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. 

Senior Session | Norfolk, Virginia | Virginia Senior Photographer

Photographing high school seniors always warms my heart, inspires me, and excites me because not only do I have a chance to get to know them, I also get to be a part of such an important milestone: graduating high school and becoming an adult.

This sweet Senior was so much fun to capture for her Senior Session! And this honor student also happens to be my daughter. She’s pretty amazing, if you don’t mind me saying so! Annika read an engagement session blog post that I wrote about a year ago and fell in love with the artistic quality of the Pagoda and its surrounding gardens. The brightly colored Pagoda in Norfolk, Virginia stands proudly. As you walk along the meandering brick path in the lush gardens, the waterfall and weeping willows hush you into silence and beg you to sit, reflect, or even to paint.

Annika is an artist. Therefore, she wanted her Senior portrait session to illustrate her love and passion for art and her artistic view of the world. She is passionate about crafting imagery that is real to someone. She pours dreamy creations onto a page for all to see. Her next step is college, where she will study Animation and Art. She was inspired to learn more about and practice art by her older sister, Rachel. Rachel is also an unbelievably talented artist.

This creative outlet initially became a way for her to express herself. She used it to cope when she was going through a rough patch during middle school. Over time, she enjoyed it so much that she began striving to learn as much as she could about it. I am confident that she will do incredible things in college!

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.

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