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.
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!
Twelve long years of school finally come to and end!!! I have watched this young lady grow up over the past 10 years and I am so excited to see how she has blossomed and grown into this beautiful woman. She will be starting her schooling all over next year at Liberty University, her parents Alma Mater, and couldn’t be more excited.
We had a great session, even if we did get attacked by gnats and bugs. :) Kendal rocked every minute of her session and her portraits turned out amazing.
I am so very glad that we did a few family portraits at the end as well. It’s important to do family portraits before your kids go off to college, who knows what the next few years may bring. There might be additional family members, people may move away and spending time together as a whole family may come less and less. It’s so important to take family portraits when you have the chance to capture your family, as your kids are born and your family is growing, as they are growing up and toothless and all legs and arms, and as they are embarking on adulthood and about to go spread their wings. It’s moments and milestones that we remember, but havign portraits to show us those moments is such a treasure!
So, thank you Kendal and the Farnsworth clan for allowing me to capture these moments or your family and this amazing milestone. Kendall, I am so proud of the woman you have become. <3 <3
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.
Megan is an up and coming actress in Hampton Roads- already doing amazing things in the area… and she’s still in high school!!! Next year she’ll be heading off to college and has some very big dreams. So very proud of her and can’t wait to say “I photographed her when she was just a teen!”
Megan- you were a joy to photograph and can’t wait to see all your dreams come true. Make sure I get an invite to your upcoming shows this year!
I met Latrice when she attended my open house in May. Her youngest son was graduating from high school and she talked to me about senior portraits. Her son, Emmanuel was not super excited about Senior portraits, so I talked with her about combining a family session with his Senior portraits. That way the focus wouldn’t be on him the whole time and we’d get those family portraits she’d been putting off for way too long. It’s important to capture the family when the last graduates, especially if there haven’t been any marriages yet. Capture the family unit as it has been for so long… because before you know it it will be growing again!
Once I met her stunningly handsome sons, (Devonta, Marquis and Emmanuel) I realized my job was going to be very easy. They could easily model, each one of them! I had such a great time meeting them and getting to know as little about each one of them. Handsome, talented, kind and compassionate… Latrice- you’ve done a great job raising these young men!
We did our shoot in the neon district in Norfolk and it was the perfect background for this family! We got some great brothers shots, some senior portraits for Emmanuel and some beautiful family portraits for mom! I can’t wait to see this family grow in the future… I see a few future daughter- in- laws someday!
It is ALWAYS an honor to photograph the Myers family. Recently, I was honored to photograph the beautiful Morgan for her Junior Ring Dance, with her handsome date Brandon.
I have been photographing Morgan for years, I think she was in elementary school when we began, and this summer we will be scheduling her SENIOR PORTRAITS!
I have been so blessed by the Myers family and to see Morgan all grown up and so beautiful, well it’s like seeing my own daughter growing up. Once so insecure and camera shy, it is so nice to see her, not just comfortable in her own skin, but ROCKING who she is becoming!
SENIOR PICTURES are coming up for Morgan and I can’t believe its already time to plan for this moment! Wow, so thankful one more of my kids making moves towards her dreams.
With that said I need to brag about our family photographer Devon who owns Devon Shanor Photography.
She has been there for our family’s every move; family pictures when we started over from divorce, back to school pictures, becoming sessions, ring dance, Prom, Senior pictures, Santa pictures on the beach every year, and we are currently working a cake bash for my 40th birthday… you name it she can do it and make it happen. We would be lost without Devon.
She knows my kids inside and out when it comes to pictures, she know my divas, my shy kid, my I don’t want to do this kid and she works with them all and makes it fun every time.
If you have a senior coming up Devon should be your FIRST Choice. I get this question a lot “Is she expensive?” Well I’m gonna answer that “NO SHE ISNT!” Some may think so, BUT I will say this the people that do are used to places like Olan Mills, Walmart, Portrait Innovations, etc where you have to go to a studio, get a few pre-made backdrops, set poses and prices. With Devon we get to pick location (and even poses if we want to do something crazy!) we’ve had so many differnt nature locations; just when I think we’ve done them all we find somewhere new! We’ve done the beach, Norfolk Pagoda, fields, and state parks… the possibilities are endless.
