Snapshots of our October (Arlington, VA)

There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.
— Margaret Atwood

October is my busiest month, so the days flew by in a blur ending (as always) with Halloween (feeling lucky for our amazing friends who host an adult/kid happy hour every year). Parker dressed up as a pun (basketball uniform + inflatable donut = slam dunk), Freya went as Cher from Clueless, and Trout became a random biohazard (the type of costume you “discover” at Spirit Halloween), I feel it’s important to remember these things, though I’m not sure why.

Freya turned 13, which made me feel old and happy at the same time. We planned a family backpacking trip, but our trip was quashed due to “high levels of bear activity” so instead we walked/hiked around Burke Lake and rode bikes to National Harbor. Dan killed his first deer of the season, thus wonderful venison dinners (so yummy). And the days continued to fly by - as they should, but sometimes I wish they’d slow down a little.

* 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

Cowboy Hats, A Red Barn, & Harry Potter Glasses - A Fall Afternoon in the Country (Middleburg, VA)

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand
— Traveling Wilburys

I photograph this family every autumn and they are always SO HAPPY. I can’t stop laughing when I’m around them to be around them. Their mom always brings the coolest props/outfits - this year the cowboy hats with the red barn melted my heart - despite some grey skies overhead.

* 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.

An October Morning at Huntley Meadows with the H Family (Alexandria, VA)

I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October
— Charmaine J. Forde

This family will always have a special place in my heart because it was COLD the morning of our photoshoot. The first cold morning of the fall. And as I walked to their car, wearing a stocking hat, a jacket, and a sweater, I thought to myself “how is this going to go?” And then the happiest child in the world came running at me, completely ambivalent to the weather, asking if we were going to see a beaver. And I knew it was going to be a great day.

We didn’t see beavers or very much wildlife. But we searched and explored. We walked on tree stumps and talked about legos. And I forgot about the weather too, because I was having so much fun.

* 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.

Teenagers, Zebras, and Balloons at Union Market (Washington D.C.)

When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this
— Van Morrison

I’ve been photographing this family for years now and watching the kids grow up has been such a joy. Though every year I’m a little surprised at how much they’ve grown (how long until all my young clients are taller than me?). And a little awed at the wonderful people they’re becoming.

A styled shoot was wrapping up as we arrived and they gave us their leftover balloon arch. Who doesn’t love a balloon arch? And, of course I had to include the cell phone photos because, as I know all too well, that’s life with teenagers these days. And it’s a good life. One worth remembering.

* 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.

Jess & Jim's Beautiful, Intimate Naval Academy Wedding (Annapolis, MD)

Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine
— Ed Sheeran

This wedding was such a career highlight. I don’t often have a chance to photograph weddings of friends and this one was extra special, as my daughter was a guest. Plus, I loved all the wonderful little details - the fact that Jess’s sisters made her veil and the bouquets; Jess’s nieces having the time of their lives; close friends and family raising their glasses in celebration.

Jess and Jim dated as teenagers and drifted apart. And now they’ve found their way back to each other. For the last two years I’ve watched them date and joked with them about how they can’t stop smiling whenever they are together. And now they’re married. And still smiling. I’m so happy for them!

SO. MUCH. LOVE.

* Looking for a wedding photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography wants to capture all the details of your special day - from the bridesmaids laughing together through late nights on the dance floor. So whether you prefer black tie occasions or a casual ceremony outdoors, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Jumping in Creeks and Laughing on Trails at Long Branch Nature Center (Arlington, VA)

But when fall comes . . . as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.
— Stephen King

I love everything about kids. But I especially love when kids run and play and laugh. And if they decide to “swim” in the creek? Well then I’m pretty much the happiest photographer in the world.

* 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.

Snapshots of Our September (Arlington, VA)

[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.
— Wallace Stegner

With the exception of a Labor Day weekend camping trip at Prince William Forest Park, we didn’t spend much time together as a family in September. Once school starts (7th, 6th, and 4th grade - see the obligatory first day of school photos below) everyone disappears into their own bubble for awhile, which is fine, as summer is always amazing and exhausting combined.

The kids are now refusing to let me take photos of them on their phones, so I’ll need a new project to work on. So goes almost-fall . . .

* 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

A Summer Evening Family Walk on the National Mall (Washington D.C.)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
— Helen Keller

I love this family, but I don’t see them very often. They work for the foreign service and live in the most amazing places (most recent post - Namibia) and every time they come back to DC I can’t wait to hear all their stories. For example, their oldest daughter is taking a gap year from college to work at an elephant reserve - how amazing is that?

My dream is to visit them in Afirica. Maybe one day?

* 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.

