Wow, what a gorgeous early spring day we had with Shelly and Bill at their National Mall wedding! These two picked the Jefferson Memorial as their backdrop and even though the cherry blossoms had already come and gone, there were still enough beautiful scenes and even a few flowering trees left, for some photo-ops. Part of the fun for this wedding was the adventure that we had. We all piled into their limo bus in Waldorf and drove into the city together. After their short and sweet ceremony and photos on the lawn of the memorial were finished (and we resolved being stopped by the police for our photo permit!) we headed on to the gorgeous Sequoia restaurant. Their day was one of the first sunny and nice spring weekends, so it was packed with people out enjoying the sunshine, along the Georgetown waterfront. Shelly and Bill along with about twenty of their friends, family and fellow church members dined on their amazing brunch buffet and wedding cake, then they were off to their honeymoon in BORA-BORA! It was a fabulous day with their closest friends and family. Congrats to the newlyweds. <3

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Wow, this day was special in so many ways! First, let’s talk about how on April 9th I started my commute in a snow storm… once I made it through that, we were left with chilly temperatures and some off and on rain but it was warm and beautiful on the inside of Prospect Bay Country Club, the wacky weather did not even matter! My connection to Taylor and Gunther goes back a few years. I have mostly gotten to know them through several of their friends’ weddings – where they were either guests or part of the bridal party. When they themselves became engaged, I was happy to hear that this time around it was going to be their turn in the spotlight!  I saw how easy it was to photograph them, last summer, at their beautiful engagement session on their family farm and at one of their favorite beach spots. I knew this wedding was going to be awesome!

The color scheme they chose perfectly fit the spring season and they really helped to brighten up the reception and lift the mood on an otherwise, dreary day. While we were not able to have the ceremony outside as planned, we were all grateful that the weather improved enough for us to go outdoors for all their portraits and their first look. When approaching a rainy wedding day, instead of being scared of the elements we decided to utilize what we were given to create some unique shots. I really liked the patterns of the trees in the puddles and I’ve always loved reflections in photos. These shots ended up being some of my favorites. Our goal is always to tell the story of the day, and this day was wet, we could not deny it, so why try to hide it? We embraced the rain! We had a great night having fun and dancing the night away, we always enjoy our time with this group! Congrats to the newlyweds. 🙂


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Who gets married on Leap Day, you know, the day that only comes around every fourth year? That’s right, these two! It just made sense, since it was already their eight year dating anniversary and they are excited to also be expanding to a family of three, later this year. Now was the time to finally get hitched! Their anniversary also fell on a Monday, when the Anne Arundel County Courthouse is open, so it was the perfect fit. The weather was warm and beautiful for any time of the year but especially February, I believe a few days later it was cold and snowing but not on their day. And believe it or not, there were other weddings going on, downtown but this one was the best! 🙂 We started off with the bride and her best friends at The Maryland Inn, right in the heart of downtown. After a quick first look at the inn, we headed over for a short and sweet ceremony in the cute courthouse and finished up with portraits and lunch at the amazing Iron Rooster! It was a fun afternoon. Congrats to the newlyweds and to my first wedding of 2016!

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So, if you follow me on social media, you know that I’m not one to post a bunch of photos of myself but I had to do an “after” shot from my experience at Atelier Aveda Salon + Barber on Kent Island. I had never been into their old location but I was able to check out their new spot, right down the street, and it is amazing! As soon as you walk in, the style and smells make you feel so relaxed. I started off with a manicure, pedicure and foot scrub with some of the Aveda oils, which smell so good. I definitely recommend adding on some of the extras, they are worth it! Samantha was super sweet and took her time, obviously making it relaxing and fun. We had a few others in the room and we had a great time chatting. I went with the gelled nails and it’s been almost a week and they still look awesome.

Next, I moved over to the salon for a quick touch up of hair color on my roots, with Johnene. Since I already had extensive highlights, I just needed a quick fix and the color matches what I already had perfectly. While I was there, I had my brows waxed, then we moved over to getting my hair styled. As usual, Johnene pointed out that I have a lot of hair and it’s on the longer side but she didn’t mind and blew it out and styled it, which I was able to pull off for that night and the next day!

