hampton roads photographer

Brock Environmental Center Sunset Session | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Many of you will recognize this sweet family, but if you're new around here...you should know this is session number FIVE. I have watched them grow, have babies and chase toddlers. And now they are preparing to send their oldest daughter to Kindergarten this year. *sob*

Chris and Lacey are dear friends and it gives me so.much.joy to know my images are hanging in their house. It's been a year of change for them and I'm grateful these happy memories have been captured!

If you haven't had a chance to explore Brock Environmental Center, I highly recommend checking it out. The endless trails, wildlife and amazing sunset was the perfect setting for us!

 

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.
— Michael J. Fox

These girls have the sweetest and silliest personalities! A perfect combination.

Just a reminder, weekend Fall dates are booking through November. Soon, I will email out details about Fall mini sessions to newsletter subscribers first. If you want to get on that list, sign up by clicking the link below! :)

Sunrise and Sandcastles | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

I photographed this sweet family last Fall and when Mom, Karen, reached out for a beach session, I was over the moon! Their son is a.dor.able and FULL of personality.

Little guy just turned two, and with an early bedtime, a sunset session felt like a reach. The solution? Sunrise! I mean, if we're all up early with little kids anyway - why not make it happen!? Some kids are just better in the early morning.. and honestly, I love it too.

Watching the sunrise and getting home before most of the world has even cracked their eyelids open is a pretty fantastic feeling. I know my non-morning friends are rolling their eyes, ha! But seriously, I'm an early morning convert in my mid-thirties. In fact, it's the ONLY way I'm getting 80% of my work done this Summer with both girls home. 

The sun chased us this morning and it was windy, but I am in smitten with the effect. Email me for a sunrise session if you've got the babes and toddlers who go to bed before the sun. Let me assure you... it's worth the extra cup of coffee. Look at this cutie!

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.
— Maya Angelou

Friends, my Fall calendar is starting to fill up! With school-age kiddos of my own now, my weekend availability is very limited. If you've been wanting a Fall 2018 session, NOW is the time to book for the best availability! 

Want details about Fall mini sessions first? Sign up for the EAP Newsletter and get early bird access. :)

Bringing Home a Baby Girl! | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

There's nothing quite like visiting new parents in their own space and telling their story.

I always love hearing about their experience, how much they're sleeping and how siblings or fur siblings are adjusting to the newest addition. Maybe it's the Mom in me, but I love to meet them where they are (with a Starbucks treat in hand!) and just let them talk for a bit. I learn SO much about them as a couple and their unique experience of bringing life into the world. What a gift! So thankful for this work and the families who open their door and trust me.

I loved spending the morning with Kasey and Jeff. They are so laid back and seem perfectly matched. This is one blessed baby girl...

I want to document the brief period where our daughter will be so small. They grow up so fast!
— Kasey

I love a wakeful and contemplative newborn. Watching them take everything in makes me stop and notice too. Because - ceiling fans ARE amazing, right!? LOL! ;) 

"Can we keep her, Mom?" #fursibling :) 

March is a full month of maternity sessions and newborn due dates! So excited to meet some new Mommas and visit with others. If you're due this Spring/Summer - drop me a message (please include your due date) and let's plan your session!

I can't wait to tell your story next ;) 

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2018 Reading Goals! | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

If you've known or followed me for any extent of time - you may know about my love for reading. It brings me so much joy and honestly, I think it makes me a better person. I read for entertainment, education and inspiration. I love reading books that feed my soul! 

In 2016, I set the lofty goal to read 50 books. This was a HUGE leap for me. At the time, I was working from home and had a preschooler and Kindergartner. My free time was seriously limited and I made a real conscious effort to prioritize reading over television or mindless internet scrolling. You can read more about my books and experience HERE!

Last year, I decided to pull back some and read 25 books. I cut that previous goal in half, and it really let me enjoy and linger over certain books. I even surpassed my goal, devouring several books right towards the end of the year. 

I haven't blogged about reading since last Summer (oops!) but you can read it HERE if you're interested in my 2017 reads!

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This year, I'm going to stay pretty similar to 2017's goals. I have the goal to read 30 books in 2018! I am giving myself permission to tweak this number up or down, depending on how my schedule changes. These are the first reads of the year pictured above - and with all this snowy weather I've actually gotten off to a great start!

Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.
— John Green
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I will continue to use my hashtag on Instagram, #EAPreads - so follow along to keep up with the latest! If you are on GoodReads, come find me. I love using that app as a way to track what I've read and what I want to read. Their reading challenge is so motivating! I love to see that progress bar bump up with every book I finish. :) #nerd

I'd love to know what you're reading. Are you strictly non-fiction or do you love a good drama?

