Kayleigh is One Year Old!! | Noland Trail, Mariner’s Museum, Newport News, VA

Oh this family! And this sweet, sweet, darling, little girl!! They rock my world!!!!!
This is now the… FOURTH time I’ve had the pleasure of capturing Kayleigh’s milestones and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see them again last week!
(Check out our previous sessions here, here, and here)

We kept our fingers crossed for sunshine and warmer temperatures and decided to meet again at Noland Trail, part of the Mariner’s Museum Park, in Newport News for our session. This park is a particular favorite for this family – mom’s an avid runner and has spent many hours and many miles enjoying the beautiful landscape of the trails around the museum. Thankfully, we were in luck, the weather cooperated, and we were able to capture some gorgeous images of this sweet little 1-year-old and her wonderful family. AND Miss Kayleigh’s momma even brought along a cake for a little cake smash!!

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I happened to remember Mis Kayleigh’s momma having an affinity for purple, so I put together this penant banner for our session. It worked perfectly with the little red wagon Miss Kayleigh had received as a birthday gift, just the day before!!

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How much fun is this wagon??

How much fun is this wagon??

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What little girl doesn’t love a string of pearls??!!

One very happy family!

One very happy family!

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Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Thank you, Smith Family, for inviting me to capture so many milestones for your family!! Every session has been such a joy and Miss Kayleigh could not be any sweeter!

The Cloke Family | Family Portrait Session – Elmira, New York

Finally!! I was finally able to get the Cloke family, all three of them, in front of my camera for a portrait session! Amber and I have been trying to make this happen for a looooooonng time. I’m so glad it finally worked out!

Amber and I go way back. Waaaaayyyyy back. Her grandparents built the house I grew up in, the same house where my parents still live. My dad likes to tell about her running around the house in diapers when he was there for a showing. You can’t go much further back than that. And let me tell you, we have some stories.

Recently, what I have loved most, is watching one of my very best friends become an amazing mother. The transformation has been remarkable. For someone who was so scared she wouldn’t know what to do, she is a complete natural. I love hearing about all of the adventures they have, all the little things Noah is doing, and all the picutres she sends. I’m so proud of the wonderful mother and trully outstanding woman I have the pleasure of calling best friend.

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff, now for the real reason you came to the blog today. Tell me this isn’t this one gorgeous family??

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And of course, one of this adorably silly little boy, hamming it up. Noah, buddy, I wish you weren’t so far away.

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Thanks for braving the cold for me, Cloke family!! And for totally rocking this session!

Sassy, Southern Sisters | Styled Shoot – Yale, Virginia

The end of October has been busy, busy, busy over here at Portraits by Anna. Now, this is not me glorifying busy – scheduling yourself within an inch of overwhelmed is no way to live! This has been a good kind of busy, a productive kind of busy, a Making Things Happen kind of busy. But, there hasn’t been much time to sit down and focus on editing and I wanted to give you all a little tease of some of the amazingingness from last Sunday.

Last spring, I was really inspired by the gorgeous images a few of the photogs I network with, who are also in their first year-ish of business, had in there portfolios and they all seemed to be from the same styled shoot. After a little blog stalking, I discovered Sharon Elizabeth, a super talented photographer in Suffolk who I had also happen to see grace Justin & Mary’s blog, and SHE was the one who was hosting these styled shoot-outs! Well, I signed up for the very next one… months away in October. I couldn’t believe I was going to have to wait that long!!

Well… time has a way of passing… haha cheesy, I know… and suddenly I was a week out from this awesome opportunity and hadn’t even rented my lenses yet!! Yikes!!

Now, I wrote a little bit about renting lenses in Monday’s post, but I want to give you the real reason I rent lenses for this type of portfolio building opportunity: As a new photographer to the wedding and portrait industry, I’m still building my equipment collection. This is an expensive craft and it takes time to save all those pennies for each new lens. But!! I would never, ever want one of my brides not to have the very best that I can offer on her big day and renting lenses helps me do just that. Because of this, I want to make sure my portfolio also showcases the best that I can offer and exactly what I would bring to the table as your wedding photographer. Whether I rent or own the equipment, I’m going to make sure I have the tools to capture each and every blissful moment to the best of my abilities.

Okay, now that you know the back story, the who, the what, and the why, let’s get to those images I promised to tease you with!!

These to gorgeous gals were just unbelievably unreal to work with – and they’re sisters!! I love how you can really see the differences in their personalities… both sassy, one sultry, and one sweet!

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BIG thanks to the vendors who participated in this event and Sharon for hosting!!

