Bella Carolina Creative, LLC: Blog en-us (C) Bella Carolina Creative, LLC (Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) Mon, 01 Apr 2024 19:34:00 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2024 19:34:00 GMT Bella Carolina Creative, LLC: Blog 120 80 In the Office Branding Session Karen and I got together once again for a 1 hour "In the Office" branding photography session. It was a large shared office space with lots of places to create. Between the 2 sessions, she now has over 200 images in her gallery from which to choose. 

The images will be used for her social media, website and other promotional pieces. Updating your visual presence is essential in today's marketplace. If you'd like to learn more, please look around. And then reach out to me and let's schedule a conversation!

Learn more here!

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) #youruniqueself bella carolina creative branding photography business branding curated curated you headshots lifestyle new business personal branding your unique self Mon, 01 Apr 2024 19:32:03 GMT
The Faces of You Who are you? How many facets of you are there? There’s a work you, maybe even a work voice or a persona. There’s the “you” at home with family. There’s the “you” who is out with friends. There is the hobbyist, the hiker, the dancer, the couch potato, the goof, the smooth talker, the player, the card sharp, the singer, the gardener . . . so on and so on.

In every image we post on social media we are saying something about ourselves. And when you run a business, how you present yourself is important and should be crafted. Personal branding photography is the best way to begin crafting your message and curating your image.

André is a professional Environmental Hazards Specialist. He needs to present himself confidently, exuding knowledge and strength. He is also naturally charming. He loves being outdoors, biking seriously scary (to me!) mountain trails. He’s a loyal friend and father.

When we got together for this 1 hour shoot, we planned to capture as much of who he is as possible. These photos were a great start to a curated André!

Invest in curating yourself – work with me!



(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) bella carolina creative branding photography business branding curated curated you headshots lifestyle new business personal branding Fri, 08 Mar 2024 21:37:42 GMT
Personal Branding Realtor Karen February surprised us with days of spring mixed with a brrrr kind of cold which, in my mind, should only exist at ski chalets. It also introduced me to Karen, a local Maryland Realtor. Taking advantage of the lovely spring days, we got together for Part 1 of our Personal Branding Session.

Karen’s goal was to update her headshots and have a variety of options for advertising and social media content. We took advantage of the lovely setting of her most recent listing. I brought some business props and so did she. We had a plan. And despite the oddly warm and humid day we had a fun and productive time.

The resulting images give her a well-rounded package that show some job details, show her working and show her great and warm personality; an investment in herself and her business. Invest in curating yourself – work with me!


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) bella carolina creative branding photography headshots maryland realtor new business personal branding realtor branding Wed, 07 Feb 2024 17:10:51 GMT
Branding Restorative Yoga with Melissa Guanyin, the goddess of mercy & the physical embodiment of compassion.Guanyin, the goddess of mercy & the physical embodiment of compassion. In January, we all make some kind of resolution to be kinder to ourselves. Don’t we? Whether it’s a new diet or exercise or really embracing that special thing that we know makes us feel good.

Well, to start this year, I met the fabulous Melissa, yoga instructor, sailor and all around bright woman. We met in her home yoga studio for our first branding shoot together. Our goals were to create images that would firstly be used to rebuild her website. This included headshots, studio shots, action shots and the details that make her brand really hers.

Her practice is one of gentle restorative yoga, guided meditation and a healing sound bath. Before our shoot, I attended one of her Sacred Sunday classes. It was so much fun! It gave me a greater understanding of how restorative it could really be to take time for myself. The sound bath was a hoot! It was a completely new experience for me. I look forward to creating more great images when we gather for the 2nd part of her branding shoot which will involve photographing her and her students during class. Invest in curating yourself – work with me!

Melissa's classes can be found at The Journey Space


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) bella carolina creative branding photography details guanyin headshots portraits restorative yoga small business branding yoga instructor Fri, 05 Jan 2024 03:08:15 GMT
Branding Fireside Quilting Quilting is a craft and an art that goes back to ancient times. While I’ve tried my hand at a small baby quilt, this Fall I got a real taste of what a true art it is when in the hands of a professional. I learned so many things about the process, tools and methods while working on the branding session/environmental portrait of artist and quilter, Marina of Fireside Quilting, in her studio.

