Monday, June 29, 2009

Gregory & Stacy's Designer Wedding

It was a sunny Saturday June 27th and I heard on the radio that if I was inside on a day like this, that I needed to get out. That gave some motivation to do something active outdoors. After a few hours of biking and touring DC, including Eastern Market for it's reopening, I had to get home to prepare for Gregory & Stacy's wedding. They are a couple that is so in love with each other, with many years of growth together. They are "soul mates" to each other and best friends. The way they look at each other and how they are with each other is touching to say the least. Love was shown not only in words but in actions, as love has been manifested as a verb in their lives together.

I was honored to have been invited and to have attended their wedding, and I look forward to getting to know them much better. I recall asking them how they met on a fairly recent photo jaunt to National Harbor and their story just sounded like it was blessed from the start. Their wedding was held at Mount Airy Mansion, MD. The venue and their invitations, settings, decorations, scores of pictures, and so many other details made it such a stylish wedding. The bride's dress and the groom's suit were stylin' and the way that everything flowed that night seemed like a storybook wedding. Here are a selection of photos from that wonderful day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DC Eastern Market Reopening

The Eastern Market is a public market in the Capitol Hill area of our nation's capitol, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early in the morning on April 30, 2007, the Eastern Market building was badly damaged by fire and with it, the surrounding community and so many others were adversely affected by the damages with the building. The heaviest damages were to the South Hall portion of the building where many of the vendors were located. Many of the food vendors reopened weeks after the fire and sold their products outside of the building.

The Grand reopening of Eastern Market was scheduled for Friday June 26, 2009 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the mayor of DC. I went to the market on Saturday the 27th to see the renovated building and take pictures. It was a celebration of sorts in that 7th Street SE was alive with so many people coming out on this opening weekend to be a part of the reopening. It's a wonderful area to buy fresh meat, baked goods, and cheeses. Fresh produce is sold outdoors and artisans and antique dealers also sell their wares outside on weekends. The neighborhood has character and culture and is a popular place to locals and tourists alike. I was glad to be a part of this reopening, as Eastern Market is an important part of DC history and continues to be.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bradley & Julie Married!

I had the pleasure of officially photographing Bradley & Julie's wedding in State College, PA this past weekend. After about a three hour and twenty minute drive with great weather, I arrived at Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center to do a walk through of the place. The rehearsal dinner was that night.

I awoke the next morning to seeing it raining. It turns out that the day fluctuated back and forth between good weather and the rain. We would have to make the best of the situation. My friend Kevin who assisted me and served as a second shooter for the wedding arrived at Toftrees and we went to the church to get our photography gear and plan in place. Everything turned out well and went fairly smoothly. The wedding was beautiful and full of joy. Such a fun couple. We stopped by Penn State's Beaver Stadium to take pictures by a corner with the PSU letters on a stone wall. It was amusing to hear the cars passing by as a few of them honked in seeing us. We went back to Toftrees for the reception and had a great evening with such incredible fellowship in the room. We celebrated till after 10pm and I took the last pictures around 11:20pm, so it was a full day, but it was all very precious. Here are some of my favorite photos of the wedding day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The LLS Man & Woman of the Year Gala

On June 13, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) held their Man & Woman of the Year Gala at The Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C. This was a very special evening and I was able to cover the event with photography.

This LLS Man & Woman of the Year event is a fundraising campaign and competition among individuals in the community. Through their participation and efforts, they vie for the honor of being the Man or Woman of the Year. During the 10-week campaign, the candidate who raises the most funds will be awarded the title of Man & Woman of the Year. The candidates run in honor of the Boy & Girl of the Year, who are local blood cancer patient survivors.

This LLS gala gathered candidates, supporters and celebrated the ability to help others who are affected by leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Here are a few photos from the evening and a link to more photos for this special cause.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Biking Across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

With the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson bridge, people going to both VA and MD have easier access to one another across the Potomac River. A new city called National Harbor (NHBR) was built just across the bridge and just inside MD. NHBR is a mixed-use waterfront development for work, play, dining, and discovering. It's motto is "Celebrate Freedom." NHBR is the site of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and the future site of a new Disney resort hotel.

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge trail opened to the public on June 6 and many people had gone across it, enjoying the ability to travel across the bridge by foot, roller blades, or by bicycle.

On June 13, just one week after the trail opening, I went with some fellow bikers on a bike ride from Shirlington to Old Town, and then across the Woodrow Wilson bridge to National Harbor. It was a great ride and I was able to take pictures during the bike trip, and some even while biking! I think I'm getting better at it, and so far so good. Of course I'm careful when I take pictures while biking, and I don't put anyone in danger. I'm just taking a slight personal risk to hopefully get some good shots. Hey, it's all worth it. :-) Celebrate Freedom.

Jazz in the Garden - The Deanna Bogart Band

I've heard about Jazz in the Garden many times, but I had never gone to it before. Some friends were going, so I thought I'd join them this time. I arrived at the National Sculpture Garden in DC around 5:30pm and surveyed the area filled with people taking up spots just about everywhere in the garden. The various sculptures are an attraction, yet on these nights, the added enjoyment of hanging out with friends and family for a concert and picnic made for a near perfect night. The Deanna Bogart band are multiple Wammie award winners and they played their fusion of Blues, R&B, Boogie Piano and Sax for the masses for this evening.

