I had the honor of traveling to Ghent, West Virginia to take engagement photos for Jancis and Jaime at Flat Top Lake. They were so laid back and fun, it was like a mini vacation to get out of town and hang out. Jancis and Jaime chose Flat Top Lake for their engagement photos and as their wedding venue because of their mutual adoration for the outdoors and aventure.I love the Elliatt Porcelain Picnic Dress that Jancis picked up from Rent the Runway just for her engagement session! What a great idea to rent a dress, I had to add it to my 10 Tips for Choosing Engagement Session Outfits post. I cannot remember the last time I was on a boat before their engagement session; it was so relaxing cruising around the lake soaking in the warm sunshine. I am so excited to return to Flat Top Lake in July for their wedding!
Blacksburg, Virginia Senior Portrait Photographer
I love photographing couples and senior portraits, but I rarely get to do both at the same time! I had a great time taking fall graduation photos around the campus of Virginia Tech with this fun husband and wife duo. Janet and Jonathan popped a couple of bottles of champagne on the steps of Burruss Hall to celebrate and I LOVE the way they came out!
Obviously Virginia Tech has an incredibly beautiful campus, but the more time I spend walking around, the more I grow to appreciate little details and locations that are frequently overlooked for the popular landmarks. I mean check out the amazing retro pattern on the front of Cassell Coliseum and the arches on the side. These are some of my favorite graphic elements on the entire campus even though the wide view of this building is underwhelming, up close, I’m smitten.
Christiansburg High School Senior Portraits
Jesse is a softball superstar and a member of Christiansburg High School’s graduating class of 2017. She opted for a fall senior portrait session because she loves the foliage that autumn brings. These photos were taken at Cascades in Giles County and Pandapas Pond, two places that Jesse and her family love to spend time together.
Blacksburg Winery Engagement Photos
Stephen and Trisha originally contacted me to take photos with their 9 month and 2 month old puppies for their holiday cards. Just a few days before we were scheduled to meet up, Stephen popped the question when they were going to pick up the youngest pup, Trisha said yes… and just like that our Christmas card photos turned into an engagement session!
I met up with Stephen, Trisha, Cain, and Norah at Beliveau Estate Winery for their photos. The puppers were excited to get started and so was I. The cuteness was almost more than I could handle, dog people, bring me your puppies, let them lick my face, I want to drown in a puddle of puppies! The humans were adorable too, they had that sweet giddiness that comes with being newly engaged and I loved being there to document it – along with their tacky Christmas sweaters.
They’ll be getting married in early June of this year in Culpeper and I am so excited to be joining them as their wedding photographer! I have my fingers crossed that the entire wedding party will be comprised of puppies wearing bows and bow ties.
I love this beauty’s edgy look – from her purple rock star hair to her eyelashes that would slash the heart of any man who dares to wrong her. We started out her boudoir session with a little inspiration straight out of the 90s, channeling Fiona Apple’s layered slips in the “Criminal” music video as we jammed out to 90s alternative music on Google Play. I didn’t include the racier photos since I do a variety of types of sessions and like to share them all on my blog, but I will paint you this visual image: Guitar Hero guitar, ripped tights, gold sequined underwear, and electrical tape as pasties while we jammed out to Deee Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” – this gal will henceforth be known to me as “succotash woman”.
She wrote up the sweetest post about her session after she saw her images, I just have to share it with you because it almost made me cry.
You don't have to be getting married to have a boudoir session, you don't even have to have a significant other. There is no shame in doing something 100% for you. I'm all about loving yourself, it is a lifelong journey learning to love the skin you are in and I'd love to help show you the beauty that everyone else sees in you. Contact me now, let’ get the conversation started!
Do you ever get a crush on a business? It happens to me every once in a while… First I get a crush on the business because I’m into their product or service, etc. Then it goes even deeper and I get completely smitten because I realize that they also kick ass at marketing and business or I wouldn’t have gotten that crush on them to start with. Maybe it is a business owner thing?
