taking my son to school on Tuesday morning. :) )The week following, I will be spending every waking moment working on everyone's order, and running back and forth to the bathroom because of the copious amounts of coffee I will be drinking. :) They go to the printer. I take a huge breath and hope everything comes back perfect. Things happen, prints get redone. It's all good. They come back, get packaged and invoiced, I call you, and by mid-December, everyone should have their orders in time to mail them off. Anything ordered after November 26th will not be printed until January.

So in December, when we're closed, we're (hopefully) getting new floors in the studio (yay!), new curtains, and I may even finally finish painting the walls, since there will be plenty of time for it to air out. (okay, that's just a dream, really. But the curtains and floors are for real.) And yes, we're redoing the price list. It had to happen sooner or later. :)

In other news - Marirosa Anderson, Julia MacInnis, and I went to a seminar last week at Loudon Hospital for the bereavement training, and gave a presentation on Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It was very well received, and I was overwhelmed with how encouraging and nice everyone was. This organization is only a few years old, and we're still trying to get the word out, both to the hospitals and to other photographers who may be interested in volunteering. If you're a photographer and you think this might be something you're able to do, please, call me or email me and let's chat a bit about it. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. The more photographers are involved, the better it will be for everyone.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's up!

I'm very excited to announce that the website for the One Perfect Portrait benefit is up and running! Please go have a look - and check out the other photographers who are participating, too. It's going to be a fantastic weekend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thank you!

I'd just like to say thank you to all of you for the interest in my work. The past few days, I suspect someone has been going around saying nice things about me, because I am now officially booked for the rest of the year. I am happy to keep your name and number in case there's a cancellation, and when you're working with children, that's always a possibility. But in the meanwhile, I'm happy to schedule sessions starting again in January. And if you're looking for holiday pictures, there is the special session in November. Thanks again!

Here's one of my favorites from last night's session:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lost, found, and busy!

Wow - it's going to be a busy fall! I am completely booked for September and most of October and November. If you are interested in scheduling a session, there are a few days left at the end of October and mid-November. The last scheduled session date will be November 18th. The studio will be closed for the month of December, in order for us to complete the orders for Christmas. If you are interested in having pictures done for the holidays and aren't able to schedule a session, remember there will be the charity event on the 24th and 25th of November, with 20 minute mini sessions.

Are you the mother of a baby girl, and have misplaced your diaper bag? Are you missing shirts, bracelets, or onesies? If so, I think I know a good place to start looking: my studio! :) My 'lost & found' bag is starting to overflow, and I don't know who these things belong to. Some have been here for a while, some are fairly new. If you have misplaced something, let me know. I might have it!

School started last week. Josie is feeling it worst of all. She's so used to playing with her big brother all day long, that she just doesn't know what to do with herself. I've already started calling friends asking them for playdates - for me! And the latest with Josie - the happiest baby on the block has turned into a full-fledged drama queen. We've had several instances of her throwing herself on the floor, prostrate with anger, banging her hands and feet, and wailing as if she just found out that all the pacifiers in the world had been recalled. It's really hard not to laugh when it happens, because it's pretty darn cute. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

babies, babies

This has been a fabulous weekend for babies. 3 month old twin boys (we did a lot of laundry after that shoot!), and a five day old baby girl. I thought she was the youngest to be in the studio, but I was corrected - I photographed her big sister when she was only 4 days old (the 'stacked' family on the website). Any earlier than that, and they've been done on location. :)

This fall is looking to be fairly exciting! I'm going on a photo safari in New Hampshire in October. It was invitation-only, and I was so surprised when I was called. Some of the best portrait photographers in the country have been invited, and I was honored to be included. (New England in the fall - does it get any nicer? Well... maybe October in Virginia... but it's a close call!)

Also in October, the Fall Seminar for the VPPA will be in Fredericksburg. My favorite is the print critique. I've been entering prints into competition for a few years now, and the critiques are one of the best ways to prepare for comps. A table of judges telling you what's good - and bad - about your images. It can be hard to listen to, but you always learn something. It's just one of the ways that I, and all the other PPA and state affiliate photographers, work to improve the quality of our images.

In November, we're going to be hosting our fundraiser, benefiting Doorways for Women & Children, Arlington Pediatric Clinic, and Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs. It will be held the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the press release will be coming out in mid-September. Keep checking back for information. I'm really looking forward to it!

So here's one from this weekend. (More to follow after the mom has seen them.) Enjoy!


Monday, August 13, 2007

A few from this weekend

Because the light can change how a location looks, I try to check out a few local parks whenever I've got a session coming up. I want to make sure that it looks like I remember. And my kids are my favorite test bunnies. :) Here are a few at the rose garden in Arlington. It's a gorgeous place. And afterwards, the kids got to play in the sandbox and playground, so everyone was happy!

