Artistan/In-Studio Portrait Session | Reagan Ashley Pottery - Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Pottery has always been something that has interested me. When I was in connection with Reagan to come to her studio to photograph her at the wheel, I was thinking about so many life-parallels about her as an artist, molding the clay. I was also thinking about how soothing and relaxing this type of expression must be, and how satisfying I imagine the feeling when your piece is finally finished, having been processed through each stage, and finally ready to be on display.

I met Reagan at her resident studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Lancaster Clay Studios, where you can take class or even rent a space to do your own work. The lighting inside was beautifully crisp and clean, with white walls and pottery materials tucked into every corner. Some of the artists' finished pieces are shown on display when you walk in too, which were fun to look at and see all the different styles of work. I loved Reagan's pour-over coffee cups and some of another artists' hanging planters.

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As she worked, I asked Reagan questions about where she was from and what got her started in pottery. She grew up in northern Virginia and settled in PA after college with her husband of three years. She had taken a pottery class in high school and fell in love with it. She loves to make the pour-over mugs but has recently been making more vases, and has a few projects going with some local florists.

First, she starts with a weighed-out chunk of clay and kneads and works it a big until it's malleable enough to throw onto the wheel. Then, once it's on, she has a petal she pushes with her foot, similar to a sewing machine, that spins the wheel while she molds it with her hands. It's important to feel the clay as it spins, not only to shape it, but to make sure there are no air pockets or bubbles in the clay. She also has to make sure the clay contains just the right amount of moisture so that it doesn't crack but isn't too wet to topple over or deform. She worked on a little mug and then a vase while I was there. 

The tools in the box you'll see are for "trimming". After the clay piece has been formed and dries out, it gets trimmed and perfected before going into the kiln for firing and then glazing.

It was such a pleasure to meet Reagan. She's so down to earth and conversational, and has such a talent for sure. Her work can be found and purchased at reaganashleypottery.etsy.com.

2018 First Lady's Luncheon | Washington Hilton, Washington DC - American Grown Flowers

The First Lady's Luncheon is a bipartisan event to honor the First Lady of the United States. Proceeds go to a charity of her choice.

Over 15,000 stems were donated from flower farmers across the country. 170 centerpieces, 800 boutonnieres, 50 bud vases, numerous other arrangements, and an 8x8 flower wall were designed and executed by about 30 florists, farmers, and volunteers from different parts of the country from Alaska to Rhode Island. It was such a cool experience to meet and connect with such talented and wonderful people, documenting as they worked so hard to bring the 106th First Lady's Luncheon together!

Thank you Kelly of Petals by the Shore for asking me to photograph on behalf of you and American Grown Flowers as you lead this team of hardworking individuals to execute the vision you've been working on for so long - what an honor it was!

It was fun to photograph a head shot of each of the volunteers and flower designers who were there to execute. They were all so sweet and enjoyable to spend time with! Luckily the sun was shining in the hotel courtyard for us to use as a nice green backdrop.

After a delicious lunch together at the hotel restaurant, it was time to set up the ballroom! During this time, we were given word that Melania was still in the hospital after undergoing kidney surgery which was obviously disappointing since she was the guest of honor.

After a stormy night spent in the hotel (with tornado warnings!) we woke bright and early to get ready by 5:00 am and head down to finish the morning-of setup! The flower wall had to be put into place, ballroom arrangements, the boutonniere/corsage bars, and so much more! Once we were all ready to go, we showered and changed and got ready for the guests to arrive! I believe I heard that there were over 2,000 guests! It was so fun to watch the ladies pick out their corsages and take pictures in front of the flower wall, enjoy a few mimosas, and mingle together! I loved to see the styles these women had - and let me tell you, they brought it! Hats, shoes, gorgeous dresses...

Once the luncheon began, introductions of the spouses of congress, followed by Mrs. Karen Pence, wife to our vice president. She gave a beautiful speech and we all carried on with a lovely lunch and celebration in honor of Melania. 

I was so blessed to be part of such a beautiful event! It was such an impressive sight to see so much hard work be put in my Kelly and her team, and be able to photograph such influential people of our country. Would love to be back next year! 


Lead designer: Kelly Shore, Petals by the Shore

Co-lead designer: Mary Kate Kinnane, The Local Bouquet

Design team: Fancy Florals by Nancy, Harmony Harvest, J Starrs Flower Barn, Goodness Gracious Florals, Blair Sweet Blossoms, Green Sinner, Sophisticated Floral, Westcott Diana, Christina Flower Co., Bergerons Flowers, CW Floral Design, Pamela Primrose, Susan Marie, Atelier Ashley Flowers, Crimson and Clover Floral, Whats up Buttercup LLC, Pollen and Pastry

Support Team Members: Wayne Zimmerman, Alaskan Legacy Peonies, Betty Joslyn, Sunny Side Flowers PA, Fresh Blooms, DV Flora, Dream Floral Art, Rose Gold Event, Anna MK, Arnosky Family Farms, Hagerstown Garden Club

Farms: Mellano and Company, Gallup and Stribling, Westland Orchids, Resendiz Brothers, Kendall Farms, Ocean View Floweres, Callaco, Holland America Flowers, Sun Valley Floral Farms, Len Busch Roses, Eufloria Flowers, Dramm and Echter, Green Valley Floral Co, Fern Coolie, Arnosky Family Farms, Oregon Flowers, Bloomia Flowers, Harmony Harvest, Protea USA

Sponsors: Accent Décor Inc., DV Flora, Oasis Floral Products, Shop Nature Supply

Host: The Congressional Club

Spring Dulany's Overlook | Elopement Picnic Styled Shoot - Frederick Maryland

Styled Shoots are always a fun way to collaborate with other vendors and bring our strengths together to create something fresh and inspiring! Blair Roberts of Sweet Blossoms (florist out of the Frederick, Maryland area) asked me to be part of this beautiful spring-inspired "picnic elopement" shoot with her and a few other hardworking, creative, super-sweet wedding vendors! Brielle Davis, Brielle Davis Events, put together the picnic details and collaborated with the venue for us, Voula from Blue Lace Cakes created the beautiful cupcakes, Blair brought the flower arrangements, and Brielle's assistant Sydney and her husband Si were our models for the evening. Sydney's gown was from Couture by Posh Bridal, and rings were borrowed from Mervis Diamond. Blair sourced her florals from Petal Patch Flower Farm and Tierra Blooms and Julia Rose Jones did Sydney's hair and makeup. We had such a fun time at Dulany's Overlook in Frederick and luckily the weather cleared up for us! It had been raining all day up until it was time for us to shoot! It felt great to be behind the camera and spend time with these amazing women (and awesome dude, hehe)!

Esther & Alex : Patterson Park Engagement Session | Baltimore, Maryland

Esther and Alex had their first date at Patterson Park, so naturally it was the perfect place for their Engagement Shoot. We photographed on the first nice day of the season in 75° weather and it was so unbelievably nice and refreshing to be out in such gorgeous weather. After I parked, I walked around watching dogs playing fetch, kids picking flowers and playing on the playground, and lots of runners. Everyone was out enjoying the weather!

These two are super cute. They have a dog named Max (that looks so much like my dog, Bax!), and a sassy cat named Minerva. They love to travel together, enjoying destinations like Acadia, Maine, and Iceland - so cool! Together they check out new restaurants around Baltimore, favoring hot spots like Clavel and Thames Street Oyster!

Their wedding is this coming November at the Baltimore Museum of Industry! Hope you enjoy a few favorites of mine from their session! :)

Danielle & Ben : Colorful Personalized DIY Wedding at Wyndridge Farms | Dallastown, Pennsylvania

I met Danielle and Ben for a beer at one of my favorite spots in Hanover, Warehouse Gourmet. They too live in Hanover and love to eat there, so we thought it was the perfect spot to sit down and get to know each other before the wedding day! We ended up hanging out for over two hours, talking about things we like, have in common, and of course - the wedding details! 

These two are some of the most inventive, creative, artistic people I've ever met! Their goal for the wedding was for it to be a mix of everything they love - all of their favorite things - and it was! Danielle is an artist and loves to create. Her mind was just bursting with so many ideas of things to incorporate into the decor, many of which had special meaning behind them. 

As the months went on, Danielle and Ben would update me on how things were going with their handmade creations for the big day. I was completely blown away with how much they were able to accomplish together! They are such a team. I can't wait to share all of this with you... Wait until you see what they have made! 

The wedding day was chilly and a bit windy, but sun filled the sky with hardly any clouds! Everyone got ready at Wyndridge Farm before heading back to Hanover for their beautiful church ceremony. 

I love how the bridal party all wore socks with fox on them, representing the Wyndridge logo! Every detail of the day had a representation behind it! :)

I rode in the limo with the girls to the church which was super fun! Danielle and Ben created paper flowers for the church pews... 

Their reception details were exquisitely created from the table number "paint brushed" cards to the paper cut-out topiary flowers... The table numbers were books that Danielle and Ben made themselves, including their "Bride and Groom" book that sat on their sweetheart table, made out of a football encyclopedia - the only book they could find large enough to fold all of the pages to read "Bride and Groom"! Every book was covered, and each page measured, and folded... themselves. They also created Lego sets of every milestone in their relationship. The day they met, their first date, moving in together, the proposal, and the wedding day... unbelievably creative! Paper lotus flower lantern cups were spread throughout the tables, that of course they made, and everywhere you looked, there was something unique and different that represented things they loved. Danielle said it was the "biggest art project" she'd ever accomplished! Her bridesmaids helped too with items like the topiary balls and paper flower tower near the welcome sign!

We headed back to Wyndridge for the reception and popped outside to brave the chilly air for a few portraits!

Their reception was so fun... The bridal party was introduced in with a Stranger Things remix (which was awesome!) playing, along with White Wedding and Ghostbusters. After the first dance, everyone mingled and enjoyed the party! The food was delicious, the guests were loving the atmosphere, the beer, and the company.

Sodas from Wyndridge as well as homemade Macaron Cookies (made by the matron of honor and her hubby, driven down all the way from I think Wisconsin, was it??) served as favors for the guests. Gorgeous little pastries from Patisserie Poupon were served to each table too. They were absolutely beautiful!

And after dinner, we popped back out for a few portraits of course!

Best wishes to Danielle and Ben! I know your life together will be filled with adventure, fun, and vibrant joy!