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Every year Washington DC welcomes millions of visitors traveling to the National Mall to take in all the sights and history. Many will start coming in the springtime to catch a glimpse of the beautiful cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin. They are alluring, but can sometimes be elusive. Especially when you are dealing with nature, you never know exactly when they are going to bloom or how long they will even last. In general, they will stick around for a week to 10 days. This already leaves a short window of time to see them and that doesn’t include the fact that these flowers are fragile and can fall off their branches with a sudden gust of wind or rain.

So this guide is for all you flower nature lovers who may have missed the cherry blossoms and are here to see what else the city has to offer. Don’t worry because there’s a lot! From Saucer Magnolias to Star Magnolias, Tulips and Forsythia, there is no shortage of beautiful blossoms in the city. You just have to know where to go to see them.

But if you are only interested in the cherry blossoms, I’ve got your back. Click here for the cherry blossom guide!

The National Mall:

Washington DC, especially the mall area, is a very nice area to walk. I highly suggest just taking the day to wander and get lost. There is no doubt that you will run into flowers and beautiful trees while walking around the area. Even the side streets that lead up to the Mall have pretty florets to look at. But if you’re on a time crunch, here are a few specific places to go:

Enid A Haupt Garden

Click here to read more

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Last week I mentioned that I got to visit the cat cafe in Georgetown DC. I was so excited about the event that I showed up early. Like so embarrassingly early that I won’t mention even mention how early I actually got there. So with a camera in hand, I decided I’d try to walk around and see if I could find any cool images of the city.

Right around the corner from the cat cafe is the Georgetown theatre. I love neon signs so I tried my best to find a way to reflect this one. As I was walking closer to the sign, I noticed this car reflecting it so well. I bent down a little bit to see what other kinds of reflections I could get and was surprised to see it almost fan out. I then decided that it would be more interesting if there was one more element in the image. I waited for some cars to pass or even a bicycle but it took a while. Finally, a pedestrian walked past and I was able to capture this. I think it’s so interesting the way that it turned out, I don’t even mind that some of the lights went out in the sign.

My camera settings for this image are F8 at 1/60th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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Long story short, I got invited to go to the Crumbs and Whiskers Cat Cafe in Georgetown, Washington DC for National Cat Day. The invitation actually had two dates. One for National Cat Day: October 29th at Crumbs and Whiskers and the other for the next day at their sister store, Crumbs & Whiskers: A Kitten Cafe. The biggest difference is cats vs. kittens but the October 29th date worked best for me. I rsvp’d for the date and was so excited all day to go. Once I got there, the Cat Cafe was surprised I showed up. The event for the day I was there got canceled since everyone else rsvp’d for the following day. Everyone wanted to go to the Kitten Cafe!

So since I was already there, the very kind people at the Cat Cafe let me stay. All by myself, with no other guests, and 30 CATS ALL TO MYSELF. Am I dreaming? OMG it was the best Tuesday night ever. I fell in love with 2 cats while I was there and really wish I could take them home. To be honest, I just don’t know how Frankie would react to cats in our home. He’s been a solo pet ever since we got him so I don’t know what he’d do if there was a cat dividing his attention. But I’ve been obsessed ever since. I’ve been sending cute cat memes to Andrew almost every day since then. LOL.

So in honor of the best Tuesday night ever, here’s a compilation of cat investigating my camera. I love the way they turned out even though they’re out of focus. I love all the pink and black noses. I was so surprised how 30 cats were able to be in one spot and be so friendly to each other and me. I would have definitely thought there would be some catfights but everyone seemed so happy and well taken care of.

If you’re interested in adopting a cat in the Washington DC area, please check out Crumbs and Whiskers. They have some of the sweetest, cuddliest cats I’ve ever seen. And please tell Monkey and Douglas that I said, “Hallo”


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On the same photo walk that I captured this image, I also captured this image of my friend, Andy. It’s fun to go out shooting with friends. You can place them in scenes where I would usually have to wait for someone to pass by and hope for the shot. When I’m with friends, I know I’ll get exactly what I was looking for.

If it weren’t for Andy, I would have never been able to capture this. I basically asked him to smoosh into a corner so that I can take a picture of his shoes. There would have been no amount of time that I could have waited for that to organically to happen. LOL.

But it was perfect because Andy is known for his red shoes. I’m pretty sure he purchased them just so he can take pictures of them. I don’t think there has been a time where I haven’t seen him wear those shoes. So after I told him that I wanted to concentrate on just his shoes, he told me he was wearing his valentine’s day socks that his girlfriend gave him. PERFECT!  I asked him to pull up the legs of his pants and smoosh into the corner.

Just a fun photo for your Thursday.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1600 and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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One of my favorite places in Washington DC is Dumbarton Oaks. I always look forward to going, but mostly in the springtime. You just automatically feel like you have been transported to Europe or something because of the architecture and just the abundance of flowers and plants. Ok, maybe not Europe but you definietly don’t feel like you’re in the capital city anymore.

So after cherry blossom season was over, I met up with my friend, Andy to walk around and take pictures. It just so happened that the Orangery was our first stop coming into the garden area and our last before we left. The first time we were there, it was crowded with a tour group so we wanted to wait a bit for people to clear out before taking pictures. I’m so glad we did because I just love the way this one turned out.

The lights and shadows coming from the ceiling above was so eye catching. I loved the patterns it was creating, especially on the plant in the corner. So I got down low to try to exaggerate the shadows a little bit more to fill up the frame. I just can’t stop looking at the lights on the plant.

But you can see behind the plant and how the interior is just covered in these vines. If you time it right, you can actually see wisteria hanging from them on the outside Orangery because it’s covered with vines on the exterior too. OMG it just takes my breath away everytime.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I am so grateful for the DC creative community. I’ve learned so, so much just by meeting up with various photographers and taking pictures with them. Just seeing how they work and how they “see” things inspires me to want to create more than just my typical sunrise shots. Whether it’s street, portraits, or whatever, I am grateful for everyone being so open and willing to share their ideas.

This is definietly the case with my friend, Birch. She has always been a photographer I admired on Instagram. Her point of view is so interesting but we hadn’t connected offline until the beginning of this year. Once we finally met, I feel like we became instant friends. Not only did she have a lot of the same ideas about creativity and photography as I do but we have a lot of the same interests besides art. So since our initial meeting, we’ve been getting together to take pictures quiet often. You can find us talking about the latest audiobooks we’ve been listening to, working out, or even bucket list travel destinations.

What I love most about her photography is how simple she makes everything. For the most part, she’s only carrying her 70-200mm whenever we go out shooting which is so different than me! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a photographer with a whole bunch of gear in her backpack but I’m usually with a wide angle lens and a zoom lens and that’s it. But with her 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens, she’s able to capture so many things that I usually would not even notice.

When we first met, I told her that I wanted to get a 100-400mm. I’ve tried it out since then and to be honest, it’s just kind of a big boy lens to be carrying around on casual photowalks. Maybe sometime in the future. But last week I purchased  the 70-200mm sony lens, inspired by Birch so that hopefully I can see things in a whole new way. Be prepared to see things a lot more close up. LOL.

This image of the row houses is also inspired by her. I loved the way she captured them in Capitol Hill so last time I was in Georgetown, I thought I’d try something similar . Thanks for being such an inspiration, Birch! If you haven’t already, definietly follow her on the gram 🙂

The settings for this image is F8 at 1/160th of a second ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm zoom.