Behind the Scenes | Lesner Inn Styled Shoot

It’s always fun to see what goes on behind the camera, so I thought you all might like to see a few behind-the-scenes shots from the Styled Shoot you saw in this week’s posts.

We started out with a few instructions from Amanda on how she would approach capturing all the details that the lovely vendors had put together for us.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-1.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-2.jpg

Then we moved outside, where Amanda gave us a rundown on the challenges of shooting a back-lit table and bride.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-3.jpg

Here are some candid photo ops with the model while some of the other gals captured the table details. As you can see, its important to photograph the details from every angle.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-51.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-52.jpg

Here’s the secret to making a sample gown fit a teeny model!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-77.jpg

A few more instructions from Amanda herself – this time showing us how to help pose a bride.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-79.jpg

And here are a few more of the gals, hard at work.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-96.jpg

Thanks again, Amanda, for putting together such an awesome portfolio-building opportunity and to all the vendors who participated in this event!!

Styled Fall Wedding Details | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer – The Lesner Inn, Virginia Beach, VA

Today, I want to share with you some of the details from the fall-themed, styled shoot you saw in Monday’s post.

Let me just say… these vendors!!! They are amazing!!

Again, the Lesner Inn, provided the perfect backdrop for this event. This venue is large enough to accomodate most weddings and yet still feel very intimate – and the view of the bay is just phenomenal!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-8.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-11.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-13.jpg

Now, I have to admit, I’m pretty partial to Sweet Temptations Dessert Cafe. They provided all of the deliciousness you see here and… they’re pretty awesome. They also happen to have been my wedding dessert vendor! (We didn’t quite go the traditional route and instead had a cupcake, cookie, and French macaron dessert table. Ooooohhh the macarons… mmmmmm!!!!) You’ve got to check them out!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-15.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-16.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-18.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-26.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-28.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-5.jpg

Invitations, place cards, table numbers, and all other paper and calligraphy goods were provided by the oh-so-talented PaperDolls Design. I perused through their website when looking for a link to attach here – they have some seriously beautiful stationary products, if you’re looking for custom invitations, please check them out!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-48.jpg

These gorgeous floral arrangements were provided by Palette of Petals and all rentals came from Waterford Event Rentals, LLC. How beautiful are those gold chargers?! And the tablecloths seemed to float in the breezes off the bay – they would be perfect for any outdoor wedding!!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-39.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-53.jpg

Hannah Hildebrandt Events pulled it all together and styled the event. If you’re looking for an event coordinator, check her out! She kept everything looking pristine – and even kept the candles lit when the breeze was determined to blow them out!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-87.jpg

To see the lovely bride and take a peek at what the other vendors have to offer, be sure to stop by Monday’s post! And… for a little glimpse at the behind-the-scenes, be sure to come by on Friday!

Styled Fall Bride & Reception Table | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer – The Lesner Inn, Virginia Beach, VA

I’m so excited to finally be able to show you the images from the gorgeous, fall-themed, styled wedding workshop hosted by Amanda Hedgepeth, at the Lesner Inn, back in October!! We had to wait until after Amanda’s images had been accepted for publish and last week, we finally got word that we were free to post. Murphy’s Law delayed my posts until this week, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, these images are SO worth the wait!!

We had some of the best vendors participate in this event and they worked hard to put together these gorgeous table-scapes. The decor, the flowers, the food, it was all just beautiful!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-23.jpg

This stunning gal is actually a wedding photographer herself, in the Richmond area, and graciously agreed to come model this unique gown from Maya Couture. The feathered bodice and ruffles make this dress just perfect for a fall wedding!

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-61.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-66.jpg

Table-scapes were designed by Hannah Hildebrandt Events using rentals from Waterford Event Rentals and floral arrangements by Palette of Petals. All of the papergoods and calligraphy were provided by Paper Doll Design.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-53.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-72.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-74.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-87.jpg

Isn’t she just gorgeous!! This lovely lady’s hair and makeup design is by Blushing Brides VA.

Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-85.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-39.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Lesner Inn Styled Bridal Shoot-98.jpg

This is just the beginning of the gorgeousness from this event – check back in on Wednesday to see more of the details and the amazing dessert and cake table provided by Sweet Temptations Dessert Cafe!!

Sometimes life isn’t so pretty… | Personal

Sometimes the reality we think we know isn’t at all what it seems.

I’ve been trying to write a recap of my experience at Make Things Happen for a couple of weeks. I wrote this post, explaining what led me to the conference, but for some reason the words just wouldn’t come together for a recap. I’ve started and stopped and started again and edited and deleted and it just won’t coagulate into something substantial.

And then, I found out that several women, some whose support I thought I had, have been using my words against me, twisting them, adding to them, and using them, and in reality using me, to break apart a family.

My first reaction was to remove their access to their ammunition – to take down this blog, to close my facebook page, to go back to photography as a hobby, because it isn’t worth the battle to have something I so thoroughly enjoy used against me. I have a career, I have a couple of degrees, I don’t need this nonsense in my life.

But, instead I’ve chosen to address the situation. Not in retaliation but to show that I’m human, too. I want my clients, my colleagues in this industry, and anyone else who happens to stumble upon my little piece of the Web, not to see a happy, perfect facade that would be so much easier to put out there, but that I’m just as real as the next guy and things sometimes go really great and sometimes really not so great for me, too. I want to share my journey of hard work and dedication, success and fallbacks, to show its not always easy but it is worth it.

It really is SO worth it. I may have a career and a couple of degrees, but this creative outlet that allows me to capture life’s important moments for my clients, and bless them with images that they will treasure for a lifetime, is so much more to me than just a business. This is a part of the big dreams I have for the future.

Your dreams are worth pursuing. There will be challenges along the way. There will be attacks that come from those you never dreamed would treat you badly or have so little regard for the damage their actions might cause. And there will be attacks from complete strangers. But, there will also be great victories. There will be people who think what you’re doing is amazing. There will be people cheering for you. And if ever you feel that there isn’t, just let me know and I will be happy to cheer for you!!

If I learned one thing at MTH, it was that you don’t need to know someone to cheer for them and to encourage them. We can all be in this together. And when we are able to look beyond ourselves and encourage others, amazing things start to happen. Don’t let the ones who don’t support you drag you down. Find the ones who do. Don’t let the noisy few distract you from the many who love and support you.

My husband and I have been married for seven months today and we are so rediculously happy together. We have a beautiful home that isn’t big enough to contain our blessings, two spoiled furbabies who bring us great joy, we are pursuing our dreams together as a team, and we have a support system that stretches deep and wide full of people who want nothing but the best for us and we want the same for them. Its not easy, it takes work, and it is SO worth it.

Styled Country Bride & Groom | Virginia Wedding Photographer – Yale, VA

Last week, in this post, I talked about the styled shoot-a-thon hosted by Sharon Elizabeth and gave you all a little teaser of the gorgeous sisters who were there to model for us. Today, I want to show you some of my images of the Bride and Groom.

First, can I just tell you that these two had never met before?!? They were able to brew up some pretty awesome chemistry for two people who had just met!! And can I also say… gorgeous?!?! Leah and AJ really rocked this session. It was so hard to pick just a few of the images and not post an entire album!!

(I’m working out the logistics of a website to go with this blog and, well, I’ve got to give you a reason to check it out when it goes live!)

Portraits by Anna_Country Bride & Groom-9.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride & Groom-2.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride & Bouquet-1.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride-1.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Groom-1.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride & Groom-3.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride-3.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride-5.jpg
Portraits by Anna_Country Bride & Groom-6.jpg

Sharon did an incredible job finding the models, vendors, and venue for this event. Thanks again to everyone who participated!!

