Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tiny Toes Dance Shop

A couple of weeks ago I was at my daughter's dance class and realized that I'd forgotten my book, my iPad, and my phone was about to die...which left me with only my camera to entertain myself. As parents aren't allowed in for most of class, I couldn't take photos of her, so I occupied myself instead with things I found in the dance gift shop.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


These photos were taken of geese at a lake in Crump Park, Richmond, VA on the day after Thanksgiving. All were shot using my 75-300mm telephoto lens; however, we were still pretty close to these geese!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


My parents' dog Rizzo is extremely photogenic; her coloring just makes her so easy to photograph. She was sitting quietly over Thanksgiving and let me grab these couple of photos of her with my 50mm lens. Of the 10 or so that I took, these three were my favorite.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paxton Manor in the Fall

The weekend before Thanksgiving I took the kids out for a walk around our neighborhood, and we headed up to Paxton Manor. I previously took photos of Paxton Manor in the spring...on the whole, I think I like how it looked in the fall much better. The colors in the area were gorgeous, peaking right around that time.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Light trails

My kids have colored flashlights that they enjoy playing with while the lights are out. I wanted to play with long exposure times, and thought that having the kids move these lights around in the darkened living room could make for some cool shots.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fall photos 2: Guest photographer!

In my previous post, I showed some of my favorite photos from touring through Leesburg this fall to capture the foliage. My daughter came with me and used my Canon point-and-shoot; she's getting pretty good and I really like some of her captures! It's fun for me to see what she pays attention to and wants to shoot.
Note that I did not make any changes to these photos - they are just as she shot them.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fall in Leesburg

Exactly one month ago today I headed out locally in Leesburg to take some photos of the beautiful fall foliage before it disappeared.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nicholson-Phillips family: Portraits

I have a few more favorites from my photo shoot from earlier this month to share here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Nicholson-Phillips family

Earlier this week I did my first-ever commissioned photo shoot for a friend of mine! I was so excited to finally do this - and to start with a family of 8 was quite the experience! We shot at the entrance to Red Rocks Wilderness Overlook in Leesburg, and despite missing the best setting sunlight, I captured some beautiful shots of their family.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In the pumpkin fields

About 3 weeks ago my sister and I took my kids to a farm in Ashland, Va for some fun fall activities. The farm included a tractor ride out to pumpkin fields, and the scenery was too beautiful too ignore.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Portraits of children

I took a large amount of photos at my friend's daughter's baptism. Many were of course of my friend's family and the baptism itself, but I also snagged a few photos of the other kids that were present.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


When I returned from a conference in mid-October, I was greeted at the airport by my husband and kiddos, and these beautiful flowers. One afternoon the light was so pretty in our house I had to get some photos of them, and practice on focusing using my 50mm prime lens.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Despite his not being a dog person, my boss has been really great lately about letting us all bring or dogs into the office (provided they aren't smelly and don't bark). My colleague brought in her French bulldog Charlie, and I had to get some photos of him - he's so darn cute! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photography lesson in Charlottesville

About 3 weeks ago I spent two days in Charlottesville, VA - the weather was stunningly beautiful while there, and I took my camera with me in hopes of being able to get some photos taken. Luckily I was able to shoot at both UVA and on the Downtown Mall.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Enchanted Forest

While in Wageningen, NL we stayed at the hotel pictured below - the Nol in't Bosch. The decorations inside were very pseudo-Victorian, but not where it mattered (e.g. bathrooms, which were quite modern). I didn't get many photos of the inside, but managed to get a couple of neat shots of the outside.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Canals in Amsterdam

I posted previously on my family blog a few photos from my two days in Amsterdam, and some explanations  for the places we went are there. I thought here I'd just show my favorite photos of the canals in Amsterdam (and a few other sites)...enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

National Arboretum

In early September we went to the National Arboretum in Washington DC. For photos of the kids and a few other things we did/saw, click HERE. It's very lovely; we didn't walk around very much; many of these photos were taken from the tram ride around the Aboretum.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Very Victorian

At the end of September we went to NJ for Evan's grandmother's funeral. The service was lovely, and afterwards we went to the Milleridge Restaurant on Long Island. Lynn had gone there with her parents for years growing up, so she felt it was the appropriate place to have a family gathering to remember Gram. It's a fascinating place - room upon room filled with neat old decorations (and neat old people!).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunset on the Sound

