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 A few looked to have been taken 30 years ago with outdated clothing or hair.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 The outdated ones… um no thanks Mrs.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!
Another amazing year has passed. Last year at this exact time, I was just so thankful 2015 was almost OVER. It was a year filled with so much sadness and loss. I prayed for 2016 to be a BORING year at least! I just wanted to get past all the pain of 2015. God answers prayers and more. Like he states “There is a time and a season for everything.” The BORING year I was praying for didn’t happen, instead He gave me so much more.
Personal highlights of 2016… I started the year off on a cruise with my family. The first cruise we have done together and it was a beautiful welcome to the new year! In the spring, I visited NYC with my son and godson and got to see my childhood crush, Will Smith (aaaaahhhhhhh) film the movie Collateral Beauty. (Seriously, I was like a giddy child- and the coolest thing was it was an unexpected surprise to see him on set!! Thanks to an amazing friend who set it up!) In the summer, I visited Ethiopia again, with Habesha Momma, and got to start the process of opening a home for homeless and trafficked children. I also FINALLY got to take my husband to NYC. I love NYC and Brett has said for years ”NEVER” when I ask if he’d like to go with me. However, he finally agreed and we had a fabulous time together enjoying the big city!
One of the biggest personal and business highlights was I moved my business out of my house and into a true commercial space!! It was a HUGE leap of faith but I am so very thankful I took the risk. I LOVE having my own space. I’ve been a successful photographer for years BUT having my own name on the outside of a building makes me feel “I’ve made it!” It has been an amazing whirlwind of a year! I had a phenomenal Open House in my new space and felt so much love poured out. I have been blessed by the opportunity to photograph so many amazing people, families and projects. I truly love my job and don’t take for granted the fact that I am given the gift of creating moments in time for each of you.
This blog every year is one of my hardest… to go through the year and pick my favorite images to share. Each one of you are so special to me, all of our shoots hold special moments and laughs. In every single session- I am creating memories that I pray will be cherished for generations to come. Narrowing that down to 15-20 images to show my year in review… it is SO HARD! But here are some of the highlights I was able to narrow it down too… and once again thank you. Thank you for trusting me, thank you for supporting me, thank you for allowing me into your family.
Years ago, I visited Colombia in South America on a mission trip. Jamie, one of my fellow travelers, and I lost touch over the years, although we stayed FB friends. (Jamie is now living the adventure life in ALASKA! So jealous… until I realize I’d have to be cold all the time! Then I realize why I like Virginia Beach!)
Anyway- back on track, Janie’s mom Margaret has recently gone into real estate and needed professional portraits and Jamie refereed her to me! What a blessing. I LOVE referrals.
Margaret wanted beautiful, relatable, friendly images and the Founders Inn provided a perfect environment. She wanted to incorporate the beautiful gardens and architecture that they are so well known for at the Inn. She knows her architecture too and told me all the names of the arches, windows, treatments, stones, etc that we saw. I’m NOT educated in these things, and I had little to add as she discussed the beauty in the hotel! I can tell she’s going to do amazing in real estate. She knows her stuff, she’s relatable, she’s kind and she’s a joy to be around. If you are in need of a realtor, I think you’d find a perfect fit with her!
Check out her website here: http://www.margaretboundspresents.com/home.html and see her beautiful images enhance her website!
Lauren is great friend of mine who is SUCH an inspiration. She is a wonderful mom and wife and loves all things natural and is a phenomenal business owner! In fact, she has so much talent, ideas, inspiration and passion, she has multiple businesses!
She has her own natural skincare line and I have been purchasing her homemade organic soaps and skincare for over a year now.
Then recently, she completed school and is now a Professional Esthetician! (I have gotten a facial from her and it’s heaven!!) You NEED to check out her spa services!
She contacted me recently to help her with pictures for her website and we had such a great time together! She truly does lead an inspiring life and you can find lots of great tips and ideas on living a budget friendly, natural life plus you can order products, schedule appointments and just find some daily inspiration!
Please take a moment to check out her website! http://www.thenaturallyinspiredlife.com/
Join the Club!
Everyone whom I photograph is special to me, I adore all the people, families, children and couples I am blessed to photograph, but there are SOME clients who have become family to me. Clients whom have been in front of my camera time and time again.
I adore the high school senior who gets engaged and asks me to photograph the engagement and wedding and then a year or two later become Baby’s First Year clients. I love the family portraits that begin with the kids in middle school whom I am now capturing as they graduate from high school. The heart of my business is with those clients who stay with me year after year, milestone after milestone. It truly is what I have founded my business on. I WANT to develop relationships that last a lifetime. I WANT to be your lifeographer… the photographer whom you call during every big milestone in your life.
