Wednesday, October 26, 2011

She Moves In Her Own Way

Are babies born as blank slates? Not according to my observations. See, I think that each person born into the world has a personality on day one. At least for me, I can say that my essence has not changed much since I was a kid. During my late teens, I thought that I should try to redefine myself, but what I found out is that who I was all along was who I wanted to be.

So when I met Summer, I was immediately struck by her high-energy and fast pace. This girl had places to go and people to see - and, she had just learned to walk - watch out, world! The more time I spent with her, the more I saw her free spirit, moving in her own way.
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Upon reviewing the photos from this shoot, I had a handful of really sweet and cute ones. When I finally got to this one, however, I laughed out loud. And before I moved onto the next one, I realized that this photo summed things up perfectly. Here's a kid who is going to muddy her new white tights and shoes, and will still be in good spirits. Her eyes are sweet, but have a hint of mischief. Her smirk is almost revealing that even though she wants to run free, she doesn't completely mind being scooped up in Daddy's arms!
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And I'm pretty sure The Kooks have got it right. We love this girl because she moves in her own way!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Love

Living and working in the Metro DC area, I know a thing or two about stress. Sometimes you just need to escape it all and drive out to the country. Roughly an hour outside of Washington, D.C. you can find rolling hills dotted with horses and cows, winding roads, and scenery that will take your breath away.

Oh yeah, you may also bump into a lovely family of three...
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I originally anticipated taking portraits of their gorgeous six-month old baby boy, Chase, but fell under the spell of Rich and Kristen's easy love. This trio was relaxed, and stress-free, and put me at ease in a heartbeat.

And as for little Chase, well he stole my heart as soon as I looked into those deep blue eyes!
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I am soothed looking at these photos. I feel love, peace and serenity... and a strong desire to be a kid again and feel that comforting, secure hug from my Mom and a piggy back ride from my Dad.

Easy Love ...
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Monday, October 10, 2011

A Country Drive

This weekend's weather was simply gorgeous. Warm and sunny by day, and a little chilly by night. I'm anxious to see the leaves turn, and I'm very eager to whip out the camera and start shooting the vivid autumn palate. I took a drive to the country, expecting it to look like Vermont in the fall- unfortunately, the trees were hanging on to summer just a little longer. Hopefully next weekend I'll have a successful shoot.
Virginia Countryside
On the bright side, I had a great time driving through Virginia's horse country. Winding roads, hills, horses, cows, and fields galore. Just me and the dog, and a car full of bluegrass music to put me in the right mood. It was quite a challenge pulling my car over on the country roads, as I tried hard not to park in a ditch! (narrow roads!) The shots below are from a very pretty spot along the Snickersville Turnpike in the village of Philomont, Virginia.
Virginia Countryside
Virginia Countryside 
I look at this field and just want to run forever, free like the wind. Or maybe I'd hop on a chestnut mare and ride for miles while Dagny chases us around. It's a romantic thought, and one that I have every single time I pass this field.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adventureland

Carnival
When I was a kid, my parents would take us kids to the Baseball Carnival. I have no idea why they called it that- the name was of little consequence to me. I cared more about the rides, the sounds, the scents, and the excitement in the air. There were a number of rides that I was too little (or too scared) to go on. The Salt and Pepper Shakers was the scariest sounding ride, and rumor had it that some kid fell out of the ride and died. I was probably the only grown kid that liked the slide - the one where you sit on a burlap sack and slide ever so safely to the ground.

I went to the Carnival every year, and then sometime while I was in high school, the Carnival left town forever.

And then one year, it came back....
Carnival
Carnival
The Reston Town Center started up the tradition again, setting up rides for the annual events like the Reston Festival, or Oktoberfest. It's not the same as the Baseball Carnival, but they still have the fun slide!
Carnival
I dropped by the Carnival last night to snap a few photos, listen to the sounds of kids screaming with delight and inhale the aroma of cotton candy and popcorn. I traveled back in time for that moment. back to a childhood where bright lights and a fantastic atmosphere inspired me to keep on dreaming.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a wink and a smile

Folks, let me tell you - writing this post is near impossible, since I've been sitting here and staring at these photos! This little girl is 6 months old, and perhaps the happiest baby ever! Her eyes are hypnotic - deep blue - and completely disarming. I feel very badly for her Daddy... he's gonna have a hard time saying "no" to this face!


  Infant Portrait
I know I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again.  I have some of my best creative moments while moving. And when I pair that with music? Well, we're talking about a recipe for endless creative ideas!
So while I walked Dagny under overcast and drizzly skies, I thought about the photo shoot. I wanted to be sure to capture the essence of this little girl. I asked myself "what are her top 5 characteristics?" The first one was obvious - she's happy. I paused for a moment and realized, that's pretty much the most important characteristic. This girl is straight up happy. 

Infant Portrait
So driving over to the portrait session, I thought of my little muse. She's happy, and needs a song. Moving car = ideas, so I instantly had it - Harry Connick Jr.'s "A Wink and a Smile." And, moments after pressing "play" on my iPod (gonna miss you, Steve), a rainbow appeared across the sky. Yep. HAPPY!

Infant Portrait Infant Portrait
I had a fantastic time with this little one and the pictures reflect it! Happy, happy, baby! October is starting to fill up, so be sure to contact me to book your session! And while you're at it, click "play" on the video below for some musical inspiration!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweetness

A short post today, for the fact that the pictures speak louder than words. If you were unaware, allow me to confess and tell you that I absolutely love my dog. I've never viewed myself as her "owner" nor have I considered her my property. Dagny is simply a member of the pack and her role is to follow the rules, always be up for a walk, and snuggle on demand. Thus far, she is earning her keep without complaint!


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Dagny sleeping with her favorite toy, Pig.
This girl is pure sweetness, and if you've ever met her, I'm sure you'd agree... and if you haven't met her and don't know what I'm talking about, just stare at Dagny's "smile" long enough and you're bound to smile back!
Smile
Here is a happy, smiling dog. Always camera ready and eager to please!

Are you smiling yet?!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nation's Triathlon: September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011- a day of remembrance... also a day of achievement. I headed downtown to watch the Nation's Triathlon. I live pretty close to the city, yet rarely take the time to head down there on the weekends. What a shame! Washington, DC is so beautiful. And it's especially peaceful in the early hours of the morning.

  
Nation's Triathlon 2011
View of the Jefferson Memorial & National Monument at dawn
As the sun rose, the race announcer took a moment to acknowledge 9/11. He spoke sincerely, and you could hear his voice tense up. The entire crowd bowed heads and offered a moment of silence. You could hear a pin drop, and it was incredibly moving.


Nation's Triathlon 2011
The sea of participants, moments before the race begins

I was present at the race to support my husband and his fellow Team in Training teammates. Due to heavy rains and flooding several days before the race, the swim in the Potomac River was cancelled. I know that many people were bummed out, but to be honest, I was ecstatic! The most exciting portion of the race was definitely the bike. Road bikes are so slender and agile - it's thrilling to watch them whoosh by. 

Nation's Triathlon 2011Nation's Triathlon 2011

Finally, there was the 10K run to the finish line. The sidelines were packed with spectators, anticipating their friends and family to run by. I've run a fair share of races and I can tell you that a stranger's voice cheering you on can give you that extra push you need to drive it home. And conversely, sometimes a runner gives you something to smile about...

Nation's Triathlon 2011

To this person, I say "thank you."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tatooine Exists!

I'm about to reveal something about myself that may not be immediately apparent: I like nerdy things. To be honest, I'm one of those people who has an affinity for "nerd culture," but don't really see myself as part of that group.

But when I saw a reflection of two suns on a window pane a few weeks ago, I instantly thought of the scene from Star Wars where Luke is on his home planet - the one with two suns.

Checking the news this morning, I discovered that I'm not the only nerd out there:

Tatooine
Tatooine Revisited
Tatooine Revisited

Thursday, September 15, 2011

iT Girlz Photos: Published!

Back in March, I volunteered to photograph the iT Girlz Photo Shoot, hosted by the April May Foundation. The photo shoot was tons of fun and I had a great time working with the models.

I'm happy to report that photos from this shoot are finally on the April May Foundation and iT Girlz website!!

Here's some other photos from the shoot... enjoy!


IT Girlz Collage

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Vacation


Early this July, I spent 10 marvelous days in mid-coast of Maine. T'was sheer bliss (aside from the relentless mosquitoes- evil little pests!)

From watching 4:45AM sunrises, to hiking, sailing, gorging on ice cream and raspberry pie, reading and relaxing, I can happily state that this vacation was perfect in every way. I only wish that it was longer!

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So now it's back to Northern Virginia's heat and humidity, traffic, and political chatter. I would gladly give that up for more time in paradise!

