Tag Archives: beach portrait session

Sarah and Jordan’s engagement session at First Landing.

Keeping it simple and pure when it comes to a couple’s session.

I recently met up with Sarah and Jordan at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach on a warm, breezy May day. It was cold and rainy for almost a week beforehand but it all went away on the day of the session.

I’ve known Sarah for a couple years now but never had the pleasure of meeting Jordan until our consultation day. It was apparent from the moment we all met that it was going to be an epic session. We agreed to a beach session, made plans, and counted the days until go time.

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Jessica Magary is my first ever Woman Crush Wednesday.

She was the first professional model I worked with after moving to Virginia.

I honestly can’t remember exactly how I first met Jessica Magary (https://www.facebook.com/jessica.magary). I think it was on a group shoot where a bunch of photographers get together with a bunch of models and worked with everyone for a little bit. I’m not sure. But somehow we did meet up and we agreed to do a solo session together. I even remember the date and location – September 28th, 2011 at First Landing State Park.

Now, mind you I was new to the area. I was living in Williamsburg and teaching but really hadn’t gotten into the local scene yet. I was still refining my off-camera flash skills, didn’t know the Virginia Beach area at all, and was looking for someone to work with to get my skills down.

In walks Miss Jessica. Her and her mom were super nice and understanding. We talked about rescheduling the session as there was supposed to be a storm.

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Kristin Smith’s amazing sunrise beach session in Virginia Beach.

Preparation and mindset are the keys to any successful photo session.

So many things are swirling around in my head right now as I try to write this entry about my session with Kristin Smith. She was amazing. Stunning. Graceful. Gregarious.

But I have to be careful as I don’t want to set this up as a rare occurrence with a one-in-a-million kind of person. Which she is, don’t get me wrong. But the reason why this session was such a success was because we both came prepared.

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Jennifer Pascual’s return to the beach.

We had so much fun the first time that we had to do it again. The results show it.

Sometimes a session goes so well, you can’t wait to do another one. Such was the case with Jennifer Pascual. She’s an up and coming model based in Virginia Beach. She’s currently in New York City working Fashion Week and working with photographers up there as I type this.

We teamed up for her first ever beach session earlier in the season. During a review of the images we discussed what worked and what could be worked on in terms of posing, et cetera, to do better next time. This woman wants to be tops in her craft and is like a sponge, absorbing as much information as she can get to improve.

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Valerie’s beach portrait session.

Doing a beach session has been on her bucket list for a long time.

Valerie is no stranger to the local modeling scene as she has walked in numerous shows and worked with several, very talented, photographers. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. We have several friends in common and but our paths never crossed until I got a message from her recently.

During our chat she revealed that she had never done a beach portrait session. It was something she has always wanted to do but never got the opportunity. Talk about a match made in Heaven. We quickly set up a time to meet up.

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Carrie Ellis’s bon voyage beach session.

This remarkable young woman was off to college the following week so we had to get one last session in. Why is she special, you ask?

A typical conversation between someone looking to do a session and myself involves several texts, phone calls, and/or skype sessions to establish a rapport, cover topics like expected outcomes, limits of exposure, outfits, make-up and hair style appropriate for such a session, availability, and so on. I then get everything set up, go over last minute issues and such right up to the start of the session.

The whole point of that is to point out that setting up a session takes some time. Days. Weeks even.

When people like Carrie contacts me, our messages typically go like this:

Carrie: Hi Mark, I was wondering…

Me: Let’s do it. When are you free?

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Jennifer Pascual’s first beach portrait session.

Time’s starting to run out for your beach portrait session.

I know some of you are wondering what’s up as I never post new work on a Monday afternoon. Well, truth be told, I’ve been slacking on publishing new work lately as this is my busy season with photo sessions, teaching classes at college, and various other reasons. For this I humbly apologize and offer up this rare treat to correct this.

Another reason literally hit me in my face when I took Oscar out for his first walk this morning. As soon as I stepped out I could feel a distinct change in the air. It was significantly cooler than the past month or so and a lot less humid. I was, to be honest, a little chilled.

A quick look at the calendar pointed out the obvious – it’s late august. Labor Day is just two weeks away.

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