Dusk at the Lincoln Memorial with the H Family (Washington D.C.)

There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?
— Pam from the Office (series finale)

I photograph the H family every summer while they vacation in DC. And they always make me laugh. Their kids are so happy, curious, and fun loving. I love exploring different areas of DC with them and hearing their views on everything. Such a great way to spend an evening.

* 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.

Summer Vacation 2018 - Our Road Trip to Nova Scotia

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s OK. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
— Anthony Bourdain
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I love travel. It’s almost an addiction at this point, as I continue to put together lists and ideas of new places to discover, new experiences to be collected.

Last summer we spent 3.5 weeks backpacking around Europe (Sardinia, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Slovenia) and it was too much. I overdid it. This year the kids begged for a slower pace. Hence, Cape Brenton Island - beautiful, remote, full of amazing hiking trails and not much else. But it was 1200 miles away. Luckily, I love a road trip . . .

Part 1 - Cape Cod and Boston, MA

I had a photshoot close to Cape Cod, MA (you can see the photos here) so we started our vacation out at a Hampton Inn in Fairhaven, MA. The weather was overcast/rainy, but we still managed to see the area (dinner at Mystic Pizza filled me with happiness). And then we headed to Boston for a few days - checking out the Isabelle Stewart Gardner museum, Freedom Trail tour, and biking around Cambridge.

Part II - Essex, MA

My sister-in-law rented a house in Essex, MA with her sister and we stopped to visit. The kids had a blast running around with their cousins and their cousins’ cousins.

Part III - Bay of Fundy, Canada

We camped for two nights in this GORGEOUS Canadian National Park. And it rained the whole time. At first, the weather made me pretty miserable, but then I realized my kids were forced to hang out with me in a small tented space and I was crazy happy. We read books, hiked in the rain, ate lobster, and used the word “damp” way too much.

Part IV - Cape Brenton Island, Nova Scotia (Dingwall)

Dan’s parents rented us all a gorgeous house for a week. It was off a dirt road, on beautiful bay and at night there were no other lights. It felt like the edge of the world. Well, a luxury version of the edge of the world. The house didn’t have a TV (though there was internet) - so we played cards, Life, and Monopoly. It felt great to do “nothing” a lot of the time. Though by the end of our week there - I really missed “real” groceries stores, movie theaters, and other signs of city life.

Part V - Coastal Trail & Franey - Cape Brenton Island National Park

We spent most of our time in Cape Brenton lounging and hiking (there wasn’t much else to do there). The scenery was AMAZING and T loved canoeing around the bay. Dan found a place that sold lobsters for $10 Canadian/pound so we ate A LOT of lobster and mussels, which was great at first but even luxuries become old after awhile (except Dan, who could eat lobster every night for the rest of his life).

Part VI - Fishing Cove & Skyline Trails - Cape Brenton Island National Park

Dan’s parents watched the kids for a night so Dan and I could backpack overnight into fishing cove, which was GORGEOUS. We sat on the beach drinking rum and cokes, watching the sunset. Best date night ever. Plus, waking up to quite and sunshine made me remember everything I love about backpacking.

At the end of the week, Dan’s aunt and uncle came to stay with us and we ended our trip with a hike on Skyline Trail - one of Cape Brenton’s most scenic (and most crowded) hikes.

Honestly, I was a little worried how I’d feel about staying in the same place for a week, but we all ended up having a fantastic and relaxing time.

Part VII - Cape Brenton to Acadia National Park (Maine).

11 hours of driving in two days. That’s about all there is to say. We had heard Acadia becomes crowded in the summer, but it still felt discombobulating to sit in crazy traffic after leaving the middle of nowhere (but Bar Harbor is a fantastic town).

Part VIII - Acadia National Park

For a vacation grand finale (and, really, doesn’t every vacation need a grand finale?) - we woke up at 2 am and hiked 5 miles up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise. Hiking in the dark felt surreal, especially above treeline, like were on the moon. It was probably one of our best times together ever as a family.

But then . . .

The fog rolled in and there was no sunrise. We knew this was a possibility, but since we only stayed in Acadia for two nights we risked it and lost. There was a lot of disappointment and sadness for awhile, but eventually the fog cleared and the hike down was pretty amazing (10 miles round trip). We then went out for breakfast at 2Cats and vegged the rest of the day away (so much tiredness).

Part IX - The end

We spent a final morning in Acadia hiking and then began the long drive back to Arlington, VA. We spent one night in Portsmouth, NH, which was such a cute small town - the perfect place to celebrate the end of our northern east coast road trip.

And then, of course, we arrived home and I immediately started to plan next summer’s adventures.

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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.