Category Archives: Glimpses of me

Here I am again, with a “my everyday” personal post with some amazing ladies from Light Inspired. For my “April” installment, I chose to share some photos from one of the many walk I took with my boys at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA (my absolute favorite spot for outdoor photos with clients as well). April’s weather was crazy – rain, snow, sunshine – you name it! We were lucky to catch some beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom at Meadowlark before crazy April weather blew them all down. Meadowlark is my absolute favorite outdoor spot in Northern Virginia, all year round, so if you haven’t yet been – do go, it’s gorgeous, relaxing and wonderful.

First off, there is a new “fairies” exhibit at Meadowlark, my boys love it (but, oh, so hard to keep them from grabbing all those amazing tiny houses and creatures!)

nova candid photography_01

What you see on the ground are cherry blossom petals – when cherries are in peak bloom, it looks like it’s snowed pink and white! My little one seriously thought it was snow and told me his feet were getting cold:)Next stop – “let’s go scream in the pots!” nova candid photography_02webI even managed to get a few shots with the boys using a remote shutter release (and a promise of candy and legos at home). nova candid photography_03 nova candid photography_04Stump! The boys saw it and went right over to sit down (and I got in trouble with a Meadowlark associate who told me it was an exhibit and there was absolutely no stomping or sitting allowed among those flowers, and I totally understand… but they were so sweet there that I grabbed a few shots). nova candid photography_05Gorgeous cherry blossoms! nova candid photography_06Two boys running away is all I see when I take them on walks. 99% of my pictures are like that. They are running to the “lake with fishies” (a.k.a. giant orange and pink and white koi fish, turtles, and some other kinds of fish I don’t know – the highlight of every walk). nova candid photography_07The shots below cost me more legos, but so worth it:)The last is probably getting printed as a large canvas for our home. nova candid photography_08

Thanks for checking out my everyday. Now proceed on around the circle to read about Karen Jacot’s  of Karen Jacot Photography every day.

I am so excited to continue the journey of documenting some of my personal photos on this blog, and even more so excited because I am doing it as part of a blog circle with some amazing ladies from Light Inspired focusing on glimpses into our every day lives.

I am going to show you some of our “snow” pictures I shot at the playground behind our house! This is the first year my boys really got to enjoy snow, which we’ve been getting plenty of this year, and (aside from dressing two little boys into thousands of layers) we had so much fun digging in the snow, building snowmen and getting our winter spirit on!
Maxi, my little one, is a lot more open to being photographed than his big brother, so I naturally got a ton more pictures of him.

MyEveryDay_ChasingMoments_1403_01I must admit to a parenting fail – gloves on Maxi didn’t work too well, it’s mittens from now on!

MyEveryDay_ChasingMoments_1403_02 MyEveryDay_ChasingMoments_1403_03 MyEveryDay_ChasingMoments_1403_04And, we were done, ready to go home, cold and happy :)

MyEveryDay_ChasingMoments_1403_05Next, check out what everyday looks like for Laura of Shachmut Photography:)

All I want is to have more pictures of me with my boys. Doing what we usually do – playing, hanging out, going on walks – I want to be “in” those precious little moments that make up life.

I love fall, and it’s absolutely gorgeous in Northern Virginia. I love taking the kiddos out to beautiful paths and trails behind our community for some much-needed running, and playing, and nature-exploring. So, a couple of times I brought my camera along and got in the shots! I don’t ever bring a tripod, instead I just set the camera on whatever surface works – a bench, a bridge railing, or a playground structure. Eyeball exposure, double-check remote shutter release, set camera to burst mode, go! One of the best tricks for getting selfies with kids is give them the shutter control. They both LOVE pressing the button, and seeing the effect gets a big grin almost every time! Now, these pictures are not about me being a photographer and taking the ‘perfect’, wall-art-quality shot. These pictures real, imperfect, slightly out of focus – and I love them! Because in them – I am not a photographer, I am a mommy.

