Surprise Engagement [Washington, DC]

When one of your best friends is planning to propose to your other best friend and asks you to photograph it, you can’t say no! I was so thrilled to be a part of the engagement celebration for two of my dearest pals a couple weeks ago. The proposal took place at the Lincoln Memorial on a beautiful summer day. Unbeknownst to the soon-to-be bride-to-be, a few of our friends and fellow photographers were camped out behind the pillars, waiting to take some sneaky snapshots of the big event. While the proposal plans didn’t go quite as expected – we were spotted! – the photos turned out even better because I got to take some great close-up shots of the newly engaged couple. Here are a few photos from the day – in love with the pure happiness radiating from these two. Congrats Abbey and Henderson!

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Mabel [East Tennessee]

A lapse in blogging really makes you take stock of all that’s happened since your last post. For me, I’ve crammed several big life events into the span of just a few months. Here is the short version:

  • Moved from Washington, D.C., to Johnson City, Tennessee, to be with my love
  • Got engaged!
  • Started a new job at an awesome marketing agency
  • Adopted a dog

All this “adulting” left little time for photography, but it’s time to jump back in with my favorite kind of photos: dog photos. Our new dog, Mabel, is a loving, energetic and goofy new addition to the family. We spotted this cute pie Border Collie on our local humane society’s Facebook page and had to take her home. She loves exploring the outdoors, which makes her a great hiking buddy for all the trails nearby here in East Tennessee. Here are some recent photos of her enjoying some beautiful summer weather at Carvers Gap and Willow Springs Park.

Birthday Brunch [Navy Yard]

What do you do after a Sunday Funday Birthday Brunch? Have an impromptu photo shoot with your pals, of course! The squad celebrated our friend Sarah’s birthday this weekend with a brunch fiesta at Agua 301 in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood. Sarah’s a big fan of Mexican brunches – think huevos rancheros, taco platters, chilaquiles, pumpkin and pepita pancakes – and Agua 301 did not disappoint. The restaurant looks out on Yards Park, a lovely green space with some pretty wild architectural features. And of course, we couldn’t make a stop in Navy Yard without a visit to the best D.C. ice cream place, Ice Cream Jubilee (sidebar: close up shots of desserts are my absolute fave).

Shaw [Washington, DC]

Things I am thankful for today: friends who volunteer as guinea pigs-I mean models for my photo shoots. When you’re just starting out as a photographer and trying to develop your portfolio, it can be hard to find subjects willing to let you take their picture! Luckily, I have some awesome pals who will gladly channel their inner America’s Next Top Model in front of my camera. This weekend I had the pleasure to shoot my beautiful friend Abbey, who modeled her fresh new ‘do and array of cozy cardigans around the Shaw neighborhood of D.C.

If the Fates Allow [Durham, NC]

I always find the beginning of a new year a good time to reflect on the past and set some new intentions for the future. One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 is to spend more quality time with family and friends and capture more special moments on camera. In that spirit, here are some memories from my family’s fun Christmas Eve celebration. Over the holiday break, I was able to spend time with my family during Christmas and after, catch up with all of my friends from Durham, and kick of the new year with my pals in D.C. — super thankful for all these relationships. Best wishes to you and yours, and cheers to a new year.

Bonus video footage: https://vimeo.com/198370527

Rocky Mountain High [Denver, CO]

Part two of my adventures trekking around Colorado’s gorgeous landscape took my mom and me to some great heights – 14,115 feet to be exact – to Pike’s Peak.

My mom was the real MVP of this trip for handling the driving like a pro and staying calm while I was freaking out and imagining us careening over the edge of a cliff at every hairpin turn.

Thankfully, we did manage to make it to the pinnacle, and the views at the top were well worth the anxiety. It almost felt like being on another planet, both because of the moon-like topography on the summit and sweeping views of what seemed like the entire Earth down below.

The temperature drop at the top was also no joke. It was so cold, in fact, that my mom’s phone died within minutes of being out of the car. Worried about my camera functionality, I ran around the summit to take some shots as quickly as possible before we hopped back in the car and hightailed it back down the mountain (and by “hightailed,” I mean we drove really, really, slowly because tons of guard rails hadn’t magically popped up in the time we were at the top).

Garden of the Gods [Denver, CO]

Warning: The images you’re about to see contain lots and lots of rocks. Trust me, they’re a lot prettier than that sounds.

Earlier this month, my mom joined me in Denver at the tail end of a business trip. With the hectic schedule of executing my organization’s annual meeting, I was grateful to extend my trip into vacation mode and enjoy some extra time exploring in and around great city of Denver. Craving some wilderness adventure, my mom and I rented a car one day and drove South to Colorado Springs to check out Garden of the Gods, a national natural landmark with incredible rust-colored rock formations (we also ended up at Pike’s Peak, but more to come on that in another post).

We hiked in, around, up and over all sorts of massive red rocks. The landscape was nothing like anything we have on the East Coast. There was a certain point that morning where we just sat on some giant boulders and took it all in with fellow visitors in silence. I could go on about magical this place was, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

H Street Festival [Washington, DC]

If you’re looking for something to do on any given weekend in DC, you’re bound to find a festival of some kind in one (or more) of the many neighborhoods. This past weekend I trekked down to H St. NE for the aptly-named H Street Festival. The 10 block fest was lined with tons of tents featuring food, fashion and information on local organizations, stages with music and dance performances, and the usual bars and restaurants packed to the gills with patrons. In between winding through massive crowds of people with my friends and inhaling lots of jerk chicken smoke, here are a few photos I snapped throughout the day.

Field Day [Meridian Hill Park]

Goodbyes are hard. But they hurt a little less when you have a festive celebration to send someone off into a new chapter of their lives. My friend group in DC has started to undergo some changes in the past year as people move away from the city for new opportunities. While it is sad to see such great pals leave, it’s also fun to reminisce on all the fond memories we’ve had in the District over the years and give them a super awesome send-off. And hey, you can move away, but you can never really leave the group chat, right?!

For our latest bon voyage, we threw our friend Amanda a field day-style bash at Meridian Hill Park. The party included a picnic and playground games of our youth – we’re talking egg toss, egg-in-spoon race, three-legged race, frozen t-shirt game. You’ve never seen so many twenty-somethings competitively trying not to crack an egg on the ground while racing toward a crepe paper finish line at the same time. Between the fun activities, Capri Sun-drinking and jello-eating,  we wished our friend well as she heads off for life in the Big Apple.