Spending Time with Family on Memorial Day | Personal

On Memorial Day weekend, we headed over to my parents house to BBQ and enjoy some pool time.  Can't deny having some free pool time, whenever you want, right?!?!  And little miss Aliyah LOVES spending time with her cousins every chance she gets to see them.  And obviously having too much fun in the sun, you get tired while eating your lunch!

Outer Banks or Bust | Personal

A couple weekends ago, we made a spur of the moment trip down to the Outer Banks. Jake had been working HVAC jobs down there with a friend and couldn't stop gabbing about it. Despite the cold and dreary day and a short snowfall (which was more like sleet), the beach baby in me felt like I was back home again. 

The vibes that I felt reminded me of home, from the friendly and helpful locals, to the overall chill vibe, reminding me that I wasn't in the hustle and bustle of city life like in Virginia Beach. Who knows, maybe  eventually I might make the move down there like Amanda Hedgepeth and her family did last year. And as Amanda quoted when we chatted about the Outer Banks; for an hour away, it really is a WORLD away!  

A world I definitely plan on visiting again soon! 

Working For That Smile | Smithfield Family Photographer

Kendrea is not only a friend, but also a co-worker.  We both work for the Navy JAG on Naval Station Norfolk.  We were chit chatting one day, and she mentioned about getting some updated family photos, since the last time they had photos done was before little man was around.  We discussed about locations, and I mentioned Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.  She looked at some photos from other sessions that were held there and fell in love! So we set the date and crossed our fingers that the weather will cooperate for us (we all know how bi-polar Virginia weather can be!).  Earlier in the week, the weather was being a pain in the butt, and we worried that it was going to be bad for the weekend.  

Well, we lucked out. It rained like crazy on Saturday, but Sunday, was awesome.  And when I arrived at Windsor Castle Park, I was surprised that there was NO ONE else there shooting sessions! It is really rare because Windsor Castle Park is a choice location by a lot of photographers in the area.  Guess we just lucked out! I have to say, little man definitely made me work for some smiles throughout the session.  In the first few frames, I swear he was giving me the "what do you want LADY" look. Kendrea even joked about how mean he initially is when he first meets someone new.  But let me tell ya, by the end of the session, he was all about giving me hugs and posing for the camera!

Thank you Kendrea for allowing me to photograph you and your family! 

All Good Things Must Come to an End... | Hampton Roads Photographer

As 2014 slowly comes to an end, I look back at all the sessions I had a pleasure of shooting. From a retirement ceremony for a dear friend, to my niece's second birthday party, to a homecoming for two dear friends of mine.  All in all, 2014 was a good year! But, I am hoping that 2015 will bring even more greatness!!!   Thank you to all of my clients that allowed me to capture memories for them this year. Here is a glimpse into all the great memories I was able to capture this year....  And here's to making more memories in 2015!

2014 recap

It's a Family Affair | Smithfield Family Photographer

When another photographer books a session with me, I always get nervous. Don't know why, but I sometimes feel nervous! Kayse and her adorable family are no strangers to me though. I have ran a Color Me Rad race a few years ago with Kayse, and her family was at the finish line waiting for her. Kayse is the owner and photographer of La Mia Bella Photography, and has been a photog friend of mine for a few years now. We have shot at the same homecomings along side other photog buddies.

Let me just add that Kayse and her family are HILARIOUS. I swear, I was laughing during the entire session.  To say we had fun is an understatement.  Unfortunately, I can only share this photo since momma Reese wants to keep the rest hidden....  Keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you Kayse for allowing me to capture these photos of you and your AWESOME family! Maybe next time we can do this one.... (CLICK HERE!)


Miss Madison the Fall Cutie | Chesapeake Children Photographer

You may recognize this little cutie. Miss Madison is no stranger to my camera. Last fall, her mommy and daddy joined her for a family session at First Landing State Park.  This year, it was just miss Madison, and this time, they brought their adorable doggy, Buster! Buster definitely is a riot.  He cooperated for some of the photos, unless you had a pine cone in your hand, and it's all over.  I think he liked the fact that he saw a lot of other doggies there as well.