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Reston family photographer_october2013_02

My little boys have been super busy the last couple of months, and between our Caribbean family vacation in August, start of preschool for both of them, Ryan’s birthday last week, and the whole end of summer / start of fall ordeal, I’ve got a good few gigabytes of pictures to go through some day. (I must say, I’ve been diligently editing away our family photos and just finished 2012… woohoo! So, hopefully, I’ll actually catch up on pictures from 2013 by the end of 2013). In the meantime, I’ll show our “apple picking” trip a couple of weekends ago! We went to our “usual” apple picking spot, Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville. Love the scenic path to the apple orchard.

little boys light inspired_Sept2013_01

My little one did not want to walk (thanks, daddy, for doing all the carrying!), but once we got to the apple trees he felt right at home and started picking (and eating!).

little boys light inspired_Sept2013_02

Drum roll here, please! Both of them agreed to stand in one spot for a minute so mommy could get some pictures! Oh, thank you, photography gods!

little boys light inspired_Sept2013_03

Hope you enjoyed our little apple picking outing (if you are ever in Northern Virginia in the fall – don’t miss all the amazing u-pick farms and orchards!). And now, head on over to Cara Walen Photography and check out pictures from an a totally awesome birthday party for her 4 year old pirate!

I am so excited to be joining my very first blog circle with some amazing ladies from the Light Inspired photography forum. A blog circle is a “round” of posts on the same topic all linked together. As we are all mommies to amazing boys, this group’s theme is “little boys” and anything and everything about them. I am SOOO so so totally psyched about this! I’ve long been debating about bringing some of my personal life (especially my kids) into my professional areas and decided what better way to offer my friends, clients and readers a glimpse of me than to… well, post about my everydays and the people dearest to my heart!

My boys are my main inspiration and my most challenging and rewarding subject. The “big one” (Ryan) is almost 4, the “little one” (Max) is almost 2; and this summer is probably the most fun I’ve had with both of them. Maxi is finally old enough to play along his big brother, and they are just so-so-so fun! The last few weeks have been super hot and so we’ve done lots of pool, ice-cream and waterplay and we all smell like sunscreen too! For this blog post, I thought it’d be fun to show what we did a couple of days ago on the deck – I’ve got the sprinkler going, and we all played for a good couple of hours!

kids playing in water sprinkler on deck

kids playing in water sprinkler on deck

kids playing in water sprinkler on deck

kids playing in water sprinkler on deck

kids playing in water sprinkler on deck

Hope you enjoyed the photos, I’d love to hear how everybody else’s summer is going!

My three-year-old Ryan is a huge fan of “Puff the Magic Dragon”. He knows all the words to the song, loves it at bedtime, “reads” the book with me every day and generally speaks of Puff as a good friend. Amazingly, for his age, he understands the entire story and a few days ago he talked about how Puff was so sad because Jackie wouldn’t come to play with him any more, and Puff was so lonely! Well, I got my little man a surprise – a huge stuffed “Puff”, and I wanted to make Puff’s arrival very special. So, this Monday I stole Rye-Rye for a few hours and took him to the studio “on an adventure to meet Puff”!!!

We read “Puff” and talked about his home Honalee, and decided to make a “home” for him with us, so we could be his friends and he wouldn’t be lonely any more. Rye loved the idea and decided that Puff loved the sun, clouds, the ocean, and boats.  So, off we went to create a “welcoming” new home for Puff. First, we made the sun and some clouds.

studio photography storytelling puff the magic dragon book

craft with a toddler boy storytelling puff the magic dragon

Then we made the ocean. I didn’t have enough supplies (especially glue) at hand to make a boat, so he just drew one.

crafts with toddler photography studio storytelling puff the magic dragon

Then I had Rye look through a spyglass to be on the lookout for Puff – Puff was coming!

crafts with toddler spyglass storytelling puff the magic dragon

In the meantime, I got Puff out of a special hiding spot and… Oh my God! I have never seen a happier little boy in my life! Seriously! I almost cried watching Ryan play with Puff!

crafts with toddler photography studio storytelling puff the magic dragon

From what I hear, Puff is no longer lonely, he lives “happily ever after with a new family”, and has “lots of friends to play with” and “everyone loves him”!