Happy Reading, friends! 

xoxo

Erin

Festive Family Session | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

You guys - full confession mode here. I am totally -that- person who is ready for Christmas right after Halloween. Totally guilty. And after having kids, I'm even worse!

I just love the joy and warmth of the season, so I can't wait. We're not particularly crazy about Halloween in our house either. Dressing up is great, but scary masks and haunted houses are not our jam. SO, this is why I found my daughter writing a letter to Santa at 6am on November 1st. I'm so proud - bahahaha! #sorrynotsorry

Anywho, I can't wait to share this gorgeous session with you! I met this family of five over at Stumpy Lake last week for a fun sunset session. Mom went back and forth about clothing options, but ultimately she ROCKED it ya'll. The red, black and plaid is giving me all the holiday feels. So, order yourself a peppermint mocha (or just roll your eyes at me, it's fine LOL) and enjoy all this cuteness. :)

These kids - OMG! The cutest. 

Those toddler kisses when they eat your face, LOL!

Hey friends - are signed up the EAP Newsletter? Stay up to date and hear first about 2018 mini sessions, specials and helpful tips. No spam, just inbox love. :) 

Fall Sunset at Stumpy Lake | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Oh, Fall. Stay awhile - won't you?

The light, the colors, the fluffy tall grass - I am smitten, you guys. 

I was so honored this sweet family reached out to me for a session. They'd been with a photographer for years who had recently moved, so I know it takes some serious trust to book somebody new. We get comfy with our people and change can be tricky.

But, let me tell you something that makes me love my job even more.

After about 5 minutes, they felt like old friends. We were swapping Halloween costume choices, birthday party themes and the joys of being five-years-old. It's like SO much better than being four - am I right?! They were so natural and laid back together, and I loved witnessing their unique relationships together. And Ms. Emerie was ready to direct and pose - I think I might need to hire her as my littlest assistant you guys, LOL! About ten minutes in, she requested I should "take a picture of just Mommy and Daddy and I will watch!" I mean - really? #meltmyheart

I sustain myself with the love of family.
— Maya Angelou

Thank you so much for the recent influx of inquiries, I am trying my very best to work my calendar to serve some awesome families! I will officially be done with 2017 sessions by the 2nd week in December (not including newborns that are coming - yay!). If you've reached out recently, please follow up soon. Thank you, friends! xoxo

Best,

Erin 

The Art of Imperfect Workshop Recap | Hampton Roads Photographer Education

Ever realize how passionate you are about something when you talk about it to someone else? This is how I've always been. When I get talking, I use my hands a LOT. I start talking louder. 

 Really loud.

 I get extremely passionate and excited and can't shut up. I really can't control it. It all just rushes out of my mouth and I feel a little bad for whoever was listening on the other end, LOL. My husband usually laughs at me and says, "You've got that look in your eye again." It's true. But, it's an excellent gut-check for me to have these little outbursts. Did I mention I have very patient and understanding friends and family!?

It means something has lit a fire in me and I should probably follow that calling. If not, it's like trying to walk around with that kind of energy inside all the time. Not always a good idea, ha!

The Art of Imperfect Workshop started because of these spirited talks I've had with others about lifestyle photography. That imperfect art of capturing families in an authentic and story telling manner that goes beyond a simple pose.

Saturday's workshop was such a dream and I'm so grateful to all the attendees, models and artists who made it possible! Six months ago, this workshop was not even on my radar. The fact that it happened still feels pretty surreal. Here are some of my favorite images from the day!

Makeup: BlushTones Artist: Meg Bryan

Models: The Meek Family - The Fulrath Family

Special thanks to BlogStomp and Lens Pen for helping spoil the attendees!

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I loved the controlled chaos of the shooting portion of the workshop, LOL! So much fun, I can't wait to see all the images. :)

So grateful for these fabulous families - are they cute or what? :)

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The sweetest group of photographers joined us as well. Thanks to Dana Rae Photography for sending over these awesome behind-the-scenes shots. So much fun! 

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Loved my time with these talented ladies! I can't wait to see them grow as artists even more. Family Photography takes a certain heart - and these gals have it! xoxo

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Interested in joining the next workshop? Be sure to sign up for the EAP Education Newsletter and you'll be the first to know details once they are released!

The 'C' Family at Pleasure House Point | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

On occasion, I will meet a family that has never enjoyed having professional pictures taken. Sometimes it's been years since wedding pictures or hospital newborn pics, so I'm even more excited when we meet! I love that they have trusted me with this job and I don't take it lightly. 

The work of booking a session, getting outfits chosen, hair combed and noses wiped is a big job. Once you show up at a session, it's my hope you can relax and just enjoy your time! I understand the struggles.

And this party of six - well, they were amazing. THE most well-behaved, joyful and polite kids I've seen. Mom and Dad, you are doing an amazing job. Teach us the ways or write a book - please! 

We explored Pleasure House Point while collecting snail shells and rocks. It was a perfectly cool, early Fall evening in Virginia Beach!

The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children...

These two brothers were the best of pals! I did not have to ask them to hold hands, they just fell into this pose naturally. The sweetest thing.

Friends, there are just a handful of dates left for 2017! I'm booking into early 2018, so it's never too early to reach out. Contact me today, I'd love to meet your family! :)

September Reset | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

There's something about September. Something that makes it feel like a fresh start. It doesn't have the same kind of January-New Year vibe, but it always feels like a new chapter starting.

The kids are back to school and I'm finding some breathing room. How about you? Any new goals or plans for this month? 

I saw this quote online and thought - YES! This is September. 

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Check out my cuties on the first day of school this week! I'm so proud of them both. :)

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Even though it still feels like Summer most days and the weather is unpredictable (looking at you, Irma) there's a gradual shift. Pretty soon Pumpkin Spice will be eeeeverywhere (no complaints) and we'll be discussing Halloween costume choices. The last chunk of the year zips right along. I'm looking ahead and mapping out our family calendar and trying to leave plenty of breathing room. That's why September is my reset month this year. 

Looking at the last few months of 2017 and evaluating what goals I've accomplished and what's still out of reach. I used to never evaluate like this. I was so forward thinking, I just kept plucking right along. I never stopped to really evaluate what was working and what wasn't. Am I the only one like this?! #daydreamerproblems 

Things I'm Resetting this Month:

  • Morning routines with school carpool, work, and fitness thrown in somewhere
  • Business workflows and monthly must-do's
  • Prioritizing personal and work goals for the end of the year
  • Holiday planning and bucket-list-writing (I want to take the girls to the see The Nutcracker!)
  • Utilizing my Trello boards to keep it all straight

...that feels like a lot, but I'm going to take it in weekly chunks. 

I'd love to know how you reset! Do you do it in one feel swoop in January or gradually throughout the year? Comment below and let me know. Have a great September, friends!

xoxo

Erin

hampton roads family photographer

The Art of Imperfect: A Workshop for Family Photographers

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Wanna hop in my time machine, real quick? Okay, buckle up.

Let's rewind to the Spring of 2013. I had a busy three-year-old and an infant. My life felt full in so many ways, but the artist in my heart... well, she was kicking her feet around and making a stink.

I tried to squelch her with thoughts like:

"I'm a stay-at-home Mom, it would be selfish to put my desires first."

"We don't have the kind of money for me to invest in building a business. That would be reckless."

"There's no lack of talent around here, I mean - isn't everybody a photographer?!"

Oh wow, my psyche can play some serious mind games. And not to mention the loads of guilt about ALL. THE. THINGS. if I even toyed with the idea of starting a business. Whew!

Still in that time machine? Cool, let's keep moving.

Fast forward to Summer of 2013. My sweet husband and friends were cheering me on about sticking my toes in the proverbial pond. I was ready to start photographing families and building the "portfolio" that all the websites said I had to do first. Um, okay. But - how?!

Friend, let me be real. IF, a local photographer had offered a workshop where I could:

  1. Learn some easy tips for managing a family session
  2. Practice that 'unposed' lifestyle look I was obsessed with
  3. AND give me insight on editing in Lightroom

I would have been ALL over it. Sign me UP! But, when I looked around, there wasn't a soul offering something for me as a newbie family photographer. I could travel to the west coast or to a big, expensive conference - but there was no way I could afford that in the beginning. 

So, after years now of specializing in families, I decided it was time to create it myself. A workshop for that 2013 Erin who was desperate to learn and grow as a family photographer! 

Can you relate to that fire in your heart? Photographing the love and connection in a family is a HUGE gift. You are documenting their current season of life, with all the beautifully imperfect moments. It's not something I take lightly and it continues to light my soul up! 

If this connects with you, I'd love for you to attend The Art of Imperfect on Saturday, September 30th in Virginia Beach. Click the button below for ALL the details. Can't wait to see you! :)

Have a few questions about the workshop? No problem, let's chat!