Her clients come to her with ideas; some nascent and others fully developed. Her experience and ability to add structure to a vision is the guiding process that results in a quilt so beautiful you’ll want to hang it on a wall as tapestry.

This craft, which is steeped in tradition has so many modern bits to it now – the room filling Long Arm Sewing Machine being one of them! The studio is colorful with fabric samples all around. It is a methodically organized work space and yet exudes warmth; a quality that is all Marina.  

I grew up with a dressmaker mom, so I get the lure that textiles can have on the psyche – the colors, the textures and the weave. Collecting a variety of fabrics can be addicting. Photographing Marina was a joy, not only because I respect her art and passion. It was a joy being in the middle of this fascinating collection of textiles and watching an artist create. Invest in yourself - work with me!

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) artist artist studio branding branding photography craft environmental portrait personal branding portrait portraits quilt quilter quilting traditional craft Tue, 05 Sep 2023 00:22:00 GMT
A Year on Lakecrest On an autumn day a few years back, my dog Ruby and I were walking on the top of a hill in our community. We came around a corner and I was struck by an intense and alive yellow before me. It was the most beautiful tree! The sun was hitting it with just the right amount of brightness. I felt the warmth of its color.

We sat on the hill and just watched it. Well, I did. Ruby laid down in the grass and snoozed.

When I got home, I grabbed my camera and went back. That day I took the first of what would become a collection of photos documenting this tree through the seasons. I’ve also photographed it on foggy mornings and after rainstorms. Today I share with you, its seasons . . . its year on Lakecrest.



(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) a year on lakecrest autumn bella carolina creative fine art four seasons greenbelt maryland natural portrait natural world nature personal project spring summer winter Mon, 08 Mar 2021 18:51:01 GMT
What do you do with Old Family Photos? Every family loves their photo albums. The memories of weddings, Halloween costumes and new babies held by grandma, fill our phones, computers and hopefully walls. And every family has favorite recipes, some passed down through generations.

One Nebraska family took a cookbook tradition started by their mom and expanded it to include their love of family photos. It’s called Mom’s Cookbook and it’s loaded with photographic memories. It’s updated every 5 years. And in 2020, I had the pleasure of restoring some damaged photos for inclusion in their latest edition.

We all have hundreds, if not thousands of images that we quickly snap on our phones, post on Instagram or maybe share in an album on Facebook. But this idea of family cookbook / photo album is uniquely beautiful. With each new edition, they change out the photos as the family grows. Each cookbook becomes well-loved with cooking stains and dog-eared corners . . . a true family keepsake.

The images were scanned by the client and sent to me via Dropbox and Goggle Drive. I edited them using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and sent them back. A few of the really old ones will be printed, framed and hung on the walls in their family galleries. This was a wonderful experience.

What do you do with your old family photos?


Photo Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina Creative

Photo Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina Creative Photo Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina CreativePhoto Restoration by Bella Carolina Creative


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) bella carolina creative family cookbook family memories mementos memories new traditions photo printing photo restoration print and frame restoration traditions Fri, 05 Feb 2021 23:51:42 GMT
The Capitol 3 Days After Siege What happened on January 6th at The Capitol, the building that stands for our Democracy, was shattering to me. I've seen disturbing videos shared by the rioters themselves, calling for the Vice President so they could murder him by lynching! There are videos of the crush of the mob pushing and pushing to breakdown the door into the Senate, ending in the death of one of their own. The most chilling photo is of a man in tactical gear carrying a stack of plastic handcuffs. 

What? Why? How? I keep asking myself. What is the mental process that creates such vile anger and deep hatred; that can make a person look to another for permission to commit heinous acts against individuals and our country, our history?

We were both in need of some healing, some community, so we drove to The Hill yesterday and walked around the entire area. It was a blustery cold and beautiful day. In a way soothing but covered in sharp edges. We thanked the National Guards and Capitol Police for being there. We watched the scary fencing go up. From a distance it looks like an ordinary fence but up close the edges of each loop are sharp, on top rough and pointed. We saw the flags at half staff for the murder of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. We saw a tribute to him of flowers and signage.

