Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

After all the memories made on the first day EVER(!) of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, I was stoked to know that two more days were still in store. The views of the Valley as I drove to the Chimneys made me extra thankful that this festival was brought to such a beautiful (and close!) location. The day was sunnier with a promise of a cooling evening shower. Sunscreen. Check. Camera. Check. Klean Kanteen. Check. Raincoat. Check. Water. Check. Day 2. Let’s do this.

After grabbing some coffee and fully waking up, we headed to The Southern Stage to listen to the lovely Ana Egge

Over on the Local Roots Stage, Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts drew a decent crowd.FCLIMG_0400BW FCLIMG_0423FCLIMG_0412BW FCLIMG_0387 FCLIMG_0417 FCLIMG_0397FCLIMG_0386BW FCLIMG_0376BW FCLIMG_0396BWSurrounded by happy campers.



Pearl & The Beard
FCLIMG_0490FCLIMG_0470C FCLIMG_0474 FCLIMG_0465 FCLIMG_0483C FCLIMG_0472FCLIMG_0486 FCLIMG_0485 FCLIMG_0492FCLIMG_0506 FCLIMG_0493FCLIMG_0498FCLIMG_0563 FCLIMG_0503 FCLIMG_0512CFCLIMG_0517CFor a little perspective, we hiked up to the top of the Chimneys. So so beautiful.
FCLIMG_0528 FCLIMG_0546 FCLIMG_0545FCLIMG_0533CBack in time for a downpour and the sheer entertainment of The Wiyos.
If you haven’t seen these guys…add it to your list.
FCLIMG_0560FCLIMG_0581 FCLIMG_0579 FCLIMG_0572BWFCLIMG_0610BWFCLIMG_0594 FCLIMG_0599C FCLIMG_0648 FCLIMG_0640C FCLIMG_0638BWFCLIMG_0663BW FCLIMG_0669BW FCLIMG_0674COLLAGE FCLIMG_0674CFCLIMG_0680FCLIMG_0662 FCLIMG_0691My night ended just right with The Steel Wheels.
FCLIMG_0713FCLIMG_0783BWFCLIMG_0788BWFCLIMG_0759 FCLIMG_0708 FCLIMG_0744bwFCLIMG_0796 FCLIMG_0794FCLIMG_0897BW FCLIMG_0899BW FCLIMG_0801FCLIMG_0803 FCLIMG_0814 FCLIMG_0799BWFCLIMG_0824BWFCLIMG_0843 FCLIMG_0865bw FCLIMG_0820 FCLIMG_0840CFCLIMG_0886 FCLIMG_0923FCLIMG_0818 FCLIMG_0943FCLIMG_0866BW FCLIMG_0868 FCLIMG_0901 FCLIMG_0955BW FCLIMG_0936BWFCLIMG_0972 FCLIMG_0969 FCLIMG_0997FCLIMG_0987 FCLIMG_0988BW…and still one more day to go…I could get used to this….

See also: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

I can’t say much about the caliber of awesome that was the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music Festival that hasn’t already been said. Well, not with words anyway. But I can tell you a thing or two with my photos. *whoop whoop*  I couldn’t get there fast enough on Day 1 of the three day shindig.  As lovely Megan set me up with a wrist band, I could hear Caleb Stine’s hollow voice echoing through the chimneys. Gaaaah! Heart.throb. I walked under gray skies to the Shenandoah Mountain Stage and once it was in sight, the mood was clear, so I shut my mouth and tiptoed to the front. As if they were all witnessing a sacred ceremony, eyes affixed to the stage, the audience sat in awe and respect and silence. It didn’t take long for me to follow suit.  The tone was set for the day.

