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Lifestyle Weddings

DIY Flower Crown Making

April 25, 2016

Yesterday was my daughters first Communion. We went back and forth for MONTHS between dress choices. Just as much time was spent on what she should wear in her hair… a traditional communion veil and tiara, a mantilla veil, or a flower crown. Ultimately, the flower crown won, especially after we bought the dress. It was a gorgeous dress from Monsoon, with crocheted lace and tulle.  Just a touch of bohemian, and that suited her just fine.

I expected all of the other little girls there to have tiara’s and veils, so I didn’t feel right about having just a small delicate crown.  And if anyone knows me well, they know I go all out on everything I set out to do.  I bought garden roses and ranunculus from a well know florist in town that holds a flower market on the weekends.  DIY flower crowns are definitely cost effective, but I still spent a total of $60 on 2 garden roses, 3 ranunculus, and a few filler flowers.  The other supplies I needed, like wire, floral tape, and wire cutters were an additional $4, but I have enough left over to make 20 more crowns.  All the floral supplies you need can be found at the Dollar Store!  The roses Roses from your grocer could be just as beautiful, but buy them at least two days in advance to give them a chance to open and relax.


I don’t have a new and innovative way of making a flower crown that hasn’t already been covered on the internet, but I did use some instruction from Lauren Conrad’s blog post on flower crowns, and a little common sense.  Lauren’s tutorial used flowers that were less expensive and a bit more sturdy.  The variety of garden roses I bought were $14 a stem, and very delicate, so I had to use the floral wire to secure some of my flowers when it started getting full instead of securing everything with floral tape.


First I used the larger gauge wire and measured it around her head.  I broke apart the filler flowers and stared attaching them using the floral tape.


Once I added enough filler to cover the wire, I started attaching the larger flowers.  I only ended up using the two roses and two ranunculus.  Our original plan was to focus the larger flowers off to the side of her head, but we ended up wearing them in front.   Flowers that size around her entire head would have been overkill.

I was so happy with the way it turned out.  I made it the night before, put it loosely in a bag, and stuck it in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator overnight.  When I pulled it out in the morning, it was still perfect.

I wish I could wear a flower crown everyday!


Editorial & Commercial Lifestyle Me Portraits

The birthday girl wants a glamour shot |before & after’s | Washington DC photographer

February 28, 2016

This shot was taken on my living room floor, next to a window.  Our simple surrounding created something stunning.  It’s her birthday, and every year she picks the theme and I shoot it.  We finished up this shoot in about 2 minutes.  After the second shot, I showed her the back of the camera and said “we got it”.

dc fine art portrait photographer Nicole Barr


It may be the biased mother in me, but I do believe she is a naturally beautiful girl.  But with every portrait, there is a little work that goes into it, to complete the art.

I’m posting the before and after’s if you were interested in seeing how I transform my photos from the unprocessed raw images to the final polished image.


SOOC (straight out of the camera)-  I shoot all of my images in RAW, meaning they are completely stripped of any processing and color profiles.  This is not even what I see on the back of my camera.  The back of the camera shows you a rendering of the image with a camera profile applied.  But it does give you an idea of what your image could look like.


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After I applied toning.  I am attracted to the look of film shot on Kodak Portra 160.   I use this toning on almost all of my images.

isabel 9th bday-after toning



Final with retouching.  We are so blessed with dark under eye circles.  While she looks incredible here without any retouching, it is just not my style to not polish an image.  The toning and deep shadows to create the moody look we were going for over accentuated what was there.  I like to say I make you look like you on your best day.  I retouched under her eyes and took out a few stray hairs in her eyebrows.  I also helped clean up her lips.  They were so chapped and don’t normally look like that.

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Lifestyle Me

I’m so grateful for wonderful clients.

January 11, 2016

I had a pretty crappy start to my week.

For the past 3 years of living in our home “on the mountain”, we have owned 2 cars that fit perfectly in our garage.  My husband decided that we needed a big truck to haul things since we live in the woods.  He parked that big truck in the driveway.  So for the past 3 years, when I’m pulling out of the driveway at 7am every morning to take my daughter to school, again, like I have EVERY morning for the PAST THREE YEARS, I don’t exactly look behind me.  I sideswiped the damn truck.  It had only been in the driveway for 2 days.

And like any good wife, I stormed into the house, and I was yelling, and then I started crying, and in between hysterics, I informed my husband that he was going to expand the driveway so his truck had its own parking spot and it better be done by the time I get home.  (totally reasonable right?)  My very understanding husband handed me a cup of coffee, told me to sit down and relax, and he drove our daughter the 40 minutes to school.

And as if some higher power wasn’t telling me to calm the hell down already, I received two boxes in the mail.  They revealed two dozen gorgeous roses and the biggest chocolate covered strawberries I’ve ever had.  The most touching part to me was the personal note inside the box.  They were from my wonderful clients Crystal and Kyle, who married this past year!

Crystal also recently became a Realtor in Virginia for Keller Williams.  If she is this thoughtful to her wedding photographer, I can only imagine how well she will take care of her clients.

Thank you so much Crystal & Kyle for being so wonderful!

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Anniversary Lifestyle

Amanda & Dan celebrate their new home!

December 21, 2015

I had the honor of photographing Amanda & Dan’s wedding in 2013, and it was so exciting to see them both again to celebrate their new home and photograph them just a few months ago.

The house is awesome, and I had a beautiful backyard to work with as our backdrop.  The wood plank wall in the living room is definitely an incredible focal point of the room, and one of my must have’s when I get around to decorating my own house!

Can’t wait to go back again in the future to photograph a bunch of little toddlers running around that huge back yard;)


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That wall!

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Lifestyle Me

DIY invitations | glitter dot invitations | northern virginia wedding photographer | Nicole Barr Photography

January 17, 2014

My daughters birthday is coming up soon and being in the DIY spirit, I made her invitations.  As I was making them, I couldn’t help but think this would also make a great bridal show invitation.  They were so simple to make and I have gotten nothing but gushing compliments on them.


Materials:  5×7 card stock, martha stewart gel glue (with the circular applicator pad), and one or two coordinating colors of fine glitter


I made a simple design in photoshop for the text of the invite with all the important info.  I purposefully left a little extra room at the bottom for the glitter.


Holding the glue pen upright, blot it on the invite where you want to put your glitter dots.  If using two colors, only apply dots on the invite for the first color.


Sprinkle glitter on the areas where glue was applied.


Give it 15 minutes for the first set of glitter dots to dry.  For a bridal shower, I may have opted to only go with one color.  If using only one color, you will want to apply more dots.


Once the first set are dry to the touch you can apply the second color.  You can also overlap a few of the dots to add to the random pattern.


Let dry for at least 4 hours to set the glitter.  Tap any extra glitter off the cards before placing in the envelope so you don’t glitter bomb the guests!