PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

Washington, DC |What to do in Washington DC on a budget in 4 days

My kids and I had the opportunity to visit the Washington, DC recently with my friend Buffie and her son Mitch.  Her husband and other son were out-of-town and so Buffie and Mitch decided to visit DC for a few days and asked us to tag along.  Michael was not able to go with us on this trip.  He had to work so, I took lots of mental notes so that I can come back with him to visit.

The pictures and list are not in the order we did them. You can cram a lot into 4 days if you put your mind to it and don’t rest! The thing I love about DC, is that most things are free other than food and lodging.  There is a ton of walking but stayed downtown at Embassy Suites so we wouldn’t have to drive in that traffic. Even staying downtown, we walked over 10 miles each the first two days.  Then we got brave and took the Metro (subway) which cut our walking way down.  But even so,  we still walked alot!

Here is a checklist of things we got to do and see:

  • Arlington National cemetary
  • The Tomb of the unknown soldier
  • Changing of the guards ( This was Ben’s Favorite)
  • Trolley tour at Arlington ( This costs extra but so worth it in 95 degree heat)
  • Take the Metro (Washington’s Subway)
  • The Bible Museum( This is not pictured but was definitely one of my favorites things we did.  This is not free but worth every penny.   I highly recommend this museum.  Fun for all ages)
  • White House (We viewed it from the outside.  We did not have tickets to go inside)
  • National Mall
  • Washington Monument
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Wall Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • Holocaust Museum ( This is not pictured but another one of my favorites)
  • National Archives (This is where you can view the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence)
  • Georgetown ( great for shopping, dining and getting French Macarons!  YUM!!)
  • Lush Cosmetics  (us girls could have stayed in there for hours, the boys hated it)
  • The Capitol Building ( I think this was everyone’s favorite!!  We had the best tour guide that really made history interesting.  Then we got passes from Mark Meadows office to go to the House of Representative’s Gallery and view them in session)
  • The Library of Congress
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural Science
  • Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space

2019-07-05_00512019-07-05_00562019-07-05_00582019-07-05_00712019-07-05_00722019-07-05_00892019-07-05_01442019-07-05_01302019-07-05_0080I was overwhelmed with the number of graves.  It just went on and on.2019-07-05_01752019-07-05_01532019-07-05_01962019-07-05_01402019-07-05_01242019-07-05_01812019-07-05_01162019-07-05_01582019-07-05_01972019-07-05_0087This is the book where you look up the names on the Vietnam Wall.  We looked up Buffie’s Uncle and my dad’s friend that both served and died in Vietnam.2019-07-05_01822019-07-05_01712019-07-05_02122019-07-05_01592019-07-05_01462019-07-05_01382019-07-05_01902019-07-05_01192019-07-05_01082019-07-05_02022019-07-05_00762019-07-05_01132019-07-05_01932019-07-05_01522019-07-05_02072019-07-05_00882019-07-05_00632019-07-05_01692019-07-05_01872019-07-05_00542019-07-05_01782019-07-05_00652019-07-05_01282019-07-05_01992019-07-05_01602019-07-05_02002019-07-05_01022019-07-05_01852019-07-05_01002019-07-05_00672019-07-05_00942019-07-05_0117The painting is what is on the back of a two dollar bill.  Ben just happen to have this in his wallet. 2019-07-05_02042019-07-05_00662019-07-05_02062019-07-05_01232019-07-05_02112019-07-05_0125The Library of Congress was very impressive. 2019-07-05_01952019-07-05_00732019-07-05_02082019-07-05_00982019-07-05_01032019-07-05_00962019-07-05_02032019-07-05_01652019-07-05_01942019-07-05_01202019-07-05_01802019-07-05_01332019-07-05_01642019-07-05_01072019-07-05_01312019-07-05_01052019-07-05_01372019-07-05_00832019-07-05_00612019-07-05_00972019-07-05_00742019-07-05_00602019-07-05_00622019-07-05_0115We had a great time on this trip and I highly recommend you visit if you haven’t before.

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Madison Hopper| MH Woodburning Designs

Meet Madison, owner of MH Woodburning Designs.  She is such a smart, motivated, and talented lady.  She is a full-time teacher and operates her wood burning business on the side.   Madison is recently engaged to Patrick (a family friend of ours) and they are the perfect couple together. Madison offers custom woodburned signs and gifts.  Her signs could be the ideal way to add that personalized detail to your photo session with me.  For example, you could custom order a sign with your family name, a favorite saying, a birth announcement or engagement announcement. There are so many possibilities and I could go on and on, but I will spare you!   You can check her out at her Etsy store, MH Woodburning Designs . 2019-06-23_00032019-06-23_00052019-06-23_00022019-06-23_00062019-06-23_00072019-06-23_00122019-06-23_00112019-06-23_00162019-06-23_00012019-06-23_00222019-06-23_0013Home Sweet Home is one of Madison’s Favorites. She made this sign for a promotion we are going to do together.  I love it too.   Thanks Madison!

