Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Midnight Blue wishes you peace, love, joy, health and prosperity in 2012!  

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Midnight Blue would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season and a blessed and prosperous new year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Break

Just an FYI ... Starting Sunday, we are going to be on our holiday break.  We are looking forward to spending some time with family and friends during this wonderful holiday season.  We'll be finishing up any projects we're currently working on, but if you need something else, let us know ASAP.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Countdown to the Holidays ...

Can you believe that we have less than two weeks to Christmas?  It just struck me over the weekend how quickly it is approaching.  My tree is up, but has no lights or ornaments, I've just been too busy.  This is going to be a very simple holiday, it seems ... and honestly, that is okay with me.  I want to enjoy it and not stress over the little things and I want to get everything I've committed to for others done, that is more important.

I usually like to take holiday photos and post them, but I wanted to let you know why there are none thus far this year ... but ... my heart is full of the holiday spirit and that I send your way as you prepare to share this time of year with those you love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

Off to Black Rock

Off to Black Rock this morning to help hang a new art show in the gallery.  As a member of ALOG, this is one of the tasks we are asked to do, in exchange for Black Rock graciously hosting our organization.  It is actually a lot of fun, figuring out how to best present the artist's work.  And builds one's skills for when hanging your own shows.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Individual by Midnight Blue
"Every time we remember to say "thank you", we experience heaven on earth" - Sarah  Ban Breathnach

Our hope for you this day is that you heart is full of gratitude, your life full of blessings, and your troubles few.  Thank you to all of our friends and family ... Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bye, Bye 800 Number

I've had to drop our 800 number ... just wasn't getting the cost benefit out of it.  If you need to reach us via phone, our business line is: 240-246-4276.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Really Nice Day at Black Rock (Eventually)

Had a bit of a rough morning ... my little boy dog ripped his toenail.  Oh my, we ended up at the vet.  But he is good, all wrapped up and thumping around on his little padded club foot.  Made me late for  my shift at Winter Glow, so I was scurrying and worrying, but I got there and it was so lovely to see all the art and catch up with people.  Had lunch with a friend and fellow instructor.  Reconnected with a grandparent of former twin students that may be joining me again in the new year.   Sold a notecard, got a commission for an art piece, and maybe will have two portrait sessions.  :0)  Nice way to spend a Friday ... I've come home with a big smile.  Now back to processing senior photos!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's are You Showing at Winter Glow?

What am I displaying this weekend at Winter Glow show at Black Rock Center for the Arts?  Well, let me show you a few pieces ...

Through the Ice - Acrylic on a 36x36 canvas in a thin, white box frame - $400

I take a lot of care with my photography, making sure it is of the highest quality. My work is professionally lab printed on heavyweight, fine art paper, that has a watercolor paper texture and matte surface.  It is placed in creamy white, double, archival gallery mats and is hand-titled and signed by me.  The framed pieces are in black metal frames under glass.

Pure - 6x6 Photo on Fine Art Paper,  framed to 11x11 - $135
Cone Flower - 6x6 Photo on Fine Art Paper,  framed to 11x11 - $135
Water Drop #1 - 6x6 Photo on Fine Art Paper,  framed to 11x11 - $135

Midnight Rose I - 6x6 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Irish Coast - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Montana Snow - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Icy Water-Yellowstone - 6x7.5 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Mom's Dogwood - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
White Lace - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Midnight Rose III - 6x7.5 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Great Falls II - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100
Bluff at Ha Ha Tonka - 6x7.5 Photo on Fine Art Paper,  archive double matted - $100
Great Falls III - 5x7 Photo on Fine Art Paper, archive double matted - $100

I also have about a dozen various notecards.  And besides my work, there are some fabulous things from my fellow ALOG artists, I am anxious to see it all hung up in the gallery tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Glow 2011

We have not done very many shows this year, kind of an off year, and this will be the last one for 2011.  For the first time, I will be showing one of my paintings, along with my photography.  ALOG has really grown in the last couple of years and the variety of media and styles represented is outstanding.  I'll be working on Friday and will be at the reception, if you want to come by and say "hi"!  If you would like more info, please let me know.

Winter Glow is always a really great show and a super way to get a jump start on your holiday shopping and support your local artists, all in one visit!


I had the strangest phone call of someone being charged by my company to their credit card without their knowledge/signature ... I never do this.  Is this some kind of business identity theft going on?

Monday, November 14, 2011


We had a lot of wind over the weekend, which sent many of the leaves tumbling out of the trees.  I was out this afternoon prepping for a mini-session with two completely adorable little ones, and decided to take some photos of the leaves while I was waiting.  Here are a few ...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mr. Bear

Mr. Bear is anxiously awaiting his new friends to arrive in the studio ... he is ready to play!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Holiday Card Mini-Sessions

'Tis the Season!  During November, we are super excited to be offering holiday card mini-sessions. These sessions are fun and the perfect opportunity to get beautiful photographs for your holiday greeting cards. We will work on location, using gorgeous, natural light.

Each Mini Session includes:
  • Up to 20 minutes of imaging time
  • Up to 4 people ($15/additional person)
  • 50 press-printed 5x7 holiday cards w/ envelopes
  • 1 5×7 print
$155 fee

Additional cards, holiday frames, and prints may be acquired a la carte.  Sessions are limited, so contact us soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Playing Around

Isn't it fun playing around with camera equipment?  And especially fun when you get a new toy.  I recently invested in a new 70-200mm lens that I am loving and I also upgraded my very old Speedlight, so it will actually talk to my D700.  I haven't done this sooner because frankly, I prefer natural light or full-on studio strobes ... but I may be a convert.

Since the only "willing" subjects I have ready access to are the dogs, they are my models.  Not a bad thing, they are pretty cute!

Here are some of the photos ... yes, I know, they are not the greatest images, I was more fiddling with equipment, just seeing what things can do.  But thought I would share.

Trace on the Stairs I - No flash, taken at 195 mm; 1/30 at f2.8 ISO 450

Trace and the Flash - off camera flash, taken at 135 mm, 1/60 at f2.8, ISO 200

Logan - flash on hot shoe, taken at 175 mm, 1/60 at f2.8, ISO 200

Trace w/ Window Backlight - flash on hot shoe, taken at 200 mm, 1/60 at f2.8, ISO 200

This next series were taken in a dark room, with just a slight ambient light from the window in the bathroom ... my iPhone could not pick up anything ... ran and got the camera and used the flash set super low and bouncing of the ceiling.

Comfy Trace II - flash on hot shoe, taken at 122 mm, 1/60 at f2.8, ISO 200

Comfy Trace IV - flash on hot shoe, taken at 122 mm, 1/60 at f2.8, ISO 200

If you are photo nerd like me and want to talk tech, I am game!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As many of you may know, I am an advocate for patronizing local, independent small businesses.  They are the backbone of this country and I have been a fan of the 3/50 Project for quite awhile.

As a result, I wanted to share with you my favorite framers. In Gaithersburg ... Kathy's Gallery and Frames.  Kathy Wu is fantastic ... her work is great and she is a pleasure to work with.  She will give you her thoughts on design, but leaves decisions to you.  She is one heck of a mat cutter, we are always amazed.  She is not inexpensive, but if you are looking for quality and value, she is an excellent choice.  Ring her doorbell, she is there to help.

At Lake of the Ozarks, my favorite framer is Artpho.  I love working with the Stranges and their staff.  They are also really helpful in making selections that work perfectly with my photography and the results are excellent.  They are so patient as we go through the many shades of white (ha, ha)!  Great work, great people, I have never been disappointed.

Do you have some favorite small businesses?  Be sure to give them some love by sharing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday at the Park

This afternoon, one of my photography students and I spent the afternoon at Great Falls on the Potomac River.  It was a gorgeous day and we had a lovely time taking images.  A few for your perusal ...

Looking at Virginia

Dancing Waters

Reflections I

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Artist Markets in Osage Beach

Artist Markets: If there is enough interest, Palisades Village would like to sponsor a set of Artist Markets again this year, leading up to the holidays.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I am trying out Tumblr ... if you are interested, you can find some of my posts there ...

