Sunrise session with Whitney Lockwood at Hillier Ignite Fitness Park.

My first time shooting at the Virginia Beach-based outdoor park at the Oceanfront.

Normally I hold my beach sunrise sessions somewhere other than at the resort area of our great city. All those hotel patrons coming out to the beach or watching from the patio of their rooms really adds to the pressure of someone trying to relax and get comfortable posing. I’ve had beach goers literally try to get in the picture with the clients, try to ask me photography questions when the lighting is peaking, or just stand there five feet away, ignore the sunrise, and stare at us.

But then there’s Whitney. Whitney is fearless. She’s a powerhouse of confidence and strength in a compact frame. She’s a powerlifter, personal trainer, and a fitness bikini competitor. So, she walks the walk and talks the talk. She would be just fine.

It’s been a while since we last teamed up but the stars aligned perfectly recently and we were off. She wanted to do the session at Hillier Ignite Fitness Park at the oceanfront. I’ve never been there but I’m always open to new locations. So we made plans to meet up one morning and I started counting down the hours.

What a morning. We were graced with a glorious sunrise. I was graced with a glorious subject to put in front of such a backdrop. We meshed up so quickly it was like we had just done a session just a few days ago. Two professionals working towards one goal. It was sublime. We started at the shoreline and then moved to the fitness center.

There wasn’t as much of a crowd as I expected. Those that were there kept to themselves. We tries to get the images at the park as quickly as possible so we didn’t hold up those that were there to work out. Overall I’d say the whole experience went perfectly and I’d be glad to do more sessions there.

It goes without saying that Whitney and I will be teaming up again in the very near future. You can reach out to Whitney with your fitness needs at her site here –

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. Leave some love here in the form of a “like” and/or a comment.

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