~Laura

PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

Madison Rose|Fresh 48| Hospital Session

Introducing Madison Rose!  8lbs ,7oz, 22 inches long at her arrival! Sam reached out to me and said she was being induced in a week and thought she and Steve may like to have hospital pictures or what I like to call the Fresh 48 (pictures taken within the first 48 hours of birth).  Normally, I am not able to obligate myself to these type of sessions due to my schedule.  I work a full-time (9 to 5) job Monday through Friday so I can’t be “on call” at night to go to the hospital and I work during the day.  Not to mention, I also have family obligations with my kids and I have other photo sessions scheduled in advance.  Pretty much everything I do has to be planned in advance !   However, after Sam and I talked,  I told her I would make every effort to be come to the hospital on her induction date.   She was so relaxed about it and said if I could get there that would be great and if I couldn’t make it she would completely understand.  I just didn’t want to disappoint a new mother if she had her heart set on these pictures and I couldn’t come.  Well little miss Madison had a different plan.  She came on her own a day early!  The day Madison was born, Sam and I texted back and forth all day.  After Madison was here, Sam was wore out and thought it may be better to do the pictures the next day. That worked out great!  I was pleased that my schedule allowed me to come be with this couple as they welcomed their baby girl to their family.  This is such a special time and I loved every minute of it.2019-07-05_00102019-07-05_00152019-07-05_00162019-07-05_00142019-07-05_00422019-07-05_0039Look at Madison raise her head up!  I can’t believe she is only 1 day old here. 2019-07-05_00402019-07-05_00302019-07-05_00242019-07-05_00292019-07-05_00362019-07-05_00322019-07-05_00372019-07-05_00312019-07-05_00082019-07-05_00132019-07-05_00172019-07-05_00072019-07-05_00012019-07-05_00042019-07-05_00062019-07-05_00052019-07-05_00332019-07-05_00342019-07-05_00352019-07-05_00432019-07-05_00452019-07-05_00492019-07-05_00482019-07-05_00462019-07-05_00442019-07-05_0041Congratulations Sam and Steve on your perfect new addition.   She is absolutely precious and I can’t wait to watch her grow!

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Bella and Coco

Meet Bella(the Labradoodle) and Coco (the Dachshund). They are the best of friends.  Bella is just precious and does whatever Coco wants.  Coco is the small but bossy one.    They look like partners in crime to me.  I look at this first picture and smile (because they are adorable) but I also get a lump in my throat.  You know the one you get right before you hold back tears. You see, this photo session was bittersweet for me.  Bella is sick and was diagnosed this week with a very aggressive cancer.   Her mama, Angie, a dear friend of mine, reached out to me and told me Bella’s grim news.  It was important to Angie to get some pictures of Bella with her and Roger while she is still able.  Bella was in the hospital this week and after her diagnosis, Angie made the decision to bring her home and just love her and enjoy their time left together. So between laughter and tears we got these precious pictures that I know Angie and Roger will cherish for years to come.     2019-06-21_00042019-06-21_00062019-06-21_0008Sweet Bella2019-06-21_00052019-06-21_00142019-06-21_00152019-06-21_00102019-06-21_00162019-06-21_00232019-06-21_00202019-06-21_0025Coco was cracking us up!  Look at her under Roger’s leg!2019-06-21_00222019-06-21_00132019-06-21_00112019-06-21_00262019-06-21_0019Best Friends forever2019-06-21_00122019-06-21_00172019-06-21_00092019-06-21_00242019-06-21_00032019-06-21_00182019-06-21_00012019-06-21_0007The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this Earth can ever be.

Quote by: Konrad Lorenz

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

CJ Short| Professional Headshots

Meet CJ.  He just became a realtor with a company called  Exit Realty.  He is based in Asheville and serving the market of Asheville to Morganton .   For the last several years CJ has been a stay at home dad.  This new career will allow him to continue to serve his family well and now our community.  CJ is a genuinely nice guy.  He has a laid back, easy-going personality and I think he is going to make a perfect real estate agent.  If you find yourself needing an agent, check him out.  Here is a peek at his new professional headshots.  2019-06-21_00362019-06-21_00462019-06-21_00342019-06-21_00292019-06-21_00312019-06-21_00422019-06-21_00322019-06-21_00402019-06-21_00382019-06-21_00302019-06-21_00332019-06-21_00352019-06-21_00482019-06-21_0047CJ,  I wish you all the best in  your new career!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Scarlett Grace| Newborn |Vale, NC A firefighter inspired session

