Tag Archives: First Landing State Park

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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Brittany and Dalton’s engagement session at First Landing.

He literally went the extra mile to propose to her.

Britany and Dalton are a fun couple. They reached out to me to photograph their engagement photos but they warned me they were looking for something a little different. They had me at “different.”

I’ll let Britany explain:

I’ve loved to run since I was 14. It’s a part of my life. Dalton has always hated running and would never go with me. I attempted to get him to go with me at least once a week.

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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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Jessica Magary’s return engagement.

My annual session with Jessica marks the start of the summer season.

Some things denote the start of a season. For example, strawberries in the field, the return of the red-wing blackbird, lilies blooming, are a few examples of the arrival of warmer weather. One of my favorite personal signs is my annual photo session with the sublime Jessica Magary.

Jessica and I have a long, storied history. We’ve worked together for over five years in some of the most extreme situations I’ve been in. There have been times where we were literally staring potential death in the face and continued to work. Thunderstorms with devastating wind, rain, and lightning at the ocean front? Pish. Been there, done that, and literally wrote a book on it. Went back for more, as a matter of fact.

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Severine’s recent fitness and beach session.

She is proof that female fitness enthusiasts are badass and feminine.

Severine is no stranger to this page. She is an avid Bikram yoga instructor and bikini competitor – not to mention sublimely beautiful. She carries herself with amazing grace and has a quick smile that is genuine. So when she told me she was going to be in town the day after her most recent bikini competition I cleared the calendar.

When I get the chance to work with someone as fit as her I think about bricks and grit. The juxtaposition of smooth skin and tight muscles plays well against the rough textures and edginess of an urban environment. This leads me to the back alleys of downtown Norfolk.

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