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Everyone Loves A Classic: the Ballerina Bun

I’ve been rocking the ballerina bun for years. Sure, not always in the same polished way that the fashion world’s perfected over the last couple of years, but as an actual ballerina- I knew approximately 37 ways to tame ruthless hair into a bun that my ballet teacher, Mrs. Reddick herself, would be proud of. There was always a smattering of bobby pins scattered in the bottom of any bag I was carrying, and I had more bottles of hair spray than anyone I knew. These days, I use the ballerina bun a bit more sparingly, but it’s still an absolute staple for me! More often than not, I use it as a passive way of curling my hair- I’ll forego the hair donut and will simply twist my hair into a simple bun while it’s still a bit damp, and then an hour or so later, voila! A bit of curl without ever needing to plug in an iron. But if I’m going for something a bit more professional/dressy/cute, I’ll go ahead and use the donut. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after finally learning how to stuff my too-long hair into one, I kind of love it!Ballerina bun- Abby Grace PhotographyI found the Braids, Bun & Twists book at PaperSource a few months back and have had way too much fun experimenting with different styles. One of my fun goals this year is to try to style my hair differently for each wedding I shoot- so far, I’m doing well.Ballerina bun- Abby Grace PhotographyAnd guess what? Lucky for you, I have an extra one of these books lying around and I would LOVE to give it to one of my sweet blog readers! So leave a comment telling me your favorite hair style, product, tool, whatever- I’ll pick a winner on Monday at 12 noon. Happy commenting!

Allie - June 2, 2014 - 10:47 am

As a dancer, I have to wear a bun alll the time and I’m always looking for new ways to style mine ;) Love the idea of this book!

Melissa Arlena - June 1, 2014 - 8:44 pm

I was inspired to do a sock bun this weekend for my wedding instead of my usual ponytail thanks to you :) I felt spiffy ;)

Sarah (Danaher) Bradshaw - May 31, 2014 - 9:48 pm

My hair has JUST gotten long enough to do interesting things with! My hair is crazy curly so I usually wear it down, but I like a topknot/messy bun when it gets warm outside. And I’ve recently begun wearing it in a boho side braid on some occasions. Longer hair is SO much fun!

Dad - May 31, 2014 - 11:21 am

To quote a young man who once visited our home “I feel totally inadequate for this conversation.”

Amanda - May 31, 2014 - 8:41 am

More like beachy fun! Oh autocorrect…

Amanda - May 31, 2014 - 8:39 am

I love the hair tutorials on the blog Cup of Joe. Topknots, chignons, buns, braids…you name it, they’re on there with easy to follow steps and pics. Some of my recent hair favs came from her blog. Highly recommend it! And my go to product is sea salt spray…body, texture, wave. Bleachy fun!

Michele Z. Cabeen - May 30, 2014 - 9:28 pm

I love classic buns, and the added braid in yours! I’ve been experimenting with braids – French braids, Dutch braids, waterfall braids, side braids. I’ve been meaning to pick up bobby pins for some styles, too, but keep forgetting!

Love the post/blog! Keep up the great work. =)

Laura - May 30, 2014 - 9:23 pm

I’m doing a top knot at least once a week if I need to run out with the kids and have to do something with my hair. My 2 year old loves Frozen so I’m sometimes able to give her “princess hair” pigtails. I’d love to have more options at my fingertips!

Rebekah - May 30, 2014 - 8:46 pm

My favorite hair product is the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Styling Cream. It is the ONLY product that has ever really tamed my often frizzy half-curly, half-wavy hair, particularly on really humid days. This is it: http://www.amazon.com/MoroccanOil-Hydrating-Styling-10-2-Ounce-Bottle/dp/B002CMLS50

Elizabeth V - May 30, 2014 - 6:29 pm

Woah that looks like an awesome book! I love putting my hair in buns and braids, but, don’t know that many styles… and the older I get the thinner my hair is, so, it is looking rather drab lately. I could use some fresh ideas, for sure!