I swear, every time I see Madison, she seems bigger! From the day her mommy came home on the USS Bush a few years ago, to last fall, when we had their family session.  Next time I see her, I bet she will be taller! Isn't it crazy how quickly kiddos grow???

Fair Winds & Following Seas | Hampton Roads Military Photographer

Sarah and her family hold a special place in my heart.  They came into my life in the beginning of 2013, just before Jake went on deployment.  We had their Pre Deployment OpLove session at Fort Monroe, and Sarah had on some FABULOUS sparkly heels that I drooled over.  Then while Jake was deployed, we had a Doctor Who themed session for the boys at the Adam Thoroughgood House.  I must say the boys were dashing!  It was quite eventful since during the session, they were beating the wisteria with their light sabers (yes, it totally happened!) and caused my allergies to go haywire.  To this day, Sarah and I joke about how the boys almost put me in the hospital that day.  On the day that Jake returned from deployment, I was fortunate to be there as well.  As emotional as homecomings already are, seeing Jake reunite with Sarah and the boys melted me heart.

Fast forward to this year, I get a message from Sarah that Jake was retiring, and she asked me to be their photographer.  Of course I said yes, they were like family to me!  The day finally came, and boy, was it a wonderful day.  There were many tears and laughter, needless to say, there couldn't have been a dry eye in the house.  Jake, Sarah, Liam, and Maddox, I love you guys so much! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and special memories.  In this crazy military life, I am thankful to have found awesome friends like you that have turned into family.

Fair Winds & Following Seas!

There's Always a First Time for Everything | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Aurea and I go way back.  When I first moved up here from Hawaii, Aurea and I worked in the same office.  When I first met Aurea, we immediately hit it off, like we were old friends that haven't seen each other.  When we walked through the building, many people thought that we were actually sisters! I mean, we do look alike. :)  I worked in the same office until two years later, I was given the opportunity to start my career as a federal civilian employee.  I kept in touch with her and others from my old office, until things got really busy.  Aurea texted me one day that she was interested in getting some family photos done, especially since they never had them done before! So we scheduled a date and time. 

The day came, and we met on the beach near the Lesner Bridge.  Let me just say her girls were too funny and had me laughing pretty much throughout the entire session! Here are my favorites from that day.  Thank you Aurea for allowing me to capture some memories for you and your adorable family!

A Day in the Park with Mommy & Me | Downtown Norfolk Portrait Photographer

Back in March, Sara, a friend of mine and past OpLove client, held an event for the SIDS awareness at the Indian River AMF bowling lanes.  It was in an event to raise awareness about SIDS, research funding, and to also celebrate two special little kiddos, Jax and Eli.  They also held a silent auction, in which I provided a gift certificate.  I was contacted a few weeks ago by Ms. Carmen, who happened to win my gift certificate.  Due to her hubby not being here, we set up a Mommy & Me session for her and her adorable son, Gabe.  We decided on the Pagoda & Oriental Garden in Downtown Norfolk.  I just LOVE shooting there, especially because there are many different backdrops to choose from.  We walked around the garden, keeping cool in the shade.  We even had the opportunity to go upstairs of the Pagoda and checked out the sights from high up! 

Towards the end of the session, we shortly discovered that we were in Hawaii around the same time, and that she knew a former neighbor of mines, Melissa.  It's funny how the military brings people together and you don't even know it!!

Thank you Ms. Carmen and Gabe for allowing me to photograph you guys. I had SO much fun!!

A Beautiful Spring Day | Chesapeake Family Photographer

Spending time with family is always on the top of my list. Especially when I get to see my adorable little niece, Miss Aliyah Mae! Jake and I headed over to my parents' house in Chesapeake and grilled out. Of course, we spent some time hanging out in the garage, listening to music and watching Aliyah dance her little heart out.  Needless to say, it was a beautiful Spring day and it was full of fun!