Finally, we used all the awesome Aveda products they have, and she did a full makeup application. I kept calling this day my “Makeover Day” and I was so excited for it. I think I even lost some sleep due to my excitement. It came at the end of a busy portrait and wedding month, so it felt so good to sit back and relax for a few hours. Here is what I looked like when I got home, not too bad for a gloomy Wednesday! 🙂 salon atelier kent island

Some shots from their page, of the new space:

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atelier salon kent island


After all of this, I thought it would be cool to do a Q&A with them:

1)    Where is your salon located?

For the past three years we were located in a little white Tudor bungalow on Postal Road but just this March we relocated to a much larger 3,000 square foot location on the second story of the Rainbow Plaza in Chester. We love our new spot, it’s over double the size of our first location and we managed to fit in an entirely separate area for the guys in our barber lounge and an awesome new spa area.

2)    Approximately how many employees do you have?

Our team is pretty modest but slowly growing as we fill in our new space. Currently we have a team of 25 including myself with 7 stylists, 2 barbers, 5 nail therapists, 2 massage therapists, 2 estheticians, 2 coordinators and 5 attendants. We just moved to a new 7 day schedule with three of those days 12 hours long so we will be nearly doubling our team over the new year.

3)    How long have you been offering salon services? How long on Kent Island?

We have a team that is made up of a mix of people with lots of experience in the industry (20+ years) all the way to relative new comers. That’s one of the things I love about our team, we really foster an environment of constant growth and learning. We opened our doors in December of 2012 and haven’t looked back since!

4)    What are some of the most popular services you provide?

We offer so many! Our salon floor is constantly busy with guests receiving color services. We use Aveda color which is 98% naturally derived and really produced beautiful results. All of our spa services are totally customizable from the treatments offered to the pure-fumes we use to infuse the products and each product is created naturally and holistically. We live by a “beauty without compromise” mission statement and what that means to us is that we will never compromise the health of our guest or the earth we live on by using harmful products.

5)    Do you offer wedding hair, makeup etc? If so, does the bridal party come to your salon or do you provide off-site? What is the minimum and maximum numbers of clients you can see, at one time?

We absolutely do! As you know this area is a huge destination hot spot. We see a lot of wedding parties who seek us our specifically because we are an Aveda concept location and they know that that means we are constantly educating ourself on new techniques so there is pretty much a guarantee that the looks we create will be not only timeless but also modern. We offer both in-salon and on-site wedding services depending on the need of the guest. We really don’t have a limit to the number of guests we can see at any given time for a wedding party. We’ve done small parties of 3-4 all the way up to large parties of 20+. Like I said before we do a lot of training through Aveda and part of that training is editorial and runway work. When you’re backstage at a fashion show or on the set of a shoot you have to create amazing, striking looks that will stay in place and you have to do it fast so speed and precision is something that we have in spades. Several members of our team have received hands on training from lead runway and editorial stylists with credits that include VOGUE, Alexander McQueen, and Vivienne Westwood among others, NAHA winners and Aveda global creative directors on styling for events, runway and editorial so I wouldn’t hesitate to say that we have to most incredible makeup and styling team in our area.

6)    How many weddings can take on, for hair and/or makeup, on a given day?

It all depends on timing. A wedding party of 6 who are all doing hair and makeup we can typically have camera ready in about 2 and a half hours. We’ve done up to 4 in one day before with no problems. It all depends on when the ceremonies are scheduled for.

7)    How early should a bride book and confirm her hair stylist and/or makeup artist?

We recommend at least 3 months in advance, especially for larger parties. Wedding season is also busy season in the salon industry and Saturdays especially tend to fill up quickly. If you have a party of 3-4 then there’s a good chance we may be able to get you in last minute if you don’t mind the appointments being staggered but if you have a large party or you would like on location styling and makeup we can’t stress enough booking in advanced.

8)    What are some of the hottest bridal hairstyle trends, right now?

For the past few years the trend has been either fairly rustic, lots of big texture and braiding, or super retro, big wages and barrel curls. Recently we’ve seen those two trends become more refined. The retro trends have made a push towards more polished, finished looks with a modern twist on the classics. The chignon and the French twist have never gone out of style but they’re seeing a huge resurgence. Lots of clean lines and smooth edges in very sleek, almost futuristic styles. For those who love a more relaxed look, the center part is super on trend, especially when coupled with the romantic styles we’ve seen on the runways for Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino that really update the more rustic ‘undone’ looks. Everything is becoming a bit more refined and finished without losing the romance. Even the most rustic weddings are getting a little more ‘just so’ calling back to Renaissance paintings.

