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The Beatty Family

I love social media. Although my blog sometimes gets a bit dusty, I find myself on Instagram quite often and love meeting and networking with other local photographers. When I'm not watching food videos and makeup tutorials of course... Anywho, one of those photographers Insagram introduced me to was Denise. After years of being official "Instagram Friends", she reached out to book a session for her super adorable, stylish, and devastatingly sweet family. There was a tiny window where the session could happen - one child returned home from France just days before our session, and in just days another was about to set out half way across the globe to India. Oh, and did I mention the entire family was moving to California in days as well?? Go big or go home!

Fall Mini Sessions

How are mini-sessions different from a full session?

The way mini sessions are constructed allow me to reduce my costs, which in turn allow me to offer these sessions at a discount and work with more clients than my calendar might otherwise permit me to.

Where are the sessions being held? What if I've already shot there before?

Sessions will be held at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, Virginia. This is one of my favorite locations because it offers the ability to shoot both in the morning and the evening. It also offers different landscapes in close proximity, which make it easy to shoot at year after year for repeat clients. This location also offers ample parking and restrooms, great for families and photographers who will be on site for a few hours...

30 minutes isn't a very long time. Are mini sessions a good fit for families with small children?

Mini sessions are actually ideal for families! Young children often cannot be engaged much longer than 30 minutes, and you would be incredibly surprised at the amount variety we can accomplish in 30 minutes. 

What is needed from me in order to book a session?

In order to claim one of the limited slots available for a session, you must pay your session fee in full. Clients choosing Package Two will have the ability to choose between a full or 50% payment, with the remaining balance due 2 weeks prior to the session. All session fees are non-refundable should you choose to cancel your session.

What if there's bad weather on the mini session date? What if the reschedule date doesn't work for me?

In the event of unsatisfactory weather, all clients would be notified as early as possible. Sessions will all be rescheduled to a later date. In the event the client is unable to make the new date, arrangements will be made. If no date is able to be agreed upon between both parties, the client's session fee will be refunded.

Hmm... that all sounds good. I think. How do I contact you if I have questions or I am ready to book?

Contact me ASAP! Last year my mini sessions sold out in about 24 hours. Use the form below to be one of the firsts to book your session!

Introducing Neve and Aksel

While I wouldn't call myself a birth photographer, when someone asks if you'll be part of one of the biggest days of their lives, you don't say no based on technicalities. I'm not a food critic either, but I never turn down a warm brownie! The invitation into a delivery room is an extremely flattering one, and one I received from Liese and Craig last month. In case you're unfamiliar with how the whole birthing thing works, it involves ones most private of areas on full display. Not only is it on display, it's what one might call "the main attraction". This otherwise awkward experience was perhaps made easier by my longstanding friendship with Liese -- we've been friends since we were 12 -- and I was also there for the birth of her daughter, Leila. It was such an incredible experience, witnessing a birth as a spectator vs. being the patient. I was absolutely ecstatic to be able to share in the experience again for the birth of their baby boy and baby girl. Yes, twins.   

*All of the photographs in this series are modest and safe for work.

The Day I Became A Stolen Gear Cautionary Tale

If you ever find yourself in a bunch of photography groups on Facebook, every so often you'll see a horror story of a photographer who had their gear stolen. The first question is always "Do you have insurance?" followed by the caution to never do x, y and z - after the fact of course.  I truly never thought I would be one of those stories - until I was.

On the morning of April 10, some bored kids out on spring break "broke in" to my willfully unlocked car and not only stole my backup gear, but my business debit card as well. Oh, and my jumper cables. Savages. I have posted images on my Instagram of my carrying my huge gear bag into stores with me after a session because I am so adamant about not leaving gear in the car. So how did this happen?

I shot a wedding for an awesome couple, Ben and Cortne, on Saturday. I always take my trusty old D7000 with me as a back-up to each wedding. Because the amount of gear I take is already rather heavy, I usually remove the D7000 from my bag and leave it in my car until it may be needed. I so cleverly usually hide it under a jacket or other article of clothing and go about the rest of my day.

After wrapping up the wedding and heading home, I stopped for takeout as a post-wedding celebratory pig out. You other photographers know what I'm talking about! As I was doing the shuffle of grabbing the takeout bag, making sure I took my card, signing the receipt, and not stealing the waiters pen, I slid my card in my camera bag pocket.

Two days later, I rolled over in bed and grabbed my cell phone. I did the usual morning ritual and checked my social media and email. In my email I found 4 credit card receipts that I didn't recognize. Sometimes there is a delay or hold on a card when you shop, but I hadn't used my card since Saturday evening and why would purchases post in the middle of the night? I started to get suspicious and got out of bed and ran downstairs to retrieve my card from my camera bag. When I couldn't find it, I walked out to my car to see if I accidentally misplaced it when returning it to my bag after eating on Saturday. Opening my door, it was easy to see that my car had been torn apart and not only was my credit card missing, but also gone was my trusty back-up camera. Evidently my card hadn't been placed in my bag after all, but somewhere between the bag and the passenger seat in my van.

Why Sharing Locations is Okay

We've all done it. And after we've been rebuffed for the first time and we try it again, we do so with our teeth clenched and hope for the best, a little scared to open up a reply email.  

I'm talking about approaching another photographer and asking where a shoot took place. 

Location, location, location doesn't just apply to real estate. In the photography world, a location not only serves as a backdrop for your session but can set the whole tone of the resulting photographs. When I begin consulting with my clients, I always ask what look they want - industrial, urban, more earthy and nature-y (is there a better term than my made up one??) or even a beach theme.

These were taken by different photographers in the same area of Old Town Alexandria.