I feel so lucky that I had the privilege to photograph Grace for her Senior Portraits. Grace is a very unique and inspiring young woman. Grace graduated High School early to give her time to dive into her art and prepare for her college experience at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
For Grace’s portraits we traveled to downtown Norfolk and her fun and quirky personality gave life to the urban landscape around her. I was blown away by her unique look and how comfortable she was behind the camera. We got to explore her interests and her personality making this session one I will never forget. I found it extremely difficult to find only a few images from her session to share because they all embodied her fierce confidence and beauty.
It was a pleasure getting to know Grace. I know that she will lead a very creative and fulfilling life and that makes me so excited for her and her family. VCU will be lucky to have you. I look forward to seeing you succeed in the future. Good Luck Grace!
I adore photographing newborns! My youngest is 12 so, my littlest clients give me my baby fix! They are so tiny, new, squishy, and adorable!! I love molding them into little naked balls, swaddling them into little beans with my wraps, and perfectly inserting them into baskets and bowls. That said, a newborn shoot is not easy – with much of the work happening before I even book a client!
When I take your little one out of your hands to photograph them, I am accepting the greatest gift you have ever been given. I am taking the baby that just days ago you had only ever held in your womb. I have a HUGE responsibility to care for that baby and make sure he/she is safe and sound. I take that responsibility seriously and I have put in the work to make sure I am educated on how to photograph your baby safely. I have attended newborn workshops and classes to make sure I know how to mold, swaddle, and insert your perfect little bundles into the beautiful poses you often see in newborn portraits.
Often the pictures you see are not single images- but two or three images composited together where I am photoshopping out my assistants hands and fingers that are helping hold that perfect little baby in that pose. The beautiful pictures of babies hanging from tree limbs- often that baby is just two inches off the ground- not hanging freely as the photograph would like you believe. Expert and trained newborn photographers know these tricks and tools to keep your baby safe while still creating amazing art of your precious baby.
You are probably aware that newborn babies can’t support their own heads- so the famous pose with the little one holding their head on their tiny hands, is IMPOSSIBLE to do without doing a composite. I always tell a client I can’t promise that shot because unless the baby is relaxed and completely asleep- that shot isn’t going to happen. If your 6 day old baby doesn’t want to be in a certain position, I will not force them just for a picture. I still capture amazing images for my clients that express who their baby is and what they like even at such a young age.
The point of my post is to encourage people to research your photographers ESPECIALLY for newborn portraits. You only get one chance to do newborn portraits (they change immensely after the first 2 weeks) and you don’t want your first portraits of your little one and your first portraits as a family being done by someone without the experience your child deserves. While I understand cost becomes a big deciding factor for many people, for the safety of your newborn I beg you not to hire someone with price in mind. An amazing deal doesn’t equal proper training and education to provide you with a safe environment and portrait session for your newborn.
I continue to take classes and attend workshops on newborn photography. I want to stay up to date on all the information out there so that I can enhance my client’s portrait sessions. You and your little precious munchkin deserve experience, education and passion.
Look at examples of a photographer’s work and try to find the photographer with the style you are looking for. When looking into a photographer, make sure you ask many questions such as:
Get the information you need to make the very best choice for your little munchkin. You want your session to be something you remember with fondness and love, not fear and unease. Choose the photographer who will make your session easy for both you and baby, and will create amazing portraits you’ll cherish forever!
Here are a few composite images I have complete for my clients. Enjoy!
Before you know it, your precious baby has grown up right before your very own eyes. One day you’re chasing after them as they embark on their first run with those little feet and then the next you are receiving information about graduation caps and gowns. I’m currently trying to navigate my own feelings as my daughter, Olivia, is an upcoming Senior! While I am very excited for her, I find myself asking, “How did it all happen so fast?!”.
One of my favorite sessions to photograph are Senior Portraits because I get the opportunity to capture the cusp between childhood and adulthood that these talented young people experience. I am rewarded once more when I get the family together for their viewing and display the photographs – because the expressions of surprise, love and admiration are the greatest bonus I could receive.