9)    Do you have any salon services that cater to the groom?

We absolutely do. The men’s grooming trend has seen a huge boom. There’s nothing more relaxing than having a straight razor shave and I can speak from experience. Beards are also super on trend and that’s not something that will go away anytime soon. A lot of brides are requesting our services to get their grooms and the groomsmen’s beards cleaned and tightened up so they look sharp in their photos without loosing their ruggedly appeal. We recently did our first groom’s services on location at the Aspen Institute on Wye River where we did straight razor shaves on the groomsmen who didn’t have bears and beard trims on the groomsmen who did. It was awesome and something we can’t wait to do more of!

10) What is your favorite part about owning a salon?

I can honestly say that my favorite part about owning a salon is the team that I work with. I cannot speak highly enough of the people that I spend my week with. They are all so creative and such amazing people. We truly are a family environment; my mother (Julie) is an owner, my sister (Samantha) manages the spa, I have another sister (Sabrina) who works as a coordinator, an aunt who is Lead Attendant (Kate), an aunt who is a nail therapist (Heather) and two of our lead stylists (Evelyn and Sydney) are also siblings. That really creates an amazing environment full of love and support. When we opened Atelier we always knew that we didn’t want to be any old salon; we really intended us to be a springboard for the careers of our team members. We aren’t happy with a team who is just busy; we want a team who goes on to become too editorial stylists, NAHA winners, celebrity stylists and educators making our industry even more amazing than it already is.


Be sure to contact them for whatever salon services, you may want or even the ones you don’t know you want yet….you won’t regret it!

Address: 1551 Postal Rd, Chester, MD 21619

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I’m a little behind on blogging my barns, so as I type this (at the end of April!) March is a little bit of a blur. I’m sure, as I organize the photos below and start to copy and paste the captions, the month’s events will come back to me! 🙂 I love reliving these daily adventures, when I scroll through the photos. Sometimes snapping a barn shot is more involved, sometimes it’s literally seconds of my day – no matter what, they’re a highlight and make me happy. That was one of the main reasons for starting this project and I can’t believe all the wonderful things it’s done for me, it’s definitely one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. 🙂


Original Post:

I started thinking about this recently when I asked myself the question: what do I love about this area that I now call home?  In other words, I was trying to find new ways to be positive and look for the good in my new location. I have been living here for almost two years but sometimes I still miss “home”. Even though I chose to move here for the right reasons, and I’m not that far away from where I came, I still struggle with these thoughts off and on. So, instead of dwelling in the past, I decided to appreciate the present. To find the good and appreciate what I have, here and now and to build a connection to this new place.

One of the coolest, and most unique things about Calvert County (and Southern Maryland) are all the barns that stem from it’s rural history. I love the country roads and all the farms or pieces of what are left over, from old farms. I had a lot of that on the Eastern Shore, as well, but there were never this many barns and they’re different. Since a lot of the ones found here are tobacco barns, there are just SO many more, because they needed more of them to dry the tobacco in.  I’m also tying this project in with my background in geography and environmental/land use planning interests. I see the urban sprawl and trees and fields being chopped down, daily, so this landscape is changing rapidly. By taking these photos, I want to be a part of documenting how looks now. I have a feeling it will change quite a bit in my lifetime.

So, with all these things in mind, on July 1st, 2015, I decided to start this year-long endeavor! Here are my rules/goals:

  • photograph a different barn each day from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.
  • if I am out of town or something prevents me from shooting, I will shoot multiple barns for each day that I am gone, as close to the dates missed as possible.
  • any type of camera goes – iPhone, point and shoot, DSLR etc
  • barns must be located within Calvert County, MD limits


245/366: 3.1.16/4:43 pm/Huntingtown/Emmanuel Church Rd/Canon 5D Mark II//70-200mm 2.8L
Stillwater Farm Barn
I was rewarded this afternoon with this scene. I didn’t feel like going out to shoot but I did it anyway and when I saw this cutie, dining at Stillwater Farm, I couldn’t resist… I waited to make eye contact and snapped away. I’ve already photographed the old barn on the right, which is really cool but not the newer one in the background. Starting March and month NINE with a good one!