I saw Route 8 Donuts MONTHS before they opened their storefront. It was a long and excruciating wait for them to open their doors, I was addicted and I hadn’t even tried their donuts yet. Finally they opened and I managed to drop by on a day that they didn’t sell out early and they were well worth the wait. I bought a mixed dozen donuts [basically just for me because no one else in my house eats sweets] and had to photograph their beauty before I devoured them and sank happily into a sugar coma. This box contained red velvet, chocolate frosted with sprinkles, strawberry frosted with sprinkles aka the Homer Simpson donut, Fruity Pebbles, pumpkin spice, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
If you are anywhere near Christiansburg, make sure you drop by [EARLY] for a sweet treat. The donuts are delightful, the shop is adorable, and the owner is a wonderful human being, awesome #GIRLBOSS, and marketing guru. They are located at 1225 W Main St, Christiansburg, VA 24073 and you can visit their website here.
After taking a pretty long break from photographing families, I had so much fun jumping right back into them headfirst with this family [if you can’t tell by the super fun running and cartwheel GIFs]. Sara and Tung met when they both lived in Ambler Johnson dormitory at Virginia Tech and he proposed to her when she was living in Harper Hall so we had to make sure we included those locations for their 15th anniversary/family photo session. Lane Stadium is one of the most popular photo location requests that I get from alumni, but unfortunately it isn’t always open so we made due with the practice field next door! Did I mention how super crafty Sara is? She made most of what the girls wore for photos, I need her to come back to Blacksburg and teach me how to use the sewing machine I bought 2 years ago and never took out of the box!
I want to tell you about something kind of exciting that I have been working on for what feels like a few weeks, but has probably been more like 2 years now [and it is actually not photography related]...
First Came the Dreamcatchers
A couple of years ago, my beautiful, talented, wonderful friend Brittany [owner of Tapestry Massage & Yoga in Radford, Virginia] taught me how to make dreamcatchers. I quickly became addicted to creating art with my hands, I was churning out so many dreamcatchers simply to treat my neurosis that I started selling them at Green Heron Arts Center because I ran out of room. I hijacked the phrase “Romantic in Revolt” that I had seen floating around on a neon sign that read “Childlike in Wonder, Romantic in Revolt” because it spoke to my soul and that became the name that started selling my artwork under.
Weaving My Worries Away
I started to feel really drawn to weaving and I had been fortunate enough to meet Kate Albee in her short time living in Blacksburg who is also a weaver. She helped me push through some mental barriers and man up enough to purchase my first loom and go for it. I learned to weave in 7th grade art class. My only finished weaving from that class was a cartoon turtle that I drew myself made in neon colors, being the extremely harsh critic of my own artwork that I am, I threw it away thinking I would never return to the loom. Here I am almost 20 years later teaching myself new techniques as I soumak my ways into the wee hours of the morning on a Melissa & Doug children’s loom. The artistic process of weaving is so much more therapeutic for me than creating dreamcatchers, I always hit a point where I HATE the way my work looks, but I have to push through because I only have one loom – I swear this process is improving my problem solving skills and working through my doubts and insecurities. Again I found myself in this predicament that I’m creating a mountain of artwork and squirreling it away in a room that I had once intended to be my photography studio [never say never, if I can sell my artwork maybe I can still end up turning it into a studio].