Erin - May 30, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Oh, I am terrible with my hair! I never know what to do with it… What product to use or what tools. It’s kinda naturally wavy, but not enough on its own to actually look good jwithout either drying it straighter or trying to curl it, which I’m hopeless at so straighter is my default. But then my hair curls up in humidity, so while working a wedding in the Virginia heat, it goes crazy on me!

Jill - May 30, 2014 - 5:40 pm

My favorite tool is a 1 1/2 curling iron–gives such a pretty bounce.

laura - May 30, 2014 - 5:38 pm

my favorite product is Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle!

Sabrina - May 30, 2014 - 5:14 pm

You are adorable! And after seeing a few photos of myself from this year’s weddings, I need to do something other than wear my hair down. Because by the end of the day, it’s a mess. And not a cute mess! My “favorite” (mainly because it’s easy) is a side chignon at the nape of my neck. It’s easy and simple and keep my hair out of my face and out of my shots! But I’m totally open to trying new things and this book would be super fun!

ashley link - May 30, 2014 - 5:10 pm

so fun!!!! i’m so bad at doing my own hair. i can do my kids at school, but not my own!

Tammy - May 30, 2014 - 3:13 pm

I love that my flat iron does double duty and can straighten and curl.

Minh Hussey - May 30, 2014 - 3:04 pm

I love beach waves: it’s low maintenance and laid back.
What a fun prize you’re offering!

Katie - May 30, 2014 - 1:28 pm

You look gorgeous, Abby! That is such great bun style. And, I love your fun goal of a different hairstyle for every wedding! :) I’m just entering into the world of wedding photography and I definitely need to build my repertoire of hairstyles. As far as my favorite hair style, I guess I would have to say loosely curled and down when I have the time (and inclination! Haha!). My best hair trick that I stumbled upon this year, is to wash my hair at night and while it is still damp, braid it into two side braids and sleep on it. In the morning, I wake up with beautifully wavy hair that’s still slightly damp which is perfect for adding a texturizing spray. This super easy go-to hair style has saved me SO much stress and time!

Rachel Wells - May 30, 2014 - 1:00 pm

I love wearing my hair in a top knot!! However, my usual style is wash, dry and go- not exciting at all and I need to spice it up a bit! :)

Ali - May 30, 2014 - 12:54 pm

I love the bun too! My hair is always in one.:-) wish I was good at whipping up cute styles tho quickly. I think you should do a post about all your wedding hairstyles.:-)

Amanda - May 30, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Would love to learn how to do braids, buns and fun stuff to my 8 year old daughters hair! I am hair clueless! I have said for years they should have a class for Mom’s of girls to teach us these great things!

Andrea - May 30, 2014 - 12:17 pm

The french braid. A nice sideswept one looks so fancy and totally hides unwashed or unruly hair! Awesome giveaway, thank you!

sarah der! - May 30, 2014 - 11:54 am

Oh my do I WISHHH I could do that with my hair! So, so cute! I’ve been trying to pull off the french braid on the side, but all my layers keep poking out so awkwardly…! Maybe this book will help me some new skillz and learn some groovy new braided do’s!

Tessa - May 30, 2014 - 11:29 am

My fav thing to use in my hair is flax seed. No joke. I boil the flax seed then strain them and it comes out like egg yokes. It’s the greatest gel for my curly hair.

Shalese - May 30, 2014 - 11:29 am

I’m not so good at the whole doing my own hair thing (seriously, how does anyone french braid their own hair?!?!), BUT when I bought a curling WAND instead of a curling IRON, it changed my life. It’s so so so much easier to use and I always get tons of compliments. My favorite was the bridesmaid who told me I had “mermaid hair.” :)

Jean - May 30, 2014 - 10:48 am

Your hair is amazing and you do such wonderful things with it! Love you!

