virginia beach family photography 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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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. :)

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

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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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

September Sunset at Little Island Park | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Parenthood can pull at our heartstrings like nothing else. This ride of loving little people while still pursuing a career, personal goals, friendships and nurturing a marriage is a WILD one. Plus, there's no training or guide book - so most days we're just winging it. Can you relate?

This family is about to be separated due to work commitments, and Mom wanted to sneak in a photo session. I imagine her looking at these images while being miles apart from her babies. It yanks at my heart. I am grateful that the weather cooperated and we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset session at Little Island Park in Virginia Beach!

This was my second session with these cuties and they are so full of personality! Which is really how I prefer it. ;)

I loved the way little sis kept tugging on her Dad's beard! She was feeling shy and it helped comfort her - so sweet. And luckily, she didn't tug too hard - haha ;)

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
— Amelia Earhart

Friends, I have just added THREE more Fall Mini Session slots coming up on Saturday, October 14th. These are short and sweet sessions that are perfect for updating those picture frames!

Click below for more details and to book! :)

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! :)

3 Tips for Getting Littles to Look at the Camera | Photographer Education

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Photographing little ones can be a challenge - I totally get it! Whether you're in the backyard with your own kids or working at a family session, having eye contact with the lens can feel like a game of cat and mouse.

"LOOK HERE!!"

"Just look for ONE second!" 

"Over here!" *frantically pointing at the camera*

Been there, done that. And can I say, sometimes it just doesn't cut it. Depending on the disposition, patience, mood and sugar level (ha!) of a child, they might just not want to look at the camera. And most of the time, this is totally fine. I do always aim to get a close-up portrait of each child during a session. Some willingly stick their nose in my camera, but others take some coaxing. If I've done my job of connecting with them early in the session, it does go smoother.

Here are three tried and true tips for getting those little ones to look at the lens. Try one at your next photo session! :)

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A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.
— Jerry Seinfeld
  1. "Peek-a-Boo!" This is a classic move and one that usually works with babies. Even toddlers and school age kids love to play this way. I will hold the camera in my face and pop up over it with a funny noise or expression. Really play too - kids know when you're faking it! Dart behind a tree, a sand dune, whatever is available so that when you pop up they burst into laughter. Even a smirk will do. Then, snap the shot!

  2. "What's Inside my camera?" This is my go-to for very shy kids. I will tell them a fish (or another small object) is inside my camera. If they look closely, they'll see it. This creates beautiful, soul-filled images of kids looking right into the lens. Smiles are optional for this, but if I gasp suddenly "OH, there goes the fish! Did you see it!!?" it coaxes out a grin or a curious expression.

  3. "Lady, there's something on your head..." I like to use this one with older, more resistant kids. There's no shame in my game! I will place something ridiculous (a twig, a leaf, a rock, a kid's lovey or small toy) on my head and balance it in place. I ask them crazy questions and as they look at the object, I get close with my camera. Then, if I knock it suddenly off my head (usually acting like a lunatic lol) they will giggle and I snap away.

That's it! A few, helpful tips to try out on your littlest subjects next time. Let me know how it goes! 

Are you wanting more guidance and session tips while photographing families? Check out the Art of Imperfect: A Guide for Family Photographers and be ready for Spring and Summer sessions!


 

Cheering you on!

xo

Erin

 
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