hampton roads family photographer workshop

First Birthday and Family Session! | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

There’s nothing sweeter than getting to watch my littlest clients grow up! All these precious newborns who are now toddlers, but still have the same expressions they did when they were brand new. It always amazes me how fast they grow.

I love getting to catch up with parents and document the first birthday. There’s lot of ways to capture this milestone, and sometimes that just looks like an outdoor mini session! Check out this gorgeous little redhead and her smitten Mom and Dad. :)

A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.
— Agatha Christie

Although I’m done taking on sessions for 2018, I am currently booking into Spring/Summer of 2019. My weekend dates are always the first to go, so reach out soon if you have a date in mind! If you’re new here, I specialize in maternity, family and lifestyle newborn sessions.

Send me a quick email and let’s get your 2019 session on the books!

Best,

Erin

Virginia Beach Sunrise | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

No job is perfect, right? The only negative about being an outdoor, lifestyle family photographer is the weather! The forecast has been incredibly unpredictable in Hampton Roads this Summer. So many of my Virginia Beach oceanfront sessions have been rescheduled multiple times. 

My good friend and photography student, Jill, had been so patient with the endless rescheduling. Finally, we opted for a sunrise session to avoid evening thunderstorms and it was magical! Well worth the early alarm and afternoon nap to make it happen. ;) 

A great side effect? My husband loves when I work sunrise sessions because it means a Starbucks latte and chocolate croissant for him. His love language is baked goods, ha! 

Jill is an incredibly talented photographer and has an IG account over at Elodie Grace Photography - be sure to follow her there! She has mentored with me several times and assisted during some of my sessions. I love her patience with learning, eye for details and how she documents her daughter's childhood so beautifully. 

Here are just a few favorites from my morning with her sweet family!

We were together, I forget the rest.
— Walt Whitman

I'm all about splashing in the water at the end of a fun beach session! I love that Jill prioritized letting loose and connecting with her family. There is so much beauty in embracing the messy sometimes, right? 

Friends, my 2018 calendar is nearly full. If you have been wanting a session, please reach out soon! Also, if you want to lock in a 2019 date at 2018 pricing, now's the time. Drop me a line below and let's get you scheduled! :)

Best,

Erin

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5 Year Biz Anniversary + A Treat! | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

I blinked and it's August. How does this keep happening?!

You guys, it's one of my faaaavorite weeks!

TWO exciting reasons: 

1. It's my birthday week, yay! 

2. It's my business anniversary!

That's right, it's officially been five years since I launched EAP and I'm pretty stinkin' excited, humbled and honestly.. kinda shocked. If you had told me ten years ago this is what my career would look like, I would NOT have believed you.

Do you ever wish you had a time machine so you could pop back to the beginning and tell/teach/lecture your younger self? This is certainly how my brain works and I have frequent conversations with future Erin too. #soundscrazyIknow

If you are an EAP Family, be sure to check your email this week! I'll be sending out a special 'thank you' treat and if you know me well... it has to do with caffeinated beverages. #basic

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If you are NOT on the EAP Newsletter - then let's fix that! You'll get seasonal updates from me about mini sessions, availability and special offers. So, maybe like 3 or 4 emails a year? Nothing spammy, promise. ;)

Sign up here!

 

On another note, can I get sappy for a moment? 

Truthfully, I am phenomenally humbled by the families I serve. Your trust in me and the grace you extend is WHY I have been doing this for five years. The flexibility and blessings this offers my family are endless.

Thank you for being here. I'll never take your trust for granted, friends. Big hugs! 

xo

Erin

Golden Oceanfront Sunset | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Oh, this family. Where do I even start? 

Such sweet friends that are moving -again- because that military life, ya'll. I could write about a zillion words on this fabulous crew, but instead - how about some fun, quick facts? ;)

1. Abigail and I are both ENFPs married to ISTJs. We laugh about this and swap hysterical stories all. the. time. These men are so very patient, ha!

2. I met her when we were both young, newly married English teachers back in 2006. :)

3. Watching our kids play together is probably one of the sweetest gifts of our friendship.

Aaaaand I'll stop here, because #feelings! 

We chased some gorgeous light this night in Virginia Beach and I am so in love with all of these images. They love these sweet kiddos so well, and it's always such a joy to watch each of their unique personalities shine. 

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
— Robert Browning

When was the last time you were photographed with your kids? Even if they have outgrown your lap, can I encourage you to get in front of the camera with them?

They deserve to see images of their Mom. They deserve to see your love for them pour out of a picture.

Friends, my Summer schedule is just about full! A handful of weeknight slots are available. 