Venue: Clay Hill Garden Events Decor/Event
Styling: Debbie Harrup Wilson of Clay Hill
Floral Centerpiece + Bouquet + Boutonniere: C & J Floral Design
Makeup: KristineMarie Makeup Artistry
Hair: Kara Shae Hair Designs BTS
Coordinating: Pinch of Charm Weddings
Hosted by: Sharon Elizabeth Photography

Our Weekend Trip to Boston

How often do you just happen to be in Boston the same week they win the World Series?? And when the parade happens to fit into your weekend plans pretty darn perfectly, well of course you must go!!

Here are a few cell phone pics of our little weekend away.

Our route took us through NYC. One day, maybe I’ll actually make it to Manhattan to really experience the city itself, instead of driving around it.

Drive thru NYC

This crazy, unseasonably warm, fall weather has pushed back the peak of the autumn leaves and I was sooooo excited to see there was still a lot of color on the trees!! These pictures were taken in Connecticut where the drive was just gorgeous. Our fall here in Virginia Beach is nothing compared to what I knew growing up in Northern Pennsylvania and New England definitely gave me a little taste of what I’ve been missing.

Just look at these gorgeous fall colors!

Just look at these gorgeous fall colors!

If you’re ever in need of hotel accomodations in Boston, I would definitely recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites by Boston Medical. Just ask to stay on the upper floors opposite the hospital and you won’t even hear the sirens. The staff was super friendly, breakfast was yummy, and check out the fun pumpkins they had decorating the lobby. And ps. If you’re a AAA member, there’s a pretty good discount available. 😉

These Jack-o-Lanterns greeted us in our hotel lobby.

These Jack-o-Lanterns greeted us in our hotel lobby.

We had planned to do some site-seeing while in Boston, especially since it was my first trip there, but… like I mentioned at the beginning of this post… how often do you happen to be in Boston the week they win the World Series??? So of course, we had to go to the parade!!

I wasn’t sure how the crowds would be so I didn’t want to risk taking my camera. Hope you all don’t mind the cell phone pics!

Waiting for the parade

Surfer Hubs and I, waiting for the parade to begin.

Surfer Hubs & Me

We had the pleasure of chatting with an older gentleman who happened to be standing next to us, about baseball, theater, the great ballad singers, Pavarati, good food, and so many more amazing things he had experienced during his life. I love hearing others tell the stories about what has made their life worth living. He never once mentioned his career and that is a lesson in itself.

We waited for over an hour for the parade to get to us! It was definitely worth the wait :)

We waited for over an hour for the parade to get to us! It was definitely worth the wait 🙂

20131102_111319

Check out the beards they put on the Duck Boats! I loved that nearly the whole parade was made up of these funny-looking tour buses. If we had been in town just one more day, you know I would have drug Chris on one of these!

They put beards on the duck boats!  How awesome is that?!?!

They put beards on the duck boats! How awesome is that?!?!

All decked out for the World Series Champions!

All decked out for the World Series Champions!

There were several TV cameras on the Duck Boats filming the crowd. We were near a guy in a horse mask… I wonder if we made the news 🙂

Duck Boats

More Duck Boats

Boston knows how to celebrate!

Boston knows how to celebrate!

After the parade, the streets were pretty crowded, so we thought it would be better to walk back to the hotel than to try to find a bus. It was a gorgeous day! I was expecting to get a little taste of winter but it turned out to be warm and sunny.

View of Boston leaving the Parade

Boston

I have to say, the Boston Police Department did a great job keeping an eye on everyone and protecting all the parade go-ers. They were out in full force but were just as happy to celebrate the Red Sox big victory as everyone else.

Check out that line of motorcycles!  Great job keeping us all safe! #bostonstrong

Check out that line of motorcycles! Great job keeping us all safe! #bostonstrong

The archie in me couldn’t help but snap a few architecture shots… here are two of the churches I grabed snaps of. The first is Trinity Church, the second is part of Northestern, but I can’t remember the name of it… sorry!

Trinity Church

I just thought the reflection was cool :)

I just thought the reflection was cool 🙂

And then we were back to to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.

Congrats to Shana and Pat!! And thank you for the wonderful opportunity to celebrate with you and enjoy this wonderful city. Best wishes and we hope to see you again soon!!