admiral fell inn wedding photographer | baltimore, md | jordyn & tim

The first time I met Jordyn and Tim, it was a cold January day with windy snow flurries breezing through the city. During their engagement session, it was also pretty chilly and we had to get creative in keeping everyone moving to stay warm! On their wedding day, it was a perfectly warm June day with bright blue skies and beaming sunshine. Even mother nature was excited for their big day.🙂

They initially described to me that their vision for their wedding day was a romantic and elegant celebration that incorporated close family and friends; it was exactly that and more. I love, love, love seeing a couple’s vision come together and tell the story of not only the day they become husband and wife, but the moments and stories that have gotten them to this day!

Timeless beauty found it’s way throughout each and every detail; Jordyn’s lace Maggie Sottero wedding dress, the floor length blush pink bridesmaids dresses and gold sequined junior bridesmaids dresses were ahhh-mazing and so perfectly complimentary to the soft, romantic theme.

Jordyn + Tim’s engagement session also had a refined garden sensibility about it, where the girls wore the sweetest spring colored dresses and Jordyn had both pink and green on, a nod to their wedding colors?!

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I absolutely love working with Ellen of Local Color Flowers and when I heard that she was providing all of the floral details, I knew we were going to be blown away… I could have photographed that bouquet all day, with every detail next to it. I honestly had to force myself to take it out of some of the photos, ha!

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I was honestly speechless when I saw her shoes and the dress’ edge detail together – it’s like they were made for each other!

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Tim, you had such dapper style with that bowtie, the green suspenders and matching socks…

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Ummm, let’s just talk about these flower crowns for a second, shall we? How sweet and adorable are they!? It doesn’t hurt that Tim’s 3 girls are the most down to earth, well-mannered, loving and gorgeous young ladies I’ve ever met. I can only hope my daughter grows up to be just like them.

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First look LOVE! This spot in Mt. Vernon is one of my favorites: an incredibly lush urban space with numerous stately and historic rowhomes lining the park. All of the pastel color within the gardens and building details were THE perfect backdrop for their first time seeing each other!

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Time for some of the best groom’s looks ever, as he watched his stunning bride walk down the aisle to meet him… in one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen.

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After portraits in the park, we made our way down to Todd Conner’s on Broadway in Fells Point. This bar is where Jordyn and Tim met for the first time by way of their mutual friend Kevin, and it was so much fun taking a break from the formal nature of the wedding day, to toast to the happy couple in the spot where it all began!

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The Admiral Fell Inn in the heart of Fells Point (one of my favorite historic Baltimore neighborhoods!), seemed to literally glow with golden love for these two. Every detail was thought through and perfectly executed by friends and family to add to the feel of their elegant reception. Jordyn’s mom and Tim’s daughter assembled the books that made up the table centerpieces; the table numbers were borrowed from a close friend of Jordyn’s from JMU. Jordyn’s dad built the gift card box and her mom made the ribbon – their whole family is so talented and creative!

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And then this happened…🙂

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I can’t say it enough, but you two are so, so perfect together! You completely compliment each other in every way; your passion and fun-loving nature will create the foundation for an incredibly joyful and successful marriage for years to come! Best wishes! xoxo

This day wouldn’t have been possible without this creative and talented team of vendors!

hair and makeup: Beyond Brides Hair and Makeup

jewelry: Boone & Sons of Mclean, VA

dress: Maggie Sottero Melanie at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal

shoes: Audrey Brooke

groom’s attire: M. Stein & Company

flowers: Local Color Flowers

dj: Music Masters

reception venue / caterer: Admiral Fell Inn
(special thanks to Vanesia George, in-house wedding coordinator)

ceremony: Corpus Christi Church

invitations: Minted

transportation: Special Occasion Limousine

cake: Sugar Bakers

 

 

 

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flowers, families and photos at butterbee farm!

