Severine Bertret’s newest Virginia Beach fitness session.

We joined forces at First Landing State Park after her most recent competition.

Severine is no stranger to this page. We’ve teamed up several times in the past to document her hard work training for, and participating in, bikini fitness competitions. This dynamo of determination doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants to do and I am privileged to work with her.

This time she had just placed 3rd in the Open Division of the Carolina Fitness Festival, made the drive to Virginia Beach, and stepped in front of my lens while still in peak condition the next day.

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I knew as soon as we got to the beach that we were going to have an epic session. Mother Nature provided a scene that matched her physique. The cloudy sky was a dramatic, energetic backdrop. The light coming through the clouds was alternately contrasty and soft providing a wide range of opportunities. Then there was the wind that added energy to anything that could fly – like her long hair.

The weather provided another benefit – an almost empty beach to shoot on.

We shot as long as we could. The catch of someone having such a low body fat percentage is that they get cold real easy. At the end, she was shivering and covered in goosebumps. We packed up, got her in warm clothes, hugged,and said good-bye until next time.

Severine isn’t taking any time off. She’s already prepping for her next show – the NPC Blue Ridge Classic in Charlottesville, Virginia on October 14th. Then she’s taking a year off from the stage in order to train for figure competition.

And I will be waiting anxiously by the phone for her call asking if I would be available for a session. Of course the answer will be yes.

I’ll wrap up this entry with words from her.

“Shooting with Mark is always a fun time!!! He is one of the first photographers that believed in me and my dreams. He is always on my priority list for shooting!!! He is very professional, punctual, knows his job, knows what he wants, and always make the experience a fun day!!! I’m looking forward shooting with him again soon.”

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based portrait, fitness, commercial, and boudoir photographer covering the Hampton Roads community and beyond. Contact him at mknopp1(at) with any questions you might have or to book your session today.

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