Snapshots of Our April (Arlington, VA)

Every year, when you’re a child, you become a different person.
— Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness

I always say the best moments are the real moments, but I tend to post photos from big moments in our lives (long vacations, camping, etc.) - so here's a little collage of our everyday in April.

For the most part, we didn't do anything very exciting (with the exceptions of Burning Man at the Renwick and Cirque Du Soleil's Luzia, oh, and Parker participated in the Science and Engineering Festival with her elementary school's STEM group), but I'm a big fan of documenting life's little adventures - gardening, basketball, tennis lessons, family hikes, the girls' cellphone addiction, sick days, happy hours, dance parties, legos, lilacs, unicorn onsies, etc.) 

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Dance Parties, Lacrosse, Scooters, & (of course) Elephant and Piggie (Fairfax, VA)

‘After all,’ Anne had said to Marilla once, ‘I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.’
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

I loved hanging out with this family for many reasons. For starters, they were fun, funny, and they made me laugh like crazy. Plus, how adorable is their bulldog puppy?

But, I also loved the L family because their incredibly smart, wise kindergarten-aged daughter gave me the best compliment I've ever received. I can't remember the exact words, but I'll still put it in quotes because it made my whole year. "Ms. Darcy, when I grow up and have kids, I'm going to hire you to come and take photos of my family. Do you know why? Because when you come to take photos it is fun. I don't know if I should tell you this, but all day I was supposed to pretend that I was having fun. But I didn't have to pretend. I wish you could come over all the time."

I love this job. Seriously, how lucky am I?

 

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Books, Puzzles, Cuddles, and Sunrise (Alexandria, VA)

The sweetest little song -
You go your way
I’ll go your way too.
— Leonard Cohen

For my photoshoot with the S family, we originally planned a full family session in April -  starting at their house and then driving to Jones Point Park close to sunset.  But you know how it goes with the best laid plans . . .  April's unseasonably cold weather wasn't exactly infant-friendly. 

So we decided on two mini shoots rather than one full shoot. First taking photos at home and then waiting for warmer weather for the outdoor family portraits. 

And, in retrospect, I think everything worked out for the best.

I love how we captured a slice of ordinary life along with the most gorgeous spring-green morning photos. Such a fun, loving family! I loved spending time with them!

We had to get up SO early for these photos (we met at 6:15 am), but it was so worth it -  beautiful light and we had the whole park to ourselves.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Spring Break 2018 - Hiking Through Andalucia, Spain (Without the Kids!)

So suddenly we are gone
Looking out for some wave
You and I, we belong
on these wild and wonderful trails
— The Tallest Man on Earth

Dan and I spent this year's spring break hiking through the white villages of Andalucia, Spain, while the kids stayed with their grandparents in West Virginia, learning to ski (yay for grandparents!!).

We booked our trip through On Foot Holidays. This is the second trip they've arranged for us (a few years ago we hiked the Amalfi Coast in Italy) and I still cannot say enough good things.

On Foot sends you detailed route itineraries; arranges small, quaint hotels in out-of-the-way locations; and manages baggage transfers. So all you need to do is hike from town to town. It's such a cool way to see the world, I wish we could do it all the time.

Day 1  & 2 - Zahara de la Sierra.

We booked our flights with airline miles, so travel was a little cumbersome (flying to London and then Madrid, followed by a 4 hour train ride to Ronda, and a 1 hour car transfer to Zahara de la Sierra). But finally we arrived at the first hotel, a small, charming place in the middle of nowhere.

It rained most of the first day - intermittent storms followed by drizzly skies (so glad we splurged on better rain gear for the trip), but we still managed to trek 10-11 miles around Zahara.  Without airplanes or cars, the valley seemed so silent - you could hear dog barks and sheep bells from miles away. And griffon vultures filled the skies.

The river crossings were a little crazy with all the rain, but all in all, it was so beautiful. In the evenings the skies cleared, allowing us to watch the sunset from our hotel balcony.

Day 3 - Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema

This was my favorite hike of the trip because of the diverse landscape. It was only 9-10 miles long, but a lot of steep inclines made it more difficult than other days (luckily, with crazy views). Plus, no rain, though the cloudless sky made for worse photos.

We hiked past so many horses, sheep, chickens, cows, and (somewhat scary) barking dogs - as well as tiny farm houses that looked hundreds of years old (and not necessarily in a good way).

Day 4 - Grazalema - Benaoján (then a taxi back to Grazalema)

On day 4 we planned on hiking from Grazalema to Benaocáz, but we mixed up our itinerary and ended up trekking 10 miles to the wrong town (oops). It took us over an hour waiting for a cab (who was waiting for us in the right town) to figure out our mistake. On the upside, the views were beautiful. On the downside, all the boulders made my feet hurt (a lot).

Day 5 - Grazalema to Benaocáz (and then a car transfer to Benaojan).

We spent day 5 going on day 4's hike (hence the car transfer). Luckily, after a long day we arrived to a gorgeous hotel and a fancy dinner (we needed this).

As you can tell, I didn't take many photos (isn't it crazy how your first day somewhere new every little detail seems so amazing and by the fifth day it all looks the same?)

