Happy 1/2 birthday Jack!

• March 31st, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Jack is six months old!!!  Wow, how he has changed in just the past six months!  He is SUCH a cutie and is sitting up and holding himself up like a CHAMP!

Mom and Dad ordered a book from his session.  Click on this picture to see Jack’s book!  JACK (1 of 34)-04A

Quick Wedding | Virginia Beach Photographer

• March 25th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I love my church, Freedom Fellowship.  It’s a pretty amazing place.  We love God and we love each other.  A few years back, we realized that both within our church and outside, there were so many couples who wanted to get married but were choosing not to due to costs associated with a wedding.  Sure, they could run down to the justice of the peace, but every little girl dreams of the white dress, the church, the flowers, the cakes, etc.

As a church we decided to offer free weddings once a year. Yes, you read that right…free!  Everything is free: the flowers, the cake, the church, the pastor, the reception, the food and yes, even the photography.  The only thing we don’t provide is the groom and the dress!  🙂

I have been blessed to be a part of our “Free Wedding Day” ever since we began them four years ago.  This year, I was especially excited to be photographing one of the weddings as the groom’s family have been close friends for years!  (In fact, much of the family celebrated Thanksgiving with us last year!)

Tawnya made a beautiful bride and Dakota, a very handsome groom.  Everyone had a great time as this family knows how to turn it up!

We danced and laughed, two women got in a fight over the bouquet (seriously, they ripped it in half!) and there was a lot of awesome dance moves on the dance floor! And you should have seen the brother and sister dance…Kennedi, I love you! 🙂

After the reception we headed over to a local park to take some fun portraits.  We had gorgeous weather (which with this crazy winter we have had- was a miracle) and were able to capture some amazing portraits that I hope Dakota and Tawnya will treasure forever.

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Welcome Baby Alexander | Newborn Photographer Hampton Roads

• March 22nd, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

The goal of my business is to establish lifelong relationships… I love photographing my clients time and time again.  So when you announce you are pregnant,  graduating, engaged or celebrating some other big milestone… I PRAY you call me again to help document it!

When I photographed Maria and Joseph’s family at the beginning of their pregnancy, I HOPED they would call for their newborn portraits when baby Alexander came.  Most of my families book their newborn portraits BEFORE the baby arrives… but they hadn’t.  (With two doctors in the family, a pregnancy and two children… I can just image how busy they were!!) Well- 2 days after Alex was born, they called and said this… “Devon we want to book you for Alexander’s portraits.  The hospital photographer just came in to try to take his picture and we said “If anyone is going to photograph him, it will be Devon.”

Oh, be still my heart!!!  That just made my WEEK!  It got even better when they booked a Baby’s First Year Plan so I get to continue photographing him throughout the whole next year!

THEN I got to photograph him and boy, what a cutie patootie!!! He was such a champ and let me finally capture the elusive “head in hands” pose that I have been wanting to do!  (The baby needs to be completely asleep and willing to be posed for this shot!)   I had such an amazing time with Alex and am so looking forward to capturing the next year watching him grow into the amazing little boy he was created to be!  

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please check out my FB page and “like” it to see some of the future adorableness that will be showcased!!!

We’re GROWING! | Hampton Roads Photographer

• March 21st, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

My “little” business is growing!!  For those who know my story, I didn’t INTEND for my photography business to become such a large part of my life.   I LOVED taking care of my family, where my job consisted of wiping butts, making crafts, teaching the alphabet and all the other things that come with being a stay-at-home mom!  In fact, I went to college and earned a degree in education but knew that when I met my husband and got married, I would give it all up to stay home and raise my munchkins.

Fast forward almost 13 years and here we are.  My babies are growing up and all in school and I have a full time job running my OWN business!  I am about as surprised as you are!  I love what I do and I am so thankful that God has bigger plans for me.  I am so very thankful to have had so many years caring for my family and being there for the kids’ important young years of development and I would go back and do it again if I had a choice!

But now, I also have a career!  And boy, is it WORK!!!  I love what I do but the “taking your portrait and selling it to you” business is not as easy as it sounds!  There is marketing and advertising, pricing lists and sample products, travel and location scouting, bookkeeping, education and classes, taxes and depreciation, buying and selling equipment, print labs, branding, scheduling, editing, ordering, etc, etc, etc!  There is SO much to DO!