We saw a woman wrapped in rioter regalia waiting for provocation. We saw a family with 3 kids, one in a stroller, wearing that red hat, that, to me, is synonymous with hatred, destruction and racism. I chose to photographed none of them. I concentrated on that amazing building and place that has been a part of my life since I was little. I'm a proud native Washingtonian and a proud American who is worried that this is far from over. 


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) after the siege bella carolina creative calm before storm Capitol Hill DC Photographer documentarian fencing I love DC Inauguration Inauguration Prep January 2020 MD Photographere rioters The Capitol Sun, 10 Jan 2021 16:09:41 GMT
2020 Whew, what a year, huh? Happy New Year Everyone!

Whew, what a year, huh? My business year started off great with the smell of growth in the air. Then waves of anxiety and no small amount of fear at the unknown, began my every day.

In moments of obstinate positivity I “project’d” the heck out of my life. I painted our utility closet and rearranged it to peak efficiency (wink). I began learning French and relearning Piano. I organized my hard drive files! We volunteered to foster shelter animals. We sewed 250+ cotton face masks. We participated in online art challenges. We finished our 18th Century costumes that were meant for a June event. I devoured YouTube videos of Marie Kondo helping people find items, in their homes, that “sparked joy”. Then I went through my clothes and purged everything that pissed me off! No joy, cuz it’ll never fit again? Then into the pile it went!

I ended up concentrating so hard on what I could “control” that I lost sight of my dear camera. I still took photos but they were more snaps and less art or work. Eventually I got back to it. Below, I offer you a glimpse of my last 12 months.

I send you each my best wishes for a joyful and productive 2021!

Love, Bella

I began the year with Personal and Small Business Branding for S/he Designed. I began the year with Personal and Small Business Branding for S/he Designed.
Product photography for a client supporting Voice Over actors in the DMV. Product photography for a client supporting Voice Over actors in the DMV.
A walk around my little town as Covid took over and a Pandemic was declared.

Masks for our Police force and townhome community.

Making the most of a day in May!

June at the Riversdale Mansion instead of at the Fetes Galantes at the Palace of Versailles, France.

Photos by Kristin Rutkowski Photography

A day on the water, returning a photography favor with a Sunset Session.

A Summer "Staying at Home" Portrait Session

First 2 fosters, Brody from Alabama and Ren "the Mushroom".

The foster experience of a lifetime - a momma and six pups. All have forever homes! Chloe is ours!

Back to work with a business staff headshot shoot!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) 12 images 2020 a year in review bella carolina creative fall portraits mini-sessions my covid year my pandemic year new business pandemic portraits portrait Tue, 05 Jan 2021 01:41:40 GMT
Staying at Home What’s a girl, who works with her camera, to do when a pandemic comes to town? Well, like many, I worried, then consumed too many, although satisfying, Oreos; chased a few down with red wine . . . hey, don’t knock it till you try it; and started squeezing my wallet till it cried.

Initially, I documented traffic and playgrounds and neighborhoods to witness how others were coping. I’ll share those images in another post. Then I focused at home. My fella and I got out our sewing machines and made 253 masks and gave them to our local police force, folks in our condo community and folks out and about who had a need. It felt really good. Then we signed up to be foster parents to homeless animals. That felt really good too!

We had some good luck and my fella went back to work. So I focused on all those home projects that filled my ToDo lists – painting, mending, gardening. I even began rummaging through my mom’s old dressmaking patterns and started an Etsy store to sell them – A Vintage Stash. This is ongoing and a blast!

I was feeling ok but also felt an empty space – ah, my camera! Where was my camera? And what could I do for others? So I decided to go back to documenting but this time families at home, from a socially acceptable distance, of course! Knowing that I wasn’t the only person who was squeezing their wallet, I decided to offer “staying at home portraits” for free.

I’ve just begun to sink my teeth into this project and I hope that these mini sessions will be a fun way to commemorate this eye opening time in our lives. The autumn air and sun make this the perfect time.  

So, if you are reading this, live in the DC / MD area and think your family or co-workers want to play & pose outside for 15 or 20 minutes, drop me a line or book a session on my website! I’d love to take your picture!  Bella Carolina

  Rose Green Colby Campaign 2019Rose Green Colby Campaign 2019

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) autumn bella carolina creative fall portraits mini-sessions pandemic portraits portraits staying at home Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:54:21 GMT
Lessons Learned - Year 1 I’ve been a professional photographer for 10 years. It was always a side hustle and so much fun. I photographed couples, actors and families; then food, events and architecture.

My 9 to 5 job was always in the marketing industry. And the more I learned, the more I wanted to combine them into one focused business, my business.

After being let go from a 9 to 5 job, I decided I’d take the plunge and commit to building my own business – Bella Carolina Creative. It has been a year of lessons. Here are the top three:

It's OK to say “no”
In order not to appear inflexible and with the mindset that I never wanted to lose a client, I wasn’t as good at guiding client behavior. And maybe I wasn’t really sure of what was truly unacceptable to me until I was in a situation that I didn’t like.

I found myself in this situation when getting paid and while working for friends. You can’t expect a person to respect you and your time, if you don’t. I believe that most people genuinely try to be good but if advantage can be taken, it will be.

So, be true to what you want. Express yourself firmly and kindly. And be comfortable with your decisions.

Keep Practicing
It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day of managing money, paying bills and marketing the new business. Without meaning to, I set my craft aside.

It was sitting in the corner watching me pull my hair to make things happen. Patiently it waited till I remembered it was my joy. If there’s no practicing, there’s no progress . . . nothing new is learned.

Practice your craft. Use your tools with the goal of not working but exploring! Each time I do this, I light my fire again.

Take time for yourself
My 9 to 5 was a 9 hour day with commute. My days now are easily 12 hours with weekends thrown in more often than not. Dang! I enjoy it more, for sure. But now, instead of multiple things happening simultaneously, there is just me doing one thing at a time. Ha!

So my time has disappeared – walking with the dog, pilates class, dinner with my guy . . . the list is surprisingly long.

But I’ve taken my days back. And only I can keep it up. It’s hard to let go of work and relax into free time. But it’s so important. Because without it, the stress has nowhere to go.

Year 2, here I come!

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) bella carolina creative discipline lessons lessons learned new business ok to say no practice your craft practicing self esteem trust woman owned business year one Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:42:06 GMT
Sharpening Memories with Restoration Gorgeous 1930s

Today and YesterdayLucia is my dear friend and the little girl in the photos she's holding. On left with her mom and on right with her Grandfather a week before he passed. Lucia is my dear friend and the little girl in the photos she's holding. On left with her mom and on right with her Grandfather a week before he passed away.

On a spontaneous visit to a dear friend, I was introduced to 13 amazing images from her childhood. Her memory is so sharp about who’s in the photo, the event and moments of the day. It was wonderful!

I’ve never seen images so small. They were about 2 inches square to slightly smaller than a business card. I wondered about the camera that was used? Did it belong to a rich person? Was photography really so available to the folks in a small rural village or was it only for special occasions?

Original Size Folks in FieldThis original and all others were about 2 inches square and covered in tape residue and torn. This photo was taken in 1942 or 1943.

This original and all others were about 2 inches square and covered in tape residue and torn. This photo was taken in 1942 or 1943. 

This is an enlarged version and the final that was printed and framed as a 5x5.

I asked my friend to entrust me with her tiny treasures because I wanted to make them larger for her. She loves to frame photos. She was so excited; so was I!  I was also super nervous because I really believe these images are treasures. Connecting to our past informs our present and even future.

Mom and GrandpaOriginals at about 3.5 inches tall. Image with Grandpa was taken in 1936. Image with mom was taken in 1938. Originals at about 3.5 inches tall. Image with Grandpa was taken in 1936. Image with mom was taken in 1938.

So, not only did this become a restoration project but it became a research project on the old tools used in that time. I’ll share that info in the next post!