Ali - May 30, 2014 - 10:46 am

YES! I love that you did a post on this. I stink at these buns, but my hair has LOTS of layers. I’m a huge fan of beach waves and am always trying new ways to make them look more natural. So recently, I just twisted about 20 sections of my hair, pinned them up, and let it dry. I finger combed them out and had a wonderful beach look for a day :)

Kaitlyn Phipps - May 30, 2014 - 10:43 am

oh mrs reddick :] the good old days where having a slick bun meant avoiding being called out! i know little to nothing about hair, but i’d love to know more :]

Amanda - May 30, 2014 - 10:24 am

With the number of shows that I do these days, I feel like I spend more time doing hair than any other non-professional hairdresser really should. For the opera I just did, I did twelve girls hair every night in pinned braids with ribbons and loose flowers. I love getting to experiment with fanciful buns and braids and how to make them read from stage. My personal go to hairstyle for auditions (and, increasingly, everyday) is a french braid that starts just behind my hairline that I wind into a bun at the nape of my neck. Hairspray and a tremendous collection of bobby pins are pretty much my constant companions.

Love the blog, Abby. Thanks for sharing!

Alicia Lacey - May 30, 2014 - 10:20 am

This is awesome, Abby! Ever since you posted this book I’ve had it on my wishlist!! My favorite style is a side braid — it’s perfect for work or going out. You can make it traditional, messy, or fishtail (which I am admittedly still working on!). But anyway,
I love it!

Whitney G - May 30, 2014 - 10:12 am

My hair is so long it’s hard to find good hairstyles that work well! Braids and buns though are perfect for the hot summer days to get it up and out of my face though. My favorite product to use is heat tamer leave-in spray. So on days I do need to use a hair dryer or flat iron my hairs soft and protected!

Emily Crall - May 30, 2014 - 10:11 am

Since I got a wave perm, my hair has been the easiest thing in the world! I can literally get out of the shower and go, letting it air dry through the day. I do try to be a little more put together for weddings though–hah–and often add in a braid or a donut bun. My favorite though is just straight up curling my hair, brushing it out, and hairspraying lightly. With the perm, the curls last for days!

Nora - May 30, 2014 - 9:53 am

My favorite product is Redken’s CURVACEOUS WAVE AHEAD – TEXTURIZING MOUSSE FOR WAVY HAIR!! Such an amazing mousse that doesn’t dry crunchy! I buy them 3 at a time! http://www.redken.com/products/curls/curvaceous/curvaceous-wave-ahead :)

Ashley Herrinton - May 30, 2014 - 9:53 am

So fun! I am in that stage right now where my hair feels, blah. I’m so tempted to just chop it off, but I know I’ll regret it, haha! I’d love to try new hairstyles to keep my loving these long locks ;]

Heather - May 30, 2014 - 9:52 am

This crazy Florida humidity means my flat ironed hair ends up in a crazy messy ballerina bun by the end of the day. I would love to start off my day with something more chic that doesn’t just say “Whoa. Humidity doesn’t agree with her.”

Anna K. - May 30, 2014 - 9:48 am

Oh Abby I love this! I wear my hair in a bun almost everyday and I would love to spice it up a bit!

Whitney - May 30, 2014 - 9:46 am

I love all kinds of braids! – french, fishtail, side braid… They never fail :)

Lou & Yvonne- a sunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial

Washington DC. Not what one’s mind would immediately jump to when thinking of “romantic spots,” but this city has a peculiar ability to bring people together. Lou, originally from up north, came to DC at the suggestion of a buddy. Here for work, he joined a kickball league that played on the national mall to meet others in the area. It turns out Yvonne had joined the exact same team, and somewhere in-between playing side by side in the shade of the monuments and after-game celebrations at a local spot, they began to notice one another as something more than just teammates. It was only fitting, then, that once Lou was sure Yvonne was his future, that he take her back to the Washington Monument to propose.

Lou & Yvonne, you made it so easy to be up with the sun! I love how much laughter there is between you both, and just being around y’all is enough to make anyone smile. Thank you so much for an amazing morning, I absolutely can’t wait for your wedding this fall!

Sunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace PhotographySunrise engagement session at the Jefferson Memorial- Abby Grace Photography

Urška Majer - May 29, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Wow! So gorgeous :)

Tuesday Mash-Up

This past week has been cah-RAZY! My beautiful cousin Meg married her sweetheart William on Bald Head Island in the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen this past weekend, and then we headed over to Charlotte, NC for an anniversary session this morning with our amazing friends Dan & Alex. And it turns out Matt can drive with his left foot as long as it’s not stop-and-go city driving, so we’ve been able to split up driving a little bit! Win. Win win win.

We’re getting ready to hop back on the road back to northern Virginia, but as always, lessons learned/things that transpired in the last week:

  • We have rotten luck with cars. There’s some sort of leak on the right side of the car and the floor on the passenger side is in a state of perpetual soaked-ness. Weee!
  • Also along the same vein: the battery in our car died on the way down to Bald Head due to the terminals corroding. So I pulled a Macgyver and got the car started again with nothing but a piece of dental floss. There needs to be an award for that sort of thing!
  • Oh, and our tire has a slow leak. We figured that out when we left the Bald Head ferry with a flat.
  • ^I think we need a new car.^
  • Being IN a wedding while, at the same time, shooting that very same wedding is nothing short of a challenge. But I wouldn’t have experienced Meg & William’s day any other way. I’m just bursting to share their day with you guys, it was perfect!!

Aaand previews from our incredible weekend. See?? SO AMAZING! Spanish moss on a secluded island, delicious light, and two gorgeous couples.

Bald Head Island wedding photographer- Abby GraceBald Head Island wedding photographer- Abby Grace

 

Paula - June 5, 2014 - 4:27 pm

Just Beautiful!!!!!!

Dad - May 27, 2014 - 5:32 pm

You go girl, McGyver away!

Mary - May 27, 2014 - 12:15 pm

Gahhhhh!!! Amazing! I cannot wait to see more!! xo

Jean - May 27, 2014 - 10:44 am

Beautiful photos, Abby. Looking forward to more of these. Congrats to Meg and William!

Kat - May 27, 2014 - 10:43 am

Gorgeous!! Excited to see both of these!

Lindsay - May 27, 2014 - 10:30 am

Can’t wait to see more!!!

Jonathan & Lisa- a Washington, DC wedding at the Hotel Monaco

“We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.”

There’s so much laughter between these two. So many smiles, happy sighs, ear-to-ear-grins- they’re just perfect together. As two self-proclaimed nerds, Lisa found someone to complete her inner Harry Potter-loving self, and Jonathan found someone whose love of books may just be greater than his. Together, they’re wonderfully perfect. And perfectly wonderful.

Jonathan & Lisa, it was nothing short of a privilege to spend your wedding photographing your love. I couldn’t have imaged a day more suited to you both, and I’m so thankful to know you two! Enjoy your honeymoon in Vietnam, I hope it’s even more beautiful than expected.

Hotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Jonathan’s gift to Lisa- an insanely detailed replica of Hogwarts, handmade by Jonathan using pages from the Harry Potter books.

Hotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace PhotographyHotel Monaco wedding in Washington, DC- Abby Grace Photography

Details-

Ceremony + reception: Hotel Monaco Washington, DC
Coordinator: Ashlee Virginia Events
Dress: Augusta Jones, via Kleinfeld Bridal
Shoes: BHLDN
Bridesmaid dresses: Aria
Hair & make-up: Bella Bethesda
Custom cookies: Canadian Sweets & Treats Bakery
Paper: Karen Wainwright
Deejay: Chris Laich Music

kaitlyn Phipps - June 9, 2014 - 11:53 am

OH MY GOSH! how am i just seeing this?!?!?! this is the coolest thing ever. blown away. you captured it beautifully. i especially love the invitation suite!

Rebekah - May 23, 2014 - 6:01 pm

Ahh, I love all the book-themed stuff! Super cute & so unique. Love the invitations especially!

