Severine’s recent fitness and beach session.

She is proof that female fitness enthusiasts are badass and feminine.

Severine is no stranger to this page. She is an avid Bikram yoga instructor and bikini competitor – not to mention sublimely beautiful. She carries herself with amazing grace and has a quick smile that is genuine. So when she told me she was going to be in town the day after her most recent bikini competition I cleared the calendar.

When I get the chance to work with someone as fit as her I think about bricks and grit. The juxtaposition of smooth skin and tight muscles plays well against the rough textures and edginess of an urban environment. This leads me to the back alleys of downtown Norfolk.


There is an almost infinite amount of backdrops to shoot against there. You have smooth glass, corrugated metal and, of course, the bricks all within easy access of the streets. There’s also the battleship and the oriental gardens within blocks of each other. Don’t like the light? Wait 15 minutes or move 10 feet in either direction. We can do high fashion, pin-up, street cred, fitness, and so much more in one location.

So we met up on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and walked the streets. I knew the backdrop that would be perfect to show off her hard work and dedication. It would reflect her hard body, of course, but also her hard resolve to achieve her fourth place finish at her first ever competition (which is amazing, btw).

After we worked that scene we moved on to the beach where we went with a more softer look to show her feminine side.

You see, some people still equate muscle as “manly”. I think muscle is sexy on anyone, including women. One of the aspects that I like showing off, and want to show more of, is the idea that women fitness competitors are still sensual and feminine. Severine is the epitome of this ideal.

The time flew by far too quickly and it was a bit of a shock to realize that it was time to part ways but it was tempered by the knowledge that we will work together again soon.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia beach-based portrait photographer and instructor covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him today at for your photographic needs or for photography lessons.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: