Severine’s Beach Portrait Session at First Landing.

The Charlottesville, Virginia-based yoga instructor takes a leap of faith in me and got so much more than she expected.

Severine recently reached out to me with a request. She wanted images of her doing various yoga positions for her business. Without hesitation I said yes and we started a conversation of exactly what she wanted. After seeing some images of her I knew she would be absolutely stunning for a beach fashion session that included yoga so I pitched that idea.

At first she was hesitant as she hadn’t done something like that before. We messaged each other a few times discussing the ins and outs. She asked questions, I explained my ideas and why I thought she would be perfect for it. I knew her natural beauty, especially those eyes, would be captivating. She agreed and took a leap of faith, trusting I wouldn’t let her down.

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Severine doing yoga silhouetted against the sunset at First Landing State Park.

That’s the thing of it all. After all the talk and messaging the person has to make a leap of faith. They think it through, come to an informed decision, and then put their trust in me to make them shine. I take that responsibility very, very seriously.

Severine was hesitant when we first started her session but, with very little coaching from me, opened up and blossomed like I knew she would. It was an honor to watch her transform from an uncertain, self conscious person to someone that truly owned her space. She was confident, sassy and hit poses that showed herself off wonderfully.

People ask me all the time what I get out of doing what I do. Watching people transform in front of my eyes, showing them the proof on the back of the camera, and watching their expressions is one of the greatest joys in my life. It feeds my soul.

I’ll end this with a few words from Severine herself –

I loved Mark’s pictures on his Instagram page and thought I would reach out to him to see if he was interested in a yoga shoot. He very politely responded and said yes. He then suggested opening the shoot to more possibilities which scared me a little because I haven’t done anything like it before but was intrigued. The photoshoot was so much fun. Mark was very helpful and gave direct directions on what I was supposed to do. 2 and a half hours half flew by. I had lots of fun doing it and can’t wait to do it again. The pictures are unbelievable! I’m stunned by how amazing they look!!! Mark is talented, is so easy going, very easy to work with, and is so helpful with directing. He made this experience very pleasant.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based portrait photographer covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him today at for your portrait needs.


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