Etsy Anxiety and Crippling Self Doubt
The time had come to start selling my work online instead of in one retail location where my “ideal client” may or may not ever see them. With a huge push from yet another amazing talented artist friend of mine, Stephanie of Celestial Surf Studio, I made a plan. First came the dedicated Romantic in Revolt Instagram account [holy shit I hardly keep up with the photography one!] and I set the date that I would open my Etsy shop. To take it one step further and make sure I get some eyeballs on my work and give myself accountability, I decided I would host a giveaway [see below] that I set to automatically publish the day the shop opened so if I didn’t follow through I would look like a complete jackass so here I am reluctantly following through. Etsy has always been a mental block for me, I have dipped my toe in the Etsy waters a few different times and never sold a single item. So I’m facing my fear of Etsy and I’m putting my weaving out for everyone to see and judge – it somehow feels more personal and like I am more exposed than sharing my photography. Overwhelming anxiety. With a MAJOR knot in my stomach I hit publish on 24 pieces of my handmade artwork on the Romantic in Revolt Etsy Shop this morning and sent an email blast out to the handful of people who asked to be notified when I made the leap.
To celebrate me finally gathering up my courage to give Etsy another try, I am hosting a giveaway! The winner will get to choose a medium sized woven tapestry out of the Romantic in Revolt Etsy shop.
Below are easy ways that you can help me get the word out about my shop and to thank you for your help, each item will provide you an entry into the giveaway AND almost each of the entries can be completed once per day from now until the timer runs out on April 8. Thank you for joining on my journey of branching out into various other mediums of art!
It is always a wonderful surprise when you get to meet amazing new clients who were referred by former clients who also just happen to be wonderful. Mallary and Steven found me after I photographed their friends’ Brandon and Jaki’s Virginia Tech Proposal. It ended up being super gloomy the day of Mallary and Steven’s engagement session, but thankfully the rain held out for us and the clouds made the greenery look really vibrant. They brought along their sweet little pit bull pupper Roxy who decided to snack on Queen Anne’s Lace at the end of their photo session. Keep your eyes peeled because I was fortunate enough to get to travel down to Asheville, North Carolina in January to photograph their super intimate wedding so photos of that will be coming soon.
Katie and Sonny’s wedding set a new record for me for the farthest I’ve traveled for photos! [Though I look forward to hopefully breaking this record again over and over – anyone getting married in Portland, Seattle, Miami, Hawaii, or California and want to take me with you?] It was so exciting to take a road trip up to Katie’s hometown, Pittsburgh, it was my first time in Pennsylvania. I had no idea what to expect because I don’t go to a lot of cities so I was completely blown away driving around through what looked like a rural area, all of a sudden I went through a tunnel and on the other side was a GORGOUES city with all these cool bridges, I fell in love immediately. Anyways, on to the important details about the wedding [I’ll post some other photos from the trip soon too]!
Sonny and Katie met at Hokie House in Blacksburg, Virginia through mutual friends when they were students at Virginia Tech. They bonded over their shared love of sports. In January of 2015 they came back to Blacksburg to celebrate their anniversary. Despite a snow storm, they came out to the Virginia Tech campus where Sonny surprised Katie under Torgersen Bridge by getting down on one knee and proposing.
We started out the morning at the adorable Studio Raw in Pittsburgh [when you first walk in there is a row of mannequin butts so I knew it was my type of place] where Katie was having her hair done and hanging out with her mother. Later on we moved to the Mayernik Center at Avonworth Park where the wedding would be taking place to finish preparing for the ceremony. It was SWELTERING hot outside and humid with the threat of a storm looming that fortunately turned out to only be a sprinkle so their outside ceremony was only delayed by a few minutes. Katie wore her grandmother’s pearl necklace and carried a bouquet of sunflowers as she made her way down the aisle to marry Sonny. At the reception, Sonny’s brother and sister surprised the newlyweds by performing a song. Afterwards was the biggest dance party that I have seen at a wedding reception, and tons of music from the 90s.
Pittsburgh Wedding Vendors:
Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Venue: The Mayernik Center at Avonworth Park
Hair: Studio Raw
Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal
Officiant: Mark DeNuzzio – A Simple Vow, Ambridge, PA
Cake Baker: Oakmont Bakery, Oakmont, PA
Caterer: Remo’s Catering, Pittsburgh, PA
Jeweler: Kay Jewelers
DJ: Premium Soundz, Pittsburgh, PA
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic and The Tie Bar