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" /> Blog – Photography by Sarah Laughland

June 13th, 2020

@officialmillennialblack writes on an Instagram post: “Not perfect is better than not at all. Using your voice, if you’re not used to it, can be intimidating. Many people don’t start because they’re scared they’ll ‘get it wrong’. If it’s a choice between not doing it at all or doing it and getting it wrong, get […]

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May 27th, 2020

We’re living with a lot of questions right now. How long will this go on? How will our day-to-day change? As a member of both photographer and theatre communities, these questions feel so heavy and complicated. A comforting constant amidst it all remains our life events. People are still getting married, babies are being born, […]

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May 19th, 2020

Sometimes you’ve just gotta spice things up. No, not in that way. Well, maybe…anyways, I’m talking about changing up your daily coffee routine. I’ve always allowed for a few vices in life (because, honestly, I’d go crazy without them), and my big one is coffee. I’m not kidding when I say that my favorite hobby […]

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May 12th, 2020

Found a sunset? Boy, did we ever. Those golden rays were sweeping in and we went out to the backyard and caught as much as we could. I am impressed at Connor’s ability to match every outfit perfectly with a lip color. Like, that’s an impressive collection of lipsticks. It’s wild. I also got a […]

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May 7th, 2020

Y’all. This family is a bunch of gems. And fitting enough, the youngest is named Gemma. We met at their (and my) favorite winery in Southwest Virginia, Abingdon Winery, for a gorgeous day of sunshine and sipping. There were actually several prom groups simultaneously capturing memories, and everyone in both parties was dressed to impress. […]

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May 1st, 2020

My brothers found this wedding dress several years ago, and they gave it to me for Christmas. I looked a little wide-eyed, simply because I wasn’t dating anyone and was unsure as to the motive, but they explained that when they saw it they thought of me and wanted me to have it just in […]

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April 28th, 2020

I thought that Facetime Photoshoots would only appeal to couples & families until I was asked about whether a boudoir session was possible. And I said HECK YEAH. We’ve now done a few solo “empowerment” sessions (as I’m calling them), and they have been so much fun. I believe that it’s important self-care to be […]

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April 27th, 2020

I’m pretty ding dang impressed with technology as of late. Quarantine (and I am insanely privileged to have the luxury to do it)  is pushing humans to adapt in new ways. Some are wildly frustrating, and others pleasantly surprising. When a friend gifted these two a FaceTime Photoshoot session, we were all secretly a little […]

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April 21st, 2020

Growing up, sibling rivalry was a REAL thing. A real difficult thing. I have twin brothers who are 3 years younger, and we were endlessly at each others necks. One of them became more of a quiet onlooker as the other one and I found anything and everything to squabble about. My mother even sat […]

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April 17th, 2020

Wow, what a crazy time this is. I’m drinking obscene amounts of coffee everyday, playing “fetch” with my cats, and convinced that breakfast sandwiches are often the reason I am willing to wake up. I miss my friends, but am sooo grateful to live in a world where we can stay inside for months and […]

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March 1st, 2020

I thought I had seen Texas. I spent two summers working for the Texas Shakespeare Festival outside of Dallas, where it’s flat, hot, and green. What I didn’t know was that Texas possesses almost every landscape imaginable, and could swallow several European countries whole. Its expanse is felt deeply, digging beyond the emotional surface, to […]

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November 20th, 2018

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Treva Watson]

Connecting with someone after having only talked for a few minutes doesn’t happen everyday. Treva Watson shares herself with you, her trials and her triumphs, and pours her heart and soul into the molds that form her gloriously transcending soaps and candles. Hard-working, determined, partnered with love, hope and prayer by her side, she’s created […]

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June 27th, 2018

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Kling sheep farm]

Life is unpredictable. It can leave you breathless; by nature’s beauty one moment, and by nature’s cruelty the next. The trick seems to be in how we maneuver through unforeseen circumstances and curveballs. Farming teaches a person patience, acceptance, strength. It is not for the weak of heart or soul. But then again, I don’t […]