I love seeing how each Senior chooses to express themselves during their session with their body language, the locations we go to, their clothing, and any props or important items they choose to add into their session. It gives me a glimpse into who they are and an idea of the kind of incredible future they will have. I have had students bring their baseball bats, footballs, guitars, skateboards, art supplies and surfboards to incorporate into their portraits and we always find fun and interesting ways to utilize their prized possessions to make their portrait unique. I am so thankful for the moment when they let their guard down and I capture the portrait where they are completely relaxed and comfortable because, that ends up being the one they love the most.
Senior Portraits are also a great opportunity to capture the family as it stands at that moment before they go off to college. There is so much that can happen in a year that it’s important to take photographs of everyone together before internships, relationships, and other life events pull people in different directions. I offer FREE family portrait sessions to every family that books a senior portrait session.
As the school year comes to a close, I am so proud of the Graduating Class of 2018. I know that you have an incredible future waiting for you and I am excited to see all that you will accomplish over the next four years. If you haven’t had your portraits done already, it isn’t too late to get some portraits done to commemorate this incredible moment in your life.
Looking ahead to the Graduating Class of 2019, I am excited to capture this year’s moments with Seniors and their families. I am currently offering a Senior Summer Session deal that is CRAZY and I know you won’t want to miss it.
Devon Shanor Photography is evolving once again with the addition of my new Office Manager and Marketing Coordinator, Becca Kajouras. She is a wonderful asset to the team, adding creative and new ways to organize my business space and market my portrait sessions.
Becca recently worked for the local SPCA where she helped find animals their forever homes helping to make families feel complete with their four-legged friend. It was there that she became interested in Marketing after helping to photograph some of the animals for the SPCA’s website. She’s currently finishing up a Bachelors degree in Psychology at Norfolk State University with a plan to pursue a Masters program in the future. In addition to working for Devon Shanor Photography and finishing up her degree, Becca is a single mom to her son, Wesley. Together, they have three dogs (Dakota, Lucy, and Winter) and a large tank full of fish! In her spare time, Becca enjoys painting, reading with her son, spending time with her dogs, and cooking.
I’ve asked her to answer a few questions so everyone can get to know her. I know you’re going to love her as much as I do!
What is your favorite color ? I love the color Green.
What is your favorite food? Give me Tacos or Home-made Greek food any day.
What is something silly you’d like to share?
I love to laugh and I love to make the people around me laugh. At home it is never a dull moment, I am always trying to be silly to make my son laugh, smile, or just hang his head in embarrassment. I love to sing and to create made up songs. Recently, I created a breakfast song that we have gotten stuck in our heads. I also enjoy playing Just Dance with my son and I always end up laughing when I mess up on a dance move. I am a Nickname Creator Queen at my house, and everyone has a ton of silly nicknames that we use. The dogs have the most nicknames at this point.
Tell us about yourself:
I love helping others. Ever since I can remember I was that kid that gave away her toys to cheer someone up or did what I could to help another person. I love talking to new people and getting to know someone – it is the highlight of my day. I love spending time with my 8 year old son learning about what he’s into at the moment, right now it’s Dinosaurs, Minecraft, and Cooking. I have 3 crazy dogs; Dakota (my old lady) – she’s going to be 10 this year and has been with me through everything, Lucy (my little bug) – is a rescue I adopted in 2017 after I took her home to help her recover after an orthopedic surgery and fell in love, and Winter (the baby) – is also a rescue adopted in 2017, she’s very smart and sweet and loves to bring me shoes as her way of telling me she needs to go out. I recently got back into painting and feel so much happier that I’m being creative once again.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Northern Virginia and I honestly miss getting on the Metro and going down to visiting the museums – my friends and I used to do that often. We (my son and I) moved to Virginia Beach 5 years ago to be closer to the beach.
Why did you want to work for Devon Shanor Photography?
