🎶 Almost heaven ... West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River..... 🎶 a different kind of an empire I get to capture with my camera. This October I went on a family camping trip to Blackwater Falls, West Virginia, and despite the weather, it certainly was almost heaven. 

There is no such thing as taking a vacation from photography; once a photographer always a photographer. That means even in the woods, sleeping in a tent, I had my camera with me. It’s a good thing that travel photography is one of my passions. 

I’m sure when most people think of travel photography they think of exotic faraway landscapes or the bright colors of foreign cities, but my approach to travel photography is much more local. Sure finances play a part in that, but I am also a strong believer that we don’t have to go very far to find the beauty in our world. 

Take Blackwater Falls for example, it’s only 3 hours from D.C. and even less so from Frederick where I am located. There are some absolutely stunning overlooks of the waterfalls and some great trails through the forest (especially in the autumn). The weather may have been terrible (it was mostly rain, but Sunday morning we woke up to some flurries), but it was nothing my tent and electric blanket couldn’t face. I still managed to get quite a good number of shots that really highlighted the beauty of the area. 

I don’t get to highlight my travel photography as much as I’d like which is one of the reasons I reformatted my art store. Art For Your Empire has an all-new layout which makes it faster and easier to order prints of my original work, many of which are locally sourced. A portion of all proceeds go to FACES National Craniofacial Association, a non-profit organization that assists children and adults with with severe craniofacial anomalies in the United States. This is a cause that is near to my heart, and I’m so excited to use my passion for photography to help! 

There’s a lot of worth in finding beauty in what’s near us. Sure sometimes that means sleeping outside in 40-degree weather, but there are also campfires, and laughing with family.  I’m just glad I get to see it twice, once through my own eyes and again through the lens of my camera. Almost heaven indeed.