When I returned the photos and the prints she was beside herself with joy, pride and gratitude. I’ve never felt so fulfilled. I’ve never had my work so completely appreciated. It was a heady experience.

We sat for another hour with cups of Italian coffee and made our way through more memories sparked by the details we could now both see and explore.

Photo restoration! It’s more than just filling in the cracks ;-)

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) 1930s 1940s Castelfranco countryside daughter grandpa Italian Italy mother photo photo restoration restoration Rosetto Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:47:30 GMT
A Look Back at 2018

So much happens in one year! Don’t we all say, “Damn, that went fast!” Just writing that makes me sigh, “whew!”

My year was full of personal and professional triumphs and set-backs. When things are rough I’ve noticed I don’t take as many personally artistic photos. Instead I take the quick snaps we all do with our cell phones. And those are sweet moments with their own special meaning but I rarely pick up my big and gorgeous Canon and work on my art. 

And really, it’s in those rough moments when that’s exactly what I should be doing; making my art. Creating a beautiful photograph fills me with a joy that satisfies and fills my soul unlike any other thing. Luckily, there is a good deal of satisfaction in my photo work. And so I’m blessed because even when I’m not able to create for my own pleasure, I am able to create beauty for my clients. And that is a great feeling, too.

I’m happy to share these 12 images that explore my 2018. I wish everyone a personally and professionally fulfilling 2019.  Cheers! Bella  

January was the 2nd Women’s March on the National Mall. It was a bright and cool day filled with the joy of being American!  

February and March were about love and family. My fella loves to be in the kitchen creating and I love him for it, even if my waistline struggles! Family visiting and a day exploring Philadelphia was a winner!

April, May and July were strong client months. Shooting the beautiful creations of talented chefs and event planners are jobs I truly love. I hope to do more in 2019.

June was a surprise childhood re-connection. We’ve known each other since I was three. We are very different women but share a strong unifying kinship with each other and the past.  

August was more girlie bonding. This time over drinks, white sand and humidity in Mexico!

September found my guy in the kitchen again - canning spicy/sweet relish and cranking out homemade pasta! OMGoodness! Fall is a favorite time; we love camping and donning costumes for a day at the Renaissance Festival.

October, November and December were about exploring; local treasures like Arlington Cemetery and the Patuxent National Refuge. We ended the year with a blast of a trip to glorious Venezia! Even with its difficulties, 2018 was a pretty wonderful year!


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) italy american arlington national cemetery atlantic ocean beet salad camping cancun canning chef commercial photography editorial photography event planning family food photography freeway highway homemade mexico murano national gallery of art panorama pasta patuxent patuxent national refuge philadelphia reception relish renaissance festival st. mark's square sunset tulum valentines valentines day venice washington dc wedding reception women's march year in review Sun, 13 Jan 2019 19:00:55 GMT
Sustainably Wed! Betsy and Jay were a unique couple. They wanted to make their wedding “green” – eco-friendly with minimum trash, sustainably grown food, recycled and reused decor! Wow!  And they did it!

Planning began, as usual, months before the big day. But this wedding prep included visiting the local Maryland farms where their wedding reception food was being grown. It included visiting their gorgeous Chevy Chase, MD venue to lay out how the day would go. And it included a year’s worth of wine drinking by friends and family so Betsy could collect the bottles to use in the table décor!

As a long-time fan of the style of the 1930s and 1940s, Betsy’s dress was form fitting satin in a bias cut. The draping of fabric and the bling in her up-do along with Jay’s dapper look in a full tuxedo and elegant patent leather Oxfords were some details that really embraced the age.

It was a pretty special event and I’m so thrilled that I was allowed to share their joy, leading up to the day and on that lovely autumn afternoon in the meadow at Woodend Sanctuary. Betsy & Jay visit the farm growing all the products to be used in their wedding meal.


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) autumn bling DIY farm farm-to-table green photographer recycled reuse Sanctuary sustainable table to wedding Woodend Tue, 30 Oct 2018 20:19:22 GMT
President Obama at Prince George's County Community College Born and raised in Washington, D.C. I had never seen a President or even a presidential motorcade - kind of incredible.  And now, how lucky. Via my job at The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and by invitation from the Office of Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, my colleagues and I watched a recent speech on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We were invited to stand behind him on the podium. But, hey, how would I get a chance to take a picture of him or shake his hand from there!

