Tag Archives: beach portraits

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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Susie’s sunrise beach and boudoir Super Session in Virginia Beach.

Tis the season for Super Sessions.

Ah, I love this time of year. The weather is warm, the sun is bright, and the sessions are often. This is exactly why I moved here nine years ago.

Where I’m from, we get less than three good months of shooting at the beach. There’s still snow on the ground in May. It doesn’t get warm enough to go near the lake until late June. Then the temperatures start to drop right after Labor Day. I mean really drop.

Here in Virginia Beach we can start doing sessions with sand between our toes around mid-April and keep right on to almost Halloween. Even then there’s an occasional day where the temps spike into the low 80’s well into November and off we go.

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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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It’s that time of year.

Gearing up for another portrait season outside.

Things are finally warming up out there which means a return to outdoor sessions. Personally, I’m counting the days until I can return to the beach and other wonderful locations.

I’m also building a small studio set up at my place in case the weather won’t cooperate or a client wants studio portraits done. I’m posting an image from a test run I did here recently.

That being said here’s a reminder of just what kind of portrait sessions I offer. These can be done on location or at my place:

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Despite what the calendar says, location portrait sessions continue.

There is no real “off-season” here in Virginia Beach.

The main reason I moved down here over eight years ago was the nice climate. Where I’m from snow flies before Halloween and lasts until May. Count it out on your fingers – that’s six months that snow could fall. And let me tell you, it falls. My hometown averages 140 inches of the white stuff every year.

Let me repeat that – averages 140 inches. 12 feet of the white stuff. We’d close up shop by late September and wouldn’t poke our heads back outside until at least mid-May.

Here is southeastern Virginia it really doesn’t get cold and it doesn’t stay cold for long. There are spans of time where it might only get to 50 but then, when the conditions line up right, we suddenly get a spat of 70-75 degree days. Thanks to technology we can see those days coming ahead of time and make plans.

Take, for example, Sean here. He reached out to me about doing a fitness session at the beach recently. A quick scan of the local forecasts showed that it would warm up over the coming weekend so we made plans.

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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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