EAP is booking into mid-October and I'm so thankful! If weekends are ideal for your family's schedule, please contact me soon and we'll get you on the calendar!

xoxo

Erin

Golden Hour at the Beach! | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Meeting new families gives me so much joy! My little extrovert self is so uplifted by hearing their stories. This adorable family have only been in Virginia Beach a short time, but are loving it already!

We had a blast chasing the sunset and their sweet little one-year-old at the Virginia Beach oceanfront last weekend. He was probably the happiest baby I have every photographed! True, I say this often, LOL! But seriously, he was nothing but smiles and so excited to explore/eat/dig the sand with Mom and Dad. ;) 

Gah, SO excited for all the beach sessions on my calendar!!

To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.
— Jeanne Moreau

If you've been dreaming of updated beach pictures this Summer - let's make it happen! :)

AND, there are just TWO Beach Mini-Session slots left for 2018. Snag one before they sell out!

Saturday, May 26th @ 7:45 pm or 8:00 pm

See you at the beach!!

xoxo

Erin

Half-Homemade | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

Last week was Spring Break with my kiddos and it was such a good, soul-filling time. My oldest turned eight - which feels SO grown up! #sobfest

 It's been a couple of years since she's had a proper party, so we had a Harry Potter themed celebration with some of her pals. If you know me (like, at all) you know my love for all things Harry Potter. Yes, I was already an adult when I read the books - but my love is REAL, ya'll. 

Also, I'm Team Hufflepuff if you wanted to know. 

Take the quiz here and let me know what house you are! 

Sorting Quiz!

I had so much fun planning the little details of the party, without going tooo overboard. Pinterest is full of so many free printable downloads - highly recommend! We had a platform 9 3/4..

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Ollivander's wand shop...

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...and Amelia requested a cake similar to the one Hagrid makes Harry in book one. 

This was the BEST request for a cake yet. I love making the girls' birthday cakes myself, so this was a no brainer since I'm not particularly skilled in this area. Me and my good friend, Betty Crocker, whipped up a chocolate cake and then I made my specialty - homemade, make-your-teeth-ache buttercream frosting.

As I was attempting to ice the cake a la Hagrid, I had a funny realization pop in my head.

I'm a 'half-homemade' kind of Mom. 

I don't make myself crazy trying to make every detail perfect for my kids. There are many things I say no to. But for certain things, I go ALL in. Sure, it was cake from the box - but it had some added love and Mom pizazz attached to it.

Also, my far more skilled husband piped on the lettering:

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Mothering in 2018 can feel like a race to impress. If I'm not careful, I can easily slip into the mindset of believing I'm not doing enough for my kids. By embracing this 'half-homemade' approach, I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders.

I'm all about that messy imperfection in life, so choosing to focus on doing a few things really well... reminds me I can't do everything. I just can't. And that is more than okay. 

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Can you relate? What are some examples from your mothering that are 'half-homemade'? Leave a comment - I'd love to know. :)

xoxo

Erin

P.S. And because the internet has a wealth of hysterical content, this GIF is for all the Harry Potter fans! You're welcome.

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5 Reasons to Love a Capsule Wardrobe | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

Okay, I know what you're thinking...

But before you roll your eyes at the term 'capsule wardrobe' - keep reading! ;)

I first learned about a capsule wardrobe in 2016 when I watched a TED talk by author, Jennifer Scott. If you haven't seen it, she discusses her process and what a capsule is. You can watch it HERE! As I often do, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of the internets and began reading whatever I could find about capsule wardrobes. 

capsule wardrobe - noun. a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items considered essential

At the time, I had been working at home for several years and my 'nice teacher clothes' were still collecting dust in the closet. I had all those awkward in-between sized clothing from after pregnancies (Moms - you can relate, right?). I only wore about 10% of what I actually owned! Mount Washmore was growing higher and I was tired of digging through it to find that ONE t-shirt I wanted to wear. 

It was time for a change.

After several seasons of working and reworking my capsule wardrobe, I am so thankful I committed to it. I don't have a specific number of items I keep, but I do have only my favorites hanging in the closet. Off season items are packed away so I don't have to see them until the weather changes. It's like seeing old friends when I take out my Spring scarves after a long Winter of jeans and boots!

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Here are 5 reasons to love a capsule wardrobe!

1. Cleaner closet and streamlined drawers. - If you're wanting to declutter, your closet is a great place to start! Connect with your inner Marie Kondo and find the joy. 

2. Always wearing favorites. - I don't have many days where I don't really love what I'm wearing. There's no filler outfits, so I feel confident in what I'm in! 

3. Way less laundry! - I mean, isn't this reason enough!? 

4. Investing in choice pieces. - Since I'm shopping less, I can save up and invest on better quality pieces. I find Winter pieces to be more of an investment, like heavy coats, wool sweaters and boots. It's my hope to purchase these items once and not have to replace them for several years. 

5. Saving time. - Imagine how much time you'll reclaim by not trying on five different outfits before your next date night! Moms struggle with decision fatigue already - make this part of your day simple.


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I wear mostly blues, greys and stripes - I'm not the most exciting or a fashionista by any means. But, I'm okay with that.  :)

I'd love to know if you utilize a capsule wardrobe! Share your experience or tips in the comments.

Chat soon!

Best,

Erin

In-Home Lifestyle Family Session | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Sometimes, in the middle of big life changes, it's easy to lose sight. To see the stress and difficulties instead of the blessings. I'm so guilty of this at times! Although I try to keep an optimistic look on life, I can become distracted by all the little setbacks and complications.

This is one reason why I love photography. Forgive the pun, but it allows me to see the big picture. What really matters in this life? Our connections and relationships to one another.

Nothing brings that to the surface more than in-home family sessions! The Baker family contacted me this Fall, during a busy season of life. They were about to move and are expecting their second child. Talk about big transitions! I loved that they chose to focus on what matters and document a morning at home as a family of three (soon to be four!). 

They finished breakfast, played, created, read books and made music together. We documented all of their son's favorite activities and his first bedroom. It was such a sweet morning! 

For in-home sessions, it's a great idea to have a short list of activities to do. Whatever your kids love, let's do it! They tend to forget my camera and enjoy making memories with you. Those are my favorite types of images to capture!

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
— Maya Angelou

Are you in a sweet season of life or about to go through a transition? In-home sessions are a great way to document your family just as you are. No perfectly polished or styled home required! I mean, I'm no Joanna Gaines - so I don't expect you to be either! Let's capture what really matters.

I have very limited weekend availability February-March. Drop me a note to get on the calendar! :)

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Wrapping up 2017! | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

For the last family session of 2017, I can't think of a more fitting family to capture! Dad just returned from deployment and this family of six is finally reunited. I couldn't be happier for them!

It had been two years since our last session and they have traveled the globe together and welcomed another baby. Blessings and sacrifices, but made stronger together. I'm so inspired by their connection and grace for one another. Here's to giving the people we love the very best of ourselves! They deserve it. :) 

Saying goodbye to 2017 and looking ahead to a joyful 2018...

Love is the answer. At least for most of the questions in my heart. Like: “Why are we here?”, “And where do we go?”, and “How come it’s so hard?”. It’s not easy, and sometimes life can be deceiving - I’ll tell you thing: It’s always better when we’re together.”
— Jack Johnson

As I reflect back on all the fabulous families I've had the honor of photographing this year - I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm already at work planning for an incredible 2018! Please remember, it's never too early to book a session.

Expecting a baby in 2018? Planning a family Summer vacation to Virginia Beach? I am currently booking sessions into August. I can't wait to see you next year! 

Happy New Year! xoxo

~Erin

3 Reasons to Pick Up Your Camera This Fall | Hampton Roads Photography Education

Let's be real here. Do you have a DSLR camera somewhere in your hall closet right now? Or maybe it's packed up on the top shelf of your pantry?

Wherever it might be lurking - I want you to think about the last time you used it. Did you take pictures last Christmas morning and it hasn't seen the light of day since? I get it. Life is busy and full. I totally get how overwhelming it can be to learn something new. Especially with that handy Iphone camera in your pocket. 

Can I just encourage you today? I want you to feel motivated and inspired to pick up your big camera. Grab that beast off the shelf and challenge yourself this Fall!

And if you're still dragging your feet and thinking of 362 excuses - here's an extra kick in the proverbial pants. ;) 

1. Your kids are busy doing ALL the things. Soccer games, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, pony rides, apple picking, treat baking, bike riding... I mean, there are a TON of fun memories being made this season. Everyone says that childhood flies by, but you don't realize how fast until you're the Mom and those babies are growing at warp speed. Let's freeze time just a little bit. 

2. Better Conditions. With sunset time moving earlier, that means you don't have to keep your littles up past bedtime to utilize the best light. Temps are mostly cooler and those pesky mosquitoes are on their way out. Head out shortly after dinner time and pre-bath time to get some practice in. Kids sometimes need a switch in routine. Make it a fun weeknight adventure. :)

3. Golden Hour is really golden. Fall (in my nerdy opinion) has THE best light. It's my favorite. Golden beams and a softness that just doesn't exist in July. Pay attention next time you're walking around your neighborhood at sunset. As the leaves changes and the sun drops, it creates absolute magic. And so much of photography is about the light. Use it well!

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Are you wanting more encouragement and support with your photography? Join the 'Stay Little' Lounge Facebook group and get access to helpful tutorials, fun challenges and motivation to pick up your camera today. See you there! :)