Category Archives: Fitness

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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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.

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It’s almost time.

The return of sunrise sessions in Virginia Beach.

I was walking my dog just now and realized that, for the first time this year, it would have been a glorious morning for a sunrise session. The air was warm and the sky was dynamic. I love working at the beach but I simply am crazy about sunrise sessions.

Now, you know me. I love doing portrait sessions at the beach. There are so many different “looks” we can achieve there. Then we cap off the session by using the sunset as a background for some truly stunning portraits.

So what’s the difference between a sunset portrait session and a sunrise portrait session? Let me explain.

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Welcoming Spring back to Virginia Beach.

It’s been far too long since we last met. Here’s what’s in the works for the upcoming season.

In celebration of the death of Winter I’m posting some of the greatest hits from last year’s sessions. It is only a matter of time before we can head back outside and create even more magical images. I am not the same photographer that I was last season. I’ve grown skill-wise and want to stretch and use the new photographic muscles

On a personal level, I’m celebrating the impending arrival of a studio backdrop and other equipment in an effort to rebuild a small studio space at my place. I used to have one when I lived in upstate NY but it got destroyed in the move.

Having this small studio will allow me to create more fine art style images as well as fitness images, headshots, fashion and such. Recent forays into short video has shown a potential new route for me to take and this space will help with that. It also will become a default “Plan B” in case bad weather ruins a location session.

So, the future is looking bright. I hope you join me as I explore and grow.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia-Beach-based portrait photographer and teacher that covers the Hampton Roads community and beyond. Contact him today at mknopp1(at)cox.net for all your photographic needs.

Tis the season.

Very limited available spaces.

holiday special

Chantelle’s recent Virginia Beach sunrise session.

This Aussie transplant always brings the sass.

The return of Gwen for a sunrise session at Virginia Beach.

This woman always amazes me and why I prefer sunrise sessions.

What’s it like to work with Gwen? Well, as the line goes in the movie – “We’s like peas and carrots.” She and I compliment each other when it comes to all things photographic. Every time we get together it’s like reuniting with my other creative half. We are always on the same plane. In short – it’s like a homecoming.

Anyone strong enough to put up with my craziness for as long as she had deserves a medal. Not only has she but she keeps coming back for more. Gotta love her for that.

gwen cruz virginia beach sunrise session with mark knopp 4

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