Day 6 - Benaojan to Ronda

My feet hurt (and I felt lazy), so we opted out of the 10 mile hike to Ronda and decided to walk to the La Cueva de la Pileta instead (and then take the afternoon train into Ronda). Visitors cannon take photographs inside the cave (sadness), but we enjoyed seeing Stone Age paintings of horses, goats and fish from 20,000 to 25,000 years ago (though the hows and whys of much of the art still remains a mystery).

We arrived in Ronda just in time for the holy week processions (basically a huge city-wide party). The streets were crazy crowded - families, kids, older people - a little bit like the 4th of July in America. Street stands sold candy and trinkets for the kids.

Almost everyone was speaking Spanish (i.e. not many other foreign tourists) and we stood out as foreigners because of our puffy jackets.

The first processions of the night had crowds surrounding them on all sides and I didn't think we'd be able to see much of anything, but luckily, because I'm so short they pushed me to the front of the crowds (isn't that awesome?). Plus, on Holy Thursday there are so many processions (they go throughout the night) that we managed to see more than we thought we would.

I'll admit, it felt sort of odd to celebrate when people wore robes that ARE NOT okay in the United States. Every culture is different, but still, it took awhile to dissociate the pointy-hat context from US history.

Day 7 - Ronda to Malaga

We had hoped to spend the day touring Malaga, but it poured and while we tried to power through, we ended up spending most of the afternoon competing with other tourists (mostly Spanish) for seats in overpriced cafes while we waited for our train to Malaga.

Day 8 - Malaga

We spent our final morning in Spain bike riding along the ocean. The weather was perfect and for dinner we drank sangria at a restaurant on the beach, while they cooked our fresh fish on grill in front of the restaurant.

During the day, I talked Dan into a trip to Malaga's branch of the Pompidou Center (the museum's only other location outside of Paris). The Paris branch turned out to be much larger and more impressive, but I loved the quirky exterior of Malaga's musuem.

And that's it. In the morning we headed home (another long day of flying - Malaga to Madrid to London to Baltimore), but totally worth it. And the kids even missed us (somewhat)!

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* Looking for a vacation photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers several types of out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the city or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Basketball, Chickens, Nerf Wars, and Fro-Yo (Alexandria, VA)

And we’ll collect the moments one by one,
I guess that’s how the future’s done.
— Feist

As a photographer, I'm not sure there's anything more nerve-wracking and incredible than taking pictures of a photographer who you really admire. And this photoshoot, with the AMAZING Kelly Loss and her family, was on Friday the 13th no less.

Despite my nerves, it would have impossible to not have fun. Who wouldn't have fun with chickens and nerf guns? I even learned the floss (thank you, Fortnite). 

Five or so years ago, a good friend told me about "the nerf gun years" -  the time when boys (and some girls) transform from snuggly little kids to almost-teenagers. I'm watching my own son go through this all now - statements of independence combined with unpredictable needs for mom hugs.

It's a little bit of a roller-coaster at times. But still so incredible - seeing your children come into their own - full or random knowledge and ever-changing hobbies.   

In my experience, families often schedule photos during the early years because they don't want to miss anything. Then kids start school, the family calendar fills up with sports/recitals/social engagagements, and family photos become something to rush through in the fall, rather than savor. 

But I love the nerf gun years. And I want to remember them. Maybe even more than the baby years. So many surprises. And always so much love. 

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Breakfast & Baby Dolls (Bethesda, MD)

You are the best thing
(you’re the best thing, oooh)
Ever happened to me.
— Ray LaMontagne

I'm not a morning person, but I love beautiful morning light. And, even more, I love kids running through beautiful morning light.

I had such a great time with this family - we spent the morning at the playground/park and then drove back to their house for breakfast. And to make the day extra special, the grandparents stopped by for some photos and food.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

March at Long Branch Nature Center (Arlington, VA)

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
— Charles Dickens

This year we've had the craziest winter (now spring) - looking at these photos made me realize that several days in January - March were much warmer than April. Luckily, kids excel at ignoring the thermometer. Once they start running and laughing - no cold breezes can hold them back.

As any reader of this blog probably knows by now, I love dual location family shoots - where we take photos at home and at a park/playground/ice cream parlor. And I had so much fun with the M family. The kids made me laugh over and over again. I think every photo shoot needs an Elmo.

After we ran around the park  - we drove back to their house for some photos in the yard with the dog. I loved how excited the boys were to show me their favorite toys.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

January at the Hirshhorn (Washington D.C.)

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.
— Anton Chekhov

The F family will always have a special place in my heart - as (in my mind) they made the sun shine. We scheduled our photo shoot in December, but January ended up having such cold, bitter weather that I thought for sure we'd need to reschedule.

Then the day of our photo shoot arrived and temps skyrocked to 70-some degrees. Like magic. And the chemistry between these three siblings was pretty magical as well.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Romance & Chihuahuas at Great Falls (McLean, VA)

You make me happy when skies are grey.
— Johnny Cash

It's finally spring (yay!!) and, in remembrance of winter, I'm blogging this engagement session from early March. On the downside, it was a little colder than expected - but Bobby and Andrea made the best of it (actually, to be honest, they were so in love that they barely seemed to notice the weather). And on the upside, we practically had the whole place to ourselves.

I can't even summarize how much I love spending time with this couple - I'm so excited to shoot their wedding this fall (though sad the world's coolest chihuahuas won't be in attendance).

* Looking for an engagement or couples photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography wants to capture you at your best, laughing in an environment you love. So whether you prefer jeans or high heels, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.