On August 10th, I held an Open House for everyone to stop by and come see the new space. Since June when we first decided to take on the space my office manager, Becca, and I have been working on getting everything perfect. I was so excited to share with everyone what the space looked like and I am so happy everyone that could show up, did. We found ourselves laughing with silly Photo Booth props, enjoying copious amounts of popcorn topped with candy from the popcorn bar, and drinking refreshing fruit punch with real fruit chunks.
Becca painted a wonderful canvas that was used as the guestbook and I took time at the end of the night to read what everyone had written. Thank you for all of the kind words! I am blown away by the feedback I received and so thankful to have such a strong supporting group of clients that have become friends and friends that have become clients.
Guests entered a raffle for a $75 credit and then enjoyed a quick tour of the new studio and office spaces. I now have a dressing room space, a make-up mirror, coffee machine, and more space for large families to enjoy viewing their photographs! I also had a slideshow of some of my most favorite photographs playing for everyone to see. I got to share some of our upcoming events: my back to school mini portrait session on August 25th at Tidewater Arboretum, my mermaid crown making party on September 8th, Senior Portraits for the class of 2019, exciting news about my Santa on the Beach session this fall, and new sessions that I am able to provide now that the studio has a separate space. I am very excited for what the fall will bring!
We had three raffle ticket winners that each won their own $75 credit toward an upcoming fall session. I can’t wait to photograph each of the winning families!Please enjoy some of the photographs of the studio and from the Open House.
We had such a wonderful turnout that we will be looking to host more events at the studio and at other locations. If you’d be interested in learning more about future events make sure to follow me on Facebook and watch for posts!
I hope that if you didn’t make it to the open house that I will see you soon to check out the space in person! I am very excited to share with everyone the new space and show off all of the hard work everyone has put in to make the space look so amazing!!
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!
Heidie and Nala were my first and perfect mommy and daughter duo! Heidie decided to make a special surprise for her husband and surprisingly it wasn’t Nala who spilled the beans to dad after the shoot, it was Heidie! She loved her video so much she showed him the video as soon as I produced it!
The session was AMAZING. We shot at Chicks Beach and it was a beautiful day despite the water being just a tad chilly. Nala, our little mermaid was upset when she got her tail wet, but momma stuck it out!
Gabby came to me with the idea of doing mermaid portraits. She had been thinking of doing them for years but hadn’t found a photographer she felt could capture her vision of what she wanted. So we discussed what ideas she had in mind and searched for tails, accessories and props. We decided to go for it and create her dream portraits.
This session was AMAZING. Even the sunset seemed to work with us in creating perfect portraits and gave us amazing colors and beauty. Gabby was a magical mermaid!! We even has a little girl come up wanting to see the “real life mermaid” on the beach.
These sessions are available to book now! We have openings in late July, August and September. I can turn your children into beautiful little mermaids or even make your own mermaid dreams come true. Book a mommy/ daughter session or a session with your best friend.
Contact me today if you are interested in making your mermaid fantasy come true!
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.
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!
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.
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!