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.
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/
Can this family GET any cuter?!?! I had so much photographing CJ’s first birthday portraits as well as their family portraits. They haven’t done family portraits yet AND mom and dad hadn’t done any portraits together ever, so this was an extra special shoot for them. And when I say they ROCKED this session, I meant it! Denise and Christopher are a stunning couple and made my job so easy! The light was perfect and CJ was such a little model and his adorable smile melted my heart! I would have shot for another hour if it hadn’t gotten dark and chilly.
The images that resulted from this shoot are STUNNING! Denise cried when she saw them and honestly, that is one of the favorite parts of my job. I know it sounds terrible, “I like making my clients cry” but when they are crying tears of joy because they have never had such beautiful images of themselves… well, I might have shed a tear or two myself!
Denise and Christopher, thank you so much for allowing me to capture your family. It truly was an honor and I can’t wait for our next session!
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!
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!
Nigel and Tia are expecting!!!! I photographed Nigel and Tia’s engagement and am so very excited to be continuing our relationship as we head into photographing the Baby’s First Year!
I was SO excited to get the call from Tia telling me the news…. they are expecting a HONEYMOON baby! YAY!!!
I LOVE that I was one of the first to know as they wanted me to photograph the announcement. Nigel is deployed so we wanted to do a shoot that incorporated him across all the miles, you’ll see him in the phone pointing at a picture of the ultrasound! I love how the images turned out and am so excited to do a maternity session in six months or so. Tia is already glowing and I can’t wait to see how she transforms into the amazing mom God has called her to be.
I LOVE when I get calls asking for something a bit different than what I normally do! Erin called and asked me for professional portraits to use as she promotes the new teen novel she wrote. Not so different, right? She mentioned “quirky” and “fun” and then she mentioned “Dinosaur park” and I got excited!!!
We headed out to Pungo and braved the cold to capture these fun portraits! She mothered the baby dinos and climbed through fields (okay, bushes) trying to stay out of the way of the T-Rex. He found her though and she had no choice but to take him out with her bow and arrows! She blew kisses to a Brontosaurus and ran with Veloso Raptures!
If Erin’s book as as fun as she is, I can’t wait to buy it for myself and my daughter! As soon as I find out where you can buy it, I’ll let you know. As for now, enjoy these portraits and remember, your professional portraits need to reflect YOU! If you are quirky, fun and a little silly… your portraits should be too!
Sandy is 80 years young and still showing everyone around her how to love life! Her smile and her family wanted to surprise her with a birthday celebration! Her granddaughter Liz serenaded her with some amazing Jazz music and family from all over came to surprise her!
I have been blessed to know and photograph the Redden family while they lived here in Virginia Beach. As they prepared to move and Juliette to head off to her first year in college, they decided the best way to say “Au Revoir” would be to capture the family on the beach near their house! Some last portraits in the place they have called home for the past few years. And when I say this was one of the last things they did in Virginia BEach, I mean it! At the end of our session, the movers showed up to start packing the house!
Three stunning daughters, a mom and dad not afraid to have some fun, a beautiful beach… yep- it was a dream session for me! To the whole Redden family, I hope your trips have been wonderful and without too much drama! I hope you make lots of new friends and find lots of joy in your new home. Thanks for trusting me with you last moments in Virginia Beach. I had such a wonderful time and dolphins even showed up at the end to say goodbye! We will all miss you here!
Meet, Carla… fifty and FABULOUS! Carla contacted me and wanted to celebrate turning fifty with a photoshoot and I thought that was an amazing idea! We had such a great time at Red Wing Park in Virginia Beach. Carla brought along her handsome husband, Tyrone, and we captured some amazing portraits of their love. One of my VERY favorite things to photograph is couples still in love after so many years together.
Carla, I hope when I turn 50 I am as proud and confident in myself and my age as you are! You rocked your session and you rock your age! It was an honor photographing you and Tyrone. You were both incredible to work with and and I can’t wait to get the whole family captured someday!