I love when getting to know new friends and families leads to learning about places I’ve never been and how small the world really is…🙂

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I first met Kobi and his wife Dafna (and their twins!) back in November, at Play Cafe in Hampden. We bonded over our mutual sleeplessness (my son was born last April, and was only about 7 months at the time and they had 2 month old twins) and how many beautiful and unique neighborhoods Baltimore has within such close proximity. Kobi and Dafna were both born in Israel and love connecting Jewish families with young babies and bonding over food, coffee and good conversation. When Kobi mentioned Ahava Baby‘s final family event taking place at a local flower farm with new families and their need for a photographer to capture the families at the event, it was a no-brainer… YES, PLEASE!

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Fast forward to mid-June when I arrived at Butterbee Farm for the first time and met Laura Beth, the owner and floral farmer extraordinaire! I knew of the farm from working with one of my favorite florists in Baltimore City, Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers, but I had never ventured out to see it or meet Laura Beth until now.

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I love her story – she studied flute in college and still plays (hi! me too… well, not as often as I’d like these days, but I grew up playing the flute and my mom still teaches it!); we instantly connected over that and then I learned she always wanted to know more about farming and started in 2013 on a 13th of an acre (13 happens to be my lucky number…!) on land in Reservoir Hill. Butterbee Farm grows all of their flowers and herbs “beyond organically”- which means they don’t use any harmful pesticides, not even ones that are certified organic.

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Butterbee Farm has a ton of upcoming events (I secretly would love to attend all of them, haha) to boost your floral knowledge, try your hand at floral crown making and even some mornings where volunteers are encouraged to help out! They offer DIY flowers for bridal parties, provide bulk flowers for events and have lots of varieties of mint (too many for me to name!) but I learned of how awesome mountain mint smells and what the chamomile flower looks like during my short time at the farm.

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I could go on and on, but I’ll just say that my time with the Ahava Baby crew was so much fun in getting to know so many different mini-farmers-in-training🙂 and Butterbee Farm is a feast for the senses and a rejuvenating, peaceful place that I can’t wait to come back to again! Thank you for the opportunity, Kobi + Ahava Baby and thank you to Laura Beth, for being such a friendly and gracious host!

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keri + patrick | wyman park dell + baltimore museum of art | baltimore engagement session

Last Fall, Keri and I connected through a friend of a friend, as a result of a styled shoot I did with In A Bow Event Design! I can’t say it enough (wait a minute, now I sound like my dad…), but it really is all about who you know. So glad I know the right people!😉

Keri and Patrick met playing trivia on opposing teams, one night at the Otto Bar just south of the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. They both have a penchant for making the other laugh; their smiles and compassionate nature are quick to put you at ease while in their presence.

They used to walk their dog in Wyman Park and love the quiet, tucked away nature of it. I did too! As we were shooting, I kept wanting to sit down and have a picnic among the big trees, dappled sun and low rock walls.

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I just love the expressions Keri makes while in Patrick’s arms. And you know how I have a thing for curly hair… us curly hair girls need to stick together!😉

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This might be my favorite photo of our session… the golden light peeking through the trees, the flowers spotted throughout the grass and an adorable couple in love!

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How cute are they?! Not to mention the fact that we were in a garden oasis somewhere with perfect weather. Our session occurred right after a few days of strong, rainy weather and I think Mother Nature was showing off as much greenery and lushness as she could muster!

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See? Lush garden oasis, for real.🙂

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After strolling the garden, we walked over to the Newsletter Office, right at the base of the sculpture garden. It’s the sweetest little stone building, accessible by a tiny, narrow wooden walkway… perfect for a fun-loving couple!😉

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So, let’s take a quick timeout and mention the fact that the original plan had us exploring the sculpture garden just behind this building… it was open when we first arrived to location scout, I got all excited for it and then an hour later, CLOSED. Bummer!!! But, instead we explored the surrounding gates and ivy-covered walls of the BMA. I’m pretty happy with how these came out!

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And I have to end on this image, another one of my favorites. Talk about classic romance… Keri + Patrick, we had a blast exploring the area together and can’t wait for your August wedding!

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sara + jake | tide point | baltimore engagement session

I knew from the first time we met at the Daily Grind in Fells Point, that Sara and Jake were an incredible couple and would be so much fun to get to know. As soon as Sara mentioned they just bought their first house near Patterson Park and wanted photos that tell the story of the start of their relationship together in Baltimore while living an urban lifestyle, I couldn’t stop smiling – their story is so similar to mine!

While celebrating Sara’s mom’s 60th birthday, Jake told Sara they should take their dogs, “Rizzo and Natty for a swim off the end of the pier…” With flowers and champagne setup , Jake knew how to not only surprise Sara but involve the entire family in celebrating their love. A homecooked shrimp scampi dinner was waiting for them after she said yes.🙂

Your warmth is contagious and I love how genuinely happy you make each other. Congratulations again, Sara and Jake! So excited for your wedding this September (which happens to be a very meaningful date – the same September day that Sara’s parents and sister were both married)! Isn’t that just the sweetest tradition?!

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city life in detail: 05.09.16

If the end of April and beginning of May are any indication of the weather to come this summer, I hope the rainy days are behind us and the mild temperatures will stick around!

While out and about last week during the constant rain, I was determined to find beauty, color and unique elements in the everyday. Just because the skies are gray, doesn’t mean you need to be!🙂

Hope you’re enjoying this photography series focused on urban life! Some of my previous posts focused on Georgetown, pops of red, local antiques and food. I’d love to know what your favorite kind of images are; are they colored shots? B+W? Rowhomes? Landscapes? Food? Pets? Spill it…🙂 What’s your favorite part of Charm City that I should capture?

Here’s what’s caught my eye this week…

Layering. Greenery. Transportation. Brick.

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Progress. Development. Neighborhood investment.

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Window boxes. Colored shutters. Stained Glass. (One of my favorite local stained glass artists is WhollyTerra – if your rowhouse transom is currently bare, you need to fix that by contacting Steve!)

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Sculptural architecture. Movement. Saturated.

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Union Station. Silhouettes. Shopping.

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Golden light at night. Peaceful. Classic architecture.

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Here’s to the start of another week – it may be another dreary Monday, but sometimes putting comfy shoes on and going exploring with a camera (and it doesn’t need to be fancy – an iPhone camera is good enough!) in hand is all you need to change your mood! And on the topic of looking up, this is a wonderfully honest post from a friend of mine that is a good reminder that all of us are trying to keep our heads up and manage life in our own way… I’ll have to add Sarah Hepola’s memoir to my must-read list.

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jordyn + tim | cylburn arboretum | baltimore engagement session

While on a long bike ride along the C&O canal, Jordyn and Tim got engaged – 2.5 years after having met through a mutual friend at a JMU alumni event at a local Fells Point bar. As Tim described how the proposal unfolded, they both laughed about how unexpected it was for Jordyn since she was still wearing her bike helmet as Tim got down on one knee!

After hoping for a perfect spring day to schedule their engagement session at Cylburn Arboretum, it was just our luck that it was chilly and windy during our shoot – but thankfully no snowflakes showed up and you’d never know how cold it was since it was the perfect excuse to stay close! The sun was setting through the trees casting a gorgeous golden hue amongst the daffodils and the mansion was aglow with warm light. The gardens were bright green with the promise of spring… it was absolute perfection!

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I love that they wanted to include Tim’s 3 girls in our photoshoot – the love that they all have for each other is palpable and heartwarming! Jordyn chose the perfect outfits to compliment the spring gardens and arboretum setting. These sisters were so sweet and fun together; it reminded me of how fun it is to have siblings. We could have photographed them all day long…🙂

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Jordyn, you are stunning. I love the way Tim looks at you; your laughter is contagious, your smile is wide and you grow more confident with each step.

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This moment was one of my absolute favorites.

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We can not wait until your June wedding! It’s going to be a day filled with romance, elegance, and most likely, a bit more warmth than we had.😉 Much love!

 

 

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city life: in detail 04.06.16

oh georgetown, how I have such a love/hate relationship with you…

I love your charm, walkability, and window shopping. I love your historic canal architecture, colorful facades and fantastic cafes. I don’t like your congestion, lack of parking and ease of getting lost… the day I drive in and don’t end up being “re-routed” as I turn too soon or miss the roundabout, I’m treating myself to a slice of Dean and Deluca chocolate babka.

imperfection. star bolts. exposed foundation walls.

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chevron storefronts. contrast. optical illusions.

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curb appeal. front stoop. painted brick.

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detail. variety. shadows.

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chartreuse. sidewalk cafe. character.

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spring. pastels. texture.

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I can’t wait to share more from my time in this quaint/chic DC neighborhood… I photographed the sweetest, most patient little infant and his mom and dad (thanks for connecting us, Kate)! It was quite a windy, chilly day but he just rolled with it and gave me the cutest little smirks.🙂

Stay warm out there! It was just snowing the biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen in April!

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self-care for wedding photographers: part 2

well, hello there! sorry for the recent longer-than-normal hiatus from blogging! I was on such a roll for awhile and then life got crazy (good crazy, but crazy nonetheless, hehe)… but I’m back now with lots of great content to share.🙂

as prime wedding season gets underway these next few weeks, I’ve asked my thoughtful, talented massage therapist and fellow small-business owner Claire, for some additional tips and stretches to be aware of in helping to manage those long hours holding a camera! So without further ado… go for it, Claire!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/ctaylorwellnessnewstudio

I am back, and excited to share a second round of stretches and body care suggestions with the Urban Row audience. For this post, I will be focusing on upper body stretches, paying specific attention to releasing tightness and reducing tension in the upper back and shoulders, as well as the arms, hands and wrists. If you need help targeting pain and tension in your lower body, be sure to check out my previous post.

As a massage therapist, I know from experience how tiring it is to work all day with your hands, wrists and forearms engaged and active. I can image the soreness that would develop after a long day of holding up a heavy camera while photographing a wedding!

To release forearm tension, I like to use these simple forearm flexor and extensor stretches.

To stretch your wrist flexors, kneel on the floor and place your palms flat on the floor with your fingers pointing toward your knees and your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight and gently lean back, bringing your butt toward your heels, while keeping your palms flat and grounded on the floor.

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To stretch your wrist extensors on the opposite side of your forearms, simply flip your hands over so that the backs of your hands are flat on the floor, with your fingers still pointed toward your knees. Again, lean back, bringing your butt toward your feet while keeping your hands firmly planted.

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Whenever I find that I have a lot of built up tension around my elbows (where the tendons for most of your forearm muscles connect to the joint), I will try to release that tightness by simply applying some pressure into that area using the point of my elbow from the opposite arm.

Rest one arm flat against a table or other firm surface and place the point of your opposite elbow into the thick, fleshy area just beneath the outside edge of your elbow joint. Use your body weight to lean into your elbow, applying pressure downward into the tight tissues. Only apply as much pressure as you can comfortably tolerate. If it hurts at first, take a few deep breaths. If it continues to feel painful after some deep breathing, reduce the pressure.

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I often use this same method to target pain and tension in my palm, applying pressure into the thick, fleshy area just below my thumb. For a full routine of hand and wrist stretches, I highly recommend this short video.

Working with your hands, whether that means using them to massage, working at a computer, or gripping a camera for hours at a time, often leads to increased tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back.

When focusing on releasing upper back and shoulder tension, I like to start by first opening up the chest and the front of the body. A lot of upper back tightness is the result of hunching and rounding forward. To make your back and shoulder stretches more effective, it is useful to first release any tension in the chest and the front of the shoulders.

