Encore Sustainable Design is a boutique, historic preservation and sustainable design services consulting firm located in Easton and Edgewater, Maryland. I had the pleasure of photographing the two partners and architects, Ward Bucher and Nakita Reed, in their Easton office. Their space was everything I would imagine in an architecture firm with its exposed wooden beams and brick walls, with a very artsy feel!


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The Foxwell Family were the winners of my recent Valentine’s Day mini session giveaway. Ashlea and Chad love everything water from boating to crabbing to dredging for oysters out of Oxford, Maryland. They have the sweetest 6 month old son, Trent, who I’m sure will have that same love for the bay! For their session, we picked a sunny day when everything was still iced over making for a beautiful backdrop. We stopped at some piers and found the perfect beach spot. Trent seemed content just about anywhere! At the end, Ashlea and Chad snuggled up in a handmade blanket for some cute shots!



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With temperatures barely reaching 20 degrees in the past several days, it was time to come up with a craft to keep myself busy while stuck indoors! For all of those eastern shore brides out there, these do it yourself coasters would make the perfect nautical favor. I found some boards about 3 1/2 inches wide at Lowes and asked my husband cut them into squares. I looked up the international maritime signal flags, each flag pattern representing a different letter of the alphabet, and drew the patterns that spell our last name, Matney. Next it was painting time! The edges were finished with a really pretty bronze acrylic that I found at our local craft store, Ben Franklin. These would look so cute on each reception dining table! You could even glue them to a board to create a fun guest book for everyone to sign.:)


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The Challenge

This year for Valentine’s Day, my husband Ron had a fun idea that we only spend $20 on each other for a gift. I added that we have to shop local so we both purchased everything in downtown St. Michaels. It turned out to be quite the challenge to stay within budget! Another hurdle was that a few stores had a $10 charge limit and I tend not to carry cash with me. We both gave each other a piece of chocolate and bubble gum. Ron bought me a piece of artwork done by local artist, Kevin Snelling. I found him some hot sauce from St. Michaels called Chesapeake Fire and it came with their famous shrimp and cheese dip recipe. Between all of this, a camo pencil, walking crab, jelly beans, and bath fizzies, these were some really fun gifts!



Some Inspiration

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I pulled together some detail images with beautiful pinks and reds, a great color combination for a wedding anytime of the year.


The Giveaway

Laura’s Focus Photography will be giving away a free 30 minute session featuring you and your loved one! If you have children, they are welcome to join as well. Sessions must take place before March 13th in the St. Michael/Easton area. Here is how to enter!

1) Post a comment at the end of this blog story.

2) Like the Laura’s Focus Photography Facebook page.

3) On Monday, Feburary 16th a winner will be selected. To make it extra fair, I will put all of the names in a hat and have my 2 year old select the winner!


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  • Emily Tully

    I love the Valentines Day $20 gift challenge! My husband and I will try that out next year :-)ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Hambleton

    I LOVE the Chesapeake Fire hot sauce! So fun that you guys got all St. Michaels products for each other!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Duncan

    Love your photography & the $20 gift challenge!ReplyCancel

  • Sherry Hoback Overstreet

    Loved your work at our daughter’s wedding in 2013!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney Cahall

    Beautiful photography! Great Valentine’s Day idea!ReplyCancel

  • Jolyn Davis Thompson

    Sweet! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Pruitt Jones

    Beautiful photos!!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie Mackaness Schappeler

    you are a woman of many talents! :) Glad to know you!ReplyCancel

  • Haley Miller

    Can’t wait to have you photograph us at our July 3rd wedding! Your photos are always amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Haines Mackaness

    Such beautiful pictures and great ideas. – I love the St. Michaels’s poster :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashlea Foxwell

    Beautiful pictures! Would love a session with my little familyReplyCancel

  • Katie Sevon

    These are really beautiful images! And good ideas too. I love the rings on the oreos and the roses under water is really different!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Duran

    Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • Morgan

    Thank you for the chance!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Jayne

    Awesome photos Laura!!ReplyCancel