The One with Georgetown

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As part of my pseudo-spring break last week, my friend Ambrey and I hit Georgetown for a quick jaunt! We walked the adorable streets, snagged a cupcake, and explored Dumbarton Oaks Gardens with our cameras. Ambrey is such a sweet friend, so encouraging and kind, and I had a blast playing around behind the lens for the day! Below are some of my favorite snaps from the day, and the gardens are a new must-see on my Georgetown quick list. If you’re ever there for the day, my recommendations include:

Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown – they have a bottomless mimosa brunch on the weekend, and the eggs Idaho are out of this world

Kafe Leopold – great outdoor dining (it was too cold for us this time!)

Georgetown Cupcake – not overrated at all, perfect icing to cake ratio

Shopping on M Street & Wisconsin Avenue – a plethora of retail options

Walk the C&O Canal Towpath – very scenic when the water is high

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens – bonus: a great place to sneak some cherry blossoms without the crowds!

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The One with Pearls

Well, I’ve fallen in love with my newest plaything – my 100mm lens! When my friend Kira, from Kira Nicole Photography, was upgrading her glass, I jumped at the opportunity to add this hardworking lens to my bag. Buying used gear can sometimes feel a little risky, but since I knew the owner and how well she takes care of her stuff, I felt totally comfortable snagging this lens used at a great price.

Naturally, I pulled off my engagement ring and plopped down on my kitchen island and snapped away! I wore these pearls on my wedding day, and the mirrored tray and cork were simple nearby props. I loved getting to play around with the manual focus, and exploring just how close I can get to my subject, something that’s a limitation with my other prime lenses. I also realized just how badly my ring needs to be cleaned… oops! Let’s ignore the dust and fuzzies, shall we?

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The One with Santa Fe

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After a long gap of time between seeing my sweet cousins (my first cousin once removed and my second cousin, to be exact), we reunited in Santa Fe for a weekend filled with art galleries, excellent food, and long talks. Not only did that desert town speak to my very soul, but being surrounded by women in my family did my heart a world of good. It’s rare that I get to spend time with anyone who knows my people, and just to be reminded of who I am and where I come from was refreshing in so many ways. Our last cousin weekend was when I was a high schooler, so to be able to stay up late and talk about life with my cousin Amanda was so special, and I love that we got to spend that time together, especially before she moves to Hawaii!

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Janet and Amanda drove from El Paso to meet my mom and I in Albuquerque, and from there we set our sights on Santa Fe. Our first evening we had a fabulous late dinner where we closed down the restaurant after hours of catching up. The next day we spent walking and shopping and gallery hopping – over six miles in total, and I fell in love with all things mole and green chiles and turquoise. We gazed at local art and bargained with the locals and managed to find inspiration around every corner. The following day at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum, I understood what it meant to be captivated by this desert. It truly feels like a place to create.

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We all picked up a few treasures – colorful reminders of our time together and a connection to the place. As I boarded the early morning flight back to the east coast, my heart felt full of love and my bones just itching for more glimpses of inspiration. I’m so thankful for my sweet momma who provided me with the entire experience, and for my cousins who inspire me and encourage me. I may never understand all that it means to be a Keplinger woman, but I’m so glad that I get to be part of that story.

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I hope to see you again soon, Santa Fe.

Photo | Sara + Michael

The biggest part of growing in my photography is saying yes to every opportunity to get behind the lens. When my friend Kira from Kira Nicole Photography invited me to tag along to an engagement session, I jumped at the chance to get outside and start shooting again! Winter months are tough because of the general lack of light, so we were beyond happy to have an unseasonably warm and bright February day to shoot Sara and Michael’s engagement session. This couple was so sweet and loving, and talk about photogenic! They chose a historic battlefield near their home to begin the shoot, and then we ended up at the winery next door to finish it out. Congratulations, Sara and Michael!

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