I just posted on my family blog some photos I took of the kids playing in the Albemarle Sound at sunset. I wanted to share my favorite sunset photos as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Outer Banks beach photos II

Last month we returned once again to the Outer Banks. Just before our trip I received my present to myself for having a good year at work - this lens, recommended by a friend. I hadn't really had a chance to play with it before the trip, so of course a couple of hours on the beach was a perfect opportunity to take some photos.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blue moon

On August 31 there was a blue moon; for those who don't know (and I did not!), there are typically 3 full moons in 3 months (yes, we all know that, Abbe!). However, periodically there is a 4th full moon within that 3 month period, and that happened at the end of August this year. It won't happen again until 2015. I didn't want to miss the opportunity for some nighttime photography.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Old" things

I think I've mentioned before on here that I'm part of a group on Facebook called "The Weekly Photo Project". I was invited in by a friend back in the spring; when I joined, there were only about 10 people in the group, and now with everyone inviting others in, we're up to about 70 people. The idea is that each week there's a new topic, and everyone submits a photo that they feel fits that topic. The person who chooses the topic picks their winner (based on whatever personal criteria they're looking for), and then that winner chooses the topic & winner for the next week. I've been participating since week 5; we're now on week 35. I've only failed to submit twice (once because I ran out of time, and once because I had no inspiration) - it's a lot of fun to see what everyone comes up with!

While at my parents in August, the theme for that week was "Old Fashioned".

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Sometimes my job takes me to some very fun places! At the end of July I met with a group who works at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in DC and uses our software. They asked if I'd provide them with a refresher training for their study, and I was happy to oblige as they in turn gave me an "official" visitor pass to the museum for the rest of the day. Not only did this mean I didn't have to deal with security on the way in, but I also got the employee discount on the IMAX movie that evening, was able to walk around and explore the museum kid-free, and didn't have to pay admission to the Butterfly Pavilion! Definitely worth it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

President Obama

On August 2, 2012, President Obama came to Leesburg as part of his campaign speech tour. It was insanely hot, poorly organized, and we were outside for about 4 hours waiting for a 30 minute speech...but despite all of that I'm really glad that I went - the man can give a fantastic speech, and we're happy to help support him in whatever way we can.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Family portraits at the beach

On our very last night in the Outer Banks last month, I wanted to head down to the beach after dinner and take some photos at sunset. However, upon our arrival at the beach access we were told by people leaving the beach that the flies were really bad, so we chose not to venture all the way down. Instead, we stopped at the gazebo at the top of the dune and took some photos from there.

Monday, August 20, 2012

UVA shirt photo shoot

My friends and I had the idea while at the beach last month to dress all of our children in the same Virginia shirts and take some photos. Because one friend already had two orange shirts for the boys, we decided to do boys in orange and girls in white. All 7 children were quite cooperative, and let us get these great shots.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The little things

I know this is going to be incredibly cheesy, but sometimes I'm reminded to just slow down and let myself notice the beauty around me. Yesterday when I left work, I took the time to look up and saw the sun behind this cloud...and it was beautiful. So I thought I'd share with you my moment of awe at Nature's beauty.
Note: photo is untouched in any way, and was taken on my iPhone using Camera+

Monday, August 6, 2012

Outer Banks beach photos

While the vast majority of photos that I took while on vacation at the Outer Banks last month were of our children, I did manage to get a few nice ones of the scenery around us. Here are my favorites.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Telephoto lens + condensation = art!

I encountered a "problem" while we were at the Outer Banks at the beginning of July that I had not yet experienced: because my telephoto lens was primarily kept inside of my camera bag, in the air conditioning, when I went to pull it out on the beach the lenses (internal and external) were covered with condensation! When I took the first few pics I saw that they were a little faded, but didn't realize the condensation was to blame; it was only on the second day I did this that I really noticed it. So, while the photos are faded/slightly blurry, I actually like how they came out - I like the slightly old fashioned feel!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Downtown Leesburg