PG Community CollegePG Community College PG Community CollegePG Community College Back to our VIP section on the entrance wing I shot these photos. On his way out . . . I got to shake his hand!

PG Community CollegePG Community College It was such an incredible moment for me. Also speaking were Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Senator Ben Cardin and House Minority Whip, Congressman Steny Hoyer and Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards.

Congressman Steny HoyerCongressman Steny Hoyer Congresswoman Donna EdwardsCongresswoman Donna Edwards

PG Community CollegePG Community College

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) Governor O'Malley Obama political President President Obama Senator Cardin speech Mon, 21 Oct 2013 03:24:07 GMT
Headshots for the Up and Coming Smiles in Sun!
A young lady who was a blast of fun!  She brought her energy and excitement.  She brought giggles and a work ethic surprisingly adult in one so young.  She has the perfect personality to go far in the local performing arts here. And I believe, all the way if she chooses.

Best of luck Brynne!  Or, I guess, I should say - Break a leg!


(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) actors actress child actor headshots performer portrait Mon, 02 Sep 2013 01:00:30 GMT
Out of Many, One

Born and raised in Washington, D.C. I knew my town. Then I moved back after a 15 year absence. Geez, had things changed.


~ Rotunda Ceiling


Inauguration January 20, 1997

The events of September 11, 2001 changed much of where I could go, how I could get there and what I was allowed to bring. The new realities sit juxtaposed with my memories.

Walking the grounds last week.

I love being a tourist and I’m truly lucky to live in a town that caters to that part of me. I started a collection of current photos of my D.C. explorations. And after a recent tour of the U.S. Capitol I decided to call the collection E Pluribus Unum.

Inauguration January 20, 1997 - #33 is Union Station in my driver side mirror


Each time I enter a D.C. institution I’m struck by what this city means and wants to mean, by how it began and how it is developing.

The collection will grow on Flickr but I wanted to introduce it here with a few recent pix and some from a while ago.

Until you get a chance to visit this beautiful town I hope you’ll drop by and see it this way.

Wandering "the Hill" last winter.

(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) E Pluribus Unum Out of Many, One Washington, D.C. nation's capital Fri, 30 Aug 2013 22:29:45 GMT
Year and a Half in Review It has been a while since I've written. After moving back to D.C. in January 2011 it was my intention to share a Year in Review as a way to keep my LA friends in touch and reconnect with my East Coast friends.  *  I have been here now, oh God!, two and a half years and I've done it only once. So to mark the beginning of my new blog site, here it is. At an image a month this will cover the last 19 months!  Not only a way to share myself with those who are in my life but a great photography exercise in editing. I hope you enjoy the tour! I miss you, L.A., but D.C. is treating me just fine ;-)

January 2012

I had forgotten about Geese.  This area fills up with them.  They are hanging out in the fields of the University Campus, the Metro, next to freeways - they are wonderful and for a good chunk of time, everywhere! 

Lake Artemesia, Greenbelt, MD.

February 2012

My mom loves walking.  And at 82, it's a good thing to keep doing. The creek is nearby and quite beautiful. She's a bit goofy in front of the camera.  It is rare to get a pic of her not acting up!  This one isn't so bad.

Anacostia Tributary, Paint Branch Stream, Hyattsville, MD

March 2012

Spring! A truly beautiful time here.  This year the blossoms came early.  Walking around the Tidal Basin is a Spring tradition.

Cherry Blossoms at Dusk, Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.


April 2012

Self Portrait - Reconnecting with long ago friends and riding along the Potomac River on the George Washington Parkway.

Key Bridge over the Potomac, DC/VA

May 2012

Once or twice a year The National Cathedral holds a Bell Tower Tour. With repairs going on from the VA Earthquake, I was lucky to get there.  After climbing and climbing I was right under the stain glass rose - Incredible!