And this little guy LOVED climbing all over his dad's hockey equipment. I have only seen hockey games from the stands (and tv, of course). I had no idea the pads and gloves were that big! I'm even more impressed that those guys can move as gracefully as they do.

Friday, August 3, 2007

More pictures

I can't just have my snapshots on here! Here is a recent maternity session panel. It's funny - she was hesitant to even do them, and I think that she looks beautiful.

These boots are made for walking....

Well, it has been an embarrassingly long time since I've posted anything new. But I've been busy! I went to the VPPA summer seminar two weeks ago, saw some people, learned some stuff, had a fantastic set of workshops with two amazing photographers, Cathy Benton and Jamie Hayes. It was really fun. I met a photographer who takes wedding photography to an entirely new level. His name is Parker J, and his work is simply stunning. After watching his slideshow and listening to him talk, I almost wanted to start doing weddings again. Almost. :)

And what else... Oh, Josie is now obsessed with a pair of pink cowboy boots. She wears them everywhere. I can't believe she's starting preschool in September. I still remember Ian's first day of preschool. I sat in the parking lot in the car for the entire first class. His teacher, Mrs. John, will be Josie's first teacher, and I couldn't be happier about that. I love that her first exposure to school is going to be such a wonderful experience. I totally adore Mrs. John, and can't wait to see her again. (Ian still asks about her. He used to go with me when I would do their class photos, and he was really disappointed when I told him he would be in school this time, and couldn't come. Maybe I can schedule them for a teacher work day... :)

We spent the 4th of July in Marshall, VA, with my in-laws. It was really fun. We saw an airshow, had REALLY close seats for the fireworks, and just overall had a great day.

One of my favorite parts was when the announcer would tell us about the pilots, and their day jobs, encouraging us to patronize their business. It's nice to get out of the city once in a while. The whole day had a sort of timeless feel to it. I really wanted to win the raffle - the grand prize was a big red tractor. Why do I want a tractor when I can cut my entire lawn with one charge on my electric mower? No reason. I just thought it would be cool! I didn't win, to the relief of my husband. But it still would have been cool.

(oh, and one more thing - I turned 40 yesterday. Shhhhh. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New kid in town...

There's this really amazing wedding photographer in Monterey, CA that folks in the DC area should take notice of - her name is Stephanie Millner, and the link to her site is over on the right side of this page. Why should you notice her, you may ask? Because she's about to move to the area. I want to be the first to welcome her to DC, and also the first to say (since she's moving in June): it's not the heat... it's the humidity. :)

In other news - the aforementioned talent Stephanie is also a designer, and she gets full credit for coming up with my logo. After many hours of sending minute changes back and forth, we've come up with this, and I love it.

And for those of you wanting to see some actual pictures, here's one from my most recent session. Such a nice family, and a beautiful baby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

early morning maternity session

I don't normally shoot at 8:30 in the morning, because I am not a morning person, in so many ways (for example, I'm writing this at 1:35 am, and could easily stay up for a few more hours!) But sometimes, that's the best time of day for a baby whose day starts much earlier than that. Today's shoot started out a little rocky - tears as soon as she entered the studio! Oh no! But after a quick ride in the swing, and a lot of tossing upside down and tickling, she was happy and smiling.

This has been such a fun family to work with. I've been documenting her pregnancy since the first trimester, and the sessions quickly went to a combination photo session/playdate for our girls. I can't wait to meet the new baby!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


is finally here. The pollen seems to be gone, and we can have the windows open all night. It's fabulous. Josie has discovered that grass isn't so scary after all. Only a month ago, I put her on a blanket in the back yard, and she refused to leave the blanket. She did NOT like grass and no way, no how, was she going to crawl around in it. And then she did. And found there was an infinite world of things that she could almost choke on (okay, maybe that's just how it seems to me).
And Ian got a haircut! People barely recognize him. I like it alot, but I miss his little boy hair. I know it will grow back, but still...

Here's a preview of one of our new cards that will be coming out soon. We are now doing these gorgeous trifold cards. I love them. I want everyone to order them, just so I have an excuse to play around and design them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tempers fidgit

Wow - how did May get here so fast?! We are all in the throes of DC allergies - a good rain would be very welcome at this point! Ian was in his first school play (and was fabulous, of course!) and Josie took her first few steps. She's still walking on one knee, looking all the world like she's fencing someone. I had a week or two where it was actually fairly slow, but I have learned from history! This time, I embraced the downtime. I did not immediately rush out and try and fill it with personal projects. And it was nice! We actually got to spend some weekend time together as a family. Granted, it was mostly spent sorting things out for our big yard sale next week, but hey, quality time is quality time, right? :)

I know it's a little early to start thinking about these things, but I'm going to try something new this year for holiday portraits. Some other photographers and I are getting together to do a one-weekend fundraiser to benefit several local organizations that help children. I hope to have everything organized by July. It will be a nice way to give something back to the community, and I'm really excited about it. I can't wait until we start promoting it!