A couple of weeks ago I met my friend Debra in downtown Leesburg to take some photos. She's an amateur photographer like myself, and we've been discussing doing something like this for a while. I was glad we finally had the time to spend a couple of hours walking around. We originally wanted to go into the "country" outside of Leesburg, but that was in the spring - we're now thinking we'll leave that until the fall when the leaves change, as that will make for more beautiful photos. For our first outing, we focused on the beauty of downtown Leesburg. Debra has a photography blog as well; if you want to see her photos, click here

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beach Sky

We spent the week of July 4th at the Outer Banks, NC. I've got well over 600 photos from our 10 day vacation, so I'm trying to organize them as best as I can. One of the things I photographed during the week (when not taking photos of the kids!) was the sky.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our little dancer

About five weeks ago my daughter had her second dance recital. Her teacher had organized professional photo shoots for all of the dancers, but unfortunately I was unable to make it to either of the designated dates so we couldn't take part. I figured - why not try to take some shots of her in her costume myself? And as I love using natural light, I thought that doing it outdoors would be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

After the rain

Last week a very large thunderstorm came through Leesburg. It didn't last very long, but we were hopeful that it would break the awful heat and humidity we had for the previous few days (for the most part it did). When the storm broke, I could see the sun shining through the clouds into our backyard and didn't want to miss the opportunity to snap a few pictures. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

In the woods

On the first Saturday in June, I took the kids over to what we call the "dinosaur park" in Ashburn, VA. I think the real name is just Ashburn Park, but as all of the playground equipment is shaped like various dinosaurs, we like our name better. One of the coolest things about the park is that it's not just a playground - there's a very nice walking path that extends quite far through the woods, as we discovered that day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The weather here in VA (and I think around most of the East coast, if not the country as a whole) has been pretty all over the place this June - cold like March/April one day, burning hot the next. We've had some pretty big storms come through as well. One plus of this crazy weather is that the clouds have been absolutely breathtaking. What's even more impressive is that all of these photos except one were taken with my iPhone (Camera+ app). I guess that goes to show that you don't absolutely need a digital SLR to take a good photo - just a good eye and interesting subject!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Black and white NYC

On Memorial Day weekend, my family spent a day in NYC. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had taken a number of black & white photos that weekend due to that being the subject of my weekly photo project on Facebook. When I got home and went through the photos, I realized how many B&W photos I truly had taken! As I think it makes for a unique way of looking at modern Manhattan, I thought I'd add put my favorites here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the ferns

The "woods" behind Evan's parents' house have a section that looks a bit like a sea of fern fronds. While we were outside playing there a couple of weeks ago, Natalie looked so beautiful walking around in them that I just had to snap a couple of photos!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Toronto at night

Can I say how nice it is to have a camera that can take photographs at night without a flash? I love it so much! It's really letting me take advantage of situations where I would not have been able to get good photos before. Case in point: about 3 weeks ago I went to Toronto for a conference for work. I already posted a number of photos from my trip on my family blog, but I wanted to highlight my night time photography here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Great Country Farms

Welcome back! Sorry for the long time in between posts, but I've been rather busy with some other things this month. Because of that, I haven't really taken many photos that would work on here. However, I do have some of the trip I took with my kids to Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA; I posted earlier this week on my family blog the photos I took of the kids and the things we did. Here, I've got some of the more landscape/artistic ones that I took.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flowering bushes

My next door neighbor has two beautiful rhododendrons. They purple flowers are lovely, and the bushes themselves are exceptionally tall - we actually had a landscape architect come by last year to talk to us about our front yard, and she said that they were the largest she'd ever seen! They are almost taking over his front yard. But when they make flowers like this, it's hard to want to cut them back!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


A couple of weeks ago we went to see a small circus that was in town for a few days. I'd been wanting to take the kids for the past couple of years, but we weren't sure if their ages were ok. This year we decided to go for it, and despite the size I'm really glad we went! 

