Snapshots of our May (Arlington, VA)

Well I’m on my way
I don’t know where I’m going
I’m on my way
I’m taking my time
But I don’t know where
— Paul Simon

I didn't take a ton of personal photos in May, but still managed to capture some flowers and nightly walks. And (of course) photos of my son helping in the backyard.

* 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 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.

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.

A Quick Trip to Universal (Orlando, FL)

And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

For Christmas last year I surprised the kids with a trip to Universal Orlando. Sadly, Dan couldn't miss work - so I asked some friends to go with us instead. And we had a fantastic (albeit exhausting) time.

Day 1 - We arrive in Orlando and hightail it to the park before closing. Diagon Alley seems eerily "real" at dark and our first butterbeer tasted (surprisingly?) good (sort of like dessert in a cup).

Day 2 - I'm not exactly a morning person, but nonetheless I managed to pull myself out of bed for early access to Hogsmeade. And I'm glad I/we did because the attraction became packed solid by late morning. Unfortunately, Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey made me nauseous (actually almost all the Universal rides made me nauseous), but the kids found it AMAZING and I guess that's the point (but is it really?).

We ended up spending a fun full day in the parks. I fell in love with Dr. Seuss-land, but my kids seemed to prefer the roller coasters. I wish I had more photos of Universal's nightlife, but I was asleep by 8:00 pm.

Day 3 - It's a marathon, not a sprint. Or so I told myself as I awoke at dark, yet again. But really who can complain when your day at the park begins with a fire-breathing dragon and hot butterbeer?

Before departing for the parks from the Portofino Bay hotel, I made the kids pose in front of the Italian church facade to which the kids exclaimed - "this is so much prettier than the real Italy. There's no grafitti and nobody smokes." True, but sad at the same time.

I spent the day falling in love with the Simpsons-land and ET ride (one of the only rides in the park that doesn't rely on big screens and 3D glasses). And in the afternoon the adults drank margaritas in the hot tub while the kids created floats out of pool noodles (so much happiness).

Night involved beads, masks, and toasts at Pat O'Brien's and I realized I have the coolest friends ever. So grateful to have these wonderful people in my life.

Day 4 - Just a few quick rides before the plane trip home. Oh, and we slept in!!

I wish we would have stayed one more day (reminder for the future), but still a quick trip to Florida is the perfect cure for January.

* 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.

Fifteen of My Favorite Personal Images from 2017

Forever – is composed of Nows –
— Emily Dickinson

I keep seeing all these fantastic blog posts with round-ups from 2017, but I'm still not done editing my images from 2017 (both personal and professional).  Nevertheless, I feel like the new year deserves some sort of acknowledgment.

Every few weeks I take part in a collaborative blog called 5 Hours 'Til Bedtime and these are some of my favorite images from our 2017 posts.

I hope you're having a great start to 2018! More images (personal and professional) to follow soon . . .

* 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.

Running Through Autumn at Storm King Sculpture Park (Cornwall, NY)

A few weeks ago I binge-watched the second season of Master of None. In one of the last episodes, the main character and a friend take an autumn daytrip to Storm King Art Center, which is about 1 hour north of NYC. I'd never heard of Storm King before, but I was smitten.

Unfortunately, October is the peak of my busy season so I didn't think we could make our own trip. Then I found out the kids had a few days off school and everything fell into place. (Plus, let's be honest - I love a roadtrip).

We ended up spending two days at Storm King (the park is REALLY big) and on the second day my best friend and her family managed to join us (and then we drove back to Long Island to hang with them).

Watching all the kids play/run/explore together was pretty incredible. Especially with the fall foliage in the background.

* 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.

Beach House (Nags Head, NC)

A few more photos from our Memorial Week beach house . . . 

Hope you're all having a good summer!! I'm currently booking fall sessions (September is filing up quickly) so email me if you're interested!

* 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.

One Day in Our Crazy Crowded Beach House (Nags Head, NC)

Every year for the week of Memorial Day we rent a beach house in the Outer Banks with 8-9 other families. And every year there's chaos of the best kind. I'm still editing most of the photos - but I thought this was the perfect 15 photo summary of our first night there.

Happy summer everyone!!

* 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.

Photographing the Awesome in Castle Hayne, NC

Every year, I try to attend at least one in-person photography workshop and this year I chose Kayla Coleman's three day retreat in Castle Hayne, NC - which was AMAZING!

I approach my photography work from a photojournalistic/storytelling perspective, whereas Kayla's photos have an elegant, fine-arts look to them and it felt good to open myself creatively to a different way of looking at couples' and wedding photography. Kayla is an fantastic teacher and I learned so much (most of which I still have to implement - updates to Darcy Troutman Photography coming soon!). 

We stayed at this bizarre "artists' retreat" in the woods called Walkeworld (check out the airbnb listing here), which I found FASCINATING and would love to return to one day. 

Dogs roam the knick-knack filled property (much loved dogs). As one fellow workshop attendee phrased it, "this house makes me want to buy a ton of junk and fill my own home with stuff." 

We photographed a styled shoot with professional models, which is new to me - it felt glamorous to try out poses and directions on these crazy beautiful (yet still kind and cool) people. I especially liked that the couple was "real" (married with a dog). 

Hope you all are having a great spring! I have tons of gorgeous engagement, wedding, and family photos that I'm hoping to share soon (there's never enough time for it all!). 

Workshop - Kayla Coleman Photography
Venue - WalkerWorld 
Models - Kendra Carelli,  her husband Dominic Carelli, and Christiee Doo
 Florals - Wildlinewedding

Saying Goodbye to Summer

I can't believe how quickly this summer flew by. I have so many photos to share (personal work, weddings, and families) but these busy kid-filled days make it hard to put together a real post.

I guess that's why there is school. and fall. and cloudy, overcast days. 

In the meantime, here's a video I made of our annual multi-family Outer Banks trip. The photos are from WAY WAY back in May,  but the memories are still going strong.

I hope you're all having a great end-of-summer! My fall sessions are already booking up, so please contact me if interested!

* 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.