Have a happy Mother's Day!

Here are a few recent pics from the studio -

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tiny fingers!

This was from a location session on Saturday. I usually work in the studio, because I love to be able to totally control my light. But this session had to be done on location - the baby was a preemie. She's doing great and the parents are doing so wonderfully with her. I really enjoyed this shoot. It was fun to break out of my element a little bit. Or rather, go back to my old element. All my documentary work was like this. It's always a challenge going someplace new, looking for the best light you can use. It's a different creative process from studio work, but I enjoy it just as much.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Website update and a few new pics

Yes, the site is still down. I'm working on it. Every time I decide to update the website, I'm convinced (deluded?) that I'll be able to finish it in one weekend. I think this is because I put my first site up in one pre-child marathon weekend, many, MANY, years ago. Alas, I don't have quite the time that I think I do. So the site is still down. And it will be up and running again, soon, I promise! If you are looking for a particular type of image, please feel free to drop me an email. I'm happy to send you some images. In the meanwhile...

Here are two from a maternity shoot last night.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The last snaps from her birthday

I'd promise, but I'd probably be fibbing. :)

She gets it from me. :)

My baby turned 1!

Josie's birthday was yesterday, and we celebrated in style. First, I got to sleep in (I *was* a big part of her birth, after all). Then we went to IHOP, for one of her favorites - pancakes. After that, we thought it would be really fun to sit in rush hour traffic for an hour or so with the kids, on our way to see the cherry blossoms. Last year, right before she was born, this was one of the last things we did with just the three of us. I will always think of Jos when I see them now. I also will always think of her and Ian whenever I hear the song Easter Island Head, because we listened to it about a thousand times last year, and as part of a new tradition, again this year! After Haines Point, we came home so she could nap. Dinner was routine, but it was followed with vanilla ice cream (that she got to eat by herself), and presents. Ian particularly liked the presents, since his job was to help her open them. And of course, afterwards, bath and bed. An all round good first birthday, I think!

New Website

I'm in the midst of switching hosts. Those of you who know me have surely heard me complain about the myriad of problems I've had, so I'm finally jumping ship, and going to Axishost. Or rather, going back to Tina Peters, wherever she's working. (Her hosting company was my very first host, and it was fabulous.)

So, in the meanwhile, the website might be down, or look a little strange as I try and figure out what I want it to look like this time around. (Feel free to contribute ideas!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Busy weekend!

I have four sessions this weekend - this is from the second. The baby is only 8 days old, and he was adorable! I *love* newborns. I wish people would just stop by here on the way home from the hospital :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kissables Panel - what a cutie!

I love doing these. He was so cute, I had a hard time narrowing it down to 9 images.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Saturday session

We took this series at the end of the session, and almost didn't do it! I wasn't sure I'd like the dress (more formal than I usually do, since most of my babies are wearing just a diaper cover, if anything!), and the baby was starting to get tired. But we gave it a shot, and it's my favorite image from the whole session. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pregnancy project

So I've been working on a new project - documenting several women as they change during their pregnancy. We're about halfway through - a few have dropped out of the project, but several are still coming in, and it's going great. I love the idea of watching how these women change - most of my maternity portraits are done right at the end - I don't get to see the before and during, just the end. I'm not sure how it's going to look in the end - I think I'm going to do one large image with composites of everyone at the same point in their pregnancy. But then again, I might do something completely different. That's the nice thing about this being MY project - I'm the only one I have to make happy!

This is an image from one of the sessions (and a combo playdate with our daughters - I love it when my clients have kids the same age as mine!)


Friday, March 9, 2007

Local Girl Makes Good!

Okay, so the title is a little corny, but that's how I feel about the print competition I just entered.

Last weekend (weekend before last?) I went to the annual VPPA state convention. The trade show was fantastic - I saw some really amazing products that we're going to be offering. Gorgeous albums, printed quilts, custom jewelry. Oh, and these beautiful huge canvas portraits - close ups of kids faces - that I just can't wait to do. Once again, my kids will have to be the guinea pigs while I try something new.