Therefore, I am so excited to be offering a new program inside Devon Shanor Photography, called the FourEver Family Program. You are automatically welcomed into this program after you have booked and held four sessions with me. Then, forever after that session, you will be eligible for discounts, specials, inside information and more!
There is no additional cost to be added into this program, you are added once you have had four sessions with me!
I’ll be reaching out to the families that are automatically enrolled and I can’t wait to add more as the years go on. I love my job and I LOVE my clients who have truly become like family. It is my honor, joy and pure pleasure to be able to capture memories for you that last a lifetime. Seeing your family grow up before my lens is truly a blessing!
I just returned from The Mid-Atlantic Regional School of Professional Photography (MARS) in New Jersey. It is a school I have been attending for the last seven years to stretch and grow myself as a family and portrait photographer. I love spending time with other professional photographers. Often, we will talk about WHY we became photographers and I have found that my story into becoming a professional photographer is often different than others. Most of my peers fell in love with the ART of photography. They began taking pictures at a young age and learned to develop film in a darkroom, excited by the process of photography. They often began by taking pictures of flowers, sunsets, landscapes, etc. Often that love of photography transferred into taking pictures of people. They seem to all have a deep appreciation and love for art of all kinds. They love visiting museums and often are skilled as artists with a pen, paper or paintbrush as well as behind a camera. They are passionate about art.
My story is different. I didn’t have a camera in my hand growing up and I’ve never developed film in a darkroom. I don’t often visit museums and I never did very well in art class. If you ask me to draw a dog, it might end up looking more like a horse… or a bunny. I fell in love with photography as a TOOL to capture love. I LOVE people. I am passionate about people and the connections between them. I began photography because I wanted to capture the love of family, the strength and passion in a marriage, the love of parents for their children, the connections between siblings, the transition of a young man or woman as they graduate high school and the beauty of new life in a newborn. THAT for me is the art I am passionate about. Photography for me is so exciting because it allows to to take those moments and preserve them forever.
That being said, I don’t shoot landscapes, flowers, trees, inanimate objects very often. I often will see a beautiful landscape and think “That is beautiful, I wish I had a family or couple here so I could create a beautiful portrait.” I notice the beauty, but to me, it would be made more beautiful if I could incorporate the love and connection of people into the scene.
Recently, I reconnected with an old friend who is an amazing artist in multiple different mediums. We had some long discussions about art and the definition of an “artist.” He inspired me to stretch myself and try to expand my view of art through my own photography. Don’t get me wrong, I see so much beauty and talent in landscape photographers, I have some friends who are incredibly talented in that field! I am in awe of what they capture! I just have a hard time myself bringing that same beauty to life behind my own camera.
Like I said, my friend encouraged me to try and stretch myself, and see beauty, vision and perspective in way that DON’T include people. Since I was going to be at MARS in Cape May NJ, a gorgeous place to photograph landscapes, old Victorian homes, animals, boats, etc, I decided to take him up on the challenge.
IT WAS HARD! I am so used to having a vision of what I want to photograph before I start, a vision that ALWAYS includes people. To just walk around and try to find inspiration in the objects around me… that was hard! I only really had one day to work on this personal project, and that day, it was raining and foggy. So my go-to sunrise or sunset pictures were out.
I’m definitely not ready to start selling postcards, but thought I’d share a little piece of myself with you. I feel like a brand new photographer again, as I definitely have a lot of room to grow here, but it’s important to stretch yourself and grow. Here’s me growing…
What a year this has been. Last year was a pretty terrible year for me personally and I was so ready for 2016. I was expecting a much better year, but I didn’t expect this!!!
Less than two weeks ago, I signed a lease on my new office space. It has been dream of mine, to get out of my home office, for such a long time but I have been so afraid to take the leap. With a HUGE nudge from my husband, I finally took jumped off the ledge and did it!
My space is located at 1642 Pleasure House Rd. Suite 108, Virginia Beach. The downstairs space is Synergy Space, an amazing multi-use space that can be rented for multiple different uses (parties, classes, networking, meetings, etc) and the upstairs space is ALL MINE!
It’s not a huge space, I’ll shoot newborns and professional portraits/headshots here, but I’ll still rent my other studio space for larger studio work. It is an AMAZING space though to work, edit, meet with clients and have my viewing sessions!
