where stories are told
Maternity sessions hold a very special place in my heart, it's like the beginning of a new chapter in a couple's life. Instead of shooting this session in-home, we decided to take it outdoors! This maternity session took us to downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Honestly, Norfolk has so many hidden gems to see and explore. With a vibrant art community, even just an evening stroll downtown can bring you breathtaking historic architecture, art, stunning views of the Elizabeth River, great food, and incredibly diverse neighborhoods.
We decided to stop for coffee and tea at The Cure in Norfolk and then take a little stroll. Nothing was really planned, you know me, I just go with the flow. I shoot what I see and I don't typically guide poses. This couple had no fears about being in front of the camera and let me capture some super sweet moments. They shared stories about how they met, how they got together, and how part of their relationship was long distance. But now, a whole new adventure is beginning and they have no idea the way their hearts will expand and grow with undeniable love once their sweet baby boy is born.
We left the coffee house and strolled down to the riverfront. They love taking walks downtown and taking in the city (and I have a feeling baby boy will love it too!) Dad is a fellow photographer and videographer, so he brings his camera along on all of their dates and documents a lot of their daily lives. It was important for them to have me capture that aspect of their relationship.
We walked, we chatted, we drank fantastic coffee, we watched the sunset over the river, and even saw the cutest 3-legged dog out for his evening walk with his owner!
Stay tuned for their newborn shoot coming soon!
Also, if you're in the area, stop by The Cure- the coffee and tea was absolutely fantastic.
If you'd like to schedule a newborn session with me, use the contact tab above and let's get something scheduled for you!
I think Hampton Roads will always remember the 2018 Hurricane Season; I think we will all remember it as "the time we dodged the bullet". Hurricane Florence was headed straight for us as a raging, massive Category 4 hurricane. And if you've ever been to Hampton Roads, you know we have some serious flooding issues. We're knee deep in water at the first sight of a raincloud. I've seen people kayaking the streets of Downtown Norfolk.
Whenever I think back to Hurricane Florence, I'll always remember my "hurricane bride". We nervously watched the news and anticipated the storm. Each day it got closer and I said, "Okay, I've got to call my bride. We need to make a plan." And when she answered, she was the epitome of cool. Absolutely calm, collected, and totally unworried about the impending natural disaster just off our coast. She assured me that she had already had her freakout and was now at peace, but it took her a whole lunch break to calm me down. I'm not kidding.
She assured me everything would be fine, the venue was far enough north that we might get rain, but no flooding. Hurricane or no hurricane, this wedding was happening. Why? Because this union was 10 years in the making. So, I sat and watched the news religiously for the next 72 hours. And wouldn't you know, the giant monster shifted- we were in the all clear. Just like she said. Crazy how things work out like that, huh? It must be fate.
It was my favorite kind of wedding. The kind where everyone is your friend. The kind where you feel like you belong. The kind where you feel like you are welcomed into their family. Intimate and warm, filled with love and laughter. Fourteen people gathered there that day to witness the union of this couple and it was absolutely beautiful. I stepped out of the car and was immediately greeted and hugged by everyone. That's the kind of wedding it was.
The grey skies and remnants of Hurricane Florence were brightened by bold yellow sunflowers, lush greenery, floral accents, and twinkling lights hung around the front porch giving the perfect ambiance. Truly an evening to remember.
The old English Manor style farmhouse sat on 23 private acres and made the perfect venue for this small and intimate wedding. From the mammoth fireplaces to the ivy covered walls, the farmhouse oozed country charm and understated elegance. The candles and strings of lights gave the perfect romantic touches. Throughout the breezy evening on that big farmhouse front porch, there were stories shared, tears shed, good food, and a whole lot of smiles. There was even a lost dog, a search party, and an emotional, happy reunion! Also, fabulous cupcakes. Let's not forget the important things in life. What's a wedding without cake after all?
Here's a few more images from their special day. Feel free to leave a comment and congratulate the Mr. & Mrs.!
My personal note to the newlyweds is this: I wish you many years of happiness and adventures. Truly, you two are were made for each other. Come hell or high water (sometimes literally), I know that you two will embrace whatever life throws your way because you've got each other. Thank you for including me on your wedding day, my Hurricane Bride!
Make sure to follow me on Instagram and on Facebook. If you'd like to book your small wedding, courthouse nuptials , or elopement with me, use the contact tab above and let's chat!
A few weeks ago, I was invited into this couple's home for a photo session. The reason? Only the best news ever! They are expecting their first little one and I am so excited for them. I'm so grateful they trusted me with their memories and to keep this little secret.
I can't wait for them to experience the pure joy of seeing their baby be born or the experience of falling more and more in love with a little human with each breath it takes. And for them to realize just how good newborns smell. And how they fit so perfectly in your arms. And in your heart.
I shared this photo above on my Facebook page. I walked in their kitchen and somehow knew that's where their sweet little film strip of their baby would be. Where else would it be? It's right at home in between a to-do list and a receipt. It's such an iconic, yet subtle image that represents pregnancy to me. That little ever present reminder that, yes, there is in fact a little human doing flips and summersaults in your belly- even if you can't see them or feel them yet.
We chatted about all things baby, played with the dogs, and took some pictures. Then, we headed to that the store we all know and love-Target. We cruised down baby aisles, compared the differences between diaper brands, and test drove some strollers. Daddy to be even found a what we dubbed as a "butt spatula"- because I guess putting diaper rash cream on your baby's bottom with your own hand is sooo 2007. (pictured below)
Oh, how life is going to change for these two (in the BEST way possible!)- and I'm so excited to be along for the ride. I'm excited to play one, tiny little part in this little one's history.
Target runs will never be the same. Now, instead of just impulse buying that one cute top you spotted and that new delicious smelling candle, they'll also be buying another baby outfit they can't resist. Or wipes. Or diapers. Or baby food.
And it'll be the best thing ever.
Ready to book your maternity or newborn session? Get in touch with me by using the contact tab above or on Facebook. I cant wait to tell your story!
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.
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