Introducing Scarlett Grace! Isn’t she beautiful?   Her dad, Jason and I work together and months before she was born, he reached out to me about this session.  Jason is a volunteer fire fighter and you can tell just by hearing him speak about it that being a fire fighter is his passion.  He really wanted to do a newborn session with her and his fire gear. It was so hot outside and I felt so bad for him being in that  heavy fire suit!   Jason was dripping sweat but he never complained.  In fact, he said, “this is nothing compared to a fire”.  The day after I took these pictures,  He had been out all night until 4:30 a.m. on a  Search and Rescue mission and then came to work! To Jason and all the firefighter’s out there, I would like to say, ” THANK YOU. Thank you for all your sacrifice and dedication and for all the things that go unnoticed that the community never really knows about.”   I also want to point out the sign Jason is holding.  It’s a custom-made sign with Scarlett’s name and date of birth, weight and time on it made by Madison Hopper at MH Woodburning Designs.  You can find her on Etsy, Instagram or Facebook.  She does some really cute stuff.  You should go check her out.   So here are the images from my first “firefighter inspired” session.  2019-06-03_00452019-06-03_00302019-06-03_00322019-06-03_00272019-06-03_00232019-06-03_0024Look at Scarlett raising up in this picture.  So much for the sleeping baby picture. 2019-06-03_00282019-06-03_00442019-06-03_00522019-06-03_00352019-06-03_00372019-06-03_00392019-06-03_00202019-06-03_00112019-06-03_00152019-06-03_00042019-06-03_00102019-06-03_00332019-06-03_00312019-06-03_0043T2019-06-03_00092019-06-03_0021This picture is one of my favorites.  I love  Jason’s expression and Scarlett looks like an angel!2019-06-03_00052019-06-03_0016I just love her nursery so of course we had to get some shots of it.    Look at that wreath!!  Shannon made it.  She is really into making crafts and she is so talented at it!  2019-06-03_00342019-06-03_0036The custom sign by MH Woodburning will compliment her nursery perfectly.  2019-06-03_0018Shannon also made this afghan that Scarlett is laying on in this picture.  2019-06-03_00192019-06-03_00122019-06-03_00022019-06-03_0051Scarlett Grace you are a perfect baby and I can’t wait to watch you grow!  Jason and Shannon you guys will be great parents to this sweet little one.  Congratulations!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Christiannah|A Portrait Session at Lake James

I met Christiannah and her two boys at Lake James for this session.  I work with Christiannah every day but I rarely get to see her boys.  Some things that stand out in my mind from her session is when she pulled up and got out of the car and showed them the outfits they would be wearing, the youngest boy said, “Oh, what bootiful clothes”.   He said it so sweetly and just like that.  Her oldest son blew me away the entire session with his vocabulary and intelligence.  Of course both boys wanted to get in the water right off the bat!! But we somehow managed to hold that off until the very end.   I had so much fun during this session and it really made me miss my own kids being this sweet age.  These brothers are very sweet to each other and started out hugging and ended up wrestling.   The little one just smiles all the time. His little smile is so contagious!  2019-05-22_00052019-05-22_00112019-05-22_00082019-05-22_00152019-05-22_00062019-05-22_00172019-05-22_00192019-05-22_00322019-05-22_00212019-05-22_00332019-05-22_00342019-05-22_00352019-05-22_00362019-05-22_00282019-05-22_00252019-05-22_00302019-05-22_00292019-05-22_00262019-05-22_00232019-05-22_00182019-05-22_00242019-05-22_00142019-05-22_00092019-05-22_00042019-05-22_00022019-05-22_00122019-05-22_00102019-05-22_00132019-05-22_00372019-05-22_00012019-05-22_00072019-05-22_0020The boys finally got to get in the water and could not have been happier.  Christiannah, I had a blast with you and your sweet boys.

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Marshall|6 Months Old|A Backyard Portrait Session

Marshall just turned 6 months old. What a cutie and such a sweet, sweet baby! I was happy to get to do these portraits.  I use to work with Marshall’s grandma (Gabbie) and so I remember when his Daddy (Jackson) was just a kid.  My goodness how time FLIES!!  I was so impressed with Marshall’s mama, Schyler.  She had everything set up and prepared when I got there.  She had made some streamers (by hand) and a letter “M” out of fabric that you will see in some of the images.  This is a very warm, friendly family and Marshall was so good!  Although, he wasn’t sure what to think of the bubbles!  We finished our shoot just as the sky opened up with a downpour of rain.  Our timing was perfect!2019-05-11_00932019-05-11_01082019-05-11_00912019-05-11_00962019-05-11_00952019-05-11_00902019-05-11_01002019-05-11_00772019-05-11_00632019-05-11_01062019-05-11_00672019-05-11_01092019-05-11_0114This is the “M” that Schyler made.  So cute!2019-05-11_01112019-05-11_01022019-05-11_0112This red recliner was Jackson’s when he was a baby and now it’s Marshall’s.  2019-05-11_01102019-05-11_00982019-05-11_01032019-05-11_01042019-05-11_00922019-05-11_0088He is just not sure what to think of the bubbles. 2019-05-11_00872019-05-11_00852019-05-11_00892019-05-11_00832019-05-11_00822019-05-11_00752019-05-11_00762019-05-11_00792019-05-11_00782019-05-11_00702019-05-11_00652019-05-11_00682019-05-11_00742019-05-11_00572019-05-11_0060Those eyes!2019-05-11_00622019-05-11_00582019-05-11_00592019-05-11_00842019-05-11_0061Happy 6 months Marshall!  You are so adorable and I can’t wait to see how you grow!

