The Iliff Kids

I recently received a surprise email from one of our brides, Liz Crow Iliff. David Spence photographed her wedding to Chas Iliff way back in 2005, the prehistoric days of film! “How can it be that 7 years have passed since David photographed our wedding?” She wrote. I was just as incredulous. The passing of time is a remarkable thing for a photographer. We book a wedding for a date a year away and suddenly it is here. We shoot for 8 hours and it goes by in a flash. We go on with our work and suddenly the bride and groom have 3 kids! But all the while we are stopping time with our images.

As a parent, when your kids are at these precious ages, don’t you just want to stop them from growing up? Photographing them is all you can do. I wish everyone realized the importance of taking the time and making the investment in professional portraiture with their children. This note from Liz says it best:

“Thank you for sending along this picture, we love it, as does everyone in the extended family.  I am so excited to see the rest of the photos!  The kids enjoyed every minute with you; they gave you big thumbs up as the best play date of the week.  I am grateful that you found the time to work with us, and hope we can do it again before too long.  Some people are nuts about cars or clothes or jewelry, but I can’t think of anything more valuable than (professionally) capturing my three on film.  Chas and I are celebrating our seventh anniversary this weekend, and the one thing that hasn’t changed in that time is the fact that you are the BEST in Annapolis.  I’m thrilled we found you!”

Here are just a few of my favorite images from the shoot. I have to say, Liz & Chas made it so incredibly easy for me with their gorgeous and well behaved kids, French linen outfits and private neighborhood beach. Seriously…. it was almost like cheating!

I am so grateful for clients like Liz & Chas and look forward to photographing their growing family for years to come!

Mazel Tov, Lena, Jake & Phillip!

Last year I decided it was high time I incorporated B’Nai Mitzvah photography into my repertoire. After over twenty years of weddings, and with my daughter and her friends only a few years away from their Bat Mitzvahs, I thought I better get some practice! As luck would have it, three wonderful Annapolis families took the plunge and hired me, a Mitzvah photographer with absolutely no experience. I am so grateful to them for trusting me to tell their childrens’ stories and to document this amazing time in their lives.

To say that this experience moved me is such an understatement. It changed me. I was Bat Mitzvahed, but learning Hebrew and studying my Torah portion was really no big deal. When we weren’t studying, we had a handful of channels on TV to watch or we were outside playing kick the can. Kids today have an infinite amount of distractions, as well as after school schedules stuffed with extracurricular activities, yet they have enough self discipline to manage this, too. They know that when their day comes, they are on their own up there in front of their friends, family and the entire congregation. They have to know this thing BY HEART to totally rock it!

What really struck me about all of this are the paradoxes. Here are these kids with their books on e-readers, surfing the net, texting, skyping, and reading Hebrew from an ancient scroll all in the same day. And when you look at the collection of images of each kid, they go from goofy to mature ~ it almost doesn’t look like the same person. But this is the essence of the thirteen year old! Fluctuating daily between a boy and a man, a girl and a woman ~ awkward yet graceful all at once. I remember that time in my life so well. It’s so hard to believe I am now the parent of a tween!

Working with these families, I really FELT it. I felt what the kids were feeling, and what the parents were feeling.

We give them roots, we give them wings, a ton of nudging, and we hope for the best.

A million thanks to Cynthia Lawson, Alison Harbaugh & Arianne Teeple ~ the most amazing assistants ever!

Jamie & Nate in Washingtonian Bride & Groom Magazine!

What a thrill and an honor it is for one of our weddings to be chosen from hundreds of submissions to be featured in this magazine! I know that Jamie & Nate are just as excited as David and I are since Jamie so lovingly referred to the magazine as “the bible” throughout her wedding planning!  These few images are just a teaser…to see more of their wedding images, check out this past post on our blog: Jamie & Nate’s Brittland Manor wedding!


Lisa & Leland

I felt a deep connection to Lisa before we met or even spoke on the phone because her wedding plans were simliar to my own wedding back in 1999 in Wyoming. An intimate gathering of family members in a rustic, lodge setting by a creek on a mountaintop, followed by a gourmet meal and lots and lots of bubbly…..this is my kind of bride!

Lisa & Leland’s warm and free spirits not only attracted each other, but the executive director of Thorpewood, who lent them his beautiful home for their wedding since the main lodge was booked on the day we wanted to have the wedding. (yes, I got to help choose their wedding date) It was such an honor to be the one to capture their day and to tell their love story, as well as to be included in the guest list (of 9 people!) for a gourmet dinner by Chef Jason of Canapes.

Lisa & Leland and their two sons are simply a match made in heaven, and I wish them all the best for a lifetime of more love, laughter & happiness together!

To read more about their love story, check out yesterday’s Sunday Style section in the Washington Post!



Lisa McLaughlin - Amy Rabb is AWESOME!!! :)June 19, 2012 – 7:29 AM

Trish & Zack & Emma

Now that summer is officially here, I’m looking back at all of my spring portrait sessions and weddings, and realized that I forgot to show this one off! I photographed Trish, Zack and their darling doggie daughter, Emma, in Annapolis on a beautiful day in March. Not much was in bloom yet, but Trish planned her outfits just right (with a little help from her MOH!) to add a pop of color. It was a really fun, relaxing afternoon. I think Emma obviously enjoyed it the most!

Trish and Zack’s wedding is this November 17th at the Annapolis Westin…our final wedding of the season. It’s going to be a grand finale!