Rosa - May 23, 2014 - 12:22 pm

Hi Abby, Wow! Love everything about this wedding. You captured it beautifully :)

Terri Baskin - May 23, 2014 - 10:15 am

Wow!!!! Now that was a very creative wedding!! Amazing!!

Katie Vander Velde - May 23, 2014 - 7:47 am

Beautiful images! Love her sweet smile and joy :)

Shalese - May 22, 2014 - 1:27 pm

OH MY GOSH those centerpieces. And I noticed his cuff links . . . did they Google “Harry Potter obsessed photographer who also loves all things British” to find you??!

Alicia Lacey - May 22, 2014 - 11:03 am

Even better than you described it! Perfectly thought out and themed — and captured beautifully!!

Stephanie Messick - May 22, 2014 - 10:39 am

By far some of the coolest centerpieces I have ever seen!!!! Amazing!

ashley mitchell - May 22, 2014 - 10:35 am

How perfect is this wedding for you?! Those centerpieces are magical!

Lindsay - May 22, 2014 - 9:23 am

Absolutely beautiful! And I know you loved that reception theme!!!

Sarah Bradshaw - May 22, 2014 - 9:19 am

are you kidding me with those centerpieces??!? amazing!

Sabrina - May 22, 2014 - 9:07 am

Oh my goodness, Abby… just stunningly beautiful! And I LOVE all of the centerpieces made from pages of books! So creative and so incredible! The Harry Potter ones are definitely my favorites :-)

Jean - May 22, 2014 - 8:23 am

Simply gorgeous pictures. What a beautifully fun wedding. Love it!

Mary - May 22, 2014 - 8:22 am

Ooooh la la!!! :) Those centerpiece are out of this world!! So are your fabulous photog. skills! So beautiful!! xo

Monday Mash-Up

A big ol’ Mrs. Doubtfire-style “hellooooo!” to you all! It’s gorgeously sunny and I’m so excited for this week. Why? Because on Saturday, Meg & William are getting MARRIED! Woooo!! We’re leaving Thursday to head down to Bald Head Island and I cannot wait for everything to get started. More than anything, I’m just so looking forward to watching my cousin and lifelong friend marry the love of her life. Cheers to that!

So. It’s been two weeks since the last MMU, and we have a bit to catch up on. Let’s get cracking:

  • I visited my first speakeasy! A friend told me about them last year and I’d been dying for a chance to go, so when some of my Shoot & Share friends were in town last weekend we found one to visit. It was the COOLEST experience of my life- there was no sign or anything to identify it by name, just a plain black door with the street number on it. I felt like I should have been sporting a flapper dress or something.
  • Also, feel free to laugh, but I laugh the White House for the first time in my life last weekend as well. I’ve lived 30-40 minutes from DC for more than 20 years, and yet with all my treks into the city, I’d never thought to look LEFT as I drove down Constitution. And whaddya know, last week I DID turn my head and was utterly shocked that the most famous home in the country was sitting right there.
  • Since Matt’s injury two weeks ago, I’ve been picking up dinner duty. I LOVE cooking, I just never get organized in time to make it all come together. But I’ve made dinner three times in the last week! I made ratatouille twice and last night, we had clams in a white wine + garlic sauce. I kind of like this whole “domestic” thing!
  • My couple on Saturday, Jonathan & Lisa, are officially the coolest. Before heading to their reception they called me into the bridal suite and said they had a gift for me, and then presented me with THIS. How freaking amazing is that?? Jonathan made it with pages from the books!
  • Never let me in The Container Store again. I went in for something simple to organize the top shelf in our bedroom closet and somehow came out with nearly $150 in merchandise. I love the thought of being organized, I just have such a hard time getting there.

Sigh. I just love spiral staircases! One day, when no one’s around, I’m going to go back to the Hotel Monaco and slide down that banister.

Hotel Monaco wedding, Washington DC- Abby Grace Photography

Jaqueline Faria - May 22, 2014 - 6:39 pm

Oh my goodness, I’m in LOVE with there reception details… harry potter themed wedding … I’m swooning