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Keep your arms straight and place your palms flat on the floor, about a foot behind you, with your fingers pointed away from your body. Gently lean back toward your fingers, keeping your arms straight. You should feel the stretch across the top of your chest and shoulders.

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If you find that you are really tight through the chest, or you have a tendency to roll your body forward and slouch throughout the day, I encourage you to check out these posts aimed at improving posture and strengthening the upper back to help you hold your body upright, with your spine in better alignment. I also highly recommend this quick and simple video to help strengthen your upper back muscles. A strong upper back will help you get through your long days with greater ease and less pain.

Once you have properly released and opened the front of your body, it’s time to move on to giving your back, shoulders and neck the attention they so fully deserve.

I have written before about some stretches for releasing neck and back tension. The first link will help you target your levator scapula muscle and upper trapezius muscles, which are the muscles that lift your shoulders toward your ears, and are likely to be tight after extended periods of holding a camera up to your face. The second link offers some stretches for the lower back, but also provides a few stretches that specifically target the muscles of the upper back, neck and shoulders.

To really target upper body tension and fully release tightness in your back and neck, I recommend incorporating these short videos into your regular stretching routine. This twist relieves tightness throughout your upper body and this gentle, but targeted neck stretch will help reduce the neck and shoulder tension that can leave you feeling stiff and achy after a long day of work.

Thanks again to Urban Row for letting me share these tips and tricks. Take care of yourselves and best of luck for a busy, but pain-free wedding season!🙂

 

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self-care for wedding photographers: part 1

On the list of luxuries that I wish I could afford regularly is, without a doubt, a weekly massage.🙂 As wedding photographers, we are in a seasonal industry that requires 8-12 hour days on our feet while holding and supporting bulky camera gear, sometimes 2 days in a row. So as spring and summer wedding season ramps up, I wanted to be prepared this year! Knowing how to stretch appropriately before, during and after a long shoot will hopefully make our jobs more enjoyable, sustainable and less exhausting.

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/ctaylorwellnessnewstudio

I’m so excited to share this guest blog post that my dear friend Claire, owner of Claire Taylor Wellness, and an incredibly talented massage therapist, has put together in the hopes that it makes the physical aspect of our work a bit less daunting on our bodies! This is her first guest post but definitely won’t be her last, so make sure you follow the blog to benefit from future advice and tips on stretching and pain management! Take it away, Claire…

When Naomi asked me to write a post addressing the common physical aches and pains of working photographers, and specifically wedding photographers, she explained that the problems most photographers have are with wrist, arm and hand pain after holding a camera for hours at a time, and leg pain from standing all day. I thought, perfect! As a massage therapist, my most common complaints are wrist, arm and hand pain from rubbing people’s bodies for hours at a time, and leg pain from standing all day. And also some back pain. And neck aches. Really everything hurts. Working is hard! I don’t know about you, but after a long day, I want to come home and collapse on the couch, or even straight into bed. The last thing I want to do is take the time and energy to stretch and soothe my body. Self-care is so necessary, but so tough to keep up with in a regular fashion. With that in mind, I have a few tips for stretches and exercises you can do while on the job to keep your body loose, as well as a few to incorporate into an at-home self care routine. A future post will tackle upper body muscle pain, but today let’s start with the legs and feet.

While Working:

The good news is that photographers move around a lot during a wedding, which helps keep your blood flowing and reduces your likelihood of developing significant swelling in your feet and ankles. But whether moving or standing still, being on your feet all day can lead to lower body tightness and muscle pain.

First off, be sure to wear comfortable, supportive shoes.

When you feel your legs growing sore, try a few deep knee bends. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat down and touch your butt to your heels, and stand back up again. Repeat a few times to loosen up your quadriceps (the muscles on the front of your thighs) and hips. Don’t feel comfortable squatting down around the wedding party? You can get a similar effect by standing on one leg and bringing your opposite heel to your butt, bending your knee, and then with your knee still bent, bringing your knee toward your chest. Repeat that motion a few times and then switch legs.

