The Art of Pets: New Offerings this Year

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As a pet and portrait photographer, I am always thinking, “what makes my subject special?” What little moment makes you look back and smile?

Specifically, when I photograph pets, I try to capture each little character I meet. His goofy dog smile, his wet little nose, his gorgeous eyelashes, his curious eyes. As a dog owner myself, I want to bottle up every bit of my dog and remember him forever. Cloning him wouldn’t cut it. It wouldn’t be him. He is my dearest friend, and I want to capture him to look back and smile at forever.

This winter, I finally bought myself an iPad. I had been doodling and drawing for as far back as I can remember, and had recently taken to creating doodles of my dog’s various expressions on sticky notes in my office. With my iPad, I now had the tools to make those doodles into something more. I started with my pal, Ranger, and then began drawing other pups in my friend group. Just like my photos, it gives me a way to bottle up their little characters.

This year, I’ll be offering personalized pet drawings as well as my usual pet portraits. Each portrait will be $50 and takes about a 7-10 day turn around. Send me your favorite photo of your pet and I will send back your image. I will also offer to take the photo when you attend any of my events this year.

I’m excited to expand the ways in which I capture the sweetest things in life. I can’t wait to meet, photograph, and draw your pups.

Mersiovsky Family and a big old pit named Mac

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JMU has a way of bringing together the best people.

I met Kate and Paul while helping a mutual friend move into her home. We had all gone to JMU around the same time, though we hadn’t met while there. Thankfully, as fate would have it, we now all live in the same town.

Mac, their adorable gentleman of a pit bull, is a rescue pup with a huge smile, and an even bigger heart. We went out to Manassas Battlefield to capture some of that golden hour magic that only a fall sunset can bring.



The Path Less Traveled: Celebrating National Public Lands Day

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DSC_0593“Come into the woods, for here is rest.” – John Muir

Aaron and I spent a week last month hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was a time to slow down, to conquer mountains both in front of me and in my mind. Up there in the pine forests atop Mt. LeConte, I found the place that inspires me. This is where my journey as a photographer started.

When Aaron and I got married, we created a goal to visit all 59 national parks (and any and all national park sites as well – there are 417). We make an effort to get to at least one national park a year. I have such a deep love of the national parks and the conservation and preservation of our nation’s natural beauty. In a time when technology and the immediacy of our world can seem too much, these places remind us to slow down, breathe, and take in the goodness of the world around us.

That’s why this year, I am offering special sessions to benefit the parks. These sessions will be on the weekend of National Public Lands Day, September 22. Below are the details:

  • Book a session September 22 or 23
  • Session location: Manassas Battlefield Park
  • Family photos and/or pet photos
  • Price: $200
  • 25% of session fee goes toward the National Park Foundation

These sessions must be booked prior to the weekend of the 22nd. If you are interested in taking part in this special deal, please click here to sign up.

Ava & Nicole Maternity Session at Jones Point Park

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Officially one year into my business, what I love the most about photography is that it has allowed me to discover new places and meet new people.

This past weekend, I discovered a beautiful park under a bridge I had driven over plenty of times – an oasis I didn’t even know was there. Jones Point Park is a little urban paradise in Old Town Alexandria.

And I got to meet Ava and Nicole, two beautiful mamas-to-be. They had their first date in Alexandria, and we decided this little park was the perfect place for maternity photos. Ava and Nicole were [are] super cool – even when I was like “yeah, so what if you guys went and stood in that patch of ominous-looking ivy?” – which, apparently, was filled with awesome rainbow-colored beams of light I didn’t notice until post. They braved the bugs and the heat and the Chesapeake Bay summer, but we had a great time. They are expecting their little guy – I will leave the name disclosing up to them – in a few months. He is also already super cool (see the fedora below).


Sam and Amber Engagement Photo Session

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My mom and my husband are weather nuts – they check the weather at least a few times a day, they have multiple radar apps and TV stations with weather breakdowns that they watch religiously. I used to think they were nuts… until my first full summer as a photography business began.

Last Saturday, the rains were ridiculous. And I was going nuts. I was going to be photographing Sam and Amber at Brookside Gardens and man, did I want everything to go perfect – or at least not flood. Parts of Maryland were completely destroyed by flood waters. But the part of Maryland where I was photographing Sam and Amber’s engagement photos? Someone upstairs musta’ set up an umbrella right over the gardens. I’m gonna go ahead and assume that’s a sign. Because these two have an insane chemistry that can definitely weather any storm.



Family Photos on the Potomac

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Three boys, one little girl, a gorgeous border collie, perfectly coordinated outfits, and some big smiles. The Cowan family brought their A-game to their session at Fort McNair the other weekend. Thunderstorms threatened an otherwise perfect day, but we were able to capture just enough fun before they rolled in.

Kelly and Finley, the Shepherd Mix

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It was a gorgeous day at Fort McNair last Saturday when I met up with Kelly and her pup, Finley, for their pet session. I had been to the area, but had never been to Fort McNair – it is beautiful! Right on the Potomac and right next to the new soccer stadium.

Kelly and Finley are two peas. They were so much fun to hang out with, and I’m so glad they introduced me to a part of the city I never knew existed.


Petersen Family New Home Session

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A couple of weeks ago, my spring sessions kicked off with some much needed warmth – not just outside, but also from the Petersen family. They had just moved to Virginia from Hawaii, and they brought the sunshine with them. A military family, they had just moved into their new home here and wanted to get some photos to capture this new chapter. Aloha and welcome to the neighborhood, Petersens!

Pet and Family Session: Yolande the Animal Behaviorist

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Last weekend, I got to meet an animal behaviorist. What does that mean? Basically, she is not just a dog trainer – she’s a specialist in dog and cat and will help you understand better your pet’s actions. She works with anxious dogs, frightened cats, and dogs who need a little extra training to be the good boys and girls their owners know they can be.

Yolande works for Companion Animal Behavior based in Leesburg. I spent some time getting to know her, her daughter, and their adorable cat and cockapoo.