It’s been a long two weeks getting it ready and I am SO THANKFUL to everyone who helped me. Jeris at Smartgiraffe (www.smartgiraffecs.com) was amazing at helping me get my computer up and running and a new screen projector installed and working. My friends were amazing and stepped up helping me paint, decorate, rewrite and organize. My husband Brett did a majority of the work while I was out of town and did all the heavy lifting! I may run this business alone, but I am SO VERY thankful to those who lift me up and surround me with support.
Here is a progression of our before and after images!!
My Olivia helping put up my curtains and touch up all the paint!
My handsome bandyman. I wouldn’t be here without his support and encouragement!
ALL DONE!!! A few little tweaks here and there BUT I’m officially open for business!!!
Soon, I’ll be announcing my open house date and I can’t wait to celebrate with you as I embark on this new adventure… but don’t feel you need to wait. I’d love it if you’d stop by and say hello. I love visitors!
Six years! I have been in business over six years. I started with an office in my bedroom and then moved into my garage. Then, four years ago we moved across town and I finally had my own office space in my home where clients could come do their viewings. It wasn’t ideal having everyone come to my house, but I was still a new business and it worked! For the past year I have been praying about moving my business outside my home. I have had a lot of reservations, mostly rooted in fear, but decided to put it out there and see what God would do. I was pretty specific about what I wanted though. A space where I could meet with clients and do their viewing sessions, a small studio space for my newborn sessions, within a specific price range AND needed to be near my home. I have been looking around and NOTHING met those criteria. I wasn’t discouraged, I had faith the right place would show up when the time was right.
Unexpectedly, two days ago, that time was upon me! I am now the owner of my own business space less than a mile from my home! “Cue fireworks and confetti”
WOW! Yes, I’ve been praying on it, but seeing places that were 2-4 times by budget just made me think that finding a space meeting my requirements just wasn’t going to happen. Should have known not to doubt God!
Wednesday morning I posted this on Facebook…
I posted this in the morning and then, just happened to check craigslist on a whim for office space. By 6:00, I had the keys to a new space in my hand!!!!!! WHAT??!!?!?!?
All I can say is that I am in awe. I am scared, nervous, excited and overwhelmed! But I have great friends and a supportive family and we’re busy painting and buying furniture and working hard to get it ready.
Can’t wait to show it off!!!! I am heading out of town Sunday for a photography school in New Jersey. (www.marsschool.com) I’ll be home next weekend and plan to be in the office and working by that Monday!!!
I am so thankful for the past six years. I am honored to have been blessed by so many of you who have trusted me to capture your precious family portraits. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Devon Shanor Photography and thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for standing by and supporting me!
I adore these sisters! I have known then for years and they both run their own successful businesses. Recently, they both decided they needed a more professional look in presenting themselves through their business so we booked a portrait session to create some amazing new professional headshots.
Winnie works at The Christian Broadcasting network but also sells Thirty-one Gifts. I think her portraits perfectly display her fun and happy personality. She is so much fun to work with and truly is passionate about her job. If you haven’t heard of 31 before, check them out. Click here to check out her site! I have some GREAT organization office items from her and can’t wait to order some new jewelry from her new line!
Maggie also works at CBN but she is a Pampered Chef consultant as well! I think her portraits display her joy so well. She is always wearing a smile and is the best cook I know! She is so passionate about food and using great tools in the kitchen to make food prep fun and easy! I cannot WAIT to take her Freezer Meals workshop where you join her to create a weeks worth of meals in just one sitting! Check out her site here.
If you need to present a better you for your business, contact me today for your own portrait session. For the next month, I am offering headshots for only $99 per session! That includes your session and two digital images for you to use towards promoting your business online, on business cards, on Facebook etc! The proceeds from these sessions will go towards my September trip to Ethiopia where I will be photographing and participating in a missions trip. Contact me today if you want to book your own session!
As a small business owner, I know the importance of presenting yourself well. As social media becomes more and more prevalent, people are able to “see” you much easier and they want to know who it is they are working with. Professional portraits or head shots are such an important way to present yourself well to the world!
That said, meet Imani, my latest business portrait client. I met Imani at a networking meeting and we hit it off. She realized she really needed an updated business portrait. I was also so excited to hear about her business and I am SO very thankful for people like her doing what they do! Her business is called Inner Vision Concepts, LLC. It is created to assist women to find and/or refuel their purpose and passion so that they can walk out their destiny fearlessly, inspired and victoriously. Mo matter what their past has looked like, they don’t have to be defined by it. Rather, they can use it as a learning experience to propel them forward into their bright futures! For more information, Imani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This world is full of difficulties and it’s so important having people like her working to make it a better place. Thank you, Imani, for doing what you do! I pray success for your business and blessings to you and your clients!