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Maryland Fall Portraits :: The Farman Family

It is so fun to catch up with the Farman Family every year!

For the second year in a row, we headed to Brookside Gardens. (side note- you MUST get a permit to photograph here!) Such a big, beautiful spot.

We had a great time running through the beautiful  gardens and the early fall foliage. This family loves to laugh and have a good time!
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Residence Inn :: Frederick, MD :: Billiard Room Photo Install

This was such a fun project!

I worked with Plamondon Hospitality Partners and Tuscan Blue Design to create a great look and feel in the new billiard room at the Frederick Residence Inn. When we first surveyed the space, we decided black and white would be a good palette.

These images are 24 x 24 and printed on deep matte Fuji paper. The frames were kept simple to keep the focus on the images, which depict various scenes from around Frederick County, Maryland. All together, the room now has seven prints. They look fantastic!

It was great working on something that was a little outside my wheelhouse. It was wonderful working with Meredith from Tuscan Blue and Mike from Plamondon- we had a lot of fun selecting the photos. I snuck in as Doug was installing everything and snapped a few photos.

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Allison and Mike’s One Year Anniversary Photo Session

A good gift for your 1st wedding anniversary? Moving into your first home! (and having me document it, of course!)

Allison and Mike celebrated their first wedding anniversary and took me along. The newlyweds recently bought their first home in DC and thought that would be the perfect backdrop for their session- and I totally agree! Wine in the kitchen, hanging out in the backyard- it was a great idea and we had so much fun!

Allison already said she’s excited for next year- and I am, too!

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The Touching Lives in Frederick County Awards :: Frederick, Maryland

The Touching Lives in Frederick County Awards, a program through the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, offers a moment of public recognition for non-management staff members who have demonstrated outstanding involvement and commitment to touching the lives of others.
Each honoree was honored at the breakfast event and it was so wonderful to see so many deserving people be recognized for going way above and beyond what their job titles call for.
Frederick County is such a special place and I love being a part of this community!
Congrats to all the amazing award recipients. You are all rockstars!

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Funeral Photography and Why it is Important

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The first time I was asked to photograph a funeral, I was confused. Why would someone want to photograph something like that? I just didn’t understand. I said no, and brushed it off.

A few years later I attended a funeral of a client, and I instinctively went to my bag to grab my camera… and it wasn’t there. I didn’t bring it. As we all walked out of the church, guests grabbed a balloon the family prepared for a balloon release. I ran to my car and rummaged through my camera bag to get a camera and lens. I only had a small backup camera, but it would have to do. I snapped a few photos of those white balloons in the air. I was so relieved I had a camera with me.

The family has that image framed and printed in their home now- a way to remember all those who came to say goodbye and celebrate their loved one. Each balloon in that photograph represents someone who cared about that person, and came to celebrate their life.

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Months after that funeral, I couldn’t shake the thought of how important funerals are and that they deserve to be documented. Funerals honor and chronicle the life of someone that was loved. Funerals celebrate life. Family comes together. Friends reminisce. Many times there are tears, but there are also smiles and laughter. And funny stories. And love. So much love.

And so I decided next time I was asked to photograph a funeral, I would. The first time I was hired to photograph a funeral I was incredibly nervous, I wondered if people would feel like it was disrespectful or weird. Much to my relief, guests began coming up to me asking to have their photo taken with other guests. I documented hugs, tears, and peaceful moments. I felt honored to document the celebration of the life of someone’s loved one. One the one year anniversary of the death of her brother, the sister emailed me to let me know that the album of that funeral is a prized possession in their family. That is a humbling thing to hear.

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Since that first funeral, I have documented several more. The key to photographing an event such as a funeral is to be sensitive and respectful of those in attendance. I take a lot less photos at a funeral than I do at other types of events. I am constantly scanning the room and area to make sure I am aware of every detail, to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels respected. I am as quiet as possible. I stay in the back of the room. I only photograph people who have made it clear to me that it’s OK. Many times the family who has hired me will let guests know I am going to be there. This also lets guests know I am here with them to celebrate the life of someone they loved. Many times (every time, actually) I shed a few tears, too. When you hear people speak so beautifully of their memories with heir loved one, it is hard not to be moved. I always leave knowing that my job was important.

People mourn in different ways, but almost all my clients have told me that the funeral and the days before (and after) are a whirlwind. Planning, out of town guests, casseroles, cards…. it can be overwhelming. Having the imagery from the funeral or service is a way for them to go back and see who was in attendance when they feel ready. To see all the love that was in the room. To remember the beautiful flowers. It is also a way to have photos with friends and family members who do not get to see one another very often. Clients have told me that photos taken at the funeral or memorial service are healing.
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Funeral photography is not for every family or situation, but I believe for many, it can be a beautiful way of remembering and honoring a moment in time. Of all the types of work I engage 
in as a full time professional photographer, there is no greater honor than to serve a family in their time of need or grieving.
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