Historic McFarland House
409 S. Queen St., Martinsburg, WV 25401
The Historic McFarland House is known for its popularity as an event venue for decades, but with the addition of new Executive Chef William Walden this year, owners Michael McCarty and Donna Cobean have expanded to open a fine dining restaurant giving patrons more opportunities to experience the culinary expertise of their new “star” chef.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Chef Walden’s caliber,” said co-owner Michael McCarty. “His all-consuming passion for excellence in the food he prepares and the atmosphere he creates could not be more perfectly matched with the Historic McFarland House.”
Chef Walden, a renowned chef and restaurateur with over 35 years of culinary expertise, has catered to dignitaries, celebrities, and diplomats– even the likes of five different United State’s Presidents. The French-trained chef worked at the #1 ranked restaurant in Northern Virginia for 11 years, where he studied under a Michelin 3 star chef. He also worked at L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, and co-owned or operated several restaurants in the Washington, D.C., metro area and Florida. At Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Va., he cooked for celebrities like Lynda Carter and Robert Duvall. He returned to his native Lovettsville, Va., in the late 1990s to open a French country restaurant called La Fleur de Lis.
“It has been a wonderful experience watching Chef William in the kitchen and with our guests,” McFarland co-owner Donna Cobean says. “He is extremely gifted and is determined to “wow” you with every single dish he prepares with absolute, stunning perfection… in presentation and taste!”
The McFarland House Restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 5pm to 9pm, as well as 10am to 2pm for Sunday Brunch. The House is also available for events of all sizes for various types of celebrations, from business luncheons and private corporate dinners to weddings and family gatherings.
For over 15 years, Advantage Technology has been providing IT services and solutions. We service companies in Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, along with clients in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, and Canada. To provide the most reliable and expedient service, we have offices in Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky, strategically located in Williamsport, Shepherdstown, Charleston, Morgantown, and Lexington.
Because we have over 80 technicians, we can specialize in emerging areas of information technology and have dedicated resources to specific disciplines, rather than merely being computer generalists. Our focus and innovation enable us to support over 800 companies and continue to expand into cutting edge areas of information technology.
Learn more at:
219 S. Duke St.
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
A photoshoot fit for a supermodel by Jessann Thompson
It was always a dream for Jenny DiCola to explore the creative possibilities that were outside of her career as an IT specialist. Now that dream has become a reality and is becoming much more than she could have ever hoped for. It started with a camera that DiCola bought to dip her toes into something she did not know would be a budding small business. She began taking action photos of her daughters at their dance recitals each year. That turned into growing requests from friends and family for photo sessions. In the fall of 2017, DiCola obtained a business license and embarked on a journey that would change her life for the better.
“I started my business due to the positive responses I was getting on my work,” DiCola said.
At the beginning, DiCola was regularly doing photo shoots for families at various locations and even set up a makeshift studio in her own home. She explained that she believed every photographer should specialize in something.
“When I started, I didn’t know what my specialty was,” she said.
From senior portraits, to on-location family shoots, engagement sessions, weddings and professional headshots, DiCola wasn’t sure of what she wanted to focus her career on. She continued an unsure, but successful business for almost two years. Then came the brainchild of a special kind of photoshoot that would become DiCola’s specialty, the Luxury Photo Session.
In early March of this year, DiCola launched the innovative photoshoot that is marketed toward women. The Luxury Portrait Session, rightfully named, is an experience for a
woman, along with her friends and family, to relax and leave the work to DiCola and her team of a hair and makeup artist and wardrobe stylist. She explained that she was studying marketing ideas for photography and came across a New Zealand-based photographer who does similar photoshoots and studied her training videos to learn more. DiCola, through her commercial photography work with the Kisner Communications, has made several strong community connections that would end up partnering with her for these modeling shoots. Businesses such as Flowers Unlimited, The Studio Salon, Nikki Visions, Taylor Hardee Hair, The Historic McFarland House and 1902 on Queen have all played a big role in the success of these photo sessions. DiCola volunteers on her photo team at Airborne Church, as she believes in using her gift to serve her community. She is also serving as the official photographer for the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival for the second year in a row. Flowers Unlimited and The Studio Salon have provided outfits and clothing pieces for clients to wear during the Luxury Glamour Photo Sessions. Tina Hissam, a life-long friend of DiCola and Premiere Jewelry consultant, is the stylist for DiCola’s exclusive photoshoot.
“I trust her judgement that whatever choices she makes for the client will be the best for that individual,” said DiCola.
Nikki Stoneberger, owner and stylist of Nikki Visions has a different origin of friendship with DiCola. She was recommended by a trusted friend in a comment on DiCola’s business Facebook page. She had posted an inquiry for local hair and makeup artists who would be willing to take part in the glamour sessions which were unnamed at that point.
Taylor Hardee of Taylor Hardee Hair, and a fellow photographer is another hair and makeup artist used in the luxury sessions. DiCola is childhood friends with Taylor’s parents.
“I really enjoy collaborating with local small businesses. With some, I have an existing personal relationship. Others are new business relationships which result in great friendships.”
The launch of the Luxury Glamour Photo Session was experimental. DiCola photographed her cousin and Stoneberger to produce photos to promote the new product. The response to the promotion of the initial photoshoot resulted in immediate bookings.
“It was a trial run to practice the process and see what needed improved or changed” DiCola explained.
The first photo session following the launch was “magic” as DiCola put it. The Luxury Glamour Photo Session includes a pre-session consultation with DiCola to help the client understand what will take place, and to also establish the tone of the photoshoot. The tone can be professional, sexy, or glamorous, or a little bit of everything. The client arrives with a fresh face and clean hair ready for styling and application of makeup. Stylist Tina Hissam meets with the client to establish at least three different outfits along with accessories that best fit the client’s desires for the photoshoot. After an hour or more of preparation, the Luxury Glamour Session is in full speed.
DiCola explained the importance of keeping the client comfortable. She noted that some clients she has worked with, she had not met before.
“It was really important to keep the integrity of these women’s personalities because getting your picture taken by a stranger can be really unsettling for some,” she explained.
DiCola actively coaches her clients during the photoshoot to get optimal results. Things like posture, a simple turn of the chin, and posing are all elements that DiCola looks for.
“I talk to my client and we laugh a lot during the sessions. That helps reduce any anxiety about being in front of the camera and produces a natural, relaxed look in the end product.”
“I’ve found my niche in the industry” DiCola affirmed.