nocturne

It always happened at the same time of day, when the light started to leave. In deepening shadows, I found it difficult to see the boundaries that separated one object from another. That’s when the question arose: Did I choose to come here?

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He appeared in my life like an apparition. No context. No connection to anyone or any place I knew. He stayed, in my presence or in my mind, until I left with him.

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We slept through most of the daylight hours, so it was during this short, uneasy interval, before the night took us in, that I had to subdue myself. The vials of laudanum seemed a laughable anachronism at first but became a simple, necessary medicine.

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He offered few words, even days after the ceremony, but the low tones were pleasant and not without care. I was more troubled by what he did not say. The silences seemed to contain unspoken volumes, and I was afraid to know their contents.

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I remember, in those first days at the farm, how he would look off suddenly and stare into the woods or the abandoned house, as if expecting someone to emerge. And then one day, she did.

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I walked out one evening to find her sitting there with him, at our table, as if she had been here all along.

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Her familiarity, both with him and with the farmhouse, was obvious. She did not conceal it. And he did not explain. I felt like I had suddenly entered a strange, awful dream in which everything I took to be real was not.

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Rather than explain, he simply left us alone, as if all of this were not his problem, as if we needed to figure out what was happening here and come to terms with it.  We spoke, tentatively at first, but soon without any need to guard or attack. Though I feared what she might be, I found her strangely intriguing.

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My daytime rest was flooded with visions of escape and revenge, but I awoke knowing I would not enact those scenes. Soon, only on occasion would these impulses return, just a flash in the mind, taken away the moment they looked at me.

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After a time, the need for answers became less urgent. I became as attached to her as I was to him.

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Soon, without words, I came to understand that she had sent him to find me. I was the new arrival, not her. And so it was, that everything I took to be real was, in fact, not.

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I don’t know if it was the laudanum or some unexplainable power they possessed, but I could not seem to keep a thought of resentment or escape in my mind for more than a few seconds. During the long, waking hours of night, we were energetically intertwined. I sometimes couldn’t tell where one of us left off and the other began.

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I awoke from sleep late one afternoon to find him gone. She said nothing but smiled.

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Some days passed, and I began to worry. Noticing my mood one night, she led me out to the field to conduct a ritual with her. By the end of it, the moon had silently answered all my questions.

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We await their return. We will welcome her with love.

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I will tell her that the fear is temporary. She will understand in time that we were never separate, that everything before now was only a dream.

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Matt, MC, Anna, and Reid

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Oh, this beautiful family! I could go on and on about how wonderful I think this family is, but I'll just say that if you know them, you know that they are some of the kindest and most loving people you'll ever meet. Plus, Matt and Mary Clay have somehow managed to raise two of the sweetest girls I've ever known, and I love witnessing the amazing relationship they have with their daughters. I felt so honored to spend an afternoon with this family and capture some photos for them. And I'm happy to (finally) share some of them today. 

sub rosa + pale fire

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Have you heard of Sub Rosa Supper Club? Every few weeks, Sub Rosa throws an amazing dinner party with 24 guests (or in this case, over 40!), at a secret location that's only revealed the night before. It feels like a party, but the set-up and delicious meal (course-after-course of deliciousness, I should say) provide plenty of time to chat and meet new people. 

Sub Rosa teamed up with Pale Fire to plan one of their biggest dinners to-date. Guests were treated to an amazing performance by world-renowned French gypsy jazz guitarist, Stephane Wremble, and then ended the night with a four-course menu dinner in the brewery, which was transformed into a French sidewalk bistro. 

Guys, it was perfect. 

If you want to know more about Sub Rosa and get on the invitation list, check them out here

For now, here are some photos from that amazing night. Thanks for having me, Sub Rosa!

cascades

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to create some images to accompany a new album recorded and released by my talented husband, Jared Featherstone. His new album, Cascades, is a collection of piano-based drones, which were recorded and then “stretched” to be 10-40 times their recorded length. I had never previously heard of this particular sub-genre of ambient music, known as "drone," but after hearing his new album, I started to imagine the artistic imagery that could serve as a visual representation of what I could only descrive as an ethereal sound. So we set out on an adventure to create something together, and I think these images embody the otherworldly beauty found in his music. 

You can read more about his process and his album on his blog. For now, I'll leave you with these photos inspired by his music. 

gentle, yet bold

Gentle. Bold. These two separate concepts have been in my mind over the last several months as I’ve been studying and experimenting with photography. I have those two words scribbled in my work journal somewhere with a giant question mark next to them because I didn't know how to resolve these two seemingly discordant views (yet wanting to live and produce both). They seem paradoxical in a way, unable to truly coexist in equal parts in one person or one image. 

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mother's day mini-sessions

It's almost Mother's Day! Let's celebrate you, mama, and all that you do for your little ones! 

Mother's Day mini-session includes: 

-- 15-minute photo shoot with mama and kid(s)

-- 5 high-reolsution, edited photo to have before Mother's Day + rights to print

Sunday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 29th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Harrisonburg. Contact me to schedule a time! I can't wait to celebrate all you beautiful mamas!

spring lifestyle sessions

It's spring, which means a perfect time to update those family portraits! From now through the end of April, Sarah Featherstone Photography is offering a spring special, which includes:

- a 45-minute photo shoot

- location of your choice (in Harrisonburg or surrounding city)

- online gallery of 25 high-resolution, edited photos + rights to print

All sessions booked between now and the end of April are only $175. Purchased sessions must be scheduled before the end of June.

To schedule, email sarah@sarahfeatherstone.com, or visit the contact page.

senior portraits // James Madison University

College graduation is approaching, can you believe it?! I remember this time so well: the excitement of being about to enter the real world, while feeling so unsure about what that would actually entail. [Looking back, I had no idea where those few years after college would take me!] It's certainly one of those times that I will always hold dear, and I'm happy that I have photographs that help me vividly remember that last spring as an undergraduate. 

Let me offer the same to you! I'm now booking for JMU '17 Senior Portraits. Current package includes an hour-long session, two outfits and two locations, and an online gallery of 30 edited images and rights to print, at $245

Let's make sure you leave these wonderful years with photographs that you can share down the road with your partner or children or best friend; photographs that highlight this amazing university and our wonderful city. 

 

*I will also be offering senior portraits for college students in and around the surrounding areas, as well as portraits for high school seniors.