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Elena|Spring Portrait Session at McGalliard Falls Park, Valdese, NC

This little girl has stolen my heart!  I have been taking her pictures since she was a month old!  She has always been so easy-going, good-natured and very easy to photograph.  Now that she is walking, no make that RUNNING , and this girl is on the move! One minute she was stopping to pick a flower the next she was running as fast as she could from us!!!  Luckily for this session at McGalliard Falls, we had plenty of help from her Daddy (Jason) and cousin( Jimmy) running to catch her before she got away. As quick as she is, we decided best not to get too close the waterfalls.  I think we all pretty much got our days worth of exercise in during this one hour session.  Elena is still such a joy to photograph.  She is so playful and  has the sweetest personality with just the right amount of spunk!2019-05-11_00022019-05-11_00012019-05-11_00562019-05-11_00052019-05-11_00062019-05-11_00032019-05-11_00092019-05-11_00082019-05-11_00282019-05-11_00242019-05-11_00432019-05-11_00232019-05-11_00162019-05-11_0030That look!!  I thnk she was massaging Jason’s head!!2019-05-11_00342019-05-11_00452019-05-11_00272019-05-11_00202019-05-11_00512019-05-11_0033There is that sweetness I was talking about!2019-05-11_00402019-05-11_00312019-05-11_00552019-05-11_00392019-05-11_00372019-05-11_00532019-05-11_0035Jimmy is such a good sport.  She served him some of her finest tea.2019-05-11_00102019-05-11_00542019-05-11_00292019-05-11_0021Elena loves her cousin Jimmy!  2019-05-11_00362019-05-11_00072019-05-11_00222019-05-11_00482019-05-11_00522019-05-11_00502019-05-11_0026Spunky and sweet!2019-05-11_00412019-05-11_0038Elena, thank you for the workout!  Keep it sassy you sweet girl!

All the best~

Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Burke Historic Tea and Tour at Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn

The Historic Burke Foundation had a “Tea and Tour” last weekend at the newly renovated Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn, owned and operated by Michael Gavin.  This event was open to the public for Tea and a Tour of the newly renovated property followed by a presentation from the owner in the chapel that is also on the property.  Michael spoke about the history of  Bridgewater Hall, information that has been passed down from previous owners, his dream of owning the property as well as his vision for the future of Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn.  The Tour was self guided and was quite nice.  There was a cello player so you could hear the melodies played softly throughout the house.  A wedding dress was on display in each room,  Many of the dresses on display  belonged to family members of the Historic Foundation.  Beside each dress was a picture with the original bride wearing the dress.  Downstairs, tea and refreshments were served.   The Inn is now open for overnight guests,  weddings and other events. For more information you can go to: Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn   2019-05-02_00182019-05-02_0006Granddaughters of one of the board members of the foundation were among the many guests. 6I0A2333-12019-05-02_00112019-05-02_00072019-05-02_0008Board members of the Historic Burke Foundation.2019-05-02_00352019-05-02_0009Guests enjoy the beautiful day with outdoor seating.  There is plenty of it at this venue with all the porches.2019-05-02_00042019-05-02_00142019-05-02_00172019-05-02_0021Dresses were displayed in many of the rooms with a photo of the original owner wearing each dress. 2019-05-02_0038The tea service was self-serve in the foyer.2019-05-02_00192019-05-02_0023The cello was just another element of class to this event.  The soloist played one of my favorites, “Ashokan Farewell”, the sweet, sad fiddle tune that was the theme of the PBS documentary “The Civil War.”2019-05-02_00242019-05-02_00262019-05-02_0037Guests admire the detail of the dresses on display.2019-05-02_00322019-05-02_00202019-05-02_00162019-05-02_00362019-05-02_0025Michael, Owner of Bridgewater Hall, spoke to the guests about the history and future of Bridgewater Hall.  He was quite the entertainer!2019-05-02_00302019-05-02_0029Michael( center) introduces his two sons, Jeff( left) and Mack (right).  2019-05-02_0022This event was wonderful!  If you didn’t make it this year and you like history or love old historic homes with all the southern charm, check out events like this at The Historic Burke Foundation or schedule your tour or stay  at Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn  .

All the best!

~Laura