Welcome to the brand spankin' new Worthington Photography Blog! We are Sam and Mel, a husband-wife photography team based in the "rivah city" of Richmond, Virginia. We hope you'll come on in, sit a spell, and browse through Mel's journal of our most recent shoots and adventures. If you wish to reminisce, you can still access posts from our old blog here. Enjoy!

Sarah and Chuck’s Wedding

September 28th, 2012

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“This is what I like about shooting weddings,” said Sam with the car keys jingling in his hand.  The gear was heavy on our backs and the night air was filled with sparkler smoke and the sound of summer crickets still pulsing strong into the first official night of Fall .  Anyone walking alongside us would have had no idea what he was talking about.  The end of the night?  Is that what you like?  (Well, to be honest, yes, we do.)  But having been been married for over ten years and after shooting together for even longer than that, I knew that he was actually referring to this:

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If you read this blog, you already know that I am a giant art nerd.  I was the grad student who couldn’t wait to talk about Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida.  I ate Susan Sontag for breakfast and moved on to Andy Grundberg for lunch.  I absorbed anything that critics had to say about the medium of photography because they all, essentially, believed the same thing.  That photograph you are looking at?  It ain’t real.  Its every bit as imaginary and contrived as a painting.  Its power lies in the fact that you believe it is real and you believe its real because its creation is grounded in something tangible but it is not, I repeat, it is not. Real.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, fans and critics, rest assured that we didn’t make all this up.  It was no trick of the lens.  I mean we’re good and all but we’re not that good.  There is no faking this kind of happiness.  You can’t eek it out of the best models, actors, photographers, cameras or any combination thereof.   The celebration was very, very real.  People who don’t normally like to dance danced for Chrissake.  Really!  Sarah and Chuck are the real deal and that’s what Sam was talking about in the parking lot.

Hello there, Art School.  Just so you know, I stand corrected.

Back to the deets, Sarah and Chuck were married at the lovely Mill at Fine Creek which, if you haven’t been out there lately, has taken on some new renovations and sweet details.  The Mill has long been a favorite of ours, aside from the loveliness of the ruins and the creek, the professionalism and hospitality you will find throughout the very talented staff there is beyond compare.  So is the food, I have no idea how they do it time and again at such a level of delicious perfection but these guys are so good that they will serve scallops in a buffet.  Scallops, people.  One of the most difficult of foods to cook perfectly in the first place, much less serve to a large volume of people.  And that, in a scallop shell, is the Mill at Fine Creek.

Here’s a slideshow with our favs.  Sarah and Chuck, congratulations and thank you for being so fun and easy going, you had us smiling all day right along with you.  That’s what we like about shooting weddings.

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Posted by Mel @ 3:14 pm, in Weddings | No comments | Permalink

Alannah is a Big Sister and Welcome, Baby Fiona!

September 27th, 2012

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I had just arrived and was changing lenses on my camera when Alannah strode up, put a hand on one hip and told it to me straight.  ”She’s going to cry a lot.  You know that, right?”  There she was, standing before me, one of my very first, first year documentary babies, so grown at the age of five and giving me advice about a baby that was the spitting image of herself as a baby.  Talk about a freak out moment for me.

Even though its been four years and some change since I have seen Alannah, we fell right back into our rhythm.  She is still just little bit diva and just little bit shy, still my muse.

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While I kept a lot more color in the family’s edit, I was feeling black and white big time on this shoot.  When I first arrived we repeated the now famous Eddy shot, a black and white studio-esque shot that has been taken with each of his daughters as babies.  Maybe it was the repetition of this tradition or maybe it was the girls’ white dresses but I found myself thinking in more timeless terms, snuffing out color and welcoming more black and white imagery than I normally find myself drawn to these days.  I’ve had a bit of a fling with color in recent years but I was reminded that black and white is my first and true love.  Its both simple and profound, the play between highlight and shadow that culminates into a moment trapped in time.

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Fiona, only 5 weeks old in this shoot, is such a beauty:

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Alannah is such a proud and loving big sister.  She shared the dragonflies that used to adorn her own nursery along with a few pretty updates…

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Alannah is so sweetly willing to try and soothe her sister’s tears.  Its something sisters do for each other throughout a lifetime, I had forgotten that we know how to do it from the very beginning.

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She is also very excited to fill up Fiona’s baby book with memories.  I think she’s off to a pretty good start…

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Loooove Alannah’s reaction to all the lovin’ in this posey family sequence.

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A lot of love, indeed!  Here’s a slideshow from our shoot and a gallery too.  Congrats to Alannah, Erin and Eddie and welcome, beautiful baby Fiona!

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Posted by Mel @ 3:39 pm, in Newborns, Portraits, Wee Ones | No comments | Permalink

Cannon is a Big Brother and Welcome, Baby Chord!

September 20th, 2012

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Look who is a big brother!  Not to let the signage above his new big-boy bed tip you off or anything…

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I love to see just how sweet little guys can be with even littler guys.

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When I walked into Chord’s nursery, I recognized many things that used to belong to Cannon when he was a baby and that he was willing to share.  Its more than just practical, its very sweet to see these items in a new context, in a new light, around this new family.

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Cannon was born four weeks early and spent almost his first full month in the NICU.  I remember the conversations with Jill during that time: how difficult it was to establish bonding routines and how hopes to come home always seemed crushed by a minor set back.  All she wanted was that baby boy in her arms: for good.  Thankfully  her pregnancy with Chord was better monitored and better altogether: she carried him to term and was able to bring him home from the hospital within a normal timeframe.  I’m not sure if you can see the stillness and peace in Jill and Todd that I do, the sheer fulfillment that home and togetherness, a simple joy so easily taken for granted, can bring in those first precious weeks with a new life.  I was so honored to be invited into this space and time.  The house wasn’t exactly quiet during my visit but no matter how frequently the two are lumped together, peace and quiet aren’t the same thing.

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Here’s a slideshow from our day as well as the gallery.  Congrats Jill, Todd and especially to you, Cannon.  You are the only child in my life who answers me with, “Yes, Ma’am” and for that I want to tousle those polite, curly-blonde locks of yours.  Silly boy, its “Yes, Miss!”  I’m so glad your best friend, as you will come to know him, has finally arrived.

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Posted by Mel @ 6:05 pm, in Newborns, Portraits, Wee Ones | No comments | Permalink

Baby Benjamin Turns One

September 18th, 2012

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I know, I know.  But I swear we didn’t intend it, Benajmin just so happened to pick the cupcake flavor that would give him a coordinating confectionary beard, fuller with each bite.  We really weren’t going for the Benjamin Button thing here, we swear, but it was pretty perfect anyway.

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This little guy is indeed getting older (thankfully at a normal rate) and he wanted to show me all his new tricks, including cruising around with his walker.  Benjamin goes from 0-60 pretty fast on that thing, baby,  he was born to run.

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After a robust lunch and some cupcake gobbling, it was time for a little bit of play before nap time.  To wind down, Kelly and Pete put on a TV show for some cuddle time on the couch.  So much for winding down, the Mickey Mouse Club got B pretty amped up!

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I adore this family and their beautiful boy, its hard to believe Benjamin was this small a year ago!  Kelly and Pete, thank you so much for inviting me into this first and amazing year of parenthood.   And as always, here’s a slideshow from our day and click here to see the gallery.

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Posted by Mel @ 4:20 pm, in Portraits, Wee Ones | No comments | Permalink