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May 29th, 2018

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Amanda & Mark Stuart]

If you’ve been to the Abingdon market and entered down the stairs from the street, you’ll recognize Amanda Stuart of The Sunshine Jelly Company right away! Her immediate friendliness and energy is captivating, and after a few conversations you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years. And then once you’ve tried her jams and canned goods? […]

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February 12th, 2018

Meeting Locals & Shifting Perspectives

First off, I want to say thank you for following and learning with me over the last 2 years. I’m an artist, first and foremost, therefore I must respect the lens through which I experience things. I’m an actress and photographer who’s gained a profound respect for those who dedicate their lives to sustaining local […]

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January 10th, 2018

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Jason Von Kundra & Harvest Table]

Wintertime brings holidays, warmer clothing, still mornings and reflection. But it also keeps a harsh side. When things go into hiding, a frigid blanket lays upon the land. For farmers it isn’t glamorous. It’s cold and it’s stark, and for many it’s where the real creativity comes into play, because as awesome as it would […]

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December 14th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Umbarger family]

It’s easy to remain where you are when what you’re doing works. You’ve got a great operation, a good job, decent pay, the whole thing. But sometimes there’s something greater pulling at you. A spark of an idea that’s lending to something larger, more innovative, something that you just know deep down will affect more […]

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November 10th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [George Kiser]

We sat in George’s truck overlooking the valley and mountains beyond. The mist clung to the trees, low and ominous, making it impossible not to feel fully present in the moment. He talked about how as a child he had created mental pictures of radio personalities in his mind, and when he finally saw photographs […]

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October 4th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Moyer Family]

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do in this life. Letting go of expectations, of the notion that you can do everything, that you can control everything. But in the process of letting go, of minimizing, you make space for a freedom that’s more rewarding than control. You allow for magic and […]

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August 26th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Tom & Deni Peterson]

We all have dreams. At least, we’ve all had them before. I’ve been working on letting myself dream again, like I did when I was a kid. What I want to see, what I want to become, what I want to leave behind. I truly believe that by dreaming something, you begin to set it […]

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August 1st, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Catherine Walden]

I have a line in the play I’m currently in that says, “Bob and I like to think we know people when we meet them”. The moment I met Catherine Walden of The Secret Garden Gallery, I had that same sensation. I knew she was a kind and gentle soul. An observer, detail-oriented, and sensitive […]

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June 30th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Brunson’s]

This month I had the pleasure of meeting a new farm on the block. Having sold at Wytheville Farmer’s Market previously, the Abingdon market is lucky to welcome Thirty-Three Acre Farms to it’s fold. Owned and operated by Donna Huete-Brunson and Tim Brunson, this gorgeous piece of land high in the hills of Rural Retreat […]

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June 8th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the King Family]

I’m going to paint a picture for you. Waterfalls and woods open up to fields against a mountainous backdrop. A ways down the road, the sunshine bounces off of cars parked along the embankment of a river. As you pull up, questioning whether this is the right place, your assumptions are confirmed when a rope […]

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May 12th, 2017

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [TNT Farm N Greenhouse]

Fog clung to the fields as I drove down the dirt road to the high-tunnel greenhouse up ahead. I stepped out of my car and was glued to the muddy location I was standing in. After a few minutes of silent struggling, which no one witnessed—thankfully, I turned the corner of an aging barn to […]

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February 18th, 2017

8 Ways to Reuse & Simplify Each Day

Our world is currently quite electric. We’re living in an age of progress, where new items become available on the market every day, where throwing something away dissolves it from our minds (but not our planet), and where buying something new seems easier and faster than reusing. I come to say to you that habits […]

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December 8th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Rhonda Cox]

