Madison Kirby’s first beach portrait session…

…and my return to First Landing State Park.

It has been too long, my friends. I have missed you all so very much. I apologize for my absence.

I have known Madison for about 9 months. I first saw her at a local runway show last fall that I was covering. She stood out in my mind with her dark curls and amazing blue eyes. We began a conversation over social media with the goal of us working together. It was a long, strange trip from that point to this post (Me moving to Florida and back in 6 months being the biggest part) but here we are and I’m being honest when I say it was worth the wait.

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We made plans for a sunset beach session which made First Landing the place to do it at. She came prepared for everything and didn’t hesitate for a moment the entire time. She’s had limited experience working with photographers and had never done a beach session so we kept it loose and open with no hard plans or goals.

What a blast. Our time together was cut short due to me being stuck in tunnel traffic on the way there (Welcome back to Hampton Roads, Mark) but we made every minute we had together count. About two-thirds of the way into the session, with both of us in the water, the sun setting behind her, and her dropping look after stunning look I lowered my camera a little and said “You’re feeling it now, aren’t you?” A deeper smile came out, her chin came up a little, she looked back with absolute confidence and said “yes.”

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What an amazing experience.

Mark Knopp is a Yorktown, Virginia-based portrait photographer covering the Hampton Roads/Richmond areas and beyond. Contact him today at mknopp1(at) for your portrait needs or for photography lessons.

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