Category Archives: Fitness Photography

Hope Roach’s portrait session at First Landing.

The Norfolk-based model is looking to break into the commercial and editorial market.

It is always a joy to work with someone new to the world of modeling. To watch someone start out on their journey, figure out where they fit in the modeling spectrum, and work hard towards their dream is very inspiring. Hope is on such a journey and it was my honor to work with her during our recent portrait session.

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Mrs. C’s Virginia Beach fitness portrait session.

Mother Nature provided the background, Mrs. C. was the storm. Read about what got her into fitness.

Mrs. C. is a force of nature. She exudes confidence and strength. I knew I wanted to capture that essence but also the fact that she’s a beautiful woman during our recent beach portrait session on a cloudy, windy day at First Landing State Park.

My intent with every session I do is to make it all about the person in front of the lens. I want to capture their inner essence, them being them. We will set up the shot with the outfit, lighting, and such but then I pause before putting the camera to my face and ask them a question or give them a thought to work on. Then I let them loose to interpret that idea or thought.

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“You do you.” is what I tell them. Then we go.

More images after the break.
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Eileen is my Throwback Thursday with a twist.

Also – there’s still plenty of nice days for beach portrait sessions left in the season.

Before I get into Eileen’s inspirational story I want to take a moment to point out that there’s still time to book a outdoor portrait session. As I write this, the forecast for the day is calling for highs in the upper 80’s with the next seven days in the lower 80’s. So, if you are thinking about a portrait session outside like at the beach, contact me today.

Ok, so a little backstory about this series. Eileen and I teamed up for a beach sunrise session back in the summer of 2014. She was, and still is, a fitness enthusiast and wanted images done to document her hard work and effort. We met up one morning and created what I thought were amazing images.

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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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Danielle’s Fitness Session in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

She was in final prep for a local fitness competition plus she wanted to honor her mom.

Danielle was the second person involved in my latest duo super session, along with her friend Shelley. These are her images and story.

I love helping people see themselves in a new light. I truly believe we are our own worst enemies when it comes to our self image. When we look at ourselves in the bathroom mirror at 7 am all we see are the “flaws” and “issues.” We never see the truth, the good.

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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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