An Historic Yorktown Anniversary Session | Sibert Family | Virginia Family Photographer

I had the opportunity to spend time with this wonderful family in Historic Yorktown, Virginia for their Fall Anniversary Session.  It was such a joy to be around their energetic kids who were so much fun to capture.  Crystal did a fantastic job at planning their session attire.  They looked great!  I especially loved how they just “rolled with it” during their session. 

Kids, no matter if they are really little or late elementary school aged, need to be able to act like kids. While that may sound obvious, it is important to expect what is reasonable for their particular age and maturity level.  Stephen and Crystal were so gentle, affirming, and completely incredible with their kids.  The best part about their anniversary session was how fun their kids were.  Their younger two children were so full of silly giggles!  The oldest son had the “preteen vibes” going on, which made my heart smile because it reminded me of my own kids.  I am one of those people who loves teenagers, and even used to teach middle school English…and I survived.  😉  Through being silly and a little help from a stuffed Spiderman (and two really awesome parents), we were able to capture lots of silly giggles and even a few snuggles.

We started out next to On the Hill Gallery, then headed down Main Street to the historic Nelson House.  We spent time there while the golden light was gleaming through the trees, spilling over into the garden next to the house.  The Nelson House is beautiful and is a significant part of Yorktown history.  (source )

This early Georgian architectural structure was originally the home of William Nelson, a prosperous merchant, who built it in 1730.   William Nelson’s son, Thomas Nelson, Jr. inherited the home from his father.  Thomas Nelson was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  In addition to this honor, he served in the Continental Congress, the state legislature, and as the governor of Virginia for a brief period of time in 1781.  He served as a brigadier general and commanded the Virginia militia at the Siege of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. 

After he passed away, his wife continued to live there for the following 30 years.  During the Civil War, it served as a hospital for the Confederate Army, and then eventually for the Union Army as well.  You can find images captured of the Nelson House in the 1860s from the Civil War in various books and on historical websites such as this one

I always consider it an honor to capture families and couples in Historic Yorktown, an area rich with our nation’s history. 

An Historic Yorktown Teen Session | Beauty Revived Runner-up | Belle Eve Photography

It was a warm summer evening when I had the honor of meeting Lydia and her family in Historic Yorktown, Virginia to photograph her as the runner-up for the Beauty Revived “50 Beautiful Children” campaign. The Beauty Revived organization emphasizes and promotes the inner beauty of children, teens, and women.

Lydia is a beautiful, sweet gal who truly shines. It wasn’t her external beauty, however, that motivated Sharon, a family friend, to nominate her for the “50 Beautiful Children” campaign. When asked “What makes this child truly beautiful?”, Sharon wrote: “Lydia is truly beautiful in appearance, but her heart is what is most beautiful. She is a young teenager but she doesn’t seem to be swayed in the ways that most teen girls are. There is a purity about her. She loves God deeply and steps into moments that reflect His love and affirmation of her God given gifts and talents. She also has a strong confidence about her, willing to step into the hard things. She also loves people with depth, a beautiful thing for a young woman her age.”

The inner strength and faith of Lydia is inspiring. She has a heart for others that manifests in a maturity beyond her years. As an elementary school student she and her sister sold lemonade to raise money for poor children in Haiti. As a teen, she has become a Bible study leader for her peers- the youngest one last summer, in fact.

It isn’t always easy to be a leader. Leadership can often mean standing on your own two feet even when you are the only one standing. Sometimes it means walking alone because you took a stand for doing what is right. It takes courage, and Lydia most definitely has this beautiful quality.

So Long, 2016!


2016 has been a great first official year of business for Belle Eve Photography!  Owning my own business has been one of the most exciting things and the most scary things I have done, yet I am having so much fun working as a photographer.  It has been a year of growing, exploring, and learning, which has taken me down a more definitive path as a business owner.

There are several reasons that 2016 has been a fantastic first year of business, which I have listed below:

  1.  Education, education, education! I completed three photography courses, attended mentoring sessions, assisted several professional photographers at family sessions and several weddings, and read a lot to learn more and more about my craft.  I am a firm believer that education is empowering to a professional, no matter what field you work in.  It makes a difference in your professionalism and skill level, which is vital to a thriving photographer.
  2. Often in my life, I have been someone that others have shared their hearts and concerns with. Compassion and mercy are important values to me, and have been something that I feel that God has used in my life to serve others.  I haven’t always been a compassionate person.  Well, let me explain.  I would feel compassion for others, but the “serving” side of me was not as mature in my early adult years.  I have endured a lot of really tough stuff, and before you start thinking “awe poor girl”, I have to tell you that I am thankful that I went through those really tough, heart wrenching events.  Those experiences were not any fun.  In fact, they were painful and full of agonizing “sobbing on the floor” moments.  However, I have grown through them, both in my faith and my maturity, and have a greater understanding of and patience for others.  For that alone, I am thankful.  I believe that the Lord absolutely uses those difficult times in our lives so that we can be there for others who are hurting, or who need a little encouragement.   I can honestly say that I love listening to the stories of others and hearing about where they are in life.  And, if I can be an encouragement along their path, then that makes it even sweeter.   I love being a photographer who is documenting a part of someone’s story.  I don’t just take pictures.  I capture life, and that is the coolest thing!
  3. With this being the first official year of business, I was so excited to see an increase in the number of clients served as 2016 moved forward.   I had the opportunity to capture seniors, families, individuals, a women’s ministry event, and a wedding (as a second shooter).  If you trusted me as your photographer this year, thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this moment for you, for allowing me to capture your beautiful children and families, and for promoting my business.   I do have one very big supporter, though, who definitely deserves a huge shout out and a thank you.  My incredible husband, Mike.  He has supported me without hesitation from day 1.  He went with me to get my business license.  He encouraged me nonstop.  To say that I have a terrific husband is an understatement.  He rocks.
  4. The fourth reason that 2016 was a great year, of course, was the families, seniors and individuals that I photographed.  Each of them was special in their own way, and each was a privilege to shoot!  You all are amazing individuals, and I consider it a blessing to have had the opportunity to get to know you!  Also included in the year was a women’s conference entitled “A Bible Study” (Established Footsteps Ministries) for which I did the photography for the stage art and photographed one evening of the three night event.
  5.  Last, but not least were the weddings!  I assisted for one wedding, and was a second shooter for another.  (I also took a class on Wedding Photography.) This leads me to how Belle Eve Photography will look in 2017.  I currently photograph families, seniors, and individuals.  In 2017, I will be expanding to engagements and weddings.  Marriage is such a gift worth celebrating, and I’m looking forward to incorporating wedding photography as a service and getting to know new brides and grooms.

Thank you, to my family, friends, and clients for making 2016 a wonderful year.  May God bless you and your families richly as we move into a new year!

Double Senior Session at Historic Yorktown


It was such a treat to photograph these two awesome people!  This session was unique in that we featured Senior siblings.  I especially enjoyed getting to know them as we walked around Yorktown, hearing about their dreams for the future and their favorite pastimes.   The session was detailed with several outfits, including a very sharp looking band uniform.   They looked amazing!  We started out their session at the Nelson House, moved to the gardens next to the Nelson House, and then walked down to the beach.   (They were such troopers!)

mckenzie1 brent6

A student’s Senior year is full of joy and excitement for the future as he/she transitions into adult life.  It was an honor to capture this moment in time for these young adults, and I know that they will both have a very successful Senior year and beyond.

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