Venue: Clay Hill Garden Events Decor/Event
Styling: Debbie Harrup Wilson of Clay Hill
Makeup: KristineMarie Makeup Artistry
Hair: Kara Shae Hair Designs BTS
Coordinating: Pinch of Charm Weddings
Hosted by: Sharon Elizabeth Photography

Kayleigh | 6 Months – Noland Trail, Mariner’s Museum Park

When Miss Kayleigh’s momma contacted me for her 6-month portraits, I was thrilled!! I just love working with this family. I fondly refer to them as my catalog family. They’re so happy and at ease with each other that they naturally fall into the best “poses” and just look so great together. And Kayleigh was such a gem for her newborn session – she certainly spoiled this photog with her awesomeness – and I couldn’t wait to see how much she has grown!

Yet again, Kayleigh rocked her session. She’s such a happy, smiley little girl! Even though she was up bright and early the morning of her session, she smiled through the yawns and gave us some of the most gorgeous images.

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I just love a little girl who loves to play dress up! We had so much fun watching Kayleigh’s reaction to this tutu… she was just loving every minute of the combination of the tutu and her toes while she happily hammed it up for us. The expressions on her face were priceless!

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Just for fun, here are a few side-by-sides with images from their maternity session that we also did here at the Mariner’s Museum Park. What a difference a few months can make!!

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Barrett, 2 Years | Mommy & Me Portraits

This little man’s momma wanted some 2 year portraits with a similar look to the 1 year portraits they had taken last year; so the day after his birthday party, we decided to give Mommy & Me portraits a try. The reason I say, give them a try, is because we just happened to be shooting during nap time, after a morning of shopping, and a busy day the day before. We had no idea how it would work out but I’m always up for a challenge! We just needed to find a few distractions… 🙂

It turns out, golf balls and airplanes did the trick! Just see for yourself: the handsome 2-year-old and his beautiful momma!!

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Barrett’s Birthday Bash!

This little man celebrated his birthday in style with a Country Fair themed, pinterest-worthy party. His momma certainly out-did herself on this one!! There was a barnyard bouncehouse, ring toss, sack races, pie-eating contest, popcorn, cotton candy, and the list could go on!

A couple weeks ago the hubs and I traveled down to North Carolina with his family to celebrate Barrett’s 2nd birthday. This favorite little man of ours has been in our lives nearly as long as we’ve been together and it has been such a pleasure to watch him grow! We look forward to many more celebrations with this one – and his little brother, Oliver – and can’t wait to see what the future brings for these two little boys.

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Bobbing for Apples:

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Ring Toss:

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Goldfish Games:

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Pie-Eating Contest:

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Potato Sack Races:

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I was able to snatch these two and capture a few images in their adorable outfits! Their momma always finds the cutest duds for her boys!!

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And then it was time for the cake smash!! It turns out Barrett was more interested in the icing than the cake but he had a blast tunneling through it with his fingers and enjoying the sugary goodness. 🙂

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As guests left the party, they stopped at the “photo booth” for a family picture. Here are just a few of them:

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And I’ll leave you with Barrett and his bubbles:

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Happy birthday big boy, we’re so glad we could be there to help you celebrate!!

Kayleigh & Jocelyn | Cousins – Sandbridge, Virginia Beach, VA

I always get excited about the opportunity to photograph little girls!! Don’t get me wrong… I love all the little boys in my life but… in our close circle of friends little girls are hard to come by. Miss Kayleigh’s beautiful momma and I work together and I couldn’t wait to get this little princess in front of my camera – imagine my excitement when I found out Miss Jocelyn would be joining in the fun!!

Just look how gorgeous these beach babies are!!

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Little Miss Sassypants Jocelyn definitely gave me a run for my money… she made me work for it!! Oh man am I glad she did though… this is one of my favorites from their session and I’m so glad she was able to hold this pose for… maybe 2.5 seconds… before she was on the run again!

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This cutie pie is going to be one heartbreaker of a surfer chick one day. Her eyes are the most ammmmmmmazing shade of blue!

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Miss Kayleigh with her momma and daddy:

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And Miss Jocelyn with hers: (As you can see, we tried to tame her with tickles and even that didn’t slow her down for long!)

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Great session, girls!! Thank you sooooo much for giving me the opportunity to add a little more pink to my portfolio!!

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.


Reagan – 6 month session | Virginia Beach, VA

94-degree heat was not exactly what we had in mind when we prayed for no rain for this session… next time we better be a little more specific!!

This little cutie pie and her beautiful parents are such troopers. They were able to rock this session out in 20 minutes – and I’m so glad they were willing to give it that long! We were even able to coax a couple smiles out of this often serious blue-eye beauty. You can tell, she’s just taking it all in and one day, she’s going to blow us all away with all those deep thoughts!!

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What better way could you have started your week, than with all this cuteness?!?

The Bedingfield Family – Chesapeake Portrait Photographer

This family was long overdue for updated family portraits. They hadn’t had a family session since their little girl was an infant!! So when Jolene approached me about scheduling a session before Brian went in for a little surgery, I was more than happy to help them out. They have a gorgeous family!

Just check out below how awesome their images turned out!! (and by the way, the surgery went just fine)