After the concert, our group of friends went to the Chinatown DC area to get dinner. Being in Chinatown with my DSLR reminded me of the upcoming Worldwide Photowalk that I'm doing with the group that Jeff Revell is leading. I usually seem to be in photo walk mode, naturally. So back to the prospects for dinner. We finally ended up at a restaurant called Asian Spice. While we were waiting to be seated, I snapped a few shots of my friends and the surroundings. I most enjoyed using my Nikon 50mm 1.8, playing with the available light and shadows.

Rob & Jenna Married!

I met both Rob and Jenna separately before they started seeing each other, and thought they were charismatic individuals in their own right. They met through a mutual friend and in hanging out in similar circles. The attraction was hot, but I think they played things a bit cool till they got to know more about each other. It was like the whose that guy and whose that girl subliminal thought that perked the senses. It wasn't long till they started seeing more and more of each other, so that's why I hadn't seen him around as much. ;-). I'm glad to see them together and to have photographed their engagement session. I also had the honor of photographing their wedding near Fredericksburg, VA. The bride and groom were gleaming with happiness throughout the day. The way that Rob treats her and she him, and even the way they look and hold each other is such a wonderful sight to see. It was an eight hour day in being with them for the wedding and reception, but it was where I wanted to be in witnessing their union and celebrating it. It's beautiful to have captured moments for a lifetime of memories and pictures to last generations. Congratulations Rob & Jenna.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Washington Humane Society Bark Ball

I used to have dogs, but I don't right now. I tell myself that I'm too busy for one, and others would say the same. Being involved with the Washington Humane Society (WHS) helps me to appreciate dogs all the more and I appreciate their programs and services to help animals.

On Saturday June 6, the 22nd annual Washington Humane Society Bark Ball was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel in D.C. This event is dubbed as "Washington's Only Black-tie Gala for the Four-on-the-Floor Crowd." I was there to cover the fundraising event, and was amused at the multitude of pets walking around, many of which were dressed up just as impeccably as their owners. The event was a success raising more than their projected goal for WHS in their ongoing cause to provide comfort and care to over 20,000 animals. Just being around these dogs makes me want to get one of my own, and if I do, I know WHS is right here to help. They're good like that.

Mount Vernon - Exploring More Than Before

I've been to Mount Vernon before, the estate and gardens of our First President George Washington. It's a beautifully preserved and restored place. The Mansion House Farm which is what visitors see today is the 500 acres where Washington and his family lived. It's amazing to learn about the history of George Washington, a man of vision and practicality having a keen appreciation for building and architecture.

My cousin wanted to visit Mount Vernon, so on Saturday June 6 I took her there to explore it. I got to see more than I had seen in my previous visits, such as inside the house and the tomb. It's peculiar how we can see so much more when we're with others, especially when they're visiting for the first time. That's a good thing. Here are a few pictures from our visit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PDN Photographers' Virtual Tradeshow, Part 2!

I would love to go to more photography conferences, but sometimes I can't get out to attend more, so it's cool that you can attend this one online for free. I registered and got online to attend part one of this Virtual Tradeshow, and part 2, called "The Photographer in All of Us" is Thursday 6/11 starting at 9:45am. This virtual tradeshow is put on by PDN in association with B&H.

Sunset Engagement Photo Outing

It was the last day of May and I had the pleasure of doing an engagement session with Rob and Jenna. Using the word "session" seems a bit too formal and technical, so I told them that this is basically a date between them, and that I'm just along to take pictures. We were fortunate to have great weather and I had planned for our session to happen around 6:45pm knowing that the sun would be setting around 8:30pm. In planning the engagement session, I recalled a familiar area in Vienna, VA just off the Washington and Old Dominion trail. I thought the area was a good match for their personality and how they interacted with one another. We had a great time and went to dinner afterward. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the outing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Capital Crescent Trail Bike Ride

Saturday is my favorite day of the week and it's usually a good opportunity for sports, especially after a week of working on photos. On 5/30 I met up with a group of bicyclists to bike the Capital Crescent Trail from Georgetown to Bethesda, MD and back. It's about a 20 mile round trip ride. It took the ten of us about 35 minutes to get there and we decided to eat at Cafe Deluxe. They have a good breakfast plate, which is worth trying. After an enjoyable and restful lunch, I got to sit around outside the fountain near the Barnes & Noble near the trail and soak up the sun a bit. It only took us about 25 minutes to get back since it was decline going back. I was able to take some pictures during our little bike trek using my compact camera, and I even took some while biking. I've done it before. It's similar to taking pictures while running like in that movie Yes Man which include Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, and Bradley Cooper. Jim Carrey plays a character named Carl Allen who challenges himself to say yes to everything for an entire year. Although I don't recommend doing that, it's interesting to consider taking at least one picture a day for a year...and I'm some people have done it. I definitely plan to say yes to a lot of things concerning photography for this year and I'm excited for the opportunities.