A few years ago, I asked Devon to do a portrait session of my family (Dakota, Wesley, and I) after I got my Associates Degree. If you know me, you know I am not a fan of being photographed but I loved how Devon made me feel throughout the whole process. Ever since then I’ve stayed in contact with Devon and when she had a position open for Marketing, I knew it was my chance to work for someone I admired and to work toward something I had fallen in love with. I feel that Marketing helps me bridge my love of communication with my creativity.
What will you be doing at Devon Shanor Photography?
I’ve only been with Devon for about a month now and I have done a variety of things including organizing her space, creating marketing material, and coming up with new ideas for the business. Everyday I get up excited because I know I’m going to learn something new and that I’m going to get a new idea. I know I will be doing a variety of things with Devon that goes way beyond Marketing and I am excited to meet all of her new clients and the clients she has had for years.
I am just like you. I have a job, a husband, kids, grocery shopping, a home to clean, bills to pay and a life to live! I budget and cut coupons and love groupon and discount sites! I hate spending more for something that I can get cheaper somewhere else. I only have so much money coming and and I really do need to make it stretch as far as possible. I get it! That said… you REALLY DO NEED A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT done by a professional photographer! A “picture of you” is not just a picture of you when you are trying to sell yourself. And we all need to sell ourselves at times!
I was just searching online for a therapist for someone I love. I found an incredibly helpful site that narrowed down therapists in my area to those that specialized in the the disorder I was looking for help in, where they were located, a short bio about them and their practice and a picture. I was completely turned off by MOST of the pictures! Only a handful had professional portraits and most were snapshots with distracting things in the background and were unflattering. A few looked to have been taken 30 years ago with outdated clothing or hair. They might be AMAZING therapists but I didn’t even click on their profile for more information.
We all love selfies but a selfie is NOT a professional portrait!!!! Yes, I am a photographer and of course I have a professional headshot… but be honest, if you were coming to do business with me about ANYTHING and I had this as my profile picture or on my website, does it look like I invest in my business? It’s a SELFIE with clutter all behind me!
These are the kinds of things I saw when looking for a therapist this morning. There was one where he was standing beside a horse and you could only see a portion of his face but ALL of the horse!
We shouldn’t make judgments on people by the way they look…. but we do have first impressions that are hard to get past. We often have a TON of options in front of us and we navigate ourselves to the ones that relate to us. Often, unless we are buying something and there will have NO interaction (like online), we want to feel connected to the people we will be working with, buying from, spending time with, etc. Some of the pictures I saw today, the therapists were almost scowling… and you want me to come and lay on your couch and tell you my problems??? No thanks, Mr. Grumpy. The outdated ones… um no thanks Mrs. Seventies show. The selfies… is this a legitimate business Ms. Smartphone?
The take-away from this is you NEED to have a professional portrait. It doesn’t need to be BORING but it does need to focus on you and how you are trying to sell yourself. Do you want to be inviting and warm? Powerful and important? Confident and trustworthy? Self controlled and competent? Amusing and charming? Selfless and calm? Different jobs call for different portraits!!
Here are a few of MY portraits. I usually try to go for inviting, warm, and friendly. Sometimes I include my camera, sometimes I don”t. I love to be outdoors and since many of my sessions are on location- I usually choose outdoor locations too.
This will include the session plus one digital image.
Please invest in yourself and in your business. Put your best foot (er… face) forward and see the difference it makes!
Many parents, like mine, have hung every portrait ever taken whether it be just their children or family portraits. It has been proven to boost a child’s self esteem when they see themselves in portraits hanging around the house.
According to David Krauss, who is a psychologist from Cleveland Ohio it’s important to have those family/children portraits. It helps children see themselves as an important and valued part of the family unit.
As a photographer, I am biased, they say that there is something powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print. There’s stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience like touching a portrait. There isn’t really any of that in the digital world with all the social media that exists. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the actual image that involves your child or family.
Children like to feel like they belong, especially in this world that we live in today. Photographers get to create an image where the child feels safe and protected. They can look back on this even when they’re older and remember that safe feeling.
So yes, not hanging portraits doesn’t do any harm, but hanging them could help your child!
Here are some photos from my clients of them hanging portraits I captured!