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246/366: 3.2.16/4:40pm/Dunkirk/SOMD Blvd/Canon 5D Mark III/24-70mm 2.8L
Sunset Backyard Barn
My friend’s backyard view = jealous

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247/366: 3.3.16/2:41pm/Prince Frederick/Dan Bowen Rd/Canon 5D Mark II/70-200mm 2.8L
Cattle Barn
So many were hanging out here but this shot of just one, walking towards me down the hill, slightly edged out another one with the rest of his friends.calvert county barns-3248/366: 3.4.16/9:52am/Huntingtown/MF Bowen Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Red Barn in the Snow
This winter has been perfect for snowy barn scenes and I couldn’t wait to get out and shoot a couple red ones, this morning. I used some editing magic and took out the street signs and road on this one, I had to, it makes it so much better – maybe like it was a long time ago?

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and this is an extra one from March 4th, that I’ve already photographed before! I HAD to include it because it’s just so peaceful and beautiful, in the fresh snow:calvert county barns-5

249/366: 3.5.16/11:53am/Huntingtown/Ponds Wood Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Ponds Wood Barn
There are only a few left on this road for me to shoot – this backyard barn is one of them.

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250/366: 3.6.16/5:00pm/Huntingtown/Bowie Shop Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/24-70mm 2.8L
Trucker Barn
Pretty cool barns here. I loved the sun rays shining through the clouds, in the back, also.

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251/366: 3.7.16/3:27pm/Barstow/German Chapel Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/35mm 1.4L
Reflections Barn
There is no water here, just an empty field. I made three barns into six by using a prism to distort the image, it’s magic!calvert county barns-8252/366: 3.8.16/6:04pm/Huntingtown/Emmanuel Church Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Old Barn and a Truck
Procrastination paid off with this cool scene and beautiful skies. I especially love the old fence, truck and all the character of this barn.

calvert county barns-9253/366: 3.9.16/6:18pm/Owings/Mt. Harmony Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Tobacco Barn at Dusk
Made it just in time to an area with quite a few barns, off in the distance. I wanted to get the sunset into this shot but it was just a little out of the frame, but I am just grateful that I got my shot in, before I couldn’t see anything! calvert county barns-10

254/366: 3.10.16/5:40pm/Prince Frederick/German Chapel Rd/Canon 5D Mark II/70-200mm 2.8L
Red Barn through the Trees
I keep shooting wide because the skies have been so pretty, lately. Nathan and I found at least four “new” barns right here, I love when that happens
calvert county barns-11255/366: 3.11.16/5:45pm/Owings/Horace Ward Rd/iPhone
Tobacco Barn through the Treescalvert county barns-12256/366: 3.12/5:17pm/Huntingtown/Stinnett Rd/5D Mark III/35mm 1.4L
Red Barn Prismed
So many red barns right around here, I believe I’ve gotten almost all of them, for this project. Today, I was feeling more on the experimental side and messed around with the prism, again, makes this one a bit different and more interesting, IMO. You can see one of the other barns reflected in the corner.

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257/366: 3.13.16/6:57pm/Prince Frederick/Goldstien Rd/5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Tobacco Barn on a Hill
The only way you can tell that this is a Daylights Savings Time barn is because it was shot at almost 7:00pm! Otherwise, it was gray and gloomy all day and you can’t tell what time of day it is, at all. Good black and white day.calvert county barns-14258/366: 3.14.16/12:44pm/Lusby/Sollers Wharf Rd/5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Horse and a Red Barn
Life brought me to Lusby, today, so I was happy to go out of my typical barn-hunting locations! Loved this horse w/the red barn, in the background and the fog…
calvert county barns-15259/366: 3.15.16/6:17pm/Barstow/ Barstow Rd/5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Unpainted Barn in the Sun
I love this scene every time I pass it.calvert county barns-16

