Chelsea & Matt | Engagements – The Signature at West Neck, Virginia Beach, VA

After rainy weather caused us to have to reschedule this session, we were all keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a little sunshine for Chelsea and Matt’s engagement session. And it worked!! The sun finally peeked through the clouds last Saturday right in time for these two to get a little cuddly in front of my camera.

Since Chelsea and Matt are getting married on a golf course this fall, we decided to head over to The Signature at West Neck for their engagements. This location is a particular favorite of mine – since it also happens to be where I married my prince charming – and I was thrilled to be headed back for a visit with these two lovebirds. They even brought their adorably frisky pup along with them!

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Love it when my couples bring their furbabies!!

Love it when my couples bring their furbabies!!

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Chelsea's gorgeous bling!

Chelsea’s gorgeous bling!

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Thanks for a wonderful session, you two! I can’t wait to see you and your sweet families again in October!!

2013 – A Year in Review

2013 was… so many things. Wonderful. Challenging. Amazing. Crazy. Unreal. Scary. Heartbreaking. Awesome. Dramatic. There’s just no one word that sums it up. I’m thankful for all the good and for all the lessons learned from the not so good. There were many blessings and many challenges and I’m not sure when it’s all said and done that the scales tipped in our favor but I do know that we finished the year in a better place than where we started and that in itself is a success.

It was a big year for my photography dream. It was the year I turned a seven year hobby into a business and maybe one day, that business will become a career. Thank you so much to everyone who supported and encouraged this little adventure of mine and to all of my clients – past, present, and future – it’s only because of you that I’m able to make this happen! It has been such a blessing to capture your memories and some of your biggest moments.

Here’s a little photographic recap of all that the year brought to Portraits by Anna. Enjoy!

Karen & Mike

The Seymour Family
Expecting Baby Smith
Miss Kayleigh
The Bedingfield Family
Erica & Nick
Rex & Sylvia turn one!
The McLaughlin Family
The Dow Brothers
Kayleigh & Jocelyn
Barrett turns two!Kayleigh's 6-month session
Peyton's Princess Teaparty
Sassy Sister Styled Session
Shoot-a-Thon with Sharon Elizabeth Photography
Styled Session with Amanda Hedgepeth Photography
Reagan turns one!
Brooke and Nicholas get married!
The Cloke Family

I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!! Remember, the best is yet to come!

Brooke and Nicholas | Intimate Church Point Manor Wedding, Virginia Beach, VA

Ever get so nervous about something that you become petrified and avoid that thing that is making you nervous?? I’ve been sitting on this blog post for nearly two weeks because I was so nervous about showing the world these images. How silly is that?!?! You see, this is the very first wedding I’ve photographed that wasn’t for a friend or someone I knew before hand. And, because of the timeframe of the wedding planning, I wasn’t able to meet either the bride or the groom and get to know them a little before their big day. Oh boy was I one big ball of nerves before this one!!

I love the relief you get when everything falls into place and you realize you were nervous about nothing. The venue was surreal, the groom a true gentleman who was so excited to marry his girl, and the bride just gorgeous and sweet. It was trully an honor to be chosen to capture their intimate ceremony surrounded by close family and friends. Everything about this wedding was simple, southern, and absolutely beautiful. I wish these two all the best of everything in their new lives together!!

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The Making of a Family | From wedding bells to baby bliss

As I mentioned in the previous post on Monday, Angie and I were at Penn State together and it was there that we bonded over being “failed archies”. (Which has nothing to do with grades or failing but that we both started out in Architecture and then changed majors.) It’s been ten years this fall since we met and in that time we’ve shared some of the best times and made a whole lot of memories.

Senior year, while I headed to Rome – the Archies let me tag along – Angie had a little extra time on her hands to get cozy with Shawn. And we’re all pretty glad she did, because that was where it all started…

Summer 2010, we all headed off to the Dominican Republic for their tropical destination wedding, where I served as Maid of Honor and honorary photog. Angie can probably be credited with my start in portrait photography – she may not have been the first, but this was where something clicked. What could you expect when the bride is as beautiful as this??!

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Three years later, we trucked up to Philly to shower Baby Kostreva with everything a little boy starting out in this world could need!


And just last week, Angie brought her momma and her little man to the beach for a visit. While I was photographing her as a new mom, I couldn’t help but notice how much she glowed. Its a radiance very similar to what we all saw on her wedding day. Angie is a very beautiful woman, but as Audrey Hepburn said, “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls”, and as you can see for yourself, that is so true.


And here’s just one more of the little man himself. Congrats momma, you did very well.


Erica & Nick | Senior Prom – Landstown High School

Last night, I had the opportunity to photograph this lovely lady – who also happens to be my husband’s cousin – and her handsome beau before they headed off to their prom.


Don’t they look great together!?! (Erica told me this was the first time she had ever really been all “dolled up” – this girl looks like she just stepped off a pageant runway!)

And check out these gorgeous flowers! ps. they’re real.


The first time pinning on a boutonniere is always a little tricky…


They snuck in a little silliness… Nick is quite the ham!


We got the mommas in on a few – Don’t these two have some beautiful mothers??


And Nick with his grandma. In the middle of posing, they both turned to each other and stuck their tongues out – you can tell they share a great relationship!


And they’re off!! I hope you two had an ammmazing evening! You looked great and I’m soooooo glad I was able to capture these memories for you and your families!!


To see more of Erica and Nick’s images, head on over to their PASS gallery!

(click on the three bars in the top left corner to access the menu with a download all option. Enjoy!!)

Expecting Baby Smith – Hampton Roads Maternity Photographer

Allow me to introduce you to the very first Portraits by Anna maternity couple!! I cannot express how awesome it was to receive my very first inquiry from someone I had never met. Karen is friends with my sister, also Karen, and had seen the pictures I had taken of her and her bf and asked if I’d capture this very special moment for her and her husband as they anticipate the arrival of their little girl. I was soooooo honored and excited! ((And terrified… because, what if I screwed this up?? What if the images weren’t any good?? These folks wouldn’t just be nice cuz I knew them… they might be honest!! *yikes!*))

Let me just tell you from the first shot in the camera, this session was a dream! I had been worried over nothing! Karen and Todd are so happy and content and and in love and in tune with each other, they just fell into the most perfect poses and looked like something out of an advertisement. They just naturally moved together and looked in the same direction that I caught myself sitting back and capturing their awesomeness.


Karen and Todd are avid runners. At just two weeks til their little lady is scheduled to make her debut, Karen is still hitting the trails! Talk about inspirational!

My sister had suggested including running shoes in the session and I just knew this HAD to happen. I was sooooo excited when Karen told me she even had “running” shoes for the baby!!!


Here’s the story behind these last set of images:

When I asked Karen and Todd to kiss, they started out with a chaste little peck, and then things got a little silly when they started joking that a kiss was what got them into this mess!

And what a beautiful mess they are in!

Karen & Mike – Norfolk Portrait Photographer

After leaving Amanda Hedgepeth’s Q&A I was inspired and motivated to start taking the steps toward owning my own photography business.

When you have a goal in mind that you cannot accomplish yourself, the first thing you do is rally your troops. So, the first thing I did was text everyone I could think of who might be willing to schedule a portfolio building session. My sister was my first taker.

The images below are of my wonderful older sister Karen and her boyfriend Mike. They are just awesome together. I have never, ever seen my sis this happy.

As you can see, she practically glows!


Thanks you two for being the first to step up to the plate!! Your support of me and this dream of mine means the world to me!