HAPPY EASTER

• April 17th, 2017 •

 

HAPPY EASTER

I hope you had a wonderful Happy Easter!  It’s been quite a week over here at the farmhouse leading up to Easter.  It all started with a call to photograph my neighbor, Liz Hopkins of Mt. Airy Farm, for a local magazine.  Up at 6 a.m. to catch the light!  I am not a morning person but would do anything for Liz!  I caught this image as I walked up to the barn.

 

Mt. Airy Farm is situated behind my house and I have the most glorious views of it all the time!  I joke that it is indeed mine and I have the most wonderful people looking after it!  One of the reasons I bought this old farmhouse was the view!  But little did I realize I would get neighbors that you only dream about; ones that are always there for you, no matter what.  You can’t put a price on that!

Liz had posted that one of the sheep had twins so it was time to photograph her and Jim (and Jack and Jill) for the article as well as some chickens and a photo of the barn itself.  So this was the beginning of Holy Week!  What a beginning it was to see two beautiful lambs enter the world.  A couple of days later, Liz sent out another e-mail saying another sheep gave birth…triplets!!!  I cannot wait to wander over and take photos of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus!!  Stay posted on that one!!

Friday found me at Holy Family Church for the Passion.  I am always moved by the Passion and its message.  I am reminded of what the Bald Ballerina wrote on Easter Sunday:

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because nature so perfectly mirrors the religious celebration of the resurrection. I love seeing trees that appeared dead a few months ago suddenly burst into bloom. I love seeing leaves pushing through the bare earth followed by golden daffodil blossoms. Spring and Easter celebrate the rebirth of the spirit and the hope for a better future.

For people like me who are living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, every clear scan gives us hope that perhaps our cancer winter is ending and that the spring of remission has arrived. My philosophy was beautifully stated by designer Lilly Pulitzer:

“Despite the forecast, live like it’s Spring.”

Such a moving message from someone who is suffering from Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.  I am hoping for a miracle for this beautiful girl who gives us so much in so many ways!

Saturday rolled around and as I prepped for my photo session with Paula, a beautiful woman who happens to be a ballerina, I could not help but reflect on what it is that I do; create beautiful images that empower women!  In the interim, it is I who am empowered as my subjects inspire me and make me want to create beautiful images and to continue to learn and grow.   My spirits soar; I am lifted to new heights and so grateful that I continue to do what I love to do best, be a photographer.

I woke up on Easter Sunday to the Ren Man’s breakfast…pancakes, sausages, topped with maple syrup and a pot of coffee all enjoyed on our front porch; country living at its best! Church is only a few minutes away so I delayed my trip to the last minute.  What was I thinking?  It took me nearly 20 minutes to get to 214!!  However, it was worth the hassle.  It was lovely seeing so many young families attend Mass. The children were all dressed in their finest clothes and the mothers looked beautiful.  It rivaled anything you would see at the Royal gathering on Easter Sunday.  But what would Mass be without a few children being ornery or the siblings elbowing and teasing each other?  Mom’s stern reprimand and look was all it took.  I chuckled to myself because it wasn’t long ago I was in a similar situation.  Anyone knowing my boys when they were younger knows exactly what I mean. I wanted to hug the moms and say to them, “Enjoy the ride for one day they will be grown up and you will wonder to yourself, “when did this happen?”

After church, back to the farmhouse for a glass of sherry.  It was a lovely indulgence.  Quick lunch and garden work all afternoon, well, let’s say one hour for the writer.  It’s exhausting but fulfilling.  Our garden isn’t in top shape and needs a lot of TLC but we are getting there, bit by bit.  I am loving the blooms of the Dogwood tree this year.  I’ve not seen it so beautiful.  My magnolia, however, bloomed too early and the frost killed all the buds but it’s foliage is filling in and soon it will be full!

Easter dinner by the Ren Man finished off the evening.  Have you ever had Southern scalloped potatoes?  So delicious!  It’s fun to mix our heritages; Southern, Acadian, Cajun.  One never knows what the Ren Man will serve up next!!

We rounded up the evening watching the very last inning of the the Nats game…that last inning was a nail biter. Did you see it? Game is tied; Harper is at bat, 2 men are out, he has 2 strikes, bases are loaded; it’s the bottom of the 9th.  He delivers a home run!!!  Does it get any better than that, folks?  Just bring on the cracker jacks!!!!

Easter Monday Morning:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Easter Monday morning delivered!  Thank you, Jim for rousing this household so I could get out there to capture this gorgeous reminder that He has indeed Risen!

 

I wish you and your family a beautiful week!  Make beautiful memories!!

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My meeting with Jess

• March 7th, 2017 •

MY MEETING WITH JESS

UPDATE:  The blog below was posted on March 7.  It is now April 12.  I’ve had weekly sessions then bi-monthly sessions with Jess.  I am happy to report that my sinus infections are gone and the tinnitus has diminished rapidly.  I also have no more vestibular migraines. I have no side effects.  Here are the added benefits to acupuncture

  1. It is relaxing.
  2. I can focus much more easily.  And, that’s a huge benefit to me.
  3. I am calmer.  I feel so grounded.
  4. I can manage stress very easily

If you or anyone you know is contemplating acupuncture, I highly recommend Jess.  She is very professional, takes time to get to know you and uses techniques that are specific to your case.  It is always a pleasure to see her and to have her work her magic! Please tell her Linda recommended her! 

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from sinus infections and tinnitus.  It’s an ongoing battle, and one that can bring me to my knees.  Well, the other day, I met Jess – an acupuncturist — at a recent networking event.   She needed a headshot, and so we arranged to meet.  When we did, I learned about her practice, and we talked about how she could help me.  I decided to take the plunge and made an appointment to see her.

Jess had sent me all the paper work in advance so there was no filling out of forms before I could see her.  (I really hate the usual forms process because I always feel like I have to hurry through it.)  With the paperwork already done, she quickly escorted me into the treatment room, where we spent the better part of an hour reviewing my history.

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous at first, but when I was comfortably settled on Jess’s table, she proceeded to give me acupressure (a type of massage intended to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms).  It felt great!  I started to relax.  Next, she placed the needles in my head, hands and feet.  I know what you’re probably thinking, but it’s not bad, folks.  I would describe it as feeling only like little pin pricks.

For twenty minutes, I lay there with calming music washing over me.  I have never felt so relaxed and so calm as during that time and afterwards.  I quickly noticed that my sinuses had opened up, and I did not have the headache that I had brought in with me.  My tinnitus also went down quite a few decibels.  I began to feel like I had been on a month-long holiday.

If you are considering acupuncture as an alternative treatment, I would really suggest reaching out to Jess.  She is informative, compassionate, and has good listening skills.  She gets it!  And, you will thank yourself for going!  I invited Jess to send her bio so you can read first hand about her and her practice:

I’m Jess & I am committed to helping others restore balance, maintain health and enjoy a much greater quality of life. I am here to support you on your journey to improved health and well-being with Chinese medicine, acupuncture and compassionate care.

My path to oriental medicine came through my experience with massage & bodywork. For over 20 years I have been studying and practicing massage therapy, but it was when I discovered Shiatsu (acupressure) and started incorporating it into my bodywork sessions that I realized there was something very powerful about this Chinese Medicine that I was applying. I found that when I used acupressure in my deep tissue massage treatments the symptom relief my clients received increased and the positive effects were lasting longer. I then started practicing Shiatsu exclusively and continued to study other forms of Asian bodywork therapy.  I recognized that becoming an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner was the natural next step for me.

I’ve cultivated a treatment style where I incorporate western and eastern bodywork/massage into my Acupuncture practice to create a remarkable healing experience. Relaxing & restorative, acupuncture combined with bodywork is the ultimate therapeutic treatment. I design each treatment around my patients’ needs at the time of care by integrating Asian bodywork therapy, trigger point therapy, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, heat therapy &/or aromatherapy into my acupuncture treatments, creating a truly unique and comprehensive fusion of care.

Holistic Healthcare Solutions for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health

Contact me today to see if Acupuncture is covered by your insurance
Complimentary 15 minute consultations

Jessica Faulkner L.Ac., LMT | Acupuncture & Asian Bodywork Therapy
jessfaulkner369@gmail.com | 410-562-2051 | 1298 Bay Dale Drive, Arnold MD 21012

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What Not To Wear After 50

• February 24th, 2017 •

I am all about photographing elegant portraiture for the mature woman, so you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when I saw this RECENT BLOG POST.  It’s that good and so worthy of reading.  Which tip resonates with you?  I would love to hear from you!! For me, they ALL resonate with me especially her very last comment.  I am in total and complete agreement, along with her first comment, of course!!!!  Of course!!!!!

 

7 Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On!

• February 13th, 2017 •

HOW TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND STRESS
SELF-CARE IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY:8 WAYS TO KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
by:  Eviana Hartman for VOGUE

HOW TO MANAGE STRESS

1. Get back to nature

“Just go sit in a park for a few minutes with your phone off, or drive to the beach, or go for a walk or hike in the woods if you have access to that. It’s scientifically proven that you’ll feel a lot better.”

2.Don’t forget to breathe.


This advice isn’t new, but it is particularly relevant right now. Blades has lately taken to prescribing a basic breathing exercise, which takes just minutes, for busy clients: With the tip of the tongue resting on the tissue ridge behind your front teeth, inhale through the nose for a count of four. Then hold for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four cycles. “They say it helps you fall asleep in one minute,” she says of the practice. “You can do it before you go to bed, or just for oxygenating the body. It’s so simple, and it rewires you.”

3.Self-indulgence is a form of activism . . .


“Sometimes self-care means that you bought this beautiful new body lotion, and it’s the process of opening the box and opening the jar and applying it, taking in the scent and the texture, and finding the beauty in that,” Blades says, noting that the right products feel good in more ways than one: “Make sure you know who made it, and support brands that are socially and environmentally conscious—most of those companies are women-owned. That is also an act of resistance. If you want to change things, shop differently.”

4. . . and so is DIY.


“It’s not always about the consuming. There’s plenty to work with in your pantry cabinet or fridge—treating yourself can be as simple as getting some sugar and some olive oil and mixing them up to make a body scrub, or mixing some raw organic honey with organic whole milk yogurt and making a mask for your face. Or heat up organic olive, sesame, or coconut oil—double-boil it so it doesn’t get too hot—and do a self-massage. It’s one of the most relaxing things you can do for your nervous system.”

5.Aromatherapy is therapy.


“This is a nice moment for adding essential oils to your life. They are a really potent, easy-to-travel-with self-care tool. They change your mood, relieve pain, wake you up. They’re antifungal and antiviral as well, if you’re going to clean with them or spray them in the air. Choose one, or a few, that make you feel relaxed—lavender, clary sage, and petitgrain are some nice ones—get a little spray bottle, fill it with distilled water, add a few drops, and you have a sleep or stress or travel spray.”

6.When it comes to your wellness plan, add, don’t subtract.


“All this talk about New Year’s resolutions and detox and cleansing—that rhetoric right now is too much for our hearts and minds to handle. I’m not saying binge only on fondue and brownies, but think about what is delicious, what is sensual—look at adding that in, rather than being like, ‘I’m so freaked out that I need to work out for an extra hour.’ Can you cook with friends for an hour instead? Or go see some art? Rather than depriving yourself, what amazing delicious roasted veggie soup can you make that is really nourishing and grounding? Look at adding things that make you feel good, rather than focusing on feeling like you’re toxic or bad.”

7.Let go of guilt—and embrace fun.
“Something that’s really coming up with my clients recently is guilt around feeling good. It’s like, ‘oh my God, I went to a friend’s birthday party and ate cake and drank a glass of wine, and I’m sorry to the world.’ It’s feeling selfish for letting your mind not be totally focused on what’s going on. But the power of fun and the healing of fun, whatever that means for you, is so needed right now. Go see some friends and laugh together.”

And I will add one more:  As a photographer, I see so many young mothers who are dealing with raising children, carpooling, schedules, timetables, meal planning,…etc.  You know what I mean.  It’s all about your family.  Sometimes, you need to make it all about YOU!!  I urge you to take time out for yourself and go to lunch with a girlfriend, go away for the weekend to recharge but most of all be selfish, if only for a day.  You will find that taking a much-needed break if all you need to recharge.  One of our genres at Visual Concepts Photography in Greater Annapolis area is to pamper you with a beautiful portrait session where you get to be a Vanity Fair model for the day.  It is here that your makeup artist will pamper you and get that look that you always wanted; you will be treated to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and you will have the photo session that you always dreamed about!!  Take it one step further..have a Girls’ Day Out just for you.  The best part?  You will have gorgeous images of YOU that will be cherished by your family.  You are their heartbeat, you are their center, you are their world!!  Celebrate that by giving them images that will one day be so valued.  For it is then that they will look at these images and say to their children..that is my mother, that is your beautiful grandmother.  What better gift can you give, than the gift of portraits. 

If you live in the Greater Annapolis area, we would love to hear from you.  Check out our video and contact us HERE for your complimentary consultation.  Prints start at $89, collections start at $1500 and wall portraits start at $600.

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CALL FOR BALLET MODELS

• February 7th, 2017 •

Step into MARCH with our Dance Model Call !

MONTH OF MARCH 2017

by Linda McCarthy Greater Annapolis Portrait Photographer

We are looking for DANCE MODELS for a personal project..any and all ages invited to participate!

The session fee is $99 and includes a 20-min portrait session which includes our very popular 8×12 metal print!! 

AND, with a folio box portfolio, you will received a custom-designed slideshow with fused video!!

Below is the pricing for your information!!  Please don’t delay..  Please call 410 626 7474 or click HERE to set up your session.

visual-concepts-photography-ballet

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PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTO SESSION SPECIAL

• January 30th, 2017 •

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BRANDING PORTRAIT SPECIAL – FEBRUARY ONLY

If you are not sure you need an updated photo, check this out: 

EIGHT REASONS WHY YOU NEED AN UPDATED IMAGE

1.  FIRST IMPRESSION
It is the first impression your potential client will get.  You must look the part; you must look professional.  That image may be a deal breaker that could either cost you or win you the job/the client/the part…

2.  SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITION
A clean, contemporary portrait will set yourself from your competition.  Your potential client/employer will more likely want to know more about you when they see a professional, up-to-date portrait of yourself.

3.  GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
You don’t like being photographed.  Your don’t like your image.  Let the professional do the job of creating an image that you will like.  That’s what you hire a professional for; every professional photographer should guarantee that you will love the results.  If not, then you need to find a good professional photographer who will listen to you and create the image that you want.

4.  YOU ARE SINGLE
Dating sites are the “go to” place to find a potential partner.  Your professional image will put you to the “top of the list”!!  Anyone who goes through the process of hiring and paying a professional photographer for a professional portrait for a dating site says that they are serious about finding a potential partner.  That alone goes a long way.

5.  SOCIAL MEDIA
Have you looked lately at some of the images that you see on social media?  If not, take a look.  Get yourself noticed by having a professional portrait done of yourself to represent who you are. and fulfill #1 on this list..create a good first impression.  Do you want to be photographed in a casual setting?  In a studio?  Are you an actor and want to portray that?  Are you a customer service rep?  A real estate agent?  Convey to your photographer the look you are going after; check out images that appeal to you and share them.  The more you communicate with your photographer on the look you are going after, the more likely you will get an image that will separate you from your competition.

6.  UPDATE YOUR IMAGE
Let’s face it; time doesn’t stop.  You are getting older; therefore, make sure that your image reflects who you are.  If you are still posting that image done 10 years ago, you know it’s time to update your image.  Getting older simply means your facial features have changed.  A professional photographer should bring out your best qualities and create a beautiful image of you that you that reflects who you are.  Images should be updated at least once a year.  This goes hand-in-hand with #3..get out of your own way.

7.  LOOK GOOD FEEL GOOD
A great head shot will make you feel good about yourself.  It boosts your self-confidence which will affect how you feel and look on a daily basis.  Don’t believe me?  Look at your current headshot?  Love it?  Hate it?  You decide.

8.  FOR OTHER USES
Let’s say a company wants to feature you on their blog and ask for a professional portrait of you.  Do you have one ready to give them?  If not, you will be scrambling at the last minute to find a professional photographer who may or may not deliver.  Don’t be that one person who leaves it up to chance; you many never know when opportunity comes knocking on your door!  Make it a priority each year to have your professional portrait updated.

 

Now that you have checked the 8 top reasons for a corporate head shot, the month of FEBRUARY is corporate head shot month in our studio. 

 

We are offering a $99 special which includes:

-a telephone consultation to discuss your branding and how you would like to be photographed

-a 15-min portrait session with one background and up to 5 different posts

-a private viewing of your images in which you choose your favorite one; one retouched digital file to be used for social    media and marketing purposes.

(Professional makeup is extra; addt’l images are $99 each.

 

To sign up for our  FEBRUARY $99 special, call Linda at 410 626 7474 or click here.

 

VISUAL CONCEPTS PHOTOGRAPHY located in Davidsonville, Greater Annapolis area prides itself on personalized contemporary corporate head shots for the business person. 

Vintage Valentine Limited Edition Portrait Sessions

• January 22nd, 2017 •

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, THE VINTAGE VALENTINE LIMITED EDITION PORTRAITS

HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 10!!

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VINTAGE VALENTINE

LIMITED EDITION PORTRAIT SESSIONS

Welcome to our first annual Vintage Valentine Limited Edition Portrait Sessions conducted at Visual Concepts Photography in Davidsonville, Maryland!!! 

As you know, for years we created the L’il Angel Calendar to benefit AAMC NICU.  We retired from the project last year not realizing that we would have many requests to continue photographing babies and young children with angel wings; thus the Vintage Valentine Limited Edition Series was borne.

These sessions are open to children who can sit up on their own all the way up to young adults.  We have beautiful vintage clothing and accessories in our studio and encourage you to bring your own. (Angel wings are optional)  Time is so fleeting..what a wonderful way to capture your children in time for Valentine’s Day!!

SESSIONS wil be conducted Jan25-29 by appt. only.  $10 for each extra child.

Please click here for more information or call 410 626 7474 to schedule your appointment today!!

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New Year New You

• January 22nd, 2017 •

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CHECK IT OUT!!  ASHLEY GRAHAM IS THE BRITISH VOGUE COVER MODEL!!!

 

Over the holidays, I was checking out what was on Netflix and came across a documentary on British Vogue.  It’s a fantastic 2-episode documentary following Alexandra Schulman, British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief as she goes about her day making Vogue the successful magazine that it is.  She is my new hero!  If you love fashion, love England..this is a must-see!!! (I won’t spoil it for you)

Fast forward to this past weekend, I visited Barnes & Noble for inspiration and found the latest British Vogue was on the newsstand and there was Ashley Graham the cover model for January!

She is a 29, size 18 and works out 3 times a week; a mixture of weightlifting, Pilates and shadow-boxing which she claims is good for her waist.  She does not apologize for her size!!  Woot!  Woot!!!

British Vogue’s message is undeniable EXIST IN PORTRAITS for your loved ones.  It doesn’t matter what size you are! Ashley Graham maintains a healthy lifestyle by exercising 3 times per week and by eating healthy.  She is embracing who she is and because of that, she is a trailblazer.

We, at Visual Concepts Photography in Davidsonville, Maryland,  believe in empowering the every-day woman and making her look and feel like a VOGUE model!! Celebrate who you are by existing in portraits for your loved ones!!!  For a limited time only, take advantage of our $99 special which includes:

-a complimentary consultation to review your portrait needs, our portfolio and investment guide and give you a tour of our studio and gardens

-a 20-minute portrait session with one background and 2 changes of tops.

-a digital file to use for marketing purposes. 

Click HERE to receive more information!

 

So let 2017 be your year of light and love!!!  Exist in portraits for your loved ones!!

You can check out Ashley’s preview interview here!

 

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FOR HIS EYES ONLY Boudoir Session-Jan 22

• January 1st, 2017 •

FOR HIS EYES ONLY
in time for Valentine’s Day

PORTRAIT SESSIONS HELD ON JANUARY 22, 2017 ONLY!!

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Hi Beautiful!!

Surprise the man in your life with a 20-minute FOR HIS EYES ONLY boudoir session $99 at our studio located in Davidsonville on January 22 only.  LIMITED SESSIONS AVAILABLE

You will receive:

a    A complimentary consultation to discuss your style, our portfolio and products.
b.    The session includes:
        -lite fare
        -Your personal makeup artist, Victoria from Natural Looks by Victoria
        -a 20 minute studio portrait session to include various poses and 2 outfit changes
        -a private viewing of your images in the comfort of our projection room
        -a special pricing menu designed with you in mind
        -one web-sized digital file

For more information, please click here or call Linda at 410 626 7474.  You will be so glad you did! 

Your personal consultation is complimentary

Check out our video:

 

 

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Gift Cards including a makeover and Portrait session

• December 13th, 2016 •

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On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a gift card from Visual Concepts Photography for a Makeover/Portrait Session just for me or my family…

Do you have a budding ballerina in your family? Or a musician?  How about a branding makeover for you?  What about a beautiful professional family portrait session in our custom-designed gardens that features a Secret Garden? 

Give the gift that will be treasure for years to come with a Visual Concepts Photography session custom-designed with you in mind. 

Please call 410 626 7474 to order your card today!

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