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A couple stands and looks at the view on Cole Mountain

One of the best spots in the Shenandoah Valley for mountain engagement photos is Cole Mountain. Cole Mountain is one of those spots that is kind of a local gem. I wouldn’t call it “hidden” since there always lots of people there, but the space is so wide open you feel like you have it […]

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How to Source Eco-Friendly Flowers for Your Virginia Wedding – Vendor Interview

Lifestyle

If having a sustainable wedding is important to you, then you should consider sourcing your wedding flowers from a local flower farmer. Petal and Pail is located in Buchanan, a small town smack between Roanoke and Lexington. They specialize in the kind of beautiful, fragile flowers you have to buy locally. While full-service wedding flowers […]

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Blacksburg Photography Location: Heritage Community Park

Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a photography session location in Blacksburg with mountain views then consider Heritage Community Park and Natural Area.  Heritage Community Park is the largest park in Blacksburg with 169 acres of natural area. There are greenways throughout it, large meadows, mountain views and a wildflower garden. It’s accessible, doesn’t require a hike […]

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14 Unique Bachelorette Party Ideas in Virginia 

Lifestyle

If your friends are getting married in Virginia and want to keep the bachelorette party local, you are in luck. Virginia is an incredibly diverse state and you can do everything from renting a cabin in a national park to having a beach weekend to exploring vineyards to skiing.  For simplicity purposes, I’m going to […]

A skyline view of Charlottesville at sunset. The sky is pink and buildings can be seen in the distance
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The Perfect Charlottesville Virginia Itinerary 

Lifestyle

Whether you are visiting Charlottesville for the day, a long weekend, your honeymoon or looking to relocate, there is so much to do here.  Charlottesville is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about two and a half hours south of Washington, D.C. It’s home to the University of Virginia and is the […]

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What Happens When it Rains During Your Engagement Session

Lifestyle

When it’s calling for rain, a lot of photographers will reschedule the session. I don’t, unless that is something the client really wants.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  Primarily I don’t really believe in the concept of “bad” weather. Weather is simply a part of the adventure and mood of the shoot.  […]

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Blackrock Summit Engagement Session

Lifestyle

Blackrock Summit is one of those hikes in Shenandoah National Park that is super popular because it’s short, easy and the payoff is amazing. When you get there, you scramble on top of this huge natural rock pile and have something like 270-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s really popular with locals and […]

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Best of 2019: Engagement, Adventure & Portrait Sessions

Lifestyle

Best of 2019 Engagement and Portrait Sessions I had a terrible time this year with hard drives — I think I had three crash from January to December. Fortunately it was more of an expensive, annoying problem than a data loss problem.  That’s because part of my workflow is that I never delete images off […]

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Sunrise Stony Man Engagement Session

Lifestyle

If you’ve never had your photograph taken professionally, the idea can be a little intimidating. You are investing a lot into the photographs, but like anything new, oftentimes people feel nervous about looking and feeling awkward, or about disliking the results.  Which is why I think engagement sessions should be an experience — not a […]

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Five Hikes to Consider for your Shenandoah National Park Engagement

Lifestyle

Shenandoah National Park contains more than 500 miles of hiking trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail. They connect and sprawl, leading to almost endless possibilities for exploration. A few are both easy to access and yield stunning views. These are generally the trails I suggest for engagement and adventure sessions or even elopements.  […]

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Sami + Joe’s Shenandoah National Park Maternity Session

Lifestyle

I don’t shoot a ton of maternity, family or newborn sessions, but occasionally I’ll take them on with the caveat that I still won’t do a lot of posing. Instead, we focus on what I always try and focus on — relationships, environment and drawing out authentic interactions.  Sami and Joe are trying to visit […]

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