Looking back on Fashion Takes Flight 2010

Last year I as fortunate enough to be welcomed into the Luke’s Wings family when I attended the Fashion Takes Flight fundraiser at the Longview Gallery in DC. For those who don’t know Luke’s Wings is an organization that provides transportation for the families of wounded soldiers so that they may be close to each other during the recovery process. Last year’s event raised close to $40,000 and was a wonderful event to be a part of.

I was fortunate enough to not only meet some new friends through this (Michael Domingo, Nakeva Corothers, Vithaya Phongsavan and JB Yong) but two of the soldiers who were in attendance that night, John and Joe were a joy to be around and their stories kept JB and I laughing at the after party.

On January 28th the Longview Gallery will once again host this great cause and I’m happy to have been one of the photographers selected to cover it once more.

Congratulations, Katy!

Yesterday it was announced that a new, and dear friend of mine, Katy Nelson is expecting her second child. I couldn’t be happier for her family as she is a wonderful person and already has a great kid in her son Sam.

Katy and her son Sam, my new best friend.

I met Katy at Fashion For Paws in 2010, and by met I mean after the fact via facebook we became friends thanks to countless emails, status updates and various other postings. One of the benefits of the ‘book, you meet great people. She also happens to be the subject of one of my favorite pictures of all time (you’ve no doubt seen it before, and if not here you go!).

Katy in the now famous pose

I was fortunate enough to do a photo shoot with Katy for her website and, without knowing, capturing the first shots of Baby Nelson. With F4P right around the corner we may have our first pregnant model on the runway, woo hoo!

Congrats Katy, can’t wait to meet the little guy/gal!

Kate and Ryan – Married!

One of my last weddings of the year was also one of the ones I was really looking forward to. I met Kate and Ryan for our first attempt at their engagement shoot earlier this year and knew right away I couldn’t wait to work with these two. They were one of the most laid back couples I’ve ever met, and the mention of a mashed potato martini I was sold. Our second shoot attempt worked out much better this time, ending with a “slap” photo and some DC United shirts. I think we were seconds away from Kate’s makeup melting in the heat, that’ll teach me to do shoots in the summer!

Kate and Ryan were married at the gorgeous Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg. Having never been there myself I was looking forward to this day. While my second shooter, Mike Burns, went and covered the guys getting ready I headed to the bridal sweet to hang out with everyone, snap some shots and finish watching the Ravens/Patriots game with the family. Sadly Kate’s family was on the side of the Patriots.

The wedding itself was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, complete with a little bit of wind which only served to show just how big Kate’s veil truly was. I was thankful for that as it made for some wonderful shots. Unfortunately we spent so much time on pictures after the ceremony that we missed out on the mashed potato martini. In the end I had a wonderful time working with Kate and Ryan on their wedding, and it’s only that much better to hear her wonderful comments on the photos. I was honored Kate and Ryan chose me to cover their special day and hope to do more with them down the road. Thank you both for such a great night.

Semper Fi Fund 2010 Marine Corps Marathon Pasta Dinner!

Back in October I was asked by a fellow photog to help him shoot the Semper Fi Fund’s Pasta Dinner the night before the MCM.  Since I wasn’t shooting or running in the marathon itself, and Marines kick ass, I was happy to come down and help him out. Of course only after I agreed to that did I realize I had to get into DC the night before the race which just happened to be when people who attended ‘The Rally To Restore Sanity/Fear’ were heading out of town. Good luck finding parking!   

The event itself was wonderful. I was honored to be in the same room with so many men and women who have served and serve in our military.

It was an especially great honor to have General Al Gray, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps in attendance, and speaking to the runners, Marines and family. The joy on each Marines face as General Gray made it rounds to the tables was immeasurable.  Of course the most moving story of the night was hearing Ronnie Porta speak before the crowd of his fellow Marines.  Ronnie is a young Marine, I believe he is 24 or 25, and has endured numerous surgeries for his injuries sustained while serving in Iraq.

Ronnie Porta and General Al Gray

Click here to see the full gallery from this wonderful event!

Thanksgiving Weddings!

Talk about a busy weekend!  Normally my Thanksgiving holiday is filled with trips around the Beltway, eating way too much and feeling as if the long weekend off wasn’t long enough.  This one was no exception, other than instead of trips around the beltway to visit my wife’s family it was driving all over Northern VA to shoot some weddings.

Krista and Brendan were high school sweethearts who exchanged vows on the day after Thanksgiving with family, friends and fellow Marines in attendance.  I was lucky enough to have Bonnie Velazco show up on short notice to help me cover some of the ceremony and reception.

After a short rest it was right back to work with Joalene and Jerry who met in Aruba two years ago and were married last week in her hometown of Seattle.  They came out to visit Jerry’s family here for the holiday and had a lovely reception at his parent’s home for those who could not attend their wedding.

Full reviews and photos coming soon!