6,722 Miles

6,722 Miles, the amount of miles we drove in about 2 weeks. Granted, most of these miles were racked up during the long drive from Maryland to Nevada where we finally arrived at Great Basin National Park to start our trip. We never had visited GBNP before so after securing a campsite we drove up the long winding roads to one of the trailheads and went hiking for a few hours.

 

I didn’t do too much photography, mostly because as soon as we get over 10,000 feet in elevation we both instantly get headaches and feel like crap. This is mostly our fault for not taking a few days to acclimate to the altitude change. You’d think we’d have learned by now. Overall though, our short time spent here was really fun. We saw some nice lakes, cool old bristlecone pines, and some spectacular valley views. Well worth a visit again when we have more time and can properly get ourselves sorted out before doing any long hikes.

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After a few days here we headed back over into Utah and went to Kodachrome Basin State Park. We’ve been around this area before but never took the time to head there and check it out. The park was pretty rad. There was some really good hiking and some great overlook views, most of which involved walking out onto very narrow strips of land that put you right over the valley floor.

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The sandstone monoliths were some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen. We also had a bluebird that hung out with us everyday at our campsite. He was a pretty cool little dude.

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We spent the last half of our trip over in Capitol Reef NP. It’s where we ended our long 10 month trip a few years back so it holds a special place in our hearts. Besides that, it’s just a really awesome place. It’s a bit of a hidden gem of a spot. Most of the crowds go to Arches, Bryce, or Zion and usually just make a short day trip passing through this place. This means most of the hikes that aren’t on the main scenic drive see little to no people for the whole day so you pretty much have the place to yourself.

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We also made an overnight trip to Escalante and Goblin Valley during our time in the area. We only briefly stopped at Goblin Valley about 5 years ago so it was nice to spend some time there and go and wander around at night checking out the milky way a little later the super moon would illuminate all the little formations.

 

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Overall it was a great trip. we found some super cool rocks and petrified wood. You’re allowed to collect on BLM land and we found a great spot that looks like it’s never been picked though so we hit the jackpot there. The day before we left the fruit orchards opened up and we picked some peaches and apples for our drive home.

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To break up our drive back to Maryland we made a short drive over to Santa Fe for the night before 2 days of painful driving ensued.

 

We also purposely went a little out of our way to drive over near Oklahoma City to stop at Pop’s Arcadia which has great burgers and like 5,000 different sodas. Pretty sad to be back but thankful we got to spend some time in our favorite part of the country. Hopefully at some point we’ll call it home.

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Year in Review: Top 20

Since I can’t make myself sit down and blog every single thing I shoot, I thought this would be a good compromise. I still have a few more shoots I have to do before I can relax but I figured I would share 20 of my favorite images from the year so far. No particular order, they were just ones I smiled at or thought were cool.

 

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It’s Spring Time

I photographed these guys a few months ago but we decided to head back out for some photos that had a little less snow in them. We spent some time walking around Mount Vernon in downtown Baltimore, then popped over to the Baltimore Museum of Industry. It was a little chilly but the sun was out and the company was great. I’m really looking forward to their wedding in a few months.

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KATIE AND DAN

Sometimes throughout the season, I get a wedding or two that I am constantly thinking about every day as it gets closer. This was the wedding that I did that with this year. I’m not sure if it was because it was my last big wedding of the year, or that it was in a completely new area, or that the potential was there for absolutely gorgeous images and I just needed to figure out how to make it all work on the day. We had only met Katie and Dan one time prior to this. We met at the beautiful St. Mary’s Parish in downtown Annapolis, discussed a few details, scoped out some areas, and then parted ways and planned to see each other again on the big day.

The most important part for me as a photographer (and this is true for many) is developing  a bond with my clients. Sometimes I get to spend more time with some people and less with others, but I’ve never once felt like I didn’t click with a couple. However, Katie and Dan were one of those couples that I felt like I’ve known and been friends with for years. The logistics of the day were a little complicated and required some shuttling and finding parking in a crowded spot in downtown Annapolis on a Saturday which on a wedding day, you would think would be disastrous. To my pleasant surprise, we were never thrown off schedule once. The bridal party stayed cool and collected, the newlyweds never once let any kind of stress take over. We lost a credit card after snagging an all important and what seemed to be the only open parking spot in the dock area. I didn’t care, it was only a minor snag on what ended up being a perfect day.

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Sandy and Eric

Last week, the Baltimore area was slammed with a record breaking snowfall. The bad news is that my back felt like I laid down in the middle of the street and let cars run me over for 30 minutes. The good news is that everything was covered in snow. We had planned to shoot this in Baltimore city but everything looked pretty messy. There’s nothing worse than dirty city snow. I decided to just go to one of my regular spots that I knew would look really nice and be fairly easy to walk around. The day turned out to be really nice. It was in the mid 40’s which was a welcome change from the previous days when it was in the teens.

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Nicole and Andreas

Nicole and Andreas wanted to do a fall engagement session. We had to keep pushing the date back as the fall color was very slow to peak this year. I had scouted out Oregon Ridge Park and Cylburn Arboretum but we finally settled on the Hampton National Historic Site. This 18th century estate was the largest private home in America when it was completed in 1790. I absolutely love shooting here since it has all sorts of wonderful trees, barns, stonework, and gardens. This was a fun session. I climbed some trees, rolled around in leaves, and even hopped into the Loch Raven Reservoir at the end of the day. If I’m filthy by the end of the day it usually means the session went really well.

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Fred & Kaitlyn

We packed our gear and headed north for a drive that ended up taking close to 2.5 hours instead of 60 minutes that we were expecting. I blame myself for wanting to take the scenic route instead of getting on the highway . Having traveled up that way for weddings before, I should have know the traffic was going to be horrible. After what seemed like an eternity, we made it to our destination. This was my first time at the Wissahickon Trail in PA and I was throughly impressed. We first met these Fred and Kaitlyn at a wedding we did last year and got along with them really well. We spent a few hours exploring the trail and walking around in the woods. The weather was beautiful and we all had a really great time. We finished the afternoon at Curtis Arboretum which had a pretty big festival going on at the time. We managed to find a nice quiet area away from the crowds. Overall, it was a pretty fantastic day.

 

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Karina and Georgy

There isn’t too much to say about this day. Everything went off without a hitch. The weather was beautiful, the couple was awesome, and the setting was absolutely terrific. We scouted out a nice loop for formals the week prior. It included a walk along the Baltimore Harbor, a stop by the Visionary Art Museum, and then ended on Federal Hill with a great view of the city. It all wrapped up with one heck of a party.

 

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Katie and Boomer

This was one of the most challenging weddings that I’ve had in quite some time. The weather forecast was calling for showers all day with no signs of stopping. On top of that, I had broken a few bones in my hand/wrist about 3 days prior to this. I ripped my cast off and wrapped my hand as good as I could and still be able to hold a camera. The day moved so fast that I didn’t really have much time to think about how horrible my hand was hurting. If by some miracle or maybe the Rain Gods taking pity on me, the weather looked like it was going to clear for about 25 minutes. After we did the first look, we decided to take a chance and head to Historic New Castle, DE. It was about 5 minutes from the venue and I had found some pretty great spots the week prior. The weather managed to hold out just long enough for us to finish shooting. Once we hopped back in our cars and got back to the hotel, the rain broke loose again and it poured the rest of the evening. The rest of the night went pretty well despite smacking my hand a few times.

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Susan and Tony

This wedding took place at the beautiful Swan Harbor in Havre De Grace, MD. My main concern throughout the day was the impending thunderstorm that was bearing down on us. The ceremony was set to take place outside and I was also concerned about it starting to rain before we did their “first look” and had formals completed. I found so many awesome areas so I was really pumped on the location. I checked the radar on my phone and saw the huge green band heading our way. We decided to change up the schedule slightly and we managed to get everything knocked out right before the rain hit us. The guests took shelter inside of the carriage house and we waited for the rain to pass. After getting all of the chairs wiped down, the ceremony proceeded and the weather decided to hold out just long enough for everyone to make their way into the reception tent. We had nonstop thunderstorms the rest of the evening. The tent was hot, humid, and flooded, but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the rest of the night. Certainly a day to remember.

 

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