260/366: 3.16.16/7:07pm/Owings/ Boyds Turn Rd/iPhone
Pink Sunset Barn
Second barn I shot today but I couldn’t pass up this sunset, at Windy Hill Middle School. Beautiful.calvert county barns-17261/366: 3.17.16/11:35am/Huntingtown/ Smoky Rd/iPhone
Spring Red Barns
I have loved these two along my running route for years. Got low to show the little bit of spring in this shot, maybe there’s a four-leaf clover in there somewhere, too.calvert county barns-18

262/366: 3.18.16/5:13pm/Sunderland/ Solomons Island Rd/iPhone
Barn and a Tractor
Such a cute barn with this old tractor, that sits next to it all the time. Beautiful skies, too.calvert county barns-19

263/366: 3.19.16/1:50pm/Sunderland/ SOMD Blvd/Canon 5D Mark III/50mm 1.4
Pink Flowers Barn
Finally, a shot that incorporates all the beautiful spring flowers and trees that are blooming.calvert county barns-20264/366: 3.20.16/3:44pm/Huntingtown/Matthew Dr/Canon 5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Ireland Barn
I don’t know, maybe it’s all the green, the misty rain & the grey skies but this scene with three horses and their barn makes me think of Ireland. Not that I’ve actually been, to have a comparison. ☘☘calvert county barns-21265/366: 3.21.16/3:56pm/Huntingtown/Hardesty Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Blue Sky Barn in the Woods
Love this hard to see but easy to photograph barn, right along the road. The blue skies make it pop a little more.calvert county barns-22

266/366: 3.22.16/5:25pm/Owings /Boyd’s Turn Rd/Canon 5D/70-200mm 2.8L
Spring Barn
Out of several views out the passenger window, this one showing the spring buds was my favorite. You really have no idea how difficult it is to find new barns with spring flowers!calvert county barns-23267/366: 3.23.16/1:39pm/Owings/Chaneyville Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/85mm 1.2L II
Green Grass Barn
This spring barn was made a bit better by getting low into the grass. It wasn’t that high so I definitely did get low. Get low…..get lowcalvert county barns-24

268/366: 3.24.16/6:51pm/Huntingtown/Emmanuel Church Rd/Canon 5D/24-70mm 2.8L
Red Barn in the Sun-Shade
Partly lit by the warm sunshine, partly covered in shade, the view framed by trees. Pretty no matter what.calvert county barns-25

269/366: 3.25.16/5:11pm/Dunkirk/SOMD Blvd/Canon 5D Mark III/70-200mm 2.8L
Yellow Flowers Barn
Ahhh, I had to get these yellow bushes with a barn, before they turned over to green. Mission accomplished. I was granted closeup access to this one, which has also been converted to an indoor batting cage. Barns can have many uses!
calvert county barns-26270/366: 3.26.16/6:01pm/Prince Frederick/Solomons Island Rd/Canon 5D Mark II/24-70mm 2.8L
Vines Barn
Just a typical barn you’d find behind a car dealershipcalvert county barns-27271/366: 3.27.16/6:07pm/Huntingtown/ Llewelyn Rd/Canon 5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Easter Barn
“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life” – S.D. Gordoncalvert county barns-28272/366: 3.28.16/5:43pm/Owings/Honeysuckle Ln/Canon 5D Mark II/70-200mm 2.8L
Pastel Colors Barns
Spring goals slowly being achieved: knocking out yellow and pink flowers with this one! I’m hoping to photograph as many spring colors as I can, while they last.calvert county barns-29273/366: 3.29.16/5:22pm/Owings/Plane Tree Dr/Canon 5D Mark III/16-35mm 2.8L II
Tobacco Barn + Culti Planter
I am not exactly sure what the Culti Planter does but it does look like it’s ready to do some work. calvert county barns-30

274/366: 3.30.16/5:05pm/Dunkirk/SOMD Blvd/Canon 5D Mark III/70-1200mm 2.8L
Corn Crib
This is part of a set of barns, right off the highway. I don’t think there’s corn in there, anymore, my guess is that it is used for storagecalvert county barns-31

275/366: 3.31.16/10:32am/Huntingtown/Jupiter Ln/Canon 5D/24-70mm 2.8L
Barn in the Woods
This little one down a hill, was not the first one I photographed, this morning. I had to stop when I drove by and saw the subtle hints of yellow and green and the little bridge. I knew this was the one for today!
 calvert county barns-32

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