Jessica Magary’s return engagement.

My annual session with Jessica marks the start of the summer season.

Some things denote the start of a season. For example, strawberries in the field, the return of the red-wing blackbird, lilies blooming, are a few examples of the arrival of warmer weather. One of my favorite personal signs is my annual photo session with the sublime Jessica Magary.

Jessica and I have a long, storied history. We’ve worked together for over five years in some of the most extreme situations I’ve been in. There have been times where we were literally staring potential death in the face and continued to work. Thunderstorms with devastating wind, rain, and lightning at the ocean front? Pish. Been there, done that, and literally wrote a book on it. Went back for more, as a matter of fact.

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The way things work out we always seem to find each other in late spring wanting to work together. Perhaps its one of those things of nature. Something kicks in that says “It’s time.” We try to get together a couple times a year but the other times just never seem to work out.

She tells me that I push her in a good way but, if I’m totally honest, I always grow the most when working with her. I always want to do my best but this is that drive multiplied by a factor of 10. To compound the issue I never want to play it safe. She’s my test bed where I try new things. Most of them don’t work but even those are learning experiences for me. Then there are the times that something new does work out and that’s a satisfaction that just doesn’t have a comparison.

This time was no exception to anything. We tried new things, most didn’t work, but some were stellar successes. Then there is the fact that we, once again, found ourselves outside during an approaching storm. I used to joke that she is a force of nature but, now that I think about all the times we were working in storm conditions, I truly believe that she is. When we get together Mother Nature makes sure to give us a dramatic backdrop for us to work against.

Once again our time together was far, far too short. We parted ways after a long hug. My mind was swirling with ideas that will have to wait for a later date. Until then, I’ll leave you with the following images to appreciate. Make sure to leave some love in the form of likes and comments.

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


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