Joy of Art Forever: Partners in art and petting

I have really been enjoying getting back to painting some ... and the camaraderie with a fellow artist and friend.

Joy of Art Forever: Partners in art and petting: Now this is the close up photo I was looking for! Miss Lucy earns her keep, huh? And gets petted at the same time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ruby Slippers

My artist friend had these little ruby slippers in her studio ... they are so stinkin' cute, I had to take a photo of them.  I may try doing a colored pencil or pastel drawing of them, too ...

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I might have to get these sneakers to wear at art shows ... ha, ha!  Goes with the MB brand ...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Masters ... Edward Weston

Edward Weston ... another favorite photographer of mine.  I think his images of nature are so beautiful and rich.  He is part of the reason I will always love black and white photography.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Masters ... Joyce Tenneson

Joyce Tenneson ... one of my very favorite photographers and so inspiring to me.  One of these days, I really want to take a workshop with her.  I gave my mother her book "Wise Women" as a birthday gift, which I know she loved and I think it helped to convince her to let me take her photo.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Masters ... Jonathan Singer

Jonathan Singer  ... I first saw his work a couple of years ago on "Sunday Morning" and was completely intrigued.  So gorgeous, his images of flowers.  This is something I have been wanting to try myself for quite awhile.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Sunny f/16 Rule

Do you know what the Sunny f/16 Rule is?

Basically, it is that for correct exposure from 1 hour after sunrise to 1 hour before sunset, on a clear, SUNNY day and when using an aperture of f/16, the shutter speed denominator is the same as your ISO setting.  Want to check it out (and make sure your in camera meter is reading accurate)?  Late morning, point your camera to a big patch of blue sky (so it fills your viewfinder) in the west (opposite in the afternoon) in Aperture-Priority mode, set at f/16, with no filters on you lens.  Your in camera meter should display a shutter speed within about 1/3 of a step of 1/200 second if your ISO is set to 200, 1/400 second, if your ISO is 400, etc.  If it's not close, you may want to have your meter checked.

With all the cool gadgets on our cameras, its easy to forget these helpful basics of exposure.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Captivated by the Light

"A truly great structure, one that is meant to stand the tests of time never disregards its environment. A serious architect takes that into account. He knows that if he wants presence, he must consult with nature. He must be captivated by the light. Always the light. Always." - Christopher Plummer as Simon Wyler in "The Lake House".

Love, love, love this line!  Another one of my many creative loves is architecture.  I have considered on several occasions going back to school to study and become an architect (and then I get into calculus class.  Ha, ha!)  One of these days, I may actually do it.  In the meantime, I walk through engaging houses and buildings of my design in my head and enjoy walking through those that are the the realization of others.  Part of choosing a home from my perspective has always been about the light, as much as the location and layout.  Black Rock Center for the Arts' gallery has beautiful light on a winter's afternoon.  The way the sunlight plays about the room is just lovely.  I am not sure if it was planned or serendipity, but either way, lucky is the artist who has a show there.  I love museums and galleries that are filled with natural light to the point they don't even really need the artificial lights.

The quote above expresses exactly what I love with architecture ... when a building is not forced into its environment, but actually works with it.   And when the light falls just right ... oh my, its stunning.  It is what makes a building great and it is why I love photography so much ... its about the light.

Have you ever noticed that the quality of light changes from place to place?  It really hits me when I fly to southern California ... I exit the airport and the light is so completely different from the Mid-Atlantic coast or the Midwest.  I don't know that I can even describe why ... maybe its clarity or saturation ... but it is distinct.  Yes, the quality of light changes throughout the day and year wherever you are, but because its more subtle with its gradual evolution, I think it does not always make the same kind of immediate impression.

Part of splendid composition, no matter what our art form, is consideration of the quality of light.  It has a major effect in our work.  Is it hard or soft?  Is it warm or cool? How does it play? What does it do? From where is it coming?  What happens when it changes?  As artists, we want to provide the greatest visual impact and light is a huge part of doing that.

For photographers (or actually any 2-D representational artist), an interesting exercise is to create a series of images of exactly the same location, with only the light changing.  Either capturing different times of day or different seasons (or both).  It helps to create the visual reference of how the quality of light can impact a composition.  There was a really interesting exhibit at The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego last time I was there several years ago.  If I am remembering correctly, the photographer took a photo every morning from his window overlooking the ocean for a year ... it was an wonderful study in changing light. 

I am most definitely captivated by light ... I love to watch it evolve.  When it is bewitching, if I have presence of mind, I am running for my camera.  I think I tend to like when the light is soft, warm and low, but it all depends on the subject.  It all has its place.  While I have been writing, I have been watching the sunlight move across my back garden ... it is beautiful.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Masters ... William Eggleston

William Eggleston is known for his work in color fine art photography.  If you have not looked at his work, you definitely should!  His pieces are so unlike my work, but that is part of what is fantastic about photography and art in general .... different points of view.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! 

Be sure to say thank you if you see a service person this weekend.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday Party!

I was thrilled to be the art instructor for the most delightful birthday, today.  The birthday girl and seven of her friends came to paint with me today at the Arts Barn.  Their paintings were very nicely done with about an hour and a half to work together.  The theme for her party was all about painting... licorice "paint brushes", little artist palettes with candy and a really cute artist palette for her cake.  The invitation was also super.  Such fun!!

It has been awhile since I helped with a birthday party, I've missed it.  And it was a great pleasure to be a part of this special young lady's day.

Sorry no photos ... I was too busy helping in the creation of masterpieces!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Student Work

A few photos from one of my students ... she has an eye for composition already and now that she is mastering the technical, look out!  I am always excited to see what she brings to our sessions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Invitation Design - Summer Wedding

This invitation was designed and hand worked in our studio for a summer wedding.

The invitation used the blue, yellow and white color scheme and had a sweet, dimensional daisy.  The escort cards for the guests were also a favor ... pretty daisies in petite vase with the name and table number attached with a gingham bow.  Simple, casual, fresh ... that was this wedding's theme.

We create custom designs for unique couples who want their wedding stationary to reflect their personality on their special day.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring Break to our young artist friends! Hope you'll get a chance to do something creative this week ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Montgomery County, MD

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Invitation Design - Celtic Wedding

This invitation was designed and hand worked in our studio for a wedding with a Celtic theme.

The invitation had an interesting Celtic knot as a theme that was carried throughout the stationary. Most unique, the mailing box was filled with green moss for the invitation and enclosures to arrive upon, giving a nod to the emerald islands.

We create custom designs for unique couples who want their wedding stationary to reflect their personality on their special day.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Love When the Orchid Blooms

Friday, April 15, 2011

Different Visions

I was reminded today how totally cool it is that everyone's vision is unique.  I met with one of my students and so enjoyed looking through her work from the past couple weeks.  She loves photographing people in a candid way ... just on the street, doing their thing and it really is fascinating ... especially the series she captures, they are a tiny glimpse into a life.  She is also really great at noticing color and texture ... something I am drawn to, as well.

Anyway, she has been trying to be sensitive to strangers perhaps not wanting their picture taken and has focused on a collection of photos of feet to preserve anonymity.  So cool ... every time she comes in with some fun photos.  Today we were loving this pair of shoes (I was wondering how anyone can actually walk in them!) and  I wanted to share it with you ...

Photo by B.L.
Whatever your vision is, I encourage you to run with it ... be unique!

Invitation Design - Way Out West!

This invitation was designed and hand worked in our studio for a wedding in a barn.

The invitation was a fun, square shape, backed with red and blue and used a variety of old time fonts to give it a western poster feel.  It arrived in a creamy box, along with the enclosures, nestled on top of a bright red bandana.

We create custom designs for unique couples who want their wedding stationary to reflect their personality and their special day.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Invitation Design - Autumn Wedding

This invitation was designed and hand worked in our studio for an autumn wedding in the forest.