Got a sweet tooth? A diehard fan of homemade cooking? Well then, I’ve just made all your dreams come true. Er, not me I suppose. Meet Rhonda Cox of Four Seasons Catering & Bakery in Marion, Virginia. Family tradition and generations of experience are baked up into her loaves of sweet breads and pastries. In […]

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November 20th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Joan Beck]

Getting a chance at trying your hand in something completely fresh is a beautiful thing, especially when it leads to a profession. As I see time and time again, you don’t usually get to choose when these life changes occur, but often they’re dropped in your lap and you’re given a choice between sticking to […]

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October 19th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Dreamland Alpacas]

I’ve learned that animals have an incredible power about them to lift moods. I’ve also learned that they often reflect their owners. Thank goodness for this. The morning I drove to Meadowview to visit Dreamland Alpacas was a rough morning for me. For whatever reason, I had woken up in the worst of moods and now […]

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September 14th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Brackens]

Have you ever felt like something was calling you, despite the life built around you? Or that you felt a strong inclination to act beyond what your head and heart may have to say? Meet the Brackens of My Shepherd’s Farm in Rural Retreat, Virginia. A little over 2 years ago they were living outside of Los […]

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August 29th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Goodrich’s]

I now challenge you to compare farming and the performing arts for a moment. Large-scale farming plays the role of TV and film, taking focus off of smaller farms. But the small farms are where it begins. It’s where the love is cultivated in a different way, much like being on an actual stage. They’re also both […]

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August 11th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the McIntyre’s]

How do I begin to describe the astounding trust and communion with the land that I witnessed last week? Meet the McIntyre family, owners of Goshen Homestead who also work for Roffey Cattle Company. A homestead means living a life of self-sufficiency. Vegetables, fruits, cattle, chickens…all can be found on this gorgeous piece of land […]

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July 29th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Neal Reid]

Can I tell you something? I just love meeting these local super heroes more and more. Each week I learn another tidbit about how incredible nature is. Nature takes care of itself, we only need to guide it. Every bit of bounteous beauty contained in this world…it’d be impossible to see it all in a single […]

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July 22nd, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Bullens pt.1]

This blog post is entitled “pt.1” in hopes that I’ll get to speak more to this incredible family. It seems to me as though the Bullen Family truly does it all. I’ve never seen anything but resilience and dedication from these folks, and always with a smile on their faces. I was lucky enough to […]

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July 14th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Wolf Farm]

Growing up I never quite understood why my Mom was so drawn to gardening. She’d be out there in the summer under the hot sun and I’d think she was crazy. “They’re just plants. We don’t need them.” But we did, you see. My love of nature and of the outdoors comes from walks with […]

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July 8th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Fosters]

Loyalty is a word that comes to mind when I think local. So is tradition and commitment. The simple act of nurturing something until it contributes to a meal and a moment in time is beautiful. And doing it with a sense of humor only makes life more fruitful…see what I did there? Meet Charlie, […]

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June 30th, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [the Watsons]

I eat a lot of eggs. Omelets, hard-boiled, scrambled. I hated them as a child and now I can’t get enough. Figures. I’m particular about my eggs, too, and knowing where they come from is important to me. And where do my eggs come from, you ask? From Venus and Louis Watson of Watson Greenhouse […]

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June 23rd, 2016

Abingdon: Meet the Locals [Lillian Minix]

Meet Lillian Minix, owner of Lillian Minix Pyrography. What does py-rog-ra-phy mean? “the art or technique of decorating wood or leather by burning a design on the surface with a heated metallic point”. But Lillian goes further than simply wood and leather. She also uses bones to create stunning works of art with burning techniques, […]

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June 21st, 2016

Abingdon: Beginning to Meet the Locals

If you know me, then you know that two of my greatest passions are photography and keeping it local. By “keeping it local” I mean local commerce, such as produce, crafts, services, and the community that is built from these exchanges. I’m sure you hear about it a lot these days, and for good reason. With […]

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