Tree Lights and Trains: Washington, DC Long Exposure.

I love where I live, just outside of Washington, DC.  As a Southern California native, I'm not a big fan of snow or cold, but Christmas in DC is wonderful.  There are amazing displays made from plant materials at the Botanical Gardens, Mount Vernon is beautiful with the Christmas decor, and wandering though decorated Old Town Alexandria has been a highlight of my photography sessions.

This year, my family bought our first house, complete with fireplace and stockings hung by the chimney with care.  I love Christmas.

And although the presents are unwrapped and the "all-holiday" station has returned to normal music, the National Christmas Tree is still on display, surrounded by model trains and a series of smaller trees, one for each state and territory.

Plus, my intern got a tripod for Christmas, and I had a remote I hadn't taken out of the box.

So last night, Jess and I gathered up cameras, remotes, and tripods and headed into DC to photograph the tree amid lots of other visitors.  In a rare event, we didn't photograph any people!

This "ghost train" was captured at a super long exposure - I think 8 seconds.

The state trees line the "America Celebrates" portion of the display.

Sometimes, you see something online and just have to try it.  Taken at a super slow shutter speed, this effect was achieved by zooming out as the shutter released.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get rid of all the shake because the surface of the walkway was rubberized and bouncy - every person walking by bounced our tripods a bit!

I hope your holiday season is wrapping up well!  I'm taking a bit of time off to relax with my family but I'm still responding to emails and booking for 2016!  Time to start thinking spring portraits, senior pictures, and milestone events - birthdays and cake smashes!

While I'm taking my post-Christmas break, be sure to check out my Facebook page for favorites from 2015 and some personal pictures of my family.

Family at Home: Alexandria, VA Family Photographer

I had originally planned to photograph this family on November 1, but rain and schedules pushed us back to December.  It was lovely to finally meet!  Little L is adorable and helped me take some pictures, and his parents were delightful.  They opened up their light-filled home and we got L to decorate the tree a bit.

We wandered outside to the playground and a pond where ducks were swimming.

L got to open his Advent calendar - an Oreo a day (which sounds delicious!)

Thank you, B family, for a fun time with your beautiful family!

Break in the Rain: Alexandria, VA Family Photographer.

After a beautiful Saturday full of photo sessions, I woke up to a downpour on Sunday morning.  After checking with my family and my weather app, we decided to reschedule for that afternoon.

During church, I walked outside with Caroline and was worried that we'd be rescheduling again.

But as I drove to Old Town, the rain had slowed to a mist and while the day remained cloudy, the weather was pleasant and baby B was an absolute joy.  I loved watching him light up with joy at his parents, and the family exuded love for each other.

I'm starting to fill up my limited January schedule, so if you're interested in Spring portraits, let me know so I can save you a spot!

Brothers in Old Town: Alexandria, VA Family Photographer.

Thanksgiving weekend was my weekend to photograph adorable little boys.  I was so excited to meet these sweet brothers.  Their session had been scheduled before baby Caroline was born, and then we had to postpone due to travel.  They were worth the wait!

We walked around Old Town seeking out adventures.  We found doors, bright colors, rocks and leaves.

I put the littlest in a bucket for a shot, and big brother decided to copy.

Turning Three in Old Town: Alexandria, VA Family Photographer.

I had the opportunity to photograph a cute little guy on his third birthday over the weekend.  The session was full of pleasant surprises.  During the week, his mom and I had emailed all sorts of back up plans in case of freezing temperatures.  Then the weather report kept showing rain.

Somehow, we had upper 50s or low 60s and clouds.

This family used to be our neighbors, and this is the same little boy who literally ran from my camera on Halloween, less than a month ago.  Over the weekend, he was cooperative and hilarious and not at all hesitant around that big camera.

Happy third birthday, B!

Somehow we still had leaves, too!

**I am officially booked for 2015.  I am starting to reserve sessions for 2016, primarily starting in March.**