One of the things that I love about these conventions is the print competition. There were over 400 entries - all made by fantastic photographers. I entered six images in competition and received ribbons for everything. Five hung in the exhibit, and one image, Tough Guys, earned a blue ribbon and a merit seal. The four best images will continue on to the SEPPA convention and competition, and if they do well there, on to the national PPA competition, where I'm hoping to garner another merit or two (After earning 25 Merits, a photographer may earn his/her “Master of Photography” degree from the PPA. ) So, yeah, I'm pretty pleased.

The main reason I go to these conventions, though, is the education seminars. I'm always looking for ways to bring you better, more creative images, and who better to learn from than the pros? Again, I can't wait to incorporate some of the ideas from the seminars - it's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Go Micah Go!

This is an excerpt of a post* from Micah Salb, a DC attorney, parent, and all round good guy:

I am very pleased to announce that Councilmember Graham introduced the breastfeeding protection act today! Based on a sage recommendation by a local mom, the Councilmember agreed to our suggestion to call the bill the Child's Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007.

Councilmembers Schwartz, Barry, and Brown all cointroduced the Bill and Councilmembers Cheh, Wells, Gray, Catania, and Evans have cosponsored the Bill! That means we have nine of the councilmembers' support right out of the gate!

And none of this would be possible but for the support of the dozens of folks who called and emailed their councilmembers on this important Bill. In fact, it is interesting for me to watch as skepticism and disinterest turned into support based on community action.

One of the most important accomplishments was Councilmember Graham's success in maneuvering to get the Bill assigned to the Workforce Development and Government Operations Committee, chaired by Councilmember Schwartz. That means that the Bill WILL advance. But since it is budget season, it is unlikely that anything will happen until April or May.

The next step will be for Councilmember Schwartz to hold a hearing sometime in the Spring. That is when we will mobilize again to get the legions to show up in droves to testify. After the hearing, Councilmember Schwartz will finalize the bill and have the committee mark it up (vote on it). Then it goes to the full Council for two votes.

Stay tuned! And please contact me if you have any stories of difficulties that you have faced at work or in the community when you breastfed. -Micah Salb

I think what he's doing is great. I personally never had anyone challenge me on nursing my children in public (well, other than my mom, but that's a whole other can of worms), but I've heard of others who have, and I find the whole situation appalling. If you have any stories to share, please feel free to post them here, or if you prefer, email them to me and I'll pass them along to Micah.

*Posted on the DC Urban Moms listserv, and excerpted with explicit permission from Micah Salb.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Congratulations to Julio and Graciela!

Who just had twins! I can't wait to see the babies.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Monday, January 8, 2007

Trying to take a holiday picture

But I got sidetracked and just had some fun with the kids in the studio.

I watched a special on Annie Leibowitz on PBS earlier. Wow. Okay, I'm feeling pretty inept now. She really is amazing.

My new New Year's Resolution is to get better.



Drat. This thing won't let me upload pics. I'll try again from another browser. Back in a sec. I hope.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it's been six weeks since my last confession, er, post. It's been a little busy around here. Apparently, the word is out in Arlington, and I've been discovered. That sounds a little braggy, but it's what it feels like. And I'm thrilled, believe me. But I felt bad that we didn't do as much for the kids with the holiday stuff as I had hoped to do. Then again, I never do as much as I plan to do. Those of you who know me know that I like to plan. :)

So - what is your New Year's Resolution? I decided to give up the ghost on the recycled resolutions of years past - lose weight, exercise more, be more organized, blah blah blah. Don't we all have those same resolutions? I decided to make mine a little more attainable on a daily basis. The big one for me is to go to bed before midnight every night. EVERY night. I swear, this can't be as difficult as it seems. Other people are tired at night. Surely, I can figure out a way to be in bed my midnight. And my next one is to try to have a longer fuse. I'm going to be more laid back about everything. Not gonna sweat the small stuff. I don't want my kids to remember me as being perpetually cranky. Maybe if I get more sleep, I'll be less snappish. The best resolution I've ever seen, however, is Ian's. We were explaining the whole concept to him last night. He thought about it a while and in all seriousness, said, "My resolution is to not kill you and eat you for dinner." Okay then! If he weren't 5 and into monsters and dinosaurs, I might be more concerned. But I'm not going to sweat it. It's probably not serious. :)

Onto the photo stuff - here are a couple pics from my first shoot of the new year. Oh, actually, no, that's night right. It's my last shoot of last year. New babies at both ends. Tomorrow I'll post pics of my first baby in 2007. This is Frederico. He's tiny and beautiful and I can't believe my Josie is three times his size, when she still feels tiny to me.

And for those of you wondering why you never got a Christmas card from me, well, December was a little crazy. I'm doing New Year's cards. Or possibly President's Day. (That's the one in January, right?) Definitely by Valentine's Day. Soon. I swear.

Happy New Year!