The invitation and enclosures had the faux bois finish to set the tone for a wedding amongst the trees.  The invitation was backed with a natural cardstock to give it more weight and finished appearance and had an acorn and oak leaf charm tied to the bottom.  The brown envelopes were lined with beautiful paisley in the rich tones of autumn.

We create custom designs for unique couples who want their wedding stationary to reflect their personality and their special day.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Invitation Design - Winter Wedding

This invitation was designed and hand worked in our studio for a destination wedding in Colorado.

The invitation was backed with a matching blue and white striped cardstock to give it more weight and finished appearance and had rhinestone "snowflakes" applied. The box top had a rhinestone snowflake on a blue ribbon attached and was lined with blue cardstock.  The box was filled with a bed of crystals that sparkled like snow.

We create custom designs for unique couples who want their wedding stationary to reflect their personality on their special day.  Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beautiful Spring Day!

This morning I went out with my two private students to photograph around the Kentlands on an amazing, spring day.  We could not have asked for a prettier conditions to be out and about ... sunny, perfect temperature, very light breeze and the flowers in full-out bloom.  I can't wait to see what they came back with!  The peeks on their monitors hold a lot of promise ...

I don't generally take my camera out with me when I am teaching, so I can completely focus on helping my students.  So I just caught a few shots with my iPhone while I was demoing some composition points.

Thanks, ladies for a great morning!!

Enjoy the photos ...  Happy Spring!

Cherry Tree in Bloom
Daffodil Glow

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photography Workshops

And speaking of workshops ... what kind of photography workshops would you like to see?  We're happy to hear any and all ideas!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kids Art Workshops

Awww ... bummed, we are having to cancel tomorrow's "Go Fly a Kite!" workshop due to low registration and the bad weather.  :0(  We definitely want to offer more kid's workshops ... what would you like to see?  Leave us a comment or send us an email!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My shutter button finger is getting itchy ... come on spring!!  I love being in the studio, but I am ready for some fresh air, sunshine, blue skies and flowers ...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do You Design for Other Things Besides Weddings?

FOR SURE!! :0)  We are happy to help you with any type of invitations, announcements, thank yous, note cards, letterhead, business cards ... whatever custom stationary you may need.  There are a lot of great on-line sources for printed materials, but they are not unique to you and sometimes you still can't find exactly what you are looking for.  It has happened to us plenty of times, thus why we decided to start designing and crafting for ourselves and others like us that want a unique, custom designed stationary that is an exact fit, not a compromise.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When Do I Need to Find an Invite/Stationary Designer?

Ideally, if you are wanting a custom stationary suite for your wedding, you should plan to hire your designer about 9 months out from the big day.  This will give us plenty of time to work with you on your design and have your "Save the Date" cards ready to mail at 6 months prior to the wedding.  The more upfront time you can give, the less stressful and more fun it will be!  But don't worry if you have less time, still come for a consultation and we'll work with you on a plan that will fit in your time frame.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cherry Blossom Time is Almost Here ...

Spring is AMAZING in the DC area ... the flowers, especially the cherry blossom trees, are so beautiful.  Next week is peak for the cherry blossoms ... hope to get down to see them again this year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Need Wedding Stationary?

We can help! Give us a call or send us an email so we can chat ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Private Lessons

I am honored to currently have two lovely women taking private lessons with me.  They want to learn how to use their cameras and build on their creative photography skills.  We are having such a great time!

Our beginning lessons have focused on the functions of the camera and the basic premise of photography ... light.  The first concept that every photographer needs to understand is that photography is basically learning to paint with light.  Just as a painter uses their paint, we use light to create our images.  So, if you learn how your camera functions to control light, you will have the foundation to build on.  This can be a tricky concept to grasp at first ... especially how the aperture and shutter work together, but the concept suddenly clicks and then the magic begins.

If you are new to photography, don't get frustrated, you can master the basic technical stuff ... find a mentor that you like working with and get a little help with the basics.  You'll then be on your way!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be a Valentine Hero!

Hey, be a Valentine hero ... give a gift certificate to have your portrait taken together.  So seriously romantic and you are both going to treasure the results.