Professional Food Photography: Seafare of Williamsburg Virginia

 (Kathryn Wagner)

I am very excited to share with you a shot recently created for Seafare of Williamsburg, a classic fine dining experience focused on seafood, in Williamsburg Virginia. This shoot is great example of working with a wonderful client and a great team to show off the incredible experiences that my clients offer to their customers. These images are destined for Seafare’s website and a cutting edge visual menu that will be showcased on an iPad; as a visual feast for diners. I have been noticing a bit of a trend lately with utilizing tablets in restaurant settings, and I must say that strong visuals are definitely a key to success with this strategy. I throughly enjoyed working with everyone on this project and look forward to collaborating with more restaurants on iPad menus.

Rambling along Virginia’s Route 6

 (Kathryn Wagner)

The sun filters through an overgrown field along Virginia’s Route 6.

If there ever were a highway that held a special place in my visual heart it would be Virginia’s Route 6. Stretching along the James River from the Blue Ridge to Richmond, it was the scenic route most often taken to and fro, from college in Richmond to home in Charlottesville. I have always been fascinated by this stretch of highway, for in many ways it has remained the same as it was when the town of Columbia was a strategic outpost during the Revolutionary War. Stretching through much of the state and many historic towns in Virginia, Route 6 is a premium choice for a weekend drive.  View a map of this intriguing highway, and go for a ride!

Crushing on Virginia Wine with President Jefferson

“I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk, & restorative cordial.”
– Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Poplar Forest, August 17, 1811[1]

As a native Virginian, a travel story on Virginia wines is something that begins to truly come alive, visually, when you pair the modern wine industry with the vast history that surrounds the Monticello American Viticulture Area. One cannot experience the fruits of Virginia wine without paying homage to President Jefferson and his innovations to the Old Dominion’s beverage choices. When touring the central Virginia countryside by car, it is easy for one to imagine the early days of viticulture. Sampling Chardonnay, the regions most popular grape, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc is surely one of the easiest – and most enjoyable – ways to learn about wine.

President Monroe’s Ash Lawn Highland

The Gardens of President Monroe’s Ash Lawn Highland – Images by Kathryn Wagner
“Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty!”  – President James Monroe
Ash Lawn Highland was the estate of President James Monroe. President Monroe and his family lived in what was then called ‘Ash Lawn’ from 1799 – 1823. The extensive gardens are maintained with historical accuracy to convey an immersive experience to visitors. Today a museum and working agricultural farm can be found alongside the beautiful property that is Ash Lawn Highland. I really enjoyed spending time there exploring the traditional layout of the gardens, and seeing the livestock kept on the property. The gardens are impeccably maintained and a must-see this fall, especially if you are in the area.

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Image of the Week, September 20 2010: West Main Street Bridge

 (Kathryn Wagner)
I had passed over this bridge a countless number of times before, but it took an early Autumn thunderstorm and a new angle to garner the image above. Most of all, the inception of this photograph took vigilance in seeking creative fuel to fire the spark of inspiration.  Just as with opportunity, inspiration knocks and the apt answer. As a professional photographer awareness and creativity on demand are a job requirement. Though the ability to do those things on demand arrives only after many hours of diligence. From this perseverance with your craft and creative eye images materialize, and eventually the ability to tap into the stream of imagination and awareness to assist others in bringing their ideas to light.

I would encourage everyone with creative ambitions large and small to tackle without heed the challenges you face in your endeavors.

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” (Albert Camus)

Image of the Week, August 23 2010: Viginia Fire Dancers

Virginia Fire Dancers – Images by Kathryn Wagner
I was fortunate to attend the annual Let There Be Light event in the two years the exhibit was introduced. If you are in Charlottesville around my birthday, the twelfth of December, be sure to check out this inspiring and innovative evening of light based artworks. I was going back over some previous work and came across this set of three which I wanted to share, as I love relaxed concentration on the faces of the performers and the wonderful light provided by the fire. Wikipedia has a great article on Fire Dancing and the adventuresome one can find out how to do the basics with the DVD Poi Groove Basics – though I wold also highly reccommend taking a class as well to learn the safety techniques employed in this beautiful form of performance art.

 (Kathryn Wagner)

Image of the Week, August 9 2010: Rural Virginia Farm

 (Kathryn Wagner)
I am spending the week here on a break in rural Virginia. The farm above is adjacent to the property, hidden down a long two lane road. A wonderful surprise to come upon while walking. The beautiful landscape is dotted with the quintessential small towns that preside over crossroads of two-lane Virginia byways. Many of the communities that I will pass through next week on my way to Charlottesville, Virginia are designated Main Street Communities, meaning they have preserved the beauty of the downtown area, and that one could easily spend an afternoon strolling along, stopping to take in the summer sunshine.

Image of the week, March 15th 2010: Chesapeake Bay

 (Kathryn Wagner)
This image was shot a short while ago while spending time on the awe inspiring Chesapeake Bay. The colors  were true to the image above, and I was glad they matched the festive mood of the evening. We spent time catching catfish off of the dock, watching the boats go by, and enjoying the warmth that a Virginia summer wraps around you. I think it is wonderful when you are able to enjoy the simplest elements coming together to make for a great evening and a wonderful time creating images. Have you a similar experience on a shoot to share?

BEHIND THE SHOT: Lil Old Opry: Matthews County Virginia

"Since 1975 Donk's theater in Matthews County Virginia has been featuring the 'Lil Old Opry' a live country music show featuring local acts and classic country music." (Kathryn Wagner)
Last May I visited with a good friend to take a few portraits on the Virginia’s beautiful Chesapeake Bay. En route to Gwynn’s Island, we passed Donk’s which was a major landmark in the colorful directions we were given to reach our destination. The place really stood out to me, as it seemed unchanged since it’s inception as a live country music show in June of 1975. Since then, Donk’s has had a live show every other Saturday evening keeping the tradition of stage performance alive in Eastern Virginia. Though we did not have a chance to catch a show on the last visit, I will definitely check out this Virginia landmark next time I am passing through.