Special Events

Surprise, Cyndi!

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Cyndi recently reached a major milestone in her life, the “Halfway to 100!” birthday. And in honor of it, her husband set the bar very, very high for husbands worldwide – by throwing a tremendous party, complete with dinner, open bar, cake, and a band, at the eclectic Mansion on O St. Relatives and friends flew in from all over the country and huddled just beyond the entrance of the hotel to shout Surprise! as she entered. Not only that, her husband Ryan had arranged an entire fake surprise party the night before to throw her off. Cyndi, who I met through a mutual friend, is a fellow shutter bug who is usually the one behind the camera. She was thrilled to take the night off to eat, dance, catch up with old friends and family, and enter her 50s properly. Even though I spent most of the time capturing the fantastic event, both she and Ryan made me put my camera down and join the crowd as they danced the night away. As the night grew late, one guest even commented, “How do they have all this energy? I guess I need to be 50!” Congrats Cyndi, and here’s to another 50 years!

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Special Events

Married: Janice and Ben!

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Janice and Ben have a lot going on recently! Janice recently graduated from training to become an acupuncturist. Then the two extraordinarily creative artists did EVERYTHING themselves for this wedding, from the twine-balloon globes to the lemon pies (well, this photographer and two others ended up helping the weary bride bake those). Lastly, they’re busy preparing for the arrival of a mini-Janice/Ben! Janice and Ben met while working at San Francisco’s hip clothier BetaBrand, where Janice was the first women’s line designer. The two modeled often for the company and recently appeared on a billboard as well. They share the same birthday, as well as so many other creative traits and qualities. Their wedding, up in wine country (Sebastapol, California) where they maintain a little country cottage, was “Mad Hatter”-themed and all the guests came donning hats in a blend between Kentucky Derby and Carnivale. Janice has been one of my closest friends since elementary school and I was very excited to be a part of her wedding and to take pictures of the memorable ceremony! Congrats you two (almost three)!

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Special Events

Friday Morning Music Club 130th Anniversary Concert

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I was invited by the Friday Morning Music Club again to take pictures of their performance, but this time it was in honor of the club’s 130th anniversary! That’s a really long time. So I spent a Sunday afternoon at the Northern Virginia Community College performance hall capturing the Avanti orchestra, conducted by Pablo Saelzer. They first played Scheherazade suite by Rimsky-Korsakov and then were joined by the choir and winners of the Washington International Voice Competition who sang selections from Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus. The event was capped by a champagne-and-cake reception afterwards to mark the illustrious event.

The performance was also reviewed by the Washington Post, where one of my photos appeared! Yippee! Here are a few more from the concert!

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Random, Special Events

The Avanti Orchestra

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The Avanti Orchestra is the orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club, “a community of music lovers and musicians,” which “has promoted classical music in the Washington area for over 125 years.” It’s a volunteer group of experienced classical musicians who gather, play music, and perform for the greater Washington audience. The orchestra is led by Pablo Saelzer, a conductor who hails from Chile and teaches at Montgomery College. I was recently invited to photograph the orchestra as they performed at the Kennedy Center, featuring Washington International Competition winner, violist Deng Yifei of China. As a classically trained pianist and flutist, I was excited to be back on stage with other musicians, even though this time I was playing the part of the principal photographer.

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Conductor Pablo Saelzer with Washington International Competition winner and violist Deng Yifei of China.

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Special Events

Married: Lexi and Gregg!

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In Chicago this August, my little sister-in-law, Lexi, married Gregg, a hilarious, movie-quoting lawyer who showed us numerous videos on YouTube of people trying to swallow spoonfuls of cinnamon (which cannot be done). We liked him immediately. Since I was honored with the position of bridesmaid, I didn’t get to take any pictures of the wedding itself, but was asked to take some of the pre-wedding preparation in the bridal suite and groom’s room. The bridal suite had couches, a patio, bagel tray, mimosas and bridesmaids in matching robes painting their nails and having their hair and makeup done. The groom’s room was a standard hotel room with bottles of whiskey and the groomsmen still lying in bed in their underwear filling out a football pool 15 minutes before they were due for photos. I finally got around to putting these pics on the blog. Congrats you two!

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