To stretch and loosen the backs of your legs, all you need is a wall:

plantar flexor stretch

Stand about 2 feet away from a wall and place your hands against the wall to brace yourself. Move one foot back further away from the wall so that you come into a lunge position. Keeping the heel of your back foot firmly planted on the ground, lean your chest toward the wall, bending your front knee slightly as needed to bring your chest as close to the wall as comfortably possible. You should feel the stretch down the entirety of your back leg. Hold the stretch for a bit and then switch legs. The stretch will feel most pronounced in your calf and lower leg.

At Home:

When the workday is done, take a few minutes to give your lower body the full stretch and release it really needs with this stretch that targets your entire back body from foot to spine.

standing knee flexor stretch

Stand with your legs spread to a comfortable distance, one leg a few feet in front of the other. With your front leg straight and the knee of your back leg slightly bent, bend at your hips so that the top half of your body comes over your front leg, with your hands reaching toward the floor on either side of your foot. To intensify the stretch, push your back heel firmly down into the ground and gently bring your chest closer to touch your front knee. Switch legs.

The following stretches will help to ease lower back by releasing tension in the hips, glutes and muscles of the lower back and pelvic region.

hip rotator stretch.jpg

Sit comfortably on the floor with one leg extended. Bend the knee of your opposite leg and cross it over the extended leg, placing your foot flat on the floor beside the knee of your extended leg. Take the arm from the same side of the body as your extended leg and position it on the outside of your bent knee, so that your elbow and knee rest against each other. Use your other arm to brace yourself against the floor, and while pushing your elbow against your bent knee, twist the top of your body toward your bent knee, keeping your butt planted as firmly as possible on the floor. The force of your elbow against your knee while your butt stays flat on the ground is what creates the stretch. Switch sides.

hip and back extensor stretch.jpg

Lie comfortably on your back with your legs extended. Keep one leg flat, and bend your other knee and bring it toward your chest. Grab your bent leg behind the knee with both hands and gently pull your knee down toward your chest as far as possible while keeping your opposite leg flat on the floor. Switch legs.

Lastly, soothe your sore, tired feet by taking a golf ball (or tennis ball if you need a less intense sensation) and slowly and gently rolling the bottom surface of your foot over the ball. Pay extra attention to your heels and arches to release tension that can lead to plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions.

If it’s been an especially long and exhausting day, try an Epsom salt bath to reduce muscle soreness and reduce swelling and inflammation.

The most important thing is to remember to take care of yourself. When your work involves dedicating your time and energy to benefiting others, it is very easy to let your own health and well-being take a back seat. Our capacity to serve our clients and perform our jobs to the best of our ability, is only improved by taking time for our own self-care. I encourage you to incorporate these techniques into your regular self-care routine, and stay tuned for more suggestions to come that will target upper body aches and pains!

{Images from Stretching Anatomy; Second Edition. Nelson, Arnold G. & Kokkonen, Jouko.}

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city life: in detail 03.12.16

As it gets warmer and lighter longer (don’t forget about DST this weekend!), I find myself even more drawn to pops of color (and from this week’s photos it seems like my color right now is red, LOL)… and the stark contrast of light / dark.

What do you find yourself liking and wanting more of as the temperatures warm up? Besides ice cream…😉 I  can’t wait until fresh air is blowing through the open windows in our house!

repurposed. old door hardware. handwriting.

eat_taste_love

subway tile. cherry red. quick bite.

red_stools

farmer’s market. locally grown. murals.

painted_produce

gothic architecture. presence. arched doors.

red_door

downtown. angled silhouette. sky on fire.

sunset_silhouette

I’m excited for this weekend since it includes a photoshoot and some family time in Ocean City… salty air, sand between our toes, Fractured Prune donuts (we discovered these the first time we came to O.C. and now I don’t know how we lived without them!) and some shutter clicking is the best way to spend a weekend in my mind!

Stay tuned for next week’s details series – it might be a break from urban city scenes!😉

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