At the beginning of this year, I was sharing with my friend how I REALLY needed an assistant to help me.  I am great at some of those things mentioned… but honestly, not so good at some of the others.  I needed help growing my business and making it run more smoothly.  But this business is like my fourth child… I am protective of it; I love it, even when it drives me crazy.  I can’t just ask ANYONE to help me.  So, I prayed and God sent me an answer.  A beautiful, awesome, amazing answer to prayer!

Everyone, please meet Jennifer… my new Office Magician!

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She’s pretty awesome.  She doesn’t know much about photography but has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and has worked in many offices throughout her life.  She’s a wiz at whipping me into shape… even has me turning off Facebook now when I edit so I am more proficient with my time (I miss my little “Dings” when you message me; but yes, she is right… you can wait an hour while I edit a session!)  Also, with her background in counseling, she’s adding new depths to my Renew Sessions. She’s helping me create an even more amazing experience for all my couples!  I am SO excited to have her in the office (I can stop talking to the dog now when I am bored!) and I am so excited to introduce her to you!  I’ve asked her to answer some of the following questions so you can get to know her a bit.  Like I said, I think you’re going to love her!

~ Favorite Color: Green, of course!

~ Favorite Food: Mexican – any form of chips and salsa…with a top-shelf, Grand Marnier margarita!

~ Favorite Movie: Pride & Prejudice…the BBC 6-hour version. Romantics, you gotta see it!!

~ Tell us about yourself: I love helping people get unstuck…whether relationally, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, etc! I’m great at being a counselor; it’s truly fulfilling. My passion is to live life fully and intentionally; we only get one chance. I am the oldest of four and am blessed with a wonderful family, with whom I don’t get to spend enough time. I look forward to growing my own family someday but am thrilled with all the opportunities I’ve gotten. I love my life!

~ Where did you grow up: I grew up in Indiana. After too many years attempting to survive the long, never-melting-snow winters, graduate school was my escape. So I came southeast and LOVE living oceanside! I would sell all I had if it got me a house ON the sand where I could hear the crashing waves each and every morning and evening!

~ Why did you want to work with Devon? One of my other favorite things is creating order out of chaos and helping create systems that allow organizations to run efficiently and smoothly. So when Devon approached me, I was conveniently between career moves and loved the idea of helping her create a working professional system. It has turned into more than me helping her…Devon is helping me as I work to develop my own organization, blending all my business experience with my counseling heart and knowledge, while working in churches. She’s legit and has been so encouraging as I trudge through the process of business development. Her support of me has been very needed and so appreciated! This has been a great, timely experience thus far and I look forward to what Devon and I can further create, capture, and change in Hampton Roads!

So, as you can see, she’s a rock star!   I am so blessed to have her join our team.  With her in the office, I can make every one of my sessions more special and meaningful as I have more time to truly focus on what I LOVE- capturing and photographing you and all your amazing moments!

Bird Maternity | Maternity Photographer Virginia Beach

• March 20th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I’d love for you to meet Pamela and Kevin Bird:  AKA Mama Bird and Daddy Bird!  They are so excited to welcome their new baby bird: Declan.  (EEK!!!  Can their last name get ANY more adorable for a maternity session!!!)


We played with the Bird theme throughout the shoot- Mama bird hiding in the bushes, caring for her baby!


Family portrait in a tree!  (Big sister Kaylee’s idea!) happy_005

And lots more…

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Kaylee was such a joy to have on the shoot, she helped with some cute ideas and assisted me with lighting when I needed it!  She is SO EXCITED to be a big sister!!


All in all we just had a blast!  It was chilly but so very pretty out.  I loved spending time with the Bird family and cannot wait to meet baby Declan.  Don’t fret, you’ll get to be a part too!  They have signed up for the Baby’s First Year Plan… which means I’ll be photographing (and sharing with you!) baby Declan grow through his first year of life!

Katie: Class of 2014 | Senior Portrait Photography

• March 4th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

A few months back, I was so happy to photograph Katie.  I love this girl!!!  I have been photographing her since she was in 8th grade and I was so excited to work with her for her Senior Portraits.  What a fun time we had… even if we sat in burrs (OUCH!) and FROZE on the beach (her more than me, she got completely wet!)

