Shelley’s fitness super session in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

She was in final prep for a fitness competition.

Shelley was part of a duo session. She and her friend Danielle teamed up to do a super session as part of their work-up for a local fitness competition. Danielle’s images will be posted later. This is all about Shelley.

Therefore I’m going to let her talk first.

“I was absolutely blown away by Mark’s professionalism and amazing photography skills. We did the shoot one week prior to a bodybuilding competition that I competed in and it was the greatest confidence boost that I needed right before stepping on stage. Mark truly captured the rough and hard beauty for the fitness photos and then we ended our session at First Landing with the most unique sunset I have ever seen. I have never felt so beautiful, confident, and feminine. Mark is truly an amazing photographer and I would recommend him to anyone. I have already started to plan my next shoot with Mark!”

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Me again. This session combined so many things that I love to do. We were outside, using the world as our backdrop shooting combined fitness, urban fashion, beauty, and beach genres.

We started in the alleys of downtown Norfolk using the gritty environment to show off the results of her hard work. There’s something wonderful about a hard body against bricks and asphalt. Then, after a break to refresh and rehydrate, we hit the beach. Sand, swimsuits, and sunsets galore. We were graced with one of the most phenomenal sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Probably the biggest prejudice women fitness competitors face is that they aren’t perceived as feminine. That they are too “manly.” Pure bullsh*t in my opinion. I think these images prove that. Shelley is a powerhouse of strength, grace, and femininity.

I seriously can’t wait for our second session together. History has proven that a second session produces even stronger images as we have gotten past the first time jitters and established a rapport. We know what works and build off of that and expand further.

Major shout out goes to Carly Vega ( for doing Shelley’s make-up for this plus doing it again before her competition the following week.

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


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