Next on my to-do was to get coffee. Then food. Then beer. Then more music. In that order. The layout of the festival was great and the venders were plentiful with a lot of local options! *bonus* AND they required the use of a Klean Kanteen which not only serves as a Red Wing souvenir but creates much less trash for the festival and the planet. *double bonus*
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Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge

I’ve come to understand one very important thing about festival goers: they’re always ready to have a good time. Rain or shine. Lucky for them! The rain clouds moved in but the shows went on. People pulled out their rain gear…or fashioned rain gear out of found objects. Dancing and smiling and swaying…feet planted in the mud. Little slivers of heaven.

Lost Bayou RamblersFCLIMG_9776 FCLIMG_9778BW FCLIMG_9779 FCLIMG_9781BWFCLIMG_9762 FCLIMG_9795 FCLIMG_9805FCLIMG_9975 FCLIMG_9806 FCLIMG_9803FCLIMG_9970


Tim O’BrienFCLIMG_9980BW FCLIMG_9995

Gregory Alan Isakov

Yarn…getting the kids all riled up!FCLIMG_0139 FCLIMG_0147FCLIMG_0105BW FCLIMG_0177 FCLIMG_0182 FCLIMG_0179FCLIMG_0127 FCLIMG_0159 FCLIMG_0160 FCLIMG_0150FCLIMG_0212FCLIMG_0202

The sun set. The rain poured. The Duhks took the stage.FCLIMG_0220 FCLIMG_0256 FCLIMG_0241FCLIMG_0228 FCLIMG_0261FCLIMG_0254 FCLIMG_0253BW FCLIMG_0249BWFCLIMG_0273


FCLIMG_0334…one down, two to go…

 Check out: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. If you use photos from this blog for Facebook, please give credit or link to blog post. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Brunch & Bubbles

“Man, I hate brunch” said no one ever.  Anything that prolongs the breakfast experience is ok with me. For this particular brunch, the occasion was to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  …I hear ya… “Girrrl, you cray, it’s August!” I am aware. It’s a common misconception that teachers have all summer to do absolutely nothing thereby quantifying their mediocre annual pay. Wrong. I spend a large part of my summer (which was 7 weeks this year) working to earn money to compensate for what my “day job” does not pay. And I am just now finding the free time to complete this post. Excuse me while I step down from my soapbox and get back to…brunch. The kids and I headed to meet my friend Martha and Jewel at Jewel’s new home. Her hand has surely touched every inch of her yard and perhaps even watered it with her sweat and tears. It’s gorgeous. All the flowers stood tall and the trees chatted about their spectacular views. Oh, Harrisonburg. You so pretty. Jewel made a variety of treats including a cheesy crumb cake(!), a sweet breakfast crumb cake, fresh fruits, a fruit smoothie and of course, coffee. Mm. After chatting about art and work and life the kids (and adults) had fun with Jewel’s bubble set!

So cool!FCLIMG_7583 FCLIMG_7589 FCLIMG_7592CFCLIMG_7605BW FCLIMG_7599BW FCLIMG_7601 FCLIMG_7608Reaga had fun too.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Roanoke Part I: Dress Rehearsal

The bachelor and bachelorette party shenanigans were a week behind us and we all reconvened in Roanoke for the wedding festivities. Rehearsal was bright and early Friday morning so we coffeed up,  loaded the vehicles and headed up the mountain to the Silver Hearth Lodge. The views up there were so.friggin.gorgeous! It was a healthy dose of calm for any pre-wedding jitters. Itineraries were read, maids and men fell into place, parents smiled with pride and that was a wrap. T-minus 31 hours till go-time.
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After rehearsal, Lee called all grooms men & women together so he could give us some tokens of appreciation baller gifts. Seriously. I don’t think I ever want to be a bridesmaid again after getting a dose of dude wedding strategy. Lee knows what’s up. He gave each attendant a special gift but I really can’t remember what everyone else got because I was too busy choking back chick tears over the loot he gave me. I felt like Biggie! He gave me a bar key, some good brew, a few nostalgic pilot bottles, earrings (to wear in the wedding), some Impossible film (yessss), a coozy…not just any coozy – a Freaker (a fit-everything sock-like coozy company based in Wilmington, NC), and (AND!) a Bamboo tablet (!) which, by the way, I’ve asked Santa to bring me for at least 6 years. *I exaggerate* If I had lugged my computer along, I might not have made rehearsal dinner that evening. Just sayin’.
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Pre-rehearsal dinner selfie…because I never wear heels. It was photo worthy.