I love her carefree  personality and “show em” attitude.  I love that even after a tough summer and fall, she still has a fire in her and her smile still lights up a room.  She is adventurous and strong willed, but can also be childlike and silly!  (She wore a rainbow-loom ring on her finger for a few shots that I had to photoshop out per mom’s request!)

I love that she can be silly and playful…and not take life to seriously!  She’s my kind of girl!  It was my honor to create these amazing portraits showcasing the amazing, beautiful almost-woman that is Katie.

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Making YOURSELF Proud… Are ARE important!

• March 4th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

In high school I had a friend who is now a very well known Hollywood actress. I was recently thinking about her as she isn’t in the tabloids and news as much as she used to be. She is still acting, but seems to have pulled away from the limelight a bit. As we aren’t friends anymore, I have no idea if this is her choice or not but I was thinking about her and how this “lessening of exposure” might be affecting her. Does she resent it? Enjoy it? Seek it out herself? Miss it?

She has a beautiful child and seems to be a great mom. She is still working… Broadway, fashion and directing. In her hometown, I am sure lots of people are talking about her. But on a national scale, she seems to have “disappeared.”

It got me to thinking how it impacts us when we no longer feel “relevant to others.” How do we react when it seems at one time “everyone knew about us” and now, they apparently don’t. Do WE resent it? Enjoy it? Seek it out? Miss it? Life is a big roller coaster. Sometimes lots of people are talking about you, other times, we can feel like no one cares.

It also got me thinking about my life… my business. How things have changed so much! At one time, my husband and I were pretty big leaders in our church: leading small groups, running ministries, volunteering at every event. Then, my marriage went through some pretty tough times and we pulled away from leadership to focus on fixing our marriage. It’s hard taking a “step down” in any leadership capacity. It was difficult for me to go from “being on top” to merely surviving. I used to be the one people called when they needed help because I gave such a great advice and support. Then I became the one who was calling others because I couldn’t figure out my own life.

And then my business: going from no one knows me at all, to feeling like everyone knows me; from one month of the phone ringing off the hook, to a few months later of the phone never ringing; from one client LOVING their portraits so much they are moved to tears, to the next client not giving me any feedback at all; to a potential client booking a session without even talking to me, to another saying my work isn’t worth the investment.

Life is a roller coaster! It can change from one minute to the next…one moment you can feel on top of the world, the next at the bottom of the barrel.

Lately, I have been trying to quit morphing myself into “relevant and important” and making “the world” proud. Really, my goal in life is to make God, my family and myself proud. Of course, I LOVE recognition and praise from anyone, but it shouldn’t be my goal.

I posted this last week on Facebook:

“Just because you aren’t relevant or “important” to others… doesn’t mean you aren’t relevant or important. Quit worrying so much what others think of you or who is “talking” about you. Be you and follow your dreams and passions. Love those in your life and make YOURSELF proud.”

I hope you take something from that. I know I am not the only one who struggles with feeling important. I believe that most people want to be recognized positively for the work they do. It isn’t bad to want recognition… it’s only bad if that is your only motivation!

I LOVE my job. I love capturing amazing moments and the love between people! I love when YOU, my clients, love what I create for you. But my motivation for all I do is to make my family and myself proud and to provide for family. So if the phone doesn’t ring as much, the friends you refer don’t call or book with me, or other photographers have more FB “likes” than me… I will not to be upset and I’ll let it “roll of my shoulders.”

I will remember that there are LOTS of happy clients out there. I will remember that my proud daughter took my Village News Ad to school to show her friends: “Look! My mom is in a MAGAZINE!” I will remember that four years ago, I had 22 FB likes, one camera and lens, and NO IDEA what to do to start this business. I will remember how far I have come and how my “little business” has allowed my family to survive when my husband lost his job and went to school full-time to change career paths.

Life is a journey. And it’s YOUR journey… YOUR story. Sometimes you have lots of supporters and cheerleaders. Other times you don’t. Don’t ever let that stop your momentum because the next rise, the next “winning moment” could be just around the bend!