Last weekend, on Saturday, October 13, 2012, I was so excited to meet up with a wonderful group of shutterbugs for an early, 8am, “photowalk” as a part of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk. Meadowlark graciously sponsored admission for participants of the photo walk and we were lucky to capture amazing morning light and an awesome combination of weather events! Imagine a crisp morning, with snow-like frost on the grass, first rays of morning sunshine breaking through the trees to light the lake, and fog, moving slowly over the water. As the sun rose, all the frost turned into dew drops – so fun to photograph! It was quite chilly at 8am (haha, and of course I did not bother to bring a warm jacket, or a hat, or gloves), but it warmed up by the time we were done with the official photo walk at 10am, and many photowalkers stayed at Meadowlark to snatch some more photos.

It is quite amazing to see the variety of photo captured by everyone at the same time on the same day. Head on over to flickr to see what some WWPW “walkers” shared over there, or check out the Google+ event with some more pictures there. Below are the shots that I got.

At first, I experimented with some HDR to take pictures of the lake:

Then I focused on using my macro lens for some “detailed” shots; I really like the warm glow of morning light!

meadowlark photography worldwide photo walk 2012

“Experimental meadow” is an awesome part of Meadowlark! It’s a bit behind the children’s area, and I got “stuck” there photographing grass stems, and dew, and trying to capture, the motion of grass in the wind, morning light, and a bit of how wild and uncombed the meadow looks – truly natural and organic.

meadowlark photography worldwide photo walk 2012

Lastly, I don’t know what this pink stuff is, but it looked beautiful!

meadowlark photography worldwide photo walk 2012

A huge thank you to all who came out to shoot as part of Worldwide Photo Walk 2012, I loved being the “group leader” and I really hope I can start a tradition of an annual WWPW at Meadowlark!

wwpw 2012 meadowlark group photo


Some of you may know that this year I am leading a World Wide Photo Walk (WWPW) at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens on October 13. Join the photo walk here and mark your calendars for Sunday, October 13, at 8am (2 hours  BEFORE regular public admission to the gardens).

WWPW is a global social photography event when people with a shared love of photography all around the world gather for two hours to walk together and capture photos of their “corner of the world” and to share them with fellow walkers, to get to know other local photographers and to enjoy taking pictures. WWPW was created by Scott Kelby (one of the world’s top photoshop gurus) five years ago and has since generated more publicity and participation each year. I took part in the 2009 photowalk in Georgetown in Washington DC as a “walker” and in 2010 organized a photo walk at the Arlington National Cemetery as a photo walk “leader”. Having taken a break in 2011 (I had a good reason, I was eight and a half months pregnant with my second son), I am excited to re-join walkers world wide and to serve as a walk “leader”. This year I chose one of my most favorite local photography spots – the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA.

Today, thanks to the help and the wonderful company of William B. Folsom – a local photographer and a long time “resident photographer” and photography instructor at Meadowlark,  I was privileged to get to photograph at Meadowlark during early morning hours, before public access at 10am. What can I say? It was absolutely magical!

Here is a glimpse of what type of photos walkers can expect on October 13 – a few of my favorite images from this morning! I can’t wait for the walk in October!

Early morning photography is amazing for many reasons, but mainly for the gorgeous “golden hour” lighting when the sun is just beginning to rise and one can get backlit photos with a lot of contrast. Also, dew is incredible to photograph!

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

Can’t decide if I like this photo of the lake in color or black and white.

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

Okay, did I mention “dew” earlier? I mean – it was everywhere! Grass, flowers, leaves, bugs, catepillars. I went overboard photographing a fairly big spiderweb at the “experimental meadow” – these dew drops look like pearls, or beads or “planets” (this astronomical comparison belongs to my 3-year old).

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA

Here I photographed a very outer age of the spider web with a very fast shutter to darken ambient light and focus on the pattern of dew drops.

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA
The best part of photographing in the morning is birds! Now, I am not a bird photographer, I am not even good at spotting birds, but Bill gave me a few tips about where and how to photograph some of the avian residents of Meadowlark and voi-la – I got this really nice photo of a hummingbird (granted this is one of several dozen “missed” shots : ) .

photography at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA