Mother’s Day Family Photography at Yards Park

A great Mother’s Day family photo shoot at Yards Park in Navy Yard, Washington DC. It’s always somewhat bittersweet for me to shoot in neighborhoods like Navy Yard because I have seen how much this neighborhood has changed over the last 16 years. While some of that change has been positive, a lot of that change has also resulted in many families being displaced, many old structures being torn down, and the cost of living/rent skyrocketing.

Regardless of my personal feelings, there are lots of interesting architectural and recreational features in Yards Park, making it a great location for family photo shoots.  Here are some of my favorite shots from this session:

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Click here to see more photos from this family photography session

Things to do in DC: 2012 H Street Festival

Washington D.C. isn’t just a sandbox for suits and politicians. Lots of normal, even cool, people live, work, and play here. Many of them could be spotted at last weekend’s H Street Festival, an annual street fair spanning H Street NE from 8 to 14th streets. The H Street Festival has exploded in popularity in the past few years and now features an overwhelming number of performances, activities, and vendors. In one afternoon I saw several local bands, a pie eating contest, a tattoo contest, a dance off, a guy making artistic wood carvings using a magnifying glass (apparently an art form known as pyrography), and a rock opera production.

 

Take a look at the following photos from the 2012 H Street Festival to experience the madness yourselves.

Crowd Shots:

People drinking at the 2012 H Street Festival

A boy sporting cool blue glasses at the 2012 H Street Festival

A cute dog and owner at the 2012 H Street Festival

A portrait of a man at the 2012 H Street Festival

One of the girls participating in a dance off at the 2012 H Street Festival

A kid playing with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society:

A kid plays a cardboard electric guitar at the 2012 H Street Festival

Pie Eating Contest:

Contestants compete in the pie eating contest at the 2012 H Street Festival

Tattoo Contest:

Britishink Owner at the 2012 H Street Festival

A contestant in the tattoo contest at the 2012 H Street Festival

A girl shows off her inner lip tattoo at the 2012 H Street Festival

Cleaning up:

A vendor cleans up after the crowds leave the 2012 H Street Festival

 

 

 

Potomac Chocolate: a bean-to-bar chocolate operation

Ben Rasmussen’s laundry room doubles as a chocolate factory. To prepare the space for production, Rasmussen erected a wall, hacked an oven, built a winnower out of a Shop-Vac, and devised a slew of other contraptions for making chocolate. With his laundry room ready, Rasmussen launched Potomac Chocolate in July 2010. Within a year, he landed his artisanal chocolate bars in shops around the country and won the Silver award from the Academy of Chocolate for his dark Upala 70% chocolate bar.

Rasmussen’s small-scale, do-it-yourself approach to chocolate making represents the rise of independent bean-to-bar producers. His chocolate bars are a pure expression of cacao beans and sugar. They have no preservatives, cocoa butter, or added flavors. Rasmussen handles every step of production, from roasting the cacao beans to tempering and molding. His products are available online at www.potomacchocolate.com.

Addicted to his chocolate, I contacted Rasmussen back in January 2012 and traveled to his workshop in Woodbridge, Virginia, to photograph and learn about his process. Here are some of the photos that I captured:

Top Ten Picks of Artomatic 2012

I’m participating in Artomatic, DC’s biggest non-juried arts festival, for the 2nd time. The last time I showed, in 2008, I presented a series of photographs on New York City’s outer boroughs. This year I’m showing portraits on the 8th floor in space 180. Please check it out if you have a chance.

What I love about Artomatic is its power to rally emerging and established artists from DC, MD, and VA into one gargantuan show, giving them an opportunity to receive exposure and feedback. Washington DC isn’t a city known for its arts scene and the community here lacks the sort of support artists might find elsewhere. There are not enough galleries, art schools, or cooperative studios. Most of the time, when Artomatic isn’t happening, the art community remains dormant and scattered.

Artomatic is also a great source of inspiration. Seeing the work of other artists always motivates me to work harder at my craft. As I browsed this year’s Artomatic, I picked up about 50 business cards from different artists that caught my eye.

In no particular order, here’s a sample of some of the artists I found particularly moving:

1. Janna Dinolfo – 11th Floor

Beautiful, stark photographs. There were lots of nice details in Janna’s presentation, including the tags used as image labels, her business cards tucked in a suitcase of sand, the choice of matting and framing, etc.

http://jannadinolfo.com/

2. Christian Tribastone – 9th Floor

His sketches and paintings are immaculate in their line and form and exude a quiet energy.

www.tribbie.blogspot.com

3. Sticky Comics – 4th Floor

One of the few exhibits where I actually laughed out loud.

www.stickycomics.com

4.  Marcia Fry – 3rd Floor

Bizarre and creative use of recycled scraps. The elephant painting is a must-see!

http://www.artomatic.org/user/668

5. Susan La Mont – 3rd Floor

Photorealistic paintings of street scenes and people.

http://www.susanlamont.com/index.html

6. Valentine Nazarian Wolly – 8th Floor

Her in-transit series presented a stunning visual puzzle of reflections.

http://www.valentinewolly.com/

7. Cory Oberndorfer – 11th Floor

Vivid, catchy, and flavorful! That Popsicle screams summer!

www.coryoberndorfer.com

8.  The Genizah Project – 9th Floor

A roomful of old letters, postcards, newspapers, and scrap paper. A nostalgic memorial to all the paper that comes and goes from our lives.

 http://thegenizahproject.blogspot.com/

9. Mo Fogarty – 11th Floor

Her many self-portraits, taken with a point and shoot camera, are accessible and humorous, full of moments anyone can relate to.

http://www.artomatic.org/user/1233

10. Gregory Ferrand – 2nd Floor

His exaggerated, cinematic illustrations often reveal his characters repressed inner lives and fantasies.

http://gferrand.com