Monday, June 13, 2011

On Joy and Sorrow

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

So April 30 was the Philomont Garden PHair. I had worked so hard on getting my prints ready to go, printing extra business cards, working on packaging - the works. 

Running on zero sleep and a whole lot of adrenaline, I headed off to Philomont, VA, set up my table, and assured myself that it was going to be a successful show. Moments later, a huge gust of wind knocked my framed prints off of my display shelf and just like that, my confidence was shattered.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, so I tried my best to soldier on and keep at it. And two more times the damn wind knocked down my pictures, dinging frames, breaking glass, and keeping me on my toes.

Before I headed home from the art fair, a local resident mentioned that I should stop by her house and shoot the wisteria in her yard. After all I had been through; so much out of my control, I inhaled the wisteria's sweet perfume and snapped some photos.

But when I got home, and for a little over a month, I kept my camera in it's case, refused to engage in creative endeavors, and hid under a rock. That is, until today. I uploaded the pictures of the Philomont Garden PHair, re-lived the wind gusts from Hell... and of course, the wisteria. And suddenly I am reminded of a beautiful quote by Kahlil Gibran:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Wisteria
... And my creative outlet is definitely my delight.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Camden: A Baby Portrait Session

I recently shot some super precious pictures of Camden. This girl may just grow up to be a model, since she totally worked the shoot! I was preparing for a sleeping baby, but Camden moved around and made it so easy to get a variety of shots. Here are just a few!!


Reach
I used this photo above for the birth announcement. The text fit perfectly on the right hand side, and on the back of the announcement, I included a small mosaic of some of the other shots.

Loving Hands 2
I love this one... no faces, just hands - but tons of love emitting from this photo.

Curl
Look at her curl! Too cute!

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This little girl brings a smile to my face every time I look at these pictures. I hope you enjoy them, too!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

City Chic

I like peace and harmony, Jane Austen romances, and have a reoccurring fantasy of running through a meadow of wildflowers. But, I also have an edgy side, love a loud beat, and have moments where feel like the world is wrapped around my finger. So, it was only natural for me to want to shoot that!

My inspiration for this shoot was Rhianna's song "S&M." The lyrics are provocative and risqué, but the beat and the confidence in the song was the essence of what I was trying to translate into the photographs below. Leslie was my model, and many thanks to her for working it! We shot in Georgetown for it's beauty and city grit. I really love how these turned out, and invite you to click on any of the photos to see more from the set.

Leslie - In the Street
Strutting her stuff on the city streets - Photo by Jenny Skinner
Leslie - Bicycle
Leslie even makes a bicycle look stylish! - Photo by Jenny Skinner
Leslie - Brick Wall
So much fun! 
♥ Jenny

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Lunchtime Escape to Paris

Deep sigh! It's been a very busy week, and I'm delighted that the weekend is hours away! I had the lovely pleasure of working from home today, and have been listening to my favorite Pandora station, featuring the music of Carla Bruni.

The weather has been rather gloomy all week, but despite overcast skies, it's not raining and there is a fair amount of light streaming through the windows. It must have been the French musical infusion during lunch that inspired me to make a simple salad of spinach, strawberries, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and almonds. I sat at my dining room table, eating the best salad ever, listening to great music, and staring at these pretty sunflowers (see below). For that brief moment, I felt like I was sitting outdoors at a French bistro, in the heart of Paris without a care in the world. And then lunch ended, and I got back to work!

Sunflowers
Take it from me, a favorite salad in your favorite bowl, with your favorite music, and flowers in your favorite pitcher makes for a fantastic kick-off to the weekend! Cheers!

♥ Jenny

PS - Here's some music to set the mood!



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherry Blossoms


It's Cherry Blossom season here in DC, and the signal that Spring has arrived. Despite chilly temperatures, the spring foliage is starting to bloom, and every turn of the head provides another opportunity to see something pretty. I think the best part of spring is how quickly everything blooms.


Cherry Blossom

This photo immediately evokes the feeling of warm sunlight on my face. Whenever spring arrives in your neck of the woods, be sure to venture outdoors and explore. It really is incredible to see blossoms and buds breaking. The daffodils are out, hyacinths, forsythia, and even the blossoms on the weeping willow that I drive past every morning - all in bloom and eager for your attention! Go forth and enjoy the spring!

Cherry Blossom




Cherry Blossom