Many women debate wether they should invest in professional maternity portraits. Some women struggle with body issues, or not feeling beautiful but you are a glowing wonderful women who is creating a human!! How amazing is a woman’s body to grow a tiny human for 9 months?
With that being said, here are a few reasons why you should get maternity portraits!
1. You are growing a tiny little munchkin! It’s hard work but most women even say they feel their best when pregnant. Even if you don’t feel fabulous, you are beautiful and you are creating this little miracle. I may be biased but I can ensure that you’ll feel beautiful after allow me to create some amazing portraits for you.
2. Although it won’t be long before this little addition is added to your family, now is the perfect time to just breathe. Get some family photos of what your family is now before the little one is added. It’s a perfect time to update family portraits but it also reminds you of what this time of your life was like! Portraits trigger emotions and memories. Plus, your children will love to see what mama looked like while carrying them!
3. If this isn’t your first child its a perfect time to involve your munchkins in a maternity shoot! It’s so much fun to see the excitement of the older brother/sisters as they wait on their new sibling! I can capture this happy time in your life!
4. The obvious reason… celebrate EACH OTHER!!! What a perfect time it is to capture this moment with your significant other. You made that tiny human, enjoy the love and happiness that comes with it. You can create amazing portraits showing those emotions!
5. You can get so creative! So many funny, serious and beautiful portraits can be created for you! One family we did a black background and white and black angel wings. We even once had a dad that wanted in on dressing up and got into a maternity gown with his wife!! We also can do the typical gown on the beach or you and your significant other holding your belly etc. We can bring in rainbows if this is a rainbow baby! Theres so much you can do with these sessions!
6. Maternity is the start of your munchkins very fast first year. I actually offer a babies first year program where I capture all the milestones of your childs first year of life.
If you don’t think these are enough, just remember you are absolutely beautiful no matter what is happening to your body. I know that I can help you feel amazing and have fun while we do it!
If you’d like to book a maternity shoot, I would LOVE to help! Contact me today to book!!
It’s the Christmas season which means it’s time for Christmas portraits! Meet the Coopers! I have worked with this amazing family before and they’re just a blast to work with!
Mia wasn’t in the Christmas spirit but thanks to my awesome assistant Olivia who gave lots of tickles and bragged them with candy canes, a few smiles were able to break through.
These little munchkins made mom get teary eyed because out of all their family photos they have never gotten everyone to look at the camera which made mom super excited!!!I think these portraits turned out AMAZING. It was such a fun shoot!
If you’d like to get some Christmas portraits there is still time! I’m having a Christmas mini session! It’s $50 for a 15 minute in studio session with a $25 print credit! These make wonderful gifts or amazing Christmas cards! Contact me today to book!
Welcome to the world sweet baby Devin! Not only did I get to capture portraits of momma’s new munchkin, but I got to capture BEAUTIFUL maternity photos!
Mom and Dad Urie are both in the military, so I would like to take this time and say thank you so much for your service! This couple was an absolute blast to work with. They are so in love and so silly together! There was a lot of laughter and sweet moments while capturing portraits for this lovely family!
I was so excited when I got the call that baby Devin had made his appearance! The little munchkin marches to the beat of his own drum and wasn’t sure how he felt about being the star of the shoot. No matter how he felt he was cooperative and I was able to capture some very sweet portraits for Mom and Dad to keep forever!
Andrea and Jamison thank you so much for allowing me to capture these sweet memories for your little family!
If you’d like to book a newborn or maternity shoot, please feel free to contact me!
Santa Clause made an appearance at the beach this year! The weather was chilly but I’m sure that made Santa feel at home! We had so many great families!
We love when Santa on the beach mini sessions because we get to capture so many beautiful portraits for families and help a family in need. Instead of a session fee we ask that those participating donate a toy for a family who may not get a Christmas this year. We actually over filled a big box of toys for the munchkins we are helping out, how awesome is that!?!?!
We had so much fun with this shoot as you can see below! Each family was super awesome and we were able to capture such great portraits that we love so much and hope you do too!