Tag Archives: off-camera flash

Jessica Magary’s recent beach portrait session in Virginia Beach.

Two milestones achieved in one epic session.

When one gets a new camera and wants to kick off version 3.0 of your photographic career the right way, there was only one logical choice for a subject and location. Jessica Magary on the beach. It’s almost impossible to match up schedules, but when we do, it’s glorious.

As one famous movie character once said “We goes along like peas and carrots.” You can see images from several previous sessions on this page by using the search feature.

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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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Jinelle’s portrait session at First Landing.

Conformity is the enemy.

I have known Jinelle for a while now. She’s a fashion model in the local scene but I know her as she was part of my Power project over a year ago. We’ve remained in contact since then. She is a budding photography enthusiast and has been taking lessons to improve her imagery and editing skills.

She is a Renaissance woman. She works on her own truck, does woodworking, and goes camping almost every weekend among other things. She’s also, at almost six feet tall and in great shape, a classic beauty. There is no doubt in my mind that, if she was alive at the time, she would have been a model for a sculptor like Michelangelo.

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Kristin Bauer’s Health Coach fitness session.

The trick to doing this job well is to make it look like anyone can do it when really only you can do it.

I would say that the biggest challenge any professional photographer faces today is the thought that anyone with a camera, hell a cell phone camera even, can do our job just as well as those that have been doing it for many years. So many people look at our work, think it’s easy to get the same results, and don’t hire a pro.

Now, this is not an entry where I bash those with cell phone cameras or do it for fun on the weekends. Not at all. Heck, I even offer photo classes where people can learn how to get better images from the cell phones or point and shoots.

This is, however, an entry to show that there is a lot more that goes into a “simple” photo session. Let me take you on a rare, behind the scenes, look into my world behind the camera.

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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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