My other reason for choosing Devon, and only her, is I’ve personally have two very bad experiences with going to another photographer. one of them being for senior pictures for my daughter Katie. We hired a cheaper person for her senior pictures, thinking maybe we would get some amazing portraits art a cheaper price. Well, let me just say um…. it was awful! The pictures were blurry, the poses were horrible, she was a mom with a camera nothing more! Needless to say, we begged Devon to fit Katie in and we had them done right. Devon was wonderful about the whole thing. She did an amazing job and while I spent more than I wanted, I learned that I will never again trust anyone with my families memories except Devon.
*Side note: We had a house fire in 2014, the year my daughter graduated and we lost all of our flash drives (digital images) from every one of our sessions. Yes all of them, including those senior pictures. When I called Devon Shanor Photography crying she reminded me all my images were safe she had them all. I lost nothing and wasn’t out all the money for pictures that I could never replace. Well, I was out all of the images I had taken BEFORE Devon, the ones from Walmart and Portrait innovations, they were burned up in the fire and I had no way to replace them. But I didn’t lose the last 10 years of my family growing.
ALL OF THIS TO SAY THANK YOU MY FRIEND WE LOVE YOU!!!!! SENIORS THIS IS THE LIFE PHOTOGRAPHER YOU WANT TO SAVE YOUR MEMORIES!
Stunning. Energetic. Happy. Athletic. Fun. Beautiful. All words to describe the lovely Beca.
We had such a great time on both of our sessions! Why more than one session? Well sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t check with me and she does her own thing! Halfway though our beach session, the wind went CRAZY and Beca’s beautiful hair was everywhere, sand was flying into my camera and we were being blown over!! We just weren’t going to get the beautiful sunset pictures we wanted, so we scheduled a second shoot that thankfully provided a beautiful, windless, sunset.
Beca, I can’t wait to see how your last year in high school goes and what next year holds for you. I haven’t know you long but I do know you are a dedicated, beautiful, hard working soul and I know you will achieve whatever goals you set your mind too! Work hard this year, but enjoy every last minute of high school while you can, you deserve it!
I have been waiting to photograph Chris for almost year and I am so excited we finally managed to get it on the schedule! Chris had an insanely busy Senior year and he killed it on the Cox High School football team. I even got to go out for a few games and I have to say, I feel so much pride seeing my Seniors excel in what they do! Next year, Chris is heading off to East Carolina University and I couldn’t be more proud of him!
For our session, we headed to what Virginia Beach is known for… the beach! We started off in the trees and Chris rocked his pride for his upcoming college days! Mom, Donna, and dad, Matt, stuck around for a few pictures as well, rocking their pirate gear too. :) We then moved down to the beach and had an incredible time. As always, Virginia Beach provided and incredible sunset and Chris pulled out his inner model and we created some incredible images.
Chris, enjoy your last few weeks of high school. Enjoy your next four years of college (but not too much- you still have to go to classes!) Never give up chasing your dreams and occasionally take time to look back at these images and remember who you were, what you wanted in life, how you saw your future, etc. You are officially an adult now- but you still have so much life left to live and lessons to learn. I have confidence you’ll do an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what your future holds. Thanks for trusting me with your Senior Portraits. I have so enjoyed getting to know you this past year! :)
I love my job and I adore meeting the amazing, talented young people of Virginia Beach. Rayna is such an amazing young lady, super talented , sweet, caring, kind, funny and GORGEOUS! It was simply an honor to photograph her and she rocked her session. Her very early, very chilly session! We were up and shooting around 6:00 am and it was pretty windy and chilly, but you cannot tell in her pictures cause she is a rock star!
Thanks Rayna for trusting me again with your portraits. I loved spending more time with you and hearing about all your future plans! I am glad you won’t be far and know ODU is blessed to have you as a freshman next year!