World Down Syndrome Day by Megan Landmeier

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, so designated for "3/21" or three copies of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down syndrome.  Over the years, I've photographed some lovely individuals with Down syndrome, my favorite of course being my seven year old daughter.  Ellie is the reason I got my first camera and my forever model and muse.

For WDSD, I encourage you to take a look around your personal life and see if people with disabilities are part of it.  If so, great!  People with disabilities deserve to live full lives - not just being supported, but giving back as well.   And if there's a noticeable lack of anyone with a disability?  It's a great time to reach out.  An invitation goes a long way.

Easter Egg Hunt and Tea Party: An Alexandria Family Session by Megan Landmeier

Over the weekend, I was scheduled for a Saturday morning Easter session.  We moved to Sunday afternoon, which was the best decision ever.  It felt like Spring!  Knowing that sweet toddler Z would not want to pose, mom and I plotted an egg hunt and styled tea party.  The kids had a great time, and we laughed hard.  Z was very into the egg hunt, and he would go from heartbroken to thrilled every time he located an egg.  B was more than willing to pose, and she re-hid the Easter eggs at least three times, then went out to find them herself.

Photographing the same families multiple years in a row brings me such joy, as now I'm on round 3 or 4 for some groups.  Babies turn into toddlers with opinions and toddlers turn into big kids.  I'm so thankful for what I do and for the amazing families I get to capture.

Kids in Action: #MarchForOurLives by Megan Landmeier

The cherry blossoms have been fickle as always, with peak bloom dates changing.  Before calling NPS to request a change of date, I decided to go check out the blossoms myself on Wednesday.

After finding zero blossoms, I thought I'd see if the shoe memorial to gun violence victims was still up.  It wasn't, but there were tons of students still at the Capitol lawn protesting.  Regardless of how you feel about their goals, it's worth noting that every kid I met was polite and respectful.  As a former teacher, this gives me hope for the future.  Civil discourse, kids being interviewed in Spanish for various media, kids stopping to say hi and show me their signs, and kids who politely gave me space to walk while I lugged around a giant purse, camera, and toddler on my back!

As adults, we want kids to learn to be respectful citizens, to understand civics, to understand that actions have consequences, and not to eat Tide Pods.  I saw kids who were all of the things we want, and in an extremely diverse crowd.

Most of my work focuses on capturing people, but when you have a chance to document history, you do it!

The sign that stood out the most read "Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk."  As the parent of two little girls, it broke my heart and terrified me.

TC Williams Class of 2018: Alexandria, VA Senior Portraits by Megan Landmeier

Christina was an absolute joy to photograph.  A TC Williams senior off to study nursing, she was not only beautiful, but gracious and fun.  We trekked all over Old Town Alexandria to capture her senior portraits.  I'm booking for class of 2018 for spring and class of 2019 for summer, and spots will go quickly, so contact me ASAP to make sure you have time to get graduation announcements!

A Mom and Her Girls: Old Town Alexandria by Megan Landmeier

When the mom is an amazing artist with two beautiful girls, you know you're going to have a fun photo session full of COLOR.  Morgan is also an art teacher, and the reason my fine-motor-delayed seven year old loves art.  I had a wonderful time hanging out with her and her sweet girls in Old Town, despite chilly weather.  

The Tubie Project: Superhero Kids with Feeding Tubes by Megan Landmeier

My daughter didn't have a feeding tube, but she did have GI surgery at birth.  I have been given the smallest glimpses into a raising a medically fragile child, as Ellie's care has been pretty simple in the past six years.  I am so impressed by parents, often with no medical training before their children are born, who provide the day in and day out care of tube feeding.

Here's to the tubie kids and the tubie parents!