at the edge

I’m past the age when New Year’s is supposed to matter. And even when it did matter, it rarely lived up to my expectations. Eventually, I started to focus more the new beginning rather than the party. I love beginnings, so it’s been a fully positive development.

But this New Year’s I may have discovered the recipe for New Year’s success: a couple dozen committed people, some new, some the best of friends, far away from everything else.

They brought their gifts of food and drinks and their favorite records. We walked down the unpaved, single lane road to find the horse shoe crab marker, leading through a marshy path to a sandy beach. I tried my best to disguise the waddle that came with my ninth month of pregnancy, while my best friend carried Alamae on her back. The damp skies made the marsh grasses glow. We had to pull Sena from the muck, but there was hardly a complaint among them.

We came back to feast for hours on a perfectly roasted chicken, beautiful hand pies, smoky pork loins, loaded baked potatoes and fiery Thai soup. My friend Jean thought to bring 24 glass champagne flutes, and so when we counted down the final seconds of a tough year, there was a strange touch of elegance.

For the first time in ages I don’t have a resolution. except maybe to try my best to recreate the magic of that party next year.

Let 2019 Bring Love: Married in Chesapeake Beach

A few days ago I got a text asking if I could take some pictures on New Years Day. “I’ll just be coming back to town,” I responded. “Why, what’s up?”

“We’re going to get married.”

So I left my plans a little early to drive home to the other side of the bay and watch as Brittany’s granddad officiated her wedding. A family already in the making came together before the people closest to them to say they do.

It was without a doubt, the most laidback wedding I have ever been witness to. Planned in a few short days, with venue and time changes happening only an hour out. But none of that ever matters anyway, right? Because the best weddings aren’t about the wedding at all; they’re about the marriage.

If these photos are giving you a little bit of deja vu, it might be because this wedding is remarkably similar to my sister’s wedding this summer. When you come up with a good formula, why mess with it?

The Beauty of Their Truth: St. Augustine Church and Jailbreak Brewing Company Wedding

The truth transcends styles and trends.

And sometimes I have to remind myself that it is the one thing that actually matters when I tell a story.

I don’t have to bend the story to look the way I imagined it to, or the way that I’ve seen others do it before me.

I just have to look deeply and lovingly at the people in front of me and honor who they are. Honor their love. Honor their faith. Honor their devotion to those they care most about.

slow mornings: at-home in petworth

In-home session are best started in pajamas.

And with coffee.

Feel free to finish up breakfast.

Put on a record.

Let it feel like a slow Saturday morning.

That’s what it is.

This is who you all are.

We can wander in and out of rooms as toddlers dictate.

I’ll be looking for light.

Watching the way you laugh with each other.

Observing as your little person looks for things on tippy toe.

When it feel’s like things have come to a natural close, get dressed.

I’ll go downstairs to drink the dregs of my coffee that I abanoned earlier in my excitement.

While you put on lipstick and convince your child to wear the sweater you picked out, I’ll load film into a camera.

Then drive me around to your favorite spots around town.

We’ll document the place you call home.

Home is, after all, more than the building where you sleep.

And a few weeks later when you get your pictures, hopefully you see and feel what I saw and felt.

The love and beauty of a life well-lived.

Contact me to book a cozy winter session. Let me help you to be able to remember your family exactly as you are now.