Ben's makes things out of everything...

Ben makes things out of everything…


Jodi might just be the smartest decision Lee has made to date.

Jodi might just be the smartest decision Lee has made to date.


After the lovely dinner celebration, two of my besties (LT & Vanessa) arrived at the hotel. Mischief wasted no time. We took our friend Monica around with us to be sure everyone’s heart was in tip-top shape. God I love scaring people.FCLphoto-13

The last girl Lee kissed as a bachelor...

The last single-man kiss.

Dudes: Asheville, NC – Part II

My time in Asheville was short but day two was upon us and there was no time for wasting. Laura and I slept like heavenly angels in the massive king sized bed, awaking to the sounds of a disgruntled Billy on the porch…in a floaty. Before loading into the party van, I nabbed a group shot…which literally took 30 minutes to get everyone in the same room at the same time looking the same direction. It was early…those boys were mindless wandering drones. Yeesh! I left my camera behind for the day since we were going whitewater rafting on the French Broad River say whaaaat?! 13 people in a 15 passenger van at 8am after a long night of celebration…it was a quiet ride. The air reeked of booze and other ungodly smells. Not to mention, I was quite certain that I was heading towards my unavoidable death as I’ve said previously in my life (alone to myself): I have no desire to ever go white water rafting. Canoeing the Shenandoah is enough of an adventure for me…but here I was, sandwiched between 11 stinky men, heading straight for class 4 rapids. *cue the pre-hurl mouth water* We arrived at Blue Heron and most of my fears were put to rest by the experienced, calmness of everyone that worked there. “We’ve only had one death in our history of rafting.” mmmk. Gag. On the river, we used Laura’s Go-Pro camera and the Blue Heron photographer shared his images with us. After rafting we went into a feeding frenzy at a place right up the road from where we were staying: Nachos & Beer. Not only was this place close, but the title alluded to the fact that very little decision making would be involved in our visit. FCLIMG_6294 FCLIMG_6297cBWDCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIADCIM100MEDIAFCLDSC_0995 FCLDSC_0999 FCLDSC_1017 FCLDSC_1055 FCLDSC_1064 FCLDSC_1069FCLDSC_0951 FCLDSC_0955DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIAFCLphoto-9

With full bellies, we returned to the house to clean up and laugh about the events that occurred that day on the river. I designed a tshirt using one of my favorite Lee-one-liners to commemorate the weekend. We all decided to wear them out on the town as we celebrated our friend Lee’s upcoming marriage. I can feel myself getting sentimental here so I’ll just leave you to the images now before I lose some of my well earned dude-points.
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Lee's heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks...

Lee’s heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks…


Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Dudes: Asheville, NC


I’m gonna make this simple because quite frankly, I’m tired of explaining it. *not really, I love it* My long time bestie, Lee, popped the question to his girlfriend. And she said yes! *and she’s a looker!* He asked me and Laura to be grooms(wo)men. And we said yes. Laura put together a weekend to gather and celebrate Lee’s bachelorhood where there were 13 people under one roof: 2 girls and 11 guys. It seemed like a perfect storm in the making but we were all quite responsible and had one heck of a good time! I only stayed two of the three days (day two photos coming soon) but it didn’t take long for me to pick up on some pretty important Laws of the Man:

#1: Paper plates are versatile. “Veggie Trays….” are questionable. FCLphoto-6

#2: 3 days is a long time. Buy in bulk.

#3: Billy.    …that’s all. Just Billy.

#4: Ray reads. Let him. He has the ability to kill.FCLIMG_6249BWFCLIMG_6246

#5: Don’t guess names. It creates new nicknames. Sorry RayJay.FCLIMG_6256

#6: Laura wears many hats.FCLIMG_6240collagE

#7: Appreciate a good cigar.

#7.5: Or, like me, just learn how to hold it and pretend.FCLphoto-5 FCLIMG_6265

#8: Food is key.FCLIMG_6268

#9: Food Meat is key. FCLIMG_6280 FCLIMG_6262

#10: Dan is the grill master.  Be patient, it’s worth the wait.FCLIMG_6260 FCLIMG_6279

#11: If you talk while eating you are merely waisting time. Besides, no one is listening anyway.

#12: The more ridiculous the tshirt, the better.

#13: Weird things happen after 10 pm.FCLphoto-7 FCLIMG_6282 FCLIMG_6284FCLIMG_6272BW

#14: Man hugs are perfectly acceptable before bed.

Thanks for a great weekend fellers! And Laura.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Lee & Jodi: Side B

One Saturday evening last month I drove to Roanoke to do an engagement session for one of my best friends. (click here to see it!) Talk about a fun day. Oh mah gooodness. The shoot was a long one but so friggin’ fun and so the saying goes…time flies. As I sat down to upload and edit all the photos and I knew right away I wanted to not only share the sweet good ones but the funny good ones. I swear I laughed a new wrinkle right into my face that day.  Here’s a look at what I really see behind that lens….

Me: Just hang out while I test the light.

Me: Let’s try a piggyback.


Me: Jodi, is that another tick?

Me: Lee put your hand in your pocket. …not your arm.

Me: Just pretend I’m not here for a sec…

Me: Ok. Now look right at me and smile normal.

Me: ….
Them: (is that boob grab?)

Me: As you’re driving away, look back at me.

Me: Big smile!

Too hot for this website!

Me: Marrying Jodi is like…winning the lottery!

A little serenade break…FCLIMG_3506

Me: Silly face.
Them: (same face)


And this is why they are perfect for each other. 

We ended the night with dinner and a drink. Lookadem two gorgeous people!FCLIMG_3598

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · & This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property. 


photo by Ben Fraits


photo by Ben Fraits

Patio Season

All in the same hour I received two messages: one from Lauren at Clementine asking if I could take some patio shots and one from a ladies group that meets every Wednesday. On this particular Wednesday, the gals were meeting at Clementine to enjoy the warm spring weather on their newly opened outdoor patio. It was a win-win so I joined the girls with camera in tow. They didn’t seem to mind me hiding behind the lens every now and then and joining in on the occasional *cheers!*.
















When I was little, I remember noticing the veins in my Nanny’s hands. I remember knowing how hard she worked with those hands. How gentle she loved. How strong and tender and experienced they were. I noticed the same thing about my mom as she washed dishes one evening and the sun shined on mountains of veins. It’s a beautiful thing, turning all the gears in your life. I like my veiny hands.

Breakfast For Dinner

I picked the kids up from school and we made a quick stop by the grocery store to grab strawberries, pineapple and Ben. We were heading to Brittany’s house to celebrate Jr’s birthday. Breakfast for dinner. *score* Who doesn’t love breakfast?! Gah. On the way out to their place we noticed some construction near the old train station downtown. The busted out walls exposed some colorful graffiti and since I just-so-happen to have my camera, I couldn’t resist. My kids are well trained models. Then hustle-bustle…off we went. Alex, the dog, went mad when we arrived but was quickly calmed with peanut butter and belly rubs. I feel you Alex. Brittany had an entire buffet prepared complete with oven-baked pancakes, goat cheese grits (!), sausage and egg casserole with sriracha (oh lord), chipped beef cheese dip, homemade cinnamon crumb cake AND MORE. That girl can cook!




I couldn’t decide between color and black and white. So you get both.










Alex and Ella greet guests with a bark.