My favorite part was the "grand finale" with two trained elephants. They were beautiful, and did some pretty great tricks. I decided to highlight my favorite photos I took of them here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hotel decoration

Last Sunday, Evan and I attended the Fairfax County Democrat Committee Roosevelt Dinner at the Hilton in McLean, Va. Prior to the actual dinner was a cocktail hour, and I found a few interesting things in the reception area to photograph.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Anniversary surprise

So, I discovered something tonight: taking quality photographs of jewelry is VERY difficult! Today is our 9 year anniversary, and after going out to lunch, my husband surprised me with something: a new ring!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fancy photoshoot

I recently saw an idea on Pinterest to have your daughter dress up in your wedding gown, and give her that photo on her wedding day. Wonderful idea! However, my wedding dress is still wrapped up from when it was cleaned and pressed after the wedding, and I haven't had the guts to take it out and risk messing it up yet. So instead, I had the idea to let Natalie dress up in my sister's maid of honor dress from my wedding (which I had shortened a couple of years ago to wear to another event) and take some photos. I am SO happy with how they came out!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beautiful eyes

I don't really plan to post many photos of my children on here, as I have my family blog for that. However, I do occasionally take artistic photos of them, and I feel that they belong more here than there. While playing this week, I grabbed these two shots of their beautiful eyes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spaniel love

My parents have a cocker spaniel named Rizzo who is exceptionally photogenic. Her coat color, her face, her expressions - she makes taking her photo very easy! I love when I have the opportunity to photograph her. This photo was not edited at all - she doesn't really need it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some local fauna

While on my walk through our neighborhood two weeks ago, I was lamenting my inability to take decent photos of all of the beautiful birds I saw. Cardinals, blue jays, robins...all rapidly flew away upon my approach, and I unfortunately did not have the ability to lie in wait with my telephoto lens just hoping for a bird to appear. Turns out karma is a bitch, as in my visit to the Paxton campus I stumbled across two rather large birds!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paxton Barn

Across the street from us is the Paxton Campus, which hosts the Arc of Loudoun. This campus was donated to the town of Leesburg by the Paxton family to primarily serve those with disabilities, whether they be intellectual or physical. There's a very nice preschool located in one of the buildings on the campus - we were about to enroll Natalie there when we got the spot at our top choice (Ida Lee); I'm very happy with our decision to enroll her at Ida Lee but I know she would've done great there as well!

On the campus is an old, run down barn. On my excursion around town two weeks ago, I thought the barn might make a nice photography subject.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pink dogwoods

In my excursion around Leesburg two weeks ago, I stumbled across a recently-blooming pink dogwood tree. I love dogwoods; we had about 5 white dogwoods lining the driveway of the house I grew up in, and I think they're lovely flowers. Add to that the fact that they are the state flower of Virginia...makes them even better in my estimation. And to find these beautiful pink ones!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


On my excursion two weeks ago around northern Leesburg, I came across the landscaped entrances to Potomac Crossing and Exeter (where I live). While I love taking photos of wild flowers, there's beauty in those that have been planted as well.

Monday, April 16, 2012


About 15 minutes south of Leesburg there is a "pick your own tulips" place. I drove past it on Easter Sunday and at $1/tulip thought it sounded like fun!
I could have gone crazy with picking them (you can see how many there are and the riot of colors), but I limited myself to half a dozen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

White cherry blossoms

Every day on the drive to daycare, I pass this beautiful row of white cherry blossom trees.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I've found that children's toys can make very interesting subjects, partially, I think, because of the bright colors.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April flowers

I'm pretty obsessed with flowers (both outside and in vases), and I'm lucky enough to live in a town as beautiful as Leesburg, which this time of year gives me many opportunities to take photographs of flowers. These few are from one week ago, and were taken just walking around my neighborhood.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Welcome to my new photography blog! While I have always loved taking photographs (starting with disposable cameras in high school, through my first very bulky, small-screen digital camera in 2001, and now with my digital SLR), it's only recently that I've taken it up as a hobby. As I just mentioned, for this past Christmas I received a new camera: Canon Rebel t2i. I immediately had a lot to learn, and I think over the past 4 months my skills have vastly improved. I've been trying to cram in my "photography" pictures on my family blog, but that hasn't been working so well, so I decided to start another blog, dedicated to honing my photography skills and showing my favorite shots to the world (or, probably more accurately, my friends and family). 

My goal here is to showcase the realm of possibilities with photography, and highlight those photos that I think really stand out. I've even entertained the idea of this becoming a side-business for me, possibly selling photos I take that people really enjoy, or even (cheaply) hiring myself out for kids parties, taking photos of people's pets, etc, but I don't really think I'm there yet (and honestly, I don't know if I have the time to do something like that with working full time and having two kids at home). For now, this will be the place where I display my photos, and I hope that everyone enjoys seeing them as much as I've enjoyed taking them!