National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

June 2012

As a little girl this stunning building was my Sunday Church. I always knew it as The Shrine. Now it is called . . .

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (!)

Washington, D.C.

July 2012

I miss all my LA hiking. So I joined a hobby group to get to know the hiking area. It was a lovely day that ended with me alone, lost and chatting with a very odd fellow with eyes lit up in a super creepy way. Ha! What a memory!

Bull Run Mountain, VA

August 2012

An adventurous photo group I joined loves finding odd and gritty places to tour and photograph. This jail had been part of the system since 1879. It closed and it's bits and pieces were harvested for reuse in the newer jail built next door.  Old, rundown and scary, even as a visitor.

Jessup Correctional Institution, MD

See the entire set on Flickr.

September 2012

On assignment for a Transportation Consulting Firm working for Virginia Railway Express (VRE). Twice a year they run very serious Emergency Drills. The event actually took place in October but we spent most of September planning for it. Fire & Rescue, Police, HazMat, Fire, EMTs, guests and volunteers acting as victims - It was an incredible morning!

VRE, Fairfax, VA

October 2012

Not too bad for a pic with my phone, I think. I've always wanted to make a corset.  This is it!  My very first one - black and ivory satin.  It took way longer than it should.  Wearing it was an experience - great for the posture but it sure does take your breath away.

Sewing Room

November 2012

SNOOPY ELLA!  Found in a neighbor's back yard, wet and alone, this little girl has been the most amazing addition to my Mom's life (and mine).  Mom has always had big dogs. But the Universe knew that this little black Chihuahua Mix was exactly who she needed.


December 2012

Christmas time brings forth all sorts of displays and exhibits.  This replica of the Capitol was part of an exhibition by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination.  Made entirely of dried plant life, it was stunning!

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.

January 2013

Such a great way to begin the year - a photo trip to this beautiful cemetery in Washington, D.C.  Incorporated by Congress in 1849, it is still in use.

Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

February 2013

On assignment for the Maryland National Capital Parks & Planning Commission.  Each year the Youth Services group sponsors a Teen Cotillion.  These 32 teens are part of A 20 week program teaching them about the possibilities for their adult life. The season ends with a spectacular Formal Cotillion where the kids dance with their parents and each other as young men and women.

MNCPPC, Suitland, MD

March 2013

Unseasonably warm, this morning was spent at Mount Calvert House.  This view was home to American Indians, a colonial town, a tobacco plantation and witness to British Ships during the War of 1812.

Upper Marlboro, MD

April 2013

This was a super special day. The fella in my life met a dear friend in town from Vegas. We are all in this pic! Neither of them are too into history but let me share with them my favorite place . . .the home of George Washington.

Mount Vernon, Alexandria, VA

May 2013

On assignment - Cotillion! So many proud moms and dads. White satin dresses, gloves, tiaras, tuxes, boutonnieres - a lovely family day.

MNCPPC, Greenbelt, MD

June 2013

Biking in D.C. is a surprisingly easy activity. This beautiful Heron was trolling for his supper. This is about 3 moments before he stuck his head in that green muck and pulled out a tasty tiny fish.

C&O Canal, Clara Barton Parkway, Washington, D.C.

July 2013

After coming back from a weekend commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, we took the very scenic route home.  Maryland is a truly beautiful state.

Northern Maryland






(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) Year in Review hometown reminiscence Fri, 26 Jul 2013 22:50:47 GMT
On the Way to Teen Cotillion 2013 For thirteen weeks from mid-February to early May, I had the pleasure of following the explorations of 40 teenagers building toward the celebration of their formal Teen Cotillion.  The Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission has sponsored this Prince George's County youth program for the last fifteen years.
Designed to promote self discovery the program included seminars in science, interview skills, dating, health, grooming, leadership, etiquette, communication and of course, dancing! The following photos are witness to their group activities, dance lessons with parents and a growing sentiment in myself for their individual success.
A more complete collection of images can be found on Flickr.  All images are the property of MNCPPC - Youth Services.
(Bella Carolina Creative, LLC) Prince George's County Teens cotillion education students Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:29:00 GMT