Krystal’s portrait session in a field somewhere in Sterling, NY.

Connecting to a location is a key element to the success of a session and think about prints for gifts.

During my recent visit home to central New York I had a chance to re-connect with a dear friend, and amazing model, Krystal. As it usually happens, life got in the way there for a bit between us, but there was never a doubt that we would work together again some day. It was just a matter of the stars aligning themselves.

I always told her that, if she ever wanted to do a session, I would move heaven and earth to make it happen. Some people are so great at what they do that you have to make the time to work with them whenever it comes up. So, when she texted me one afternoon asking if I had some free time for her, I didn’t hesitate. She also mentioned that she was a bit rusty as she hadn’t been very active in the modeling world for a bit.

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One of the most important elements to a successful session is the incorporation of the person into the element they fit best in. Why would you try to force a square peg into a round hole?

Krystal, for example, is very much an throwback to the boho/flower child/hippy days in her heart. Knowing this, it made perfect sense to put her into a place she could connect to. She could feed off the energy of the place, relax, and get into her old groove faster. An added bonus was the fact that I knew she had a tone of outfits that fit the look.

So we decided to meet up and shot in some fields I knew of on a back road in the middle of nowhere. Within minutes she was back to her old self, posing with ease. She’s one of the few people I know of that just knows how to move effortlessly. She doesn’t think about what she’s doing, she just does it. It flows from her naturally.

I’ve often said I should shoot a “How to Pose” video using her as one of the subjects. She’s a force of Nature. She bends and contorts in ways that simply amaze me. It’s like watching a willow tree swaying in the wind. I sometimes forget to push the shutter because I get caught up in her movements and just watch her do her thing.

if you’re struggling to come up with an idea for gifts the upcoming holidays or Valentine’s Day, stop right here. What could be more perfect for those that you love or just for yourself than images from a session with me? Take it a step further – what about getting prints done?

Imagine prints for the wall, the family album or a complete, bound, book. As we move forward in this digital age we are losing one of the most cherished traditions – looking through the family photo album. Remember doing that? Everyone huddled around you as you talk a stroll through the family history? What about something for that bare wall?

Prints offer so much more than cold, impersonal, ones and zeros on a screen. They are tangible, real, cherished mementos. A framed print becomes a heirloom to be handed down to future generations. Powerful stuff. As I move forward I see myself moving more and more to prints for a final product.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based portrait photographer covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him today at for your portrait – both color and black and white – needs.

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